Emergent Urbanism

Rediscovering Urban Complexity

Squaring the circle


Natural paths of movement emerge through gaps in the blocks imposed by a municipal grid in the town of Tultepec, Mexico. These paths show how the street configuration of medieval cities comes to be defined. The urbanized gradient between the center of town and its outskirts shows the different stages in the emergence of a fully natural town.

For those with strong stomachs, scroll to the south to see some truly horrific modern housing blocks.


Another example of this is in Robe, Ethiopia- Though it's difficult to tell there whether the grid was imposed upon a previously existing network of paths, or if those paths have subsequently arisen to supplement the grid.

Further comment

Please send your comments by email at mthl@mthl.info, or find me on Twitter @mathieuhelie. The commenting system is closed at the moment as no measures can hold back blog spamming bots.