chapter  2
29 Pages

Urban Grids and Urban Imaginary: City to Cyberspace, Cyberspace to City

This chapter offers a discussion of the grid in our urban imaginary and in our material urban spaces and practices, where it has played a crucial role, beginning literally with the very fi rst cities ever built. I shall address some of this history, especially how the idea of the grid was shaped by and, reciprocally, shaped modernity and modern urban culture. The relationships between the grid and urban culture are crucial for my argument here, since some of these relationships extend into postmodernity. My main concerns in this chapter, however, are, fi rst, the signifi cance of the idea of the grid in the postmodern urban imaginary and, second, the practices defi ned by the continuing role, positive and negative, of the grid and by resistances to it in imagining and building our urban spaces. Most especially, I will consider the role of the grid in the interface between the city and cyberspace, which, as I argue here and in the next chapter, defi nes the postmodern urban imaginary and urban reality.