Geography of street numbering

Dubbhe Phadd series on paper, New York, 2019

In the U.S. a lot of cities prefer numerical navigation.
NYC has been one of the first ones to apply this rule: it set a precedent for spatial logic and efficiency
that many American cities came to follow—roughly half of them.

It has been an effort to satisfy the utilitarian desire for spatial legibility by making it harder to get lost, even in a city where one had never been before.

That's why the city’s systematic grid of numbered streets and avenues reduces navigation to elementary mathematics.