Street signs in sightly cities

One day, I’d like to see someone figure out the correlation between the creativity of street names of a city,  and the average level of satisfaction of its inhabitants. OK, I know there are more than a few confounding factors… but still — I want to know!

For example, take a city like Paris, France. It’s probably a bit cliché as far as “nice cities” go, but let’s consider it all the same. This is a city where the streets are named after people like Descartes and Sartre, or after Napoleon’s victories, or even…

rue du chat qui peche

See what I mean? Or look at Athens: there are streets named after important historic dates — like 28 October Street (to commemorate the beginning of Greece’s resistance against Italian forces in WWII). Parisierplatz in Berlin is named after the city of Paris, following the victories against Napoleon in 1814, when Prussian troups invaded the French capital. In Belgrade, a street that began as “Two White Doves” in 1872 was renamed six times for political reasons: Svetogorska in 1896, Bitoljska in 1922, for Georges Clemenceau in 1930, Svetogorska again in 1943, for Lola Ribar in 1946, and Svetogorska again in 1997. Yeah, it gets complicated.

Belgrade steet

So what do we make of grid systems for streets – where they use numbers and letters like a chess board or a Grade 5 math class? You see it in Manhattan, Denver, Chicago, Detroit. It gives the city some semblance of order… but I can’t really think of anything else it does. In any case…

hope street

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