North American cities are known for their wide, gridded streets which stand in stark contrast to European city streets that tend to be narrower and more organic. Those narrower European streets also tend be more pleasant and dense, often with a mix of uses. But American streets weren’t always so wide and full of monoculture uses. Dave Amos of City Beautiful takes a step back in time and examines what it might take to bring back narrow streets in American cities — beyond existing grid patterns, there are real regulatory obstacles to change.

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Stephen is a professional urban planner in Puget Sound with a passion for sustainable, livable, and diverse cities. He is especially interested in how policies, regulations, and programs can promote positive outcomes for communities. With stints in great cities like Bellingham and Cork, Stephen currently lives in Seattle. He primarily covers land use and transportation issues and has been with The Urbanist since 2014.