You can categorise cities in any multitude of ways, but asking whether they were designed by grid-obsessed city planners; or allowed to sprawl wilfully in every direction, is one place to start.
Grid-like order, or lack thereof, is pretty obvious when you look at a city’s street map, but a data researcher has made the job even easier by adding colour. Sephen von Worley, an artist and scientist, chose a series of colours to represent different grid orientations, then applied them algorithmically to maps of five US cities and five others from around the world.
The method allows you to see which cities are broadly grid-based, even where the grid occasionally changes direction. Here’s New York City, with its delightfully regular street patterns: