Calgary has undergone rapid, structured urbanization. As in many North American cities, the plan is Hippodamian. The city is organized into rectilinear streets crossing at right angles.
The Hippodamian plan, created by Hippodamos, a Greek urban planner from the 5th century B.C., was developed primarily by Alexander the Great. It had considerable success in the Greek world before it was taken over by the Romans who used it systematically in the foundation of their colonies.
This is also called a "checkerboard plan" because of its shape and main axes. Most of the avenues run east-westand the streets run north-south. The Romans, military strategists, used this plan to set up their legionnaire camps and stationed their main cohorts along the axis of the rising and setting sun.
In Calgary, the north-south axis is defined by the Bow River, while the east-west axis is defined by Center Street. Just locate the four cardinal points to find your way in the city. Hint: the Rockies are to the west!
Source: Gottmann, J. (1959). City plans on both sides of the Atlantic. Cahiers de géographie du Quebec, 3, (6), 237-242. Sarra Lorine, the urban form: the plan in chessboard. Photo: Google map.