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Is it possible that the orientation is matched to the wind direction common in the area?

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  • $\begingroup$ Towns sometimes "just develop" without a master plan, particularly in their early phases. $\endgroup$
    – Fred
    Oct 22 '21 at 5:11
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Not all cities follow a design plan. Some cities built before industrial revolution followed a gain solar dynamic like ancient greece, mesopotamians. The Ancient Greeks built whole towns and cities where orientation of solar exposure. This was to mitigate wood/oil/lamp illumination/heating demand. You can read about it In "A Golden Thread: 2500 Years of Solar Architecture and Technology" By Ken Butti and John Perlin. The greeks did it to address acute shortages of firewood, but early philosophers addressed Sunshine as inherently healthy. Some cities Do follow cardinal orientation.

After the late 1700s, when ‘The Rectangular Survey System’ was developed to expand the nation, land was divided up into rectangles and squares. Diagonal streets and grids often correspond to a body of water like a river. Example: Denver https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NIE_1905_Denver.jpg

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  • $\begingroup$ Prior to then even - the neanderthals chose south facing caves… $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 21 '21 at 10:52
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In the absence of any other rationale, if you avoid E/W streets you will avoid sun glare for people traveling in the afternoons and mornings. At certain times of the year this can be a serious problem... Worst case, you are commuting East to work and West towards home.

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