Baldwin Street Houses – Dunedin, New Zealand - Atlas Obscura

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Baldwin Street Houses

One of the world's steepest streets seems to have houses sliding down it. 


Thanks to some blunt city planning Dunedin, New Zealand’s residential Baldwin Street has become known as one of the world’s steepest roads, and it certainly seems like if there were a street that was any steeper, it would be a wall.

When the city of Dunedin was first planned, it was done so by urban designers back in London who simply slapped an orderly grid system atop the map with no consideration of the actual topography. This resulted in a number of streets that landed right on extremely steep hills. Rather than scale down the steepness, the roads were simply built at a staggeringly steep grade. Baldwin Street ended up being the most extreme victim of this remote city planning, earning it the Guinness World Record for the steepest street in the world for many years. In July 2019, the world record title was granted to Ffordd Pen Llech in Harlech, Wales, leaving Baldwin Street in second place.

The street seems to take a good deal of pride in its reputation. Each year, multiple charity events are held on the street including a fun run to promote fitness where people run up and then down the shockingly laborious thousand-some feet of the street and an even weirder event where spherical, red-coated chocolate candies bounce down the street in a distance race.

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