Urban Layout and Nomenclature

layoutThe street arrangement of Bogotá is based on the Cartesian coordinate system. North is to the right.

Bogotá has 20 localities, or districts, forming an extensive network of neighborhoods. Areas of higher economic status tend to be located to the north and north-east, close to the foothills of the Eastern Cordillera. Poorer neighborhoods are located to the south and south-east, many of them squatter areas. The middle classes usually inhabit the central, western and north-western sections of the city.

The urban layout in the center of the city is based on the focal point of a square or plaza, typical of Spanish-founded settlements, but the layout gradually becomes more modern in outlying neighborhoods. The current types of roads are classified as calles (streets), which run perpendicular to the hills, with street numbers increasing towards the north, and also towards the south (with the suffix "Sur") from Calle 1 on. Carreras run parallel to the hills, with numbering increasing as one travels east or west of Carrera 1 (with the suffix "Este" for roads east of Carrera 1). Other types of roads more common in newer parts of the city may be termed "Eje" (Axis), "Diagonal" or "Transversal".

The numbering system for street addresses recently changed, and numbers are assigned according to street rank from main avenues to smaller avenues and local streets.