This block, actually two blocks with different housing mixes, has several interesting features:
1) The basic layout is one long serpentine, \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ rather than a series of loops.
Boulevard - Double (or Elite) Houses - Boulevard
in columns of 10 houses, repeated to either the left or the right as often as you wish and joined alternately with an Agora at the top or the bottom.
2) 42 Common Houses, 15 Estates, or any desired mix.
3) Very robust. The Water Carriers are fully redundant, the Maintenance Officers even more so, and any interior Agora can be lost or converted to Wine, Armor, and Horses.
If the outer housing rows are all Elite Housing, or you've razed the cheap housing neighborhood once the city has matured, then all Agoras are redundant. The only real restraint is that any pair of adjacent Agoras must provide Fleece, Food, and Oil, and you can even cheat on that for a couple of years if you are careful. This allows you to double up your Armor and Horse vendors after a battle, and recover very quickly.
Early in the life of a city, every house (except the outermost sides of the outermost columns) is served from two Agoras, so the city can evolve at a remarkable rate, basically twice to three times faster than any other design I've see, so keep a firm grip on the reins. You'll find that you have to partially fill the housing blocks, so that you can keep up financially, during the early phases of an episode.
4) The block can be built in any of the four orientations, or even mirror imaged. Getting the Walkers and Gods to go where you wish is dead easy. There's only one choice, because the Main Housing Street is continuous and linear.
5) In practice, you can mix the housing however you wish so long as you know what you're doing with the Agoras. The stuff on the outside edges is actually the right and left halves of a split block, so that the outermost sides of the outermost columns will receive all the same services that they would get in the interior of the block. Again, if the outmost columns are Elite Housing, they get served from the next in Boulevard, and the Gingerbread on the outer Boulevards is not needed.
6) You need a Palace and a Stadium early in the build of your city, so I've simply included them. In practice they can go anywhere, as can the College and Drama School. If you want to kickstart the Theatres and Podiums, and have 250 drachmas to spare, you can delete the Gymnasium for a moment, and drop in an extra College or Drama School to get things rolling.
7) Notice that the site for the College and Drama School is exactly the right size for a Horse Farm, when you get to that phase in the building of your city.
A detailed article is available at http://www.marvl.com/Serpentineum/MixedHousing.htm
[This message has been edited by MarvL (edited 03-04-2001).]