This might be world’s steepest place to live! This street is located New Zealand’s residential suburb of North East Valley, Baldwin Street, and this 350 meters (1,150 ft) long street rises from 30 m (98 ft) above sea level at the North Road end to 100 m (330 ft) above sea level on the other side. This makes the average slope of slightly more than 1:5, which is certainly the steepest one out there.
The Baldwin Street starts east from the Lindsay Creek up the side of Signal Hill at Opoho. The lower side made out of asphalt is only moderately steep, but the higher up you go on the street, the material changes to concrete and it gets steeper. This two material strategy is used as if asphalt, which consists of bitumen, is used at the top, it would flow down the slope on a warm day.
The reason behind this was not intentional at all; these parts were laid out in a grid by the colonizers who knew nothing about the terrain and probably drew up the maps in London. The Baldwin Street and a lot other Dunedin street plans were surveyed by Charles Kettle in the mid-19th century.
The street gets its name after William Baldwin, an Otago Provincial Councillor and newspaper founder who helped in subdividing the area. The street is a cul-de-sac for cars, but it does connect across the top by Buchanan Street if someone wants to walk that side.
While it might not be a good idea to send your children cycling or skateboarding in the street, the street does annually hold the Baldwin Street Gutbuster event every summer since 1988. This event focuses on raising awareness about exercise in fitness and balance and involves athletes running from the low-lying base of the street right up to the slope and then back down again, much to the amusement of hundreds of spectators.