New Haven was one of the first planned cities in America. A year after its founding by English Puritans in 1638, eight streets were laid out in a four-by-four grid, creating what is commonly known as the "Nine Square Plan". The central common block is the New Haven Green, a 16-acre (6 ha) square at the center of Downtown New Haven. The Green is now a National Historic Landmark, and the "Nine Square Plan" is recognized by the American Planning Association as a National Planning Landmark.
New Haven is the home of Yale University. As New Haven's biggest taxpayer and employer, Yale serves as an integral part of the city's economy. Health care (hospitals and biotechnology), professional services (legal, architectural, marketing, and engineering), financial services, and retail trade also contribute to the city's economic activity.
The city served as co-capital of Connecticut from 1701 until 1873, when sole governance was transferred to the more centrally located city of Hartford. New Haven has since billed itself as the "Cultural Capital of Connecticut" for its supply of established theaters, museums, and music venues. New Haven had the first public tree planting program in America, producing a canopy of mature trees (including some large elms) that gave the city the nickname "The Elm City".
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