A grid can give inside into the composition of an ecosystem. Well-elaborated are applications such as remote sensing from the satellite of forests ecosystems and classical vegetation recordings of Braun Blanquet (Westhoff et al., 1973), Tansley or Tüxen, relying on species lists, frequencies and cover levels. The numerical methods in vegetation science have led to an integration of European plant sociology, interesting to apply to the city societal metaphor.

In the application for the ecosystem city, the grid can be considered a layer over an area. Each field represents an observed piece of the surface of the city. It contains information about the state or composition (expressed in population, weight or structure) of one or more determinants: component, interaction, phase, role and trait.

The grid can be chosen for each scale. We basically work with the city level on the 8×8=64 chessboard grid. Other system levels, like the neighbourhood (lower) or the region (higher), can be considered. Or combinations can be made to link more cities into a region.

Linking more than one chessboard in the grid is possible. It can lead to more overview by displaying a larger area on the same scale or lead to more detail in a smaller geographical area. Like in digital photography, generating more pixels per inch can improve the sharpness of perception. On the other hand, a lower pixel density over a larger area can create a more comprehensive view. The chessboard, though, is our starting point.