The Life and Death of Urban Highways

The Institute for Development and Planning & EMBARQ released "The Life and Death of Urban Highways" today. The report details the necessary transformation of urban highways to come and the benefits of current and past projects.

Highway construction boomed in the 1940's as a result of suburbanization; a high-speed, automobile focused travel corridor that linked up sprawling suburbs to all of the necessary amenities. They were convenient for their time and helped facilitate the developments surrounding the mass urban exodus to the suburbs through the late 1960's.

Although these highways were often a direct connection to urban areas, they typically had adverse effects on the surrounding communities such as lowered property values, expensive maintenance costs, and new physical boundaries between previously united areas. As a result, cities are looking to remove certain troubled highways and replacing them with financially sustainable solutions.

Past projects have been successful in raising local property values and revitalizing the local economy by promoting improvements to local public transportation and creating new green space and access points to the waterfront. 

Next American City has reviewed the report and supplies a great example of how the urban highways will exist in the future. This new urbanist style highway redevelopment plan is surely a great solution to a problem faced by nearly all cities across the country. For more information on the article, please click here. And see CNU's Highways to Boulevards initiative for more.

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