Highways to Boulevards
Starting September 21, 2012, participate in CNU's Highways to Boulevards Video Contest! Click here for more!
America's twentieth century highway building era included elevated freeways which cut huge swaths across our cities, decimating neighborhoods and reducing quality of life for city residents. This massive concrete infrastructure had devastating effects on urban economies. It blighted adjacent property and pushed access to basic amenities further out. With the Federal and State Departments of Transportation confronting shrinking budgets and cities looking for ways to increase their revenues, it is an ideal time to offer less expensive, urban alternatives to the reconstruction of urban expressways.
New York City, Portland, San Francisco, Milwaukee and Seoul, South Korea have confronted this problem by replacing elevated highways with boulevards, saving billions of dollars and increasing real estate values on adjacent land. The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) believes that teardowns offer an attractive option for cities struggling with aging highway infrastructure. The strategies are proving themselves in adding value and restoring urban neighborhoods decimated by highway construction.
Image Credit: Nora Beck, DanH
For an example of how tearing down a highway can "let a city breathe again," read this excellent piece on Seoul from Kamala Rao of Grist.
Image Credit: Kyle Nishioka
Watch Wired Magazine's Adam Rogers highlight CNU’s Highways-to-Boulevards initiative in this amazingly energetic and spot-on video, “Observation Deck: How Tearing Up Highways Could Make Better Cities."
Freeways Without Futures2012
Resources for Activists and ProfessionalsLearn from Cary Moon (Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct), Peter Park (Milwaukee's Park East), and Lucy Gibson (New Orleans' I-10) as they discuss the basics of a freeway replacement campaign. This conversation is moderated by John Norquist. Listen more here: January 2012 Webinar.
Join the discussion on the Highways-to-Boulevards's Tumblr Forum. Discuss current and future teardown efforts around the world.
The Highways to Boulevards Initiative has been made possible by the generous support of the Ford Foundation, Surdna Foundation, the National Endowment of the Arts, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, and the members of the Congress for the New Urbanism.