Watch America’s 20th century highway building binge unfold in four minutes

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Today, a lot of us are left scratching our heads about why previous generations decided to build Interstate Highways where we did—like along Louisville’s Ohio River waterfront—and why we decided to double down on those mistakes rather than look for new ideas about city building.

But ith the rise of cultural propaganda around car-based utopias early in the 20th century, a planning industry still in its infancy, and our tendency to ignore the needs of poorer communities, these highways were carefully placed and built in city cores. Not always with everyone’s best interest in mind.

Take a look at the history of America’s highway building binge dating back to the 1930s as rendered by Vox. It’s important to know the backstory before we can figure out how to move forward with new ideas on what to do with our built infrastructure.

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Branden Klayko

Branden Klayko

Founder and Editor at Broken Sidewalk
Branden founded Broken Sidewalk in 2008 while practicing architecture in Louisville. He continued the site for seven years while living in New York City, returning to Louisville in 2016. Branden is a graduate of the College of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, and has covered architecture, design, and urbanism for The Architect's Newspaper, Designers & Books, Inhabitat, and the American Institute of Architects.
Branden Klayko

1 COMMENT

  1. To whomever wrote I exploited Chloe Allen’s death; you’re sick! I have cried over this for days and you have no idea how bad this has hurt me! I’m only trying to raise awareness about a very dangerous intersection! Think about that before you run your mouth and print something bad about me!

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