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.