Slate wants American cities to consider turning its highways into parks because Paris is closing part of its Voie Georges Pompidou for the next six months. Way ahead of you, guys!
The possibility of removing Speer Boulevard brought forth a lot of opinions, not least of which was “uh, are you nuts?” In his piece, Henry Grabar touches on something similar — the “this isn’t Amsterdam” dismissal:
It’s a curt and effective dismissal of open-minded city planning as a delusional idealism. But Amsterdam, like most American cities, was subject to a program of car-crazed urban renewal that obliterated entire neighborhoods. Yet today, as a model, it seems laughably out of reach.
Aside from the fun synchronicity of being called to consider repurposing American highways and having a piece about just that, it’ll be interesting to see if the Paris highway closure brings a “traffic apocalypse.”
Meanwhile some Denver activists are trying to stave off a traffic problem closer to home as they fight to stop the I-70 expansion. “Ditch the Ditch” activists argue that plans to widen I-70 and take it subterranean will worsen air quality. They’d like to see it rerouted north of Denver, though they propose replacing it with a boulevard, not a park.
But hey, there could be a park on top of it too!
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