Peter Park: "Planning for the Post-Freeway American City"
America’s failing infrastructure needs to be addressed. In 2009, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the nation’s infrastructure an overall grade of 'D' and proposed that keeping America "safe," "prosperous," and "competitive" would require a five-year expenditure of $2.2 trillion. Roads and bridges were given a grade of 'D-' and in need of $930 billion. Given current public funding challenges, now is an opportune time for America to reform outdated approaches to big-project spending and implement more effective design strategies. For example, freeways in American cities have not delivered on promises made more than 50 years ago. Skillfully sold as instruments of freedom and prosperity, in reality, they have weakened cities and financially burdened the nation. Continuing to spend taxpayer dollars on maintaining ineffective freeways- or worse, expanding them- only saddles future generations with even greater challenges. Peter Park, former Denver planning director, will explore America’s historic freeway campaign, damage caused by freeways in cities, and today's opportunity to counter this failed 20th-century experiment. The presentation will include proven alternatives to costly and outdated freeway designs and a case for a freeway removal campaign aimed at strengthening cities, regions, and the nation.
The event is free and open to the public.
About the presenter:
Peter J. Park is the 2012 Lincoln Loeb Fellow and former planning director of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Denver, Colorado. In both cities, he oversaw preparation of numerous plans, comprehensive zoning code updates, and implementation of major infrastructure and development projects. In Milwaukee, initiatives included the replacement of the elevated Park East freeway with an at-grade boulevard that catalyzes new downtown development along the Milwaukee River. Significant work in Denver includes redevelopment of the historic Denver Union Station as the hub of Fastracks (the largest public transit project in the nation), numerous transit-oriented development (TOD) station area plans, and the adoption of a new context and form-based zoning code applied citywide. Over the last 20 years, he has taught urban design courses with an emphasis on integrating practice and teaching. The work explored in his design studios has significantly influenced real world planning and development outcomes and provided tangible benefits in local communities.