May 2, 2011

The Urban Times | Cities do not need Highways

The perception that leading architect and urbanist, Le Corbusier, had throughout a large chunk of the 20th Century, was that highways would allow uninterrupted traffic movement; any resident of Los Angeles will tell you that he is quite markedly incorrect with this assumption. Although projects such as the M25 are a good example of how highways can compliment the workings of a city (in the case of the M25, which circles the outskirts of London, drivers can travel around the edge of London before heading inwards, instead of joining the gridlock of the city from the start) there are certainly large-scale flaws at play.

Many agree with Corbusier’s point of view, claiming that dual carriage ways and highways are the lifeline for many cities. They give traffic direction to the core of the urban realm and target the most “important” locales. In doing so they create a very unbalanced spread of people across the city. New highway construction can, in fact, ruin communities – as less vehicular through-flow means less customers for local business, (potentially) lower land values and a completely different sense of place. Simply, highways do not belong in city centers.

Source_ The Urban Times

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