In November, TEDxPhilly brought together some of our city’s brightest urbanists and performers for a day full of urban inspiration and ideas about The City . The good folks behind TEDxPhilly are putting together videos of talks and I’m pleased to start sharing some of my favorites on Eyes on the Street.
First up: Editor of Next American City, Diana Lind’s talk about gusty urban highway removal projects, daring Philadelphians to think boldly about the opportunities presented by I-95’s planned multi-billion dollar reconstruction.
Lind explained how American cities are reclaiming auto-dominated spaces in big and small ways, and issued a challenge for Philadelphia to rethink I-95 between the Walt Whitman and Benjamin Franklin bridges. If we’re tearing the highway down because it’s structurally compromised, Lind wondered, why would we simply rebuild it? “Have we learned nothing, really, from our mistakes from the past? Have we learned nothing about the current state of the city? Do we have no ideas of where the city is going in the future?”
Imagine what Philadelphia could gain by losing 3 miles of highway. Think transit, equitable development, public space, and a city reunited with its Delaware waterfront.
On February 23rd, Lind will pick up this conversation at Re-imagining Urban Highways, an event at the Academy of Natural Sciences, along with Ashwin Balakrishnan (Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance), Thomas Deller (City of Providence), and Peter Park (University of Colorado), moderated by Streetsblog’s Aaron Naparstek. See you there?
Urbanize this highway: Renewed calls to rethink I-95 and the Vine Street Expressway [Eyes on the Street, November 21, 2011]