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The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


 
  • Two Essays on Unequal Growth in Housing
  • Volume 22 Number 2
  • Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
  • Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga
 

Early Interstate Policy and Its Effects on Central Cities

Jeffrey Brinkman
Jeffrey Lin
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

The views expressed here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia or the Federal Reserve System. Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the authors.


Interstate highways caused significant population declines in central cities. In a recent working paper (Brinkman and Lin, 2019), we argued that highways’ adverse effects on local quality of life versus their regional accessibility benefits were a significant factor in U.S. central city decline. Those declines were presaged by initial policies that did not anticipate the disamenity effects of urban highways and slow responses to the protests against early urban interstate construction.


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