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Seeking the Next Interstate System, This Time Without Asphalt

9:00 AM PDT on May 19, 2010

84456523_f3128c7b09.jpgBlast from
the past. (Photo: Payton Chung
via Flickr)

The construction of the interstate highway
system defined the landscape of late-20th-century America. What will be
the transformative infrastructure of the 21st century?

As Noah Kazis wrote on Streetsblog
a couple of days ago, the American Association of State Highway
and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) would like to think that it will
be -- the interstate highway system.

But people who don't pour asphalt for a living have some other
ideas. Portland
pointed us to a post on Richard
Florida's blog
in which he listed some ideas his readers had on the
subject of change-making infrastructure for the future. They included
high-speed rail, a universal broadband network, and denser, more
walkable communities.

All of which sound pretty good. But it remains to be seen if any of
those solutions have the kind of political muscle behind them that the
highway lobby has enjoyed for the last half-century.

What do you think the defining infrastructure project of the 21st
century will be, or should be? Are such grand projects even possible in
the current economic and political climate?

More from around the network: Greater
Greater Washington
wonders if the  transit benefit for federal
employees is a bad thing. Beyond
discusses why growth doesn't cause congestion -- reliance on
cars does. And
says the the Ride of Silence sends the wrong image about biking.

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