Document Type



The author and article are referenced in this article by Eric Jaffe for The Atlantic CityLab.


While federal policy makers have pursued “livable” communities since the late 1970s, they have rarely agreed on precisely what “livability” entailed and how best to achieve it. When U.S. Secretary of the Department of Transportation Ray LaHood promised in 2009 to make livability the hallmark of an ambitious interagency partnership with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency—and, in the process, to undo long-standing patterns of auto-dependency—it appeared that LaHood was poised to shift American transportation policy in a bold new direction. And yet other policies, such as those that govern the alignment of highway interchanges serving super-regional shopping malls, continued to promote the dominance of highway-driven economies. This article demonstrates how the failure to confront historic development patterns fostered by the Interstate highway system undermined LaHood’s campaign for livable communities.


doi: 10.1177/0096144214533295

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Fein, Michael R. "Realignment: Highways and Livability Policy in the Post-Interstate Era, 1978–2013." Journal of Urban History 40, no. 3 (2014). [online] doi: 10.1177/0096144214533295.



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