Just as more U.S. cities are beginning to see urban highways and parking lots as opportunities for development, Milwaukee is reaping the benefits of its freeway removal efforts, which date back two decades. The 24-acre downtown corridor where the Park East Freeway stood until 2003 has generated $886 million in new investment, and more development is planned.
Milwaukee’s growth pattern and the location of business hubs in the suburbs, combined with reduced funding for transit, have created a “spatial mismatch” in the metro area. The term “spatial mismatch” is defined in a new report by the Milwaukee-based Public Policy Forum as a divergence between where workers live in the Milwaukee area and where jobs are located. Many of Milwaukee’s jobs have moved to the suburbs and out of reach for the 13 percent of Milwaukee’s workers without a car.
Case studies of cities which have removed elevated urban highways, as well as an examination of why urban highways should be removed. Download the full report.