Thursday, June 18, 2009

Freeway? No. Greenway.

One of L.A.'s defining "landmarks" is its traffic, with freeways in perpetual gridlock. The I-10 Santa Monica freeway alone is reputed to be the busiest in the world -- traveled by 2.5 million people every day. Could we do without it? Local architect John Dutton thinks so.

In what seems to be a counter-intuitive move, Dutton proposes to turn the I-10 into a "Greenway" made of vertical farms, community gardens, parks, public squares, promenades, bike paths and transit hubs. In fact, he wants to take back all L.A.'s freeways -- a proposal acclaimed by the Westside Urban Forum. [More via Curbed LA]

Wacky, or simply visionary? Why not address the future before it hits us on the head? As Dutton explains, "Los Angeles freeways promised speed and connectivity but delivered congestion and separation. They are at their tipping point dysfunctional and on the verge of obsolescence. Like many great cities that have reclaimed the ruins of their infrastructure, it is time for Los Angeles to reclaim its inevitable and future ruins." Time to re-form the suburban metropolis.
UPDATE: Infrastructurist on reclaiming highways.
illustration via

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