Transportation Systems: Re-Shaping Urban Form Historical & Future Evolution

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As public transportation continually experienced budget cuts, the investments in the automobile infrastructure increased. The social context during this time had transitioned from wanting an automobile to needing for all of life’s functions. The Interstate Highway Act of 1956 would provide the freeways and interstates that would again alter the urban and suburban American landscape. Growth in the suburban areas increased as the freeways extended outward. A network that once created to serve as a bypass of congestion in the urban areas; today more times than not serve as a beltway. This expansion in freeway system network no longer made it necessary for residents to live in specific areas based on their employment sector. They now choose their location based on the social and cultural context the area has to offer. The automobile serves as a mode where individuals can ignore the societal elements they don’t want to believe exist. Hartshorn and Muller researched the spatial evolution of the freeway era to be able to analyze the spatial economy of the suburban landscape. Out of this research they identified five distinct growth stages. First was the formulation of the bedroom community (1945-1955). The residential construction during this stage was caused by the postwar demand. The commercial expansion to the suburbs during this time was rather limited. The independence stage (1955-1965), where the economic activity increased dramatically because of the relocation and creation of office/industrial parks on the periphery. Between 1965-1980, was classified as the catalytic growth in which they believe was the most transformative of the landscape because of the increase in services, jobs, and retail (the shopping malls). The fourth ... ... middle of paper ... ... the system to recover all or some of the investment. This raises brings up a difficult situation dealing with mainstream society and consumer demands. If the technology is invented, and there is a demand, it is important that communities take the necessary actions to ensure the safety of its citizens. However, investments should not be made as soon as it becomes readily available because it is hard to determine the longevity of the technology because of numerous variables of possibilities. The alterations these transportation adaptations make to the natural and built environment are significant. Transportation decisions that are made have the ability to shape the lives of individuals in the local community, as well as communities in the metropolitan area. It is important that planners consider the greater scope and implications to mitigate any issues or concerns.

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