The interstates and the city: an examination of interstate highways and the perception of slum clearance in American cities

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University of Delaware
The following paper looks at the way in which interstate highways in five eastern-American cities were used to displace inner city residents under the guide of slum-clearance and urban renewal. The paper uses 1950 census data to examine these five areas across several variables in establishing whether they were in fact slums. This is done to determine the validity of slum clearance and urban renewal as the justification for the destruction of homes and communities for the purposes of highway construction. The paper also examines the cost-reduction logic of interstate highway construction as well as the ethical standards of engineers as practitioners, in considering the legitimacy of routing interstates through the inner-city neighborhoods of downtown America in the first place.