Future of Highways


Name: Evan Shieh

Nationality: USA

Institution / Company: Emergent Studio


Name: Yona Chung

Nationality: South Korea 

Institution / Company: Harvard Graduate School of Design


-HONOURABLE MENTION of Street of Tomorrow Competition


Highways have systematically and radically reshaped the built environment of our cities, making possible regional transportation and massive suburbanization of the metropolitan landscape. However, they also served to disconnect and disempower. Highways routinely reinforced physical, social, racial, environmental, economic and psychological divides that primarily destroyed underserved & underrepresented minority neighborhoods when they were planned.


Situated in a community that was once divided by a limited-access highway, this speculation explores a multi-phase scenario in which a highway is adaptively-converted from a negative community-dividing infrastructure that serves only single-occupancy vehicles, into a positive multi-functional infrastructure that fosters multi-modal shared forms of mobility, community-empowering social spaces and amenities, and environmentally sustainable outcomes. 


Enabled by the implementation of shared & autonomous forms of transit that eliminate the space-demands of cars, the speculation lays out mobility, social, and environmental strategies that provide a roadmap for the transformation of a highway, the local streets, and the community it bisects. In conjunction with targeted highway-segment removals and new development & open space typologies, the strategy stitches the infrastructure to its surrounding urban fabric and lays the foundation for new investment that ensures long-term affordable and culturally-diverse improvements that benefit, rather than displace, the existing community.


#Highway Conversion #Infrastructure Adaptive Re-use #Public Space, pedestrianization and street front #Shared Mobility and Public Transport #Community empowerment

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