Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Chad Martin Burns Humanities

Commuters Versus Residents: A Comparative Historical Analysis of America's Urban Freeways

In the mid-twentieth century, American cities constructed urban freeways in order to bring people from growing suburbs into the center of town. Urban freeways were a harbinger of municipalities giving priority to the needs of commuters versus city center residents. Today, one may ask: were urban freeways essential to the development of cities in a post-industrial era? What was the decision-making process for the location of freeways? Were quality of life implications part of the public dialogue? Chad plans to answer these questions by conducting a comparative historical analysis of American cities before, during, and after the era of urban freeway construction. He will also visit a handful of cities to chronicle first-hand the cultural, social, and economic impacts of urban freeways. Chad’s research will shed light on the ways in which urban freeways have changed the cultural landscape of American cities.

Profile image of Chad Martin Burns
Major: History
Mentor: Mentor: Caitlin Rosenthal, History
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