The New Trend in Highways: Capping Them

Blair Kamin uses Columbus, Ohio's retail development on the Cap at Union Station as a success story. What can Chicago learn from this design strategy that at once addresses economic development and the enrichment of the cityscape?

"A case study by a real estate developers group, the Washington-based Urban Land Institute, said the cap shows that the following ingredients are necessary: an active road reconstruction project, well-organized citizens, an eager developer, a city government that makes the project a priority and a strong retail environment.

Today, however, Chicago and other cities have an oversupply of retail space.

No matter how replicable a model it turns out to be, the Cap at Union Station expands our ideas of what freeway lids can be. Even parks over freeways could benefit from the presence of restaurants and shops, in the view of developer Lucks."

Full Story: Ohio highway cap at forefront of urban design trend; retail complex atop Columbus expressway offers model for Chicago

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