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Cities Turn to Highway Cap Parks for Economic Development

Some worry that, of the many reasons cities pursue cap parks, creating quality green space is low on the list.
April 12, 2018, 9am PDT | Elana Eden
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Increasing numbers of U.S. cities are creating parks on top of urban highways in hopes of spurring development, according to the Pew Charitable Trust. Cities often turn to cap parks as a way to repurpose aging infrastructure and revitalize urban cores, writer Martha Moore explains on the Trust's blog. "In crowded cities, highway deck parks are a way to create new acreage and provide green space that can spur downtown development."

The benefits of cap parks are not undisputed, though. Critics—including Streetsblog USA editor Angie Schmitt—fear that cap parks are little more than a form of greenwashing, providing plausible cover for highway expansions that draw funds from public transit.

Moore delves into the economic and environmental impacts of cap parks in Pittsburgh, Dallas, and Atlanta. Other cities considering or working on cap parks include Philadelphia, Golden, CO, and Santa Monica, CA.

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Published on Monday, April 2, 2018 in Stateline
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