People before Highways

I95sign.jpegLocal & Family History Lecture Series at the Central Library

People before Highways: Boston Activists, Urban Planners, and a New Movement for City Making

In the 1950s, Massachusetts officials built multiple highways that circled and cut through the heart of Boston. In the 1960s when it became clear that the plan would have a disproportionate impact on poor communities of color, people began to organize. Karilyn Crockett tells the story of how an unlikely multiracial coalition of urban and suburban residents, planners, and activists, many with experience in the civil rights and antiwar protests, stopped an interstate highway, a victory which lead to federally funded mass transit expansion, a linear central city park, and a highway-less urban corridor.

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