Urban Freeways and Community Renewal


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Certification Maintenance


CM | 0.75


Learning Outcomes

  • Acquire a collaborative view of how to leverage existing urban freeways to enhance a community's livability and viability.
  • Use visualization and conscientious engagement to collaborate with stakeholders and illustrate how a comprehensive approach can improve an areas’ sense of place.
  • Develop multimodal design options along an urban freeway to enhance urban livability and maintain equitable access for outside communities.

More Course Details

How can planners balance the needs to renew downtown communities, make vulnerable users safer, and provide equitable access to downtown's important jobs and resources? The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) owns, operates, and maintains the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway that travels through downtown Tampa. THEA has collaborated with community stakeholders and public- and private-agency partners to leverage the expressway to give the downtown community multimodal options and develop a sense of place.

THEA's Selmon Greenway abuts the elevated expressway and gives pedestrians and bicyclists a shaded urban-mobility option The greenway offers parks and bike amenities along its length, as well as a dog park and landscaping and art installations that benefit the growing residential population. THEA implemented safety and aesthetic improvements in expressway-adjacent neighborhoods and continues to work with local agencies and stakeholders to ensure continued connectivity. Presenters offer strategies and opportunities to serve all communities in a more equitable way. Urban freeways are often targeted for costly demolition.

THEA offers a unique alternative that uses inclusionary processes to leverage investments in existing infrastructure, thereby giving surrounding communities equitable access to downtown resources while preserving safety and enhancing urban living.