David vs. Goliath: Stories from Highway Removal Fights

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Certification Maintenance

CM | 0.75

Learning Outcomes

  • Structure and objectively assess the situation and develop potential strategies to win the fight.
  • Share stories about building capacity at all levels.
  • Use inclusive, equitable metrics that lead to successful city building.

Course Details

Highway removals have gotten a lot of press lately in light of the USDOT's Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program grants. Planners play a critical role in advocating for cities to become more equitable, sustainable, inclusive, and resilient. It's a big fight against metropolitan planning organizations and state departments of transportation — seasoned heavyweights with full-time staff, millions of dollars to be spent on consultants, expensive models, and a favorable policy. How do regular planners and communities new to the game fight the big guys' resources?

This presentation focuses on starting a highway removal fight and recognizing the breadth of challenges those projects encounter. Presenters share a range of approaches and tactics and identify three common elements that should be included in your campaign.

Leave this course thinking about making your highway removal effort more effective by structuring the campaign on those three elements. Within that structure, employ your context-appropriate highway-removal tactics to build on the hard-earned knowledge of veterans of previous efforts.