aerial view of city with artistic rendering of boulevard proposal

The 2023 Freeways Without Futures report from Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) will feature ten local campaigns representing communities advocating for equity and reconnection during a time of reckoning for North American urban freeway infrastructure. The ten campaigns offer a roadmap to better health, equity, opportunity, and connectivity in every neighborhood, while reversing decades of decline and disinvestment.


The ten freeways that are nominated for the report are:

• Interstate 787 – Albany, NY
• Interstate 35 – Austin, TX
• US 40 Expressway – Baltimore, MD
• Interstate 794 – Milwaukee, WI
• State Highway 55/Olson Memorial Highway – Minneapolis, MN
• Interstate 94 – Minneapolis and Saint Paul, MN
• Interstate 980 – Oakland, CA
• State Route 99 – Seattle, WA
• Interstate 244 – Tulsa, OK
• US Route 422 – Youngstown, OH

The history of urban freeways in North America has been one of inequity and induced demand. Now, with many of these hulking, burdensome highways reaching the end of their useful lifespan, communities are looking for alternatives to costly highway repair and expansion.

This year’s report is the first to coincide with acknowledgment from the federal government of the inequitable and harmful impacts of urban highway construction. A number of campaigns featured in the report are applicants for federal Reconnecting Communities grant financing. Other campaigns in the report also range from community-focused visioning programs to government supported removals.

The ten campaigns and the broader Highways to Boulevards movement offer a path for communities to repair, rebuild, and reknit their urban fabric by replacing oppressive, aging infrastructure with assets like city streets, housing, and green space. These assets become places for people to live, work, and play, with local businesses and sites for public interaction, and improved connections with public transit systems. As end-stage urban freeways and their adjacent corridors offer opportunities for transformation, elected officials and citizens alike can be advocates for change that support socially and economically valuable places.

The full 2023 Freeways Without Futures report will be released in April 2023.

About CNU
The Congress for the New Urbanism’s (CNU) mission is to champion walkable urbanism. We provide resources, education, and technical assistance to create socially just, economically robust, environmentally resilient, and people centered places. We leverage New Urbanism’s unique integration of design and social principles to advance three key goals: to diversify neighborhoods, to design for climate change, and to legalize walkable places. Visit for more.