The Moving City: Transportation Infrastructures of New York

FEB 11, 2020 | 6:30 PM TO 8:00 PM

Photo credits: Brooklyn Queens Expressway. Photo Credit: Afagen CC BY-NC-SA 2.0



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue


C200: Proshansky Auditorium


February 11, 2020: 6:30 PM-8:00 PM





The Office of Academic Initiatves and Strategic Innovation


212-817-AISI or


Since the days of Robert Moses, communities throughout New York City have been dealing with a legacy of highways that divided historic neighborhoods from one another and complicated access to other parts of the city. For decades, these same communities have fought and advocated for plans that could reverse this legacy, helping restitch geographies and repair social cohesion. Today, the debates about highway infrastructure have expanded to confront the urgent reality that much of this infrastructure, after years of neglect and deferred maintenance, is in a state of structural disrepair and may have reached the end of its useful life. In light of speculation and proposals on the BQE and Sheridan Expressway, New York City is engulfed in a race against time when it comes to dealing with the fate and future of its highway system. Practical questions of engineering standards, project delivery, freight transportation demands, congestion, community development and environmental impact all converge when considering what the highways of the future will look like. As new projects arise and old projects are overhauled, what does this mean for planning, innovative design thinking, and policy reform? Does the retrofit of the Westside Highway/Route 9A provide an ideal template for adapting to a still uncertain future? Will we fail to recognize the provocative opportunities when it comes to community sustainability and transportation evolution?