494 Historical Land Use Map Cu

Map Monday: 494 Corridor Land Uses, 1953-76

Here’s a fun historical map showing how land use changed during the boom time heyday of the I-494 strip on the south edge of the Twin Cities. It’s from a chapter out of a book called “The Geography of Urban Transportation,” edited by Susan Hanson and Genevieve Giuliano. The chapter, by Peter O. Muller, is full of old school urban geography like this.

Check it out:

494 Historical Land Use Map

Source, Baerwald 1976. “The emergence of a new downtown” Geographical Review, 68.

In his chapter, Muller writes that

Ironically, large cities had encouraged the construction of radial expressways in the 1950s and 1960s because they appeared to enable downtown to remain accessible to the swiftly dispersing suburban population. As one economic activity after another discovered its new locational footlooseness in the freeway metropolis, however, nonresidential deconcentration greatly accelerated. Much of this suburban growth has gravitated toward beltway corridors …[as in] this typical sequence of land use development along a segment of circumferential I-494 just south of Minneapolis.”

Check out the whole chapter online here.

Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.