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:
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.