Excerpted from a longer interview in Next American City.
One of John Norquist's best-known achievements as mayor of Milwaukee -- an office he held from 1988 to 2004 -- was demolishing the Park East Freeway, a 1960s-era expressway that restricted access to the city's downtown. Today, he is CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism, an organization that promotes urban highway removal and walkable, mixed-use urban development.
Norquist, who is also author of The Wealth of Cities, an argument for using the free market to achieve urbanist goals, will be one of the featured speakers at the Congress’ 20th annual gathering in West Palm Beach, Fla., this May. Here, he discusses urban highway removal -- where it’s been done, where it will happen next, and why we as a nation must overcome our obsession with reducing congestion.