The explanation behind our modern-day public spaces lies in the urban development and transportation policies from the 1930s onward. The focus of the research for this project is urban development and transportation policy in the Washington DC Metro area from the 1930s to the 1990s. Why was public transportation not viewed as a viable option for the planning of suburbs in the late twentieth century. And if public transportation was viewed as a viable option, how come the efforts of the time did not succeed?
The scholarly work concerning urban development and transportation has a broad range of pre-existing research, but there is not a significant amount specifically on suburbs in the DC metro area. Due to this lack of data, this project will use the primary information from other suburbs and urban centers in order to draw conclusions. The centralization of government, the suburban sprawl and highways, environmentalism and sustainability, and the effects of the free market are the important themes in the existing scholarship.
Rising population in suburbs and major urban centers coupled with a lack viable public transportation is only furthering the impending environmental catastrophe. Recognizing the history of urban development and transportation is the foundation before going forward to order to transition to more sustainable policies that favor the community rather than the individual.