Civil Engineering and Architecture Vol. 4(3), pp. 112 - 119
DOI: 10.13189/cea.2016.040303
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Travelling Across America in One Place: The Phenomenon of the Interstate Village

Alf Simon *
School of Architecture and Planning, University of New Mexico, United States


This paper focuses on one particular landscape that has evolved within the interstate highway system: the interstate village - defined here as a commercial node at a non-metropolitan interchange where the interstate passes within a mile or two of a town. There have been a number of localized studies done on non-metropolitan interchanges related to economic development and land use change, and to a small degree in the context of central place theory. However, there has been very little attention and study devoted to the Interstate village in a cultural context as 'place', and on the phenomenon as an emerging urban type. This study asks whether interstate villages, regardless of regional location, exhibit strong common physical and compositional characteristics as a part of the interstate system, while also reflecting more subtle local or regional identities through their town attachments. Fourteen interstate villages at non-metropolitan interchanges were studied on a sample transect along I-70 from Denver, CO to New Stanton, PA. The findings from this one sample transect indicate that there is a striking spatial and cognitive similarity among the villages, and sameness in visual character. There is some morphological pattern variation in the villages, and very little regional or local expression.

Urban Design, Cultural Landscape, Interstate Village

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] Alf Simon , "Travelling Across America in One Place: The Phenomenon of the Interstate Village," Civil Engineering and Architecture, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 112 - 119, 2016. DOI: 10.13189/cea.2016.040303.

(b). APA Format:
Alf Simon (2016). Travelling Across America in One Place: The Phenomenon of the Interstate Village. Civil Engineering and Architecture, 4(3), 112 - 119. DOI: 10.13189/cea.2016.040303.