60 Years of Urban Change

Compare aerial images from decades ago to modern satellite views to explore dramatic changes that affected downtown areas in the last half of the 20th Century.

The last half of the 20th Century made a big impact on the urban form of American cities. The most rapid change occurred during the mid-century urban renewal period that cleared large tracts of urban land for new highways, parking, and public facilities or housing projects. Fine-grained networks of streets and buildings on small lots were replaced with superblocks and megastructures. While the period did make way for impressive new projects in many cities, many scars are still unhealed.

We put together these sliders to show how cities have changed over half a century. Select a region to view and click and drag the slider bar as shown in the image to compare cities before and after this period.

Northeast

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Southeast

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Midwest

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Oklahoma and Texas

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