In a way, the importance of highway access is the anomaly in this tradition, an element of infrastructure that supported medium distance commuting with the same mode of transport used by long distance travelers. Few people used seaports as part of their daily commute in the 18th century, and not many workers in the 19th century rode the rails back and forth between home and factory.

Reversing this anomaly and building cities around a central transportation hub would burst two myths, the promise of escape from other people that commuting and home ownership brought with them, while also revealing the commercial artificiality of cities built around industries of outside interests. There is a subconscious sense of dislocation in airports and their aesthetics of neon-light consumerism sitting atop a creaking machine world of cargo holds, luggage belts, and mechanical bays. Airports feed us distractions that make up for the lack of nourishment--the impulsively bought paperback, the fast food meal--by offering instant accessibility.

In 1925, Popular Science imagined how life would be lived in 1950, placing highways underground. All forms of long distance transport were hidden below the city surface, with trains occupying the lowest level, fast moving cars the middle layer, and slow-moving cars closest to street level. It's impossible to imagine Dwight Eisenhower rallying congress to support The Federal Aid Highway Act based on the idea that all highways should be tunnels beneath all major cities. The absurdity of the idea is also what makes it the most human-centric, it requires a certain degree of extremity to keep human interests in mind when machined transformations start to affect the way we live.

Reconsider the idea of an Aerotropolis in light of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's recent radio appearance where he acknowledged that drones would only become an increasingly common presence above the city. "We're just going into a different world" he said. "Uncharted, like it or not." These sentiments echo the spirit of the highway, in their own way, an acknowledgement that human needs in the cities of the future will have to be a secondary concern, giving way to the infrastructure necessary for machines to have free and convenient passage.

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