This is not an improvement for the humans.
Below, the intersection of 9th & Main streets in Kansas City, MO at the turn of the 20th century.
Another couple of views:
The same view today (courtesy of Google Street View), even after a couple of decades of concerted effort at downtown revitalization:
Even beyond the lousy architecture is the noticeable lack of something important: people. The streets were "improved" in the era of freeway-building, old structures that housed activity were removed to make it easier to drive more quickly and copious parking was added.
As I said before, this is not an improvement for the humans.
This same story has played out all across America, in cities both large and small. We've destroyed so much of our civilization - places we love, places that we hate, but mostly places where people actually interacted with each other and where our society built wealth. There's so much work to be done to fix the mistakes of the 20th century.
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