September 28, 2022

Jason Reece and Research Team Study “Ghost Neighborhoods”

The Planning professor and other Ohio State researchers study the impact of interstate highway systems on vulnerable communities

Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning Jason Reece and a team of researchers at Ohio State was interviewed by Ohio State News about their “ghost neighborhoods” project. The team is recreating neighborhoods that have been disrupted by the creation of the interstate highway system and aims to show the impact of the creation of the system on communities of color. 

The team includes Harvey Miller, Ningchuan Xiao, and Yue Lin from the Department of Geography, Gerika Logan from CURAJoshua Sadvari, a geospatial information librarian at Ohio State Libraries, Eva Heyer and Michael Smith, undergraduates from the Department of History.

The building of the interstate highway system in Columbus split and sometimes destroyed entire neighborhoods, mostly those housing African Americans, immigrants and other minorities.

Now a team of researchers from The Ohio State University are working to digitally recreate these “ghost neighborhoods” in 3D so that people can see, and researchers can study, what was lost.

The Ghost Neighborhoods project is just getting started in Columbus, he said.  The team is starting with the Hanford Village neighborhood on the east side that was split in the mid-1960s to build I-70 through the city. The neighborhood is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Early findings show that more than 100 houses were razed to build the highway and adjacent roads, many of which were owned by black veterans of World War II, said Gerika Logan, outreach coordinator of CURA.

Read more at Ohio State News