Fifty years ago this month, Fresno captured national headlines by closing its main street to the automobile and opening the Fulton Mall. This six-block long pedestrian only plaza was supposed to be the centerpiece of an ambitious plan for urban renewal, and the growth of the entire region. It was supposed to save Fresno from the evils of urban decay, suburban sprawl, and air pollution. Yet the result was exactly the opposite. How and why did that happen? How did Fresno go from being a national leader in downtown revitalization, to a city that for decades has been desperately searching for answers? It's a story about what happens when things don't go according to plan.
This special radio documentary first aired on Valley Edition, September 2, 2014.