Obama Addresses the Controversy Over "Shovel-Ready"

Since the stimulus package was announced, the emphasis on 'shovel-ready' projects elicited criticism from urbanists. At yesterday's White House jobs summit, Pres. Obama acknowledged the tension it has caused.

John Norquist of CNU wrote about the controversy back in January of last year on Planetizen.

Streetsblog has great coverage of the event, including this excerpt from the President acknowledging the tension:

"The tension we've been seeing is that what's good in the long term may not necessarily work as an immediate, short-term stimulus. We're still getting smacked around from the Recovery Act on this infrastructure generally has a longer tail. The term "shovel-ready," let's be honest here, doesn't always live up to its billing.

There is also a tension embodied in infrastructure between immediate maintenance [such as] repaving a highway, which is generally more shovel-ready but may imply duplicating the needs of the past as opposed to projects that are visionary and will deliver real bang for the buck in the long term but may require extensive planning."

Full Story: Obama's Frank Talk About the 'Tension' of the 'Shovel-Ready' Concept

Comments

Comments

Absolutely! Too many of our

Absolutely! Too many of our local shovel-ready projects simply prolong the auto-centric mindset of the past. Shovel-ready puts boots on the ground but overlooks the real need to plan and divest ourselves from these patterns that have left us auto-bound. Rome wasn't built in a day. Here's to pencil-ready projects!

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.
$36.00