Cox Says Smart Growth Limits Homeownership

Wendell Cox argues that smart growth development plans are bad policy for African Americans because they elevate home prices out of reach.

"African-American home ownership has risen in recent decades and is now near 50 percent. However, it seems likely the gap between white and African-American home ownership will expand in coming years."

"Moreover, the widening of that gap will be a direct result of policies that are pursued by interests that have often been allied with major African-American organizations."

"The problem is restrictive urban planning policies, more attractively labeled 'smart growth.' Smart growth seeks to control suburbanization (pejoratively called "urban sprawl") and has been pursued principally by liberals committed to the current orthodoxy of urban planning. The problem with smart growth is that it takes away opportunity through land rationing and other overly restrictive strategies that increase housing prices."

"Some metropolitan growth policies limit the amount of land that can be developed, raising its price--for example, those in some areas of California, as well as the cities of Portland, Oregon and Denver, Colorado."

Full Story: "Smart-Growth" Opportunities Are Dumb for African-Americans



Wendell Cox

has an MBA from right-wing Pepperdine University and a BA in Government from California State University, Los Angeles for god sakes!!!

How can we take someone who is a visiting fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, a senior fellow at the conservative-oriented Heartland Institute, senior fellow for urban policy at the libertarian Independence Institute (Denver) and holds similar titles in a number of additional conservative think tanks seriously?

Wendell Cox doesn't even have a planning or design degree and was was appointed by former House Speaker "NEWT GINGRICH" to fill the unexpired term of former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman on the Amtrak Reform Council, and served from 1999 until the Council issued its final recommendations in 2002.

Please, just pass by and pay NO mention to anything he has to say!

Why does Planetizen (espeically Nate Berg)keep posting Cox's wacko diatribes anyways? This is supposed to be a "planning and development network", not a right wing, anti-planning think tank website.

Why indeed Wendellian diatribe.

Why does Planetizen (espeically Nate Berg)keep posting Cox's wacko diatribes anyways? This is supposed to be a "planning and development network", not a right wing, anti-planning think tank website.

This type of wingnut argumentation sways from ~5-15% of any given population and has the possibility to inform ~15% more; these populations are loud and persistent. It is important to know if their standard argument has changed any in case they come to your counter, write a letter to the Editor, or to testify. In this particular case, the standard argument template has been followed.



Revealing point of view

So, now we are to shut up about planning, unless we have an educational background that meets vtboy's questionable standards.

In twenty years of being in the planning business, I have to say I have not met or wirked with many who clearly benefitted from having a degree in planning. Vtboy's warped sense of "justice" and priorities reveals a strong preference for dictatorial "planning," which I presume was the result of his degree in "planning."

I'm not buying it. Planning is about the community involved, and everyone is, and should be, invited to comment, question, and provide whatever input they feel is important. Elitist attitudes are not helpful, or welcome.


anti-government, Intermountain West, red-state, right wing, reactionary response. I'm not buying it!!!

"Dictatorial"? That phrase comes right out of the Ronald Reagan/Joseph McCarthy commie fightin', jingoist vocabulary. Would you like to throw in a jab or two about how government planning resembles war policies from the "Evil Empire" as well?

The point of the entire thread greginboise was about how much of an uneducated fool Wendell Cox is, but now that you have shed some light for us on your twisted viewpoint, please do indulge us in some of YOUR elitist, wingnut, neocon theories!!!

I thought part of Smart

I thought part of Smart Growth was making affordable housing available?


By "affordable housing" you mean subsidized housing - LIHTC or other. Cox's "affordable housing" means market rate for-sale housing. When the term is that general, there are lots of ways to spin it.

Cox On Smart Growth

Wendell Cox persistently distorts the meaning of smart growth. The idea of smart growth is to stop low density sprawl and promote higher density transit-oriented development. Cox always leaves out the second half.

This is particularly annoying to me as a smart growth advocate in Berkeley, where I generally support new development that NIMBYs oppose.

The NIMBYs condemn smart growth for being pro-development. Cox and other free-marketers condemn smart growth for being too anti-development. If we fall between these two irrational extremes, we smart growth advocates must be doing something right.

Charles Siegel

SG and affordable housing goals.

I thought part of Smart Growth was making affordable housing available?

Trouble is, right now there's so much pent-up demand for decent neighborhoods, SG developments get bid up out of affordability range by people who want this type of development. When the market demand is finally met, then the goals can be realized.



Is Cox's view of "smart growth" actually Smart Growth?

How is it that large-lot zoning is part of Smart Growth? Have I missed it for all this time?

Degrees not important


I don't take Cox seriously because what he writes is always transparent cant. The fact that he doesn't have a degree in urban planning/design is irrelevant. Your comment reminded me of a remark Noam Chomsky made after being heckled by an audience member for not having a degree in political science. "Any discipline that is more interested in a person's degrees than in what they have to say is deeply insecure."


sure if I would necessarily agree with you on that on...

Be careful of what you say claytonm; you can honestly say with a straight face that training or education play no part in an ablility to comment proficiently on the items in which Cox "attempts" to tackle?

Sounds a little shady to me...


Did Ramanujan have nothing to say about mathematics? Nor Einstein about physics? What about Jane Jacobs on urban planning? Did she contribute anything? She must be suspect, with her lack of credentials.

I suspect

that you are now merely "trying" to prove a point at this juncture, which really misses the point completely.

Your tangential comments are unfortunate and distracting, because it really derails us from the main point of this thread, which is that Wendell Cox is neither qualified nor grounded in the basic fundamentals of urban planning to spout off his ideologically-driven diatribes.

the point

Wendell's writing is ridiculous. I can see that without the benefit of a planning degree. What's tangential is bringing up his lack of credentials in the first place when that is totally beside the point. It's what he says that's important (to discredit), not where he went (or didn't go) to school. By bringing up his education your just setting yourself (and the rest of the planning profession) up for the elitist label, which Cox and O'Toole love to use.

And I suspect that Cox is grounded in the fundamentals of urban planning. He knows that smart growthers don't actually advocate sprawl. He is disingenuous, not ignorant. (this is also why he's dangerous.)


is NOT grounded in the fundamentals of urban planning, that is why he spouts off the crass ideology that he does. Pointing out that he does not have a background in urban planning (which was a somewhat relatively minor point of my post to begin with) merely underscores the fact that Cox is disingenuous AND ignorant. You obviously have not read the rest of my post.

Again, comments like yours that obsess over uselessly debating over whether or not it is important to have a planning/design degree are only tangential and distracting from the most important fact, which is that Cox places himself as a wedge into the reasoned practice of urban planning and design.

Elitist label? How about our setting up Cox as a straw man for the "clueless" label?! claytonm, please give yourself some more credit, and please do not try to bring the planning profession down to the same level as Cox, O'Toole, and Kotkin...


to all, for entangling myself in yet another vtboy thread.

My apologies to all

for entangling myself in yet another claytonm, right wing, anti-planning, libertarian thread. Again, Planetizen has got to stop posting these nonsensical Cox articles.

Please make them go away!!!

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