Candidates Sit Idly While Sprawl Thrives and Cities Die

This piece from The Cleveland Free Times argues that policy can and does encourage sprawl, and none of the candidates running for president will do anything to combat these policies. Meanwhile, American cities will continue to die off.

"The truest true fact of American politics is that no candidate running this year is going to upset or even challenge the suburban sprawl industry. Sprawl is the endless increase in housing supply, the endless outward redistribution of population from cities and older suburbs, the endless federal subsidy for roads, and the endless chatter about 'good schools' that is just a code for 'schools without poor, visible minorities' that dominates American political life."

"Americans tend to believe that sprawl is a natural consequence of "free market" forces when, in fact, sprawl is a consequence of governmental decision-making made by governments that are responsive to one single industry. Sprawl exists because of a bipartisan commitment to avoiding any talk about reining in the immense power of the real-estate industry."

"That means that the long-avoided discussions America ought to have on race, on climate change, on imported energy, on highway construction and on agriculture will all continue to lack a certain element of reality."

"Meanwhile, as the silence continues, sprawl continues to rule. And American cities will continue to die."

Full Story: Ghost Towns In Sprawl Land



Michael Lewyn's picture

Cleveland isn't America

This article certainly describes Cleveland, Buffalo, etc. quite well.

But there are parts of America (especially on the coasts) where cities are doing fairly well- where people move to suburbia not because cities are undesirable, but because they are priced out of the red-hot market for city living.

Last I checked

Cleveland, Cinci, Buffalo (Pittsburgh, Philly, Detroit, Indy, Syracuse, etc) etc are still in America. While other regions have varying issues, the sprawl with little growth is a problem in many places. I don't think the article said the same exact sprawl is going on in SF or Boston, it just said that SF is sprawling and losing population as well; the dynamic is different, but the problem the same.

Build Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
Wood necklace with city map

City Necklaces

These sweet pendants are engraved on a cedar charm with a mini map of selected cities. The perfect gift for friends and family or yourself!
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.