Sprawl, European Style

The U.S. often gets a bad rap for its sprawling suburbs and unplanned development, but Robert Kwolek notes that many European cities and other parts of the world aren't far behind.

Europe is known for its quaint, compact villages and old city centers. But take a close look at its land use patterns, and you'll see that many European cities like Zug, Switzerland and Canary Wharf in London are experiencing the same kind of sprawl that's common in the U.S. In the post-war years, apartment complexes and industrial parks also spread out from the center of old European cities: cheap buildings built on cheap land with little thought to architecture and planning.

Robert Kwolek notes that this has some different (though still destructive) consequences in Europe, where most workers still live in city centers. Workers disperse from the cities during the day, cars are on the rise, and historic cities become nothing more than tourist attractions.

Full Story: Disjointed Development Patterns

Comments

Comments

TAX CUTS/REFORM TO IMPROVE HUMAN SETTLEMENT PERFORMANCE MEASURES

The funding structure and enterprise structure for transport in large part explain the pathologies that result.

Correcting these weaknesses in the current practice to better conform to sound, economic-geographic, theoretic concepts will re-organize spatial form and vastly improve economic, financial and environment performance..

Here is the funding format that will work in a fundamentally superior manner to the regular/band-aid approaches that are currently being pursued

I developed this for as a funding strategy for transport in the US and its constituent states.

It is a true user fee approach that is based on a tax cut for drivers while nearly tripling funding levels for transport.

It is not a tax increase on anyone. It is tax reform via closing of loopholes.

Here is my funding strategy: Reduce taxes for homeowners-renters/drivers

This approach is not really an option if one wants an efficient market structure no matter what level of government. What we have now is massively economically inefficient, and moving to the format I offer will bring many returns beyond the immediate revenue returns

This approach is fundamentally a market based solution in that it is a TRUE user-fee approach

We need massive new funding for transport. But it will not come from increased taxes on drivers/homeowners.

But it can come from a tax cut!

My approach is fundamentally a tax reform! It is not a tax increase. It is a closing of a massive (as in MASSIVE) loophole in transport funding structure.

If ALL users pay for their use of the transport system in proportion to their use, we would have about 3 times as much money as presently available and drivers/homeowners would NOT pay anymore than they currently pay.

There is no problem.

Here is how the tax reduction for drivers would work:

Step 1: Do away with the gas tax.
Step 2: Fees would be re calculated for all derived on site-based, trip-generation rates.

The homeowners’ current gas tax would the basis for deriving the cost per trip funding fee:

TRANSPORTATION USE FEE = average, annual, household, gas tax paid to the government/average number of trips generated at the household level. This will come out to $/trip.

Step3: This fee is applied to ALL sites which generate trips: number of trips generated at the site X $/trip (useage fee)=that site's transport, user fee

This is user fee, and it is paid like water, electric and sewer fees based on usage.

(THIS IS A TRUE USER FEE SINCE ALL USERS ARE PAYING IT AS OPPOSED TO THE GAS TAX WHICH IS AVOIDED BY THE USERS WHO GENERATE THE MAJORITY OF TRIPS!!!)

Step 4: I would then suggest that you reduce the number obtained by 10% WHEN APPLIED TO HOMEOWNER-SITES’ CHARGES.

This will result in homeowners/renters-drivers paying 10% less than they currently do via the gas tax to support highway and transit systems.

Step 5: HOWEVER, there are about twice as many tips generated in the system from other trip origins in a region besides homes.

By applying the TRANSPORTATION USER FEE TO ALL USERS, THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT AT WHATEVER LEVEL OF GOV'T (CITY STATE LOCAL) WILL GENERATE 3 TIMES THE CURRENT GAS TAX RECEIPTS, AND IT WILL NOT BE VIA A TAX INCREASE. IT WILL BE VIA TAX REFORM
These folks who use the systems but currently pay nothing into transport funding are largely corporations and institutions. But they generate the majority of trips. IT IS TIME FOR THESE FOLKS TO PAY THEIR RIGHTFUL SHARE-just like they do for electricity, gas, water, sewer, and the like.

Step 6: It can have a congestion pricing format.

Step 7: It can be modally differentiated.

Step 8: It can be a "bottom up" or "top down" formulation.

Step 9: I can outline the approach for new systems assessment and planning paradigm modification IN DETAIL AND WITH RIGOR!

Step 10: Goods-movement/heavy-duty-truck transport funding is already site based, and so the tax at the pump and other shipper based fees can stay as they are. If one wants to impose some other format on trucking fee collection as some European nations are doing, it is fine.

In economic terms, this is funding based on gain sharing derived from access delivered by transport.

In theoretical terms, the current driver-based based system is:

capital allocatively inefficient
supply insufficient
inequitable

My approach (that engages all users in paying for their use) corrects these flaws. My approach is PERFECTLY-CAPITALISTICALLY-THEORETICALLY BASED.

I will be happy to outline it in detail for you.

Simply "dumbing down" the process as the current congressional/house committee wishes to with its proposal such that revenues are consistent with current, gas tax/homeowner payments will wreck our productivity, GDP, and competitiveness.

Paolo Pezzotta

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