The Ponzi Scheme that Created the Suburbs

Charles Marohn explains how cities and towns failed to consider the future expense of expanded infrastructure to new suburban developments.
June 16, 2011, 12pm PDT | Tim Halbur
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In a two-part series, Marohn looks at how American cities came to believe that suburban sprawl was a key to prosperity and turned a blind eye to the expense of the expanded infrastructure. The Federal Department of Transportation played a key role, says Marohn:

"...the initial cost to the local government for new growth is minimal. If the state or federal government provides a grant or low-interest loan to subsidize a project -- for example, the extension of a sewer or water line -- the local government may have to pay something, but it is nowhere near the total cost. Where the DOT comes in and builds a highway, widens a road, puts in a signal, builds an overpass, etc... there may be some local funds contributed, but again, the vast overwhelming majority of the money is spent by the DOT."

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Published on Thursday, June 16, 2011 in New Urban Network
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