Smart Growth For Conservatives

According to James A. Bacon, "Smart growth is too important to leave to liberals." In a new essay, he argues that "Conservatives must articulate their own vision for creating prosperous, livable and fiscally sustainable communities."

In an essay that has been adapted from a speech delivered at the 2012 Congress for the New Urbanism, James Bacon argues:

"Many conservatives perversely defend the institutional arrangements that have created contemporary suburbia, with its scattered, low-density, disconnected and car-dependent pattern of development. But that is a disastrous mistake. Conservatives need to systematically apply their principles to transportation and land use with the goal of creating smarter, more efficient patterns of growth."

Bacon takes a crack at enumerating what some general conservative transportation and land use policies might look like:

  • Roll back government regulation of the real estate marketplace.
  • Restore homeowner property rights.
  • Encourage innovation in real estate development.
  • Deregulate mass transit.
  • Make growth pay its own way.
  • Adopt user pays transportation.
  • Prioritize by ROI.

Thanks to Hamilton Lombard

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