A Call for Urban Infrastructure Investments

A recent article laments the missed opportunity of President Obama’s recent calls for increased spending on infrastructure: a lack of acknowledgement that cities are the best places to spend those dollars.

Starting from the assumption that “[public] investment in infrastructure and human or social capital combine to provide a societal foundation for dynamic economic growth and development by connecting the various economic sectors and industries,” a recent article by Michael A. Pagano makes the case for focusing infrastructure spending in the nation’s cities to achieve maximum economic benefit.

“Why is it so difficult… to knit together a transformative economic strategy that is explicitly rooted in and mediated by a metropolitan- or urban-focused set of policies?”

That difficulty is particularly troubling to Pagano given the high costs of deferred maintenance of the existing urban infrastructure. (The tendency of the federal government to favor infrastructure investments in suburban and rural settings has been discussed before.)

Instead of expanding infrastructure investments farther and farther out into the sprawl, Pagano suggests an alternative: “If new or expanded infrastructure projects are required, there must be an economic demand for those economic activities, and the political entities that gain from them should pay the lion's share of their costs.”

Full Story: Why We Should Focus Infrastructure Spending on Urban America

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
poster

A Short History of America

From comic book artist Robert Crumb, poster shows how the built environment has changed throughout the decades.
$14.95
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 2012

Thinking about Grad School?

You need the essential resource for prospective planning students
Starting at $24.95