In the 1990s, most public argument about suburban expansion was pretty simple. Environmentalists argued that sprawl increased pollution, while their opponents responded by invoking the free market. Environmentalists and other sprawl critics (including myself) responded that sprawl is the result less of the free market than of government subsidy and regulation.
Recently I have started to notice hints of a not-so-libertarian argument for sprawl: that pro-sprawl government policies such as highway construction open up real estate for development, and thus make housing affordable.
Recently, it’s been suggested that the collapse of the Ponzi scheme of spending and taxing inherent in sprawling development patterns may be responsible for pushing municipalities to the br