David Gest's blog

Urban Issues Absent On Campaign Trail, Although Edwards Has Plans

City Limits magazine recently completed a review of the 18 presidential candidates' stances on urban issues, and the major news is that there is no news. Most domestic issues, let alone those related to cities, don't even appear on the candidates' -- or the media's -- radar screens. Their article quotes a political scientist who "says 2008 is shaping up as 'yet another gigantic referendum on Bush and Iraq.'" The bright spots? Although Bill Richardson has advocated for greater energy conservation and public transportation, John Edwards has articulated an intriguing plan to end poverty in the U.S. by 2036 and overhaul the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Physical Effects Of The Declining Housing Market

This week, the Economist’s cover story, "The trouble with the housing market," details the downward-spiraling "subprime" mortgage market and its potential effects on the U.S. economy. The collapsing market certainly poses problems to Wall Street traders and taxpayers in general, but what about the physical toll it's taking on our cities? Abandoned, foreclosed homes now increasingly dot the nation's inner ring suburbs, helping spread neighborhood decline out from inner cities, while developers build more homes farther into the urban periphery.

Bill Richardson -- The Planner's Candidate?

As planners and most allied professionals know, the federal government lacks cohesive urban and environmental policies, and especially during the tenure of the current Bush administration, there has been a relative lack of investment in cities, public transportation systems, and alternative sources of energy. With the ongoing war in Iraq and perennial issues like social security, healthcare, and immigration dominating the political landscape, important domestic issues like affordable housing, public transit, and compact urban growth seem little more than a microscopic blip on the radar screens of potential 2008 presidential candidates, if they discuss these issues at all.