Candidates Sit Idly While Sprawl Thrives and Cities Die

<p>This piece from <em>The Cleveland Free Times</em> argues that policy can and does encourage sprawl, and none of the candidates running for president will do anything to combat these policies. Meanwhile, American cities will continue to die off.</p>
May 9, 2008, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

"The truest true fact of American politics is that no candidate running this year is going to upset or even challenge the suburban sprawl industry. Sprawl is the endless increase in housing supply, the endless outward redistribution of population from cities and older suburbs, the endless federal subsidy for roads, and the endless chatter about 'good schools' that is just a code for 'schools without poor, visible minorities' that dominates American political life."

"Americans tend to believe that sprawl is a natural consequence of "free market" forces when, in fact, sprawl is a consequence of governmental decision-making made by governments that are responsive to one single industry. Sprawl exists because of a bipartisan commitment to avoiding any talk about reining in the immense power of the real-estate industry."

"That means that the long-avoided discussions America ought to have on race, on climate change, on imported energy, on highway construction and on agriculture will all continue to lack a certain element of reality."

"Meanwhile, as the silence continues, sprawl continues to rule. And American cities will continue to die."

Full Story:
Published on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 in The Cleveland Free Times
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email