Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

Recovery or Rerun?

A new government-sponsored watchdog website will allow citizens to track stimulus-funded projects. It's an effort to insure accountability. Neal Pierce wonders if that accountability will translate into smarter patterns of development.
March 2, 2009, 5am PST | Nate Berg
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"In the battle against bad projects, bad practices or bureaucratic delay, governors and mayors know they'll be on the hot spot to deliver a quality performance when dealing with the billions of dollars in the Obama administration stimulus projects."

"Indeed, the president has warned the mayors that if they don't spend the stimulus funds wisely, he'd 'call them out' and 'put a stop' to projects. 'The American people are watching,' Obama said. 'They need this plan to work. They expect to see (their money) spent in its intended purposes without waste, without inefficiency, without fraud.'"

"But is all this accountability and public disclosure–as great as it sounds–enough to assure we get not just 2 or 3 million new jobs, but maximum long-term benefit from this massive stimulus bill?"

"Governors and their staffs need to heed what President Obama himself told a town hall meeting in Florida earlier this month: 'The days when we're just building sprawl forever, those days are over.' The meaning's clear: aim for more compact development."

"And they should note there's a new day dawning locally–that more than 900 mayors have signed the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, pledging their cities to reduce their carbon emissions to 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. It will be a goal tough to meet if sprawl continues to be subsidized."

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Published on Friday, February 27, 2009 in Citiwire
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