This morning over at Atlantic Cities, Richard Florida aptly refuted an opinion piece by Kevin Meagher that appeared in the Guardian last week advocating for doing away with the position of Mayor in London. Florida lays out several strong arguments in favor of a strong elected mayor who can act as an advocate for his or her city.
The battle for the White House has reached my inbox, as even listservs about urbanism crackle with endorsements and denunciations of Obama, McCain, Palin, etc.
But all of this frenzied activity assumes that what a President says or thinks is particularly relevant to urban issues. But this need not be so. The policy areas most relevant to sprawl and urbanism, land use and transportation, are not likely to be directly affected by the results of the presidential election.
In particular, zoning and similar land use issues are generally addressed by state and local governments. Even the most pro-urban president is unlikely to take on anti-infill NIMBYism (1), make strip malls more walkable. or make streets narrower.