Thursday, July 12, 2007
[Hometown Week, continued]
What are the truly essential duties of government? Most people would probably think of national security, police, schooling, and fire at the top of the list. Beside fire protection, what land-use-related task must government do first? In my view, trash collection in public areas needs to be at the top of the list, ahead of zoning, economic development, and social integration. But then, I admit, I use the public parks a lot …
A few years ago, the local county government of my old hometown of Silver Spring, Maryland, came up with a new idea -- it removed most of the garbage cans from the public parks. The "carry in, carry out" policy was designed to save money and, supposedly, to encourage better habits of park users. If you know anything about human behavior, it was a disastrous decision, as people simply left their garbage behind. Especially poignant were piles of garbage in spots where the cans used to be. (A somewhat similar phenomenon occurred on the Washington Metrorail when the platform trash cans were removed for security reasons; happily, enormous, bomb-resistant cans have returned.) Quickly, however, public opposition restored the park garbage cans. Walking through Sligo Creek Park in Silver Spring, which is a popular barbecue and picnic spot -- especially among immigrant groups -- I was pleased to find on July 5 that there was very little garbage left in the picnic spots.
Security, education, and public garbage cans. The essential duties of government, yes?
This blog is an Amazon affiliate. Help support Land Use Prof Blog by making purchases through Amazon links on this site at no cost to you.
- Jamie Baker Roskie on Uber Goes to the State House Seeking Preemption of Local Government Control
- Stephen R. Miller on Why are building inspectors so often on the take?
- Josh Hightree on What makes people leave rural areas, and what makes them stay
- Jessica Shoemaker on What makes people leave rural areas, and what makes them stay
- Jamie Baker Roskie on Why are building inspectors so often on the take?
- New Land Use Articles on SSRN
- What to make of the fierce new debate over the efficacy of California's energy codes?
- The W&L Top 100 Law Review Rankings and the Land Use Law Scholar
- CFP: 2015 Future of Places Conference (lead-in to Habitat III) in Stockholm: Deadline of April 15
- Water Down Under: A Report from Australia by Barbara Cosens: Post 7: Conjunctive Management Down Under