Monday, August 13, 2012

Does Sprawl Cause Municipal Bankruptcies?

An article at CNN looks at the cost of American land use decisions.  The piece makes the claim that sprawling development patterns have pushed some cities into bankruptcy by making it more difficult for them to pay their bills:

The way in which we plan and build our towns and cities has a direct impact on how well they do. Financial resiliency and prosperity is woven into the very fabric of cities. Where businesses go, where houses go, where roads go, where sidewalks go, where farms and natural spaces go – all of these things collectively affect a community’s economic performance and the cost of providing services there. Put things closer together, the services cost less. Put things farther from each other, the services cost more for the jurisdiction and its taxpayers. But in the case of many American towns and cities, we haven’t always planned and built in this fiscally conservative way – and that’s one of the biggest reasons why cities are struggling today.

Steve Clowney

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