Can America ever rebuilding the neighborhoods and communities?
We talk a lot about the startup ecosystems around these parts, and for good reason. Strong ecosystems have great reservoirs of talent gathered in the vicinity, together with a culture built to help each other on ambitious projects, and sufficient risk capital, in order to ensure that a number of interesting projects have to receive the resources, in progress.
strips from the ecosystem-level, though, and you are left with the actual, physical manifestation of a city or region — its housing, Transport and mobility and infrastructure. And if Charles Marohn s, Strong cities: A Bottom-Up Revolution to the reconstruction of American prosperity signs is a whole heck of a swath of America has little hope of ever the development of the modern knowledge society, or create builds the kind of sustainable growth that the “Strong cities”.
across the country, Marohn sees evidence of what he dubs a “Municipal Ponzi scheme.” Cities — armed with the economic development dollars and adviser in abundance — focus their energies and budgets in the new housing subdivisions as well as the far-flung, car-dependent office parks and shopping malls, all in disregard of long-term debt, maintenance costs, and municipal loads, which you can transfer to future generations of residents. “The growth creates an illusion of richness, a broad cultural misunderstanding, that the growing community has become a [sic], the stronger and wealthy. Instead, with each new development, you will more and more become insolvent,” the author writes.
He offers a variety of examples, but few are as striking as those of Lafayette, Louisiana,:
As an example, the city of Lafayette, Louisiana, had 5 meters of tube per person in the year 1949. By 2015, 50 grown to meters, an increase of 1,000%. You had 2.4 fire hydrants per 1,000 persons in 1949, but in 2015, you had to 51.3. This is a 2,140% to. In the same period, the median household income grew in Lafayette only 160%, from an inflation-adjusted $27,700 to $45,000. And if national trends hold locally in Lafayette, you want to do is almost certainly, the savings of households will be reduced, while personal debt skyrocketed. Lafayette increased the liabilities of thousands of times in the service of a theory of national growth, but their families are poorer.
The author sets, how strange the modern American suburb and community in the human history, in which co-location, walkability and human-scale density were not only standards, but needs is in the grand sweep. The lack of well thought-out, dynamic planning that allows cities to adapt and over time comes to finally tear of the vitality of the city itself. “Only the richest country in the world could build as much and so little of it.”
Marohn has for decades in urban planning, and Strong towns, a non-profit organization that seeks to create more sustainable cities by trying to provide a guide to the urban conversation in the direction of better models adaptable growth runs. He brings an authority on the subject, which is gratifying, and the book is absolutely on the right vector, as you start to think about the urban planning for the future.
in addition to its discussion of municipal finances, he makes the critical connections between urban planning and some of the most urgent challenges facing America today. He notes how the disintegration of tight-knit communities, problems such as drugs, aggravated abuse, and mental health, and how the focus on big-box retail development, undermine the smaller enterprise.
is Even more encouraging, in some ways, the solutions are seemingly is so easy. For example, it is easy to account for the true long-term cost of infrastructure and the economic development dollars, accounting for the “value per acre.”
However, the errors in the book are diverse, and I couldn’t help but to shake my head and tremble on numerous occasions with the question, to improve the extent to which the movements, the urban planning always seem to be, on the weight of the reality.
Nowhere are staring at these defects more than about the actual preferences of the inhabitants of the cities themselves. As anyone who lives in San Francisco or Palo Alto understands that it is a heavy contingent of NIMBYs who always votes against housing and density independently of its effects on inequality or urban quality. Kim-Mai Cutler wrote one of the definitive pieces on this topic five years ago, right here at TechCrunch, and yet, all these years later, the same dynamics, yet enlivened local politics in California and around the world.
The recipes in Strong towns are just right, they’re almost unassailable. “Instead of prioritizing the maintenance state or age, you have to write the cities of prioritization on the Basis of financial productivity,” Marohn. Public dollars should be spent on the highest-impact maintenance projects. Who is really against you?
But, the people, through the city, and the meetings of the Council in the United States and the simple ground of the truth, that the towns of spend your money wisely. Whether your Problem is the housing, or the climate change or economic development, inequality, the reality is that the residents vote and their voices to be heard. This leads to write Marohn:
As a voter, as the owner of a property within a municipal Corporation, as a person who life together with my neighbors in a community that I can respect that some people prefer the development of the styles that are financially ruinous to my city. My local government should not feel any obligation to these options, particularly at the price points that people expect.
But what should you do if 70-80% of the urban voters want to literally jump out of the literal cliff say?
in the end, should respond to the cities, to their own voters? If San Francisco refuses to build more transit-oriented development, and in the process, the setting of the Bay Area, which is on fire, you should
Marohn, the discussions on multiple pages of its political development, from the Republican to the complex libertarian communalist, never litter addresses the Central problem with the Strong towns these, or in fact, all of activism around the urban policy today. “The American culture spends debating a lot of time, what should be done, but to discuss and little time, who should make the decision,” he writes. But we — we have — discuss who makes the decisions, and our political systems respond actively to the decision-makers: the local voters.
American cities are in a dangerous condition, and that is exactly what people demanded and received. Marohn, criticised the planning profession for its lack of municipal sustainability, but seemingly ready to replace, to override a group of far-flung experts with one another, the native population, which, presumably, only with a different (better?) of values.
In the end Strong cities, the book, the basics to get right. But will it change minds? I’m doubtful. It certainly does not provide a clear guide on how you can start the local guide, to blocks, to educate their neighbors and build the kind of voters-are required to be local, the democratic change in these issues. Ultimately, the book feels like a small footnote to the worthy work, the Strong towns the organization that requires the activity to change in order to build on these questions.
Published mon, 09 Nov 2019 22:16:36 +0000