May 21, 2011
The following paper deals mostly with urban and suburban physical planning and exposes some of the most glaring aspects of the flawed logic of smart growth.
It is one of the most coherent articles on the topic that I have found and I highly recommend it to anyone who is trying to understand things like how in the world increasing density in a city is supposed to reduce congestion and pollution.
And if you ask the planners, they tell you things like this;
Myth: SmartCode increases traffic congestion.
Truth: SmartCode uses narrower (but straighter) streets and on-street parking to slow traffic. While you might think this would increase congestion, just about everything you need on a daily basis would be in/near your neighborhood, so why drive to, say, the grocery store when you can walk or bike safely to it? Having neighborhood schools and reliable public transit to employment centers could eliminate the need to drive on a daily basis altogether
Now this is how I used to handle my kids when they would ask questions that I would rather not answer. Redirection and suggestion are powerful tactics when you are dealing with children. I don’t know how long that is going to hold with taxpaying adults but let me venture a guess. About as long as it takes for the nonsense to come to their neighborhood.
Trying to understand “smart growth” has made me about as frustrated as trying to understand how spending money keeps you from going bankrupt
or how the tax system is voluntary but not really.
I guess that’s why we need to leave all of this complicated stuff to the experts.
Is Urban Planning “Creeping Socialism”?
by Randall O’Toole
Socialism is commonly defined as government ownership of the means of pro
duction. With the exception of a number of services that are viewed as natural
monopolies, such as sewer and water supplies, socialism in the form of government ownership has never achieved prominence in the United States. Instead, governments here have relied on regulation as a way of obtaining the same goals that socialists claim to seek: efficiency, equality, and control of externalities. If this approach is socialism, then urban planning has represented creeping socialism since around 1920. But it has recently accelerated and is now running rather than creeping.
Moreover, it has such a head start that lovers of freedom may not be able to halt it, much less turn it around.