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“Smart” Growth Policies

“Smart” Growth policies hurt the poor and in many cases the environment.

Using liberal logic…

That means those supporting those policies hate poor people (minorities, right?) and the environment.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. 2011/05/02 at 06:03

    You’d have to prove the first contention, to begin with.

    And, of course, the second contention would still not be true.

  2. 2011/05/02 at 06:47

    Of course. I wanted to do a post on this because I knew you would have a pro smart growth position, but instead of just going and posting some pile of junk I thought it might be easier just to get on with discussion, starting ___________.

  3. 2011/05/02 at 18:25

    I’ll give a place to start if that will help get us going, Dan.

    My main assertion is that “smart growth” or “open space” policies increase land prices putting decent homes out of the reach of many, particularly the poor. That’s a fact, not something we need to debate.

    Another interesting fact is that as people move out into suburbs, where policies allow this to be feasible, a great deal of jobs go with those people and move out of the city proper.

  4. 2011/05/02 at 21:11

    My main assertion is that “smart growth” or “open space” policies increase land prices putting decent homes out of the reach of many, particularly the poor. That’s a fact, not something we need to debate.

    It would all depend on specifics. WHICH policies are you speaking of, in particular? HOW will they be implemented.

    Smart growth policies, for instance, that allow the poor to be close to jobs and not need a car HELP the poor. Policies that are implemented that drive up the costs of housing, if the poor are not taken into consideration, could, indeed hurt the poor.

    Thus, we DO need to discuss it. You can’t utter a generality and say “it’s a fact.”

    Fair enough?

  5. 2011/05/02 at 22:47

    Smart growth is an urban planning theory that concentrates people in “small, walkable areas”, as wiki puts it. More or less that the idea, no?

    San Fran has long had policies to accomplish this, the way it is done is by strict zoning laws and restriction of new building areas. The price of housing in the bay area is necessarily extremely high, given that the new housing supply is low or non-existent. Prices have done nothing but increase over the past 40 years.

    Compare to Las Vegas. No smart growth, if they need housing they just build it, you can call it sprawl, but what it has amounted to is the cost of housing has stayed roughly the same percentage of income for as long as you want to go back.

    Where are the poor better off? In San Fran where they must live outside the city because they can’t afford to live in it (we are talking about those who work in the city, since those are the ones affected, obviously), thus almost requiring them to own a vehicle? Or perhaps in Las Vegas where housing is cheap and where the majority of the people in the “sprawl” work within 10 minutes of their home?

    Smart growth always means restricting building opportunity, in order to concentrate it. Other damaging programs like rent control and subsidies than come to try and off set these effects. Effects that could easily be mitigated if cities were allowed to expand as needed, lowering prices and allowing the poorer sort to gain access to the many opportunities and advantages a city can provide.

  6. 2011/05/03 at 09:27

    Again, smart growth is not ONE thing, but a general notion and conglomeration of ideas that work to make for better communities. Smart growth that comes at the expense of the poor would not be smart growth for all.

    However, what I’ll call “laissez faire” growth that deals with poor folk by “allowing them” to live in the most dangerous, most polluted, least desirable neighborhoods is not smart growth for all, either.

    Fair enough so far?

    So, rather than talk about a whole range of ideas that might be encompassed by the Smart Growth notion, it would seem wisest to deal with individual initiatives and speak to their wisdom or lack thereof.

    Looking at the goals and principles of Smart Growth intiatives, it would seem hard to suggest that these are not noble goals. Certainly, they can fail or not live up to expectations in delivery, but then, so can (and does) laissez faire growth.

    Is it the case that you disagree with the very goals and ideals of Smart Growth, or just doubt that they can work in the real world?

  7. 2011/05/03 at 10:32

    I disagree with the whole concept though. You seem to assume that letting the market meet whatever demand there is for housing would give them sub standard housing? Why would you assume that? Lower cost does not mean worse nor better. In fact the main thing going on here is more choice, not less choice, a by product of restricting building and the movement of people.

    The only issue I can find with allowing, as you call it, laissez faire growth, is that it doesn’t look as neat from air planes. I struggle to find any area where restrictive building has led to positive things for the poor, or even the middle class. Building codes haven’t been tossed out the window, only how much can be built.

    Central planning always means fewer accommodations for different situations. But if you want to focus on a specific policy at a time, lets take “open space” laws and restrictive zoning.

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