Local governments must ensure balanced growth, as sprawling residential growth is a certain ticket to fiscal ruin*Here’s a place that does something about it: Portland, Oregon.
* Or at least big tax increases.
Thanks to Matthew Richard for pointing out this documentary.
As the documentary says, the key to Portland’s way is:
“…an urban growth boundary. A 260 mile line drawn around the city. Outside of this line, residential and industrial development is severely restricted.”
“Inside the boundary we have a city; that’s where we want development, we want growth, we want investment. Outside of it we have land needed for other things, for ranching, for forestry, for natural resources.”
There are other things than development and growth. And you can see how serious Portland is about this boundary by looking at a satellite map; you can see the boundary from space:
The documentary also says people there are:
“…Passionate about the place…”You know, that used to be the defining feature of the South: a sense of place. Piney woods, farms, friendly people, community: these used to be important:
For generations, southern novelists and critics have grappled with a concept that is widely seen as a trademark of their literature: a strong attachment to geography, or a “sense of place.” In the 1930s, the Agrarians accorded special meaning to rural life, particularly the farm, in their definitions of southern identity. For them, the South seemed an organic and rooted region in contrast to the North, where real estate development and urban sprawl evoked a faceless, raw capitalism. By the end of the twentieth century, however, economic and social forces had converged to create a modernized South.Is “maximizing our value” more important than “an organic and rooted region”?
How about maximizing the value of the community for the benefit of all of us?