Tag Archives: farmland

Sprawl to ruin, or dense with green space for quality of life

Jeffrey H. Dorfman, Professor, Dept. of Agricultural & Applied Economics, The University of Georgia:
Local governments must ensure balanced growth, as sprawling residential growth is a certain ticket to fiscal ruin*
* Or at least big tax increases.
See The Economics of Growth, Sprawl and Land Use Decisions.
  • Green spaces increase property values of surrounding land
  • Green and open spaces can provide environmental amenities for free
  • If green spaces contribute to quality of life, you attract people and jobs to community
Note and jobs, not just people: jobs so the people can work and afford the houses they live in.

But this doesn’t mean exurban subdivisions with big yards: Continue reading

Is all development good?

What to do with Detroit? Cindy Perman writes for CNBC:
Mayor Dave Bing is apparently working on a radical plan that would bulldoze a quarter of the city — some of the most desolate areas — and return it to farmland, the way it was before the automobile. Any residents still there would be relocated to stronger neighborhoods.

Dan Kildee, treasurer of Genessee County, containing Flint, Michigan, remarks:

“The obsession with growth is sadly a very American thing. Across the US, there’s an assumption that all development is good, that if communities are growing they are successful. If they’re shrinking, they’re failing.”
Actually, building more subdivisions just increases the deficit between tax revenues collected and cost of services provided.

Perman concludes:

Welcome to the future. Why does it look so much like 1910 instead of 2010?
Perhaps because 1910 had railroads for mass transit and cities were still dense and close to existing services?