Road to Ruin: An Introduction to Sprawl and How to Cure It

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Jan 21, Node rated it it was amazing Shelves: cities , city-design , city-planning , new-urbanism , shelfari-economics , shelfari-politics , traffic-economics , urban-sprawl. What causes sprawl? How can it be controlled?

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Dom Nozzi, "An introduction to sprawl and how to cure it" in St. Louis March 13-15

What can restore and improve an urban neighborhood? Dom Nozzi does an excellent job in providing solutions to these problems.

Rethinking Suburbia and Urban Sprawl in America

It requires, us as people, to throw away the conventional wisdom and stop thinking of ourselves as motorists first and start thinking of ourselves as people. A crucial key to preventing sprawl is road design. Wider and faster streets encourage people to live farther away, which in turn, makes them high dependent on cars for eve What causes sprawl? Wider and faster streets encourage people to live farther away, which in turn, makes them high dependent on cars for everyday living. Living at such farther distance increases car usage and trips which in turn encourage congestion.

These bigger roads all in in all are very good at deterring alternate modes of transportation such as walking, bicycling, and mass transit since everything is too spaced apart to be viable. I really loved this book. It was easy to read and very engaging. I see my city's streets and notice many of the problems described in this book. Hopefully, this information will entertain for a bit as I grudge through traffic and the distance I travel.

I highly recommend it. Barry rated it really liked it Oct 17, Daniel rated it really liked it Feb 06, Steve Wood rated it really liked it Jul 15, Dicke Nazzary Akbar marked it as to-read Feb 07, Edward Betts marked it as to-read Sep 03, Robyn Eason marked it as to-read Sep 30, Gaspar Caro marked it as to-read Oct 02, Diana Lyn marked it as to-read Aug 22, Zadia marked it as to-read Nov 16, Moi marked it as to-read Apr 23, Carl-johan Sveningsson marked it as to-read Sep 16, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

About Dom Nozzi. Dom Nozzi. Trivia About Road to Ruin: An No trivia or quizzes yet. Welcome back. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. The debate over sprawl is driven primarily by general concerns that low-density residential development threatens farmland and open space, increases public service costs, encourages people and wealth to leave central cities, and degrades the environment.

Roads to ruin: conservation threats to a sentinel species across an urban gradient

Evidence on suburbanization and low-density development suggests suburbanization does not significantly threaten the quality of life for most people, and land development can be managed more effectively through real-estate markets than comprehensive land-use planning. Summary by the author. Bast attacks most of the main arguments for managed growth. He blames many of the problems associated with sprawl, such as lack of affordable housing, on government officials who create restrictive zoning laws. Bast also argues that managing growth limits the freedom for people to choose where they live.

This policy study analyzes the potential for using infill policies — encouraging the development of vacant land in already built-up areas — as a policy response to counteract urban sprawl. Current public policies such as zoning, neighborhood participation in planning, impact fees, and inter-city competition for projects tend to limit the effectiveness of infill. Moreover, many landowners are unwilling to sell their land for development.

The study concludes that the supply of land for infill is largely out of the control of local governments. Thus, infill is not a viable option for local governments that want to contain sprawl. From Urban Futures. It points out that many people want their own plot of land and are opposed to living in higher density areas. This paper challenges "conventional planning wisdom" which encourages higher-density, compact cities as a substitute for lower-density suburban development.

Road to Ruin: An Introduction to Sprawl and How to Cure It

The authors outline eleven reasons why low-density development is desirable, possibly more efficient and irreversible. This editorial attacks the logic behind urban growth boundaries. The concept of drawing a line in the sand, which limits development, creates severe market distortions. The real effect of urban growth boundaries is the reduction in affordable housing. He argues that Neotraditional planners fail to understand why the early twentieth century cities, to which these planners want to return, were the way they were.

This article explains how regional governments are a means for cities to exercise control over their suburbs. He argues that there are many more planning failures than market failures and that the appropriate role of planners is to encourage "decentralization and the development of systems that insure that everyone pays the full price of their actions. One of the tenets of smart growth is regionalization. Regionalization calls for new regional planning bodies that control land-use decisions for many local governments and urges cities and suburbs to share their tax base.

Staley argues that this trend is harmful to residents since it weakens local governments and empowers bureaucrats. He writes that political competition between cities and suburbs are "an essential and beneficial outcome of metropolitan growth," since it creates competition for improved city services as cities compete for residents and revenues. He examines the causes of sprawl, the standard sprawl remedies, and livability issues in general.

In this article, Walker explores the tenets of "sustainable development," including urban renewal, new urbanism, urban growth boundaries, regionalism, visioning, and mass transit. Austin, Texas is trying to use smart growth planning principles to plan for new transportation improvements. Walker points out how these plans hurt Austin poor Latino community and will lead to gentrification.

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Proponents of smart growth sell it as reform, but is really conventional top-down planning that empowers bureaucrats and not citizens. Charles, John A. Charles analyzes four typical assumptions for public land-use planning: that farm and forest lands must be preserved through government regulation, that urban development must be contained through zoning and urban growth boundaries, that land-use regulation is necessary to protect open space and scenic vistas, and that planning is necessary to ensure the efficient and rational use of the land.

He explains that "there is little evidence to support any of these assumptions. In fact, farmland is becoming less important due to increased productivity; the amount of land set aside for recreation and scenic use is growing, not shrinking, over time; and land-use planning encourages inefficient land-use patterns because zoning ordinances do not reflect market forces. This paper shows that despite concerns that growth will destroy the quality of life in the Phoenix area, there is no reason for panic. There is still a lot of open space, and traffic and air quality has not deteriorated significantly.

Using Portland as a growth control model only provides minor improvements, under the best case scenario, at the cost of billions of dollars spent on transit, higher home prices, and citizen resistance. Many advocates of "smart growth" point to Portland, Oregon as a model for the nation. However, Portland is creating more expensive housing and worsening gridlock, all by design. This "miracle" of urban planning has a mass transit system used for only 0. Mildner, Gerard C. It provides a statistical analysis of housing prices, average lot-size and economic growth.

Mildner explains the unique political coalition, which created the pro-planning environment. He warns, "next time you hear about light rail, high-density housing, traffic calming, or urban-growth boundaries, watch out. To save money and increase the capacity of the public transit system, Charles argues that Portland should pave over a light rail line and run buses on it. Buses have a higher capacity, they are faster, and they cost less than the current light rail line.

These groups believe they know the "socially efficient" level of automobile.

An Introduction to Sprawl and How to Cure It

However, no government or anti-car group can realistically determine the "full-cost" price of driving. Moreover, the anti-car lobby does not consider the liberating benefits cars provide, nor do that consider the social costs of curtailing automobile use and mobility. Phoenix is the largest city in America without a plan for a light-rail system.

Day argues that developing a rail system in Phoenix would be an ineffective means of addressing pollution control and congestion relief. He says rail is a money-losing proposition which would create a significant drain upon the tax base, while creating no returns to the huge capital investment.

Automobiles provide great freedom and autonomy. This flies in the face of communist rule as Hanasz explains in this piece. If an individual has a right to use, consume, lend, rent, sell, or even destroy a thing owned, the dominion of the state is seriously limited. The automobile is a liberating and ennobling technology that enables all people freedom of movement. On December 5, , the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott began as a protest against segregation.

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The blacks in Montgomery organized their cars into an alternative transportation system to meet their transportation needs without using the bus system. It is unlikely the bus boycott would have succeeded without car ownership.

Road to Ruin: An Introduction to Sprawl and How to Cure it [NEWS]

Lomasky, Loren E. This paper focuses on what the author describes as "automobility — the capacity to move oneself from place to place. Automobiles are intrinsically good, as manifested by the fact that so many people use them, even when they could use public transport. This op-ed advocates using six elements to reduce auto-caused air pollution and congestion problems. He advocates a better bus service, high-occupancy vehicle lanes, congestion pricing, removal of bottlenecks, and more competition in transit.

This is a short essay on congestion pricing. Congestion pricing is charging higher highway user fees at rush hour and lower, or no fees at non-rush hour. Congestion pricing is the best way to minimize traffic congestion and maintain the livability of western cities. Pisarski, Alan E. Pisarski writes of the past, present, and future of transportation planning, policy, and data. Though transportation planners have missed some trends in the past, he argues that they need to understand the coming trends of more specialization in the economy, the democratization of mobility, immigration, shifting age groups, and improving incomes.

He believes that future problems will be easier to control than in the past. Though many complain about "induced travel," he points out that at the end of most trips are economic transactions, and the trips that are not for economic reasons are for social reasons. Induced travel improves the economy and community.

Richmond, Jonathan E. For several reasons, new rail lines reduce the profitability and ridership on bus lines, Richmond explains. Expanding bus service increases mass transit use without the huge capital costs of a rail system. Overall, most transit systems are better off with bus service than rail service. Traffic congestion is an annoyance for many motorists. The traditional means of paying for new road capacity — gas tax revenue — is being siphoned off into general revenue funds and to pay for heavily subsidized mass transit projects.

To reduce taxes and reduce congestion, Samuel argues that the government should sell off highways section by section, and have private companies maintain and improve the highways. Only then can markets function to produce truly efficient roads. He advocates creative methods of using highway rights-of-way such as double-decker roads, tunnels, and separate car and truck lanes to alleviate congestion.

New infrastructure will be expensive, but if the roads truly create economic benefits, then road operators can charge tolls that pay for the additional capacity at no extra cost to taxpayers. New tolling technology allows road operators to charge tolls without forcing drivers to stop at tollbooth or even slow down. Many argue that public transit will reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, help the poor, and improve the overall economy of an area. Semmens explains why "by any reasonable standard, public transit is a bad investment.

To produce real improvements in congestion and air quality, while creating greater equity, the government should use congestion pricing, target high-emission vehicles, and improve the coordination of traffic lights, Semmens concludes. Traffic congestion imposes economic and environmental costs, but solutions such as mass transit, new road construction, and other traditional means of congestion relief are expensive, and largely ineffective.

Schiller examines how congestion pricing "effectively reduces congestion, improves air quality, and generate support from a majority of citizens they affect. VanDoren advocates market alternatives to federal highway spending. He explains that sprawl is not bad. Nevertheless, he claims the heavy highway demand of suburban commuters is subsidized by the Federal Highway Trust Fund. He advocates more toll-roads and private highway construction, such as the Dulles Greenway in suburban Washington, D.

This paper briefly analyzes the claims made on behalf of zoning and sprawl control, and then presents alternative growth management policies that are more appropriate to a knowledge based economy.

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Congestion and pollution are managed with incentives and user fees. Open space and scenery are protected with a funding mechanism that insures that those who most value scenic views will pay a larger share of the cost. Metro, on the other hand, compels people to meet targets produced by planners, attacks problems indirectly and relies on centralization of power. People uses seven tools: neighborhood associations, congestion pricing, pollution emissions fees, demonopolizing the city truants agency, real-estate transfer fees, development impact fees, and an end to subsidies.

This implies accepting and integrating the fundamental role markets play in allocating resources in a market economy. Urban planning and land-use regulations need to adopt market-oriented principles and concepts that build upon a vision of constantly evolving communities and recognize the role markets play in creating a higher standard of living. The paper presents several practical recommendations for planners from a market-oriented approach.