Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Kotkin: How Can We Be So Dense?

The latest column at NewGeography.com from Joel Kotkin takes on the density advocates with the right question, "How can we be so dense?"

The Kotkin answer is summed up as this:

The movement (don't blame it on Obama he points out) to advocate for development policies that favor denser, urban areas are counterproductive for our nation's development.  His premise is to tip the scales in favor of policies that answer market demands for single-family housing in affordable suburban and exurban areas.

He didn't say it, but I can.  It's places like Ohio that suffer from urban-focused, national development policies.

He's right.  As he often does, Kotkin looks to a future where such a policy left to run amok has wreaked havoc.  He writes:
The density agenda need to be knocked off its perch as the summum bonum of planning policy. These policies may not hurt older Americans, like me, who bought their homes decades ago, but will weigh heavily on the already hard-pressed young adult population. . . . All for a policy that, for all its progressive allure, will make more Americans more unhappy, less familial, and likely poorer.

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