2017/01/10: When we added up the replacement cost of all of the city's infrastructure -- an expense we would anticipate them cumulatively experiencing roughly once a generation -- it came to $32 billion. When we added up the entire tax base of the city, all of the private wealth sustained by that infrastructure, it came to just $16 billion. This is fatal.
It's obvious to me why this is fatal, but for those of you for whom it is less clear, let me elaborate.
To maintain just the roads and drainage systems that have already been built, the family in a median house would need to have their taxes increase by $3,300 per year.
Thus, Lafayette has a predicament. Infrastructure was supposed to serve them. Now they serve it.
The way this happened is pretty simple. At Strong Towns, we call it the Growth Ponzi Scheme. Through a combination of federal incentives, state programs and private capital, cities were able to rapidly grow by expanding horizontally. This provided the local government with the immediate revenues that come from new growth -- permit fees, utility fees, property tax increases, sales tax -- and, in exchange, the city takes on the long term responsibility of servicing and maintaining all the new infrastructure. The money comes in handy in the present while the future obligation is, well....a long time in the future.
All this infrastructure is a bad investment. America needs a different model of growth and development.
Gentrification is an issue in only a handful of urban neighborhoods, according to a new report. The real problem is growing areas of "concentrated poverty.
My place Toten, by some named "Totscana" as a Norwegian counterpart of famous Italian Toscana, has lost much of its charm by suburban houses spread all over this pleasant landscape. This is a horrible thing to do! This way the beautiful landscape is reduced to a kind of Los Angeles like Suburban Hell! Suburban housing doesn't... Continue reading ...
The 21st century has seen rapid urbanisation and the global population is now expected to grow to more than 8.3 billion by 2050. Currently, 800m hectares - 38% of the earth's land surface - is farmed and
Watch Phoenix's empty lots turn from a sprawling wasteland into vibrant urban communities.
But the point of these maps isn't -- believe it or not -- to give city-dwellers one more reason to gloat.
The New South Wales and Victorian governments have recently released business cases for their pet motorway projects, WestConnex in Sydney and East-West Link in Melbourne. But will these projects, costing
The Noam Chomsky Website.
Luis Bettencourt of the Santa Fe Institute and his team have proposed a different way of looking at how exceptional cities are. Th
Engineering - Environment - News releases - Research - Science
2013/03/11: Is Australia becoming a nation of renters, and are planners to blame? Newspaper headlines accompanying the release of a new report on housing supply and affordability, by the federal government's independent
For a long a time real estate close to the palace was socially desirable, and anyone with aspirations didn't want to know about the rest. Today in Melbourne inner-city people are embarrassed to reveal
Like many people who moved to San Francisco in the early 1990s, I did it because San Francisco was cheap. It didn't have the lowest rents - in the California of three recessions ago, a Silver Lake bungalow or blocks-from-the-beach ...
If boomer retirees keep flooding suburbs, the cost of providing for them soars. Can we get them to cities, instead?
Sustainability, climate change and livability mean little to most Americans -- but the implications impact everyone. How do you sell the story? Experts debate at the inaugural SXSW Eco conference.
Photo: Trey CampbellCross-posted from the Natural Resources Defense Council. At the bottom of this post are two short videos about Detroit, both featuring architect and planner Mark Nickita, princi
Desperate measures.My head nearly exploded at the breakfast table on Saturday morning. I was reading a piece in The New York Times about an Illinois developer who has finally found a way to unload
The grass is always greener.Photo: ClaudiaAh, the American lawn! Symbol of prestige! Source of unending drudgery! Environmental nightmare! Why do we have this thing, anyway? The lawn originated in