Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Apparently Chris Leinberger thinks so. I think there is certainly a case to be made connecting the policies that created and encouraged more sprawl -- access to easy credit with little money down, ARMs, easily available home equity loans, cheap gas, the mortage interest deduction, among others -- that ultimately resulted in the housing boom and bust. Essentially, the ingredients that helped to fuel suburban and exurban sprawl were also factors in the current economic meltdown. I don't think it is too much of a stretch to state, as does Leinberger, that sprawl helped to created this mess.
I've seen a few mentions over the last few weeks of Mary Soderstrom's new book The Walkable City. This article in The Torontoist includes a comprehensive review. It appears that Soderstrom dedicates much of the book to using examples from Toronoto a la Jane Jacobs using Greenwich Village in The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Although I have never been to Toronto, I look forward to picking up a copy of The Walkable City and learning more.