Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Can sprawl be blamed for the economic crisis?

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.

The Walkable City

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.

We're back

After several weeks that took us away from this site, primarily due to real work, we'll be back posting several items this week. Hopefully that vacation from this site is a one-time event.