Taken from Planetizen article:
Joel Schwartz and Wendell Cox argue that "Smart Growth" is a dumb choice unless you want higher housing prices and increased traffic congestion.
Aug 19, 2003, 01:00 pm PDT - California
Contributed by George Passantino
"Smart growth plans pack people into high-density neighborhoods. But is that what consumers and home buyers want? Developers don't force consumers to choose "sprawl" against their will. In a dynamic and competitive housing market, developers have a tremendous incentive to find out what combination of amenities will most appeal to home buyers. If people were clamoring to live in high-rise apartments or condos, developers would build them. Right now, most people, especially those in Bakersfield and the valley, want single-family homes with a bit of land in the front and back yard."
please feel free to correct any vast generalizations/misassumptions/etc i make, but...
-From what little I know, it seems that there actually is very little choice in terms of where people choose to live. A sprawl-focused approach seems to be preferred in policy and the like, although this is all information i've heard second-hand.
-In relation to the arguments of this article (higher traffic density, for one) there seems to be a missing of the point of smarter growth? Continuation of sprawl and expansion of highways leads to that paradox, right? (The paradox that begins with some guy whose name is B...) You know, if you expand more traffic capacity, you'll end up having more traffic congestion. The ultimate goal, transit-wise, of smart growth development should be that focus is taken slightly off autodependency and alternate modes of transportation (biking, walking, brt, light rail, heavy rail, monorail, teleportation devices, etc.) become feasible and possible, should it not? Instead of pursuing the construction of miles and miles of more freeway that ultimately lead to even more sparse sparse low density development that leads to more traffic congestion. Coupled with such low density that there really is no alternative than to use a car and contribute to congestion.
-Is smart growth purely a simcity-esque zone everything High Density movement? If so, I must've made a terrible misassumption. I thought smart growth also meant smarter community development. IE, instead of suburban neighborhoods with labyrinthean arterials and feeders (dunno exact terms, sorry) and 3 acre backyards, you have neighborhoods that are more direct, more pedestrian friendly, and generally more accessible. the article lends itself to the assumption (atleast i took it) that smart growth developpers everwhere were clamoring for 12 story condo streetwalls each in as small a space as possible.
-There's more to it than just air quality? One of the main arguments against smart growth development, I saw, was that technology was improving and that pollution wouldn't be that much of a problem as cars got better at it. but there's still the congestion and commute time...?
off-note, only partially related to the article... do people look at more than just the bottom line when buying a house (i mention this in another post)? i mean, i haven't reached the point in my life where i'm looking for a house to buy, so perhaps i'll chang ey attitude in a few years or so, but if housing prices are up, that means there's something to it, right? there's more to living than just have a big f*cking house for cheap. i stayed for a prolonged time in an uncle's place in queens, ny, which cost about twice my family's home but was probably half the size. i still thought it a superior place to be, because everything was so accessible (parks, koreatown shopping, etc) without a car, and you could easily get to manhattan if need be... i mean, you could shave off some of the housing costs when you include the fact that you didn't need the # of cars my family needed (my uncle needed 1 for occasional long commutes, my family needs 3 for everything), plus the auto-insurance...