Friday, May 11, 2007

Not even dumb growth

As many readers of this blog know, "Smart Growth" as applied to cities is the idea that auto-oriented development (sprawl) is a "problem" and that central planning is a "solution."

It is a ignorant at best and pernicious at worst. But it has become common parlance in elite circles, widely espoused and cited without embarrassment.

In "Ten Years of Smart Growth: A Nod to Policies Past and a Prospective Glimpse Into the Future" (Cityscape, 2007), Regina C. Gray is not bothered by any of this but reports some numbers of interest. In the years, 1994-2006, voters around the U.S. voted on 1,810 "smart growth" measures and approved 1,397 of them. In so doing, the approved $75.8 billion to be spent on various "smart growth remedies."

Not only are market mechanisms blunted in favor of politicization but boatloads of money are allocated to the enterprise. It is not even dumb growth.

There will be less growth. And that has consequences that are rarely mentioned.