Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Holy cities

Portland, Oregon, and Curitiba, Brazil, are among urban planners' favorites. Pilgrimages are regularly made to each. Returning with relics is surely not far off.

Randy Crane has a nice post on Curitiba. Now Randal O'Toole has chimed in with his analysis of Portland's planning ("Debunking Portland: The City That Doesn't Work", Cato Policy Analysis No. 596).

From the abstract:

"When judged by the results rather than the intentions, the costs of
Portland's planning far outweigh the benefits. Planners made housing
unaffordable to force more people to live in multifamily housing or in homes on
tiny lots. They allowed congestion to increase to near-gridlock levels to
force more people to ride the region's expensive rail transit lines. They
diverted billions of dollars of taxes from schools, fire, public health, and
other essential services to susbidize the construction of transit and
high-density housing projects."