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4150Re: [carfree_cities] Buckeye Institute Study: No Urban Sprawl Crisis in Ohio

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  • Tom Tromey
    Jan 3, 2002
      >>>>> "Matt" == enjax <mattlyons@...> writes:

      Matt> Yes yet another depressing study from a Libertarian think tank
      Matt> that has decided there is nothing wrong with sprawl and that the
      Matt> free market(i.e. more/wider roads to subsidize more sprawl) is
      Matt> the solution!

      Last night I started reading The Elephant in the Bedroom, which was
      recently recommended here. It makes the point that automobiles,
      roads, and sprawl are actually heavily subsidized by government
      policy. In fact, I'd say the first couple chapters (haven't read past
      that yet :-) of this book are written from a libertarian perspective
      (which surprised and at first dismayed me). To claim that the current
      state of affairs came about due to market forces is to be willfully
      ignorant.

      That said, it isn't surprising to find a study saying "sprawl is
      good". I read this sentence that you quoted:

      "Smart" growth plans adopt a prescriptive view of cities and urban
      developments that ignore consumers wishes and substitute it with the
      will of politicians.

      Whenever people talk about "wishes" and "choices" in a policy context,
      you can be sure that they are about to ("coincidentally") justify
      their own position. Talking reductively about consumer choice
      neglects the ways that choices can be shaped outside of (typical)
      consumers' awareness.

      Tom
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