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Portland is a PR machine for light rail & streetcar

Here are Some Facts About Portland Oregon          

“It must always be remembered how cost-effectiveness works in the public sector: the cost IS the benefit.” - author unknown

Imaginary "Urban Villages"

Bertaud insists on the importance of cities as unified labor markets. Metropolitan areas will be hampered in their development and innovation to the extent that they are fragmented.

He is particularly critical of planning attempts to create "urban villages" within the unified labor markets (metropolitan areas). He contends that: "The urban village model” implies a systematic fragmentation of labor markets within a large metropolis and does not make economic sense in the real world."

According to Bertaud, the urban village "model does not exist in the real world because it contradicts the economic justification of large cities: the efficiency of large labor markets." The cold water of reality is that "... the urban village model exists only in the mind of urban planners."

Uncontained Self-Contained Satellite Towns

He supports his claim. Seoul's satellite communities were intended to be self contained towns (urban villages), in which most residents both lived and worked. Yet, most of the workers employed in the satellite towns live in other parts of the metropolitan area. At the same time, most of the residents of the satellite  work in other parts of the Seoul metropolitan area. He cites Stockholm regulations requiring neighborhood jobs – housing balances as having no impact on shortening commute distances even when such a balance is achieved.

Read the whole story at: http://www.newgeography.com/content/004203-urban-planning-101

Sprawl and Urban Growth

In this essay, we document that sprawl is ubiquitous and that it is continuing to expand. Using a variety of evidence, we argue that sprawl is not the result of explicit government policies or bad urban planning, but rather the inexorable product of car-based living. Sprawl has been associated with significant improvements in quality of living, and the environmental impacts of sprawl have been offset by technological change. Finally, we suggest that the primary social problem associated with sprawl is the fact that some people are left behind because they do not earn enough to afford the cars that this form of living requires.   From: Ed Glaeser and Matthew Kahn, Sprawl and Urban Growth (2003).