Tag Archives: suburbia

The Growth Ponzi Scheme

A great series of 5 posts from Charles Mahron at Strong Towns on how the suburban growth pattern we’ve seen in the US for the last 60 years is indistinguishable from a growth Ponzi scheme.  We use federal (or sometimes … Continue reading

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Reject the Annexation of Hogan-Pancost

Dear City Council, I strongly urge you to reject the annexation of the Hogan-Pancost property. A huge proportion of Boulder is already zoned for low-density single-family residential land use. This type of land use — especially when it is at … Continue reading

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Quantifying the Cost of Sprawl

Sprawling single-family suburban development is more expensive than compact land use.  There’s more infrastructure per capita and per unit area (pavement, power lines, water and sewage lines, etc), in conjunction with much lower tax revenues per unit infrastructure.  This is … Continue reading

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Shifting Suburbs

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) has put together a study of suburban densification strategies called Shifting Suburbs: Reinventing Infrastructure for Compact Development.  I haven’t read it yet, but based on my experience of Belmar in Lakewood (which is one of … Continue reading

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Suburbs == Ponzi scheme

Charles Marohn of Strong Towns on Grist, explaining the way in which American suburbs are a giant Ponzi scheme.  Essentially, since WWII there have been several rounds of up-front financing for suburban expansion, including federal dollars, and debt leveraging supposed … Continue reading

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The Death of the Fringe Suburb

News of Suburbia’s demise reaches the New York Times Op-Ed pages.  Let’s hope someone out there allocating federal transportation dollars is reading.

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Debunking the Cul-de-Sac

Highlights from a study looking at how different street network designs affect things like health and safety.  Traditional interconnected grids fare better in just about every way than the dendritic cul-de-sac neighborhoods of the automobile dominated late 20th century.

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Location Efficiency More Important than Home Energy Efficiency

How important is Location Efficiency?  Median US home price: $175k.  With a traditional 20% down 30 year mortgage, total loan payments amount to about $350k.  Utilities over the same timeframe are around $75k.  And the cost of commuting from suburbia?  … Continue reading

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The American suburbs are a giant Ponzi scheme

Suburbia as Ponzi scheme.  We have subsidized suburban growth through debt and taxes, and reaped the short-term financial rewards of that growth, but at the expense of taking on ever larger long-term liabilities in terms of infrastructure maintenance and a … Continue reading

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