Is Sprawl to Blame for Municipal Bankruptcies?

It’s become unquestionable that sprawl is unsustainable from an environmental point of view. But what about fiscal sustainability? Former Ventura, California Mayor William Fulton, and current Vice President for the policy and programs at Smart Growth America, opines on sprawl’s role in the increasing financial woes facing many U.S. cities. “When sprawling new development happens, it’s easy to mistake that for prosperity,” he says. “New buildings and wide roads look great when they first meet the eye. But over time, distant development costs more, gradually bleeding taxpayers and putting the hurt on municipal budgets.” In California, especially, where sprawl ran rampant in places such as the now-bankrupt cities of San Bernardino and Stockton, revenue strategies focused that are focused on perpetual low-density development put a strain on municipal budgets once the tap runs dry.

CNN via Planetizen

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