Smart Growth

An aspect of the continuing nation-wide debate about smart growth can be found represented in a couple of recent issues of the Austin American-Statesman.

“Austin’s smart growth” by Pamela Power, in “Letters to the Editor,” Austin American-Statesman, November 17, 2011. The letter is accessible from this COST web page.

Count on higher living costs in New Austin” by Ed Wendler, Jr., Austin American Statesman, November 10, 2011.

Wendler makes reference to the book Urban Fortunes: The Political Economy of Place by John Logan and Harvey Molotch that differentiates between “exchange value” and “use value” for the ways in which participants in city life look upon land and buildings.

Home-owning residents may simply value pleasant living conditions (use value) while others may be more interested in economic possibilities (exchange value). Thus, for example, those who prefer a suburban low-density housing environment may come into conflict with those preferring a prevailing high-density (smart growth) environment for business purposes.

A useful introduction to Urban Fortunes is available in the online Word document Summary by Kimberly Austin.


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