Municipal Solvency: How to Not Go Broke

5 thoughts on “Municipal Solvency: How to Not Go Broke”

  1. So you’re advocating what the New Urbanists would call a “transect” but service and infrastructure levels decrease with density. Have you tried to make this point to the New Urbanists?

    1. I travel across the country often. I make comments about the financial insolvency that’s already baked in to the cake and local officials are incapable of using that information in any meaningful way. The suburbs have been built. They’re occupied by voters who expect certain things. This isn’t a conversation that anyone with a position in government can pursue and expect to stay employed for very long. The problem will fix itself as failure and abandonment set in. I’m fine with that.

  2. All examples are good, but it would have benefited by inclusion of the third sustainable type, something like Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia — a streetcar or railroad suburb for the wealthy. Where there aren’t that many houses, they look suburban… but every one of the owners *can* afford that $31K bill no prob and won’t even blink at paying it.

    1. But how does it stay that way? If the very rich people move on, it’s not sustainable as middle class and down it goes. Are the rich people maintaining the railroad?

      1. Chestnut hill is only a streetcar suburb in terms of when it formed and its relation to the city core at that time (there is no railroad to be maintained in this case). Its been completely wrapped by other, denser housing in other neighborhoods of the city that are on its sides and beyond it, but its still a startling suburban feeling space within the confines of the city, but in a very old, victorian style (contrasting NE Philadelphia which is just 1950s cookie cutter suburbs). Chestnut hill is just 1 area of Philadelphia and its in the city commute time to city jobs and services, but large Victorian manors and land plots mean it will probably always occupy a Wayne Manor-esque enclave of the richer residents.

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