Thursday, March 24, 2011

Credit where credit is due

I have resumed reading Edward Glaeser's book Triumph of the City. I am not always a fan of Dr. Glaeser's arguments but his discussion of urban sprawl is interesting, perceptive, and (I suspect) correct. The section is worth it for the discussion of Paris and alternative models of urban density alone.

I am not convinced that he has modeled the predictors of urban prosperity well but I find his arguments for the drivers of sprawl to be compelling. I would be skeptical of any attempt to seriously engage the problem that did not consider these points. For example he references a fixed time cost to public transportation (waiting for the bus, traveling between destinations and stops) that puts the focus on car use in a whole different light.

I was back to being impressed with his work in this section.

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