20 May 2008

Dream on

I have spoken in the past about the divide between the inner city and outer city, particularly in this community. There is much to be said here - about values, incomes, cultures, etc.

But I do not speak of this here. I have further dreams, and these involve the transformation of the inner city. I see a inner city populated by dense apartment blocks, with affordable housing for a mix of classes and races, with amenities and necessities alike within walking distance. The infrastructure is there, the population density is the highest in the region, the demand for affordable housing is there. So why not? Cannot developments like a certain town center down south suburban way work in the urbanized north?

Why does the inner core have to be devoid and bleak in this city, or any city? Why cannot it be like the great cities with dense development and vibrant street life? Economics, you say. The market cannot support such development in small cities. Right, and Charleston, South Carolina is just a fluke. But hey, let's go ahead and say that the economic argument has merit - which it does in a way. Fine. Make the economics work...

Stop subsidizing suburban development. Price transport infrastructure at its true cost. Make home buyers bear the full costs of utility and infrastructure development to reach greenfield sites, instead of socializing the costs by forcing inner city apartment dwellers to pay for the White suburbanite's ability to flush his toilet.

Eliminate all taxation within urban core areas. Sell off public land. Clear out dilapidated structures and crack houses. Start policing the streets here instead of in Baghdad and Fallujah. Clean up the urban prairies, goddamnit!

In short, get the state out of the way. But that is the ultimate dream, eh?