War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life
Recorded on May 22, 2007
Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium
People around the world
associate the "universal dream of home ownership" with an
unprecedented improvement in quality of life. Wendell Cox
argues, however, that there is a war on this dream, the result of
policies that seek to control urban sprawl or suburbanization.
The proponents and governments that implement such
anti-suburban policies do so with little debate and virtually
without any serious analysis of the consequences.
outlaw development on large swaths of land, creating scarcity and
increasing housing prices. Such policies also hopelessly seek
to force people to use mass transit instead of cars, while failing
to build roadway capacity to accommodate rising demand. The
result is more intense traffic congestion, air pollution, and less
productive urban areas.
With most of the world
still living in relative poverty, it is clear that neither economic
growth nor wealth creation can be taken for granted. Only by
rejecting and repealing anti-suburban policies, in Wendell Cox's
view, can national economies and their urban areas be positioned to
ensure that future generations have the opportunity to achieve a
better quality of life.
Wendell Cox is an
international demographic, urban policy, and transport consultant.
A Visiting Professor at the Conservatoire National des
Arts et Metiers in Paris, he also served terms on the Los
Angeles County Transportation Commission and the Amtrak Reform
Council. Cox lives in the metropolitan St. Louis area.