Reaction to Article: Are Compact Cities a Desirable Planning Goal

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Reaction Paper: Are Compact Cities a Desirable Planning Goal?

The article written by Peter Gordon and Harry W. Richardson entitled; Are Compact Cities a Desirable Planning Goal? shows various arguments against the reason for compact cities to become implemented. They use the city of Toronto in the beginning of the article to compare it with cities in the United States. Throughout the article many topics and arguments are discussed which are; agricultural land, density preferences, energy glut, the scope for transit, suburbanization and congestion, the efficiency of compactness, technology and agglomeration-congestion trade-offs, downtowns in eclipse, rent-seeking and politics, compactness and equity, and competition among cities. From these issues displayed in the article, many valuable arguments could be agreed with. The authors used valuable data from past research done on the topics discussed in presenting their argument against compact cities.

Two main points from the article were considered most interesting. The issues of density preferences and energy glut discussed by the authors were quite interesting and have made a valid point. First of all as discussed in the article concerning density preferences, the authors make it clear that most people preferred low-density living as opposed to high-density living. As stated by Gordon and Richardson, "The choice for low-density living is influenced by instruments promoting suburbanization, such as: preferential income tax treatment of home mortgage interest, subsidies to automobile use, and interstate highway system" (Gordon and Richardson, 96). The previous quote identifies the preference people have concerning suburbanization. Because of preferential income tax treatment of home mortgage interest, subsidies to automobile use, and interstate highway systems low-density living is preferred. One great factor also concerning low-density preference is the fact that more funds are given to highways and...
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