Panorama 2014 issuu

Page 1


Mend the Gap:

Reconciling Perceptions with Trends Planners are geared to peer far into the future, to spot upcoming trends, and to influence cities accordingly. The public, from which planners draw their support, is not as future-oriented. Planners intensely follow the changes in urban issues both large and small, from demographics to vehicles miles traveled, but the public digests that information differently – often only after another source (e.g. news outlets, neighbors, community groups, etc.) has cast those issues in a specific light. As urban areas experience revitalization nationwide (and receive significant attention for that fact), planners must be mindful of their role in informing and educating the public about the true costs and benefits of this process. Indeed, planning has never been any easy topic to grasp for the uninitiated. Now, more so than before, we must harness our communication skills to help the public absorb information objectively and make the mental leap from process to outcome intelligently. Until we do so, however, there remains a gap between today’s planning trends and the public’s perceptions of them. Planners, for instance, foresee and understand the long-term impacts of gentrification, high-speed rail, and public-private partnerships,

Wesley Vaughn EDITOR MCP '14

Will Morgan EDITOR MCP '14

but unless the profession takes the initiative to explain its findings, the public will form its own opinions based on information from other sources. Planners, in effect, may find themselves swimming upstream if they are not proactive about communication. “Mend the Gap” refers to the need for planners to recognize that this gap exists and to address public perceptions that often succeed planning trends. It is not enough for planners to engage the public in the planning process. Planners must also inform the public regularly about the changing landscape if the profession seeks to leverage citizen support for its recommendations. The articles published in this year’s Panorama seek to reconcile this gap by directly tackling some of the muddier trends and thornier perceptions that personify the current era of planning. Our writers worked hard with our editors and designers to make this year’s edition speak to this issue, and we hope you enjoy their work. We would also like to thank the Department of City & Regional Planning for its continued support of Panorama and all of the faculty and staff that have helped us become capable messengers on planning discourse.


Ryan Debold






Brett Peanasky (MCP + JD '16) is a dual-degree student concentrating in land use, environmental law, and planning. Before graduate school, Brett earned his B.A. in Architecture from Miami University. After graduation he intends to work as a land use or municipal attorney.

Nathaniel Hammitt (MARCH+MSHP '16) is a dual-degree student on a quest to bring architectural adaptive reuse to the urban sphere. Although his formative years were spent in Durban, South Africa, Nathaniel’s interests lie equally with developments in post-colonial Africa and the American Rust Belt.

Gina Lavery (MCP '16) is concentrating in Land Use and Environmental Planning. She received her BA in political science and history from Penn, and is currently working for Penn’s Office and Government and Community Affairs. Her interests include creative ways to reuse vacant industrial land and build walkable communities.

Larissa Klevan (MCP '16) is concentrating in Community and Economic Development. She currently works at the Philadelphia City Planning Commission where her work focuses on planning efforts in Northeast Philadelphia. She is interested in helping Philadelphia find innovative solutions for its vacant land and civic participation.

Veronica Xin Ge (MCP '14) is a second year concentrating in Sustainable Transportation and Infrastructure Planning. She recieved her Bachelor's in Translation from Hong Kong Baptist University, and is interested in creating efficient, sustainable, aesthetically appealing urban environments to make daily life easier and more enjoyable.

Amanda Mazie (MCP+MSHP, '15) is a dualdegree student in Historic Preservation and City Planning concentrating in Real Estate Development. Before coming to Penn, she attended architecture school at Northeastern University.

Wesley Vaughn (MCP '14) is a second year concentrating in land use and environmental planning. He is from Birmingham, Alabama, and is interested in returning to the Southeast after graduation. He enjoys policy, romantic comedies, and the NBA.

Shiva Kooragayala (MCP '15) is a first year concentrating in Community and Economic Development. He graduated from Emory University with degrees in Political Science and Sociology. His interests include economic development, social justice, and all things urban.

John Christopher (MCP '15) is a first year concentrating Community and Economic Development. He is fascinated by the intricate connections between the built environment, human culture, and social systems.

Will Morgan (MCP '14) is a second year concentrating in Public-Private Development, with a Certificate in Real Estate Design & Development. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Media Arts from Emerson College. Originally from Boston, he hopes to return home to work in the development of supportive affordable housing.

Xiaoxia Dong (MCP '14) is a second year concentrating in Sustainable Transportation and Infrastructure Planning. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Planning from the University of Utah. He has unshakeable faith in high-density development, public transit, and professional basketball.

Daniel Suh (MCP '14) is a second year concentrating in Sustainable Transportation and Infrastructure Planning. He received his BA degree in Economics from Brandeis University, and is currently an Aviation Intern at AECOM. He also does research with Professor David Hsu’s building energy efficiency project with the HUB.

Dan Levin (MCP '14) is a second year concentrating in Public/Private Development. A native of St. Louis, MO, he spent 7 years working in Melbourne, Australia, as an Urban Planner before coming back to the States. Dan is interested in economic and real estate development.




Adaptive Reuse of PostColonial Buildings in PostApartheid South Africa Nathaniel Hammitt

46 American Land Use Ethics

and Their Impact on Wetlands Brett Peanasky



Vision And Livingstone’s Mandate

Mantua’s Promise Zone Larissa Klevan

Gina Lavery

64 THE



Benefits and Drawbacks



Amanda Mazie


Bengaluru, India:


A Profile of Growth, Development, and Planning


Shiva Kooragayala


Future of Privately Financed Affordable Housing Production AND THE

The State Rules & Counties Drool:

aking cities



Will Morgan


Debate: Cities as Engines of Redistribution



Daniel Suh and Dan Levin

92 42

Public Realm Studio

The Future of the AMERICAN SUBURB Dan Levin

Reimagining Philadelphia's Vacant Lots 3

The tumultuous political history of South Africa has shaped perceptions of architecture as the uses of buildings have evolved over time. Author Nathaniel Hammitt explores how exploring and understanding the history behind the country’s architecture can improve perceptions and lessen political strife. By ignoring the meaningfulness of the country’s historic architecture, the government would fail to seize an incredible opportunity to unite its population.



PAN O R AMA 2014

TERMS POST-COLONIAL Post-colonial is defined as the global era in which global colonial powers divested their colonial holdings and territories. As a local marker, South Africa’s post-colonial era began formally on 31 May 1961, when the Republic of South Africa was formed following independence from the United Kingdom. POST-APARTHEID Apartheid is an Afrikaans word defined as “the state of being apart.” The National Party of South Africa’s white minority-rule government ruled over the apartheid era of racial segregation from 1948 to 1994. The current post-apartheid era began on 27 April 1994 with the election of Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president. AFRIKANERS An ethnic group descended from Dutch settlers and other ethnic groups living in Southern Africa whose native tongue is Afrikaans.

1. ATOP MEINTJIESKOP “To reveal the unconscious of a city, we need to track the visible marks of the passage of time and the various lines of flight that symbolize the culture of a place.” –Achille Mbebe Meet our first subject: two large sandstone Edwardian structures, each capped with a domed stone tower in the Cape Dutch style and linked with a small semi-circular Italian Renaissance style arcade. The east and west halves of this edifice stand in tension with each other; although each side of the building is a mirror image of the other, their separateness hints that their architectural connectedness is contrived. The two halves seem bound together more out of programmatic necessity than any overpowering desire for togetherness. The building’s presence conveys a powerful air of political colonial purpose and directionality — from the heights of Meintjieskop, the highest point in Pretoria, the building seems to boldly proclaim the rallying cry, ‘Outward!’ The structures, although aged by a century of continual use, endure for the purposes they were originally intended: known simply as the Union Buildings, they house the offices for the President of the Republic of South Africa. In an era of both post-colonialism and contemporary postapartheid governance, it falls to a young South African republic to wrestle with how best to use and re-use its existing building stock and urban planning paradigms in ways that exemplify the values of a young country seeking dignity, equality, and continued unification. Analyzing the Union Buildings serves as a brief introductory exercise in spatial semiotics, the study of signs and symbols within the built environment. This case reveals that the principles on which South African design is predicated — even at the highest levels — are often fraught with division and social separateness. When British architect Herbert Baker originally envisioned the Union Buildings

Architect Herbert Baker’s sketch perspective from Church Street on the axial line of the Union Buildings. This 1901 design shows Baker’s full scheme, which included the never-to-be-built Temple of Peace.

in 1909, the two separate towers were meant to represent the two ruling classes of the country — the Afrikaners and the British. A third tower, never constructed, was to stand as a Temple of Peace alongside the connective arcade In their separateness, each building alludes to a greater separateness not only physically manifested throughout the country in South Africa’s apartheid urban planning and governance policies enacted from 1948 to 1994, but also mentally and socially manifested in the vast inequality between the nation’s rich and poor. The Union Buildings are one of many buildings and public spaces that still exist today unchanged from when South Africa was merely a colonial holding of the British Empire. Perhaps the best way to consider the stakes of this argument is with awareness for the country’s current political landscape and design culture. Known as the “Rainbow Nation,” South Africa has a rich diversity of people and history. Contemporary design and preservation is inherently linked to politics and place; keeping the turbulent and diverse history of the country in mind, this article investigates the adaptation and the cultural context for reuse of historical urban buildings in South Africa.


2. LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD " The strategic-political and ultimately moral-historical question is how to move toward understanding without ever forgetting, but to remember without constantly rekindling the divisive passions of the past. Such an approach is the only one which would allow us to look down into the darkness of the well of the atrocities of the past and to speculate on their causes at the same time as we haul up the waters of hope for a future of dignity and equality." -Neville Alexander It is important to assess South Africa’s current environment for adaptive reuse and historic preservation to better understand the case for post-colonial and post-apartheid architectural design. Contemporary South African political culture seems prone to exposing history that had previously been censored by apartheid. What has emerged in recent years is a culture that favors a broader and more transparent historical narrative. Pertaining to all matters of South African heritage, “public history” should be distinguished from “people’s history.” A “public history” approach popularizes knowledge about the past while the “people’s history” movement serves to democratize total knowledge ( Jeppson 2011). Public history, as it is commonly regarded in South Africa, “brings to light aspects of the past excluded in dominant or elitist history,” while a people’s history “defines instead the different processes through which knowledge about the past is introduced” ( Jeppson 2011). As South Africa has transformed from a country of elite history (heritage known only to the privileged upper class) to a country of popularized history (allowing past ‘hidden’ facts and heritage to be made known to everyone), there is a growing shift toward a normative public history by means of prescriptive people’s history techniques. For instance, publicizing the political history of Robben Island and the events that transpired there has led to greater popular understanding and reconciliation between those who were oppressed and their oppressors. At smaller scales, South African museums are beginning to share the stories of what happened during apartheid so as to popularize each individual’s experiences, while democratizing South Africans’ ability to gain access to this shared history as a whole. Public and people’s history movements are excellent means of reconciling past differences, although much public history has been lost through the purging of unwanted artifacts and memorabilia. In the nineteen years since Mandela’s African National Congress political party (ANC) gained control of the presidency, there has been a concerted effort to remove the monuments and institutions erected to commemorate the politicians and political actions of the apartheid era. Of the many erasures conducted by the current postapartheid government, the act of changing street names and statues originally christened in memory of Prime Minister H.F. Verwoerd (a major proponent of apartheid legislation) is an effort to erase all public memory of the politician. Other acts of erasure, including


PAN O R AMA 2014

A symbol of Afrikaner nationalism and, to some, a haunting memory of the atrocities committed in the name of apartheid-era fervor.

name-changing of the public sphere, are at a macroscopic scale, such as the current national government’s efforts to rename the culturally Afrikaans city Pretoria to the more nationalistic Setswana name Tshwane. These meta-narratives of the democratizing national government erasing unfortunate themes from South African history impact preservation movements around the country with an increased sense of hesitation to preserve or adapt any historic building that is tied too closely with the apartheid regime or its colonial forebears. Edwardian, Dutch, Victorian, and Cape Dutch architectural styles found throughout South Africa bear stylistic marks of the colonial presence of the British and Dutch empires. In the decades prior to South Africa’s 1961 independence, modern styles such as Art Deco, Art Moderne, and early modernism found their way into the apartheid vernacular, most prominently in the 1949 Voortrekker Monument. Unlike similar Eastern European monuments, whose dedication in commemoration of nationalistic pride is often followed just as surely by the monument’s eventual neglect or demolition, the Voortrekker monument has survived intact to the present day, kept, even by the post-apartheid government, “as a reminder of the oppression of the apartheid era … to learn from the lessons of the past” (Coombes 2005). At an urban level, heritage conservation has a powerful bearing on the identity of white South Africans, and it is far more difficult to erase artifacts of the urban fabric — especially if the artifact of the past is the urban fabric itself. South African cities are, in essence, the “principal repository of white civilization in the country,” and urban areas have largely been held at arm’s length from black citizens since apartheid times. Although British and Afrikaners are not the majority population, their white South African identity is present in the building stock and sacred public spaces of Pretoria, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, and even Johannesburg. The extent of urban segregation between white South Africans and Indian or black

The City Center dwarfed by nearby KwaZulu homelands and informal settlements

citizens is partly a product of the spatial structure established by apartheid planning paradigms. The ways in which neighborhoods, buildings, thoroughfares, parks, malls, and commercial areas are arranged largely exacerbates cultural disconnects. Pietermaritzburg, capital of the Natal province, is a case in point. Although surrounded by residents of the KwaZulu homeland, the architecture and spatial and social structure of Pietermaritzburg’s urban core remains largely untouched and unchanged from its apartheid form. Described as a “charming Victorian city grafted onto Boer Voortrekker roots,” Pietermaritzburg is “replete with an impressive heritage of British colonial associations and past military victories” (Tunbridge 2008). The stability and permanence of the buildings and spaces throughout the city give a false impression that the city is a bustling center of British-apartheid construct. Grand halls and monuments erected in the early 1900s still stand, as does the unspoken acknowledgement that blacks should not get too comfortable living within the city core. The specters of past white dominance still haunt the halls of civic and public buildings, and while these ghosts of apartheid past stand firmly rooted in the core of the city, they seem to also stake a claim to the city on behalf of the white minority. Churchill’s famous adage that “we shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us” may explain the difficulty of white South Africans in embracing the post-apartheid reality and reimagining historic structures in new ways. Will there be a turning point at which these historic buildings are demolished and the new national government erects new structures in their place? Or, will there emerge a new national spirit bold enough to stake claim and ownership over even the most connotative apartheid and colonialist structures, giving them a new identity and vision for the emerging Rainbow Nation?

3. CASE STUDY: A LIGHT ON A HILL “Rising from the ashes of that ghastly era, it will shine forth as a pledge for all time that South Africa will never return to that abyss. It will stand as an affirmation that South Africa is indeed a better place for all." –Nelson Mandela One exemplary landmark of how the South African built landscape has adapted from its colonial past into a post-apartheid present is in the Constitution Hill complex in downtown Johannesburg. Located two kilometers north of the Johannesburg central business district, Constitution Hill fills a void between the wealthy northwestern districts of Braamfontein and Sunnyside and the economically growing Hillbrow neighborhood [figure 4]. Constitution Hill and its accompanying Constitutional Court sit atop Number Four, a prison used from 1904 until 1983 for the detention of political dissidents and criminals. Number Four itself grew from the expansion of the Afrikaans Old Fort, which was established in 1896 to protect the city from British incursions and to police what once was the small mining town of Johannesburg. Number Four was expanded in 1904 and 1928 to provide a women’s jail and “awaiting trial block.” By the time of its closure in 1983, the facility had processed thousands of apartheid-era prisoners ranging from convicted murders to petty criminals. In 1994, eleven years after Number Four’s closure, when the country’s Constitutional Court was formed and was in need of a building to host their affairs, the old awaiting trial block was suggested for adaptive reuse to be used as the court’s new home. This location seemed appropriate since the mission of the Constitutional Court — to protect and preserve the long-abused human rights of South African people — could find physical realization. By crystallizing heritage as a political process, Number Four is no longer a neutral or negative space. Atrocities of the past that had been committed


Developed on the site of an old Afrikaner fort, Constitution Hill serves as a transitional zone between the historically blighted but emerging Hillbrow neighborhood and more affluent northwestern suburbs.

there could be revisited and re-envisioned in a positive light through a filter of redemption and reconciliation. Realizing that the urban prison was an immense repository of apartheid-era heritage, the preservation and adaptation brief proposed by the Constitutional Court challenged international design teams to propose a building that would re-use components of Number Four. In the end, it was not a foreign architecture firm whose vision was realized in the new facility, but rather the vision of a few university graduates. Their proposal to reuse the physical remains of the original awaiting trial block and incorporate the old guard towers — each newly adorned with a glowing light mast — creates an open and democratized judicial experience [figure 5a]. Linking the past and the future, honoring the mission of the Constitutional Court, and calling attention to its higher purpose by setting it in stark contrast with the prison and trial facilities of the past, the Constitution Hill complex is a beautiful example of adaptation at all levels. From the scale of one small brick taken from the old cell block and reused to demarcate the walls of the new court [figure 5b], to the scale of the entire region with Constitution Hill stitching together divided segments of the kaleidoscopic city, the past is honored and acknowledged while paving way for a brighter future.

4. REUSE AND CURRENT TRENDS “ It is said that Johannesburg has been built up and torn down no less than five times since it first appeared on the Highveld in 1886. And each time it has re-emerged even uglier than before.” – John Matshikiza While the adaptive reuse of Constitution Hill has solid ethical foundations, it is critical to remember that when it comes to popular history and people’s history, museums and heritage sites in South Africa “are not valued as much for what they are, as for what they can do,” (Dubin 2006). Mark Gevisser observes that the city


PAN O R AMA 2014

“supported [development of Constitution Hill] not so much because they believe in the power of heritage, but because they are interested in inner-city regeneration” (Mark Gevisser 2004). Financial backing for Constitution Hill was provided in part by the Johannesburg Development Authority ( JDA) and Blue IQ (an economic development initiative of the Gauteng Provincial Government), two institutions with a vested interest in the economic and social prosperity that such a development would engender. Although this partnership was successful for the development of Constitution Hill, South Africans of all classes and backgrounds ought to look forward into the nation’s collective future and seek out partnerships that best foster socially responsible reuse of historic buildings and urban infrastructure. This can be done with a finger on the nation’s pulse: with a keen awareness not to repeat the mistakes of the past, designers and politicians should be wary of urban developments that reinstitute systems of social stratification. To consider heritage conservation and rehabilitation purely for economic gain is a dangerous game to play. With honest intentions to improve the livelihood of urban residents, redevelopment and the ensuing valorization of real estate may displace existing residents into surrounding lower-priced neighborhoods. This was the case in Johannesburg from 1992 through the mid-2000s when tenants and landlords evacuated inner-city properties in favor of Johannesburg’s northern suburbs, mainly due to fear of black uprising and already heavy crime rates (a notable relocation came in 2000 when the Johannesburg Stock Exchange – now the JSE Securities Exchange – moved from its Hollard Street location in inner-city Marshalltown to the booming northern suburb of Sandton). While northern-oriented white flight characterized the first years of the new millennium in Johannesburg, the FIFA World Cup in 2010 renewed interest in the city core. A number of historic properties have seen critical reinvestment and their halo effects are beginning to be felt in the residential and artistic city core communities. One touchstone in this process is the Barbican Building. Originally the tallest building in the city at the time of its completion in 1930, the Barbican was used over the next 70 years for everything from workshops to studio spaces, fashion stores to automobile showrooms. Beginning in 1994 the building sat dormant and suffered intense destruction-by-neglect at the hand of its absentee and laissez-faire managers. In 2009 the landowner realized it could make a profit on its land due to generally improved neighborhood conditions, and by 2012 the Barbican had been rehabilitated into a mixed-use office space and high-end residential complex. While this night-to-day transformation from a slum to a trendy loft is indicative of the rapid gentrification taking place throughout much of inner-city Johannesburg, and while it is a substantial win for the preservation community to experience these sort of adaptations taking place, there are still many battles to fight. In an effort to adapt historic apartheid and colonial-era structures into a new democratic metropolitan milieu, it is important to remember that the spatial structure of every colonial-era city is tainted with a bias of racial

separateness. South Africans of all colors need to dig deep into their collective past to determine the purposes of their existing buildings and to investigate how they can be best used to heal the wounds of the past and lay a firm foundation for the future.

5. MEINTJIESKOP REVISITED “ There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” –Nelson Mandela Planners, designers, and developers shape our physical environments. Their machinations give us a framework to know who does what, where. Our actions and motivations (the why) can be shaped by the existing physical context (spaces established by others), but they can also counteract these forces by (re)shaping physical context and its perception by the general public. Any pre-1994 building in South Africa will be seen for its ties to apartheid, but it is the way individuals act in these post-apartheid spaces that redefines how the country and its citizens view themselves and their role in shaping the nation.

Guard tower (center) has been partially dismantled. Its bricks are reused in courtroom wall (left).

Churchill, Winston. House of Commons (meeting in the House of Lords), 28 October 1943. City of Johannesburg. Map of Constitution Hill’s immediate area. Coombes, Annie E. History After Apartheid: Visual Culture and Public Memory in a Democratic South Africa. Duke University Press Books, 2005. Dubin, Steven. Transforming museums: mounting Queen Victoria in a democratic South Africa. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006., Yvonne (Flickr user: Von_). Constitutional Court Interior Lobby. August 17, 2007 Gevisser, Mark. From the ruins: the Constitution Hill project. Duke University Press, Public Culture 16 (3), 2004. Hippocampus. Constitutional Court, 2004. portfolios/visual-identity-constitutional-court-of-south-africa/

Hillbrow Tower (far right) looms over Constitution Hill. The illuminated light mast marks the location of the original fort’s guard tower and the Court’s main entry (center) is demarcated by “Constitutional Court of South Africa” written in all 11 official South African languages.

In closing, it is worth revisiting our original subject: the Union Buildings. Although they were seen for over 80 years as pure and unswerving relics of colonialism and apartheid, it was not until Nelson Mandela took his oath of office in the amphitheater between the two buildings that they began to embody a new form of union — that between the political powers of the past and present desire for racial and cultural reconciliation. It is in this continued quest for spatial union and adaptation that South Africa will find sure footing for the future. REFERENCES Alexander, Neville. An Ordinary Country: Issues in the Transition from Apartheid to Democracy in South Africa. New York: Berghahn Books, 2003. Chipkin, Clive. Johannesburg Style: Architecture & Society 1880’s-1960’s. Cape Town: David Philip, 1993

Jeppson, Patrice L. “Leveling the Playing Field” in The Heritage Reader, 2003, ed. Graham Fairclough (New York: Taylor & Francis Ltd., 2011), 482. Life Magazine. Monument is built for 1,000 years. 16 January 1950. 24-25. Mandela, Nelson. Constitutional Court design competition announcement. City of Johannesburg, 2004. Mandela, Nelson. Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela. Boston: Back Bay, 1995. Matshikiza, John. “Instant City,” in Public Culture 16(3), 2004. Mbebe, Achille. Aesthetics of Superfluity. Duke University Press, 2004. Rankin, Elizabeth. “Creating/Curating Cultural Capital: Monuments and Museums for Post-Apartheid South Africa." Humanities 2, no. 1: 72-98, 2013. Tunbridge, John E. “Whose heritage to preserve: cross-cultural reflections on political dominance and urban heritage conservation,” in The Heritage Reader 2008, 240. ed. Graham Fairclough. New York: Taylor & Francis Ltd., 2011. University of the Witwatersrand. Wits University archival image collection: http://


Engagement Advice for


Larissa Klevan

With the announcement that Mantua will be one of President Obama's Promise Zones, planners have a challenging opportunity to unite the community as it takes advantage of the new initiative's resources. But, what makes up a community, and what's the best way to engage such a community? Author Larissa Klevan explores the definition of community and recommends best practices for community negotiations. By following this advice, Mantua planners and residents can serve as a model community for the Promise Zone initiative.


PAN O R AMA 2014

On January 9th, 2014 President Obama made an announcement that has the potential to positively alter the future of the Mantua neighborhood in West Philadelphia and help set the future direction of federal policy. Mantua has been selected as one of the first five Promise Zones, an initiative that implements strategies within specific geographic areas to create partnerships with the local community to “create jobs, increase economic security, expand educational opportunities, increase access to quality, affordable housing and improve public safety” (Office of the Press Secretary 2014). The key to the Promise Zone Initiative is creating strong partnerships within the zones themselves. Unfortunately, the same circumstances that make Mantua appropriate for the Promise Zone Initiative also have the potential to limit the opportunity for those relationships to be as effective and beneficial as possible. Danielle Allen’s Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown v. Board of Education provides a powerful foundation from which planners, particularly those who will spearhead the upcoming work in Mantua, can expand current ideas of citizenship, build trust in the communities in which they work, and help to engender a culture of willingness to sacrifice for others. The “We Are Mantua! Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, Mantua Transformation Plan” report released in 2013 highlighted many of the neighborhood’s issues such as a declining population, poverty, lack of educational attainment, a variety of safety and crime problems, and a prevalence of vacancy. The plan states that a “… number of organizations … have stepped in over the years to fill gaps of services and opportunities otherwise not available to residents,” implicitly asserting that the public sector has not properly served their community (Kitchen & Associates 2013). Philadelphia’s history of urban renewal is a critical aspect defining the current relationship between the Mantua community and city officials. The legacy of 1960s urban renewal, memories of displacement, and racial tension still permeate the neighborhood’s character and mindset. Collectively, each of these elements has helped create distrust within the community that could potentially derail the Promise Zone Initiative. The Promise Zone Initiative provides an opportunity for Mantua and similar communities to work on rebuilding relationships. Danielle Allen’s work lays out a framework within which communities of all kinds can work to combat preexisting problems. Allen’s work originates from a study of interracial relationships, particularly in the time period following the Brown v. Board of Education decision. Her work highlights how distrust can affect the development of policy and its implementation. While Allen’s work is not about city planning per se, it contains lessons that would be wise for planning practitioners to incorporate into their work in order to make planning efforts, including the Promise Zone Initiative, more robust, inclusive, and effective.

The Promise Zone has the potential to take advantage of many existing assets.

REDEFINING CITIZENSHIP One of the key aspects of a planning process is determining who is considered the affected community and identifying key stakeholders. Allen’s work challenges how we define the concept of community by examining the elements that constitute citizenship. Allen begins her analysis by identifying democratic myths that should be debunked. One of the key myths that she highlights is the idea that “Citizenship consists primarily of duties (like voting, paying taxes, and serving on juries or in the military) to institutions that protect citizens’ rights” (Allen, 2004). In fact, as Allen argues, citizenship is actually comprised of much more than duties performed. Allen elaborates that citizenship also includes the social rules that guide our interactions with one another, both spoken and unspoken. Therefore, it is the relationships established between residents that make each of them citizens of a community. Allen’s definition of citizenship allows a wide breadth of individuals to be considered part of a community, no matter what issue is at stake. In regards to planning, encouraging a planner to use a more expansive definition of the community they serve can be extremely beneficial. Engaging more individuals not only provides the opportunity to more effectively analyze the existing conditions of an area but also to create more tactical recommendations and implementation strategies. The more people and perspectives engaged the more well-rounded and informed an analysis can be. While a planner brings powerful and worthwhile expertise to a situation, any implementation strategy can only be as effective as


Stretches of the Lancaster Avenue Commercial Corridor are doing well. However, not all of the Corridor is as healthy.

the understanding of the issues at hand. Therefore, the information and local expertise that other members of the community provide become as important as the professional knowledge. There are two additional benefits of using a broader definition of who constitutes the citizens of a community of which planners should be aware. One of the most challenging aspects of a planning process is completing the implementation of the plan, and the earlier the parties that will be responsible for implementation are included, the more likely the implementation is to occur. Their inclusion in the process builds their personal investment in the proposed implementation and a desire to see their work come to fruition. Their knowledge can also be extremely useful in helping to temper any overly ambitious recommendations. Additionally, engaging citizens in the planning process allows both for asset development and for existing assets to be exercised and further developed. John Kretzman and John McKnight highlight the benefits of that process, especially for communities and residents that are traditionally marginalized. They write, “In a community whose assets are being fully recognized and mobilized, these people too will be part of the action, not as clients or recipients of aid, but as full contributors to the community-building process” (Kretzman & McKnight 1993). By engaging with existing assets and continuing to develop them, Kretzman and McKnight emphasize a planning philosophy that is internally focused on the community and community-led rather than heavily reliant on outside assistance. While they do not deny that some additional assistance will likely be needed in the planning process, their philosophy allows residents to take a prominent role in planning their own neighborhood, developing additional skills, and taking advantage of their local expertise. This role is particularly relevant to successful implementation of the


PAN O R AMA 2014

Promise Zone Initiative. Each of the designated areas will receive intensive federal aid ranging from being given priority for other federal assistance to funding for five AmeriCorps Vista members. This level of assistance will not permanently be allocated to the Mantua community; therefore, the local community must use this opportunity to implement programming, strategies and policies that will still be successful and self-perpetuating once federal aid runs out.

IDENTITY FORMATION Allen also speaks to the formation of group identity, particularly in regards to the relationship between the majority and the minority. She discusses how group identity is defined by the presence of the other; being a member of the majority is defined as not being a member of the minority and vice versa, especially in the political arena. She states that the majority “…depends on the visible apartness of minority citizens, and it takes work to keep a set of citizens apart so that they see themselves, over the long term, as a unified, oppositional group” (Allen, 2004). Group identify can generate group cohesion and strong relationships, but it can also limit interaction between citizens as individuals focus on maintaining their group identity rather than forming new relationships. Applying Allen’s definition of citizenship requires both groups to recognize that while part of their individual identity relies on their group identity, they are all citizens of a larger community. While Allen’s definition of community doesn’t inherently have a geographic distinction such as a neighborhood, the definition can be applied in that way. If the idea of common membership within the same general community, and therefore common goals, can be acknowledged, it becomes counterproductive to rely on the majority/

minority dichotomy. This fact becomes especially true when abiding by the Kretzman and McKnight philosophy of community asset development. When the community splits itself, the ability to develop internal assets is even further limited, particularly when those who already are lacking have even less access to those who may be able to help develop much needed assets. Regardless of which planning model is used, when division is present within a community it is more challenging to reach consensus and it can cause inter-community competition as to what the future of the community should be, how that should be accomplished, and how resources should be allocated. The Promise Zone Initiative team must be conscious of how the defined boundary impacts the neighborhood; likewise, it must be particularly aware of ensuring that all residents’ voices are heard throughout the process and that the implementation positively impacts as many residents as possible. Planners must also be vigilant of the fact that even though the zone has a geographic boundary, implementation should be thought of as something that can spur change in a greater geographic area and can set an example of how to incorporate many perspectives into the planning process.

WHEN SHOULD A SACRIFICE BE MADE? Allen’s view of citizenship and community does not discredit the idea that as the result of certain decisions, some within a society will benefit more than others. She writes, “An honest account of collective democratic action must begin by acknowledging that communal decisions inevitably benefit some citizens at the expense of others, even when the whole community generally benefits” (Allen 2004). However, she does not frame that situation as having winners and losers. Rather, her model of a community is based on sacrifice and trust. Her philosophy is rooted in the relationships that every individual has with one another and the decisions that each person makes as a community member. What becomes the focus of Allen’s model is the type of sacrifice made and the expectations placed on all members to be prepared to sacrifice for the community at some point as opposed to expecting that the same individuals will repeatedly be the ones to make sacrifices. She notes, “Properly undertaken – with foreknowledge, consent, and the prospect of honor – a democratic sacrifice opens a covenant so that those who benefit from a sacrifice see themselves as recipients of a gift that they must not only honor but also reciprocate” (Allen, 2004). While there are beneficiaries and those who sacrifice, the expectation is that those groups are fluid and constantly changing depending on the issue at hand. In order for Allen’s model to become a reality, all members of the community must be aware of the current state of their relationships and more importantly acknowledge their membership within the community. What distinguishes Allen’s framework from a community being split into winners and losers is an awareness of the effects of one’s decisions and a gratefulness not only for those who have made sacrifices so that you may benefit, but also an awareness that in times of sacrifice, others are appreciative of the sacrifice you are making and are willing, in turn, to sacrifice for you.

Not only does Allen’s model make specific recommendations about the relationship between those who are making the sacrifice and those who benefit from the sacrifice, but it also suggests parameters to help determine when a sacrifice should be made. Allen distinguishes between a legitimate sacrifice and an illegitimate sacrifice by identifying specific criteria. In order for a sacrifice to be legitimate it must be “made voluntarily and knowingly,” there must be an “agreement to honor the voluntary sacrifice,” and there must be “equality of sacrifice,” meaning that no party experiences or is expected to shoulder an unequal amount of sacrifice (Allen 2004). For any sacrifice to be made within a community and for them to all be legitimate sacrifices, an immense amount of trust must also be included within the system. There is no reason why anyone would make a sacrifice of any kind if they did not trust that someone else would be willing to make one for them in the future.

CULTIVATING TRUST AS A SPEAKER Allen suggests a series of recommendations for both the speaker and the listener to cultivate trust within their community. In regards to the speaker, Allen recommends they “‘separate the people from the problem’ by (i) developing external standards and universal principles for assessing problems and (ii) recognizing that dealing with the people means engaging with specific features of their subjective situation” (Allen, 2004). The first aspect speaks to the need to develop a rubric upon which the success of a suggested implementation tool can be judged. For instance, a program’s goal may be to increase the number of trees planted or to boost home values in a specific geographic area. For both of these programs, the intended impact is easily quantifiable and measureable. However, outcomes are not always easily quantified, especially with planning initiatives. Consider the 2012

Make Your Mark! Lower Lancaster

Revitalization Plan, which covers a territory in the northeast portion of West Philadelphia/University City that includes Mantua. One of the main priorities identified in the plan is “A Better Quality of Life.” While the plan deserves credit for its implementation approach, it also highlights an issue with which plans and planners continue to struggle. One of the objectives that the plan emphasizes is to “establish guidelines for a harmonious rental/ home ownership relationship” (Interface Studio & V. Lamar Wilson Associates 2012). It is unlikely that anyone after reading the plan would disagree that the relationship between renters and homeowners needs additional attention. However, creating measurable standards for this type of implementation is very challenging. While Allen’s criteria for trust generation may be satisfied by guidelines for how to create this kind of harmonious relationship, those involved with the Promise Zone must hold themselves to a higher standard, especially since the Mark Your Mark! plan presents such a strong framework within which they can operate.


While additional refinement of some implementation strategies may be needed, overall the Make Your Mark! plan provides a quality framework under which the Promise Zone Initiative can begin its work. The stated focus areas for the Promise Zone Initiative are job creation, quality education and crime reduction (Office of the Press Secretary 2014). By proposing implementation approaches that have already been publically vetted, the Make Your Mark! plan gives Mantua an advantage, as the planning process has already begun. The Promise Zone has the opportunity to expand on this work and continue the relationship building and trust generation that has been solidified through these previous planning efforts. The second aspect of Allen’s recommendation by which a speaker can develop trust is also particularly significant for planners. Every planning effort involves many different types of stakeholders and the challenge a planner faces is helping each group identify their individual goals and creating an implementable strategy. It is likely that each type of stakeholder will have differing goals and that even within a stakeholder group there will be a variety of opinions and expectations expressed. Allen’s recommendation encourages the speaker to be conscious of the audience with whom he or she is interacting, which is critical for planners. Xavier de Souza Briggs highlights examples of the challenges that have occurred when “ planners and residents did not speak the same language

[emphasis in original] or understand each other’s policies, and also because planners did not use their roles as information brokers or ‘organizers of public attention’ ” (1998). The responsibility to communicate with different audiences lies with the planner and, therefore, it is planners who must be conscious of the language choices that they make and ensure that their message is understood. de Souza Briggs speaks to the benefits of being able to “code switch,” or as Allen suggests, understand the subjectivity in each situation.

CULTIVATING TRUST AS A LISTENER Allen also recommends strategies for the listener to develop trust in their relationships. From Allen’s perspective, each member of the citizenry and, therefore, each participant in a conversation have a responsibility to be actively engaged and participate in building trust within their community. One strategy that Allen highlights for listeners is that they should consider whether the speaker spoke as a friend (Allen, 2004). Allen is referring to a specific definition of friendship in which, “friendship is not an emotion, but a practice, a set of hard-won, complicated habits that are used to bridge trouble, difficulty, and differences of personality, experience and aspiration” (2004). The practice of friendship is the root of all relationships within a community and, as such, if an individual speaks as a friend it is an indicator that he or she follows the same social standards regarding sacrifice as the listener. As a planner it is crucial to understand how those who you are speaking to perceive you and work to develop your relationship with them so that you are seen as a friend. de Souza Briggs also discusses the presence of ‘hidden


PAN O R AMA 2014

transcripts’ of an interaction that only become apparent when the power shifts within a relationship (1998). If it is a power shift in the relationship that allows hidden transcripts to be displayed then an understanding of the power dynamics in a relationship become a concern to both the listener and speaker as it is in both of their best interests for the hidden transcript to be revealed. However, the power shift that allows for additional information to be accessed within the relationship relies on the listener being able to trust the speaker and share his or her true thoughts. If that is the case, it is vital that the listener view the speaker as a friend. Planners must recognize that in most situations they are both listeners and speakers. Therefore, they must work to build trust from the viewpoint of both roles and understand the various roles they play within a community.

HOW TO ADDRESS EXISTING DISTRUST Not only does Allen address the need within a community to build trust, but she also speaks to the fact that any existing distrust must be addressed prior to trust building. When beginning work in a community, planners must be aware of the history that has preceded them, particularly in terms of the relationship that the community has had with their agency or previous planners. Julie Guthman speaks directly to this point in her discussion of efforts to encourage minority participation in the alternative food movement. Guthman highlights how different communities have reacted to the history of agriculture in the United States. For some, cultivating agricultural skills connects them to the past and perhaps a time that is seen as simpler and that image may be used to encourage others to participate in the alternative food movement. However, “For African Americans, especially, putting your hands in the soil is more likely to invoke images of slave labor than nostalgia. Such rhetoric thus illustrates a lack of cultural competency that might be deemed an exclusionary practice” (Guthman, 2011). Planners need to be aware of the potential responses to the strategies and implementation tools that they propose. They must be conscious that even if a reaction is based on a message that was not intended, it can still have a great impact on the relationship between the community and the planner. Allen identifies two types of distrust within the political world that can exist within a planner’s relationship with community members. The first is distrust that originates from the instability created due to our inability to predict the future (Allen, 2004). When the future is unclear, people become focused on making sure their needs are met as soon as possible since they do not trust that they will be adequately met in the future. As every individual works to meet his or her own needs, communal and long-term goals are disregarded. Planners play a key role in helping communities balance both shortterm and long-term goals, as well as incorporating the needs of a localized area with those of a larger geographic scale. Planners must use their expertise to help a community and its citizens see beyond their immediate needs to consider how their actions affect others and the future vitality of their community. While planners are working

to engender trust between different members of the community, they cannot forget their dual listener and speaker role. Planners must also agree to work within the same rules that are expected of the other members of the community, including those related to sacrifice, and must always be aware of how any necessary sacrifices are distributed within a community to ensure that no party is expected to handle an unfair share.


The second type of distrust that Allen discusses is interpersonal distrust, meaning distrust that exists between members of a community (Allen, 2004). This type of distrust is much more challenging for a planner to address. In fact, some may argue that it is outside the scope of a planner’s responsibility. It is quite a large task to ask planners to both complete their professional duties and help create trust within the community. However, one must question whether a planner can adequately complete their work if the members of the community do not have a trusting relationship.

Interface Studio & V. Lamar Wilson Associates. Make Your Mark! Lower Lancaster Revitalization Plan. Philadelphia, June 2012.

Allen argues that one of the most effective tools that we have to combat preexisting distrust is through the language that we use, echoing de Souza Briggs’ argument about the benefits of code switching. Allen posits, “Language equips us with three distinctive capacities for meeting the challenges of distrust. They are our capacities (1) to make logical arguments, (2) to convey character, and (3) to engage the emotions of our audience” (Allen 2004). A planner has the opportunity to use each of these language tools when interacting with community members and to encourage citizens to incorporate them when they communicate with each other. Whether or not distrust exists within a community, it is important to be reminded of the power of language. One’s language communicates much more to the person with whom they are speaking beyond simply their word choice. One’s tone and body language also send strong messages.

Allen, Danielle. Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown v. Board of Education. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2004. Guthman, Julie. "'If They Only Knew': The Unbearable Whiteness of Alternative Food." Eds. Alison Hope Alkon & Julian Agyeman. In Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class and Sustainability (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2011).

Kitchen & Associates. “We are Mantua!” Choice Neighborhoods Initiative Mantua Transformation Plan. Philadelphia, June 29, 2013. Kretzman, John and John McKnight. Building Cities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community’s Assets. Evanston, Illinois: Institute for Policy Research, 1993. Office of the Press Secretary. “Fact Sheet: President Obama’s Promise Zone Initiative.” The White House. January 8, 2014. Souza Briggs, Xavier de. Doing Democracy Up-Close: Culture, Power and Communication in Community Building. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 18: 1, 1998. Starr, Kevin & Laura Hattendorf. "Real World Impact Measurement. " Stanford Social Innovation Review, 10th Anniversary, September 24, 2012.

CONCLUSION There is one complication in Allen’s argument that would have been helpful had it been explored further in her work. In order for Allen’s view of citizenship and democracy to become inherent within a community, the societal rules that she discusses must be accepted by everyone. She identifies how to build trust and create a stronger citizenry, but only if everyone agrees to operate by the same set of rules. The work of the Mantua Promise Zone Initiative provides an opportunity for these tenets to be debated by both residents in the neighborhood and the planning profession to determine how and if they should be applied. However, even if they are not adopted in full, there is still much that planners can learn and incorporate into their work. Of highest importance for planners is working to build trust within the communities in which they work, both between community members and between planners and the community members. By demonstrating that one is both trustworthy and willing to operate under the same tenets of legitimate sacrifice, planners can be part of creating a guiding work that will be more effective, well-rounded and worthy of implementation.

No single housing style defines the Promise Zone. There are a varying designs and densities throughout the Zone.


What’s the Problem with Gentrification? Amanda Mazie

Gentrification. The word offends some and excites others. Academics try to define and measure it. The popular press tries to humanize it. The one thing that is certain is that it is going on and will have serious implications for planning. Amanda Mazie looks at how gentrification is defined, measured, and portrayed in academic journals, the mainstream press, and intermediate media forms. She questions the methods of these studies and their recommendations for cities and their residents. Mazie pinpoints the trends that permeate these different types of media and shows how many researchers attempt to debunk gentrification’s myths, while many in the popular press use this hot-button issue to create controversy to sell their work. 16

PAN O R AMA 2014

In the past decade, a powerful debate in academia

and the popular press has defined the way the public views the topic of gentrification. Academia attempts to quantify the process with dates and numbers, while the popular press sheds light on the sentiments of neighborhood change seen by long-time residents and city officials. The following article attempts to reconcile this difference and answer the question: how does each field define the process of gentrification? Sociologist Ruth Glass first used the term ‘gentrification’ in 1964 to describe the invasion of working class neighborhoods by the wealthy gentry. Two principal schools of thought exist in academia explaining why gentrification takes place: production or supply-side theory vs. consumption or demand-side theory. Production or supply-side theory is based on the rent-gap theory, in which developers perceive inequality between the price of the land at its current use and its potential price under highest and best use. Land and property markets are the primary factors in gentrification (Smith, 540). Consumption or demand-side theory emphasizes the characteristics of gentrifiers who place a higher value on commuting time and aspire to have some amenities offered by proximity to the inner city. This new class of gentrifiers is classified as a new type of middle class with cultural and residential values that emphasize accessibility (Butler and Hamnett, 40). The debate over gentrification also rages in popular culture. The mainstream and editorial press publish articles that emphasize and exaggerate the effects of gentrification in daily life. A newspaper or magazine is more likely to sway public opinion than an academic publication. Newspaper or magazine articles often cite relevant academic studies to support stories about fast moving neighborhood change intermixed with first-hand accounts of residents. These stories can contain strong biases depending on who is quoted. Often, the news media only offer a watered down version of academic journal articles and obscure many of the facts in an attempt to commercialize and exaggerate the story of gentrification in order to sell the story.

ACADEMIA Many researchers in academia strive to understand why gentrification occurs and to quantify the process. Popular among gentrification theorists is the demand-side theory fueled by young, professional, middle-class, and childless people changing their lifestyle. Professionals cite recent trends toward having fewer children and delaying marriage as result of the shifting American dream from a preference of a suburban home to a more urban one. A 2013 survey by the American Institute of Architects of 500 design firms revealed a new preference of clients aimed at urban living and projects near transit supports this demandside philosophy (Baker, 4). Another theory is often called supply-side theory. The cost of land in urban areas is rising and therefore the trend towards infill development and rehabilitation of existing properties is much more popular. The Urban Land Institute’s 2013 Emerging Trends in Real Estate publication recommends concentrating acquisitions on “infill locations and the surfeit of obsolescent properties” (16). Overall, there is an emphasis on changing consumer preference. Neil Smith defines this trend as a “back to the city movement” (539).

THE DEFINITION OF DISPLACEMENT In academia, researchers attempt to first define the exact process of gentrification. Ingrid Gould Ellen and Katherine O’Regan reflect internally upon the literature of gentrification. They state that scholars either aim explicitly to tackle exact numbers of gentrification or focus on neighborhood economic gains more broadly (Ellen and O’Regan, 2012, 371-387). The definitions of neighborhood change, as defined by scholars, vary in three ways. The first is whether change is driven by the in-movement of higher income households. The second distinction is the extent to which the lower income residents are displaced or pushed out by neighborhood change. The third point is that some scholars assume gentrification involves change in the racial or ethnic character of the population as largely white households move into minority neighborhoods. Andrew C. Helms quantifies the process in terms of renovation characteristics (2003, 474 – 498). He postulates that gentrification is a continual circulation process of twenty-year-olds coming into the city, thirty-year-olds moving to the suburbs to have children, and then a return of the empty nesters who return and stay throughout the second childless phase of their lives (Helms, 2003, 475). The city benefits from this cycle in terms of housing upgrades. Although the thirty-year-olds move away, the physical improvements made to their residences remain. Empty nesters also tend to make upgrading investments to their new houses in the city. These upgrades transform neighborhoods, physically and demographically. Therefore, based on this theory, Helms identifies common characteristics that need to be present in a neighborhood for gentrification to take place. He states that these areas must be close to central business districts, convenient to mass transit, and far away from highways, public housing, and other disamenities. The most significant variables and predictors that a homeowner will improve his or her property are the buildings age and square footage. Helms’ study concludes that pre-1900s, low-density houses in older, moderate-density neighborhoods are most likely to be renovated. Lance Freeman defines the gentrification process as one by which decline and disinvestment in inner city neighborhoods are reversed. He lists the common characteristics of neighborhoods with potential for gentrification: (1) central city neighborhoods, (2) populated by lowincome households, (3) previously experienced disinvestment, (4) influx of the relatively affluent or gentry, and (5) an increase in investment. For the purpose of his study, he cities five criteria that must be initially present at the beginning of the Census period in order for a neighborhood to be considered gentrifying (Freeman, 1): 1. Be located in the central city at the beginning of the intercensal period 2. H ave a median income less than the median (40th percentile) for that metropolitan area at the beginning of the intercensal period 3. H ave a proportion of housing built within the last twenty years lower than the proportion found at the median (40th percentile) for the respective metropolitan area 4. H ave a percentage increase in educational attainment greater than the median increase in educational attainment for that metropolitan area. 5. Have an increase in real housing prices during the intercensal period.


Freeman identifies neighborhoods meeting the first three criteria as being flagged as potentially gentrifying and those that meet all five considered already gentrifying. His results suggest that displacement and higher mobility play minor roles as forces of change in gentrifying neighborhoods. Overall, there is consensus that gentrification is the process by which higher income residents displace lower income households. The studies undertaken by academic researchers attempt to quantify this change in numerical terms and spatial indicators, however these tend to be ultimately inconclusive. Researchers measure displacement by studying disinvestment trends and high historic character neighborhoods that attracting higher income residents who gradually improve the neighborhood, but do not come to any conclusion about methods to measure physical resident displacement.

HOW TO MEASURE DISPLACEMENT Following the creation of the term gentrification by Ruth Glass in 1964, the concept has prompted a wide range of investigation to prove its existence. Academic research studies strive to answer the question: is there displacement of low-income residents as a result of gentrification? Studies seek to methodically and numerically quantify the displacement of residents by looking at the characteristics of residents currently residing in gentrifying neighborhoods and characteristics of residents moving into or out of these areas. A 2002 study by Jacob L. Vigdor compares poorer and less educated residents in gentrifying and non-gentrifying areas of Boston, Massachusetts (277-289). The study analyzed characteristics of residents experiencing displacement, employing a regression analysis to test whether low-income and less educated households are more likely to exit gentrifying zones relative to other areas of Boston. Vigdor analyzed data about income level, tenure status, whether the unit is subsidized, existence of rent control, and whether the unit is part of a housing complex. His study revealed that there was not a higher exit rate for poor households living in a gentrified neighborhood and therefore disproves the theory of displacement in that particular case. Andrew C. Helms defines the gentrification process in terms of housing upgrades residents make to their homes. His 2003 study uses the Chicago Property Information Database to analyze data on basic structural characteristics of every residential building in the city (Helms, 474 – 498). Helms uses the 1995 data of 435,534 buildings with unique addresses to characterize the physical and demographic attributes of each neighborhood based on seventeen variables. The results show that the age, number of dwelling units, and number of stories are the most significant predictors of renovation. Helms concludes that overall lowdensity houses in older, moderate-density neighborhoods are the most likely to be renovated. Accessibility to the central business district matters and improvement is more likely in areas that are close to downtown and well served by mass transit. In addition, housing vacancy does not deter renovation, yet nearby public housing projects discourages investment. Neighborhood amenities, including city parks and bodies of water, encourage renovation activity. Helms study lacks any analysis of personal characteristics of residents and instead only focuses on character defining features found in neighborhoods already experiencing gentrification.


PAN O R AMA 2014

Lance Freeman and Frank Braconi 2004 study hypothesizes that higher mobility rates would be observed among disadvantaged households residing in gentrifying neighborhoods than elsewhere in New York City (463-491). This study used a new approach analyzing characteristics of residents moving into the gentrifying neighborhoods. Freeman and Braconi used two approaches to assess the degree of displacement in New York City during the 1990s. They examined the characteristics of in-movers and out-movers and surveys that asked residents why they moved from a former residence. Their results, contrary to their prediction, showed lower rates of mobility among poor and less educated in gentrifying neighborhoods. Therefore, they conclude that gentrification does not cause the displacement of low-income households, however they are affected indirectly as the supply of low rent houses is reduced by the arrival of the middle class. The Newman and Wyly study in 2009 focuses on the quantitative evaluation of displacement in New York City and its change over the past decade (23-57). They seek to disprove the long-held theory that the gentrification process causes little or no displacement, and that its benefits far outweigh the costs to a neighborhood. Newman and Wyly’s study draws data from the New York City Housing and Vacancy survey that provides information pertaining to demographic characteristics, employment, housing conditions, and the primary reason for relocation. The data showed that the displacement rates of renters fluctuated from 6.2% to 9.9% and the majority of the surveyors were forced to move by cost considerations. Newman and Wyly therefore conclude that this displacement should not be dismissed as insignificant, and the low figures should not support the argument that displacement is not a problem. The Newman and Wyly conclusion glaringly contradicts the previous one by Freeman and Braconi undertaken only five years earlier, and illustrates inconsistencies among academics. McKinnish, Walsh and White disprove the theory that the gentrification of the 1990s was harmful to minority households (180-193). They state that a key purpose of their analysis is to determine whether the demographic processes of neighborhood gentrification are consistent with the story of displacement and whether it harms low-income and minority families. They analyzed the characteristics of households moving in, moving out, and staying in the neighborhoods. They found that neighborhood gentrification is associated with in-migration of white college graduates under forty without children. However, there was not a disproportionate out-migration of low education or minority households. On average, the results indicated demographic flows associated with the gentrification of urban neighborhoods did not result in harm to minority households (McKinnish, Walsh and White, 2). McKinnish, Walsh, and White conclude that gentrification of predominately black neighborhoods creates neighborhoods attractive to middle-class blacks. These results are consistent with the authors’ beliefs that gentrifying neighborhoods are not becoming unavailable to lowerskilled minorities. Therefore, they state that contrary to popular belief, minorities and poorer residents do not suffer as a result of gentrification, again contradicting previous academic studies. The academic variations make for difficult comparisons between numerical evidence and inconclusive decisions about supporting one theory over another. The results are contradicting and inadequate. Difficulties in measurement start with the methods used to record displacement and extend to conclusions based on only numbers..

Additionally, surveyed residents may be biased in their answers and overemphasize the problem of displacement due to anger. To date, no comprehensive method of measuring displacement has been determined and therefore there is no evidence to support the theory of displacement of the poor through gentrification.

POPULAR PRESS In order to understand the popular press’ view on gentrification, I looked at the issue from the perspectives of the mainstream press versus the editorial and blog standpoint. Using the standard of selecting mainstream press articles that were published on the front page of a magazine or newspaper, I determined a difference between published mainstream and editorial articles. I considered smaller, online news sources, and blogs as editorial press and more indicative of the general public. By contrasting the two viewpoints, I will judge the degree to which the debates are in agreement and the implication on a public understanding of gentrification.

MAINSTREAM PRESS The presence of negative press and the debate on the effects of gentrification is evident in a 1982 front-page article of The Wall Street Journal proclaiming “Urban Uplift, Youthful Professionals Without Any Children Transform City Areas.” The sub heading reads, “New York’s Upper West Side gets glittery new shops – and doubling of rents, a flophouse’s gentrification.” According to the article, decades ago, young professionals moved straight to the suburbs after they married to have children. Arthur Young, chief of the U.S. Census Bureau, is quoted saying that the new shift causes the poor and middle class to be driven out of the new, popular areas. He associates gentrification with the unpopular population trends of delaying marriage and persons living alone. The article intends to scare the reader by citing figures

of nine percent unmarried women between the ages of twenty-five to twenty-nine and an incline of twenty-three percent in the number of couples without children living in the city. The author explains that these people “couldn’t rent an apartment and have a family at the same time … [because] kids are too expensive,” to enforce the calamity of new personal value shifts (Blum, 1982, Cover Page). Many additional interviews with current affluent residents of Columbia Avenue in New York City are quoted saying the cheap shops are gone, all replaced by new boutiques catering to the young and childless. The author writes that the older residents have begun to fear the permanence of the trend. The Wall Street Journal article blames shifts in living style and personal preference for the upgrading and negative gentrification consequences in a New York City neighborhood. The author references several academic sources to confirm his points and informs his theory that these new trends will only bring harm to the current urban areas. He used gentrification as a dirty word and associates it with the breakdown of traditional normal family life. The article has a negative voice and looks down on childless residents who dare to overstay their time in urban neighborhoods. The article concludes with a negative sentiment about a young, unmarried woman with no plans to have children and that “as long as she and others like her remain, the changes will no doubt continue” (Blum, 1982, Cover Page). The conclusion highlights the initial fear of change that accompanied gentrification and intends to shock readers. Five years later, on November 23, 1987, TIME magazine published cover art showing a city block with half renovated and half derelict row homes. The cover reads “Bringing the City Back to Life” with an article inside titled “Spiffing Up The Urban Heritage After Years of Neglect, American Lavish Love and Sweat on Old Downtowns.” The article frames the new trend of urban revitalization of previously crumbling inner city neighborhoods from a historic preservation point of view. The authors’ claims that the days of urban renewal and blight clearance are long gone: The change has been so complete that it is difficult today to remember how recently people were blithely ripping out and throwing away the warp and woof of America’s cities… I’m astonished at what a complete turnabout there has been in the whole climate of public opinion (Anderson, Levy and Reingold, 1987, 72). They are referring to the new historic preservation movement that recently had swept through American cities and saved architectural landmarks such as Louis Sullivan’s 1895 Guaranty Building in Buffalo and the Peabody hotel in Memphis. The public was rushing to preserve downtowns that have been rediscovered as places to live and work. However, the article soon turns to the dark side of preservation and its “self-destructive cycle” claiming the process “attracts mobs of merely stylish followers who diminish the diversity and sweep away every last speck of grit” (Anderson, Levy and Reingold, 1987, 76). This quote comes from an interview of a resident in Chicago who claims that gentrification is not fun for everyone and can easily go too far. The tone of the TIME magazine article presents a mixed review of gentrification and indicates little understanding on how to measure the resulting effects.

The Wall Street Journal called out Manhattan’s Upper West Side in 1982 as a hotbed for gentrification.

“Gentrification Changing Face of New Atlanta” announces a story on the cover of The New York Times on March 11, 2006. The sub header reads “Historic Black Share of Population Declines.” The


core stance of this cover page article is to express the negative effects gentrification has had on he black population of Atlanta, which has long served as a symbol of black success (Dewan, 2006, Cover Page, A12). Although gentrification has brought an expanded tax base and has reduced blight, its unintended consequences have been a decline in black population. According to the unnamed demographer cited in the article, there is a shift, driven by class and an increase in per capita income, for affluent white residents to move into the city center. Residents are cited saying they fear the consequences for the politics of the city, which is dominated by black politicians. More unnamed critics are also quoted as criticizing the Mayor of Atlanta for not doing more to keep Atlanta affordable for poor blacks as property taxes increase and many residents sell out to developers. The article includes charts and tables expressing the shrinking black majority with numbers ranging from 67% black residents in Atlanta in 1991 dropping to 54% in 2004. Once again, gentrification is written in a negative light and blamed for pushing out the low-income poor residents. The gentrifiers are

The City of Portland, Oregon, made efforts to address racial tension stemming from perceived gentrification following publication of first-person accounts.

described as “affluent, who are mostly white” and the author refers to gentrification with a negative tone. Racial tensions again capture the front-page news in May 29th, 2008, when an article from the Portland Journal appeared in The New York Times titled “Change in a Progressive City Spurs Racial Shift, and Talks.” In Portland, Oregon, gentrification is described as changing the face of the city. The author defines the movement as one that “increases housing prices and tension, sometimes has racial overtones and can seem like a dirty word.” (Yardly, 2008, Cover Page) Portland’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement, a city department, encouraged its black and white residents to talk about the gentrification process and its effects. One of the project’s leaders is quoted saying, “whites need to make the commitment to say that the harm stops with us.” The author states that this indicates the sentiment that whites need to appeal to the city to help black businesses or complain to the owners of the companies that put flyers on the doors of black residents encouraging them to sell. The New York Times article continues by citing several


PAN O R AMA 2014

interviews with black residents of Portland who claim that they do not recognize their neighborhood anymore. All the black residents have been forced out and residents do not feel as though they are the preferred demographic. Some blacks have left by choice and others have bought and sold property to their benefit. The author combats this claim by repeating that neighborhoods can change for many reasons. No academic journals are cited in this article and only first person interviews with residents living in the area are used at the basis for the opinion. Therefore, it is difficult for the reader to conclude whether the article is strictly prejudice or if the claims have foundation. In the Sunday edition on July 21, 2001, The Washington Post ran, “Gentrification in Overdrive on 14th Street.” The tone of the author is light, airy, and optimistic about the gentrification changes and lauds developers for investing well. He writes about the exciting transformation from “streetwalkers and used car lots to luxury apartment dwellers and wine bars” (Shin, 2001, Cover Page). The author blamed the recession as the catalyst of change for 14th Street NW. The formerly riot and crime ridden corridor has become the location of more than 1,200 condos and 100,000 square feet of retail in the preceding nine months. The population had been given the designation of densest area in the city and Harriet Tregoning, director of the D.C. Office of Planning proclaimed that the change was fascinating and wonderful for the city. The author attributes the start of the revitalization to a Whole Foods, which opened in the area after a successful community lobbying effort. The Washington Post article concludes with interviews of current, concerned residents giving mixed reviews about the new influx of business and attention. Overall, the article is overwhelmingly optimistic and takes a very positive outlook on the new development. It contrasts previously discussed articles that only portray gentrification in a negative light. The Wall Street Journal ran a cover story on August 14, 2013, that reports fears about future gentrification. The article begins with a story about a real estate investment company in Oakland, California, that pays for upgrades of homes on that same block as many they own to increase the value of the whole neighborhood (Whelan, 2013, Cover Page). It is used as an example that demonstrates a view that scholars have recently held that the current gentrification process is moving faster than in the past. According to Ingrid Gould Ellen, the co-director of New York University’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, investors have been accelerating the process by purchasing many homes simultaneously. Derek Hyra, a Virginia Tech professor, is quoted as agreeing saying the process has accelerated in late 2009 and early 2010 due partially to rising number of foreclosures. Many more statistics and reports are quoted telling the story of a soaring housing market in Oakland, California. This Wall Street Journal article attempts to place residents on the defense and urges them to protect themselves from greedy developers. The mainstream press’s definition of gentrification relates to the demand and supply-side theories from academia. Published articles cite the root cause to be either greedy developers or the change in lifestyle behavior of young professionals and childless couples. The dialogue overall speaks from a negative view of gentrification as an invasive force changing the landscape of a neighborhood for the worse.

EDITORIAL PRESS In order to understand the expansive topic of gentrification in the editorial press, I began by looking at online editorial articles that address the topic. Gentrification has largely been known to popular culture as a dirty word casting gentrifiers as rich, white and selfish professionals. Contrasting academic articles, which often conclude that gentrification does not harm the poor or cause widespread displacement, the editorial press writes about the topic reflecting adverse and mixed emotions about the process. The article titled “Why We Struggle to Take about Gentrification” published on Next City, tackles the complex question of displacement and attempts to frame the academic squabble over the issue of gentrification (Mclaren, 2012). Christine Mclaren is critical of the ambiguous views in academia. In the author’ view, academics fixate too greatly on studying how to define the process and who is doing the gentrifying. Mclaren states that there is very little published in academia on the effects, and it is almost impossible to quantify the change in numbers. She declares that the story of gentrification will not be told in numbers and stresses instead that there needs to be another way to tell the story. The article concludes with a cry for help to the readers who have already been pushed out by displacement and asks for their help to tell the truth about how their lives have been affected. Another article, published February 2013 by Inga Saffron on The New Republic titled “The Real Problem with Gentrification,” blames the gentrifiers for the loss of cultural diversity in cities. Saffron believes that the middle class has taken the writings of Jane Jacobs about “multigenerational, multi-race and mixed income kumbaya” too far and erased any room for mixed racial communities (2013). The physical traits of past generations remain and are what originally attracted new residents to the area, but now they drive up housing prices and push out the existing residents. Saffron cites the Graduate Hospital neighborhood in Philadelphia as an example. Between 1990 and 2000, the African American population declined from 78.5 percent to barely 32 percent. Saffron cites this striking statistic as an argument against rapid gentrification without supervision by the local government. On a slightly more positive note, Saffron cites the work by Lance Freeman attempting to debunk this negative phenomenon. Freeman’s 2005 book “There Goes the Hood,” examines gentrification and comes to the conclusion that African Americans welcome the quality of life improvements that gentrification brings. The author states that they are not always forced out and are no more likely to be in gentrifying areas than anywhere else. However, ignoring this study, Saffron moves to cite the lack of older residents in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood and concludes by lamenting the lack of diversity in older neighborhoods. Finally, an August 2013 article published in The Atlantic Cities online named “How Many Gentrification Critics Are Actually Gentrifiers Themselves?” by Emily Badger looks the issue from a new perspective. The article is written about the views of John Joe Schlichtman, a professor in the Sociology Department at the University of San Diego, who has become very critical of his peers. He criticizes the academics that study urbanism as becoming the middle class people who perpetuate the gentrification process with “highly styled taste in food and clothing” (Badger, 2013). The author highlights that sociologists

should become more self aware of the nuances embedded within the word gentrification. The author states that every study of neighborhood dynamics needs to begin with a personal narrative and researchers need to locate themselves within their own literature. In a 2013 article titled, “A Gentrifying Block is Not Quite Ready For It’s Close-Up” by Sandy Banks published in the online version of the LA Times, looks at gentrification in San Francisco. The article focuses on a first hand account of a new resident to a once “seedy section of Market Street in the middle of a makeover” (Banks, 2013). In the past year, Twitter and Whole Foods moved into the neighborhood beside new coffee shops and bakeries. But along with the new arrivals, comes many growing pains: businesses pushed out by rising rents and troublemakers herded off the sidewalks. The author concludes that the city has become very familiar with the gentrification process, which can turn into a “land grab by the moneyed that squeezes out the poor and drains a community's culture.” Alternatively, if done well, gentrification can result in harnessing affluence and revitalizing a neighborhood’s core. However, despite the result, these changes deliver tension and hostility between the new and current residents. A recent article published in April of 2013 in the online publication, New Republic, titled “Why I Left My Home in San Francisco – The rise of the white, middle-class anti-gentrifiers” by Ilan Greenberg examines the gentrification question. The author laments the new changes in the Bay Area that result in injustice (Greenberg, 2013). He states that a new generation is moving in that has new values, different habits, and different interests than the previous generation. However, this debate is unappealing to the broad public, writes Greenberg, and the topic dominated by journalists and professors who only write to serve their own real estate interests. He states that the people hurt most from new development are not the ones who write the articles. Greenberg attempts to identify inconsistences between the stories told in editorials and accuses news outlets of running exaggerated articles to grab attention. The result is middle class anti-gentrification activists who seek to intervene before displacement occurs. Greenberg quotes a professor of sociology at Harvard who argues that people are confused about the difference between an urban battle and gentrification. Middle-class residents bought out by upper class residents are not technically what he would call gentrification. The main issue according to the author is renters want to protect their rights of neighborhood incumbency. Greenberg states that the middle class residents want to stay in their homes as renters and protect their communities. The article “Facts and Fictions of D.C.’s Gentrification” published in August 2012 by The Atlantic Cities online press pushes to break away from the story of black displacement and tell the ‘real’ story of the transformation of the U Street neighborhood (Franke-Ruta, 2012). The author, Garance Franke-Ruta, cites census data that shows black population loss in the neighborhood that occurred by 2000 from the 1980s. However, his study shows that the black population loss actually slowed as gentrification picked up as the new amenities and housing development moved into the neighborhood in the 1990s. Encouraging new construction and enticing middle class residents into the city has been the official policy of D.C. during the previous four administrations. The federal First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit law of 1997 had a dramatic impact in encouraging middle class people to stay


in D.C and supported the process of fixing up rundown housing stock. The author continues to tell the story of D.C.’s recovery from riots and violence in the 1970s and the resulting turnaround in the city’s economic policy causing a dramatic shift of the racial, educational, and ethic composition of D.C.’s neighborhoods. The article concludes by idealizing the story of U Streets transformation, calling it a “real living, breathing, multi-ethnic, multi-racial neighborhood and cultural melting pot” (Franke-Ruta, 2012). According to the author, the new establishments have succeeded in connecting the future to the past. This article attempts to expose the common negative notion of gentrification and provide tangible benefits that upgrading brings to the community.

SYNTHESIS AND SUMMARY In conclusion, most of popular press believes gentrification to be rampant, while the majority of academic researchers argue the opposite. Many of the recent popular mainstream and intermediary news articles commercialize the theory of gentrification as becoming extremely intense and requiring immediate action. This view exaggerates the perceived problem and largely ignores recent academic studies. Only the intermediary press has questioned the theory of antigentrification and in this informal setting, articles question the primary actors in gentrification and why we struggle to talk about the subject. These writers offer a new perspective and become an ally to researchers who many perceive as becoming too unconnected to the issue. Many mainstream and editorial newspaper articles focus on the changing preferences of young professionals who invade cities and change the physical character of an area. These consumers or demandside theorists portray new residents as disregarding the existing inhabitants of an area and bringing with them a wave of new investment and fancy coffee shops. The recent preference for rehabilitation of older structures and upgrading existing housing stock also appears in both academic and popular press. The 1982 Wall Street Journal article cites a new preference for upgrading. The subsequent magazine cover of TIME, “Bringing the City Back to Life” throws a more positive light on gentrification and cites a new proclivity for the preservation and restoration of historic homes. This argument parallels the 2003 study on building upgrades by Andrew Helms who attempts to predict the pre-indicators of neighborhood upgrading and resulting gentrification. The Wall Street Journal cover story from August 2013, “Companies Spruce Up Neighborhoods, Putting Gentrification in Overdrive” again places the blame on invading companies that are too willing to capitalize on a new market. These articles support the supply-side theory of gentrification and places blame on the alleged greedy developers. Race tensions come out in many critical articles that appear on the front page of the mainstream news. The 2006 New York Times cover story, “Gentrification Changing Face of New Atlanta” capitalizes on this controversy and expresses the feelings of angry residents who feel


PAN O R AMA 2014

Washington, D.C.’s U Street corridor has been the subject of more recent studies into gentrification’s displacement effect.

invaded new, young professionals changing the demographics of their city. The 2008 New York Times front-page article again supports this same view reading: “Change in a Progressive City Spurs Racial Shift, and Talks” in Portland, Oregon. These sentiments clash with the McKinnish, Walsh, and White study that specifically concludes that minorities and poor residents do not suffer as a result of gentrification. Other studies by Vigdor on gentrifying areas of Boston and Freeman and Braconi again support the conclusion that there is no higher exit rate for the poor in gentrifying areas. Such angry news articles maintain the initial assumption that the media overemphasizes the effects of gentrification. Online intermediary press sources are often freer to express varied opinions on the topic of gentrification, as they are inherently more radical and questioning in nature. The 2008 online TIME article “Gentrification: Not Ousting the Poor?” confronts the controversial and long held stance that gentrification is an exclusively immoral and corrupt process. It specifically cites the McKinnish, Walsh, and White research disproving widespread displacement and Freeman who also supports this similar conclusion. Other controversial articles include “Why We Struggle to Take about Gentrification” published in the online news source, Next City and “How Many Gentrification Critics Are Actually Gentrifiers Themselves?” published online in The Atlantic Cities. It is important to note that the articles citing academic research are the most controversial and often boast unpopular opinions in favor of gentrification. Overall, the popular press seems to overemphasize and commercialize the rapid change occurring in urban areas in order to bring attention to the issue of gentrification. Based on the varying data sources and methods in academic reports, it is almost impossible to select one concrete. Consequently, articles in popular press reflect the same issues of confusion prevalent in the academic world. Editorials and

mainstream articles contradict each other and are unable to support any of their claims or observations. Popular news sources therefore turn to interviews of residents and city officials that can be unrepresentative of a place. Looking at the gentrification debate through the lens of popular journalism is a thought-provoking way to frame the academic discussion. Understanding how the argument is discussed in popular culture should be a way for academics to understand the final impact of their work. The goal of academic research should shift from stopping at conclusions of data findings to recommendations on how to improve the negative consequences of gentrification. Whether or not academics can agree on the exact figures, displacement is occurring and is a part of a larger problem of affordable housing that needs to be addressed in some form at a policy level. Academic and popular press should move past simply arguing and talking about the problem and instead to providing tools to create a meaningful impact on the landscape of a city.

REFERENCES Baker, Kermit, “Infill Locations with Access to Urban Services and Amenities are Housing Priorities,” AIA Home Design Trends Survey, (2013), accessed November 20, 2013, AIAB100791. Badger , Emily. "How Many Gentrification Critics Are Actually Gentrifiers Themselves?" Atlantic Cities. August 8, 2013, http://www. Banks, Sandy. “A Gentrifying Block Is Not Quite Ready For It’s CloseUp." Los Angeles Times. July 9 2013,,0,4248353.column?page=1. Bloom, Joshua. "Commercial District Gentrification - A Practitioner's Guide to Comprehensive Commercial District Restructuring,” The National Trust of Historic Preservation, 2001, accessed November 20, 2013, public/RMS_Gentrification.pdf. Blum, David J. "Urban Uplift: Youthful Professionals Without Any Children Transform City Areas." Wall Street Journal February 1, 1982, Front Page, 14. Butler, Tim and Chris Hamnett. “Gentrification, Class and Gender some comments on Warde’s Gentrification as Consumption.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 12, no.4 (1994): 39-62. Dewan, Shaila. “Gentrification Changing Face of New Atlanta.” The New York Times. March 11, 2006, Front Page, A12. Ellen, Ingrid Gould and Katherine, O’Regan.Gentrification: Perspectives of Economists and Planners (New York: Oxford University Press, Inc, 2012), 371-387. Frankie-Ruta, Grance. “Facts and Fictions of D.C.’s Gentrification.” The Atlantic Cities. August 10, 2012, politics/2012/08/facts-and-fictions-gentrification-dc/2914/. Freeman, Lance. “Displacement or Succession?: Residential Mobility in Gentrifying Neighborhoods.” Urban Affairs Review 40, (2005): 463.

Freeman, Lance and Bracconi Frank “Gentrification and Displacement: New York City in the 1990s,” Journal of American Planning Association 70, no.1 (2004): 463-491. Greenberg, Ilan. “Why I Left My House in San Francisco – The Rise of the White, Middle Class Anti-Gentrifiers.” New Republic. April 4, 2013, Helms, Andrew C. “Understanding gentrification: an empirical analysis of the determinants of urban housing renovation.” Journal of Urban Economics 54, (2000): 474-498. Kennedy, Maureen and Paul Leonard. “Dealing with Neighborhood Change: A Primer on Gentrification and Policy Choices.” The Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy. (2001), accessed November 20, 2013, files/reports/2001/4/metropolitanpolicy/gentrification.pdf>. McKinnish, Terra and Randall Walsh, and Kirk White. “Who gentrifies low-income neighborhoods?” Journal of Urban Economics 67, (2010): 180-193. Mclaren, Christine. "Why We Struggle to Talk About Gentrification." Next City. April 24, 2012, Myerson, Deborah L. “Managing Gentrification.” Urban Land Institute - Community Catalyst Report, (2006), accessed November 20, 2013, Gentrification.pdf. Newman, Kathe and Wyly, Elvin K. “The Right to Stay Put, Revisited: Gentrification and Resistance to Displacement in New York City,” Urban Studies 43, no. 1, (2006): 23-51. Saffron, Inga. "The Real Problem with Gentrification." New Republic. February 15, 2013, gentrifications-real-problem-monotony. Shin, Annys. “Gentrification in Overdrive on 14th Street.” The Washington Post. July 21, 2013, Front Page. Smith, Neil, The New Urban Frontier: Gentrification and the Revanchist City New York: Routledge, 1996. Smith, Neil. “Towards a Theory of gentrification, A Back to the City Movement by Capital, Not People,” Journal of the American Planning Association 45, no.4, (1979): 538-548. Urban Land Institute Report Team. “Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2013,” Urban Land Institute, (2013), accessed November 20, 2013, Vigdor, Jacob. “Does Gentrification Harm The Poor” Journal of Urban Economics 68 (2010): 277-289. Whelan, Robbie. “Companies Spruce Up Neighborhoods, Putting Gentrification in Overdrive.” Wall Street Journal. August 13 2013, Front Page. Yardley, William. “Change in a Progressive City Spurs Racial Shift, and Talks.” The New York Times. May 29, 200, Front Page, A16.



A Profile of Growth, Development, and Planning Shiva Kooragayala

How do emergent cities in the developing world, particularly the Global South, contend with the planning issues that arise from their impressive growth? How do they (or should they) address the needs of often-unemployed inmigrants and work to provide basic infrastructure services without hampering the economic vitality and technological innovation that has made them attractive in the first place? Author Shiva Kooragayala examines Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) as a case study in which dramatic discrepancies between the have and the have-nots date back to the early 20th century, when institutional and political will first put the city on the global map. By breaking down historical and demographic trends, Kooragayala arrives at key planning recommendations to reconcile an ever-widening opportunity gap in the city.


PAN O R AMA 2014

As a major city,

an industrial center, and a state capital, Bengaluru, India, has gained a reputation as being India’s “Silicon Valley.” In the past thirty years, Bengaluru has emerged as a technological hub and been touted as a global city (Brookings 2013; Dittrich 2007; PwC 2013). Nevertheless, its international prominence is largely based on an incomplete story of the city’s modern reality. On one side, the city has become a magnet for information technology (IT) and biotechnology and remains among India’s largest, most developed, and most livable urban agglomerations. On the other, it shares many challenges common to cities throughout the Global South: extreme poverty, a large informal economy, an ineffective municipal government, and inadequate public infrastructure and services. Despite the city’s admirable rise, its reputation may very well lead to its future demise without intentional and effective planning interventions.

GROWTH PROFILE Bengaluru, formerly known as Bangalore, is a landlocked South Indian capital city located in the state of Karnataka. The Indian Census indicates that Bengaluru’s population was 8,425,970 in 2011, up 65 percent since 2001 (Government of India 2011). During this same span of time, Bengaluru’s population share within Karnataka grew from 12.37 to 15.75 percent. Sridar et al., write “Bengaluru is second, next only to Greater Mumbai, in terms of the proprtion of in-migrants to total population” (2012). Bengaluru’s City Development Plan (CDP) of 2009 suggests that the majority of the growth is due to rural-to-urban immigration from both Karnataka and the neighborhing states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Maharastra (2009). The CDP affirms that the five most signficant drivers of population growth over the past sixty years are: the creation of Bengaluru as the state capital, the establishment of the British cantonment, public sector and academic investments, the development of the textile industry, and the development of IT and biotechnological industries (2009).

Bengaluru’s population has grown rapidly over the last 60 years.

However, Rakesh Basant argues that Bengaluru’s industrial story must begin prior to its independence in 1948. At the turn of the 20th century, Bengaluru was already home to several of India’s preeminent universities, including the Indian Institute of Science.


The city today has three universities, 14 engineering schools, and multiple other knowledge-based, public sector institutions (Dittrich 2007). In the 1940s, the British Raj located Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and the central British radio in Bengaluru. Such intentional investments led to an early clustering of a highly-skilled and educated labor force in the city. Following independence, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru started government labs and national defense industries in the city. The state Government of Karnataka began the Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation, set up the nation’s first technology park in 1977, and provided significant financial incentives to attract foreign firms. American companies such as Texas Instruments, Motorola, and HP recognized Bengaluru’s strength early on and located back-office functions in the city’s numerous business parks (Basant 2006; Glaeser 2012). These actions, alongside efforts of private entrepreneurs such as Narayana Murthi of Infosys, launched a unique and successful agglomeration economy of technology and ideas.

Much like its population and wealth, Bengaluru’s spatial imprint has expanded tremendously since the 1950s. A report by the Bengaluru Development Authority suggests that, as of 2008, the city’s spatial imprint had expanded by 22 times its size in 1870 (CDP 2009). The city’s current land use pattern is essentially a series of concentric rings with uniquely defined roles. The fifth ring is a green belt, but the Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) reports that this agricultural zone is being quickly exploited by real estate developers, and that the entire urban agglomeration has been threatened by unauthorized development. Much of the growth in Bengaluru has been through leap-frog development, enacted by private and government actors. Many of the large IT and biotechnology office parks, which are designed to match the American aesthetic, are located on the southern periphery. Additionally, the new Bengaluru International Airport was built on the northern edge of the city. Together, these large developments have spurred a growth in residential suburbs at the old periphery. Despite the sprawl, the city’s population density is still 7,600 people per square kilometer. Comparatively, Philadelphia’s density is just 4,394 people per square kilometer.

Bengaluru’s urban footprint and built-up area have grown tremendously since the 1970s.

Some of the city’s growth can be accredited to its diverse portfolio of industries, including education, medicine, biotechnology, auto manufacturing, and textiles. Each of these industries benefits from a pool of highly skilled labor. The IT, electronic, and biotech industries are mostly employed by educated, English-speaking, middle-class people who are the primary beneficiaries of Bengaluru’s transformation over the past sixty years. However, the in-migration of rural and low-skilled populations has been an equally important driver of the city’s growth. Sridar et al. argue that a combination of push and pull factors have made Bengaluru a magnet for the rural poor. In their study, 82 percent of migrants reported that they felt that Bengaluru had better job opportunities. Some are able to find employment in the city’s thriving garment and textile industry, which Mallikarjuna estimates employs over 540,000 workers and accounts for 30 percent of the nation’s entire exports (Chung et al. 2012). However, much like in other rapidly growing cities in the Global South, many of these residents are not, in fact, finding employment and are having to move into informal settlements inside the metropolitan area.


PAN O R AMA 2014

DEVELOPMENT Although Bengaluru is reputed as having the highest quality of life in India, its development, in both human and physical terms, has not kept up (CDP 2009; PwC 2013; Brookings 2013; Dittrich 2007). The Karnataka Human Development Report (HDR) of 2005 compares the various districts of the state and the “Bengaluru Urban” district, which corresponds to metropolitan Bengaluru. Per the report, Bengaluru transitioned from being the fourth to the most developed district between 1991 and 2001. The city’s literacy rate was the state’s highest by that time. In terms of health conditions, Bengaluru’s life expectancy grew from 64 to 67 years between 1991 and 2001 (HDR 2005; CDP 2009). Economically, the city’s GDP per capita increased by 150 percent to Rs. 24,774 between 1991 and 2001 (HDR 2005). Sridar et al. argue that these relatively high development standards explain Bengaluru’s appeal to both poor rural migrants and India’s wealthier populations. Yet Swamy argues that missing from the conversation is an accurate measure of poverty. She estimates that the poverty rate in 2001 was 31.4 percent, which

suggests a 22 percent increase from the past decade. More recent estimates put the figure at about 40 percent (Benjamin 2000). While Bengaluru ranks highest among Indian cities in terms of its quality of life and development, the city’s long-term viability is at risk.

expensive light rail system, both catering to wealthier segments of the population. Bengaluru’s traffic contributes to poor air quality, makes business in the city prohibitively difficult, and further strains poor populations who have no access to private motorized transport.

Dittrich and Basant write that Bengaluru, the “Garden City,” was historically reputed to be a temperate, green, and livable oasis in southern India. However, its rapid population growth, industrialization, and suburbanization has rendered the nickname invalid today. Bengaluru is geographically located on an arid plain and draws its water from the Cauvery River and from groundwater. The increased water demand over the past fifty years has exceeded the supply of river water and has dried the water table in many areas. The CDP suggests that certain portions of the city only get 3-5 hours of water on alternate days. Benjamin estimates that a third of the slums have partial or no access to piped water. Karnataka has in many ways been overwhelmed by the rapid growth of the Bengaluru Urban district, and has looked to privatization as a viable solution (CDP 2009; Chung et al. 2012; Benjamin 2000). Of course, privatization of public services has consequences for the equitable accessibility of basic services. The CDP explicitly remarks, “Bengaluru’s infrastructural inadequacies have disproportionately impacted the poor, as many of Bengaluru’s middle and upper class residents are able to pay for private water deliveries” (2009).

Bengaluru’s relatively mediocre development indicators, when juxtaposed against other “global cities,” need to be of utmost priority to the Bengaluru Development Authority and other municipal and governmental agencies. Unrestrained growth without corresponding development will cause Bengaluru to lose its competitive edge. The city’s quality of life, primarily due to pollution, congestion, and the lack of public spaces, needs to be improved for the sake of both its residents and business interests. The first priority for planners and policy-makers should be to collect more accurate data to better understand the city’s conditions. Otherwise, nebulous data may justify nebulous interventions.

Bengaluru’s commons and green spaces are no longer plentiful and universally accessible. A Hindu article claims that “the city lost 66 percent of its vegetation and 74 percent of its water bodies in less than 40 years, even as its built-up area grew by 584 percent” (Gandhi 2012). The original post-colonial city had plentiful planned park space, several man-made lakes, public parade grounds, and accessible commercial promenades around Mahatma Gandhi Road and Brigade Road. These areas have become extremely congested and inaccessible to many. The government has invested in few new public spaces, and the middle and upper classes have turned to expansive shopping malls and other forms of private development for public spaces. Apart from green space at the city’s center, there are no significant park spaces in the metropolitan area. Privatized forms of “commons,” infrastructure, and basic service provisions are becoming the norm and exacerbating social inequalities. A visitor to the city quickly experiences the crippling traffic congestion. Car ownership grew dramatically starting in the 1990s because of rising middle-class incomes, increased affordability of private automobiles, and India’s entrance into the global economy. Private market innovations, such as the 1 lakh rupee Tata Nano, have made car ownership widely realistic for many Indian families. The CDP suggests that 52 percent of the roads can be considered congested, by which the average speed of vehicular traffic is 1217 kilometers per hour at peak times. The city has an active bus system and a newly constructed light rail system, but these account for a minority of trips (CDP 2009; Namma Metro 2013). Public transportation policy has favored limited access roadways and an

INEQUALITY AND SEGREGATION Dittrich writes, "Bengaluru is becoming what is called a multiple divided city where both social and geographical barriers are reinforced" (2007). The benefits of the high-tech industry are being siphoned off by the smaller share of wealthy Bengaluruans, whereas Bengaluru’s poorer residents are bearing most of the costs of increased congestion, inadequate basic services, and environmental degradation. In 1991, the average income of the top fifth wealthiest Bengaluruans was approximately five times the lowest fifth; by 2001; it was fourteen times the lowest fifth (Les Ateliers 2012). This growing disparity has roots in the patterns of migration and the spatial pattern of the city itself. Because a large share of immigrants are poor and low-skilled, they cannot find jobs in the city. The Karnataka Development Report of 2005 finds that the employment participation rate in the city is a mere 39 percent (KDR 2005). (Such low participation does not account for the large informal economy in the city). Due to Bengaluru’s costly real estate market, particularly in the central core, migrants move into the city’s numerous slums. The CDP states that the number of residents in slums has increased by 63 percent between 2001 and 2006 (2006). Benjamin finds that there were over 1.34 million residents living in 401 official slums in 2000. The CDP presents a far more conservative slum population count at 700,000, but identifies 640 declared and undeclared slums (Benjamin 2000; 2006). Several studies outline key problems facing Bengaluru’s slums today: low employment; lack of reliable toilets, electricity, or water connections; overflowing sewage; and severe public health concerns (Swamy 2012; CDP 2009; Karnataka HDR 2005). Bengaluru’s slums are spatially dispersed within the “center city,” which has come to be known as the area within the outer-ring road. Middle-class residential developments are primarily located on the suburban fringe and are rather spatially disorganized. In many ways, Bengaluru’s spatial distribution of wealth and commerce mimics that


of North American cities. The center of the city houses the prime commercial space, namely that surrounding the old Cantonment area and bustling M.G. Road. The poorer neighborhoods and slums are primarily in the inner core of the city, within the outer ring road. The wealthier suburbs are located on the metropolitan periphery. Bengaluru’s growth is exacerbating segregation in this way. Poor residents who formerly did not live in slums are being displaced because of the unaffordability of many neighborhoods in the city (Swamy 2012; Benjamin 2000).

Contrastingly, Swamy claims that a vast majority of the economy lies in the informal sector, which operates through the poorer areas of the city and the slums and has been largely overlooked politically. Benjamin writes that “local political processes centered on these economies are assumed to be centered on patron-client relationships, exploitative of poor groups by the local elite, non-transparent and corrupt, and feudalistic” (2000). Sandbergen suggests that, in this political environment, the poor have little agency (1996).

PLANNING OBJECTIVES POLITICAL ECONOMY OF GROWTH Much of Bengaluru’s growth has been directed by two different dynamics: one formal and another informal (Basant 2006). Basant writes “public policy has been one of the most important contributors to the emergence of Bengaluru as a pre-eminent industrial cluster in the country” (2004). Early investments in public enterprises and educational institutions gave the city a comparative advantage that helped it attract foreign firms (Basant 2006; Glaeser 2012). Several key policy changes emanating from the state government were the 1984 Software Policy and the formation of Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation (KEONICS). The former incentivized the opening of foreign software firms and the latter provided companies with marketing and development support. The government, both through the Bengaluru Development Authority and the state Infrastructure and Finance Development Group, has prioritized “mega-projects” that are attempting to make Bengaluru the “Singapore of India” (Benjamin 2000; Les Ateliers 2011). Politically, Benjamin suggests that these “corporate economies” are intentionally master planned, supported through coalitions of business and state actors, and include little true local voice. The CDP identifies the main avenue for public participation as being the city’s 30 wards. Ward committee tasks include “collection of garbage, health immunization, maintenance of essential statistics, organizing public participation, and improvement of slums” (CDP 2009). More formal agencies exist at the state level for some of these tasks. The plan comments that further participation is encouraged through NGOs. While much of the city’s expansive sprawl is unplanned, many private developments are located on land acquired through eminent domain by the municipal government. A report from Columbia University argues that employees in the city’s immense garment industry hold little political influence. The report suggests that because of these power dynamics, the government has invested far less in this industry (Chung et al 2011). Karnataka’s state website itself claims that “various industries in Karnataka have always accused the government of giving attention only to IT and BT and not any other industry” (State of Karnataka 2013). Perhaps to combat such claims, the government is starting the development of 11 “textile parks” throughout the metropolitan region (BDA 2013).


PAN O R AMA 2014

When considering Bengaluru’s patterns of growth, development, and rising inequality, several planning imperatives emerge. I posit that future planning strategies should emphasize equity and greater public participation, and should balance the needs of a “global” city with basic infrastructure needs. Key planning imperatives are as follows: (1) O btain more accurate data: Numerous scholars and official documents agree that the existing data on development standards, growth, and land use patterns is insufficient and inaccurate. Such data quality is endemic to poorer, rapidly growing cities. Proper documentation of Bangalore’s current conditions will enable better planning and evaluation. In many ways, the lack of documentation further disempowers historically marginalized populations. (2) Engage representative populations: Benjamin presents a compelling argument that much of the planning occurring in the city focuses outside the realm of the informal economic sector. Likewise, the CDP identifies few opportunities for local involvement in the planning process. The Bengaluru Development Authority can improve its development standards and enable more socially just outcomes by instituting meaningful opportunities for local participation that circumvent possibilities for patronage and corruption. (3) F ind a balance between mega-projects and basic needs provision: The city has without doubt accomplished greater economic development and gained a more optimistic reputation than most other Indian cities, primarily due to its pro-business environment. The sole emphasis on these projects not only ignores the needs of large segments of its population, but also neglects the need for investments in very basic public services. Water shortages, pollution, and traffic congestion are depreciating the attractiveness for corporate industry and decreasing the city’s quality of life. Future planning should build upon public-private partnerships when investing in largescale projects, but should also allocate more public money toward improving these basic goods. Bengaluru operates in a competitive field of growing cities. Without such a balance, the city may not sustain its prowess.

CONCLUSION Bengaluru has indeed experienced rapid population, spatial, and aggregate economic growth. The government’s intentional efforts to build upon the city’s institutional history launched the city into becoming India’s Silicon Valley. In doing so, the city has enjoyed high levels of development by Indian standards, but they have not been equitable levels. The city’s growing poor population is disproportionately bearing the consequences of unrestrained and rapid growth. The overall quality of life has not kept pace with such growth, threatening the city’s long-term viability as a magnet for business and incubator of ideas. Much of its growth has been a result of strategic partnerships between corporate, elite, and governmental actors. The average citizen has had limited direct participation. The city’s future planning agenda may benefit from incorporating more legitimate data, recognizing the city’s assets and weaknesses, and focusing on themes of inclusion and equity. The notion of an “Indian Singapore” is inconsistent with the nation’s democratic ideals. Instead of far-reaching centralized control, Bengaluru may do well to embrace the plurality of strengths, voices, and interests of its diverse population.

REFERENCES Balachandra, P. and Sudaker Reddy . “Benchmarking Bengaluru City for sustainability-an Indicator-based approach.” Indian Institute of Science, 2013. project/CIST035.pdf “Bangalore Development Authority.” Bangalore Development Authority. Accessed February 20, 2014.

Chung et al. “Bengaluru: Redefining Urban Infrastructure.” Columbia University GSAPP Planning Studio. 2012. http://www.arch.columbia. edu/files/gsapp/imceshared/lld2117/3_Bengaluru_reduced.pdf Dittrich, Cristoph. “Bengaluru: Globalization and Fragmentation in India’s Hightech-Capital.” Aspen 103 (2007) 45-58. http://www. Gandhi, Divya. “Garden City lost 2/3rds of its Vegetation in four decades.” The Hindu. April 12, 2012. cities/Bengaluru/garden-city-lost-twothirds-of-its-vegetation-in-fourdecades/article3325346.ece Glaeser, Edward Ludwig. Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2012. Government of India. “Census.” Ministry of Home Affairs. 2011. http:// Government of Karnataka “Karnataka Human Development Report 2005: Investing in Human Development.” Department of Planning and Statistics. 2005 Les Ateliers. "International Urban Planning Workshop 2012: The Great Landscape, a major part inside the metropolis Bengaluru." 2012. http:// “Namma Metro: Bangalore Ahead.” Namma Metro. 2013. http://bmrc. PricewaterhouseCoopers. “Bengaluru: Citizen Perceptions on Democratic Capital: Cities of the Future.” PwC. 2012. http://www. capital.pdf

Basant, Rakesh (2006). “Bengaluru Cluster: Evolution, Growth, and Challenges.” Indian Institute of Management Working Papers. 2006. workingpaperpdf/2006-05-02rbasant.pdf

Schneider, Annemarie and Curtis Woodcock. “Compact, Dispersed, Fragmented, Extensive? A Comparison of Urban Growth in Twentyfive Global Cities using Remotely Sensed Data, Pattern Metrics, and Census Information.” Urban Studies 4, no.3 (2008):659-692. http://usj.

Benjamin, Solomon. “Governance, economic settings, and poverty in Bengaluru.” Environment and Urbanization 12, no.1 (2000): 35-56. unpan020773.pdf

Sridar, Kala, Venugopala Reddy, and Pavan Srinath. “Is it Push or Pull: Recent Evidence from Migration into Bengaluru, India.” Journal of International Migration and Integration. article/10.1007%2Fs12134-012-0241-9#page-1

“The 10 Traits of Globally-Fluent Metro Areas.” Brookings Institute Press. October 29, 2013. reports/2013/06/26-global-metro-traits-mcdearman-clark-parilla

Swamy, Sapna. “Bengaluru - City development and slum upgradation strategy.” Washington, DC: World Bank 2012. http://documents.

Chacko, Elizabeth and Paul Varghese. “Identity and Representation of Gated Communities in Bengaluru, India.” Open House International 34, no. 3 (2009): 57-64. Representations_of_Gated_Communities_in_Bengaluru_India

Vithayathil, Trina and Gayatri Singh. “Spaces of Discrimination: Residential Segregation in Indian Cities.” Economic and Political Weekly 47, no.37 (2012): 60-66.

“Revised City Development Plan: Bengaluru.” Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. 2009. WEBSITE/WebPage.nsf/f37b2300a8f98a4d65256e2a002623ee/6 ded418f848e7e8d6525739f00192ddf/$FILE/Revised%20CDP%20 Bengaluru%20Volume%201.pdf



Future of Privately Financed Affordable Housing Production Will Morgan

Affordable housing is a shared need for communities across the country. However, regulatory and financial barriers often thwart affordable housing projects for developers and local governments. Author Will Morgan discusses the various ways to facilitate affordable housing development, ranging from local government policies to state legislation.


PAN O R AMA 2014



Heavily constrained municipal budgets, overly prohibitive land development regulations, growing urban populations, and a widening income gap have all contributed to a significant shortage in the supply of new affordable housing. Although publicly initiated incentives exist for private developers to finance and construct affordable housing units (often as part of a larger market-rate development), the number of affordable housing units produced routinely fails to meet demand. This imbalance indicates that the current incentive structure falls short of compensating appropriately for market risk, and thereby forces developers to bear too much of the financial burden in the creation of new affordable housing units.

Municipalities have adopted several methods to catalyze the financing and production of new affordable housing units entirely by the private sector. Three predominant methods, and those covered in this article include:

The inability of affordable housing production in the United States to meet consumer demand remains just as problematic for the public sector today as it was more than 20 years ago. In 1991, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released its report “’Not In My Backyard’: Removing Barriers to Affordable Housing” to address the root causes of this issue in which “millions of Americans are being priced out of buying or renting” affordable housing (1991). Despite HUD’s effort to redress for its admitted regulatory zealousness and ease the path for private developers to build a greater number of affordable units, the public sector still finds itself in an untenable economic and social position: the number of renters in poverty is increasing, while the supply of new affordable housing units is decreasing, thereby driving up the cost of existing units (Kotkin 2013). In 2010, “There were 5.5 million rental units affordable to … 9.8 million [extremely low-income] renters” evidencing the size of the supply gap (Kotkin 2013).

Development incentives tied to affordable housing production quotas, be they mandatory or voluntary, allow for municipalities to control the cost of housing while also providing developers with the opportunity for sufficient financial gain. Jesse Mintz-Roth notes that “developers welcome the opportunity to build affordable housing whenever and wherever it can break even” (Mintz-Roth 2008). However, complicating opinions over the scale of incentives is the fact that developers “are infrequently consulted for input on ordinances, particularly local inclusionary zoning, that affect the way they build affordable housing” (Mintz-Roth 2008). Brian Blaesser et al. point out that “inclusionary zoning only works when the process makes sense — financial and otherwise — to the development community. Too many noble ordinances have been shelved because developers cannot get an appropriate return on investment” (Blaesser et al. 2002).

How, therefore, can the public sector best increase the supply of privately financed affordable housing units, as a percentage of total new housing production, without providing additional public subsidies? Private developers have indicated their eagerness to participate in the production of affordable housing, in part to break into otherwise restrictive development markets, and public sector entities have shown their willingness to pass on the benefits of unrealized revenue (such as through the transfer of vacant public land or fee waivers) to private entities. As such, what more do the two sides need to do in order to meet their shared goal of greater production? A comparison of extant development incentives, both voluntary and mandatory, against the stated needs of private developers provides insight into the most productive path ahead for municipalities and developers to bring the supply of new affordable housing units up to the level of demand.

• affordable housing development laws (implemented primarily through zoning powers), • d evelopment incentives (such as density bonuses and expedited review processes), • and, more commonly, a combination of the two.

Given that many cities and states are setting ambitious affordable housing production goals despite historic underperformance, it is fitting to return to the negotiating table — this time with developers involved — to examine what incentives have worked and how they can be bolstered. In a report for the National Housing Conference, Blaesser et al. note that municipalities that adopt only incentivebased or mandatory-based programs are failing to reach all potential developers because of the limits this either/or scenario places on profit margins. “To reach all of these developer camps,” they note, “a municipal strategy for inclusionary zoning should include both ‘carrots’ and ‘sticks’” (Blaesser, et al. 2002). There is a sense among developers that ‘sticks’ (i.e. laws such as mandatory inclusionary zoning) are a necessary evil in order to realize development opportunities that otherwise might not exist. A 2008 survey of developers revealed an opinion that “mandatory inclusionary zoning could be a worthwhile entry ticket into certain profitable housing markets that would otherwise be difficult to enter” (Mintz-


Roth 2008). Nevertheless, there is even greater consensus within the developer community that many more ‘carrots’ (i.e. incentives) are needed in order to make the sticks truly effective. Increasingly, public officials seem to be grasping the validity of the developers’ argument, that overregulation and a lack of involvement of the development community have sustained the gap between housing supply and demand. In discussing his goal for building 10,000 new multifamily units by 2020, Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston states, “We have to get building costs down. Some of those high costs are the government’s fault. We have stringent regulations, and we have to look at that. We have to get the developers and the unions to work with us on this” (Ross 2013). What solutions, then, are available to increase affordable housing production as a percentage of overall housing production without the use of additional public subsidies? DEVELOPERS’ CONCERNS In order to gauge properly what kind of development incentives may be most suitable for implementation or expansion, it is necessary to determine what concerns developers have with regard to the public sector’s involvement in the development process and how that involvement impacts developers’ decisions to build in one location versus another. MIT urban planning professor Eran Ben-Joseph compares two surveys of developers on housing regulation, one from 1976 by Stephen Seidel of the Center for Urban Policy Research, and one from 2002 that he himself conducted. In both surveys, “imposed regulations” ranked first as the factor that increased the final selling price of a unit by five percent or more (Ben-Joseph 2005). Also worth noting is the fact that “lack of suitable land” ranked second in the 2002 survey and third in the 1976 survey. How difficult is the regulatory environment, and how does that difficulty impact the final product? Both the 1976 and 2002 surveys also posed questions to public officials to determine their opinions on the approvals process. The results vividly show that the development approvals process has grown increasingly lengthy and onerous over this 26-year span, now involving more municipal departments and more legal requirements and resulting in significantly slower granting of approvals, often longer than two years (Ben-Joseph 2005). Ben-Joseph concludes by bringing to light an interesting discrepancy: in low-income communities “above 80 percent of these jurisdictions approve subdivisions in less than 5 months, as compared to 60 percent of the higher-income jurisdictions” (BenJoseph 2005). Regulation, in other words, can be a double-edged sword depending on its severity — it can be a municipal tool for encouraging new affordable housing development, or it can be a municipal tactic for preserving the status quo at the expense of most new construction.


PAN O R AMA 2014

POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS Currently, a communication disconnect splits municipalities and developers, especially when it comes to the impact of incentives on developers’ development program and pricing decisions. Indeed, if we are to believe that housing markets are efficient, and as such, that developers have the clearest picture of its demands, then municipalities are doing themselves a disservice by not at least understanding how their own market functions prior to setting policies. Because the two sides have yet to work in tandem on policy creation, as MintzRoth notes, “developers may be the object of backlash in their own communities for being perceived as contributing to an unpopular or mandatory inclusionary ordinance” that was in fact erroneously structured and implemented by the municipality (Mintz-Roth 2008). Therefore, when municipalities sit down to debate the use of land and building controls, they would be well served to “involve the developers early in the process” to ensure that the intent of the controls will actually play out as anticipated in the market (Blaesser, et al. 2002). The following points of discussion, drawn from analysis of previous studies and existing examples of municipal control over affordable housing production, should inform their debate. Zoning Reform Perhaps the most important (and, subsequently, most politically sensitive) task that municipalities can undertake to allow for greater affordable housing production is zoning reform. Inclusionary zoning, while well intentioned and selectively productive, has in most cases added yet another layer to the regulatory stack. Targeted deregulation, therefore, may be required in order to create a more efficient market in which developers are supplying new housing at the rate at which the market asks for it. Dustin Read confirms this logic, noting that “a municipality with an overly restrictive zoning ordinance in place can potentially increase its stock of affordable housing by relaxing the regulatory requirements governing residential development” (Read 2008). He continues, “These approaches do not guarantee the development of housing accessible to low and moderate income families, but they may relieve pressure on prices throughout a market by removing artificial constraints on supply” (Read, 2008). Read stops short, however, of suggesting how municipalities might accomplish such relaxation, and therein lies the difficulty with deregulation — it can be terribly complicated to effectively loosen restrictions on one area without negatively impacting others. Expanded Anti-Snob Legislation Exclusionary zoning by municipalities intent on avoiding affordablehousing production has often proven too burdensome for many developers to navigate for anything but as-of-right projects. Only laws allowing nearly complete circumvention of zoning regulation, such as Massachusetts’ Chapter 40B, have proven to be effective in

breaking down the regulatory quagmire that many municipalities have either intentionally or unintentionally created for themselves and has effectively prohibited the meaningful supply of affordable housing. Per the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, “Chapter 40B is a state statute, which enables local Zoning Boards of Appeals (ZBAs) to approve affordable housing developments under flexible rules if at least 2025% of the units have long-term affordability restrictions” (EOHED 2013). ZBAs only have this ability in municipalities within which less than 10 percent of the total housing stock is considered affordable. A survey by the Citizens Housing and Planning Association revealed that “approximately 1,000 affordable units were constructed [in Massachusetts] under local inclusionary zoning between 1990 and 1997, while about 5,000 affordable units were built under Chapter 40B” (Been, et al., 2009).

Inclusionary Zoning with Generous Incentives Evidence has shown that mandatory inclusionary zoning programs are effective when (1) the housing market is strong, (2) smaller projects are exempted from the program, and (3) multiple generous incentives, including density bonuses and expedited approvals, are offered in exchange (Been et al.2009). Otherwise, there is the substantial risk that they may act more as a tax, increasing home prices to the point of reducing overall affordability (Glaeser 2013). Likewise, voluntary programs that offer no or few incentives are effectively toothless, giving developers no reason to freely offer to develop affordable housing as part of a larger market-rate project (Blaesser et al. 2002). As such, if a municipality wishes to commit to encouraging affordable housing production by implementing an inclusionary zoning program, it must first examine whether its housing market is robust enough to support a mandatory program. If not, a voluntary program should be implemented, along with substantial and diverse incentives to make it financially beneficial to developers to include affordable housing in their projects. For those that can afford to enact a mandatory program, they may wish to put in place several measures that will prevent supply from being compromised. Higher square footage or unit minimums should be considered, based on production goals. Been, et al. also suggest “tying compliance to a measure like price appreciation or overall development levels in that housing market in order to avoid further deterring new development in a softening economy” (Been, et. al. 2009).

The affluent Boston suburb of Wellesley has sought ways to avoid Chapter 40B by drafting its own policy regarding affordable housing production.

Such legislation is in some ways a measure of last resort, as “incentives stronger than Chapter 40B’s complete bypassing of zoning are hard to create” in order to allow developers to access restrictive communities and build affordable housing as part of larger market-rate projects (Blaesser et al. 2002). Such programs should be expanded in the absence of concrete zoning reform, in the hope that it will be a means to an end by forcing the hand of unwilling municipalities to abandon their exclusionary tactics. To avoid Chapter 40B enforcement, “a community must be able to demonstrate the impacts of market-rate housing on the availability of housing for lower-income households” in drafting new zoning standards (Town of Wellesley, 2013). Such an examination process is certainly a healthy exercise for municipalities in order to gain greater awareness of the market implications of their zoning policy decisions.

Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City, campaigned for changing the city’s successful voluntary inclusionary zoning program into a mandatory one in order to “end giveaways for big developers.”

Although density bonuses are the most popular incentive that municipalities offer to developers to motivate them to finance and build new affordable housing units, they are not an appropriate incentive in all cases and may in fact be one of the reasons that, in spite of available incentives, affordable housing supply has fallen


short of demand. Therefore, density bonuses should only be used in markets where housing demand is robust and land availability is limited. Greater Adoption of Expedited Reviews and Approvals Reducing the number of public agencies that must review and approve development projects will aid in keeping supply more consistent and ensuring that development projects are well timed in conjunction with the market. All of the above will also save municipalities and developers money on the overall cost of approval. Allowing one municipal agency to control the development process from start to finish, for instance, while potentially risking transparency, may also foster more successful relationships between developers and municipal officials. One other critical issue relating to expedited approval is the fact that wealthier municipalities are likely to take longer to review and approve projects that contain affordable units, in some cases due to exclusionary zoning tactics (Ben-Joseph 2005). To counteract this trend, zoning circumvention laws such as Chapter 40B could contain a clause that guarantees developers a completed approvals process within a shortened timeframe (six months or less seems to be generally accepted as “fast-tracked” status).

Improved Land Supply Land availability and cost are also paramount issues for developers. Particularly in municipalities with inclusionary zoning laws, the affordability of land can be constrained by the potential ‘taxing’ influence of this type of land use control. The Reason Foundation’s Benjamin Powell and Edward Stringham note that “in order for development in a price-controlled city to be profitable enough to attract builders … land prices must decrease to compensate the builder for [its] losses” (Powell and Stringham 2004). And although the cost-savings to developers that could be achieved through implementation of the previously discussed reforms would help developers afford land at closer-to-market cost and thereby improve availability, further intervention is likely necessary to balance the market or relieve developers of this financial burden. Disposition of municipally owned land to developers at low or no cost is not only an effective way to save developers money, but also to put unused or underused parcels back into taxable service. While much of this available land supply would likely be located in less-than-ideal areas for market-rate projects, construction costs may also be lower. If these cost savings were coupled with development incentives that rewarded developers for increasing the percentage of affordable units to a higher-than-typical level, developers may

Philadelphia’s recently created land bank will aid it in conveying vacant parcels to developers, typically for a greatly reduced price, in exchange for the production of affordable housing units.


PAN O R AMA 2014

be able to achieve high occupancy rates and realize a consistent cash flow on par with what they would be able to earn in stronger markets. Updated Fee Structures Full-scale impact fees can drive away developers. Conversely, fee waivers can put unsustainable financial pressure on municipalities, particularly when density bonuses are also provided. Therefore, it is important that the two sides work together to develop a fee structure that appropriately incentivizes development of new affordable housing units without destabilizing the financial condition of the municipality. Often, developers are able to afford projects they otherwise wouldn’t be able to undertake when they can defer fees until cash flow has begun and occupancy has stabilized. If developers are able to proceed through construction and occupancy with minimal financial or scheduling imposition from the municipality, assuming they build a certain percentage of affordable units into their project, they may have a much better capacity to pay certain fees after the fact. Such has been the suggestion by San Diego’s independent budget analyst, who recommended to City Council that developers be allowed to pay the city’s linkage fee once the project is complete, “rather than when they receive their initial building permit” (Keatts 2013). Yet, it is also important to keep in mind that developers have shown a strong preference for in-lieu fees in place of constructing actual affordable housing units either on or off site since they effectively let the developer preserve their original project avoiding any sort of NIMBY-istic backlash (Been et al. 2009). Research has shown that municipalities chronically underestimate the per-unit cost of developing affordable housing units, which simply bolsters developers’ predilection for them (Read 2008). As such, municipalities could reasonably increase those fees without deterring developers, provided that the fees are collected at a time when the developer is reasonably capable of paying them in full. Municipalities would be wise to order an independent study to calculate the cost of affordable housing development within their boundaries and utilize that cost (perhaps including an additional ‘convenience fee’ for allowing developers to avoid the burden of constructing affordable housing units) as the baseline fee. This method is more advantageous for the purpose of achieving the goal of a larger number of affordable housing units as a percentage of overall housing production, rather than creating mixed-income communities (Brunick et al. 2003). Longer-term Affordability A significant reason for the affordable housing gap not yet mentioned is the expiration of affordability requirements for many long-existing affordable housing units (POAH 2014). Municipalities would benefit from extending generous development incentives to developers willing to rehabilitate properties with expiring affordable housing

units under the presumption that the affordability of those units be renewed for an additional long-term period (30 years or more). This method can be particularly useful for municipalities that may be concerned with the density issues that can come with new housing production. In the small town of Wendell, Massachusetts, where the housing market is not strong enough to allow the town to impose affordability requirements on new construction, the town has instead “used housing rehabilitation support coupled with long-term affordability commitments to leap from no affordable housing under Chapter 40B in 1990 to being third-ranked in the state in 2001, with almost 20 percent of its housing units affordable” (Blaesser et al. 2002). In stronger markets, municipalities could reasonably extend such long-term affordability requirements to affordable units in new market-rate projects as well. New York City’s voluntary mandatory zoning program, for instance, requires affordability “for the life of the project,” which has not seemed to diminish the success of the program (Mintz-Roth 2008). More Cost-Effective Construction Perhaps more so than any other cost, construction costs are the linchpin to a project’s feasibility. While many of the development incentives discussed either reduce soft construction costs or lessen costs in other areas in order to make high construction costs more affordable, none of them directly address hard construction costs such as labor and materials. It is to the benefit of both developers and municipalities to ensure that affordable housing units are built with quality materials so as to reduce the costs of maintenance over time and promote equity; initial savings achieved through the use of cheaper materials, for instance, will likely result in higher operations and maintenance costs over the life of the development, as well as require replacement housing sooner than otherwise necessary. Although neither party has much control over the costs associated with construction, developers have the benefit of being able to build in less costly areas while municipalities must contend with the negative impact of their market’s costliness. Therefore, municipalities should utilize their political authority to engage in creative new ways for reducing construction costs in order to increase housing supply. For instance, the municipality could sit down with developers and representatives from the building trades unions to determine whether, in exchange for a commitment to utilize union labor on all projects that include affordable housing units, developers could receive a reduction in the cost of labor. Such agreements could be particularly effective in cities with average housing markets but very high union labor costs, such as Philadelphia. Political will is imperative in this process, as cities with ambitious affordable housing production goals but little ability to control costs will have substantial difficulty in “getting cooperation from unions and developers to help build below-market-rate housing” (Ross 2013).


CONCLUSION While municipalities that have set out to close the affordable housing gap should be applauded for their zeal, there still exists the significant risk that their efforts will come up far short without returning to the negotiating table (this time with all pertinent parties present) and conceiving of an incentive structure that is well attuned to their respective market’s demand. Regulation with teeth can be vital in spurring developers to embrace affordable housing production, but unless it is capably balanced with targeted and appropriate incentives that offset developers’ costs without harming the municipal budget, it stands to go unenforced. Hope persists, however, in recent signs of amicability between developers (and the builders who rely on their productivity) and municipalities, who see mutual value in increasing the scale of new affordable housing construction. Their challenge is to succeed in the face of unrelenting pressure from those who decry the taxing influence and intrusive nature of any sort of affordable housing requirements. Analysis of previous studies suggests that generous and diverse incentives can be structured not only to overcome opponents of affordable housing, but also to increase the number of affordable housing units built as a percentage of overall housing production. Provided that municipalities and developers can work to identify this ‘sweet spot’ in their market, closing the affordable housing gap can become a possibility.

REFERENCES Advisory Commission on Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing. “’Not In My Backyard’: Removing Barriers to Affordable Housing.” U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. July 1991. Been, Vicki, Jenny Schuetz, and Rachel Meltzer. “31 Flavors of Inclusionary Zoning: Comparing Policies From San Francisco, Washington, DC, and Suburban Boston.” Journal of the American Planning Association 75, no. 4 2009: 441-456. Ben Joseph, Eran. The Code of the City: Standards and the Hidden Language of Place-Making. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005. Bento, Antonio, Gerrit-Jan Knapp, and Scott Lowe. “Housing Market Impacts of Inclusionary Zoning.” National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education. February 2008. Blaesser, Brian, Mark Bobrowski, Robert Engler, Philip Herr, Robert Herzog, Darcy Jameson, Jerold Kayden, Meg Kiely, and Clark Ziegler. “Inclusionary Zoning: Lessons Learned in Massachusetts.” NHC Affordable Housing Policy Review 2, no. 1 2002: 1-31. Brunick, Nicholas, Lauren Goldberg, and Susannah Levine. “Voluntary or Mandatory Inclusionary Housing? Production, Predictability, and Enforcement.” Business and Professional People for the Public Interest. 2004.

“Delivering Public Service for the Future: The New Normal.” Accenture. Accessed November 17, 2013. us-en/Pages/service-new-normal.aspx. Denvir, Daniel. “As Local Governments Shrink, Private Consultants Reap Rewards.” The Atlantic Cities. October 23, 2012. Glaeser, Edward. “Ease Regulation to Increase Supply.” New York Times. October 16, 2013. Glaeser, Edward L., Joseph Gyourko and Raven Saks. “Why is Manhattan So Expensive? Regulation and the Rise in Housing Prices.” The Journal of Law and Economics 48, October 2005: 331-369. Kady, Lawrence. “How to Solve the Housing Crisis.” The Boston Globe, October 3, 2013. Keatts, Andrew. “Everything You Need to Know About the Affordable Housing Fee Vote.” Voice of San Diego. November 4, 2013. Kotkin, Joel. “America’s Emerging Housing Crisis.” Forbes. July 26, 2013. Lewis, Scott. “The Sad Facts about the Big Affordable Housing Fee Hike.” Voice of San Diego. November 18, 2013. Lopez, Edward, Tom Means, and Edward Stringham. "BelowMarket Housing Mandates as Takings: Measuring Their Impact." The Independent Institute. November 2007. Mintz-Roth, Jesse. “Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategies in Hot Housing Markets.” NeighborWorks America and the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. May 2008. Netter, Edith M. “Inclusionary Zoning Guidelines for Cities and Towns.” Massachusetts Housing Partnership. September 2000. Pendall, Rolf. “The Next Big Question Facing Cities: Will Millenials Stay?” The Atlantic Cities. September 11, 2012. Powell, Benjamin, and Edward Stringham. “Housing Supply and Affordability: Do Affordable Housing Mandates Work?” Reason Foundation. Policy Study No. 318. April 2004. Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH). “Mission.” Accessed February 16, 2014. Read, Dustin C. “Inclusionary Zoning: A Framework for Assessing the Advantages and Disadvantages.” Homes for Working Families. May 2008. Regional Housing Needs Assessment Plan: Fifth Housing Element Cycle, Planning for Housing the San Diego Region 2010-2020. SANDAG. October 28, 2011. Ross, Casey. “Menino Pushes Plan to Boost Housing.” The Boston Globe. September 9, 2013. Tombari, Edward A. “The Builder’s Perspective on Inclusionary Zoning.” National Association of Home Builders. November 2005. Town of Wellesley, Massachusetts. “Affordable Housing Fact Sheet.” Accessed November 17, 2013.

Cech, Laura Barnhardt. “Groups Fight to Overcome Lack of Affordable Housing in D.C. Region.” The Washington Post. July 3, 2013.

“Victory for Supporters of Affordable Housing as Council Passes Fee Increase for Developers.” San Diego 6. November 4, 2013.

“Chapter 40B Planning.” Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. community/40b-plan/.

Walentas, Jed. Speech given at The Wharton School. November 6, 2013.


PAN O R AMA 2014


“David Harvey is right: No matter how hard planners try, they will fail in making cities engines of redistribution” BY DAN LEVIN AND DANIEL SUH

Second-year graduate students in the City & Regional Planning program were tasked during the Fall semester with debating one of their peers in a live forum as part of a class on urban planning theory. Here we present one of those debates on a topic relevant to this year’s Panorama theme: “No matter how hard planners try, they will fail in making cities engines of redistribution.” Drawing from David Harvey’s work on the subject, authors/debaters Daniel Suh (pro) and Dan Levin (con) discuss exactly what redistribution means and whether it is within the realm of planners’ powers (and responsibilities) to address. It should be noted that the opinions expressed here are based on the parameters of the original assignment and are not necessarily the opinions of Panorama itself or the debaters themselves.


“Urbanization we may conclude has played a crucial role in the absorption of capital surpluses and has done so at every increasing geographical scale but at the price of burgeoning processes of creative destruction that entail the dispossession of the urban masses of any right to the city whatsoever” (Harvey 2012). David Harvey’s conclusion here is that urbanization has resulted in upward redistribution of wealth accumulation by dispossession.

Daniel Suh

I respectfully disagree.


First of all, David Harvey does not discard the potential for cities to become engines of redistribution; rather, he believes cities under capitalism cannot. In one of his essays, published in 1989, Harvey suggests socialism as a solution to the problems of redistribution. He states, “The construction of a distinctively socialist form of urbanization is as necessary to the transition to socialism as the rise of the capitalist city was to the sustenance of capitalism. Thinking through the paths to socialist urbanization is to chart the way to the socialist alternative itself. And that is what revolutionary practice has to accomplish” (Harvey 1989). Although his solution is sure to generate further debates on the merits of socialism, it is relevant to note that David Harvey himself sees this approach as the solution. Joseph Stiglitz disagrees with Harvey, contending that inequality is not an inherent problem that cannot be solved in a capitalist society. In The Price of Inequality, Stiglitz says,

“Inequality is not just the result of the forces of nature, of abstract market forces. But inequality is, to a very large extent, the result of government policies that shape and direct the forces of technology and markets and broader societal forces. There is in this a note of both hope and despair: hope because it means that this inequality is not inevitable, and that by changing policies we can achieve a more efficient and a more egalitarian society; despair because the political processes that shape these policies are so hard to change", (Stiglitz 2013). In other words, the problem of inequality and redistribution is not an intractable one, but rather something a society can and should tackle in order to shift from “an urbanism based in exploitation to an urbanism appropriate for the human species” as Harvey states in Social Justice and the City (Harvey 2009).

David Harvey, a Distinguished Professor at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, is a widely publicized social theorist.


PAN O R AMA 2014

Government intervention is essential in a capitalist society to bring about redistributive benefits such as public goods. One common argument against government intervention is that capital flees when non-market forces intervene to redistribute. For example, in Triumph of the City, Ed Glaeser says that “when the neighbors of poor people are forced to carry single-handedly the financial and social burdens of poverty, then those neighbors will leave, impoverishing cities further and isolating the poor” (Glaeser 2012). However, this is not an argument against government intervention. In the same sentence, Glaeser continues, “a far better and more practical approach would

be for higher levels of government to distribute funds in a way that offsets the added costs of poverty.” For example, in Massachusetts, developers use a state-level law known as Chapter 40B to create affordable housing in suburbs that otherwise zone and price out affordable housing. A 2005 MIT study (Pollakowski, Ritchay, and Weinrobe 2005) found that such developments have no impact on home values in the communities where they are built. In one very large mixed-income development in Woburn called Kimball Court, the study found that between 1984 and 2003, the average annual increase in house prices surrounding Kimball Court rose 8.1%, compared with 7.9% for Woburn houses outside the neighborhood. But redistribution does not always have to be monetary. Another way planners can achieve redistributive benefits is through sustainability. The term sustainability as it is applied here is defined as a framework that focuses conflicting economic, environmental, and social interests (Campbell 1996). Sustainability could be a platform to create greater opportunities for cities, such as through access to various social and public services, public transportation, political engagement and civic action. To quote an article published in Journal of the American Planning Association in 1996 called “Green Cities, Growing Cities, Just Cities:” “There is a broad embrace of sustainability. The idea has become a

given. It has shifted from being a variable to being the parameter of the debate, almost certain to be integrated into any future scenario of development. In the battle of big public ideas, sustainability has won. Sustainability, if redefined and incorporated into a broader understanding of political conflicts in industrial society, can become a powerful and useful organizing principle for planning” (Campbell 1996). Sustainability is about not only intergenerational equity, but also intragenerational equity, and it includes the “right to the city” through access to jobs and promoting accessibility for minority, marginalized, and disadvantaged groups across a region. Sustainability can be used as a tool to advance social justice concerns. One such tool that balances both economic and social concerns is the use of density bonuses. Density bonuses serve as an incentive for developers to provide an amenity such as affordable housing in exchange for permission to exceed zoning limits on density. Lastly, there are various grassroots organizations that counteract “accumulation by dispossession” and mobilize community involvement to achieve social justice. For example, communitybased regionalism is an approach where grassroots organizations form regional coalitions with the main goal of improving conditions for low-income communities. Another example is a community benefits agreement, which is a legally enforceable contract, signed by community groups and a developer, setting forth a range of community benefits that the developer agrees to provide as part of a development project. There are also increasing numbers of “right

to the city” movements around the world where people demand social justice in the progressive urban arena. With rapidly evolving technologies such as social media, those that are disadvantaged and marginalized have louder voices and greater influence than ever before to promote social justice. The challenge for planners is to deal with the conflicts between competing interests by identifying and implementing complementary uses. Planners must both negotiate the procedures of the conflict and promote a vision of sustainable development. The very process of negotiation can be a powerful tool to mobilize community involvement around social and environmental issues. Planners need to act as translators or mediators among various interest groups to assist each group in understanding the priorities and reasoning of the others. In closing, I believe that there are many ways that cities can become engines of redistribution. In fact, we as planners are to be a part of these engines. In the AICP Code of Ethics, one of planner’s responsibilities to the public reads as follows: “We shall seek social justice by working to expand choice and opportunity for all persons, recognizing a special responsibility to plan for the needs of the disadvantaged and to promote racial and economic integration. We shall urge the alteration of policies, institutions, and decisions that oppose such needs” (“AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct” 2014). The belief that cities can be engines of redistribution is built into the code of how planners should conduct themselves because it is true and it is what we, as planners, should aspire to.

REFERENCES “AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.” Accessed February 14, 2014. Campbell, Scott. “Green Cities, Growing Cities, Just Cities?: Urban Planning and the Contradictions of Sustainable Development.” Journal of the American Planning Association 62 (3): 296–312, 1996. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig. Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2012. Harvey, David. The Urban Experience. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989. Pollakowski, Henry O., David Ritchay, and Zoe Weinrobe. "Effects of Mixed-Income, Multi-Family Rental Housing Developments on SingleFamily Housing Values." Center for Real Estate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2005. doc4435/MITStudyonPropertyValue.pdf. Stiglitz, Joseph E. The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future. W. W. Norton & Company, 2013.


Dan Levin


The question that I have been tasked with debating today is “David Harvey is right: No matter how hard planners try, they will fail in making cities engines of redistribution” – and I am arguing in the affirmative, that yes, Mr. Harvey is correct. However, the absolute nature of the question is unfair. After all, cities are engines of redistribution. Cities levy taxes and provide services. Both acts are a process of redistributing wealth. What then must be debated is the ability and success of planners to redistribute in a beneficial and equitable manner to the entire city. After all, redistribution efforts are pointless from a planning perspective if all they do is further entrench the status quo. If we accept that the purpose of all redistribution efforts is to develop more equitable outcomes, then Harvey is correct. No matter how hard planners try, they will fail in making cities engines of redistribution.

Harvey’s rationale is effectively this: Capitalism is the dominant economic form, and capitalism is directly at odds with efforts to redistribute wealth (Harvey 2009). This argument comes as no great shock to anyone who has heard recent political discourse. But it is how Harvey, drawing on Karl Marx’s assessment of the capitalist system, gives credence to his argument. According to Harvey, capitalists over-consume to the point of detriment, creating crises at somewhat regular intervals. The great depression of the ‘30s, stag-flation in the ‘70s, and the global financial crisis are all examples of capitalism run rampant. From a more metropolitan focus, we can see this overconsumption of capital in the crash of the office market in the ‘80s and the housing market in 2008. Planners, meanwhile, have been absolutely helpless to stop these crises.


PAN O R AMA 2014

Harvey argues that planners and city government are responsible for redistributing excess primary capital – the money earned by businesses and individuals – and putting it into the secondary capital market, which is effectively the built environment. To this end, planners are pretty effective. Planners advocate for the development of new roads and public transit, and for new parks and environmental offsets and protections. But as I mentioned, the issue here is not whether planners can be successful at simply redistributing tax revenue, but whether that redistribution results in more equitable outcomes. It is here where planners fail – and always will, because planners are helpless against the larger economic and political forces that they operate within. What is an equitable outcome? In The Just City, Fainstein establishes criteria, including democracy, diversity, and equality (2011). These are reasonable measures, but difficult to quantify. Even in the reading, Fainstein was unable to provide us with any hard data. I think that diversity is easy to quantify, particularly by race, so I will use racial diversity as one metric. I propose an additional two metrics to determine an equitable outcome: educational proficiency and poverty rates. Using these measures, I will prove that planners fail to make cities effective engines of redistribution. First, I will dispel the myth that planners can make cities effective engines of diversity redistribution. In 2000, Cook County, wherein Chicago is located, was approximately 56% white, 26% black, and 5% Asian. By 2010 the numbers had shifted to 55% white, 25% black, 6% Asian (Social Explorer 2013). On the surface, Cook County got slightly more diverse. Chicago has an illustrious planning history, liberal City Hall, and sizeable planning staff. It certainly could be argued that planning efforts have helped Cook County to increase its diversity. But if we look more closely at the data, we see that while Cook County may have become more diverse, it also grew more segregated. Between 2000 and 2010, in an area bounded generally by I-90, North Avenue, Harlem Avenue, and I-55, the number of census tracts where Blacks made up more than 95% of the local population doubled, from 31 to 60 (Social Explorer 2013). This pattern is not unique to Chicago as it has been observed in cities across the country. Is this what diverse communities are supposed to look like? More so, are we to believe that planners aimed for the ghettoization of races, and by doing so created a more equitable outcome? I strongly doubt it. I argue that this process occurred through broader capitalist and economic forces, not to mention the national political failures to address this spatial inequality.

What about the redistribution of educational opportunities? The long term benefits of a quality education are well known – higher incomes, longer life expectancy, and so on. As an example, the Philadelphia Public School system is poor, both in terms of performance and finances. According to PolicyMap, fewer than 60% of high school students in the Philadelphia school district were proficient in reading (Policy Map 2013). But this trend is not isolated to Philadelphia. Regionally, the school districts of Penn Wood (which is directly west of Philadelphia), Norristown, and Chester all perform at an equally dismal rate. Meanwhile, districts on the Main Line do exceptionally well. Planners have some weapons to directly address inequalities within the school system. Economic development planners can levy impact fees that go to the school district and community planners can develop programs and relationships with social service providers to improve educational outcomes. The problem is that for every minor success they achieve, on the whole these activities fail. Penn Wood, Norristown, and Philadelphia have poor school systems not because of a lack of effort by planners, but because of state government policies that have defunded public education, distinguishing the “haves” of education from the “have nots.” Municipal planning efforts to combat this trend are equivalent to using a Dixie cup to bail out the Titanic. Planners also have virtually no power when it comes to the political realm of school boards and individual school administrations. It is the political system that robs the city of its ability to be an engine of equitable redistribution of educational opportunity. Lastly, I will address the failure of planners to make cities engines of fiscal redistribution. Beginning in the 1950s, when the process of white flight began, cities have had a spatial mismatch between the poor and employment opportunities. Later on, this mismatch was reinforced by suburban governments who developed restrictive zoning codes designed to keep poorer people out, which had the additional effect of concentrating poverty.

Continuing, according to the American Community Survey, Harris County, home to the city of Houston, saw its percentage of children living in poverty grow by 5.7% between 2000 and 2010 (Social Explorer 2013). By comparison, Multnomah County, in which Portland, Oregon is contained, saw its child poverty rate rise by nearly the same amount, at 4.9% over the same period. If Portland, a city of planners, regional governments, and growth boundaries, is separated by just three quarters of a percent in its child poverty rate from Houston, a city with no planning, is that not proof that the macroeconomic condition is greater than any local planning efforts? In closing, I believe that the following statement from Fainstein sums up my argument perfectly: “While metropolitan governing institutions potentially can redistribute income, disperse affordable housing, and encompass a diverse public, the likelihood that they will produce these results is slim” (Fainstein 2011). The fact of the matter is that planners simply lack the tools available to be able to combat the wider economic and political realities they are faced with. I therefore maintain that no matter how hard planners try, they will fail in making cities engines of redistribution.

REFERENCES Harvey, David. “The Urban Process Under Capitalism: A Framework for Analysis.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 2, no. 1-4 (1978): 101–131. Fainstein, Susan. The Just City. New York: Cornell University Press, 2011. U.S. Census Bureau. “Total population: White alone, Black or African American alone and Asian alone - 2000 & 2010.” Social Explorer. Accessed Oct 8, 2013. U.S. Census Bureau. “Population Under 18 Years of Age Living in Poverty: 2000 & 2010.” Social Explorer. Accessed Oct 8, 2013. National Center for Education Statistics. “Overall Student Proficiency: Reading – High School.” TRF Policy Map. Accessed Oct 8, 2013.

There were many planners across America who saw this process happening and attempted to stop it. Norm Krumholz of Cleveland was just one of these “equity” planners. He failed in such a spectacular fashion that it cost him his job and Cleveland became the first major U.S. city to default on its debt. In 1970, around the time Krumholz took over, around 21% of African-Americans in Cuyahoga County were below the poverty level (Social Explorer 2013). By 1980, the number had risen to 27%. Today, poverty rates have reached 30%. Has Cleveland not had planners over the last 40 years? Or is the more likely explanation that they simply are powerless to stop the larger forces of the decline of manufacturing, bank red-lining, and consumer preferences for suburban home ownership?



















Splash: Waterfront site plan along the Delaware River. Shelly Zhu (MCP '14). Top and Bottom Left: Point Breeze EcoDistrict constructed wetland and streetscape. Tali Cantor (MCP '14). Top and Bottom Right: 20-minute core and greenway connectivity concept diagrams. Amber Knee (MCP '14).

In Philadelphia, a city with over 40,000 vacant lots, the sight of blocks with “gapped teeth” or a “rowhouse with no row” has become ubiquitous in many neighborhoods. These sites lend themselves to the perception of vacancy as “blight,” or as an obstacle to Philadelphia’s growth. It was with this information in mind that this year’s Public Realm studio approached its goal of addressing Philadelphia’s vacancy through urban design interventions. The first step, as urban designers, was to cast aside this apprehension about vacancy and its inherent negative connotation. It was necessary, rather, to view vacant land for its value, as a tool for reshaping the

city. Through this new approach, it would be possible to reimagine the public realm and in turn reestablish Philadelphia as a thriving and competitive city. Reimagining this amount of vacancy seemed like a daunting goal, especially when confronted with the task to transform not just a single block, but an entire city scattered with vacant land. Successful case studies from global cities such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Curitiba, Masdar, and Paris, and national examples such as Los Angeles, New York, Portland, and San Francisco, provided inspiration and revealed lessons that could be applied to a vision for Philadelphia.


Local initiatives in Philadelphia also served as instructive examples. In recent years, important interventions have been implemented at the block level, such as the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s LandCare program, to “clean and green” vacant land.Likewise, community-driven initiatives have focused on creating community gardens or productive farms. While these projects have had an important impact on their local communities and immediate surroundings, transformative urban design cannot work in a vacuum. The Phila2035 Plan provides a model of this approach to planning, which is based on a citywide vision for connected and vibrant neighborhoods. This vision is then used as a guide for developing district, or neighborhood-level, plans. The studio set out to create a similar design framework for Philadelphia, which would be a cohesive vision as applicable and relevant to the city as a whole as to individual neighborhoods or blocks. Working within this approach, the studio broke into two groups to develop a series of hypotheses for Philadelphia based on inquiries and analysis into the city’s essential fabric. The resulting studies brought to light two concepts that would frame the studio’s work going forward: first, that strengthening neighborhood cores has the potential to revive local identity; and second, that water has been the historical backbone for Philadelphia’s development and has environmental, economic and health benefits that could revitalize the city. From these hypotheses, each group developed a citywide framework that included a catalogue of design typologies applicable to sitespecific locations. By applying the citywide vision to a neighborhood and block scale, it was possible to refine the typologies based on the realities of the site context. At the block level these typologies transformed from design concepts to place-based interventions for the public realm. Working at each scale revealed new information about existing conditions and design opportunities, which, in turn, informed the overarching vision. BUS STOP






Whether pragmatic or visionary, these ideas are meant to set in motion a new process for rethinking Philadelphia, its values, and its potential for the future. The city’s recently passed land bank legislation, which sets out to streamline the process to acquire vacant land, provides an unprecedented opportunity to stimulate new development. This initiative has moved Philadelphia’s vacancy into the public eye, setting the stage for investment in years to come. This public realm studio hopes the visions outlined in the following pages will spark some inspiration to set this process in motion.



A neighborhood plaza with pop-up vendors (top), as well as a bike share and streetscape improvements (middle) are two elements of the proposed design programming along Point Breeze Avenue (bottom). Amber Knee (MCP '14).




South Philadlephia Greenway Neighborhood Vision (top and bottom) and green infrastructure modules for vacant parcels (middle). Tali Cantor (MCP '14).

waterfront (wetland )

waterfront (stream) urban agriculture recreation performative/buffer


sor b a cy

community garden


rain garden

n vaca

50% 25% 10%


American Land Use Ethics and Their Impact on Wetlands Brett Peanasky

Since Europeans first landed on North America’s shores, the quest to own and develop land has been at the core of American ideals and our system of government. In fact, city planners today still seek to find the “highest and best use” for land, as dictated by the real estate market, not necessarily the needs of the environment. Brett Peanasky explores how wetlands, one of our most environmentally sensitive areas have been preserved and how legal and ethical boundaries to development have evolved through the years.


PAN O R AMA 2014

Since Europeans first landed on North America’s shores, the quest to own and develop land has been at the core of American ideals and our system of government. In fact, city planners today still seek to find the “highest and best use” for land, as dictated by the real estate market, not necessarily the needs of the environment. Brett Peanasky explores how wetlands, one of our most environmentally sensitive areas have been preserved and how legal and ethical boundaries to development have evolved through the years.

No person shall be…deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. - United States Constitution, Fifth Amendment

I. HIGHEST AND BEST USE City and regional planners often speak of putting land to its “highest and best use,” defined as “the most profitable land use as determined by the current real estate market”. We create comprehensive plans and zoning and land development ordinances to allocate land among competing interests but rarely question the premise upon which this approach rests: that land is a resource to be used. Indeed, as Richard Wakeford argues, all of government’s goals — promoting economic development, feeding the population, engendering sustainability — are intimately tied to land, yet governments barely consider the land when creating policies (2013). We take it as given that land serves as an economic input, and that the ecological and social costs of development are necessary byproducts of our “creative destruction” (Berry 2013). This approach to land, while not uniquely American, has certainly flourished here. The continent’s vast expanses mesmerized explorers, and European monarchs drove to “appropriate to themselves so much of it as they could respectively acquire” (Johnson v. M’Intosh, 21 U.S. 543, 1823). Drawing wealth from the land required individualized parcelization and ownership. When our new government formed, the sanctity of private property was enshrined in the Constitution. Many have lamented Americans’ approach to land as an inexhaustible resource. The seminal critique was put forward by Aldo Leopold in A Sand County Almanac. Leopold (1949) argued that modern man had “outgrown” the land and was separated from it “by many middlemen, and by innumerable physical gadgets…to him it is the space between cities on which crops grow.” Leopold urged us to “quit thinking about decent land-use as solely an economic problem” and cautioned that “a system of conservation based solely on economic self-interest is hopelessly lopsided” (214, 223-24).

Leopold penned these words before mass suburbanization, the highway system, and Love Canal. But he could not have been more prophetic. The federal environmental regulations forged in the 1970s attempt to balance ecological values and economic development, but this cost-benefit calculus often favors development that offers short-term benefits (Daniels and Daniels 2003). America’s wetlands provide ample evidence of this failure: In spite of numerous regulations, the most recent evidence estimates that 62,300 acres were lost from 2004 to 2009 (Dahl 2011). Governments at all levels have found some success in protecting what remains of our natural abundance. While land use planning and regulation will always be controversial (Dennison and Berry 2013) state and local governments are well positioned to use a variety of mechanisms to curb wetland consumption. Yet perhaps nothing short of Leopold’s prescription for a land ethic, described more than sixty years ago as “an evolutionary and ecological necessity,” can solve our greatest environmental problem: our insatiable appetite for land (1949, 203).

II. AMERICAN LAND USE ETHICS “However extravagant the pretension of converting the discovery of an inhabited country into conquest may appear…if the property of the great mass of the community originates in it, it becomes the law of the land, and cannot be questioned.” - Chief Justice John Marshall, Johnson v. M’Intosh, 21 U.S. 543, 591 (1823) It would not be an exaggeration to say that private property forms the core of the American system of government. Chief Justice John Marshall cemented the central role of this institution in Johnson v. M’Intosh (1823). The dispute seemed simple enough: two men levied competing claims to the same parcel; one had purchased it from the Piankeshaw tribe, the other from the U.S. government. In deciding that only the latter could hold true title, Marshall legitimized land consumption in the name of cultural “progress”. Sovereignty gave the United States “the sole right of acquiring the soil from the natives, and establishing settlements upon it.” 21 U.S. 572. “[T]he country becomes the property of the discoverers,” wrote Marshall, “so far…as they can use it.” 21 U.S. 595. Equally as American as the drive to possess land is the aversion to government intrusion into private use of it. For example, in Rapanos v. U.S., Justice Antonin Scalia put an end to what he saw as an “immense expansion of federal regulation of land use.” There, Scalia argued that the Army Corps of Engineers had reached too far, fearing that the federal government was attempting to regulate “[a]ny plot of land containing…a channel.” 547 U.S. 715, 722 (2006).


Similar language was employed by Justice Samuel Alito in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District (133 S.Ct. 2586, 2013). In Koontz, Alito painted local governments as mobsters who make “extortionate demands” on private landowners (133 S.Ct. 2594). In a press conference after oral arguments, the plaintiff landowner stated, “[T]he government can at times be a creeping blob absorbing your rights” (PLF 2013a). Mr. Koontz’s lawyers of the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) often represent private landowners against “overzealous bureaucrats” who “trampl[e] on private property rights” (PLF 2013b). PLF asserts that its legal work follows the lead of the founding fathers, who “had a vision of creating a country in which individuals have the freedom to pursue their dreams” (PLF n.d.). Under this view, America is a nation where the industrious entrepreneur can generate impressive wealth — provided the government stays out of his way. Land is but an ingredient of this cultural destiny. Author and conservationist Wendell Berry recently gave a lecture in which he recounted his family’s farming history. He followed Leopold’s lead, stating that, “Whatever has happened in what economists call ‘the economy,’ it is generally true that the land economy has been discounted or ignored” (2012). Berry’s grandfather, a “Sticker … motivated by affection, by such love for a place and its life that they want to preserve it and remain in it” grew for the American Tobacco Company under James Duke, a “Boomer … motivated by greed, the desire for money, property, and therefore power” (Berry 2012). Berry argues that there is little place in this world for Stickers, reduced by economies of scale to “statistical numerals.” Economic growth marches on, as “industrial economists have assumed, with permission from the rest of us, that land and people can be divorced without harm” (Berry 2012).

III. THE IMPACT ON WETLANDS It would seem that land use planners are under attack legally, culturally, and economically. Perhaps nowhere has the struggle to protect land been more protracted than in governmental attempts to minimize the amount of wetlands consumed by development. As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2001) notes, wetlands have been “[l]ong regarded as wastelands.” The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) estimates that since the 1950s, a staggering 27 million acres of wetlands have been destroyed (Dahl 2011). One study estimated that 117 million acres — more than half of the area of the conterminous United States — have been drained and filled in total (Daniels and Daniels 2003). The EPA defines wetlands as “areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions” (2012). Wetlands provide wildlife habitat (often for endangered species), flood control, water storage and filtration, and erosion control (EPA 2001, Daniels and Daniels 2003). For this reason, the EPA advocates — but, for reasons which will be discussed later, cannot itself pursue — a “watershed-based approach to wetland protection [that] ensures that the whole ecosystem is protected” (2004). According to the EPA, wetlands can be found in “every county and climatic zone in the United States” (2004). However, recent data shows that efforts to preserve these valuable resources are failing (See Figure 1). The FWS estimates that in 2009, there were 110.1

In dollars and cents, this result makes sense. A recent econometric analysis found that increased net economic return guides private landowners’ conversion decisions (Lubowski, Plantinga, and Stavins 2008). The authors of the study “posit[ed] that landowners choose uses to maximize the present discounted value of the stream of expected net benefits from the land” (531). Landowners’ economic decisions are further affected by market prices that do not “accurately reflect the value of goods and the environment over time” (Daniels and Daniels 2003, 50).

For the first time since the 1950s, the annual rate of wetlands loss has increased (Dahl 2011).


PAN O R AMA 2014

Ornamental ponds and waterways in residential subdivisions are considered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as “urban ponds” and classified as freshwater wetlands.

million acres of wetlands in the lower forty-eight states, 95 percent of which were freshwater wetlands (Dahl 2011). While only 62,300 acres were lost from 2004 to 2009, this figure obscures reality. Marine and estuarine intertidal wetlands declined by 84,100 acres, with 99 percent of losses attributed to “coastal storms and relative sea level rise” (Dahl, 2011, 16). Forested wetlands were lost at a rate not seen since 1985 (392,600 acres) particularly “in regions of the country where there has been…conflict with competing land and resource development interests” (16). For the first time since surveying began, forested wetland was less than half of total wetland acreage (39). This decline did not occur evenly: forty-one percent of all freshwater vegetated wetland loss occurred in southeastern states (North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas), where clear-cutting is common (Dahl 2011). While the FWS stated that freshwater wetland area slightly increased from 2004 to 2009, this statement is rather dubious, considering the inclusion of all “freshwater ponds,” such as “ponds for industrial purposes,” “urban ponds,” and “aquaculture ponds” (Dahl 2011, 23; See Figure 2). In fact, from 2004 to 2009, there was a 14,700-acre

decline in “ponds exhibiting natural characteristics” (76). Notably, 489,600 acres of former upland were reclassified as wetlands from 2004 to 2009 through “wetland reestablishment and creation on agricultural lands” (16). However, reestablishment of wetlands has not occurred in-kind in either type or area, and the FWS notes that recent research has “raised questions regarding the ecological integrity of the existing wetlands” (18). As suggested by the projections of Lubowski, Plantinga, and Stavins (2008), three of the four causes of wetlands loss from 2004 to 2009 (and the primary causes of freshwater wetlands loss) were development pressures (See Figure 3). Notably, silviculture was the cause of fifty-six percent of all wetland losses (Dahl 2011, emphasis added). The fourth cause of wetlands loss, deep-water conversion, largely occurred in the saltwater system, where 111,500 acres were lost. The authors of the FWS study attributed these losses to factors such as “economic conditions (such as crop prices or property values), land use trends, changes to wetland regulation[,] and enforcement measures and possible climatic changes” (Dahl 2011, 45). The study noted that in Midwestern states, acreage enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program declined in 2007 and 2008 as farmers sought to


Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) assesses, applications to dredge and fill “navigable waters.” When deciding whether to grant a Section 404 permit, the Corps must evaluate the impacts of the proposed activity. Features to be considered include food chains, wildlife habitat and nesting areas, natural drainage patterns, erosion, and groundwater recharge (Bourdeau 2013). The Corps must evaluate each site “as part of a complete and interrelated wetland area,” and may grant a permit only if the “benefits of the alteration substantially outweigh the damage” (Bourdeau 2013, §8:267). The engineer who assesses the application must support his or her decision with a statement Three of the four causes of wetlands loss from 2004 through 2009 were development-related (Dahl 2011). of findings and must “normally accept the decisions of local and state governing take advantage of high corn and soybean prices. This observation bodies on zoning and land use issues” (Dennison and Berry 2013, § reinforces the centrality of anticipated economic returns to landowners’ 19). If the EPA determines that the Corps has erroneously issued a choices (Lubowski, Plantinga, and Stavins 2008). permit, the EPA has veto authority, although it has rarely exercised this power (Dennison and Berry 1995, Daniels and Daniels 2003). These trends have significant implications for land use and environmental planning. The substantial conversion of marine From an environmental perspective, this approach to wetland and estuarine wetlands to deep water is a measurable impact of regulation is inherently flawed. As noted , the reliance on cost-benefit climate change. The FWS’s study period encompassed hurricanes analysis will almost always tilt in favor of dredging and filling, as it is Katrina and Rita, and all of the observed conversion of vegetated very difficult to assign a dollar value to the ecological services provided estuarine wetlands to intertidal non-vegetated wetlands occurred by a specific wetland (Daniels and Daniels 2003). Indeed, critics of along the South Atlantic and Gulf coastlines (Dahl 2011). Forested the Corps have noted that it has approved nearly every Section 404 wetlands, which are more easily converted to other land uses, are application. Moreover, several activities are excepted from CWA in need of the most protection. The FWS argues that “marine and regulation altogether: “normal farming, silviculture, and ranching estuarine vegetated wetlands (tidal salt marsh and shrubs) have been activities;” maintenance and emergency reconstruction of “dikes, afforded protection by various State and Federal coastal regulatory dams, levees…causeways, and bridge abutments or approaches, measures,” while other wetland types have not (Dahl 2011, 47). and transportation structures;” construction of irrigation and

IV. SECTION 404 AND ITS DISCONTENTS Wetlands loss has been slowed by certain federal laws. While a number of statutes, such as the Coastal Zone Management Act, the Endangered Species Act, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, and the 1990 Farm Bill (which created the Wetlands Reserve Program) have affected wetlands, the Clean Water Act (CWA) is the primary means of federal regulation (Daniels and Daniels 2003). Section 404 of the CWA (33 U.S.C.A. § 1344) describes the process by which landowners submit, and the


PAN O R AMA 2014

drainage ditches and ponds; creation of temporary sediment basins on construction sites; and “construction or maintenance of farm roads or forest roads” (33 U.S.C.A. § 1344 (f)(1)). These land uses, particularly silviculture, are the very activities that are contributing the most to wetlands loss. Barring state regulation, landowners can pursue such activities with impunity. It seems that the only land use that is regulated by Section 404 of the Clean Water Act is dredging and filling a wetland for the purpose of urban development. This, of course, has led to clashes that drive to the very heart of American property rights, and the Corps’ actions have therefore been scrutinized under the Fifth Amendment’s “takings” clause.

prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines if found guilty of illegally filling wetlands. Justice Scalia, writing for a divided court, asserted that the land contained only “dry channels” and was “11 to 20 miles from the nearest navigable water” (547 U.S. 734). Scalia argued that the Corps can only regulate “a relatively permanent body of water connected to traditional interstate navigable waters” (547 U.S. 742). The Corps therefore only has jurisdiction over a wetland if it has “a continuous surface connection with that water, making it difficult to determine where the ‘water’ ends and the ‘wetland’ begins” (547 U.S. 742). Justice Kennedy, in a concurring opinion, reinforced the “significant nexus” test of SWANCC, which still stands today. But Georgia’s Department of Resources has been unable to determine the cause, or slow the progression of, Kennedy characterized the land in question dieback in marshes such as Jones Marsh near Savannah. much differently than did Scalia. Kennedy In U.S. v. Riverside Bayview Homes, the Supreme Court legitimized first recited the Corps’ three-part wetland definition, which included an expansion of the Corps’ Section 404 jurisdiction over “wetlands the prevalence of certain plant species and the existence of hydric adjacent to navigable bodies of water and their tributaries” (474 U.S. soils, in addition to hydrology (547 U.S. 761). He then noted that 121, 123; 1985). The Corps sought to enjoin a developer who had when the landowner received expert advice that the site included filled 80 acres of marshland without a permit (474 U.S. 124). The 48 to 58 acres of wetlands, he “allegedly threatened to ‘destroy’ the Court, in a unanimous opinion, reasoned that the CWA “constituted consultant unless he eradicated all traces of his report” (547 U.S. 763). a comprehensive legislative attempt ‘to restore and maintain the The owner then proceeded to fill his land “despite receiving ceasechemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters,’” and-desist orders from state officials and the EPA” (547 U.S. 763). and that this “broad, systematic view…‘refers to a condition in which From Kennedy’s telling, this man seemed determined to construct the natural structure and function of ecosystems [are] maintained’” his shopping center, regardless of governmental directions. And the (474 U.S. 133). The Court declared that Congress’s desire to protect Supreme Court, which ignored the evidence from the lower court aquatic ecosystems made it “reasonable for the Corps to interpret that the land in question had definite “surface-water connections to the term ‘waters’ to encompass wetlands adjacent to waters as more tributaries of navigable-in-fact waters,” sanctioned this destruction conventionally defined” (474 U.S. 133). (547 U.S. 783-84). Unfortunately, the Court’s subsequent decisions have not relied on this ecosystem approach and have eroded the Corps’ ability to limit development under the CWA. In Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“SWANCC”), the Supreme Court rejected the Corps’ assertion of authority over migratory bird habitats (531 U.S. 159, 2001). The Corps had denied a permit for the conversion of a seasonal pond into a municipal solid waste disposal site. Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote that the Corps had no authority over these “isolated, intrastate waters … wholly located within two Illinois counties” since they had no “significant nexus” to “navigable water” (531 U.S. 167-71). Perhaps the most important case in wetlands regulation is Rapanos v. U.S. (547 U.S. 715, 2006). The landowner faced 63 months in

Finally, a 2013 case, while not specifically pertaining to Section 404, impacts local governments’ ability to regulate land consumption. In Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, the Supreme Court extended the “essential nexus” and “rough proportionality” tests of Nollan v. California Coastal Commission (1987) and Dolan v. City of Tigard (1994) to local permitting conditions (133 S.Ct. 2586, 2591; 2013). Here, the local authority denied Mr. Koontz’s permit to develop 3.7 of his 15 acres after he refused to either 1) develop one acre and deed the rest in a conservation easement, or 2) proceed as planned, deed the remainder in a conservation easement, and pay for drainage improvements on other publicly-owned sites (133 S.Ct. 2593). Justice Alito characterized these permit conditions as “[e]xtortionate demands” that “ran afoul of the Takings clause” (133 S.Ct. 2596). The Court noted that a local land use authority must


present a landowner with a choice that meets the tests of Nolan and Dollan and held that “the government’s demand for property from a land-use permit applicant must satisfy the[se] requirements…even when the government denies the permit and even when its demand is for money” (133 S.Ct. 2603). These cases control federal, state, and local governments’ efforts to curb land consumption, and it seems that private property rights currently carry the day. The Corps and the EPA, perhaps fearful of further litigation, have been slow to publish new regulations that would specify which waters they can regulate under Section 404. However, the two agencies state that they intend to increase “the number of waters identified as protected by the Clean Water Act… compared to current practice” (GPO 2011). The EPA (2013) has stated that final rules will be developed after the completion of a report that will “provide a scientific basis needed to clarify Clean Water Act jurisdiction.” In the meantime, federal wetlands regulation hangs in something of a limbo, still informed by EPA’s 2003 and 2008 guidance documents (GPO 2011). Moreoever, Koontz has led to much “hand-wringing” in regards to actions that state and local governments can take to control land development (Callies 2013).

V. GEORGIA: A CASE STUDY OF STATE WETLANDS REGULATION In coastal Georgia, the economics of developing land has changed, and land is now valued highest for its development potential, rather than for its role in ecosystem maintenance and function. - Georgia Department of Natural Resources, 2011 CELCP Plan The state of Georgia boasts 100 linear miles of coastline, nearly 350,000 acres of estuarine tidal marsh, and fourteen barrier islands (Georgia DNR n.d.). The state has not received delegation of Section 404 permitting powers from the (Bourdeau 2013). Georgia has developed a number of programs to supplement federal regulations. Under the Georgia Coastal Marshlands Protection Act (CMPA) of 1970, any person who “fills, dredges, drains or otherwise alters marshlands in an estuarine area, or who builds or locates a structure on or over marshlands,” must receive a permit from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) (Hinshaw 2013). Further, the local government must certify that the proposed alteration is consistent with local zoning. Much like the Corps under Section 404, Georgia’s Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee must consider “the public interest” when passing on an application; factors include harmful obstruction or alteration of natural water flows, erosion, and “unreasonable interfer[ance] with the conservation” of marine


PAN O R AMA 2014

wildlife (Hinshaw 2013, §9:52). Each year, the committee issues 135 to 175 permits for docks and 15 to 20 for development (Georgia DNR 2012, 26). In addition to this permitting process, the Georgia DNR Coastal Resources Division oversees the state’s Coastal Management Program (CMP) under the authority of the Coastal Zone Management Act. The CMP seeks to strike “a balance between…economic development and stewardship of our coastal resources” (Georgia DNR 2012, i). Through the Coastal Incentive Grant Program, DNR has distributed more than $14 million to local governments, state agencies, and research organizations to “assist local governments in implementing solutions,” study sea level rise, develop public-access projects, and “develop master plans and ordinances to encourage appropriate land use” (Georgia DNR 2012, 9-11). However, DNR’s efforts through the CMP are geared more towards public education and restoration studies than actual prevention of wetlands loss. For example, while “saltmarsh dieback” has consumed more than 1,000 acres since 2002, DNR has been unable to determine its “precise mechanics” (Georgia DNR 2012, 22). In addition, the 2009 “Impacted Wetlands project,” did little more than “help prioritize wetland restoration activities in Georgia saltmarshes” (Georgia DNR 2012, 23). DNR also implements Georgia’s plan under the national Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP), which has been more effective in protecting land. In 2010, the state received $1.26 million from the federal government to purchase 6,800 acres along the Altahama River, a key piece of Georgia’s efforts to preserve more than 41,350-acres of contiguous riparian buffers (Georgia DNR 2012, 12). The most vulnerable type of wetlands (freshwater forested) are not well protected in Georgia. All of the state’s efforts are directed towards its coast and tidal wetlands. As noted above, normal silviculture operations are exempt from Section 404 permitting requirements, and while recent federal guidelines state that most “mechanical silvicultural site preparation…should require a permit,” forested wetlands that “support 25 percent or greater canopy of pine” are excluded from permit requirements (Dahl 2011, 65). Additionally, under Georgia law “timber production and harvesting” is an “acceptable use” of wetland areas (Bourdeau 2013, §8:274). Large areas of Georgia’s wetlands have been drained for silviculture, leaving them “significantly degraded or fragmented” (Georgia DNR 2011, 3). The CMPA also contains a number of exceptions that limit its effectiveness at curbing wetlands loss. Land uses that are exempt from the CMPA include “constructing, repairing, and maintaining a public road system [and] utility lines…constructing, erecting, repairing, and maintaining railroad lines…[and] the building

of a private dock exclusively for noncommercial use” (Hinshaw 2013, §9:50). Thus the only activities in coastal marshlands that are regulated (but not necessarily prevented) by the CMPA are residential, commercial, and industrial development, parking lots, dumping and waste treatment, drainage ditches, mining, and construction of structures that obstruct views (Hinshaw 2013). The upshot of these federal and state regulatory shortfalls is that over half of the state of Georgia falls within the region that experienced “the highest rate of freshwater wetland loss to upland between 2004 and 2009” (Dahl 2011, 69). The state recognized this fact when it identified “Uplands Adjacent to Key Riparian Resources” and “Freshwater Wetlands” as priority areas under its CELCP plan, stating that “the need for protection and conservation of these declining habitats is immediate” (Georgia DNR 2011, 3). However, the CECLP Plan only applies to the eleven-county coastal region, leaving the freshwater wetlands in the rest of the state unprotected. Moreover, the Supreme Court of Georgia recently held that the state cannot regulate residential activities in upland areas under the CMPA. Center for A Sustainable Coast v. Coastal Marshlands Committee, 284 Ga. 736 (2008).

VI. LOCAL GOVERNMENTS MUST FILL THE VOID TO AVOID FURTHER FILLING It is clear that current federal mechanisms inadequately protect wetlands. The FWS asserts that recent Supreme Court rulings mean that “some types of freshwater wetlands are no longer included under Federal regulatory mechanisms” (Dahl 2011, 68). Moreover, the FWS notes that in rapidly developing areas, “previously employed wetland management techniques are no longer appropriate because they do not account for collective influences on the ecosystem” (Dahl 2011, 69). Mitigation efforts are likewise inadequate. Under a 1990 EPA/ Corps joint memorandum, a Section 404 applicant is required to mitigate the project’s impact by first avoiding negative impacts, then minimizing potential negative impacts through “appropriate and practicable steps,” and finally, when “all possibilities for appropriate and practicable avoidance and minimization have been exhausted,” providing compensatory mitigation. (Dennison and Berry 2013, §34). The results of this policy, however, are questionable. Much evidence suggest that mitigation projects—if they are completed at all—are “ineffective over the long term” and that forested wetlands are particularly difficult to re-create (Dennison and Berry 2013). The FWS posits that efforts to reestablish or create wetlands have favored types that are easier to construct, e.g. “freshwater emergent

marshes and open water ponds,” over more complicated ecosystems (Dahl 2011, 76). Rarely are more complex wetlands “successfully replaced,” and the net effect has been “the loss of wetland diversity, hydrologic function, biological communities, and a ‘homogenization of wetland landscapes’” (Dahl 2011, 76). The clear message is that greater wetlands protections are necessary. It is always more desirable to protect what we still have than to attempt to reconstruct what we have lost, both economically (Daniels and Daniels 2003) and ecologically (Leopold 1949). Local governments should see opportunity in federal failures: the Supreme Court has all but invited them to more strictly regulate wetlands. In SWANCC, Chief Justice Rehnquist reasoned that the “States’ traditional and primary power over land and water use” was not changed by the Clean Water Act (531 U.S. 159, 174; 2001). In Rapanos, Justice Scalia referenced the power of a local zoning board to preserve wetlands as part of “state and local conservation efforts that the CWA explicitly calls for” (547 U.S. 715, 745; 2006). Even in Koontz, Justice Alito recognized that local governments’ insistence “that landowners internalize the negative externalities of their conduct is a hallmark of responsible land-use policy” (133 S.Ct. 2586, 2595; 2013). It seems that the Court’s ruling in Koontz did not remove any local government tools: zoning powers are unaffected, roughly proportional impact and mitigation fees can still be levied, and developer agreements will perhaps become even more prevalent (Cailles 2013). Thus local governments have a number of means through which they can slow the pace of wetlands destruction. Comprehensive planning remains their most powerful tool. If a community values wetlands in its comprehensive plan, it will have a strong “legal basis for local zoning and subdivision regulations to protect wetlands” (Daniels and Daniels 2003). Decades ago, this principle held in the Supreme Court of Georgia. In Pope v. City of Atlanta (1978), a landowner’s desire to construct a tennis court on her property was prohibited by the Atlanta Regional Commission’s 1972 Chattahoochee Corridor Study. The study was authorized by the Georgia Metropolitan River Protection Act, which permitted only those uses “not harmful to the water and land resources of the stream corridor” within 150 feet of a river. 242 Ga. 332. The court held that the study, which included an extensive land suitability analysis, proved that the state’s interest in protecting the river corridor was stronger than the “landowner’s interest in the unfettered use of [her] property” (242 Ga. 334). Importantly, the Court acknowledged that while the impact of a single tennis court may be minimal, “the state [was] justified in considering the cumulative effect of development when it makes land use plans” (242 Ga. 335). Thus Georgia’s highest court has validated the use of a land suitability analysis, and there seems little reason why a local government could


not apply the same strategy to wetlands (Daniels and Daniels 2003). An important prerequisite of a suitability analysis is a wetlands inventory. For example, under the Georgia Rules for Environmental Planning Criteria, local and regional governments must map and classify wetlands in land use plans and “take the importance of wetlands into consideration as part of any land-use planning activity” (Bourdeau 2013, §8:273). After a comprehensive plan is in place, zoning and land development ordinances can follow, with provisions intended “to control land uses near wetlands...and to minimize the dredging and filling of wetlands” (Daniels and Daniels 2003, 239). Other strategies are critical components of wetlands preservation. In coastal communities, climate action plans will become increasingly important in mitigating and adapting to wetlands loss. More aggressive strategies include wetlands or conservation overlays or a wetlands protection ordinance. For example, Thomas County, Georgia (2012) created a Wetlands Protection Ordinance. While the protection afforded by this ordinance is questionable — silviculture, agriculture, pasturing, and irrigation, for example, are still byright uses within the Wetlands Protection District — it represents an attempt by a local government to provide a certain level of protection for these ecosystems. The most aggressive, and perhaps effective, means of halting wetlands loss is purchasing either the land or conservation easements. If a local government has a strong capital improvements program that includes such efforts (Daniels and Daniels 2003), it will likely benefit from state and federal funds.

VII. NOTHING SHORT OF A LAND ETHIC Corporate industrialism…has failed to sustain the health and stability of human society…It has failed just as conspicuously and more dangerously to conserve the wealth and health of nature. No amount of fiddling with capitalism to regulate and humanize it, no pointless rhetoric on the virtues of capitalism or socialism, no billions or trillions spent on “defense” of the “American dream,” can for long disguise this failure. - Wendell E. Berry, 2012 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities While comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, and capital improvements programs represent planners’ best tools to control the pace of wetlands destruction and land consumption in general, they will always fall short without appropriate values behind them.


PAN O R AMA 2014

The heart of the problem is not technical but ethical. Our choices about land have been poisoned by a hubristic faith that through engineering we can “transcend all limits and … forestall or correct all bad results,” so that economic growth can continue forever (Berry 2012). This mindset is simply unsustainable. The only true solution is a transformation of the values that inform both government policies and private decisions. Berry and Leopold have forcefully argued that minor tweaks are insufficient. Leopold (1949) stated that “practic[ing] conservation that is profitable on our own land” is simply “too easy to accomplish anything worthwhile” (207). His prescription seems simple enough: “Examine each [land use] question in terms of what is ethically and esthetically [sic] right, as well as economically expedient. A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise” (224-25). Our challenge then, is to implement a land-centered economy. Richard Wakefield (2013) argues that governments must establish better information about the value of the services land delivers and ensure that taxing and spending measures provide proper incentives for landowners and managers. This makes sense from a behavioral economics point of view: by adjusting the cost-benefit calculus, we might encourage private landowners to make more sustainable choices. But Leopold (1949) previously addressed this: “[A] system of conservation based solely on economic self-interest…tends to ignore, and thus eventually eliminate, many elements in the land community.” For Leopold, “An ethical obligation on the part of the private owner is the only visible remedy” for the land’s “sickness” (214). Land has inherent value—not merely economic, but cultural, aesthetic, and ecological. Simply put, land is “worth everything” to our communities (Berry 2013) and our perspective should begin here. The land and those who live and work on it must form the “heart and soul” of our economy and our approach to planning, and “affection” for the land must guide our path forward (Berry 2013). The regulation of private property in America will always be controversial. In response to the Koontz verdict, one legal scholar noted that the question will always “boil down to one’s view of property development,” and the currently dominant view seems to be that “[t]he use of land is not a government-conferred privilege but a right, which government may regulate only in exercise of its police power when the health, safety, morals, and welfare of its constituent citizens are in danger” (Cailles 2013). Our task, then, as land use and environmental planners, is to lead nothing short of a revolution

in the minds of private citizens. The battle for a land-centered and environmentally oriented economy is uphill and decidedly ideological. But to protect what remains and prevent further loss of that which can never be regained, it is one we must fight ceaselessly.

Amendments-takings-clause. —. 2013b. “Seeking judicial review of ‘wetlands’ designations.” Accessed November 30 2013. Seeking-judicial-review-of-wetlands-designations. —. N.d. “About PLF.” Accessed November 30, 2013. http://www.

REFERENCES Berry, Wendell E. 2012. “It All Turns on Affection.” National Endowment for the Humanities. jefferson-lecture/wendell-e-berry-lecture. Bourdeau, John. 2013. “Regulation of Wetlands,” In Georgia Jurisprudence: Environmental Law, part VI. New York: Thompson Reuters. Callies, David L. 2013. “Koontz Redux: Where we are and what’s left.” Planning & Environmental Law 65, no. 10: 7-12. Dahl, T.E. 2011. “Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Conterminous U.S., 2004 to 2009.” United States Department of the Interior; Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Washington, D.C. http://www.fws. gov/wetlands/Documents/Status-and-Trends-of-Wetlands-in-theConterminous-United-States-2004-to-2009.pdf. Daniels, Tom, and Katherine Daniels. 2003. The Environmental Planning Handbook for Sustainable Communities and Regions. Chicago: Planners Press. Dennison, Mark S. and James F. Berry. 2014. “Challenging Wetland Regulation of Land Development,” In American Jurisprudence Trials, vol. 53. Thompson Reuters.

Thomas County Georgia. 2012. “Wetlands Protection Ordinance.” Accessed November 30, 2013. reportsandnotices/LUS/WetlandProtectionOrdinance.pdf. United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 2001. “Functions and values of Wetlands.” Accessed November 23, 2013. —. 2004. “Wetlands Overview.” 2004. Accessed November 23, 2013. pdf. —. 2012. “Section 404 of the Clean Water Act: How Wetlands are Defined and Identified.” Accessed November 23, 2013. http://water. —. 2013. “Clean Water Act Definition of “Waters of the United States.’” Accessed November 23, 2013. guidance/wetlands/CWAwaters.cfm. United States Government Printing Office (GPO). 2011. “EPA and Army Corps of Engineers Guidance Regarding Identification of Waters Protected by the Clean Water Act.” Federal Register 76, no. 84: 24479— 24480.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division (Georgia DNR). 2012. “Accomplishments of the Georgia Coastal Management Program, 2008-2011.” uploads/crd/pdf/CZM/GCMP-Report_2008-11-Reduced.pdf. —. 2011. “Georgia Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program.” —. N.d. “Wetlands.” Accessed November 23, 2013. http://coastalgadnr. org/cm/wet. Hinshaw, Tammy E. 2013. “Preservation and Management of Coastal Areas,” In Georgia Jurisprudence: Environmental Law, ch. 9. New York: Thompson Reuters. Leopold, Aldo. 1949. A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There. New York: Oxford University Press. Lubowski, Ruben N., Andrew J. Plantinga, and Robert N. Stavins. 2008. “What Drives Land-Use Change in the United States? A National Analysis of Landowner Decisions.” Land Economics 84, no. 4: 529–550. Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF). 2013a. “Press Conference at the Supreme Court 1-15-13.” Accessed November 30, 2013. http:// www.pacif




Author Gina Lavery compares the original plan for London and the city’s current plan. The perception of planning changed drastically between the two plans, and the content of the plans certainly reflects those trends. The shift from a visionary purpose to a pragmatic end goal is particularly revealing – a change that has likely influenced the plans of other major cities as well.


PAN O R AMA 2014

TERMS THE COUNTY OF LONDON PLAN, drafted by Patrick Abercrombie and John Forshaw in 1943, is often discussed in conjunction with the Greater London Plan (1944). References in this article to the Abercrombie Plan imply only the plan for the County of London, which is smaller in scope than the regional plan. THE BARLOW COMMISSION REPORT (1940) is the outcome of the Royal Commission on the Distribution of Industrial Population, which concluded that London ought to decentralize growth away from the city center, supported by the garden city planning model in which satellite towns should be developed to accommodate population growth in a more dispersed manner in England. THE SPATIAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY FOR GREATER LONDON, referred to as the Livingstone Plan, is a regularly reviewed and updated plan developed by the Mayor of London. This article examines the first iteration of this plan, which was published in 2004 under the leadership of then-Mayor Ken Livingstone.

As a city spanning more than two millennia of history, London boasts an urban footprint that combines eras of chaotic, ad hoc growth with the workings of the first British planning experts. The city has long been the center of British culture and economy, as well as the capital for a whole empire. The Abercrombie Greater London Plan and the Livingstone Spatial Development Strategy for Greater London reflect upon London’s stature as a city of national and global prominence. Each plan is unique in the goals, objectives, and conclusions drawn from this global perspective as a result of unique historical, economic, and political circumstances and the changing context of planning as a profession in that past 60 years. The Greater London Plan, devised by Patrick Abercrombie and John Henry Forshaw, aimed to address the urban challenges of a congested and unplanned London that had developed during the industrial period and needed to restore the areas destroyed during the WWII Blitz on the city. The plans consisted of a regionally focused Greater London Plan (1944) and a smaller scale County of London Plan (1943). As the first serious plan for London, the Abercrombie Plan laid the groundwork for the city’s planning tradition and history. While its development happened in tandem with a flurry of competing, overlapping, and neighboring postwar planning activities, Abercrombie’s plan standardized British planning practice and emphasized government-sponsored activity (Larkham and Adams 2011).

Similar to the way in which the Abercrombie Plan laid the foundation for London’s post-war planning by inspiring visions of a restored and improved city, Greater London Mayor Ken Livingstone’s 2004 Plan for London: Spatial Development Strategy for Greater London became the first iteration of a revamped planning process for the 21st century. The 2004 plan, published by the contemporaneously formed Greater London Authority (GLA), reflects a coordinated regional strategy to maintain London’s positioning as a global city. Unlike the 1944 plan’s emphasis on decentralization in order to disperse British growth and wealth beyond the city’s boundaries — a strategy prioritizing inward-looking national goals — the recent era of London’s planning evaluates ways in which the city can retain its competitive advantage — a global vision for the city. These two sets of comprehensive plans make for a compelling comparison because of the government’s similar leadership roles in motivating a new generation of growth and development in London. Each plan responds to the pressing urban issues of their time. However with 60 years of professional evolution to consider, 21st century Londoners have the opportunity to evaluate their city’s future plans in new and more inclusive ways. Building upon the successes and shortcomings of previous plans — their expectations, abilities, processes, and framework — this new era of planning has been able to leverage its more prominent status to turn plans for the future into actions.


CONTEXT AND CULTURE: ABERCROMBIE VS. LIVINGSTONE ABERCROMBIE’S VISION FOR A LESS DENSE LONDON In the post-WWII period, Abercrombie and Forshaw created a plan to rebuild the bombed areas of London and to respond to the ways in which industrial land uses had encroached upon the city. At the time of their plan, the planning profession was relatively new and lacked the legal tools to act on its own. In fact, no planning department existed at the time in London, so the plan was housed in the Office of Architect to the London City Council. Therefore, the true task of the Abercrombie plan was to establish ideas and goals for London to follow for a better future, not to see its ideas brought to fruition. The 1940 Barlow Commission Report suggested that growth ought to be constrained within London, but encouraged in the rest of England (Foley 1972). So while the 1944 plan identified a comprehensive range of urban issues requiring attention — housing, economic development, traffic, open space, design, and land use separation — the primary task assigned to planners was to improve London’s quality of life by decentralizing growth. To that end, the plan selected to maintain the Green Belt around the city and found new towns outside the perimeter to satisfy the government’s requests. Another recommendation of the Barlow Commission was to separate people from industrial activities. Thus, the Abercrombie Plan proposed a land use zoning policy for London even though the plan did not have the legal authority to mandate it. The plan laid the groundwork for the forthcoming planning culture of the London region. A new concept in 1940s London, planning was an optional exercise, although it was understood that some sort of organized strategy was required to rebuild the destroyed segments of the city. The Abercrombie Plan demonstrated the utility of a structured plan and planning legislation was enacted ex facto. Because of its timing and the tools available to the planners, the Abercrombie Plan provides an indicative set of suggestions for achieving a better future for London without identifying how and when the plan would be implemented. The City of London’s governance has long been closely linked with national policies; therefore, the plan resonates with the goals and initiatives of the British government. As previously mentioned, it was a national commission that identified the major issues requiring remediation in British urban areas and it was within the Abercrombie Plan’s purview to resolve them. While England did not have an official growth and development plan that towns were to follow, the County of London Plan was consistent with the national policies and goals of decentralization. Similarly, the county plan fit into the more broadly scaled Greater London Plan for the region. The county plan set out steps to encourage migration to smaller and newew towns, supporting the regional plan’s goals to develop the outlying towns.


PAN O R AMA 2014

Abercrombie’s Plan was unable to harness the same regulatory and political powers of its successors. Instead, it is more helpful to view the plan as a catalyst for future planners to gain agency in their own practice. The one tool that the Abercrombie Plan did secure was via the Town and Country Planning Act of 1944, which provided planning activities with some powers to respond to the destruction of the German blitz. Along the lines of American urban renewal, this planning act gave city agencies the power to requisition damaged and blighted buildings regardless of ownership (Ward 2004). Without tools such as enforceable zoning and the benefit of discrete political capital, the plan did not have a direct way to coordinate implementation. THE GREATER LONDON AUTHORITY’S VISION FOR GLOBAL LONDON The 2004 Plan for London: Spatial Development Strategy for Greater London had a wider range of challenges to tackle, embracing the core themes of growth, sustainability, and equity (Greater London Authority 2004, 309). Because the Mayor of Greater London leads these planning efforts, the plan’s responsibilities encompass the many moving parts of a city such as land use decisions, capital projects, infrastructure, economic development, affordable housing, and incentivizing sustainable growth. London’s 21st century planning culture is incredibly comprehensive and aims to achieve an ambitious set of tasks to bolster quality of life, increase equality, and welcome more economic growth to the region. During his tenure as mayor, Ken Livingstone understood the plan to be his vision to keep London an exemplary global city (Greater London Authority 2004). The British Parliament passed the Greater London Authority Act of 1999, which formed a governmental body that encompassed the City of London Corporation and the 32 surrounding boroughs. This legislation imparts overarching land use planning powers to the GLA and requires the Mayor to present annual plans and updated status reports for examination. The emphasis on enforcement for the London Plan cannot be overstated. Planning-related agencies have had great success in using the plan’s legal stature to challenge existing property rights to achieve the goals of approved plans. The greatest example is the extensive use of eminent domain on lowincome communities and for the development of the 2012 Olympic Park (Bernstock 2010). Given the GLA’s extensive planning authority, the London Plan has the strength to be prescriptive in nature. The plan developed indicators to track benchmark goals to be achieved along a given timeline. Providing specific guidelines for objectives such as affordable housing, the plan built a monitoring process to determine success based on achieving set aspects of the plan. From a political perspective, the GLA’s planning powers, as harnessed by the Mayor, are impressive. Not only must the previously autonomous London boroughs comply with the GLA plan, but the Mayor can also challenge their independent planning decisions if they do

Much of London was destroyed by the German blitzkrieg, requiring the government to raze the remains and find ways to relocate the displaced population.

not conform to the overarching goals of Greater London. The importance of consistency with plans beyond those boundaries is less obvious. Livingstone’s Plan emphasizes economic development and a global outlook with a specifically London-centric vision, while at the same time aligning itself vertically to British government’s wider aspirations to host the 2012 Olympics in the city and the country’s position as a top-tier global power, as well as with the directives issued by the European Union (Greater London Authority 2001).

any established tools at the disposal of the planners to enact their ideas. Conversely, the Livingstone Plan is a regularly occurring initiative that assumes that the final product will be enforced.



The rise in the prominence and power of planning in London over the last century demonstrates the legal, social, and cultural changes between the times of Abercrombie’s and Livingstone’s plans. The Abercrombie Plan was commissioned to survey and analyze the needs of the industrial city and develop a plan to respond to perceived needs. But the plan was more of one-off situation without

Comparisons between the Abercrombie and Livingstone plans recall the American push to the suburbs and more recent revival of central cities. Each of the plans for London asserts their desire to enhance the lives of Londoners through better design, accessible amenities, and quality of life. But while the post-war plan wanted to move residents to newly planned garden cities, the 21st century plan advanced the idea of adaptation and reuse.



Panoramic of the London Olympic Park

The Abercrombie Plan’s scope is optimistically extensive considering the lack of precedent in a plan being followed in London and given the country’s preoccupation with winning a war. The plan included an inside-outside plan that focused on addressing poor design and congestion and promoting greater suburban settlement outside of London. Within the city, Abercrombie proposed a modified set of zoning regulations that included restrictions on use, height, and density based on location. The destruction of many communities during the blitz gave him the opportunity to re-make many previously congested portions of the city and also encourage greater decentralization in the process. Paramount to the latter goal was the development of new garden cities which were to move people outside of the city and into developments with better form and land use regulations (Abercrombie and Forshaw 1944). The tasks described above are not separate from the other needs of the city. The Abercrombie Plan assesses the variety of transportation and open space needs required for the decentralization strategy to work while ensuring efficient movement of people and a better quality of life for communities. Some of these tasks and issues are typical of a 21st century plan and are reflected in the Livingstone London Plan; however, pointedly missing are 21st century objectives such as environmental sustainability, economic development, and equality. Today’s view of planning in London is much more expansive in scope than its predecessor. Viewed as the instrument to advance the city’s profile as a global center of economic and cultural activity, the plan is elevated from a set of ideas to a set of actions. Livingstone’s Plan sees London as a competitive global city that seeks to build “a more attractive, well-designed, and green London” in competition with New York and Tokyo (Greater London Authority 2004). To address the three-pronged vision of growth, sustainability,


PAN O R AMA 2014

and equity, the plan has six broad “performance indicators” that include the following: accommodate growth without open space encroachment, housing affordability, sustainable prosperity, social inclusion, accessibility, and design (Greater London Authority 2004). Unlike the Abercrombie Plan’s focus on decentralization, this plan embraces growth in the central city through infill and adaptive reuse, instead of additional development, and attempts to protect the city’s greenbelt and other open space. Design, housing, and accessibility were keywords for both eras of London planning, although Abercrombie certainly had a different vision for what those words meant. Aside from design, each plan appears to have a concern for maintaining some of the historical aesthetic and vista of an older London. Abercrombie viewed housing and access in terms of dispersion and the automobile. Livingstone’s plan looks to aggressively build within Greater London’s boundaries to accommodate growth, encourage more affordability, compete with other global cities, and improve residents’ access to employment opportunities via public transit. SURVEY, ANALYZE, PLAN VS. CONSENSUS AND COALITIONS London’s planning process evolved from a model that relied heavily on trained experts to an approach that engaged a range of stakeholders. Abercrombie and Livingstone’s plans both relied on fact-finding and analysis of community circumstances and their potential. The organization of each of these plans reflects different eras of London’s governmental politics. As the city has increasingly focused on equity and inclusion, the planning process has evolved to consider a broader audience’s interests that planners must gauge.

Following the model of Patrick Geddes, Abercrombie and Forshaw set out to survey, analyze and plan for London’s future in the County of London Plan. The stakeholders who participated in Abercrombie’s Plan were predominantly government officials — London City Council and the heads of the British government (Abercrombie 1943). The governmental set of stakeholders, the information gathered under the direction of Abercrombie and Forshaw, and the expertise of these chief planners dictated the types of goals that the plan included. The general public and business interests did not have vocal roles in the planning process but rather were represented by the planners’ understanding of the public interest. The Abercrombie Plan used the Rational Comprehensive Model (RCM) to determine what was best for Londoners and developed its plans around the premise of the planner knowing what was best for the city. Similar to general critiques of the RCM, this plan for London ultimately laid out a series of decisions unattached from an implementation process. As described below, the strengths of this plan lay not with its ultimate implementation. The Barlow Commission’s decentralization agenda and the authorization of compulsory sale of damaged and blighted property were two of the driving criteria that contributed to the decisions made for the final plan. The Livingstone Spatial Development Strategy for London collected input from a range of stakeholders from the beginning to form a policy commission that compiled a preliminary planning document, requested consultation, and published subsequent status reports before reporting on the final product. In his preliminary document, Livingstone noted that he sought to “build a consensus among the many groups and stakeholders in London that are

concerned about London’s future” via the planning process (Greater London Authority 2001). Although this planning process satisfies the 1968 Town and County Planning Act mandate to include citizen participation, critics note that the plan hardly represents an ideal collaborative style as outlined by Patsy Healy. Conversely, each plan since the establishment of the GLA in 2000 encourages ex facto citizen comment after an outline has been presented. Moreover, the plan’s predetermined emphasis on growth and business damages the sincerity of a truly engaging public process (Edwards 2010). Because special interest groups have a larger stake in the final product of the plan, an objective, collaborative fact-finding and decision-making process is impossible (Innes and Booher 2010). Although the plan aims at being a collaborative document, it is framed more as a strategic set of goals for the mayor’s administration to achieve with the help of partnerships. The plan identifies a set of missions, views planning issues as opportunities, and integrates political leanings into the decisions. While the plan ostensibly extends through 2020, each newly elected mayor has the opportunity to create a new plan. The London Plan’s process is most closely related to a modified strategic planning process peppered with some community engagement. The differences in process between the County of London Plan and the Spatial Development Strategy for Greater London are stark. Abercrombie’s plan represents a more technocratic view of the planning process with Forshaw and him serving as expert advisors to the London government. Their process included an educational period to understand the economy and culture of various neighborhoods and the mechanics behind congested roads and


areas, followed by a top-down decision-making process of proposed interventions. The newer plans of Livingstone and his successor reflect greater value for citizen participation and comment but still have room to improve on engaging the public more comprehensively. Part of the reason for this shift is a result of statutory requirement. Another explanation for the change in process ties to constituent accountability. The Abercrombie Plan was commissioned by the city government to produce a plan for London’s growth. Livingstone’s plan was a mandatory activity and part of the criteria upon which his success or failure would be judged by his constituents, making transparent public engagement more important for the longevity of those elected to this executive position. INSPIRING ACTION VS. PRODUCING ACTIONS Abercrombie’s County of London Plan is an example of a vision for the future. Without any actionable power, this plan served more as a representation of what London could look like with a series of changes: if development focused on new towns, if the city instituted land use zoning, if industry moved out, and so on. Rather than laying out a clear agenda of the steps to be taken, this plan was meant to inspire government officials to pass zoning legislation, encourage new towns, and maintain a greenbelt. Livingstone’s London Plan is an amalgamation of agenda, policy, and strategy. Organized with a variety of actions in order to accomplish the previously discussed objectives, the plan provides a range of steps to achieve the goals determined at the start of the planning practice. Unlike Hopkins’ characterization of an agenda plan, however, this plan did not involve stakeholders as much as it should have. In addition to setting an agenda, Livingstone used the plan to produce a set of directives for the boroughs of London to follow in their own local planning and development decisions. These policies require standard action among the constituent communities comprising the GLA as mandated by the law that binds them together. The plan also maintains a set of evaluation metrics — an indicator that Hopkins relates to strategy plans. With accompanying legal and regulatory changes in planning in the last 60 years, it is understandable that London’s plans shifted from a more amorphous vision format to one that calls for action. Similar to the way in which the changing political climate required some accountability from the city’s planners, the 21st century planning culture of London is one in which planners have the tools to act on their ideas for a better London. Abercrombie laid the groundwork to empower planners to have plans that included implementation guidelines and Livingstone’s extensive set of implementation tools reflect that effort.


PAN O R AMA 2014

IMPLEMENTATION: FROM SUGGESTED FUTURE TO MANDATED ACTION The Abercrombie Plan did not substantially link to implementation. As mentioned previously, this vision plan did not have the statutory weight behind it to propel any of its desired actions forward. Instead, the successful aspects of the plan can be seen in the implementation of suggested planning tools to achieve preferred outcomes. Moreover, as a plan developed during World War II, the plan understood that immediate implementation was impossible. Instead, the ideas of the County of London Plan became incorporated into the next decades of public policy in London even though the proposed future presented in this plan did occur. Because of Livingstone’s role as Mayor of Greater London and sponsor of the London Plan, implementation was guided by his allocation of resources to the required planning areas. For instance, the accessibility objectives of the plan were implemented by Transport for London and economic development objectives were assigned to the London Development Agency — each of these agencies were under Livingstone’s direction (Greater London Authority 2004). Also at the heart of the implementation of this plan is its statutory standing. The GLA’s emphasis on a powerful executive meant that completion of and consistency with the proscribed plans were mandatory by law. To spur action, the plan required a series of Unitary Development Plans (UDPs) at the borough level, which aligned with the broader London Plan. An extensive list of implementation tools and techniques, including partnerships with non-governmental organizations, provides the backbone to the plan’s initiation. To prepare for implementation, the London Plan cited myriad existing planning tools to leverage in achieving Livingstone’s vision. A host of additional tools to supplement these initiatives were also proposed to close the gaps between the status quo planning policies and those Livingstone proposed for implementation (Greater London Authority 2004). Very different from the Abercrombie Plan, the 2004 London Plan included implementation criteria and evaluation indicators to judge the plan’s progress. For example, by judging the number of houses built, level of infill development, and other criteria, the annual monitoring report demonstrated the relative success of the London Plan’s implementation. Between the 2004 and 2008 versions of the plan, the annual monitoring reports indicated success in implementing much of the plan; however, Livingstone lost re-election in 2008 to Boris Johnson. Since his election, Johnson has ushered in a new plan, bringing in

a new set of visions for the City of London. Despite the benefits of placing London’s planning powers with the leading elected official in the government, the transient nature of political figures means that this planning arrangement lacks long-term continuity and stability. Despite the multitude of resources bestowed upon the London Plan’s Commission, each plan only has a shelf life as long as the authoring politician or political party can remain at the helm, thus harming prospects for long-term fulfillment of any one plan.

PLANNING FOR POSTERITY: INSPIRATION OR OUTCOME In a discussion of his own plan, Abercrombie warns, “If the Plan is to remain merely a volume on paper it will not be of very much use; it will have been a matter of great interest to have produced it but it will be a sterile piece of work” (Abercrombie 1943). While the County of London Plan is known for its comprehensiveness and inspirational vision, it did not succeed in accomplishing many of the changes it sought. Indeed much of the utility of the plan ended up being as a reference for future planners. Without the legal tools and techniques available to successfully implement the ideas, the plan could not go very far. The 2004 London Plan was much more outcome-centric, but not necessarily concerned with inspiring public action or producing the public’s preferred outcomes. Livingstone did not make many friends in his aggressive approach to implementing plans across Greater London’s boroughs. With the legal power and financial resources to administer the London Plan, he was able to change the historical development pattern of London like no previous planning regime. This process was not necessarily the most respectful of a democratic planning process and has not had the longevity of the Abercrombie plan. The evolution from Abercrombie’s plan to today’s era of planning done by the Greater London Authority is much like the evolution of the profession over time — with some political considerations that tinge the final product of each London plan. It is clear that Abercrombie’s original vision, even without its application, influenced the way in which future London plans were framed and the tools that were made available for the plans to succeed. So while London planners enjoy a culture that supports planning activities and welcomes their expertise, their plans may not be aligned with those of the public. As additional iterations of GLA plans surface with newly elected mayors, it will be interesting to see whether London voters will insist on a more democratic, collaborative process as the development patterns of London change with the strong arm of each Mayor’s plan.

REFERENCES Abercrombie, Patrick. "Some Aspects of the County of London Plan." The Geographical Journal (The Royal Geographical Society) 102, no. 5/6 (December 1943): 227-238. Abercrombie, Patrick, and J.H. Forshaw. County of London Plan. city plan, London County Council, London: MCMillan and Company, 1944. Bernstock, Penny. "Living on the Olympic Park: Will dreams become reality?" BBC, December 6, 2010: Bowie, Duncan. Politics, Planning and Homes in a World City. London: Routledge, 2010. Dehaene, Michiel. "Urban LEssons for the Modern Planner: Patrick Abercrombie and the Study of Urban Development." The Town Planning Review (Liverpool University Press) 75, no. 1 (2004): 1-30. Edwards, Michael. "Do Londoners make their own plans?" In London: coping with austerity, by K Scanlon and B. Kochan, 57-71. London: LSE London, 2010. Foley, Donald. Governing the London region: reorganization and planning in the 1960s. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972. Foster, Janet. "London: The Developers' City?" City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action (Routledge) 6, no. 2 (2002): 271-272. Greater London Authority. "The London Plan: Spatial Development Strategy for Greater London." City Plan, London: The Greater London Authority, 2004. Greater London Authority. "The London Plan: Spatial Development Strategy for Greater London, Consolidated with Alterations Since 2004." City Plan, London: The Greater London Authority, 2008. Greater London Authority. "Towards the London Plan. Outline of Plan," London: Greater London Authority, 2001. Healy, Patsy. "In Search of the "Strategic" in Spatial Strategy Making." Planning Theory & Practice (Routledge) 10, no. 4 (2009): 439-457. Holman, Nancy. "The changing nature of the London Plan." In London: coping with Austerity, by K Scanlon and B. Kochan, 29-40. London: London School of Economics, 201. Innes, Judith, and David Booher. Planning with Complexity: An Introduction to Collaborative Rationality for Public Policy. New York: Routledge, 2010. Larkham, Peter, and David Adams. The post-war reconstruction planning of London: a wider perspective. Birmingham: Birmingham City University, August 2011. Travers, Tony. "The Role of the Boroughs in the New Regime." In London: coping with austerity, by K Scanlon and B. Kochan, 13-28. London: LSE London, 2010. Ward, Stephen. Planning and Urban Change. London: Sage Publications, 2004.



Benefits and Drawbacks OF


Veronica Xin Ge

Perceptions of public-private partnerships vary drastically in the United States and globally. Author Veronica Ge outlines the arguments for and against public-private partnerships in a time when such partnerships need to be explored to improve the financial feasibility of critical infrastructure projects. Without first addressing the perceptions of public-private partnerships, planners will be unable to count on the support of the public.


PAN O R AMA 2014



As countries’ populations grow and their urban areas expand, more funding will be needed for infrastructure projects. However, the declining workforce in the wake of retiring Baby Boomers will not be able to generate enough public revenue to support the entire population in addition to funding public projects. Globally, it is estimated that $57 trillion in investments is needed to meet the worldwide infrastructure demand between now and 2030, and some believe the figure is even higher (McKinsey & Co. 2013). These significant stresses are why public-private partnerships (PPPs) can play an important role in the future. However, public-private partnerships have strengths and weaknesses. This article is intended to analyze those pros and cons in both the developed and developing world, and at the end make policy recommendations to ensure good use of PPPs without harming public interests.

PPP project delivery models can be constructed on a spectrum of different mixes of public-private responsibilities, as shown in Figure 2 (Rall et al. 2010). The left end shows the traditional approach in which the private sector is not involved at all, and the right end shows the full privatization approach. In the middle are a range of PPP arrangements, in which the private sector assumes traditionally public roles and responsibilities to some extent. The major characteristic that distinguishes PPPs from full privatization is that the public sector is entitled to the ultimate ownership of the project.

Projected global infrastructure investment demand by sector (2013-2030).

FUNDING STRUCTURE PPP projects can be funded partially with public funds from taxes, user fees, bonds, or grants from higher-level governments, and partially with private funds from user fees, loans from private capital markets, or equity from investors. To encourage private participation in infrastructure projects, some governments use innovative financing tools (such as TIFIA loans in the U.S. and the Credit Guarantee Finance program in the UK), which give private partners access to low-interest or tax-exempt debt to reduce their financing costs. However, no matter how low the interest rates are for the private sector to borrow money, in order to get the private sector to invest, the revenue generated from the project must be enough to cover the cost and, over time, to provide a return to investors consistent with the risk level involved. Otherwise the public sector usually has to provide compensation to the private sector as defined by the contracts. Therefore, for a PPP project not to harm the fiscal health of the public sector, it is crucial to guarantee a sufficient level of return from the project.

OVERVIEW OF PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS DEFINITIONS Public-private partnerships are not uniformly defined and can be arranged in various ways in terms of contracting, delivery and financing. This article uses the definition of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which describes PPPs as “a form of cooperation between government and business agents – sometimes also involving voluntary organizations (NGOs, trade unions) or knowledge institutes – that agree to work together to reach common goals or carry out a specific task, while jointly assuming the risk and responsibilities and sharing resources and competences” (Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB) 2013).

Project delivery models along a continuum of private sector involvement.


and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB) 2013). Especially when it comes to evaluation for investment in a specific sector in a specific country, empirical evidence that fits into the right category is rare.

CONTROVERSY 1: WOULD PPPS COST MORE OR LESS? AGAINST PPPs There are concerns that PPP projects have higher financing costs because the private sector is usually faced with higher interest rates for loans. Conversely, governments in the United States can issue taxexempt municipal bonds to finance infrastructure projects, taking advantage of lower interest rates. As a result, the private sector has to find ways to compensate for the high financing costs, such as by collecting higher user fees in the future (Rall et al. 2010). PPP market maturity curve shows how sophisticated and vivid the PPP markets in different countries are.

INTERNATIONAL COMPARISON PPPs have been adopted internationally in markets with different levels of maturity, as shown on the chart below. The UK and Australia have the highest level of sophistication and activity. In comparison, while the high level of activities in the U.S. reflects strong interest in PPPs, the level of sophistication is moderate. The governments in the first stage are still trying to get the fundamentals of PPP in the right place, including constructing the policy and legislative framework, designing the proper contracts and creating desirable market conditions to encourage participation of the private sector. In the second stage of maturity, countries begin to extend PPPs from the transport sector into other infrastructure sectors, and customize more sophisticated PPP models to meet the unique needs of each sector. Sophisticated hybrid models include alliancing, bundling, competitive partnerships, incremental partnerships, integrators, and joint ventures. The characteristics of the third stage include capital markets with pension funds and private equity firms, robust government capabilities to create and administer PPPs, and constructive innovation of PPP models.

CONFLICTING PERSPECTIVES As PPPs have become increasingly debated in policy and business conversations, the proponents and critics have put forward a series of arguments for or against PPPs in developing and developed countries. However, most of the arguments are conceptual, while empirical evidence that shows the actual outcomes of PPPs is limited (Policy


PAN O R AMA 2014

FOR PPPs It is argued by PPP proponents that instead of increasing costs, PPP projects actually reduce costs. First, PPP projects do not necessarily have higher financing costs, especially in developed countries. The U.S. government can provide access to low-interest rate or taxexempt debt to private partners, although these private partners cannot issue such debt themselves. In some developing countries where the governments are not capable of providing such credit assistance, multilateral development banks usually take over this role. With such financial assistance in place, the financing costs of PPP projects are not necessarily higher. Second, additional cost savings can be achieved through private sector efficiencies. In PPP scenarios, private partners typically have a stronger incentive to use innovative design and deliver a highquality project in order to reduce operation and maintenance costs in the long run. In addition, competition among bidders can drive the project cost lower as well (Rall et al. 2010). Successful PPPs have a track record of timely project delivery and lower project costs. In Australia, the average cost escalation of PPPs is only 4%, while that for traditional projects is as high as 18% (PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP 2010). Similarly, Canada Line, the very first transit PPP project in North America, was completed several months ahead of schedule. However, the empirical evidence for success of PPP projects in developed countries is mixed and contradictory. For instance, Blanc-Brude and his colleagues found from a regression analysis that PPPs across EU countries were 24% more expensive than estimates for traditional procurement projects and that cost overruns were not reduced at all. Similarly, Fitzgerald asserts that the large cost savings from Australian PPP projects were calculated based on an unreasonably high discount rate, which produced

VfM analysis can measure relative financial benefit. The public-sector comparator (PSC) bars show the risk-adjusted cost estimate for a publicly financed and implemented project, and the other bars show the cost estimates of PPP projects.

misleading calculation results. Also, other scholars suggest that success in Canadian and British PPPs was in fact limited (Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB) 2013). The lack of reliable data and precise evaluation methods make it difficult to create a fair judgment about the true effects of PPP projects. Cost effectiveness of PPPs in developed countries can be proven by at least some of the empirical studies. As for developing countries, even less evidence was found regarding the cost and environmental benefits of PPPs (Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB) 2013). Among the limited case studies, a PPP between Kwara State Government in Nigeria and a private waste management company is highlighted in the literature review done by the Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (also known as IOB) in the Netherlands. This PPP was formed in 2004 and contributed to formalizing recycling processes and increasing the effectiveness of the waste management industry. However, a study of how users perceive the service is yet to be done. As pointed out by the researchers at the IOB, a counterfactual should be included in the evaluation of PPPs in developing countries to compare situations with and without PPPs. Only in this way can the actual effects of PPPs be isolated from other influences. Scarcity of empirical evidence inevitably adds to the difficulty of justifying PPPs in developing countries, regardless of their theoretical potential of stimulating social and economic developments there.

Third, to make an informed decision about whether a project should be handled through a PPP or a traditional public procurement model, a Value for Money (VfM) analysis should be done at different stages of the project, as shown in Figure 4 below. [Insert Figure 4]. A VfM analysis should be performed during the planning phase to determine how much the public sector would need to spend with or without the involvement of the private sector. VfM analysis is a precautionary measure that must be taken at the beginning to increase the financing transparency of the project, and to better inform the public decision making process so that the government can be more aware of the potential costs and risks associated before entering such contracts. Such an analysis is not sufficient to guarantee the successful cost savings of PPP projects, but it is absolutely necessary to avoid the failures of them from the very beginning of the project.

CONTROVERSY 2: WOULD THE PUBLIC SECTOR LOSE CONTROL OF THE ASSET? AGAINST PPPs One of the major concerns expressed by opponents of PPPs is that the public would lose control of the asset. When it comes to public services, the opponents do not believe that the private sector can provide reliable services in an affordable, equitable and environmentally friendly manner. In countries like the United States and Canada, there is historically a negative perception of private investment in infrastructure projects (International Futures Programme 2011). The critics warn that the government could lose its power to make future policy decisions concerning infrastructure assets if they are operated through PPPs (Rall et al. 2010). First, opponents are concerned that the private partner would charge higher user fees in order to generate excess profits. Second, they are worried that low-income areas would not have access to the service provided by privately led infrastructure investments. Third, the private partner might not take an environmentally friendly approach when building and maintaining the infrastructure in order to reduce costs (Rall et al. 2010). Fourth, future revenue from the asset, especially unexpected “windfall profits,� could be lost to the concessionaires instead of being retained as public revenue. Fifth,


when the private partner is foreign, opponents fear foreign control of vital infrastructure systems out of national security concerns. Sixth, the private partner could fail to deliver the anticipated services or to keep the infrastructure in a state of good repair due to their pursuit of profit maximization. Seventh, some PPP contracts include noncompete clauses, which limit or prohibit development of competing facilities. Last, if the project cannot achieve the agreed-upon return on investment for the private partner and the government is not able to compensate for the revenue shortfall, the private partner might choose to exit the market and the services would be suspended (AECOM 2013). FOR PPPs Despite the above-mentioned drawbacks, proponents of PPPs believe that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, and that any potential shortcomings can be mitigated through the effective construction of a proper contract. A contract that creates checks, balances, and controls for PPPs should address several key issues. First, the contract ensure that the user fees are reasonable. Second, to address the equity issue, the government can consider linking the user fees to the user’s ability to pay by providing subsidies to low-income users. Third, as for the environmental concerns, the contract should specify enforceable environmental standards. Fourth, the contract must include agreements about how any future unexpected profits are to be shared between the public and private partners (AECOM 2013). Fifth, when picking foreign partners, it is safer to pick investors from allied countries. Sixth, the contract should include obligations, standards, and the use of warranties regarding the asset’s conditions and performance, and the private partners should be able to be penalized for non-compliance. Seventh, governments can pass statutes to prohibit non-compete clauses in PPP contracts. Lastly, through innovative design techniques and better construction technology and management strategies, the private partner is able to achieve a high enough ROI that wholesale abandonment of the project is very unlikely (PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP 2010). Again, well-written contracts can prevent this occurrence.

CONTROVERSY 3: ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY AGAINST PPPs Each PPP is composed of complex, highly technical arrangements, and the critics point out that in some complicated PPP contracts, the public and the elected officials do not have the time or capacity to fully understand the implications of these arrangements (Rall et al. 2010). In developing countries, nepotism and favoritism are not uncommon and the PPP decision-making process can be arbitrary or corrupt. In these systems, stakeholders might not have the power or resources to place checks and balance on the misconduct of their


PAN O R AMA 2014

governments. As a result, even if they are clear about what problems the PPP contracts would cause, they might not be able to prevent these problems from occurring. FOR PPPs It is suggested by proponents of PPPs that adequate opportunities for public input and legislative review should be provided to improve transparency during the decision-making process for PPP projects. Chris Lippincott, spokesman of Texas Department of Transportation, notes that “there is no way to overstate the importance of early public involvement in the process and of giving context to private-sector participation” (Rall et al. 2010). As for developing countries, it has been argued that foreign companies might be even more transparent based on the laws in their home countries. However, this argument is founded in theory and has little empirical evidence to support it so far. RECOMMENDATIONS There are legitimate concerns associated with PPP projects. However, the emerging consensus is that many of these concerns can be mitigated to a great extent by the public partner through well-crafted legislation and contracts, discerning project analysis and selection, and long-term contract management and oversight (Rall et al. 2010). For developed countries, the “Principles for State Legislators” by the National Conference of State Legislatures has helpful recommendations. First, the public sector decision-makers must make their thoroughly analyze fact-based information. Second, debates about whether and how to pursue a PPP should be separated from debates about pricing or how to spend the potential proceeds. Third, the public partner must make sure that the interests of all stakeholder groups are protected as much as possible. Fourth, stakeholders from different groups should be involved early on to provide essential knowledge and information, so that their support can be gained and political risk can be mitigated. Fifth, PPP decisions must be made based on long-term impacts instead of immediate costs and benefits. Sixth, the ultimate goal of a PPP is to meet with area’s needs for infrastructure, not to raise revenue for public or private partners. Seventh, comprehensive project analysis should be done during the planning process to prove that the PPP approach is indeed a better option than other alternatives. Eighth, governments must conduct clear assessments of potential asset values, financial goals, and spending. Lastly, the procurement process must be fair, clear and transparent (Rall et al. 2010). The Policy and Operations Evaluation Department by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs also made recommendations for successful PPP projects in developing countries. First, permanent government involvement is essential to guarantee the safety, efficacy, and quality of the services. Second, a regulatory system that protects

private partners from arbitration and expropriation and respects contract agreements is indispensable to help private investors manage risk. Third, to establish effective collaboration between the public and private partners, there are some key formation requirements, including “resource dependency, commitment symmetry, common goal symmetry, intensive communication, alignment of cooperation learning capability, and converging working cultures.” Fourth, when selecting private partners, the four Cs – “compatibility, capability, commitment and control” – are critical criteria. Fifth, more PPP projects in developing countries involve private partners from abroad, so it is essential to establish trust. Sixth, after selecting the right private partner and establishing a stable relationship, the last critical task is similar to the task in developed countries, which is to ensure that the long-term interests of different stakeholder groups are carefully negotiated and packaged, and the contributions of different partners are balanced.

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Private Limited. "Funding the Infrastructure Investment Gap." 2013. assets/Dcom-India/Local%20Assets/Documents/Thoughtware/ Funding_the_InfrastructureInvestment_Gap.pdf.


Infrastructure Partnerships Australia. "Performance of PPPs and Traditional Procurement in Australia." au/content/PPP.aspx.

Despite the infrastructure funding gaps in most countries, governments should not rush into PPPs until they feel confident about them. Government officials considering PPPs should look into best practices and empirical evidence from all over the world and seek out PPP experts to acquire sufficient knowledge and information before making their decision. A successful PPP combines strong support from stakeholders, experienced private partners who improve the overall performance of the project, rigorous oversight that protects public interests, and properly constructed contracts that provide the right balance of incentives and control. In every infrastructure project where PPP is considered, there will absolutely be legitimate concerns about whether the governments have sufficient capacity to perform thorough project analysis and to negotiate contracts that truly protect the public interest. However, for governments facing public fiscal constraints and pressing infrastructure needs, PPPs are options worth spending time and effort to explore, and governments globally will hopefully get better at handling PPP projects as more successful projects are delivered and best practices are shared.

REFERENCES AECOM Techology Corporation. "Fostering a Larger Private Sector Role in United States Infrastructure." 2013. deployedfiles/Internet/Brochures/FosteringWhitePaper.pdf. African Development Bank Group. "Financial Products." 2014. http:// Asian Development Bank. "Private Sector Financing." 2013. http://

Dobbs, Richard, Herbert Pohl, Diaan-Yi Lin, Jan Mischke, Nicklas Garemo, Jimmy Hexter, Stefan Matzinger, Robert Palter, and Rushad Nanavatty. “Infrastructure productivity: How to save $1 trillion a year,” McKinsey & Co. 2013. engineering_construction/infrastructure_productivity. HM Treasury. "A New Approach to Public-Private Partnerships." 2012. attachment_data/file/205112/pf2_infrastructure_new_approach_to_ public_private_parnerships_051212.pdf. Infrastructure Australia. "Contracted PPPs." 2013. http://www. iles/Contracted_ PPPs_May_2013.pdf/.

International Futures Programme OECD. "Pension Funds Investment in Infrastructure: A Survey." 2011. infrastructureto2030/48634596.pdf. Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB). "Public-Private Partnerships in Developing Countries: A Systematic Literature Review." The Hague: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, 2013. Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility. "What we do." 2014. PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP. "Public-Private Partnerships: The US Perspective." 2010. Rall, J., Reed, J. B., & Farber, N. J.. "Public-Private Partnerships for Transportation: A Toolkit for Legislators." Washington D.C.: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2010. U.S. Department of Transportation. "Report to Congress on the Costs, Benefits, and Efficiencies of Public-Private Partnerships for Fixed Guideway Capital Projects". Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of Transportation, 2007. Urban Land Institute and Ernest & Young. "Infrastructure 2013: Global priorities, Global Insights." 2013. vwLUAssets/Infrastructure_2013/$FILE/Infrastructure_2013.pdf. US DOT Federal Highway Administration. "Project Profiles." 2014. Virginia Department of Transportation and 95 Express Lanes LLC. "Comprehensive Agreement Relating to the I-95 HOV/HOT Lanes Project." 2012. default/assets/File/pdf/95HOVHOT/Comprehensive_agreement/ CA_82012/0_-_Comprehensive_Agreement.pdf.


An ongoing debate in America concerns which powers are left to states. However, it is even less clear as to which powers are reserved to municipalities, such as counties and towns. Alabama has a history of retaining overwhelming power at the state level, leaving little autonomy to the counties, the most common point of local orientation for the largely rural state. Wesley Vaughn chronicles the background of this arrangement and makes the case that the counties are powerless to perform their essential tasks such as planning. He points out the racial element to the struggle and the court precedents that have led to Alabama’s home-rule debate.

The State Rules & Counties Drool: A HISTORY AND EVALUATION OF HOME RULE IN ALABAMA Wesley Vaughn


PAN O R AMA 2014

Local governments serve their communities at the most direct level, and when states attempt to withhold the powers of cities and counties, local representation becomes diluted and its effectiveness suffers. Amasa Eaton writes, “No country can live that destroys local government” (1900, 130). Unfortunately, states throughout the United States have followed such a course – empowering their state legislatures to handle local matters at the expense of community officials and their constituents. Although the historical backing for state authority over local governments remains up for debate, the legal and judicial precedent from the United States Constitution and subsequent US Supreme Court cases certainly weighs in favor of state governments. One state in particular, Alabama, has limited the powers of its county governments since before the 20th century. The state legislature has essentially usurped all county powers, which has left a large portion of the state’s population at the will of representatives that they did not elect. To provide context for Alabama’s treatment of county home rule, I outline the history and theory behind home rule in the United States. The three major doctrines that influence the home rule debate are also explained and examined for insight into the various opinions that have been at the forefront of the home rule debate since the 19th century. I conclude with the history and implications of Alabama’s limited home rule for its county governments.

The arguments against local autonomy focus on the limited ability of local governments and their lack of a statewide perspectives. All local governments, especially adjacent municipalities, are intrinsically connected. Thus, one town’s decision to permit a residential subdivision or enact a unique taxing policy affects surrounding communities. The larger scope of state governments enables them to survey the interests of all communities and presumably choose the decision with the best possible outcome. The limited financial capacity of most local governments prevents them from capably governing as well (Vanlandingham, 1968, 272). The threat of “home ruin” from the abuse of local power and ineffective local governance also supports states’ interests in limiting home rule (Vanlandingham, 1968, 273). Despite the issues associated with greater municipal authority, states – Alabama in the case of this article – that deliberately weaken local forms of government suffer from poor growth management and political meddling. The history of home rule reveals evolving legal interpretations and state policies that present different approaches with varying levels of success. Alabama’s outdated legal treatment of counties, which serve as the local governments for most of the sparsely populated state, imposes unnecessary strains on local rule.

WHAT IS HOME RULE? Home rule is generally defined as the legal and political concept associated with the level of autonomy for local municipalities granted by states. As Kenneth Vanlandingham notes, permitted functions and powers comprise the legal element and state legislative decisions comprise the political element (1968, 280). Home rule does not equate to complete local sovereignty, but only the degree of independence delegated to local governments for handling local matters. The supporters of greater local sovereignty advance the policy’s local and statewide benefits. With more powerful local governments, state governments would have more capacity to deal with statewide issues rather than attending to purely local matters. Further local authority would also decrease the need for municipalities to lobby their state governments on local issues, which would save local financial resources for more pressing matters. Additionally, local governments can respond quicker and presumably more effectively to local issues because of their proximity to and familiarity with their constituency. Vanlandingham also suggests that stronger local governments may instill civic pride in communities (1968, 271).

The state’s power is centralized in the capital of Montgomery, rather than being dispersed to the counties and local governments.

THE HISTORY OF HOME RULE PRIOR TO DILLON’S RULE The debate surrounding the proper authority for local governments precedes the opinions of Chief Justice John Dillon in 1868 when he declared local governments completely subservient to states. The idea of local home rule predates the landmark Dillon’s Rule case in 1868, and can be separated into three eras. During the colonial period in the United States and through early 1800s, political theorists and judicial interpretations presented opposing home rule


perspectives. The second era was headlined by the aforementioned Dillon’s Rule case in Iowa during the late 1800s, which spawned a national conversation about home rule. These periods have influenced the debate that still carries on today – whether local governments are equipped to take on additional power from the state or whether states should have the ultimate say in local matters.

Stetson v. Kempton, Justice C.J. Parker called towns “creatures of legislation” that had “only the power which are expressly granted to them.” Backed by this judicial endorsement of limited home rule, states took the initiative to address the powers of local governments (The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, 1962, 7).


Political theorists during the adoption of the United States Constitution and throughout the 1800s presented countering opinions on the role of local governments. One of the Constitution’s framers, James Madison, feared the ability of factions to take hold in local governments. Madison, writing in The Federalist Papers reasoned that smaller electorates minimized the opportunity for more diverse representation and more oversight, which could lead to a group taking advantage of a constituency. The wariness of Madison towards local home rule may better explain the Constitution’s omission of local governments. Conversely, French political historian Alexis de Tocqueville observed the vital role of local governments in New England. De Tocqueville witnessed impassioned political participation at the local level, where the same individuals did not express a similar fondness for the state government. He expresses his opinion on the political holdings of those New England individuals, “I believe that not a man is to be found who would acknowledge that the state has any right to interfere in their local interests” (1835). The settling of local governments prior to the creation of states in New England, especially in Massachusetts, likely influenced the sentiments that de Tocqueville observed.

Although federal and state governments control much of the political power in the United States today, the colonies operated more locally. The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations argues that most scholars agree that the “dominant political culture in colonial America was localist and decentralized” (1962, 28). Royal charters specifically developed this type of political culture. Case law at the time had also set precedent that severely limited the power of a king from enforcing a new charter on a town or substantially altering a town’s existing charter (King v. Dr. Askew, n.d.). Protecting colonial mandates validated their importance and provided a legal framework for the country to follow after independence when states began delegating power to local governments. The size of southern colonies created a unique regional setup of local government. Unlike in northern colonies that utilized townships and boroughs, southern colonies formed counties to “exercise their powers over wider areas” (The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, 1962, 5). Alabama retains this governmental framework still today.

THE CONSTITUTIONAL PERIOD THROUGH THE MID-19TH CENTURY The United States Constitution’s exclusion of local governments implicitly allowed the states to regulate local governments. Scholars such as Jesse Richardson point to this omission of the Founding Fathers as a deliberate political choice that grants credence to the state policies that limit local authority and to Dillon’s Rule (2011, 662). Regardless of the intent, the result undisputedly empowered state governments following the Constitution’s adoption in 1787. The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations states, “With independence, the new State legislatures became the undisputed mediums for expressing the will of government and the States assumed, as a democratic right, the control of local government that the English Crown had endeavored to acquire” (1962, 6). Judicial decisions in the early 1800s also buttressed the growing recognition of state power over local governments. An 1816 Massachusetts Supreme Court case best exemplifies this trend as it provides precedent to the Dillon’s Rule case. In the opinion for

The history prior to the Dillon’s Rule case of 1868 sets the stage for the ruling and the two contrasting home rule doctrines. Debates over the legitimacy of local home rule did not suddenly begin following Justice Dillon’s ruling against the city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Disputes over the power of municipalities and their states trace back to England before colonization, during the framing of the United States Constitution, and up Alabama’s constitution was adopted in 1901 with the mission to withhold power from poor whites and minorities. It is the longest constitution in the world.


PAN O R AMA 2014

Birmingham Skyline

until the mid-19th century. Local governments held some historical, theoretical, and legal backing, but states had the overwhelming momentum leading into City of Clinton v. Cedar Rapids & Mo. River R.R. THE THREE HOME RULE DOCTRINES Three legal doctrines that interpret different degrees of local autonomy emerged from the home rule debate that reached a climax in the late 19th century. Dillon’s Rule, the Cooley Doctrine, and the Fordham Rule span the spectrum of home rule from a complete rejection to full support of local sovereignty. Although these doctrines are only judicial holdings of state law, they have influenced and continue to influence the political decisions of state legislatures. The history, reasoning, and impacts of each interpretation exhibit three models of how states may treat local governments. DILLON’S RULE Dillon’s Rule construes states as the ultimate arbiters of local control, and as a result, local governments only have the power expressly bestowed on them. Charles Adrian and Michael Fine explain that for local governments under Dillon’s Rule, “If in doubt, you do not have the power” (1991, 83). This legal interpretation typically resolves state-local disputes in favor of the state.

The concept of Dillon’s Rule emerged from Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice John Dillon’s opinion in City of Clinton v. Cedar Rapids & Mo. River R.R. in 1868. The case involved the city of Clinton that alleged its incorporated powers enabled it to refuse the railroad construction sought by the Cedar Rapids and Missouri River Railroad Company through its borders. The city council had passed an ordinance barring the company from constructing facilities within the city. However, the state had amended the city’s charter allowing for the publicly incorporated company to build within the city and had amended the railroad company’s charter legalizing the desired extension through Clinton. The city argued that the state had granted it power over its land and that the city had exercised power over it accordingly ever since. The company argued that the city of Clinton had no authority to refuse a state-approved public utility. In the majority opinion that ruled in favor of the railroad company, Chief Justice Dillon concluded that the state’s approval of the railroad construction superseded the desires of the city. Dillon stated that though the city holds some control of its public property, it does so in the public trust of the entire state, not just for Clinton. Dillon writes, “Municipal corporations owe their origin to, and derive their powers and rights wholly from, the legislature. It breathes into them the breath of life, without which they cannot exist. As it creates, so it


may destroy. If it may destroy, it may abridge and control” (City of Clinton v. Cedar Rapids & Mo. River R.R.,1868).

creation of the board of public works in Detroit, but struck down the state’s appointments in favor of commissioners to be elected locally.

The United States Supreme Court upheld the principles of Dillon’s Rule in a 1907 case that involved Pittsburgh’s annexation of the city of Allegheny. The Court affirmed the disputed annexation. Justice Moody, writing for the majority, restates Dillon’s definition of local governments, “Municipal corporations are political subdivisions of the State, created as convenient agencies for exercising such of the governmental powers of the State as may be entrusted to them” (Hunter v. Pittsburgh, 1907). Allegheny had argued that the annexation would lessen the value of properties within its jurisdiction and that neither the city nor its residents supported it. However, Justice Moody notes that the state, represented in this case by the state law and the authorized consolidation, may act without the approval of a local citizenry or government.

Even though he admits in his opinion that judicial decisions of the time support state over local powers, Chief Justice Cooley believed in the rights that he argues are historically endowed to local governments. The slippery slope enabled by the principles espoused by the supporters of Dillon’s Rule concerned Cooley, who asks, “Whether local self-government in this state is or is not a mere privilege, conceded by the legislature in its discretion, and which may be withdrawn at any time at pleasure?” Responding generally to Dillon’s argument within the confines of the case at hand, Cooley writes, “[L]ocal government is a matter of absolute right … It would be boldest mockery to speak of a city as possessing municipal liberty where the state not only shaped its government, but at discretion sent in its own agents to administer it” (People v. Hurlbut, 1871). State governments, Cooley argues, only have the right to govern the framework of local governments, not to control them.

These judicial holdings support the premise of Dillon’s Rule— that local governments have no inherent powers. As a result, states assume absolute power, which forces municipalities to gain power through charters and constitutional provisions (The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, 1962, 7). Analyses of Dillon’s Rule, such as the 1962 report by the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, call attention to the growing anti-urban political environment in the late 19th century. The commission writes that Dillon’s Rule “was formulated in an era when farm-dominated legislatures were jealous of their power and when city scandals were notorious.” The mentalities surrounding these cases at the time better explain the trend of states to limit the power of local governments and for the judicial system to support that trend. THE COOLEY DOCTRINE The Cooley Doctrine offers a diametrically opposing interpretation of local government autonomy to Dillon’s Rule. The doctrine assigns the absolute right of government to municipalities and protects their rights from the state. Although the Cooley Doctrine lacks the strong judicial backing that the Dillon’s Rule has, it still represents a strain of political thought formed through legal rationale. The Cooley Doctrine traces back to the decisions of Chief Justice Thomas M. Cooley of the Michigan Supreme Court alongside the rise of Dillon’s Rule in the late 19th century. In the concurring opinion of People v. Hurlbut in 1871, Chief Justice Cooley provided the foundation that supported the doctrine of local government sovereignty. In the case, the state of Michigan created a board of public works for Detroit and appointed its commissioners, which would assume the powers and responsibility of commissioners of two existing local boards. After the standing board members refused to step down, the state-appointed commissioners brought suit to oust them. The Michigan Supreme Court unanimously upheld the state’s


PAN O R AMA 2014

Unlike the concept of Dillon’s Rule, the Cooley Doctrine had not received widespread judicial application. Chief Justice Cooley continued to decide related cases in Michigan by applying his principles, but his doctrine lost momentum soon after its inception ( Jones, 1966, 116). Despite the courts’ neglect of the doctrine, states have recognized its merits and woven its core beliefs into their constitutional provisions and municipal charters. Indiana, Nebraska, Kentucky, Iowa, and Texas adapted statutes in line with the Cooley Doctrine, and combined with its partial adoption by other states, the doctrine has remained relevant in the home rule discussion (The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, 1993, 34). THE FORDHAM RULE The Fordham Rule, unlike Dillon’s Rule or the Cooley Doctrine, developed from political theory in the mid-20th century. Despite its contrasting source and time of origination, the Fordham Rule recommends a respected synthesis of the two previously discussed home rule interpretations — a high level of local government independence with the state’s right to supervise defined legal areas (The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, 1993, 44). Jefferson B. Fordham first explained the concept behind this hybrid model in his 1953 book published by the American Municipal Association (Williams and Horn, 2003, 248). Fordham rationalizes his concept and its proposed governmental framework, “The approach of [the Fordham Rule] is to strike a balance by enabling home rule units to enact private law only as an incident to the exercise of some independent municipal power” (1955, 142). The Fordham Rule uses state-approved municipal charters that supersede state statutes in prescribed legal areas (Fordham, 1953, 19-20). By virtue of existing in the middle of the home rule spectrum, the Fordham

Rule has gained political traction over the less politically appealing Cooley Doctrine. By 1993, more states had followed some form of the Fordham Rule over the Cooley Doctrine (The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, 1993, 1). Two court cases, Adler v. Deegan in 1929 and New Orleans Campaign for a Living Wage v. City of New Orleans in 2002, provide legal precedent for the Fordham Rule and demonstrate the resulting influence of the Fordham Rule in the judicial system. Both cases supported the ability of local governments to challenge the power of their states in certain instances. The ruling in Adler v. Deegan upheld a state law requiring New York City to adopt a housing code consistent with state standards, but also noted that a city’s actions are defensible when “consistent with the ends envisaged by the State” (Adler v. Deegan, 1929). Similarly, the ruling in New Orleans Campaign for a Living Wage v. City of New Orleans in 2002 struck down the city’s minimum wage law for private employers while recognizing the autonomy of the municipality for civil law in nonprivate relationships.

CURRENT STATUS OF HOME RULE IN THE UNITED STATES The home rule model followed by most states in the United States continues to be Dillon’s Rule. In a 2003 review, Jesse Richardson found that 39 states apply the Dillon’s Rule interpretation to at least one level of local government, 31 of those states apply Dillon’s Rule to all levels of local government, and 11 states do not treat their local governments with respect to Dillon’s Rule (2011, 666). The National Association of Counties’ 2010 report presents similar findings (Sellers, 2010, 205). However, neither of these reports account for the possibility that a supposed Dillon’s Rule state may operate under the confines of the hardly distinguishable Fordham Rule. Therefore, the number of Dillon’s Rule states is suspected to be marginally inflated. Even accounting for a slight inflation, Dillon’s Rule still obviously trumps the Cooley Doctrine and the Fordham Rule throughout the country. ALABAMA’S LIMITED HOME RULE FOR COUNTIES Multiple analyses categorize Alabama as a counties-only Dillon’s Rule state (Richardson et al, 2003, 41). Through incorporation, however, communities can receive additional powers far beyond those granted to county governments. The characteristic that sets Alabama apart from the rest of the country is the extreme degree to which it restricts its counties and its original reasons for doing so (Williams and Horn, 2003, 250-253). Alabama is not the only southern state that restricts the powers of local governments. While tracing the history of home rule in the United States in one of his opinions, Chief Justice Cooley recognized,

“The local governments, however, were less complete in the states further south” (People v. Hurlbut, 1871). Cooley’s observation along with the South’s aforementioned reliance on county government structures to oversee the relatively larger landmasses than in the North provides a historical basis for Alabama’s marginalization of its counties. HISTORICAL INFLUENCES Alabama’s political mistreatment of counties began as the state adopted its constitution at the turn of the 20th century. Even before the state’s constitutional convention in 1901, the state legislature had handled local issues within local communities (Williams and Horn, 2003, 257). The precedent of an overbearing state government mixed with the time period’s gradual embrace of Dillon’s Rule and the state’s divided social culture led to a distrust of local governments that influenced the constitution. The Alabama Constitutional Convention of 1901 intended to adopt a constitution that guaranteed and preserved the power of the state Democratic Party within the state capitol while diminishing the power of typically Republican-controlled local governments and the rights of minorities (Casey, 2011, 30). The proceedings of the convention openly stated that those in attendance sought to “establish white supremacy in this State” (Parker, 2005, 558). This racist mindset influenced the decision to withhold power from local governments, specifically county governments. Delegates typically associated county officials with the populism movement and supporters of blacks and poor white farmers (Parker, 2005, 558). Suffice it to say, the framers of the Alabama Constitution applied far different reasoning for limited local governments than originally imagined by the supporters of Dillon’s Rule. STATE STATUTES The Code of Alabama provisions certain powers to county governments from the state. The Code’s general provisions for county governments grants them the power to organize a court system and levy general and special taxes (Code of Alabama, 1987, §11-3-11). As for county’s taxing power, the state still sets a maximum tax rate that falls far under the maximum rate allowed to incorporated municipalities (Williams and Horn, 2003, 266). The Code of Alabama does enable counties to regulate subdivisions and to enforce zoning within flood-prone areas (Code of Alabama, 1987, §11-3-11). The Code reasons that adopting zoning ordinances and building codes in flood-prone areas may help prevent “human suffering” and “great financial and economic loss” (Code of Alabama, 1971, §1119-2). The reasoning for this provision could have also been applied to granting additional zoning power, but the state legislature has refused to recognize the benefits of county zoning. The Alabama Limited Self-Governance Act of 2005 provides counties with the opportunity to gain police powers such as control weeds, animal


board of education’s requirement. The court stated that the state constitution simply did not delegate the power to control the minimum wage to the county government level; thus, counties did not have that specific power. The mere fact that the state constitution did not include a provision allowing counties to enact such a policy proved sufficient to find the standard invalid (Parker, 2005, 550). STATEWIDE IMPLICATIONS The statewide implications for planning that result from the limited county home rule in Alabama warrant review. The state’s insistence to follow the model set forth by Dillon’s Rule has created ineffective governing for counties and a tumultuous relationship between counties and the state. Limited home rule affects communities throughout the state by restraining growth management efforts and the success of governmental services. In order to have zoning power, Baldwin County needs the state legislature to amend the state constitution authorizing such an expansion in power.

nuisances, and junkyards pending a successful public referendum. As a result, Alabama counties are enabled to regulate matters that most counties throughout the country have already been regulating without first needing a public referendum. STATE JUDICIAL DECISIONS Two state supreme court cases have supported the state legislature’s reluctance to free counties and even cities from its authority. In Hare v. Kennerly in 1887, Justice Henderson Sommerville refers to local governments as “creatures of legislative power,” evoking the sentiments of Dillon’s Rule. The court struck down a special local government tax because it interpreted that the state’s constitution did not grant the power to tax to local governments; rather, it strictly limited it. The more recent case of Wallace v. Board of Education of Montgomery County in 1967 challenged the county’s power to require minimum wage standards for contractors, which differed from the state’s minimum wage standard. The state of Alabama, as the plaintiff, argued that the county did not have the power to require a private employer to follow a local minimum wage. The state supreme court ruled in favor of the state and invalidated the county


PAN O R AMA 2014

Counties have responded to their limited planning authority mainly by spending time and resources lobbying the state legislature to amend the state constitution. A 2005 analysis revealed that 500 of the state constitutions’ 772 amendments dealt with an individual county or city (Parker, 2005, 546). Without a comprehensive provision to counties for planning, counties such as Baldwin County could only adopt its zoning ordinance after the state legislature passed the Baldwin County Planning and Zoning Act in 1991. Unless all counties follow Baldwin County’s approach, the unincorporated land in Alabama will be left unplanned, threatening the development pattern of the state. Additionally, city zoning power is not enough, since most of the land in the state falls under county jurisdiction. The proliferation of community incorporations to receive municipal powers also affects the state as a whole. Without strong county governments, unincorporated communities seemingly lack the sufficient resources and authority to operate effective public services. Unfortunately, these incorporations typically occur along the metropolitan fringe and create unnecessary fragmentation of government (The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, 1962, 29). Alabama exacerbates this problem by setting a minimum population for a community to incorporate at just 300 (Code of Alabama, 2004, §11-41-1). By allowing such small communities to incorporate, the state undermines the jurisdiction of counties.


Hare v. Kennerly, 83 Ala. 608 (1887).

Alabama’s application of the Dillon’s Rule model for its counties has impaired local governments throughout the state from optimal governance. Although the concept of Dillon’s Rule allows the state to watch over local governments and prevent abuses of power, Alabama has not employed it accordingly. Instead, the state adopted limited home rule measures to establish the supremacy of the state legislature in fear of populist county governments that supported minorities. Since the turn of the 20th century, the state legislature has defended its power from challenges in the courts system and in the public sphere.

Hunter v. Pittsburgh, 207 U.S. 161 (1907).


People v. Hurlbut, 24 Mich. 44 (1871).

The home rule debate has evolved over the past few centuries as state and local governments have reflected the effects caused by the varying levels of local autonomy. Dillon’s Rule has certainly dictated the debate since the mid-19th century with its overwhelming judicial support, but states have begun recognizing its negative impacts and have opted for home rule models that empower local governments rather than restrain them. As a result, cities and counties have greater control over addressing local issues without having to worry about overstepping their legal authority or relying on the political decisions of the state government.

REFERENCES Adrian, Charles R. and Michael R. Fine. State and Local Politics (Chicago: Lyceum Books/Nelson Hall Publishers, 1991). Adler v. Deegan, 251 N.Y. 467 (1929). The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. “Local Government Autonomy: Needs for State Constitutional Statutory and Judicial Clarification.” October 1993. gpo/acir/Reports/policy/a-127.pdf. “Baldwin County Zoning Ordinances.” Baldwin County Commission, 2012. _Revised_6-19-2012.pdf.

Jones, Alan. “Thomas M. Cooley and the Michigan Supreme Court: 1865-1885.” 10 Amer. J. Legal History 97, April 1966. King v. Dr. Askew, 4 Burr 2200 (n.d.). Madison, James. “The Federalist No. 10.” Daily Advertiser, November 22, 1787. New Orleans Campaign for a Living Wage v. City of New Orleans, 825 So.2d 1098 (2002). Parker, Will. “Still Afraid of ‘Negro Domination?’: Why County Home Rule Limitations in the Alabama Constitution of 1901 Are Unconstitutional.” 57 Ala. L. Rev. 545, 2005-2006. Richardson, Jesse J. “Dillon’s Rule is From Mars, Home Rule is From Venus: Local Government Autonomy and the Rules of Statutory Construction.” 41 (4) Publius: The Journal of Federalism 662, October 2011. Richardson, Jesse J., Meghan Zimmerman Gough, and Robert Puentes. “Is Home Rule the Answer? Clarifying the Influence of Dillon’s Rule on Growth Management.” The Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy, January 2003. media/research/f iles/reports/2003/1/01metropolitanpolicy%20 richardson/dillonsrule.pdf. Sellers, Matthew. “County Authority: A State by State Report.” The National Association of Counties, December 2010. http://www. and%20structure/research%20county%20management%20and%20 structure/county%20authority%20a%20state%20by%20state%20 report.pdf. Stetson v. Kempton, 13 Mass. 272 (1816). Tocqueville, Alexis de. Democracy in America. 1835. http://xroads. Vanlandingham, Kenneth E. “Municipal Home Rule in the United States.” 10 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 269, 1968. Wallace v. Board of Education of Montgomery County, 280 Ala. 635 (1967).

Casey, Ron. “Our Rotten Constitution Needs to Go.” In For the Love of Alabama, edited by Sam Hodges. Tuscaloosa, Ala.: The University of Alabama Press, 2011. City of Clinton v. Cedar Rapids & Mo. River R.R., 24 Iowa 455 (1868). Eaton, Amasa M. “The Right to Local Self-Government.” 13 Harv. L. Rev. 441, June 1900. Fordham, Jefferson B. “Home Rule - AMA Model.” 44 Natl. Municipal Rev. 137, March 1955. Fordham, Jefferson B. Model Constitutional Provisions for Municipal Home Rule. Chicago: American Municipal Association, 1953.




Copenhagen embodies many of the ideals planners strive for: compact and walkable neighborhoods, multimodal accessibility, and unmatched bicycle-friendly streets. However, planning in Copenhagen has not always held the prominent place it does today. John Christopher examines past plans of the city to understand the goals and challenges planners have tried to address and the bumps they have encountered along the way. Through a careful look at Copenhagen’s successes and failures, Christopher uncovers the essential challenge for planners throughout history; that success in planning can only result from civic participation and inclusive implementation.


PAN O R AMA 2014

construct welfare-style public housing (Cahasan & Clark 2006). All the while, Copenhagen’s first planning document, the Finger Plan (1947), spurred strategic growth but also an exodus to the suburbs; savvy Copenhageners learned to live just outside of the municipal limits while working in the city (Salet & Gualini 2007).

Frederick’s Church, as known as the Marble Church, in Copenhagen.

INTRODUCTION Copenhagen (København) is the capitol and largest municipality of Denmark and the largest business center in Scandinavia (Cahasan & Clark, 2006). It rose to prominence as a business center during industrialization in the late 19th century, and has witnessed sweeping changes in economic forces, political climate, and the resulting urban fabric (Westergaard, 1966). Twentieth century Danish ideals of welfare-oriented social goods — a hallmark of Danish living — have slowly morphed into a municipal concern for market-based resilience in the aftermath of deindustrialization and globalized business forces (Salet & Gualini 2007). Though these shifts are common to much of Europe and the wider Western world, the planning implications in Copenhagen are particularly noteworthy. Contemporary voices such as Jan Gehl tout Copenhagen’s progressive approach to public spaces, urban design, and transportation (2013). The culture that undergirds the city’s planning power took nearly a century to coalesce into its present form (Dirckink-Holmfeld & Moldrup 1996). This article discusses how Copenhagen’s approach to planning has not always been effective in every step of the planning process. From the onset of a national Danish planning hierarchy, Danes from smaller towns have resented Copenhagen and worked to thwart the city’s growth and power (Cahasan & Clark 2006). In the early 1950s, Copenhagen set out to build a comprehensive road system for automobile travel within the City Centre, only to reverse its transportation approach fifty years later (Fleming 2012). The 1970s hit the city’s de-industrialized inner ring with severe vacancy and slum conditions while the city struggled to

These challenges represent the challenges of many Western cities. Copenhagen’s planning responses have helped the city brace against hardship and reinvigorate it. Nonetheless, the city’s road to comprehensive, successful, and unified planning has been long and tumultuous. The process of structuring local and national government has been a multi-generational process in itself (Westergaard 1966; Dirckinck-Holmfeld & Moldrup 1996; Cahasan & Clark 2006; Salet & Gualini 2007). Furthermore, to paint contemporary Copenhagen as a planner’s utopia would be misguided. Like many of Europe’s large cities, Copenhagen has grappled with the post-9/11 market and has labored to retain and attract international business (Dirckinck-Holmfeld & Muldrup 1996; Salet and Gualini 2007). PLANNING CONTEXT AND CULTURE

Planning officially began in Denmark with Parliament’s passage of the Town Planning Act of 1938 (Westergaard 1966; Dirckinck-Holmfeld & Muldrup 1996; Cahasan & Clark 2006). The act did not specify the exact tasks that cities were to address nor did it specify the rigor of planning necessary. It stated that planning was mandatory for all Danish towns with a population of one thousand or more residents. Plans were to be drafted at the municipal level, submitted to the Ministry of the Interior (national level), and then implemented at the municipal level with both partial funding and legal enforcement from the national government. Plans were required from every municipality within five years of ratification of the Town Planning Act. Denmark’s planning culture, on the other hand, began long before the Town Planning Act. The country’s welfare-oriented political climate at the beginning of the 20th century necessitated the strategic organization and distribution of social goods and public housing. Public housing efforts began in 1920 in Copenhagen (Penninx 2007). In 1928, the Dansk Byplanlaboratorium (Danish Town Planning Institute) established the Copenhagen Regional Planning Committee, which included representatives from each municipality in the region as well as representatives from certain ministries and transportation bodies. This body of well-connected


and influential elites would ultimately play a major role in the drafting and ratification of the 1938 Town Planning Act. Upon ratification of the act, the Planning Committee had already established an institutional culture and strategic connections within the region. Elements of planning in Copenhagen began long before political or financial supports were certainties (Dirckinck-Holmfeld & Moldrup 1996). The Finger Plan (1947) was Copenhagen’s first contemporary planning document (Cahasa 2006). It served as both a vision plan and a policy statement due to its backing by the Ministry of the Interior. The nature of the plan does not lend itself to “comprehensive planning” in the traditional sense of the

The Ørestad Plan, the second planning document discussed in this article, is more comprehensive (Salet & Gualini 2007). The Ørestad Plan was proposed in 1992 as a development tool to harness the value of unused prime real estate on the Island Amager in Southeastern Copenhagen. It incorporated joint plans to build Northern Europe’s only bridge to Sweden via Malmö. Together, the bridge and Ørestad development area would attract national and international business to the area and boost the larger Amager area to the same levels of development as City Centre Copenhagen (Salet & Gualini 2007). The Ørestad Plan grew into a master plan (design plan) for a ribbon of highly developed urban fabric among land that was previously agricultural. As with the rest of Copenhagen, the plan left “green wedges” to either side of the radial spoke for a lighter environmental footprint and future green spaces. It included plans for transportation systems (and utilized a good amount of existing infrastructure), building designs, land use, and development finances. The City of Copenhagen garnered permission to establish its own development corporation in order to take advantage of market rates while also controlling the fine details of the project (Salet & Gualini 2007). The opacity of planning bureaucracy in Copenhagen obscures the extent to which the city has valued horizontal and vertical planning. Certainly the city has a number of strong planning policies, sustainable initiatives, and traffic/cyclist initiatives in place. Yet the extent to which the city aims to create inter- and intra-municipality planning compatibility is less certain.

The five-fingered shape of Copenhagen’s current train system indicates why the city’s first contemporary plan was called The Finger Plan.

term. Yet the Finger Plan, which envisioned transit-oriented development across Copenhagen’s concentric zones, did shape infrastructure and development policy for roughly fifty years. Despite its generality and indicative nature, the plan was backed by political support at both the municipal and national levels as well as by significant funding (Naess et al 2009).

At the onset of mandated planning in Denmark, the citizenry was in uproar over the “unfair” nature of investing in a national metropolis, which would then proceed to draw emigrants from rural areas (Dirckink-Holmfeld & Moldrup 1996). This led to municipal in-fighting, and even regional disputes among municipalities within the Copenhagen regional area (Cahasan & Clark & Clark 2006). In one sense, vertical planning is enshrined in law in Denmark; the Ministry of the Interior has the power to approve or disprove of plans and to enforce and fund plan implementation. Planning in Denmark is done at the lowest possible level: the municipality (Copenhagen Regional Plan 1947). The planning process of goal setting and implementation are thus carried out at the local level, while political and financial backing is provided at the national level (Westergaard 1966).


PAN O R AMA 2014

The existence of horizontal planning is a matter of parsing the differences between various arenas of planning in Copenhagen. The transportation system is one of the best in the world, and incorporates a carefully designed network of regional rails, roads, and bike lanes (Gehl 2010; Naess 2006; Naes et al 2009; Fleming 2012). Similar sentiments are often offered about Copenhagen’s urban design aesthetic, quality of life (due to planning policies), environmental policy, and public housing (Cahasan 2006; Salet & Gualini 2007; Gehl 2010). On the other hand, the legacy of historic in-fighting between municipalities is still evident. Copenhagen opted not to design or enforce a green belt. One reason for this might have been the reality of lasting hostilities and distrust between municipalities. A growth border would initiate a new round of discourse over the fairness of a strong, powerful Copenhagen in relation to surrounding areas. This lack of control over development and subsequent resource allotment led to sprawl along Copenhagen’s radial transit system. Furthermore, many residents fled the Central City for the suburbs — often beyond the municipal tax boundary (Sørensen 1996). Copenhagen’s tax base has eroded since the 1970s, the height of Copenhagen’s urban crisis (Penninx 2007; Salet & Gualini 2007). This planning atmosphere has fairly liberal implications for private property rights. While the city does levy strict environmental building policies, the patterns of development beyond the City Centre are largely market-based. The City Centre, and now Ørestad, is more finely planned (Salet & Gualini 2007). The City of Copenhagen and the Greater Copenhagen Authority do have a fair amount of power to implement regulatory planning. As mentioned previously, the hierarchy of municipal planning and Ministry of Interior approval & funding provides legitimacy and stability that local-level planning would not create on its own. This balance of power took nearly a century to coalesce, and is still in a state of potential change. The future of Copenhagen planning is very much in the hands of Danish Parliament and future legislation. From Copenhagen’s Finger Plan to the more recent Ørestad Plan, the planning culture has shifted toward a more marketbased approach. The cautious political atmosphere matched with

Copenhagen Central Station, the largest station in Denmark

the residential exodus to Copenhagen suburbs has left the City of Copenhagen in a tight financial situation (Penninx 2007; Naess 2009). Social welfare and quality planning came at a high price, and the city had not done enough to foster economic growth. The Ørestad Plan was based on the idea of creating a development region that would attract business from across Scandinavia and the world. The bridge connection to Malmö positioned Ørestad as a central location between Central Copenhagen, the city harbor, the Copenhagen airport, and Malmö. The project was intended to develop by market conditions, with funding from the government but the promise of repayment via private investment. It is Copenhagen’s largest public-private development endeavor (Salet & Gualini 2007). EVOLUTION OF COMPREHENSIVE PLANNING

Copenhagen’s shift to market-based planning, as opposed to infrastructure and welfare planning, is visible in the shifting scope between the Finger Plan and Ørestad Plan. The Finger Plan — notably drafted by architects and engineers — deals mostly with transportation, housing, and the pattern of urban growth (Copenhagen Regional Plan 1947). This approach is seated mainly in a design-based educational approach that


The connection between urban form and quality of life is common of European plans.

stresses the connection between urban form and quality of life. This educational paradigm is common in European planning departments. While the plan did improve the quality of life within Copenhagen (the city is highly ranked world-wide), it did little to address deeper issues of economic development. The Ørestad Plan marks a national and municipal shift toward market-based explorations in planning. After “perfecting” urban form, Copenhagen was still in dire need of plans that would spur sustainable economic growth. The scope of planning shifts from the regional level in the Finger Plan to a very small focus area in the Ørestad Plan. Ørestad itself is a mere couple of blocks wide and a couple of kilometers long (Selat & Gualini 2007). The Finger Plan is a vision plan that implies policy and design standards without providing


PAN O R AMA 2014

concrete design plans. Ørestad continues many of the visionary aspirations described in the Finger Plan, but delves very deeply into design prescriptions. Once the Ørestad Plan was approved in 1992, the City of Copenhagen hosted a design competition for a master plan of the area. Finnish design firm Akkri won the design, and “starchitects” Daniel Libeskind and BIG later won commissions to design many of the buildings within the area. However, the planning process did not include key stakeholders beyond government officials. This is possibly Ørestad’s largest weakness. The City of Copenhagen had a theoretical understanding of the type of urban form and economic growth that it desired, and it set out to design such a place without private investor input (Salet & Gualini 2007).

Even the funding aspect of the Ørestad Plan, based on the historical model of government funding, is backed by national loan guarantees. The Ørestad Development Corporation was set up as a semi-public arm of the City of Copenhagen (Salet and Gualini 2007). It benefited from federal backing and market rates, but it was also based largely in government speculative design and development. Copenhagen assumed that residents and businesses would come to the area simply because it existed. This logical fallacy quickly rose to the foreground and drove many of the implementation shifts. Lower than expected investment rates led the development corporation to compromise on a number of design aspects. The takeaway from such a compromise is that the public has high standards, and these standards are not always conducive to economically sustainable designs.When the government turned to a more market-based approach, it had to compromise between civic demands and private demands. Many in the planning profession decry this decision as “selling out” on Copenhagen’s

history of exceptional design, but there is another side to this issue. Copenhagen needs business for tax revenue. A beautiful city is still susceptible to instability if it cannot balance its budget. This matter finally caught up to planning practices in Copenhagen in the 21st century. Another problem that the Copenhagen model of planning raises is the amount and depth of economic research performed before drafting the Ørestad plan. Cost analysis, real estate values, and land use were certainly a part of the process. The larger issue for Ørestad was the intra-municipality competition with City Centre Copenhagen and international competition with other European cities (Salet & Gualini 2007). It seems that Copenhagen’s planners devised a design ideal and worked backward to establish the financial elements of “making it happen,” as opposed to the more economically savvy process of determining feasibility through the consideration of alternatives. No amount of design or political muscle could force businesses to invest in Ørestad, and this was a difficult lesson for Copenhagen to learn.

Due to Copenhagen’s incredible urban form, the city’s residents have high expectations for planning efforts, which may or may not be economical.


The decision-makers in this process were — much like in the Finger Plan — elite, well-educated, well-connected members of Copenhagen’s bureaucracy. Their plans “accounted” for both the civic and private realms, but they did not actually consult either during the planning process. The fact-finding processes for both the Finger Plan and Ørestad were incredibly strong in their analysis of infrastructure. The transportation infrastructure in Copenhagen is hailed as exemplary; this is due to the planning focus on design and engineering (Salet & Gualini 2007; Naess et al 2009). In one instance, the Finger Plan notes that the Copenhagen Regional Planning Commission would like to have more background information, but did not have the time or funds to employ surveys (1947). Perhaps the document implied that the planning bureaucracy would later use surveys for data collection, but this sentiment seems to encapsulate the planning process in Copenhagen. Infrastructure, physical design, and policy tend to take precedence over engagement with stakeholders, the public, economic data, and projections.

through subsequent planning measures. The extensive planning bureaucracy in Copenhagen enables this approach of creating vision plans, policy, and follow-up designs. The Ørestad Plan, as a master design plan, had the added elements of property development. The city, under federal permission, established the Ørestad Development Corporation to buy land, contract construction work, and sell properties to private investors. The development corporation was backed by federal loans, which were to be repaid after private investment brought revenue. The process of securing investors was more complicated than Copenhagen initially expected, and the economic downturn after 9/11 worsened matters (Selat and Gualini 2007). Due to the economic hardships, which the Ørestad plan was intended to avoid, the city compromised on some elements of the design. One example was the Fields Shopping Center — a shopping mall of horrific proportion from the Danish perspective. This public-private compromise was the direct result of not securing investors and their input during the goal formation and design phases of planning.


Elements of plan implementation for both the Finger Plan and Ørestad Plan are dispersed throughout this article. This section is, therefore, a brief recount of this information. The political structure in Denmark makes planning a joint effort between the national government and municipalities. Planning is legally required, and it is subsequently approved at the national level. This hierarchy benefits municipalities by matching approval with funding. Forty-five percent of Copenhagen’s planning funds come from the Danish government (Cahasan & Clark 2006). The Danish government also holds municipalities accountable to approved plans. The Finger Plan was a vision plan drafted in 1947. Its implications were mostly regulatory and policy-based, but transportation infrastructure and public housing are planned within the document. These built elements were later addressed


PAN O R AMA 2014


The most fundamental lesson from Copenhagen’s Ørestad plan is that key stakeholders must be included in the earliest planning steps. Though this sentiment resonates with a Western liberal sensibility of civic engagement, it is also a pragmatic way to secure funding from investors. Ørestad was intended as a means to plan for economic growth without relying solely on government funding. Ironically, the City of Copenhagen did control every element of the plan. This type of planning domination flows from the European planning paradigm, which emphasizes designing the built environment. Copenhagen’s history shows that the inherent environmental determinism of this paradigm does not always succeed in bringing desired outcomes. The urban crisis of the 1970s was not caused by a lack of gorgeous urban design so much as a lack of investment.

In its attempt to shift toward a market approach to planning, Copenhagen did not change its general approach of speculating about the public and private realms without actually consulting citizens or businesses. There is a fine yet important division between speculating about a subset of the population and involving it. Another lesson from Copenhagen is that there is immense power in a vertical hierarchy for the planning process. The Danish government both required and enforced the plans for individual municipalities. This approach works well for Denmark, but may not scale well for larger nations like the United States. The final lesson is that different plan types, especially over a long period of time, are useful in different ways. Copenhagen began with a vision plan that guided planning efforts from 1947 to the present. The Ørestad plan was a follow-up design plan that addressed a gap in the Finger Plan, specifically the development of an underutilized piece of land. In this progression, the two types of planning documents are complementary. They carry a larger planning zeitgeist beyond its first generation. The process of discovering an appropriate political balance, funding, and successful implementation methods is still ongoing. Nevertheless, the larger planning zeitgeist lives and morphs across generations — creating a unique city with a sense of place. This planning tenacity is situated within the specific history of Danish history and legislation, but it speaks to many of the ambitions of planners.

REFERENCES Cahasan & Clark, Paul, and Ariel Clark. "Copenhagen, Denmark." Lecture. Open Space Systems Lecture Series, Copenhagen. University of Washington, Seattle. 27 Mar. 2006. Open Space Seattle 2100. University of Washington, 27 Mar. 2006. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.

Copenhagen, 2012. København, Danmark. 2012. Web. 10 Dec. 2013. Denmark. The City of Copenhagen. Technical and Environmental Administration - Traffic Department. "Good, Better, Best: The City of Copenhagen's Bicycle Strategy 2011-2025." Copenhagen: Københavns Kommune, Teknik- Og Miljøforvaltningen, Center for Trafik, 2011. København, Danmark. Web. 10 Dec. 2013. Denmark. The City of Copenhagen. Technical and Environmental Administration. "Cph 2025 Climate Plan: A Green, Smart and Carbon Neutral City." København: City of Copenhagen, The Technical and Environmental Administration, 2012. København, Danmark. Web. 10 Dec. 2013. Dirckinck-Holmfeld, Kim, Susanne Moldrup, and Marianne Amundsen. Kobenhavnernes Rum Copenhagen Spaces. Copenhague: Arkitektens Forlag, 1996. Print. Fleming, Steven. "Design - Copenhagen." Cycle Space: Architecture & Urban Design in the Age of the Bicycle. Rotterdam: Nai010, 2012. 57-64. Print. Gehl, Jan, and Birgitte Svarre. How to Study Public Life. Washington: Island, 2013. Print. Gehl, Jan. Cities for People. Washington, DC: Island, 2010. Print. Næss, Peter, Teresa Næss, Morten S. Nicolaisen, and Esben Clemens. "The Challenge of Sustainable Mobility in Urban Planning and Development in Copenhagen Metropolitan Are." Aalborg: Department of Development and Planning, Aalborg University, 2009. Aalborg University. Web. 10 Dec. 2013. Næss, Petter. Urban Structure Matters: Residential Location, Car Dependence and Travel Behaviour. London: Routledge, 2006. Print. Penninx, Rinus. "Case Study on Housing: Copenhagen, Denmark. Rep. Amsterdam: European Federation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions," 2007. 2007. Web. 10 Dec. 2013. Salet, W. G. M., and Enrico Gualini. Framing Strategic Urban Projects: Learning from Current Experiences in European Urban Regions. London: Routledge, 2007. Print. Sørensen, Erik Christian. Urban Make: Strategies for Central Areas of Copenhagen. Copenhagen, Denmark: Kunstakademiets Arkitektskoles Forlag, 1996. Print. Westergaard, John. Scandinavian Urbanism. Copenhagen: Institute of Organization and Industrial Sociology, 1966. Print.

Copenhagen Regional Plan 1947 (Fingerplan) - English Summary. Rep. Copenhagen: Copenhagen Regional Planning Committee, 1947. Scribd. Web. 20 Nov. 2013. Denmark. The City of Copenhagen. Employment and Integration Administration. Copenhagen's Diversity Charter. Copenhagen: City of


Why are trains such a slow and expensive means of travel between US cities? What have Europe and Southeast Asia done differently to make rail travel quicker and more efficient? The United States at one time led the world in the construction of railroads, but has since been surpassed by numerous countries in the development of high-speed rail. High-speed rail (HSR) is a topic commonly discussed in America, yet the progress of systems here has lagged far behind that of many European and Asian countries. Summer Dong explores the state of HSR in the US and tracks its progress around the world. He considers various legislative, financial, and planning strategies that have made other systems successful to help explain what has held the US back.




PAN O R AMA 2014

Xiaoxia Dong

INTRODUCTION As early as the 19th century, the United States began playing a leading role in large-scale transportation infrastructure development. This is evident by the completion of the 363-mile Erie Canal and the Transcontinental Railroad in the 1820s and 1860s, respectively. Over the past sixty years, the country has invested an astonishing $1.8 trillion in its extensive interstate highway system and farreaching aviation network (Federal Railroad Administration, 2009). Nevertheless, as the condition of the nation’s infrastructure continues to deteriorate, America finds itself at a crossroad facing tough choices – whether to continue to depend on the current transportation network or to explore other alternatives in a highly competitive and connected world economy. Experiences in other countries suggest that high-speed rail (HSR) is a viable form of new technology that can play a significant role in increasing property value, enhancing mobility, and expanding employment and economic activity (Ross, 2011). Since Japan’s inauguration of the world’s first HSR in 1964, many European and Asian countries have developed their own HSR networks. The 1990s saw the boom of HSR construction as many European countries began pursuing this alternative. HSR development reached a new height in recent years as China constructed a 6,000mile network in less than a decade. The United States has lagged behind in this race. Currently, America’s only high-speed option has been the Acela, operating on 19th century tracks in the Northeast Corridor, achieving an average speed of only 84 mph (Amtrak, 2012). This situation urges planners and policy makers to facilitate the development of an HSR network to address the challenges facing the nation’s transportation system. In this article, I will discuss the European and Asian experiences in HSR development. The goal of this essay is to examine the implications for inter-city HSR development in the U.S. By doing so, I intend to answer the question of what would it take for the U.S. to develop an inter-city HSR system that would parallel European and Asian systems. This essay consists of two sections. In the first section, I will review recent literature to explore the common characteristics shared by European and Asian countries with established HSR networks. Their implications for HSR development in the U.S. will be discussed in the second section. In this section, I will also examine the current challenges and opportunities that could affect the development of an inter-city HSR network in the U.S.

SECTION ONE SPATIAL SCALE OF PLANNING Since Jean Gottmann presented the concept of Megalopolis in the early 1960s, several European countries have shifted their scale of planning to focus on spatial development on a regional scale.

The European Pentagon encompasses a region defined by London, Paris, Milan, Munich, and Hamburg.

In recent years, scholars around the world have identified several mega-city regions. Some of these regions, such as the Pentagon in Europe, encompass areas that extend beyond national borders. Several Asian countries have also adapted such regionalism to their spatial planning agenda. For example, scholars have identified eight regions in Japan, each with its specific development plans such as the National Capital Region Development Act of 1956. In China, officials have considered the ten newly identified mega-regions as a new framework for the country’s national spatial development policies (Yang, 2009). By taking a regional approach in their HSR development strategies, geographic entities in these European and Asian countries have been able to harness the strengths of interconnected population and economic sectors, providing advantages individual metropolitan centers are unable to garner (Ross, 2011). In addition, this spatial scale enhances HSR’s competitiveness against air, especially with major cities spaced along linear corridors over distances up to 500 miles (Hagler and Todorovich, 2009). The social and geographic advantages, as well as the economic potential of the mega-region have therefore made it necessary for countries to develop HSR networks on a regional scale. FINANCING STRATEGIES With few exceptions, the public sector in the countries that have developed HSR networks has played a significant role in the financing process. Participation from the public sector is crucial for generating sufficient capital for HSR projects as the high initial investment cost, great risks, and slow revenue ramp-up period tend to undermine the attractiveness of HSR projects for private investors (Rutzen and Walton, 2011). The public sector’s involvement in sponsoring HSR projects has had a long history. In Europe, such countries as Germany, Italy, and France prior to the year 1997 developed their HSR corridors as a single contract with little private sector involvement. Several


European countries have also received grants from sources established by the European Union (EU) to fund their HSR projects, thanks to the European Commission’s commitment to prioritize the expansion and interconnectivity of Europe’s HSR lines. A similar financing pattern can also be found in Asian countries. Prior to the privatization of the railroad companies in Japan in 1987, HSR corridors were primarily funded through debt incurred by the national government and Japan National Railways (Rutzen and Walton, 2011). In 1997, the construction-operation separation scheme was introduced. This scheme has been heavily subsidized as the Japanese government bears two-thirds of the construction costs for HSR tracks, while local governments pay for the rest. The development of Korea and China’s HSR networks has also relied heavily upon strong capital investment from the public sector. In general, the European and Asian examples suggest that the development of HSR projects require significant financial commitment from the public sector. GOVERNMENTS’ ROLE Because of the large scale and significant investment involved in HSR development, the ultimate decision to proceed with an HSR project has usually been taken at the highest levels of government as in the case of many European and Asian countries (Steer Davies Gleave, 2004). Besides the financial assistance these governments have provided, their strong commitment is also visible in their role in making long-range plans, deciding on the scale of provision, as well as prioritizing corridors for these HSR networks (Banister and Hall, 1993). As a leader in the industry, Japan’s development plans for its HSR network had existed before its implementation in the 1960s in an attempt to improve mobility in the Tokyo-Osaka corridor to accommodate the rapid growth after World War II (Albalate and Bel, 2012). In the 1970s, the government passed the National Shinkansen Network Development Law to guide the development of its HSR network, which has effectively allowed the country to conduct research into line prioritization (Rutzen and Walton, 2011). Recently, the Japanese government has made plans to begin fullscale construction of its first intercity magnetic levitation train line


PAN O R AMA 2014

in 2014 to further upgrade its HSR network (Pfanner, 2013). The government of South Korea has proposed plans to further develop its HSR network in the near future. Additionally, China also aims to expand its current HSR network to nearly 10,000 miles by the year 2020 (Bradsher, 2011). Several European countries have also taken initiatives in developing nationwide HSR networks. France’s network, for example, was initially developed under a state-directed policy that focused on cost containment and commercial viability (Albalate and Bel, 2012). The Spanish government has planned to extend its current 988-mile network to more than 6,000 miles by 2020 (Rutzen and Walton, 2011).

SECTION TWO IMPLICATIONS FOR THE U.S. The United States is a late-comer to the era of HSR. Although advertised as high-speed service, the Acela Express linking the 457-mile Washington, D.C., and Boston corridor achieves a mere average speed of 84 mph (Amtrak, 2012). Additionally, HSR in the United States was defined by Congress as running 110 mph or above when high-speed trains in many other countries have been operated at much higher speeds. REGIONAL PLANNING SCALE First and foremost, the European and Asian practices have shown that a regional, or mega-regional, approach must be taken in the planning and development of an HSR network. This approach helps define the proper framework within which the benefits of HSR network can be maximized. Ever since Gottmann proposed the Northeast Megalopolis concept, regionalism has continued to evolve in the U.S. In recent years, the notion of mega-region has gained momentum in the planning field as socio-economic activities continue to extend beyond individual metropolitan areas. Mega-regions are defined as networks of metropolitan centers and their surrounding areas that are spatially and functionally linked through socio-economic, environmental, as

A comparison of high-speed rail by country

The eleven emerging mega-regions in the U.S. defined by the RPA.

U.S. Intercity Passenger Rail Network corridors identified by the FRA in 2009.

well as infrastructure interactions (Ross, 2009). Institutions such as the Regional Plan Association (RPA) have already identified their own versions of mega-regions in the U.S.

$12 billion has been allocated to 32 states and Washington, D.C., for HSR study and development. Although the federal government has made an initial financial commitment to HSR, the current domestic political and economic circumstances have significantly limited the government’s ability to provide substantial funding and financial support for future HSR development. Some argue that the current financial commitment of the federal government to HSR will worsen the deficit and undermine the national economy. States accepting the money will also accept a significant, long-term financial burden as they are required to match the funds (Utt, 2011).

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the United States will have a population of 400 million by 2050, with more than 70% of the nation’s population and employment growth occurring within these mega-regions (Ross, 2009). The future economic success of the country is therefore directly related to the social and economic wellbeing of these mega-regions. Considering these mega-regions when designating the HSR network would help not only secure higher demand, but also improve the economic competitiveness and quality of life of the region as a whole (Ross and Woo, 2009). America 2050, RPA’s national infrastructure planning and policy program, has already proposed a nationwide HSR phasing plan based on the mega-region concept. By analyzing the suitability of potential HSR corridors, this plan intends to identify and prioritize connections with the maximum potential. Currently, approximately 40 percent of the federally designated HSR corridors are within mega-regions (Ross and Woo, 2009). Because the location of these proposed corridors coincides with the economic core of most megaregions, these HSR projects will provide greater mobility in a more sustainable way (Ross et al., 2009). Today, many scholars and planning professionals have accepted regional thinking. Several regional planning organizations have also been established, with the RPA being the oldest among them. Regional thinking will help define the proper scale and framework for HSR development and prioritization. FINANCING CONDITIONS The scale and uncertainty of HSR construction and operation requires a strong financial commitment from the public sector. In the United States, this will mean the federal and state governments are likely to play a significant role in funding HSR projects. Since 2009, roughly

This condition is worsened by several factors associated with HSR projects in the United States, such as low or unreliable passenger demand projections and potential for significant cost overruns. For example, the California High-Speed Rail Administration estimated a total cost of $30 billion in 1999 for the California High Speed Rail project. After a series of revisions over the following decade, the estimated cost for the Phase 1 Blended system, which was adopted in the Revised Business Plan of 2012, was raised to nearly $70 billion in 2012 while the passenger demand was lowered from its original level (California High-Speed Rail Authority, 2012). These factors, along with the uncertainty over the project’s potential for generating socio-economic benefits have undermined the financing condition for the project. Despite these disadvantages, there are certain factors that could potentially contribute to the success of HSR. While the public sector continues to play the decisive role, the private sector’s involvement in HSR financing has increased in recent years. The United States can also learn from successful public-private partnerships in HSR projects in other countries. Furthermore, the construction industry is beginning to develop an expertise in the bidding and operation of major transport infrastructure projects in addition to their proven skill in the construction process (Banister and Hall, 1993). One thing certain is that under the current financial circumstances, neither the


government nor the private sector will likely invest in these projects by themselves (Thompson, 1994). This situation will require the country to learn from other countries as well as its own experiences to find the optimal solutions to invest in HSR with participation from both the public and private parties. GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP Asian and European experiences suggest that in addition to financial commitment, government is also required to be closely engaged in the planning and development of HSR. The federal government’s commitment to HSR began nearly five decades ago. In the mid-1960s, the Office of High Speed Ground Transportation was created with the mission of studying the possibility of HSR in a number of areas in the country (Thompson, 1994). Since 1991, a total of eleven HSR corridors have been identified (Ross et al., 2009). In 2008, the federal government passed the Passenger Rail Investment Improvement Act (PRIIA) to authorize funding for Amtrak and states and to lead efforts to develop HSR corridors between the years 2009 and 2013 (Todorovich et al., 2011). The Obama administration has also proposed an ambitious vision to make HSR accessible to 80% of Americans within 25 years. Materialization of this vision will entail extensive collaboration between the federal government, the states, railroads and other key stakeholders (FRA, 2009). Unlike previous experiences, however, HSR development has faced many challenges and so far has only been marginally realized. First and foremost, passenger rail has no dedicated source of public funding with the exception of annual inadequate appropriations to Amtrak, and thus relies on Congress for general fund appropriation. The lack of financial resource has led to the ineffectiveness of Amtrak. In a 2005 New York Times article, the former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta wrote: “The problem is not that Americans don’t use trains; it is that Amtrak has failed to keep up with the times, stubbornly sticking to routes and services, even as they lose money and attract few users” (Mineta, 2005). In the past few years, HSR plans for Wisconsin, Ohio, and Florida have been canceled by their state governors due to such concerns as uncertain passenger demand, high costs to tax payers, and cost overruns. The California High-Speed Rail project has also been under close scrutiny as skepticism arises concerning its social and financial viability. Some also argue that Amtrak cannot effectively support the development and operation of HSR due to the competition among its different service types. Projects that involve more than one state can also face challenges because of the lack of a well-established system of regional governments (Thompson, 1994). The lack of government regulation in certain areas could also compromise the development and competitiveness of a nationwide HSR network. With only a few exceptions, there has not been any effective mechanism at both the national and local levels to curb the sprawled development of residential and commercial activities


PAN O R AMA 2014

(Banister and Hall, 1993). Experiences from abroad have shown that the economic rationale for the construction of new HSR depends heavily on the expected volume of demand, which is very sensitive to population density (de Rus and Nombela, 2007). The current population distribution in suburban settings of the U.S. could limit its ability to generate fare box revenue by weakening passenger demand for HSR service. Low densities could also lead to shorter distances between stations and thus reduce the commercial speeds of HSR (Albalate and Bel, 2012). HSR in the United States also faces stiff competition from automobiles and airplanes, resulting from government subsidies and deregulation for these modes. As the result of low fuel prices, sales tax, and other expenses, the costs of owning and driving vehicles are significantly lower in the U.S. than in many other countries. The federal deregulation of airline entry and tariffs in 1978 has also resulted in lower fares in the major short haul markets compared to many other markets overseas (Thompson, 1994). These factors could make HSR relatively less attractive in comparison with automobiles and airplanes especially in short haul inter-city travel. Another challenge facing the United States is the complexity of rail rights-of-way ownership. In many cases, rail right-of-way along a single corridor is distributed among multiple owners. For example, although the majority of the Northeast Corridor is owned by Amtrak, certain segments are owned by different states’ transportation departments. Additionally, multiple passenger and freight agencies operate on this corridor under a variety of agreements (The NEC Master Plan Working Group, 2010). These conditions have limited the speed and frequency of Amtrak services operating along this corridor (de Cerreno and Mathur, 2006). The low public ownership of rail right-of-way in the United States can also hinder the development of HSR. Public ownership can lessen or eliminate the need for negotiation with freight railroads for passenger operation and reduce conflicts between passenger and freight traffic. Currently in the U.S., only 12 percent of the railroad mileage targeted for HSR service belongs to public entities which could further increase the difficulty for HSR development (Schwieterman and Scheidt, 2007). The acquisition of land for rail right-of-way, especially in densely populated urban areas, could also increase the costs for HSR projects. OPPORTUNITIES Despite the challenges described previously, the United States possesses certain characteristics that will be conducive to HSR development. Unlike in the European Union where there are incompatibilities between different electrical power and signaling systems, safety requirements and, in some cases, different track gauges, the United States enjoys a largely unified railroad environment (Hall, 2009). This situation will help reduce the complexity of upgrading the existing system and developing new corridors. Furthermore, many designated corridors already have existing rail right-of-way. As in many cases overseas, this factor

allows competitive HSR service to be carried out with relatively modest investment, while also providing ancillary benefits to freight rail service (FRA, 2009). The improving technology for construction, operation and management will also allow the U.S. to select the most suitable model for its own market from a wide range of options. These advantages present a unique opportunity for the U.S. to develop its own inter-city HSR network. CONCLUSION In this article, I have explained three characteristics shared by European and Asian countries that have already started the development of HSR networks as well as their implications for the U.S. I have also discussed the unique opportunities and challenges that could affect the U.S.’s ability to develop its own HSR network. The current situation urges the government to promote and expedite the development of HSR by capitalizing on its strengths and addressing its disadvantages in order to continue its role as a leader in the global economy. This in turn requires planners and policy makers to support mega-regional thinking, facilitate regional planning efforts, explore creative financing schemes, and make a strong and long-term commitment to HSR development.

REFERENCES Albalate, Daniel, and Germa Bel. "High-Speed Rail: Lessons for Policy Makers from Experiences Abroad." Public Administration Review 72.3 (2012): 336-49. “The Amtrak Vision for the Northeast Corridor- 2012 Update Report.” Amtrak, July. 2012. Banister, David, and Peter Hall. "The Second Railway Age." Built Environment 19.3/4 (1993): 156-62. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.

Hagler, Yoav, and Petra Todorovich. "Where High-Speed Rail Works Best." America 2050, Sept. 2009. "High Speed Rail: International Comparisons." Steer Davies Gleave. Commission for Integrated Transport, Feb. 2004. Mineta, Norman Y. "Starving Amtrak to Save It." The New York Times 23 Feb. 2005. Web. 9 Aug. 2013. The NEC Master Plan Working Group. “The Northeast Corridor Infrastructure Master Plan”, 2010. Pfanner, Eric. "Japan Pitches Americans on Its Maglev Train." The New York Times 19 Nov. 2013. Web. 19 Nov. 2013. Rutzen, Beatriz, and C. M. Walton. "High Speed Rail: A Study of International Best Practices and Identification of Opportunities in the U.S." Southwest Region Univesity Transportation Center Texa Transportation Institute, Aug. 2011. Ross, Catherine L. "Transport and Megaregions: High-Speed Rail in the United States." Town Planning Review 82.3 (2011): 341-48. Ross, Catherine L. "Introduction." In Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness. Ed. Catherine L. Ross. Washington D.C.: Island Press, 2009. 1-8. Print. Ross, Catherine L., and Myungje Woo. "Identifying Megaregions in the United States: Implications for Infrastructure Investment." In Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness. Ed. Catherine L. Ross. Washington D.C.: Island Press, 2009. 53-80. Print. Ross, Catherine L., Jason Barringer, and Adjo A. Amekudzi. "Mobility in the Megaregion." In Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness. Ed. Catherine L. Ross. Washington D.C.: Island Press, 2009. 140-165. Print. Schwieterman, Joseph P., and Justin Scheidt. "A Survey of Current High-Speed Rail Planning Efforts in the United States." (2007): p. 16. Web. 17 Oct. 2013.

Bradsher, Keith. "High-Speed Rail Poised to Alter China." The New York Times 22 June 2011. Web. 26 Nov. 2013.

Thompson, Louis S. "High-Speed Rail (HSR) in the United StatesWhy Isn't There More?" Japan Railway & Transportation Reivew (1994): 32-39.

"California High-Speed Rail Program Revised 2012 Business Plan: Building California's Future." California High-Speed Rail Authority, Apr. 2012.

Todorovich, Petra, Daniel Schned, and Robert Lane. "High-Speed Rail: International Lessons for U.S. Policy Makers." Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2011.

De Rus, Gines, and Gustavo Nombela. "Is Investment in High Speed Rail Socially Profitable?" Journal of Transport Economics and Policy 41.1 (2007): 3-23. Web. 21 Oct. 2013.

"Trans-European Transport Network: TEN-T Priority Axes and Projects 2005." European Commission, 2005.

De Cerreno, Allison L. C., and Shishir Mathur. 2006. The Northeast Corridor. In High-Speed Rail Projects in the United States: Identifying the Elements of Success, Part 2, 87-138. San Jose, CA: Mineta Transportation Institute. documents/06-03/MTI-06-03.pdf. Goodstadt, Vincent "Comment: The Strategic Planning Context for High-Speed Rail." Town Planning Review 82.3 (2011): 349-51.

Utt, Ronald D. "Time to End Obama's Costly High-Speed Rail Program." Backgrounder 11 Feb. 2011. "Vision for High-Speed Rail in America." U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Railroad Administration, Apr. 2009. Yang, Jiawen. "Spatial Planning in Asia: Planning and Developing Megacities and Megaregions." In Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness. Ed. Catherine L. Ross. Washington D.C.: Island Press, 2009. 35-52. Print.

Hall, Peter. "Comment: High-Speed Rail- Will It Play in Peoria?" Town Planning Review 82.3 (2011): 352-53. Web. 14 Oct. 2013. Hall, Peter. "Magic Carpets and Seamless Webs: Opportunities and Constraints for High-Speed Trains in Europe." Built Environment 35.1 (2009): 59-69.


The Future of the


With the onset of the recession, the once-unquestioned economic viability of suburbs first came under scrutiny. Today, as post-recession trends are drastically altering the demographic makeup of cities across the country, it is time to cast an eye to the suburbs to interpret the change they’ve undergone and forecast where they might end up. Author Dan Levin first points out that, as with many planning terms, ‘suburbs’ means many things to many people. By sorting through myriad perceptions and analyzing academic and professional arguments on the future of the suburb, Levin arrives at a mutually acceptable prediction for the form, function, and makeup of America’s suburbs over the next generation.


PAN O R AMA 2014

INTRODUCTION In an October 2013 lecture, Sam Zell noted that his firm, Equity Residential, had sold off all of its garden apartments in the suburbs and were instead focusing on high-rise development in “24/7” cities. “I don’t see the future of the suburbs in the same manner,” he said. Just the next week, journalist Leigh Gallagher described how Toll Brothers, one of the nation’s largest suburban home builders, had shifted towards developing high-end, multi-family dwellings in urban areas (Gallagher 2013). There is plentiful census data to justify their changes, such as Philadelphia gaining population for the first time in 50 years. And yet, the 2010 Census also showed considerable growth in exurban locations such as St. Charles County, MO, and Boone County, IL. They grew while their central cities (St. Louis and Chicago) both lost population (US Census 2000-2010). Have Zell and Toll Brothers made a bad bet, or was the last decade the last decade for traditional suburban growth? DEFINING THE NARRATIVE It is important to acknowledge the difficulty in actually defining what a suburb is. Suburbs come in various shapes and sizes. It goes beyond the scope of this article o create a set of criteria that specifically defines what is a suburb versus a rural area or central city. However, established below are a list of traits that broadly defines different types of suburbs as addressed in this analysis. • “ Urban” Suburbs refer to those places established between 1920 and 1950. These municipalities are located adjacent to or just outside central city limits and feature more traditional urban forms, with homes on smaller lots, a more contiguous grid road network, and more mixed-use commercial corridors. Locally serving transit to the center city may be present, but not always. • “ Suburban” Suburbs refers to those areas developed between 1950 and 1980. When people refer to ‘the suburbs,’ this is generally the image they think of. These communities are generally further away from the central city, with more spread out and segregated land uses. There may be some regional rail service to these locales, but the car is the dominant mode of transportation. • “ Exurban” Suburbs refers to those areas built between 1980 and 2010. These ‘exurbs’ are generally located far from central cities, though in the more recently developed Sun Belt areas these types of suburbs may be located closer in. Land use is almost exclusively single use in nature and public transportation is infrequent if even present. Large single-family homes on meandering roads is the typical residential form.

THE FIFTH MIGRATION Much of the debate over the suburban future has come out of demographic research, beginning with the acknowledgement of the “Fifth Migration.” Peter Wolf arguably coined this phrase in his

book Hot Towns. The term builds off of Lewis Mumford’s “Fourth Migration,” whereby Mumford predicted the “inevitable decline” of the inner cities, opting instead to settle in suburban areas. In his book, Wolf identifies that the age of the Fourth Migration is on the wane and what will happen next is the ‘Fifth Migration.’ He notes, “Unlike their predecessors, fifth-wave migrants are skilled, well-educated, and relatively affluent people who are voluntarily relocating to promising towns and rural areas” (Wolf 2001). Additionally, according to Wolf, the fifth migration will be led by retirees, rather than the young (exclusively). He does note, though, that “most people” will age in place (Wolf 2001). One only has to look at the size of the Fifth Migration to understand why it has come to influence planning dialogue so much. Through various calculations, Wolf establishes the size of the migration to be somewhere between 750,000 and 1.6m people annually, or roughly 30m people over a 30-year period. Robert Fishman, of the University of Michigan, establishes the issue for planners directly:

“The planning challenge of the fifth migration is to implement policies that not only capitalize on and institutionalize present demographic trends but create diverse, livable, and vibrant cities that can sustain themselves long into the future” (Fishman 2005). SUMMARY OF PERSPECTIVES Opinion on the future of the American suburb is decidedly mixed. Arthur C. Nelson, a professor at the University of Utah, believes that the suburbs are going to lose their desirability as the ‘fifth migration’ occurs. According to Nelson, Milennials and aging Baby Boomers will shun homes on large lots for smaller, more intimate communities. Nelson, along with others like journalist Leigh Gallagher and architect Peter Calthorpe, fit broadly under the umbrella of “Retrofitters.” They believe that the future of the suburbs (those that have one anyways) is to become denser, more walkable and mixed-use in nature. They see those urban and suburban suburbs as places that will remain in vogue via a significant change from their traditional form of large-lot subdivisions and single uses. Joel Kotkin, along with fellow demographer Wendell Cox and Professor Pierre Filion, comprise “The Sprawlers” – those more ‘optimistic’ about the suburbs (though Filion is more cynical than optimistic). This cohort argues that America is going to become more suburban. Filion stands out somewhat from this group, in that he argues that price and inertia, rather than consumer preferences, are the reasons for a continued status quo; however, all generally concur that the vision proposed by the ‘Retrofitters’ is unlikely. Back in 1798, Thomas Malthus argued that the human population would outstrip the earth’s supply of food, resulting in a possible catastrophe that would return the human population back to a more manageable level (Wikipedia 2013). While the Earth’s carrying capacity for people has far outstripped Mathus’ predictions, a


number of individuals believe that a similar catastrophe is coming via the end of cheap oil/cheap energy. Economist Jeff Rubin, author James Howard Kunstler, and professor Chris Leinberger represent “The Malthusians,” a group that believe that the suburbs are going to empty out at a rapid rate, becoming the future slums of America. THE RETROFITTERS Nelson Nelson has identified six trends that will shape the future American suburb: rising energy costs, lagging employment, falling incomes, shifting wealth, tighter home financing, and changing consumer preferences (Grant 2013). Generally, as prices for energy rise and incomes fall (and mortgage financing becomes tougher to acquire), the demand for large homes in the suburbs will fall considerably – particularly the largest homes furthest from employment centers. The end result of these trends will be what Nelson calls “America’s Suburban Resettlement Movement,” whereby young professionals, empty-nesters and immigrants move into inner city and inner suburban areas, eschewing outer suburban locations (Grant 2013). This new demand will result in suburbs adapting in built form, though outer suburban and exurban locations may be formally obsolete.

A typical mall – but for how much longer?

Gallagher In The End of the Suburbs, Gallagher sees a future suburban landscape where driving may still be the norm, but trip distances will be shorter, blocks smaller, and transit more accessible (Gallagher 2013). She cites increased urban-style building activity along with demographic data and anecdotes to demonstrate the changing preferences of Americans towards a denser style of living (Gallagher 2013). Gallagher notes that homes in the suburbs held their value in direct proportion to the “presence of urban design elements like mixed-use spaces, public transit, and walkable streets” (Gallagher 2013). Gallagher, despite the title of her book, believes that the suburbs aren’t actually going to disappear; according to her, firstgeneration suburbanites will likely stay due to their extensive social networks.


PAN O R AMA 2014

Calthorpe Calthorpe, a prominent architect and advocate of New Urbanism, sees a suburban future with increased density along existing arterials. Current commercial strip centers will give way to mixed-used corridors served by transit, bringing with it a range of housing types and creating walkable communities (Pederson 2013). Calthorpe is a strong believer in the market and argues that future demand (driven by demographic shifts) is going to be for smaller homes, condos and townhomes. Despite his status as a professional retrofitter, Calthorpe understands that modern living will shape the future form. He notes, “We cannot simply return to a time where… the shopkeepers lived upstairs...For one thing, the auto…will not retreat even if constrained and balanced by land use alternatives” (Calthorpe 1993). As such, Calthorpe broadly acknowledges that the future American suburb will have to adapt to a new architecture that can “integrate these contemporary pieces…without nostalgically imitating the scale and diversity of older towns” (Calthorpe 1993). THE SPRAWLERS Kotkin Generally in opposition to Nelson, Kotkin believes that the suburbs will not only continue to grow, but are also the logical destination for the next wave of population growth in the U.S. As a demographer, Kotkin uses considerable amounts of data to demonstrate that consumer preferences remain strong for the detached single-family home, that the migration of Baby Boomers to urban locales is overstated, and that NIMBYism in existing suburbs will result in expanded suburban areas. He further notes that the affordability of the suburbs is what will make them continually attractive, particularly in the face of the rising unaffordability of “luxury” destinations within central city locations such as Manhattan or Chicago’s Gold Coast (Kotkin 2010). In contrast to Zell and Toll Brothers, Kotkin believes that the single-family home form will shift to house the new demographics. He notes companies like Pulte and Lennar have developed new housing models that are designed for the multi-generational household (Kotkin 2012). Cox Wendell Cox, a demographer like Kotkin, is more ‘anti-smart growth’ than he is pro-suburbs. Still, he completely dismisses the idea that the suburbs are going to empty out for more urbanized locales. Cox primarily contrasts perceptions of central city and downtown growth with realities (or more aptly, constructed realities) demonstrated by Census data. While he recognizes the success downtowns have had between 2000 and 2010, he notes that all growth within central cities has been negated by a decrease in population in the areas just outside downtown (Cox 2012). Continuing, he points out that almost as much population growth has occurred in the exurban suburbs (over 20 miles from downtowns) as has all other central cities and urban and suburban suburbs combined.

Filion Pierre Filion does not see how suburbia can be retrofitted into being more walkable and transit-oriented, primarily due to “deeply entrenched” suburban dynamics. He cites one of his own studies (with McSpurren & Appleby 2006) that found that “… efforts at suburban residential intensification have…resulted in ‘stranded density,’ where dense developments are just as deprived as lowdensity areas of urban amenities” (Grant 2013). He further disagrees with Nelson’s premise that higher energy prices will lead to more retrofitting and public transport infrastructure. He believes in the possibility of new energy sources to meet the current demand (Grant 2013). Additionally, he does not subscribe to the notion that public transport will be more cost-efficient in the future, particularly as new energy forms are made available. He sees the trend of increasing costs to provide public transport at direct odds with current efforts to reduce costs of private motor vehicles. Additionally, “in the present fiscal environment, governments will be hard pressed to set up the imposing infrastructure and service systems needed to break suburban car-dependent land use transportation dynamics.” (Grant 2013). THE MALTHUSIANS Rubin Rubin, much like the Retrofitters, sees metropolitan areas ‘shrinking.’ Instead of “smog-choked cities ringed with suburbs,” we will see “smaller-scaled, walkable neighborhoods” (Rubin 2009). He expects suburbanites to live in “rejuvenated city cores or redeveloped commuter villages linked by rail…or even rivers” (Rubin 2009). These new communities will become new “nodes of agricultural production,” whereby cities will produce more fruit trees and vegetable gardens. Rubin’s entire theory is built around the concept of peak oil. For Rubin, as goes the price (and availability) of oil, so goes the economy. Without cheap oil, the suburban lifestyle is entirely unsustainable. Rubin is not so obstinate as to ignore the potential for alternative energy sources; he does illustrate a future where geothermal and bio-fuels could be the answer for the oil problem (2009). However, he does not see these changes occurring

fast enough and instead believes that in the short-term using less energy will be the answer (Rubin 2009). Kunstler It is no coincidence that this group has been named “The Malthusians.” In The Long Emergency, Kunstler wears the title like a proud badge: “Malthus was certainly correct, but cheap oil has skewed the equation over the past hundred years…So, I hazard to assert that as oil ceases to be cheap and the world reserves arc toward depletion, we will indeed suddenly be left with an enormous surplus population” (Kunstler 2005). Kunstler, like Rubin, is a firm believer in peak oil, and that when we run out of cheap oil, the entire suburban form will stop. Unlike Rubin, though, Kunstler believes that there is no alternative fuel source as abundant and cheap as oil that will allow the suburbs to continue to expand as they have for the past 50 years (Greene 2004). Kunstler expects our entire way of life to be radically altered – even more so than Rubin. His view on the suburban condition is similarly bleak: “The suburbs that were built after the 1960s…are going to become…deeply dysfunctional. We may see more than one family living in a McMansion…but I think they’ll basically be the slums of the future” (Greene 2004). He’s also extremely pessimistic on the ability of the suburbs to retrofit themselves, mostly due to the cost and impracticality of demolishing existing structures on a mass scale – somewhat agreeing with Filion (Greene 2004). Leinberger It may be somewhat unfair to call Leinberger ‘Mathusian.’ After all, he is a real estate developer and a member of Smart Growth America. These traits alone should put him in with the Retrofitters. However, his writings and opinions reflect a more pessimistic attitude towards suburban growth than does the ‘Retrofitters’ group. Leinberger sees the suburbs becoming slums at a more gradual pace and uses historical patterns as his evidence. With the sale price of many of the houses on the suburban fringe now below replacement value, he argues that owners and investors no longer have a financial incentive to maintain these houses (Leinberger 2011). He predicts that many of them will be converted to rentals, which are rarely as well maintained as owner-occupied housing (Leinberger 2011). He cites the rate of urban rental conversion from the 1950s to1980s as proof of a future pattern. Leinberger, agreeing with Filion and Kunstler, is considerably skeptical about the likelihood of a national retrofit. Government will “condemn single-family housing for higher and better use is politically difficult, and in most states it has become almost legally impossible” (Leinberger 2008). Even if enough parcels could be acquired to redevelop on the scale necessary (as identified by Calthorpe), the existing infrastructure within suburban areas is not designed to accommodate significant increases in density and would be onerous to upgrade. As he describes it: “Once large-lot, suburban residential landscapes are built, they are hard to unbuild” (Leinberger 2008). Typical suburban office building. How does one retrofit this?


Typical suburban strip mall. Lots of parking, large front setbacks – and future lowrent haven?

ADDITIONAL STUDIES There have been numerous studies undertaken on suburbs that have moved the debate. As mentioned previously, consumer preference surveys have been used (by both sides) to demonstrate the changing nature of suburbia. Other studies have looked at the underlying nature of inner-suburban decline and whether this trend will continue. 2013 National Association of Realtors Survey As mentioned, the National Association of Realtors consumer preference survey was used heavily by Nelson in developing his theory on the future of the suburbs. A more recent survey does support his theory in part, but not entirely.

remaining strong in metro areas, and a back-to-the city movement that is fueled by wealthy people, thereby slowing the downward filtering process (Lee and Leigh 2007). In their model, they found socio-economic decline of the inner-suburban areas relative to the downtown, inner-city, and outer-ring suburbs (Lee and Leigh 2007). The study, though pre-recession, effectively repudiates the theory of the Retrofitters and more aligns with that of the Malthusians. In a disturbing closing statement, Lee and Leigh say: “There is little reason to expect that inner-ring suburban decline will abate in the absence of appropriate policies specifically targeted to their revitalization. Furthermore, as this trend was evident in metropolitan areas experiencing high and low growth, we cannot expect this negative trend to be ameliorated by stronger overall metropolitan growth” (Lee and Leigh 2007).

In support of Nelson’s theory are the following results:

“ Among those preferring suburban living, nearly three times as many preferred a neighborhood ‘with a mix of houses, shops and businesses’ compared to a residential-only neighborhood (30% versus 11%).” However, additional responses are not as favorable:

When asked to choose among six community types to describe “ where one would ‘most like to live,’ a combined 57% of respondents indicated a preference for living in suburbs or rural areas. The most unfavorable result is the following: 42% of city dwellers say they would prefer to live in a suburb or rural area, while just 12% of suburbanites would prefer to live in a city – indicating a preference to move out of urban areas given the chance.” Lee & Leigh Study Lee and Leigh explored the relationship between metropolitan growth and inner-suburban decline for Atlanta, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Portland, OR. The authors identified the following trends that lead to inner-suburban decline: inner-city blight spilling over into adjacent inner-ring suburbs, decentralization


PAN O R AMA 2014

SYNTHESIS The following table illustrates where there is consensus regarding the future of the suburbs, based on the opinions surveyed. Based on the table, there is more agreement (or at least partial agreement) than one may expect. While there is no ‘absolute’ consensus on any one issue, at least two or more authors between the groupings agree on one of the various themes touched on in this article. Breaking down the consensus, we begin to establish a clearer future for the suburbs: • G enerally, American suburbs will increase in population. There will be a considerable rise in the percentage of elderly Americans, as well as minority/immigrant populations. • T here will be an increased demand for multi-generational housing. These homes will need to be larger than many homes are currently in the “urban” suburbs. • W here new, denser forms do occur, they will likely take on a form more appropriate to today’s changing demographics (shared amenity spaces like entertainment lounges, smaller unit sizes) and



General Demographics

Where Baby Boomers/ Millenials will live

Demand for multi-generational housing

Where the slums are: inner or outer suburbia?

Form of Densification (if it happens)

Office & Retail form

Rental Housing


Likelihood of Retrofitting


Continued dominance of the automobile

Whether densification will happen

preferred mode choice (private vehicle) • Rental housing will be more common in suburban locations. • R etrofitting activity will occur, but it will not be as widespread as some of its advocates hope. Amalgamation of single-family lots will be rare. • Cars will continue to be the primary mode choice in all suburbs. The disagreement is where this subject becomes most interesting – and difficult to predict. The following projections are my own based on the most convincing research. • W hile some senior citizens will leave their larger suburban homes for smaller units in the city, the majority will likely move into smaller units within their own community. • M illenials will move to inner-urban locations, capitalizing on lower transit costs and proximity to jobs, including amenityrich ‘urban’ suburbs. A plurality of 18-29 year olds identified a preference for “Mixed Suburban” communities in the 2011 NAR Survey (NAR Survey 2011)Retailers will continue to adapt to market trends. New retail developments will likely cater more to pedestrians than they have, but we should not expect to see a great number of mixed-use retail developments in suburban locations in the near future. • C ontrary to Joel Kotkin, more people will not be working at home. While telecommuting may happen on occasion, commercial offices will still have a place in the suburban landscape. These will likely be developed closer to retail spaces in multi-use (separated by building), rather than mixed-use (separated by floor), developments. • R egionalism will continue to gain momentum, in spite of research to the contrary. As governments continue to consolidate today is proof that when pressed, governments will be lured by the promise of efficiency. • S uburban homes will use energy efficiency as a marketing tool. Gas stations will start offering Liquid Natural Gas and electric charging stations as these types of fuels become more prevalent in private vehicles.

in those communities that are already desirable. Communities with good schools and low crime rates will feel the strongest development pressures. While NIMBY activities will delay this densification, as the local population ages they will become more welcoming to denser forms of housing. Areas proximate to public transport, as well as blighted, obsolete commercial areas within these desirable communities, will be the first areas to densify. Greenfield development in the exurban locations, where land is cheapest and heavily blighted land in the inner-urban areas (with significant financial incentives) will be the most likely to densify next; however, the forms will be different (single-family homes on smaller lots in greenfields; townhomes/apartments in innersuburban areas). • T here will be “slums” in suburbia, but they will not be limited to “urban” or “exurban” suburbs. Where suburban homes were built cheaply, housing is most affordable and thus most likely to become home to the poorest of the American population. CONCLUSION The debate surrounding the future of the suburbs is robust and will only continue to become more interesting as time moves on. Some of these opinions, particularly those of “The Malthusians,” will likely give way in some shape or form to a new ‘crisis.’ These ‘debaters,’ though impassioned, broadly lack the nuance needed to forge a universal forecast for the suburbs. Unacknowledged by nearly every author here is that the suburbs are wildly different. Gallagher noted that the suburbs are as diverse as America and yet most authors predicted different futures based on suburban location, not on income levels, amenity, or built form quality. The future for Chandler, Arizona, is likely going to be starkly different to that of Hinsdale, Illinois, because these are different places facing different issues. Going forward, planners must recognize the key features that their suburb has if it is to adequately forecast the type of growth (or decline) is it going to face. In time, as stated consumer preferences play themselves out and suburban communities change, it is expected that planners will be able to more keenly identify those things that resonate most with the public. At that point, planners can adequately plan for the future of their suburb.

REFERENCES Author Unknown. “Interview with Peter Calthorpe.” American Society of Landscape Architects. Accessed Dec. 5, 2013. ContentDetail.aspx?id=30566. Badger, Emily. “We’re Building Giant Houses Again.” The Atlantic Cities, June 3, 2013. were-buidling-giant-houses-again/5775/ Belden, Russonello & Stewart. “The 2011 Community Preference Survey.” The National Association of Realtors. March 2011. Benfield, Kaid. “Americans Are Very Confused About What They

• Densification of the suburbs will happen, though it will only happen


Calthorpe, Peter. The Next American Metropolis. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1993.

Manyika, James and Katy George. “Dispelling Myths about Manufacturing.”, Apr. 30, 2013. http://www. ufacturing/2013/04/29/4616e730-aea3-11e2-a986-eec837b1888b_ story_1.html

Cox, Wendell. “Flocking Elsewhere: The Downtown Growth Story.”, Oct. 1, 2012. content/003108-flocking-elsewhere-the-downtown-growth-story

Martin, Lawrence L. and Jeannie Hock Schiff. “City-County Consolidation: Promise Versus Performance.” State and Local Government Review 43, no. 2 (2012): 167-177.

Cox, Wendell. “Regionalism: Spreading the Fiscal Irresponsibility.”, Aug. 24, 2012. content/003044-regionalism-spreading-fiscal-irresponsibility

Nelson, Arthur C. Reshaping Metropolitan America. Washington: Island Press, 2013.

Want Out of a Community.” The Atlantic Cities. November 25, 2013.

Cox, Wendell. “The Suburban Exodus: Are We There Yet?”, June 4, 2010. content/001601-the-suburban-exodus-are-we-there-yet “Dead Mall Stories.” Online. Accessed Dec. 7, 2013. Fishman, Robert. “Longer View: The Fifth Migration.” Journal of the American Planning Association 71, no. 4 (2005): 357-366. Gallagher, Leigh. “The End of the Suburbs.” Lecture. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Oct. 30, 2013. Gallagher, Leigh. The End of the Suburbs. New York: The Penguin Group, 2013.

Orlik, Tom. “Rising Wages Pose Dilemma for China.”, May 17, 2013. 67004578488233119290670 Pedersen, Martin. “Does China’s Urbanization Spell Doom or Salvation? Peter Calthorpe Weighs In…”, Aug. 2, 2013. Pederson, Martin C. “Q & A: Peter Calthorpe”., July 23, 2013. Kotkin, Joel. “Older Suburbs: Crabgrass Slums or New Urban Frontier?” Reason Public Policy Institute, Sept. 2001.

Grant, Jill et al. “Interface: The Future of the Suburbs.” Planning Theory & Practice 14. No. 3 (2013): 391-415.

Rubin, Jeff. “Oil and the End of Globalization.” Lecture. Center for International Governance Innovation. Nov. 1, 2010. http://www.

Halbur, Tim et al. “Skyscrapers and the World of Tomorrow.”, Sept. 1, 2011.

Rubin, Jeff. Why Your World Is About To Get A Whole Lot Smaller. New York: Random House, 2009.

Jaffe, Eric. “A Brief History of Suburbia’s Rise and Fall.”, Mar. 14, 2013. http://www.theatlanticcities. com/arts-and-lifestyle/2013/03/brief-history-suburbias-rise-andfall/4979/

Taylor, Michael. “Vintage Book Review: The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs.”, Aug. 25, 2013.

Kotkin, Joel. “Don’t Bet Against The (Single-Family) House.”, Feb. 29, 2012. content/002694-don’t-bet-against-the-single-family-house

The End of Suburbia. Directed by Gregory Greene. 2004. The Electric Wallpaper Co. DVD.

Kotkin, Joel. “Why America’s Young and Restless Will Abandon Cities for Suburbs”, July 20, 2011. Kotkin, Joel. The Next Hundred Million. New York: The Penguin Press, 2010. Kunstler, James Howard. The Long Emergency. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2005.

Umberger, Mary. “A Somber Look at Suburbia’s Future.”, Sept. 13, 2013. http://articles.chicagotribune. com/2013-09-13/classified/sc-cons-0912-umberger-20130913_1_loveaffair-american-dream-suburbs U.S. Census Bureau. “DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics.” Generated by Dan Levin using American FactFinder2. <> (Nov. 10, 2013)

Lee, Sugie and Nancey Leigh. “Intrametropolitan Spatial Differentiation and Decline of Inner-Ring Suburbs.” Journal of Planning Education and Research 27, no. 2 (2007): pp146-164.

Wattenberg, Ben. “Population.”, accessed Dec. 7, 2013. http://

Leinberger, Christoper. “The Death of the Fringe Suburb.” Nytimes. com, Nov. 25, 2011. the-death-of-the-fringe-suburb.html?_r=1&

Woody, Todd. “5 Charts That Explain the Great Energy Shift.”, Nov. 4, 2013. technology/archive/2013/11/5-charts-that-explain-the-great-energyshift/281116/

Leinberger, Christopher. “Here Comes the Neighborhood.” TheAtlantic. com, May 11, 2010. archive/2010/06/here-comes-the-neighborhood/308093/?single_ page=true Leinberger, Christopher. “The Next Slum?”, Mar. 1, 2008.


PAN O R AMA 2014

Wolf, Peter. Hot Towns. New York: Rutgers University Press, 2001.

Zell, Sam. “Investing in the Property Markets: A Conversation with Sam Zell.” Lecture. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Oct. 22, 2013.

Image Citations Post/Post Adaptive Reuse of Post-Colonial Buildings in PostApartheid South Africa Wits University. “The Union Buildings, Pretoria.” Photograph. http://wiredspace. (Accessed March 11, 2014). “Afrikaner crowds surrounding the Voortrekker Monument.” Life Magazine, p. 24-25. January 16, 1950. “Pietermaritzburg.” Google Earth image. Self-published. January 2014. “Constitution Hill.” Photograph. From City of Johannesburg. za/city_maps. (Accessed March 11, 2014). “Constitutional Court exterior.” Photograph. Self-published. From Hippocampus. (Accessed March 11, 2014). Von. “Constitutional Court interior.” Photograph. Self-published. 2007. From Flickr.

Engagement Advice for Mantua’s Promise Zone Klevan, Larissa "Housing Along Lancaster Avenue". Photograph. Selfpublished, Sept. 2013. City of Philadelphia. "Promise Zone Assets." PZoneAssets-Map.pdf (accessed February 19, 2014). Klevan,Larissa. "Upper Lancaster Avenue Corridor". Photograph, Selfpublished, Sept. 2013.

What’s the Problem with Gentrification? AgnosticPreachersKid. “Row houses located at 4–7 Logan Circle, N.W., in the Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C.” Photograph. Self-published, 1 March 2010. From Wikimedia Commons. File:4_-_7_Logan_Circle.JPG. (Accessed March 11, 2014). Beyond My Ken. “14 (left), 16 (middle) and 18 (right) West 86th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue in the Upper West Side neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City.” Photograph. Self-published, 27 June 2011. From Wikimedia Commons. File:14-18_West_86th_Street_from_west.jpg. (Accessed March 11, 2014). Seeger, Stuart. “Downtown Portland and the Steel Bridge from the east side of the Willamette. Portland, Oregon, USA.” Photograph. Self-published, 20 June 2006. From Flickr. (Accessed March 11, 2014). Autopilot. “U Street Corridor in Washington, D.C., facing west on U Street.” Photograph. Self-published, 17 January 2009. From Wikimedia Commons. (Accessed March 11, 2014).

Bengaluru, India: A Profile of Growth, Development, and Planning Subhashish Panigrahi. “Aerial view of Diary Circle, shot from Christ University, Bangalore.” Photograph. Self-published, 2 December 2013. From Wikimedia Commons. Taverekere,_shot_from_Christ_University,_Bangalore.jpg. (Accessed March 8, 2014). Chung, Clara, Jinny Khanduja, John Hosung Lee, Lucrecia Solano, Cuthbert Onikute, Anna Oursler, Ranjani Sarode, JiYeun Yu. “Bengaluru: Redefining Urban Infrastructure.” Columbia University GSAPP TCLab Urban Planning Studio (2012). lld2117/3_Bengaluru_reduced.pdf

Chung, Clara, Jinny Khanduja, John Hosung Lee, Lucrecia Solano, Cuthbert Onikute, Anna Oursler, Ranjani Sarode, JiYeun Yu. “Bengaluru: Redefining Urban Infrastructure.” Columbia University GSAPP TCLab Urban Planning Studio (2012). lld2117/3_Bengaluru_reduced.pdf

Development Incentives and the Future of Privately Financed Affordable Housing Production U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “Assistant Secretary Henriquez Cuts Ribbon at Washington Beech.” Photograph. Self-published, 28 June 2010. From Flickr. sizes/o/. (Accessed March 2, 2014). Phelan, John. “Central Street, Wellesley Massachusetts.” Photograph. Selfpublished, 23 August 2008. From Wikimedia Commons. http://commons.,_Wellesley_MA.jpg. (Accessed February 24, 2014). Case, Kevin. “New York City Mayoral Front Runner Bill de Blasio.” Photograph. Self-published, 2 November 2013. kevdia/10632385465/sizes/l/. (Accessed February 24, 2014). Morgan, Will. “Philadelphia Vacant Land.” Photograph. Self-published, 13 October 2013.

Debate: Cities as Engines of Redistribution Lobo, Daniel. “A View from Federal Hill with David Harvey.” Photograph. Self-published, 27 March 2009. From Wikimedia Commons. http://upload. (Accessed March 6, 2014).

Public Realm Studio Zhu, Shelly. Public Realm Studio Work. Drawing. Self-published, December 2013. Cantor, Tali. Public Realm Studio Work. Drawing. Self-published, December 2013. Knee, Amber. Public Realm Studio Work. Drawing. Self-published, December 2013.

American Land Use Ethics and Their Impact on Wetlands Sowl, Kristine. "Boreal wetlands, Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge." Photograph. Self-published, 10 July 2013. From Flickr. photos/usfws_alaska/9663167989/. (Accessed March 11, 2014). Scorpions and Centaurs. “Chicago Suburbs from the Air.” Photograph. Self-published, 28 May 2008. From Flcikr. sshb/2912704531/. (Accessed March 12, 2014). Stansberry, Brian. “Jones Marsh, viewed from the Wormsloe Historic Site near Savannah, Georgia, in the southeastern United States.” Photograph. Self-published, 15 September 2008. File:Wormsloe-jonesmarsh-ga1.jpg. (Accessed February 16, 2014).

London’s Planning Evolution: Abercrombie’s Vision And Livingstone’s Mandate “Firefighters putting out a blaze in London after an air raid during The Blitz in 1941.” Photograph. New York Time Paris Bureau Collection. From Wikimedia Commons. (accessed February 20, 2014) John Lewis. “Panoramic of the London Olympic Park.” Photograph. From Wikimedia Commons. Park_from_John_Lewis.jpg (accessed February 20, 2014). Peter Clayton. “City Hall- Greater London Authority.” Photograph. From Wikimedia Commons. (accessed February 21, 2014).


The Benefits and Drawbacks of Infrastructure Public-Private Partnerships Urban Land Institute and Ernest & Young. Infrastructure 2013: Global priorities, Global Insights. 2013 Infrastructure_2013/$FILE/Infrastructure_2013.pdf. Rall, J., Reed, J. B., & Farber, N. J.. Public-Private Partnerships for Transportation: A Toolkit for Legislators. Washington D.C.: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2010. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Private Limited. Funding the Infrastructure Investment Gap, 2013. Assets/Documents/Thoughtware/Funding_the_InfrastructureInvestment_Gap. pdf. PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP. Public-Private Partnerships: The US Perspective, 2010. public-private-partnerships.jhtml.

The State Rules & Counties Drool: A History and Evaluation of Home Rule in Alabama

La Citta Vita. “Waterfront architecture.” Photograph. Self-published, 2 February 2010. From Flickr. (Accessed March 11, 2014). La Citta Vita. “Copenhagen, public plaza.” Photograph. Self-published, 2 February 2010. From Flick. in/set-72157624303600313. (Accessed March 11, 2014).

A High Speed Future jpmueller99. “Amtrak Train 42.” Photograph. Self-published, 14 October 2011. From Flickr. (Accessed March 11, 2014). Muffin76. “European pentagon, London-Paris-Milano-München-Hamburg.” PNG. Self-published, 8 August 2012. From Wikimedia Commons. http://commons. (Accessed March 11, 2014). Utah Foundation Report 694. “High-Speed Rail Infrastructure by Country.” Table. High-Speed Rail Around the World: A Survey and Comparison of Existing Systems, 2010. (Accessed February 6, 2014).

Highsmith, Carol M. “Alabama Capitol Building.” Photograph. Library of Congress, April 21, 2010. From Wikimedia Commons. http://commons. (Accessed February 18, 2014.)

IrvingPINYC. “This map, created by the Regional Plan Association, illustrates eleven metropolitan areas that are growing into megaregions.” PNG. Self-published. From Wikimedia Commons. File:MapofEmergingUSMegaregions.png. (Accessed March 11, 2014).

“Alabama State Constitution of 1901.” Document. State of Alabama, 1901. From Wikimedia Commons. php?title=File:Alabama_State_Constitution_of_1901.djvu&page=7. (Accessed February 18, 2014.)

Federal Railroad Administration. “Map showing US high speed rail corridors as of July 9th, 2009.” JPG. Self-published. From Wikimedia Commons. http:// (Accessed March 11, 2014).

Pruitt, Chris. “Baldwin County Courthouse Bay Minette.” Photograph. . Selfpublished, June, 15, 2013. From Wikimedia Commons. http://commons. jpg. (Accessed February 18, 2014.) Pruitt, Chris. “Baldwin County Courthouse Bay Minette.” Photograph. . Selfpublished, June, 15, 2013. From Wikimedia Commons. http://commons. jpg. (Accessed February 18, 2014.)

Planning Culture of Copenhagen, Denmark Leibrandt, Thue C. “Copenhagen City from the Air. Seen from South-East.” Photograph. Self-published, 16 February 2008. From Wikimedia Commons. (Accessed March 11, 2014). Christensen, Martin Nikolaj. “Amalienborg and the Marble Church seen with the Amalie Garden in the foreground.” Photograph. Self-published, 3 September 2010. From Wikimedia Commons. File:Amalienborg_and_Marble_Church_view.jpg. (Accessed March 11, 2014). Electricnet. “Diagram of the S-train system in the Copenhagen metropolitan area in Denmark, with legend in English, as of December 2011.” SVG. Self-published, 6 May 2012. From Wikimedia Commons. (Accessed March 11, 2014). Llewelyn, Hugh. “Kobenhavn Station.” Photograph. Self-published, 7 October 2009. From Flickr. in/photolist-9Ggkcc-9GgmM4-iaZnkp-9Gn2Wy-ib9CfM. (Accessed March 11, 2014).


PAN O R AMA 2014

The Future of the American Suburb Jasecampbell. “An American Suburb.” Photograph. Self-published, 14 May 2009. From Flickr. (Accessed February 20, 2014). SchuminWeb. “Macy’s Store at Westfield Hawthorn Mall.” Photograph. Selfpublished, 12 November 2010. From Wikimedia Commons. http://commons. (Accessed February 20, 2014). Indrelunas, Brian. “US Airways HQ.” Photograph. Self-published, 17 January 2009. From Wikipedia. (Accessed February 20, 2014). Wilson, Matthew D. “Pittsford Plaza in Pittsford, a suburb of Rochester, New York.” Photograph. Self-published, 15 June 2007. wiki/File:Rochester_Pittsford_Plaza.jpg. (Accessed February 20, 2014).

Cover thenails. “Subway Door.” Photograph. Self-published, 12 November 2005. From Flickr. photostream/. (Accessed March 11, 2014).

Back Cover absolutewade. “Empty subway in NYC.” Photograph. Self-published, 19 March 2008. From Wikimedia Commons. commons/2/26/Empty_subway_in_NYC.jpg. (Accessed March 11, 2014).


University of Pennsylvania School of Design Department of City and Regional Planning 127 Meyerson Hall 210 S. 34th Stree t Philadelphia, PA 19104-6311

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.