Land dues—a cure for the obesity of US cities

Downsizing Sprawlopolis: Flabby City, Fit City
Sunday 14 August 2011
by: Jeffery J. Smith, Truthout | Op-Ed

The obese American is not just a person; it’s also most US cities. Most cities here sprawl over way too much land for their number of inhabitants. Compare that footprint to Old World cities that are much more compact.

While we say “footprint,” the more accurate term would be “tire track.”

Our cities take up so much land not for humans, but for automobiles. Cars like wide streets, parking lots, driveways, parking garages for rest, gas stations for sustenance, repair shops and parts stores for health, dealer lots to show off, junk yards for final repose, plus highway patrol stations, parcels zoned commercial for insurance offices etc. Add it all up, cars take up as much surface area as do people in American cities.

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