The Broken City Model of Urban Growth
Valid thought! We need to fix our cities before they break and if they are already broken, what then?
Are some cities so ‘broken’ that they are prohibitively expensive to fix?
That thought has occurred to me considering the growth of Dubai, where its problems are being fixed, too late maybe, and at too great a cost if they were fixed earlier, and probably the much needed public transport and other investment is not occurring at a rate fast enough to overcome the problems caused by rapid growth.
There are examples of cities that have grown so fast and with so little public investment that the urban dis-economies of scale (congestion) are higher than the urban economies of agglomeration which drives city growth. In those cases the growth of a city slows down as the city simply cannot afford, without very high local taxes, to continue growing at the same rate, and attempting to tax at this level can lead to a downward fiscal spiral, of the kind we…
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