Cities: October 2005 Archives

David Sucher at City Comforts, the blog, reminds us that there is a better alternative to eminent domain for dealing with blight -- nuisance abatement. If a property is blighted in the literal sense of the word, require the owner to clean it up, or clean it up for him and send him the bill.

We already do this to some extent -- the city will mow the grass on an untended property then bill the owner, for example. This alternative wouldn't satisfy some public officials, because the aim of some urban renewal is not to clean up blight, but to get ownership out of the hands of one group of owners into the hands of another, and "blight" is defined broadly enough to make this possible.

In the previous entry, Sucher calls attention to a new meaning for the word "persuade":

Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy has said that eminent domain is an important tool. The city used the threat of eminent domain to persuade Pittsburgh Wool Co. to make way for an expansion of H.J. Heinz Co. facilities, which were later purchased by Del Monte Food Co.

The city was persuasive in the same way that a man with a gun at your head is persuasive.

Reason Las Vegas!

| | Comments (4)

Reason knows how to throw an urban policy conference.

The Dynamic Cities Conference is November 4-6 at the Mirage in Las Vegas, and it will feature convention center expert Heywood Sanders, urban critic Joel Kotkin, Logan Darrow Clements, who's behind the plan to protest Kelo v. New London by condemning Justice Souter's home and turning it into the Lost Liberty Hotel, columnist Christopher Hitchens, X Prize winner Burt Rutan, and a dozen or so editors, writers, and scholars from the Reason Foundation and Reason, the magazine. Comedian Drew Carey will speak at the opening reception.

The Reason Foundation is a libertarian think-tank, and the conference program begins with the question, "How do policies based on freedom and choice make a city great?" Here are some of the topics on the agenda:

  • Misguided Megaprojects: Drawing lessons from downtown revitalization efforts, sports stadiums, and convention centers
  • Command and Control. What happens when urban planners and meddlers ignore what people want and stifle innovation?
  • Trains, Buses, and Automobiles: Are governments offering transit to accommodate people’s choices or control them?
  • The City: The evolution of cities and meaning of urban life
  • The Evolution and Economics of Gaming in Las Vegas…and throughout America
  • Kelo Backlash: Public and political reaction to a devastating Supreme Court decision on property rights
  • What can Las Vegas teach liberals and conservatives who fear and loathe it?
  • Prague’s Dazzling Diversity: How Europe’s urban jewel is threatened most by its “protectors.”
  • Rescuing Failed Urban Schools

It looks like it will be a terrific conference, full of ideas that need to make their way back to Tulsa. But, of course, that can only happen if someone goes out there from Tulsa to cover it. Between registration, hotel, and airfare, it would cost about $1,000 to go.

On a completely unrelated note, I just realized that when I reorganized my template a couple of weeks ago, I neglected to include the PayPal donation button, which looks like this:

It's up again as one of two ways -- advertising through BlogAds is another -- to support hosting and research expenses for this site.

Mister Snitch asks, "What happens when liberalized eminent domain laws meet corrupt politicians?" And he has the answer, by way of recent example.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Cities category from October 2005.

Cities: September 2005 is the previous archive.

Cities: December 2005 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.



Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed:
[What is this?]