Edward Glaeser on Urban Renewal in Shrinking Cities



Source: Min Li Chan

“The hallmark of declining cities is that they have too much housing and infrastructure relative to the strength of their economies. With all that supply of structure and so little demand, it makes no sense to use public money to build more supply. The folly of building-centric urban renewal reminds us that cities aren’t structures; cities are people ...

“Ultimately, the job of urban government isn’t to fund buildings or rail lines that can’t possibly cover their costs, but to care for the city’s citizens. A mayor who can better educate a city’s children so that they can find opportunity on the other side of the globe is succeeding, even if his city is getting smaller.”

— Edward Glaeser in “Triumph of the City,” 2010

This is part of the Polis collection of quotes related to cities.

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