Tuesday, October 28, 2003

The Freep Encourages Politicians to Spin, Spin, Spin on Sprawl Issues

The Detroit Free Press, in the article LAND USE: Even the smartest policies need the right focus
states that the alternative to emphasizing lively urban by governmental fiat is “standing by idly as metropolitan areas spin farther and farther out like uncontrolled whirligigs.”

The Freep notes that a good slogan is needed to prevent sprawl in order to get Michiganders to accept curbs on sprawl as

the WSU survey also shows they can be influenced by how questions are framed. Imply that a land use strategy might mean fewer backyards, or less housing for young families, and interest nosedives.

Hence the need for a crops-are-tops type of simplicity about a key concept like preserving farmland, or a save-it-at-the-source phrase to stress the importance of steering construction away from crucial wetlands and river headwaters.

The governor's Land Use Leadership Council has laid out the steps, if not the slogans, to move the state ahead. Now the governor and legislative leaders need to keep up the drumbeat.

So the Freep in this editorial is encouraging politicians to beat the drum, and lie, and spin, and sugar-coat the idea of develomental restrictions and so called "smart growth". Don’t tell the truth about the new urbanism and its effects on housing costs and availability, on crime, traffic congestion or any other of the many drawbacks of this supposed urban utopianism, for verily the politicians and the Freep know best. Instead give the it a sweet-sounding, trite and simplistic slogan to deceive the public into accepting this "smartest" of policies and don’t let the downside be known until it is too late.

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