Today’s reading for CM Blair: “Wal-Mart: An economic cancer on our cities.”


You can lead a banker to information, but you can’t always make him read. Let’s hope this is an exception. Scott: When you’re finished, can you pass on this link to David Duggins? I think he needs to read it, too. Thanks.

Wal-Mart: An economic cancer on our cities, by Charles Montgomery (Salon)

In Asheville, N.C., a dense downtown generated jobs and tax revenue and restored the city’s soul

Excerpted from “Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design

Most of us agree that development that provides employment and tax revenue is good for cities. Some even argue that the need for jobs outweighs aesthetic, lifestyle, or climate concerns—in fact, this argument comes up any time Walmart proposes a new megastore near a small town. But a clear-eyed look at the spatial economics of land, jobs, and tax regimes should cause anyone to reject the anything-and-anywhere-goes development model. To explain, let me offer the story of an obsessive number cruncher who found his own urban laboratory quite by chance.