Compare and contrast: Right-wing urban development edition

Yesterday in the Vancouver Sun, Pete McMartin – in what I can only suppose is it’s important to give equal consideration to any crackpot idea as long as the crackpot idea originates from the right-wing – wrote an article on the urban development ideas of Wendell Cox. Mr Cox is described as a U.S. public policy consultant. This is true. What is also true is Mr. Cox is a a U.S. public policy consultant, visiting fellow of the Heritage Foundation and senior fellow of the Heartland Institute. The latter being infamously in the news lately. Anyway, Mr. Cox loves urban sprawl. To whit:

But densification, Cox maintains, rests on a mistaken assumption — that if a city is dense enough, we’ll get out of our cars in sufficient numbers to make a difference.

Instead, Cox wrote, densification does exactly the opposite. Most people continue to use their cars, but in a slower, less efficient flow of traffic.

But later that very same day, over the newswires…Gen Y doesn’t buy cars: study

For young adults coming out of school, many of who have incurred healthy debts, the idea of buying a car and adding to their debt leaves a bad taste in their mouths. Paying off student debts is seen as a priority, while owning a new car is a luxury. Add into the equation low wages and high insurance prices, and you’ve got a potent mix of reasons not to buy a new car.

But is it really that simple? For instance, a new Pew Research study finds that around 30 percent of Millennials move back in with their parents, freeing up more money for a vehicle. If kids aren’t paying rent, then why aren’t they buying cars?

Why indeed. Oops. McMartin ends…

Much of this in a city like Vancouver seems counter-intuitive, and given the ascendancy of the densification philosophy here, worthy of further discussion.

I look forward to a worthy discussion on whether the Sun revolves around the Earth.

Sorry, Pete. This was a dude.

UPDATE: See Gordon Price

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