30 Mar '12, 2pm

How successful cities are like marijuana:

How successful cities are like marijuana:

If you’ve got an acre of land, and a magical get-out-of-jail-free card, which cash crop do you grow — wheat, soybeans, or marijuana? That’s a good metaphor for a city’s decision to invest in its downtown versus sprawl, says Joe Minicozzi, the new projects director at Public Interest Projects. Minicozzi uses the pot-vs.-soybeans hypothetical because people intuitively grasp the value of cash crops — that an acre of high-grade weed throws off 10 or 20 times as much income as a food crop. And so it is with dense urban development, which can help cities balance their budgets by generating many times the per-acre tax revenue of sprawling developments. Emily Badger outlines the logic in a fantastic piece for the Atlantic Cities , worth reading in full if you want to understand how cities can conquer their budget crises by reinvesting in their existing downtowns. Asheville has a ...

Full article: http://grist.org/list/how-successful-cities-are-like-mari...

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