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Old 04-22-2009, 08:19 PM
 
1,261 posts, read 1,805,485 times
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Ioono, I mean what meaningful public policy can be enacted to entice people to stay closer around city centers?

People will chock it up to market forces or what have you and say that there shouldn't be engineering to keep people living in a certain area if they don't want to.
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Old 04-24-2009, 02:18 PM
 
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There are plenty of policy changes that can be done to bring back people to Philly and the older suburbs. I always thought about giving people who buy older homes an extra tax credit. They are doing two really important things, not only they are helping revitalize an old city, but also saving the environment using less energy and taking up less land. Other policy changes can go to make mass transit more efficient and expand its service into a number of different areas. Also suburban towns can enact zoning laws that preserve the open space. They are after all the reason why people move out there.

Suburbia is not a product of the market. Sure there are people who like sprawl, and want to live in those types of communities. There will always going to be a demand for it. However, the sprawl that is eating up land and killing our towns is not a product of the market, it is a product of policy. Our policies support transportation by cars, thus developers build along highways. If we had a policy structure that supported trains, developers will build around train tracks. We have a policy structure that rewards people who develop on open spaces, despite in the long term it is inefficient and expensive than reinvesting in older towns.
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Old 04-25-2009, 12:40 AM
 
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True there. Which is why we need to look at more regional government like London and Paris do i suppose.

Still Philly seems to be an area that hasnt suffered catastrophic dips in it's population. NYC and Chicago were able to keep strong due to their world renowned business centers. I suppose what Philly and Boston have going for it are it's great colleges and healthcare industry. Although the argument could be made that Boston area is more healthy than philly (by virtue of having what SEEMS to be a still very respected city, Philly needs better PR).
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Old 04-25-2009, 08:42 PM
 
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Default Re-evaluate property values...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duderino View Post
I only agree with you to an extent -- the wage tax is not too attractive for those who wish to live and/or work in the city. Still, you have to keep in mind other COL factors that keep Philadelphia an East Coast bargain, all things considered.

That is not to say the archaic taxation system in the city -- and the state, for that matter -- should be overhauled. However, I don't necessarily place too much blame on city leadership for implementing something like the wage tax when your tax base has declined drastically over the course of the past half-century -- many of which having moved to the suburbs. Especially when you've got suburban commuters using city roads, public transportation, in the jurisdiction of city police forces, etc., I don't think it's an entirely unfair system. These are all public services that cost money.

Taxes are never ideal, but they're often necessary to keep up public services that we tend to take for granted.
Maybe if they would re-evaluate the property taxes in CC vs. giving tax abatements, Philly could re-work some of their more onerous taxes, i.e. Philly wage-tax. A novel idea I know, but Philadelphia has never been ahead of the ball in progressive thinking.
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,743 posts, read 7,845,060 times
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Originally Posted by Shino306 View Post
Maybe if they would re-evaluate the property taxes in CC vs. giving tax abatements, Philly could re-work some of their more onerous taxes, i.e. Philly wage-tax. A novel idea I know, but Philadelphia has never been ahead of the ball in progressive thinking.
Haha -- well, at least not since the Colonial period. If only Benjamin Franklin were still around, we might still have some of that influential and innovative thinking.
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Old 04-27-2009, 03:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by waltlantz View Post
True there. Which is why we need to look at more regional government like London and Paris do i suppose.

Still Philly seems to be an area that hasnt suffered catastrophic dips in it's population. NYC and Chicago were able to keep strong due to their world renowned business centers. I suppose what Philly and Boston have going for it are it's great colleges and healthcare industry. Although the argument could be made that Boston area is more healthy than philly (by virtue of having what SEEMS to be a still very respected city, Philly needs better PR).

I wouldn't look to London or Paris, because they do things that you can't apply her in the US, mainly for cultural and geographical reasons. European countries have stronger central governments, that's not the case here. Especially in the Northeast, where every town basically operates in its own vacuum. We have a bit too much localism in the Northeast. The best models we have are in Portland, Oregon and in Minneapolis. They are the only two cities with a metro level government.

You're right that our universities are saving the city. The American economy runs on information, manufacturing is dead. The American auto industry has been pretty much dead since the 1980's. In the coming decades, cities with major universities are going to be the more successful cities. Or at least cities that can harness the talent that come out of the universities.

It isn't coincidence that Pittsburgh is able to revitalize, thanks to Pitt and CMU, and Detroit is dying. Had the University of Michigan not moved in 1832 to Ann Arbor from Detroit, we would be thinking about the city differently today.

Boston is doing a lot better than Philly. They are better at harnessing the talent out of their universities. They also lack the concentrations of poverty that Philadelphia has. Bio-tech and IT companies set up their headquarters in Boston, while they open satellite offices in Philly. Philadelphia needs headquarters not satellites and back offices.
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