How Bankrupt American Cities Stay Alive – Debt [ST04]

For centuries, cities used to be built incrementally. Improving and building on successful places, and changing or abandoning unsuccessful places. This changed in America in the 1940s, when whole neighbourhoods were built on the edge of town, to a completed…

How Bankrupt American Cities Stay Alive - Debt [ST04]

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For centuries, cities used to be built incrementally. Improving and building on successful places, and changing or abandoning unsuccessful places. This changed in America in the 1940s, when whole neighbourhoods were built on the edge of town, to a completed state. After several generations, many of these places are financially insolvent, but are propping themselves up with an ever-growing mountain of debt.

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Watch the rest of the Strong Towns series here:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJp5q-R0lZ0_FCUbeVWK6OGLN69ehUTVa

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/notjustbikes
Reddit: https://reddit.com/r/notjustbikes
One-time donations: https://bunq.me/notjustbikes

NJB Live (my bicycle livestream channel):
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9v57F4xz46KaDsvWfCv8yw


Sources and Image Credits

Thumnail photo:
Suburban Sprawl, Vegas Style
https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnkay/3732615241

This video is based on the work of Strong Towns, especially the “Growth Ponzi Scheme”:
https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2020/8/28/the-growth-ponzi-scheme-a-crash-course
https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2011/6/13/the-growth-ponzi-scheme-part-1.html
https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2011/6/14/the-growth-ponzi-scheme-part-2.html
https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2011/6/15/the-growth-ponzi-scheme-part-3.html
https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2011/6/16/the-growth-ponzi-scheme-part-4.html

Aerial view of the Napa River where it divides Vallejo, California
By Dicklyon – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=69952050

Historical compilation of photos from Brainerd, MN
Downtown Brainerd, then and now:
http://www.crowwinghistory.org/brainerd_downtown_buildings.html

Penny Postcards from Minnesota
http://www.usgwarchives.net/mn/crowwing/postcards/ppcs-crow.html

$3.2 Billion to Fix Tampa’s Aging Pipes? From Where?
https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2019/8/30/32-billion-to-fix-tampas-aging-pipes-from-where

The land of the FREE [Backus, MN]
https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2010/2/17/the-land-of-the-free.html

Transactions of Decline, Lowry Edition
https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2010/4/20/transactions-of-decline-lowry-edition.html

We Need Growth. But Only If It Generates Real Wealth.
https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2019/10/9/we-need-growth-but-only-if-it-generates-real-wealth

Branch Closings and Budget Cuts Threaten Libraries Nationwide
https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/branch-closings-and-budget-cuts-threaten-libraries-nationwide/

We Can’t Afford To Keep The Streetlights On
https://www.businessinsider.com/we-cant-afford-to-keep-the-streetlights-on-2009-8

Cost of deferred maintenance for U.S. infrastructure tops $1 trillion, new report finds
https://transportationtodaynews.com/news/16110-cost-of-deferred-maintenance-for-u-s-infrastructure-tops-1-trillion-new-report-finds/

U.S. and UK on brink of debt disaster
http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2009/01/20/us-and-uk-on-brink-of-debt-disaster/

Mortgage Debt Outstanding, All holders
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MDOAH


Chapters

0:00 Intro
0:05 Strong Towns
0:14 Why isn’t suburbia bankrupt?
1:12 Traditional incremental development
3:13 Growth and financing through debt
4:54 Why increasing taxes isn’t enough
6:44 Successful cities need successful services
7:41 Growing cities with debt
9:32 Conclusion
10:29 Patreon shout-out
10:39 Outro

#StrongTowns #MunicipalDebt

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