The short- and long-term benefits of better development strategies

Last week Smart Growth America Vice President of Policy Development and Implementation traveled to Nashville to unveil new research about development trends there.

After the talk Nashville Next caught up with Fulton to talk more about some of the points he raised:

“Conventional suburban development, including large lots and wide streets, is very expensive to build and very expensive to maintain and does not really generate that much property tax. So over time those projects cost the metro government money, both to build the upfront infrastructure then to provide services to those neighborhoods. So although it seems like those projects generate revenue – and they do generate revenue – although it seems like those projects improve the fiscal condition of the government generally speaking over time they fall in to deficit and they cost the government money.

“Cities don’t see that I think because elected officials tend to focus on revenue. You see a new development project come in and there’s an immediate revenue spike. And then the costs rise little by little over time, incrementally, so you don’t really notice it. And then before you know it you’re in a budget crisis, you’re in a fiscal crisis, and you haven’t even really noticed the problem you’ve created by approving this conventional suburban development.”

Hear more about development in Nashville and beyond in the full video above or on YouTube.