City Builder Book Club: Chapter 16

Part 3: Forces of decline and regeneration

Chapter 16: Gradual money and cataclysmic money 

Three kinds of money

  1. credit extended by conventional, non-government lending (banks, developers)
  2. government (investment into government buildings and tax)
  3. shadow world of investment (cash, and high interest mortgage market)

Chapter 16, p 306

These three kind of money behave not like irrigation systems, bringing life-giving streams to feed steady, continual growth. Instead they behave like manifestations of malevolent climates beyond the control of man – affording either searing droughts or torrential erroding floods.

Chapter 16, p 316

All the three kinds of cataclysmic money have been involved in this debacle, as they often are in city decay. First the withdrawal of all conventional money; then ruination financed by shadow-world money, then selection of the areas by the Planning Commission as a candidate for cataclysmic use of government money to finance renewal clearance.  This last stage makes possible cataclysmic re-entry of conventional money for financing renewal project construction and rehabilitation…

Chapter 16, p 331

It is so easy to blame the decay of cities on traffic…or immigrants..of the whimsies of the middle class.  The decay of the cities goes deeper and is more complicated.  It goes right down to what we think we want, and to our ignorance about how cities work.   The forms in which money is used in city building – or withheld from use, – are powerful instruments of city decline today.  The forms in which money is used must be converted to instruments of regeneration -from instruments buying violent cataclysms to instruments buying continual, gradual, complex and gentler change


2 thoughts on “City Builder Book Club: Chapter 16

  1. […] Love sketches “moneystorms” in Chapter 16 and the Office of Dwelling Subsidies in Chapter […]

  2. […] Love sketches “moneystorms” in Chapter 16 and the Office of Dwelling Subsidies in Chapter […]

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