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City Visions 1910 and 2010

Burnham Plan

Proposed boulevard across the Chicago River in the 1909 City Beautiful plan.

The preparation of City Visions is celebrated in an exhibition currently on display in the Lighthouse, Glasgow, after previously being in Berlin and London.  It focuses on four cities: Berlin, Chicago, London and Paris. It celebrates the centenary of the ‘General Town Planning Exhibition in Berlin’ in 1910, but also looks at the same 4 cities in 2010. What can we learn for today from this exhibition? Continue reading

Does Tax Increment Financing deliver economic development?

A mural opposing the TIF in the Pilsen neighbourhood of Chicago

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is a controversial tool for economic development. New and so far unpublished research on its use in Chicago questions the benefits that TIFs generate. These findings strengthen the reservations about TIF that my co-authors and I expressed in our new book on Regional and Local Economic Development. In England the TIF idea has been promoted by the British Property Federation and the Core Cities Group, and has received government backing. Meanwhile the Scottish Government has indicated that it will support six pilot TIF projects. So why are there so many criticisms of TIFs in the USA? Continue reading