Why do you think that suburbs are an expression of the free market? They depend utterly on eminent domain for acquiring the rights of way for new arterial roads, and on systematic subsidization of infrastructure costs. Those are governmental policy choices, not the free market. Take them away and cities would again tend to grow as they have grown historically: much more densely, with much more aggressive rehabilitation, redevelopment, and infilling, in order to take maximum advantage of existing infrastructure.
The modern American suburb has about as much to do with the free market as the modern American farm, which is the product of three generations of federal commodity and farm lending programs. At least in agriculture, we get planned abundance and the world’s lowest food costs (as a percentage of consumers’ incomes). In housing policy, we have bought comfortable suburbs at the price of brutal commutes, hollowed cities, and a huge, socially and economically isolated underclass. I’m not sure we’ve made good choices.
We can debate the policy, but let’s not begin with the strawman argument that suburbs are a natural development. They are an artifact of transportation and housing policy, every bit as much as was Cabrini-Green.
“We have bought...”
Would you stop saying ‘we’?
I never said suburbs are an expression of the free market although I think I could make that arghument. I am talking about bureaucratically-planned communities and housing which are always a disaster.
No inner city is going to become dense once again until the mess of gangs, drugs, crappy not to say disastrous schools and utter lawlessness not to speak of total corruption in city councils is cleaned up. This means agressive law enforcement and no leftist/liberal government is going to institute true law enforcement.
You are completely overlooking the lawless mess the inner cities are in, which I find true for anyone who argues for more density, people moving back to the cities. Nobody with kids is going to go back to the inner cities as long as they look like Detroit, Chicago, Cincinnati etc.
All your neat and hygenic plans will come to nothing given the conditions. Wake up.