Which should shape your community-market forces or city planners?

A new book by Cato’s Randal O’Toole argues that government planning is almost always a disaster. In a review of O’Toole iconoclastic new book “The Best-Laid Plans,” the DC Examiner points out some of the disasters of city planning:

“Washington-area residents should be particularly suspicious of the current push for “walkable communities,” an idea championed by idealistic English planners in the 1970s who created an extensive network of bucolic garden paths in various new subdivisions, only to have criminals become their design’s main beneficiaries. Similarly, in a chapter on “Smart Growth and Crime,” O’Toole points out how New Urbanism – a popular planning approach that promotes high-density, mixed-use development and increased pedestrian and bike traffic – also inevitably promotes crime, which is far more prevalent in urban settings than lower-density residential neighborhoods….

“Name a contemporary problem – traffic congestion, homelessness, lack of affordable housing – all can be traced back to past government planning mistakes. Yet despite all evidence to the contrary, many Americans still expect the planners to miraculously get it right the next time around. Better to fire the planners and let free people, free minds and free markets use the genius of their freedom.”