Urban Growth

The “Grow or Die” Myth – an Illusion of Prosperity

  • The vast majority of U.S. and many other communities compete with one another for job recruitment and the in-migration which follows job growth. This is driven by belief in the “Grow or Die” myth.
  • Growth boosters (economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, developers and homebuilders) perpetuate the myth.
  • Evidence suggests these communities are caught in a vicious circle. The growth they court results in numerous externalized costs. The inevitable result is tax increases, service level declines, and infrastructure backlogs. More growth is then sought in the belief it will generate revenue needed to solve the problems created by growth in the first place.
  • More effective, less destructive approaches to healthy local economies focus on cultivating success for local businesses, increasing efficiency and reducing waste.

Join us in further examining this issue on the filmmaker’s blog.

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