My hometown (Holland, MI) has clearly borne the brunt of suburban sprawl/urban disinvestment. Gangs and poverty are serious problems in many areas of the core of the city, and the public school system has closed a few elementary schools, even tearing down two of them in the past year or so (one this month). It’s not hard to see that the rapid growth of the townships surrounding Holland, particularly to the north, have had a hand in Holland’s issues. Holland Township, directly to the north, actually has a greater population than the City of Holland.
And yet, I constantly see Holland’s new(er) mayor praise Joel Kotkin and other New Geography-type suburban thinkers and deride Richard Florida and other urban thinkers. It makes no sense to me. Is it because the mayor is another typical conservative Republican from West Michigan?
Can someone explain this?