Credit Where Credit Ain’t Due

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Sprawlwatch,” an anti-suburb group, recently issued a report claiming that the suburbs are bad for our health.

Americans’ are obese, the report says, therefore suburbs are unhealthy. Are suburbanites more obese than urbanites? The report doesn’t say. Or pedestrians sometimes get killed in auto accidents, therefore suburbs are dangerous. Do more pedestrians get killed in the suburbs than in cities? The report doesn’t say. We know most air pollution is concentrated in the cities, not the suburbs, but the report blames toxic air, too, on the suburbs.

None·of these myths would get much press except that this report apparently attributes them to the Center for Disease Control, listed on the report’s cover below the author’s names because the authors are employed by the CDC. Did the agency write the report? No. Did it even know about the report? Probably not. Did the anti-suburb crowd score a media victory? Yep.

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