A part of the problem is sprawl. We've spread out and built separate infrastructure for each little area. That means more infrastructure and less taxes to cover each part. Then we drive between these little areas, typically living in one and working in another one, and shopping in a third. And we have massive and relatively expensive infrastructure for cars to facilitate this way of life.
Transportation, utilities, and housing are all more affordable if you have more people living in a more self-contained community. If you do it right, most people don't even need to drive that often, so that cost goes down too.
Check out strongtowns.org