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Old 02-02-2011, 08:30 AM
 
250 posts, read 743,506 times
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I'd recommend reading the 'Geography of Nowhere', for anyone intigued by these issues
Amazon.com: The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape (9780671888251): James Howard Kunstler: Books

I think just too many people accept sprawling suburbs and the car as the way it is, without any critical thought, as they sit like zombies in traffic twice a day. (I walked to work today (in the snow) and bike in the summer).

Also check out walk score when house hunting Get Your Walk Score - A Walkability Score For Any Address
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:41 AM
 
1,030 posts, read 2,016,856 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmass View Post
You echo a generation: No McMansions for Millennials - Yahoo! Real Estate

If you can do it now, go for it. It will only get harder with time.
That's funny, after reading that Yahoo article (I'm always suspicious of blanket generational statements about anything, BTW), I have to ask the following questions:

- If Gen "Y"ers are so intent on living in the city, why is the population of Boston barely growing relative to the suburbs?

- Why are housing prices in Boston generally flat or declining versus a number of suburbs? I realize that this demographic is - at most - 31, so that may account for the lack of demand that would drive price increases, but still ...

- Why is it that I continue to see many, many more drivers of new sport utility pigs than small, economical, hybrid, etc. cars? And, BTW, that runs across all demographic groups.

I'd like to believe that we're raising a more enlightened generation that can countermand many of the bad economic and political habits of Generation X and the Boomers, but - when given the opportunity to make true, progressive political change - Gen Yers seem to want to stay home and not become engaged. Seems like more of the same to me; I guess we'll just have to see.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:42 AM
 
234 posts, read 521,470 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmass View Post
I'd recommend reading the 'Geography of Nowhere', for anyone intigued by these issues
Amazon.com: The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape (9780671888251): James Howard Kunstler: Books

I think just too many people accept sprawling suburbs and the car as the way it is, without any critical thought, as they sit like zombies in traffic twice a day. (I walked to work today (in the snow) and bike in the summer).

Also check out walk score when house hunting Get Your Walk Score - A Walkability Score For Any Address
I'll have to check out that book. I've always looked at walking scores for other areas, but never my own! We got 75- very walkable. Looked up my in laws in Norwell- a 9! Suckers.

Sorry, didn't mean to hijack your post
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Old 02-02-2011, 03:42 PM
 
1,700 posts, read 3,223,641 times
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Kunstler rants and raves but his understanding of the situation is superficial. He's old enough to remember how towns and cities were in the '50s and '60s when downtown was still where the action was. That's basically his analysis-- why did we as a society ever abandon the sensible, walkable, transit enabled town structure for a landscape that only works for people with cars? I remember Holyoke and Springfield as they were with stores, movie theaters, and hotels downtown, bustling sidewalks, etc., and it does seem an incredible waste to have given all that up for a system that consumes so much more energy per capita and conveys so little a sense of being anywhere in particular. But there are many reasons why that relate to technology and culture and capitalism itself, and while there's no going back, it would be great if we as a society could figure out ways of building new environments that are dense enough to make walking practical. Nice that old places like Boston and Cambridge (and Brooklyn) have been recycled for discerning Gen Xers but how to build a walkable town today?
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:21 AM
 
5,763 posts, read 13,350,864 times
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Originally Posted by rranger View Post
That's funny, after reading that Yahoo article (I'm always suspicious of blanket generational statements about anything, BTW), I have to ask the following questions:

- If Gen "Y"ers are so intent on living in the city, why is the population of Boston barely growing relative to the suburbs?

- Why are housing prices in Boston generally flat or declining versus a number of suburbs? I realize that this demographic is - at most - 31, so that may account for the lack of demand that would drive price increases, but still ...

- Why is it that I continue to see many, many more drivers of new sport utility pigs than small, economical, hybrid, etc. cars? And, BTW, that runs across all demographic groups.

I'd like to believe that we're raising a more enlightened generation that can countermand many of the bad economic and political habits of Generation X and the Boomers, but - when given the opportunity to make true, progressive political change - Gen Yers seem to want to stay home and not become engaged. Seems like more of the same to me; I guess we'll just have to see.
Of course Boston has been gaining population in recent years, but maybe you're saying that there are suburbs growing at a faster rate.

I share your skepticism about that book. I have a wait-and-see attitude about assertions that young people today, with their preferences for "walkable" and "urban" locales, represent a fundamental change in attitude that will be sustained in future decades. The young adult years of living single in the city have been a ritual as long as modern cities have existed. It will take some time to see whether there is a long-term change in the works, or it's simply that Gen Y, or whatever the name is for the current crop of people in their twenties, is just the latest generation to make the same brand new great discovery that multitudes of generations before them have made, except that maybe this generation talks it up a little more. Time will tell.
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Old 02-03-2011, 05:10 PM
 
1,030 posts, read 2,016,856 times
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Originally Posted by ogre View Post
Of course Boston has been gaining population in recent years, but maybe you're saying that there are suburbs growing at a faster rate.

I share your skepticism about that book. I have a wait-and-see attitude about assertions that young people today, with their preferences for "walkable" and "urban" locales, represent a fundamental change in attitude that will be sustained in future decades. The young adult years of living single in the city have been a ritual as long as modern cities have existed. It will take some time to see whether there is a long-term change in the works, or it's simply that Gen Y, or whatever the name is for the current crop of people in their twenties, is just the latest generation to make the same brand new great discovery that multitudes of generations before them have made, except that maybe this generation talks it up a little more. Time will tell.
You are correct sir; Boston's population is growing, but certainly not at the rate that would be suggested by the article referenced in the post. And, as I said, housing prices in the city have been falling (though more slowly than in 2009), while suburban prices have been rising.

It kind of begs the question of who the city is appealing to. I'm afraid that until gas is in excess of $5.00 a gallon, we won't see any real demographic change in this country. It's sad that Americans are so reactive (e.g., Scott Brown) and can't proverbially - as a group - put 2 + 2 together to make 4. [End rant].
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