U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Europe
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
 
 
Old 11-02-2011, 07:25 AM
 
15,961 posts, read 8,363,886 times
Reputation: 5984
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
This may have been the case in 1960, but it is no longer today. Many, if not most suburbanites now work in the suburbs, often in "office parks", most do all their shopping in suburban malls, discount stores (e.g. Target, Wal-Mart), and even entertain themselves in the suburbs at chain restaurants and bars like Applebee's and the Olive Garden. However, these are not necessarily in the same suburbs (usually governed as independent "cities") as they live in, but I do not know of any suburb which is purely commercial or industrial. Many, if not all, major metropolitan areas have geographical groupings of suburbs. For example, Lakeville and Andover are both (outer) suburbs of Minneapolis - St. Paul, but since Andover is a northern suburb and Lakeville is a southern suburb, commuting between them daily would be nightmarish (by MSP standards), so people in Andover tend to do to their shopping and working in adjacent suburbs, and people in Lakeville the same.

The suburb-as-bedroom-community model, in which most suburbanites commuted to the central city for work and shopping, persisted until about the 1950s. Then shopping centers and enclosed malls started popping up en masse and soon most popular stores closed their city-center locations. Work followed, as it only made sense for companies to re-locate to where their executives and employees lived. As a result, many suburbanites rarely visit the urban core. This presents difficulty for public transportation providers. The old model of the bedroom community served them much better, because they could simply plan lines that extended out from the urban core. With suburb-to-suburb commutes being more common than suburb-to-urban commutes, planning lines becomes much more difficult, and convenient, effective public transit is nearly rendered impossible by the fact that most of these work and shopping destinations are stand-alone, designed with only the private car in mind and with large campuses (in the case of work destinations).

There has been some revival of the inner cities, but for the most part, the mainstream, average American abandoned them in the 1960's and 1970's for suburbia, leaving behind blacks (typically poor), Hispanics (in some cities), college students, and immigrants. Many immigrants and Hispanics are moving to the suburbs now, though.

Quote:
I guess the renter to owner ratio is also quite different for most of Europe.
The owner : renter ratio varies a lot throughout the continent. It's considerably lower in Germany while higher in Italy.
Google Street View is interesting in that respect, especially the Satellite view. One can see immediately where the suburbs are and where downtown is, often even where malls and other commercial buildings are. With US cities you often see endless arrays of residential units. No center though, no downtown of the suburb so to speak. Malls are often at quite a distance.

In Europe malls are still relatively rare, there still are numerous supermarket chains with lots of shops spread throughout any given city. So no matter where you live, usually you can do your grocery shopping by foot.
One factor might be that almost every bigger European city has one or more railroad stations or even a metro system. Usually there are shops surrounding railroad and metro stations as there are lots of people passing through, thus it is profitable to operate shops there.
Also, in the US people tend to buy much larger quantities when they do their shopping, whereas in Europe people often do their grocery shopping during the lunch break or after work, just stuff for one or two days.
Not to mention that any city needs to have a pedestrian zone if it wants to be considered attractive by existing and potential residents. Pedestrian zones automatically attract shops.

There are differences between European countries of course. Here in Portugal malls are more frequent than in Germany. But there still are normal supermarkets and grocery shops right where people live.
What you say about Italy applies to most of southern Europe, home ownership is more common down here, but 'home' in many cases is simply an apartment, not an entire house, especially in urban areas.

Last edited by Neuling; 11-02-2011 at 07:58 AM..
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-02-2011, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Earth
24,642 posts, read 13,536,389 times
Reputation: 11062
The Czech Republic is embracing malls. Too bad.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-02-2011, 08:17 AM
 
Location: locus amoenus
1,777 posts, read 1,728,507 times
Reputation: 1913
Quote:
Originally Posted by chielgirl View Post
The Czech Republic is embracing malls. Too bad.
And Estonia, and Latvia

I hope it's only a fad.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-02-2011, 10:01 AM
 
5,890 posts, read 4,727,015 times
Reputation: 9583
Quote:
Originally Posted by noela View Post
And Estonia, and Latvia

I hope it's only a fad.
I see the same happening in my area of Portugal, and the result - unsurprisingly - is the same as what occurred in the U.S. The center of towns die, small merchants are put out of business, small friendly businesses are replaced with impersonal large stores out in the mall and the town loses the focus of its identity.

My hometown in the U.S. was gutted by this phenomenon, and now it is beginning in my new home town here in Europe...probably I am old enough that I will not live to see this town become as souless as my American home town.

However, nothing remains the same. We are in a rapidly evolving era of mass impersonality and malls are appropriate to it.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-02-2011, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
4,776 posts, read 4,437,253 times
Reputation: 3018
Mixed feelings...

All in all, I prefer the denser housing and prevalence of walkable communities in Europe (and Asia) but I'm not sure how much it'll cost the US to move in that direction. Sprawl is fine if it's not too extreme, and although having more mass transit (esp here in Southern California) would be great, I'm not sure if I'd want to be footing the bill. I think the only consistently profitable mass transit system in the world is in Hong Kong.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-02-2011, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Minnesota, USA
7,283 posts, read 7,181,870 times
Reputation: 5804
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuling View Post
Google Street View is interesting in that respect, especially the Satellite view. One can see immediately where the suburbs are and where downtown is, often even where malls and other commercial buildings are. With US cities you often see endless arrays of residential units. No center though, no downtown of the suburb so to speak. Malls are often at quite a distance.
It's true that most suburbs do not have any discernible "downtown" areas. They say that downtown Celebration, Florida (a new urbanist community built in the 1990's) was the first "downtown" constructed in the United States after World War II. The exception to this no-downtown rule would be suburbs that began as small towns in their own right...cities like Lakeville and Farmington, MN.

Suburban retail and businesses (in most modern suburbs) tend to be located along highways or feeder roads. The equivalent of a "downtown" in the suburbs can be said to be the highway corridor. Some apartment blocks and low-income housing are also located there or near there. Detached single-family dwellings - the staple of suburban residential development - occupy the bulk of the space and tend to be located in subdivisions (again, in modern suburbs), which tend to be developed by one developer and feed off an arterial/

A perfect example of this would be here:

Google Maps

If you zoom in on (State) Highway 13, business names will begin appearing: Burger King, Super America, Aldi, Dairy Queen, Mattie's Lanes, Price Shoppers Furniture, etc. Denser housing - apartment blocks, townhomes, and a trailer court - are located along or very near the highway. The high school is also located a very short distance from the highway, segregated from the residential districts, which is common in modern suburbs. On the north side of the highway, there are also many industrial businesses located along less heavily-trafficked roads. The eastern portion of the screen is dedicated to single-family homes, which are located on irregularly-shaped streets stemming from minor (county) highways, which most people use as thoroughfares to get to and from their suburban homes, although closer to the highways they can serve as access points for retail.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-02-2011, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Earth
24,642 posts, read 13,536,389 times
Reputation: 11062
That's very different from Euro style downtown areas.
We have ped zones for walking and not everything is a franchise. You're talking low-end; most ped zones in Germany have smaller, local merchants.
They're just totally different, and not really comparable.
You don't see people sitting around having coffee and meeting friends in strip malls like you do in ped zones in Europe.
The cultures are just different.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-02-2011, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Venice Italy
718 posts, read 381,469 times
Reputation: 398
the ideal city does not exist, the development of a city is determined by the development of the work sector.
Many years ago there was a so-called Brazilian project "the ideal city" but it did not work

you live where you work, it's not important how or where, ppl live where they work all the rest l mean social services ....follow them police office, hospital, school post office, grave yard etc etc
ab aeternam
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-02-2011, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Minnesota, USA
7,283 posts, read 7,181,870 times
Reputation: 5804
Quote:
Originally Posted by chielgirl View Post
That's very different from Euro style downtown areas.
Obviously.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-02-2011, 09:10 PM
 
3,485 posts, read 2,792,360 times
Reputation: 3116
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevxu View Post
I would not, however, give Europe too much longer before its societies are reduced to a similar level.
Give me an approximate timeline - to see if there is still any hope left for me in this life.

PS: I absolutely love your writing, I relate to every sentence way too well.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $79,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Europe

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top