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Old 12-04-2011, 09:09 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
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Historic, inner-ring suburbs (eg, Mt. Lebanon) generally don't have this problem.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:14 PM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
13,856 posts, read 23,039,335 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madg0at View Post
I personally prefer the city, but don't hold it against anyone who chooses to live in the suburbs.

My biggest issue, however, is that I do not believe that suburban sprawl is sustainable economically. There is not enough density, and thus tax revenue, to pay for its infrastructure without big tax increases.
If the population is sufficiently affluent wouldn't that counteract that? Sure there might be more "infrastructure per-person" in places more sparsely populated, but if the people are richer per-capita it might even out at a point.

I live in a small-town. Our main industry is a construction company and we have a few highly rich families who want stuff to look nice. We have plenty of infrastructure, but we're not densely populated. Our population is basically stable.

Wouldn't a suburb be able to do the same? Attract rich corporations or families to live in them and survive on their generosity or taxes.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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This is a super complex issue but I think it boils down to this:
Suburban development will not be economically sustainable in the long run, and in the mean time, its spread also harms our cities through disinvestment and such. Eventually (hopefully soon, in my opinion) we might cycle back to building more in cities, but it would have been far more efficient in the long run if we would have built quality urban infrastructure and continued to invest in them rather than sprawling out. Especially if we have some unpredictable catastrophe like peak oil.

While suburbanization is an issue in Europe as well, it's not nearly as big an issue as it is in the US. And, thankfully, it's not quite as bad in Pittsburgh as in other areas of the US.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
570 posts, read 1,011,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
Wouldn't a suburb be able to do the same? Attract rich corporations or families to live in them and survive on their generosity or taxes.
Theoretically yes, but I don't think tax rates are high enough in suburban areas to account for this, and I don't think suburban tax rates (or really any in the US) sufficiently account for future costs. (see here for example)
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Old 12-05-2011, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Great White North Hills
11,379 posts, read 14,261,860 times
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If we all move into the city, who milks the cows?
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Old 12-05-2011, 04:16 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Copanut View Post
If we all move into the city, who milks the cows?
Obviously, they'll have to learn to milk themselves.
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Copanut View Post
If we all move into the city, who milks the cows?

Technology to the rescue!

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Old 12-06-2011, 02:46 AM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
13,856 posts, read 23,039,335 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Copanut View Post
If we all move into the city, who milks the cows?
Although I'm willing to defend suburbia I don't think people in suburbs are really milking cows.

Generally I don't see quite as much, or at least not the same, hostility toward "the country" from urban-dwellers. They might think "I'd never live in the country, they're all hicks" but I'm not sure there's an additional, "And they shouldn't live there either" aspect.

In the case of the suburbs there's some historical sense of "betrayal." That people in suburbs could be urban, or were urban, but have abandoned it for creature comforts or to avoid "undesirables." (Although interesting I don't think this "unsustainable" notion represents reality or why most disdain suburbs. There are suburbs in this country, including ones that were built as suburbs, that are over 13 decades old. In Massachusetts some of the US's oldest towns have essentially become suburbs of Boston) People don't like disloyalty and suburbs might seem disloyal.
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