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Old 07-09-2017, 01:57 PM
 
2,792 posts, read 1,633,736 times
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I've heard a lot of people on CD complain about areas like Arlington VA, Uptown Charlotte and pretty much any suburban sunbelt area for the reason that they "feel sterile". Personally I have mixed feelings towards sterile areas. On one hand I like that they are modern, clean, generally have lots of amenities, and tend to be safe. Also most of them are fast growing areas, I like being a part of a growing community that will be much bigger on the national front in the future. On the other hand they often lack culture, usually most people are transplants which can be good or bad, also much of the housing in these areas tends to be cookie cutter. Just wanted to get a feel for what people on here define as "sterile" and what you like or don't like about it.
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Old 07-09-2017, 10:42 PM
 
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I prefer almost anything to that feeling of sterility in a city. Cities that feel sterile too me usually have too many chain restaurants and parking garages and not enough people actually out and about. I'll take grit over that any day.
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Old 07-09-2017, 11:26 PM
 
Location: Eugene, OR
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OP, you pretty much perfectly summed up all my feelings exactly. I think if I had to pick a hard choice between the two and could only have one, I'd pick the gritty and cultured area, but still can appreciate the suburban safety of the same chain restaurants and strip malls.

It's probably best to have a mix between the two, but I feel like it's worse to stick to only the sterile suburbs than the other way around. As someone who's generally against consumerism, am I wrong to feel that way?
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:03 AM
 
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I am glad that there are different kinds of places for different people.

Remember that places change, too.
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Cbus
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Like most things in life I feel that balance is key.

I personally don't want to live on wisteria lane or the urban equivalent of it. But on the flip side I don't want to live in an an extremely industrial or grimy urban area either.
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:05 AM
 
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Uptown Charlotte and Arlington VA is not that different from most areas where strip malls and chains are still prevalent in city limits of cities like Atlanta or Dallas to me, and people keep saying that they aren't sterile. Arlington is even twice as dense as those other cities. Could this be a side-effect of all of the growth these cities have encountered recently since a lot of newer development in any city is starting to resemble one another more and more.

Last edited by Ebck120; 07-10-2017 at 10:21 AM..
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:12 AM
 
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I didn't think Arlington was "sterile." It's just a typical suburb. It is definitely posh compared to a lot of other cities. I think it's similar to downtown Decatur, Ga. I don't think it has ever experienced a decline like other areas have so it has always been relatively nice. It still has a nice mix of independent businesses dispersed among the chains.

Sterility only really bugs me in contrast. There are many new developments in Atlanta that can be described as sterile. Instead of redeveloping some rundown areas, developers just plop down a huge cookie cutter mixed-use development.
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Old 07-10-2017, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Cbus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DTL3000 View Post
I didn't think Arlington was "sterile." It's just a typical suburb. It is definitely posh compared to a lot of other cities. I think it's similar to downtown Decatur, Ga. I don't think it has ever experienced a decline like other areas have so it has always been relatively nice. It still has a nice mix of independent businesses dispersed among the chains.

Sterility only really bugs me in contrast. There are many new developments in Atlanta that can be described as sterile. Instead of redeveloping some rundown areas, developers just plop down a huge cookie cutter mixed-use development.
A lot of it comes down to money. Often times it's easier and less costly to knock down an old factory or building instead of dealing with the inevitable structural issues that a neglected building has.

I agree that repurposing old buildings can be very cool and help retain character.
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Old 07-10-2017, 11:13 AM
 
100 posts, read 54,771 times
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I'll take clean, safe, new over dirty, broken-down gritty infrastructure anyday. I grew up in grit. "Too sterile" is another subjective point of view. Too much grit is totally undesirable to me. Maybe a little of both. But definitely more leaning toward what the OP described as sterile.
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Old 07-10-2017, 11:56 AM
 
1,987 posts, read 1,236,441 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye614 View Post
A lot of it comes down to money. Often times it's easier and less costly to knock down an old factory or building instead of dealing with the inevitable structural issues that a neglected building has.

I agree that repurposing old buildings can be very cool and help retain character.
For all the crap Dallas gets for "sterility" and "new urban development," it has been doing a great job of adaptive reuse of its older, gritty areas lately. An old high school from the early 20th century will now have office, retail, and restaurant space in it as opposed to being demolished. Deep Ellum is literally all older buildings, with a couple of infill projects being built on vacant land. Same with the Cedars. I honestly don't think people realize how many older warehouse areas are in Dallas, many of which are being repurposed for restaurants, shops, galleries, offices, etc.

There's a balance when it comes to this stuff. There's not a lot of historical architecture in newer cities so I find their limited quantity more special than in an older city that has an abundance of it.
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