U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 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.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 08-31-2017, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
240 posts, read 122,743 times
Reputation: 191

Advertisements

Whether is true or not, news reports are saying the mass sprawl in Houston, and how much concrete has been laid down over the past decades, contributed to the catastrophic flooding they are currently dealing with.

Which got me thinking, which cities in the U.S. are all "concrete jungles" or have less "green/dirt" areas?

I haven't traveled much around the country, so at least I'll speak about where I'm from, and Los Angeles has concrete everywhere...

During heat waves, or just hot days in general, all this concrete its what prevents cooling at night... it sucks!


So what cities have the most concrete in them??
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-31-2017, 11:06 AM
 
21,185 posts, read 30,343,833 times
Reputation: 19604
Houston's issue isn't about the concrete, rather the lack of planning given to suitable drainage of rainwater runoff. LA has a fairly sizable system of stormwater ravines which is the difference maker there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-31-2017, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Denver
14,151 posts, read 19,749,193 times
Reputation: 8803
Did you just complain about the heat at night in LA?!
Anyway, I will say that in Houston, the concrete definitely feels like it makes summer worse. But even in the country it's still oppressively hot.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-31-2017, 11:08 AM
 
7,700 posts, read 4,554,568 times
Reputation: 8376
I read about all the concrete in Houston to and it struck me as odd. I haven't been there in years, but I remember there being a lot of open space for a city. In retrospect, maybe a lot of that open space came in the way of concrete parking lots. When I think of concrete jungles, I think of density of belt form and traditional urbanism
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-31-2017, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,511 posts, read 2,969,673 times
Reputation: 2737
Well, the cities with the biggest difference between urban and rural areas (urban heat island effect) are:

Las Vegas (7.3F)
Albuquerque (5.9F)
Denver (4.9F)
Portland (4.8F)
Louisville (4.8F)
Washington, D.C. (4.7F)
Kansas City (4.6F)
Columbus (4.4F)
Minneapolis (4.3F)
Seattle (4.1F)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/weath...tudy/14389371/

Hot and Getting Hotter: Heat Islands Cooking U.S. Cities | Climate Central

If you're speaking strictly in terms of concrete being everywhere, New York City has to win this in a landslide, as it is the most urban city in this country, by far. There's a handy link that let's you look at different cities' heat island effect below.

Hot and Getting Hotter: Heat Islands Cooking U.S. Cities | Climate Central
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-31-2017, 11:22 AM
 
3,222 posts, read 1,543,956 times
Reputation: 2332
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
Houston's issue isn't about the concrete, rather the lack of planning given to suitable drainage of rainwater runoff. LA has a fairly sizable system of stormwater ravines which is the difference maker there.
I always thought Houston building on slabs with 1st floors ground level.... bad planning, no zoning especially if building in flood plains. How many flooded with just inches? Could have spared them with a couple feet off of slabs as homes having foundations up north have?

At least infill in Houston's inner-loop neighborhoods replace blocks of older ranch homes on slabs with multi-residential buildings with garages street-level and even new close-knit single homes with garages street-level sparing living space. Build more .... above ground-level homes there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-31-2017, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
240 posts, read 122,743 times
Reputation: 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by annie_himself View Post
Did you just complain about the heat at night in LA?!
Anyway, I will say that in Houston, the concrete definitely feels like it makes summer worse. But even in the country it's still oppressively hot.
Well to be fair, I live in Pasadena. Suburb to LA.
When bad heat waves hit LA, like the one currently happening, it gets bad in Pasadena, no airflow...
I woke up this morning, and at 5:30 AM, my car read 80F already
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-31-2017, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Denver
14,151 posts, read 19,749,193 times
Reputation: 8803
Quote:
Originally Posted by quique07 View Post
Well to be fair, I live in Pasadena. Suburb to LA.
When bad heat waves hit LA, like the one currently happening, it gets bad in Pasadena, no airflow...
I woke up this morning, and at 5:30 AM, my car read 80F already
I don't want to derail the thread but that's nothing lol. Here is 85F and humid at night. And that's every night unless a cold front blows in.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-31-2017, 12:34 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
15,504 posts, read 17,720,777 times
Reputation: 30796
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
Houston's issue isn't about the concrete, rather the lack of planning given to suitable drainage of rainwater runoff. LA has a fairly sizable system of stormwater ravines which is the difference maker there.
The Houston area's natural defense against flooding, it drainage system as it were, was its wetlands/swamps which have largely been filled in and built upon, or drained and turned into parkland.

This is not unique to Houston, of course. Many American cities all up and down the Gulf and Atlantic coasts are built up on former swamp land as the "good" high land was reserved for agriculture... and now that is all suburban tract housing and McMansions.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-01-2017, 12:20 AM
 
1,185 posts, read 874,086 times
Reputation: 1847
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavePa View Post
I always thought Houston building on slabs with 1st floors ground level.... bad planning, no zoning especially if building in flood plains. How many flooded with just inches? Could have spared them with a couple feet off of slabs as homes having foundations up north have?

At least infill in Houston's inner-loop neighborhoods replace blocks of older ranch homes on slabs with multi-residential buildings with garages street-level and even new close-knit single homes with garages street-level sparing living space. Build more .... above ground-level homes there.
The houses sit on the foundation there for a few reasons:

1. Can't economically dig basements, because the water table is too high, but you also don't need to like you do up North because the ground doesn't freeze. The foundation needs to be below the frostline, so that's why houses up North have basements. Digging is expensive, so most places up North you only have to go down 5 or 6 ft to get below the frontline, so they stop there. Then they build up above ground until they have enough space to make a usable level, usually about 3-5 feet above the surface. So that is why the first floor isd elevated in Northern homes.

2. Most of the lots are built up to prevent flooding and sit several feet above the street. So the foundation the house is sitting on is elevated. In this case, it just wasn't high enough to deal with 50" of rain. The vast majority of homes that flooded during Harvey have never flooded in the past. Some houses are elevated on stilts in coastal areas that see storm surge flooding.

3. Putting a crawl space under your house in climate like Houston is just inviting vermin to set up shop.
Reply With Quote 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.


Reply
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 $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

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, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top