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Old 06-09-2008, 10:04 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,988 posts, read 102,554,590 times
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There are many people here in suburban Denver who live and work in the same suburb. OTOH, there are people who live in the city b/c they like city living, and work in the burbs and drive 15+ miles to/from work every day. I think the bigger the city, the more jobs, etc there are in the suburbs.
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,184 posts, read 67,327,076 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
There are many people here in suburban Denver who live and work in the same suburb. OTOH, there are people who live in the city b/c they like city living, and work in the burbs and drive 15+ miles to/from work every day. I think the bigger the city, the more jobs, etc there are in the suburbs.
True. I wonder at times if there are more positions held in Center City Philadelphia or in the corporate-oriented suburbs like Plymouth Meeting, Valley Forge, King of Prussia, etc. I already know there are thousands of white-collar workers employed at various financial and insurance firms on Montage Mountain, in a suburb just outside the Scranton city limits. I wonder what function cities serve anymore now that you can live, work, eat, shop, recreate, worship, etc. all in the suburbs.
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:12 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,988 posts, read 102,554,590 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
True. I wonder at times if there are more positions held in Center City Philadelphia or in the corporate-oriented suburbs like Plymouth Meeting, Valley Forge, King of Prussia, etc. I already know there are thousands of white-collar workers employed at various financial and insurance firms on Montage Mountain, in a suburb just outside the Scranton city limits. I wonder what function cities serve anymore now that you can live, work, eat, shop, recreate, worship, etc. all in the suburbs.
Major League Sports! J/K
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:40 AM
 
583 posts, read 1,139,544 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
True. I wonder at times if there are more positions held in Center City Philadelphia or in the corporate-oriented suburbs like Plymouth Meeting, Valley Forge, King of Prussia, etc. I already know there are thousands of white-collar workers employed at various financial and insurance firms on Montage Mountain, in a suburb just outside the Scranton city limits. I wonder what function cities serve anymore now that you can live, work, eat, shop, recreate, worship, etc. all in the suburbs.
If you want an example of what the metro areas with lots of 'self-sufficient' suburbs are going to become then take a look at Los Angeles with its multiple 'villages' and the 'hole' of a downtown (although it's starting to revitalize from what I've heard). People in Los Angeles don't need to go outside of their villages, they find everything they need within 1-10 miles of driving from their homes. Each village has its own shopping malls, multiple strip malls with lots of different businesses (primarily mom-and-pop restaurants and shops) not chains necessarily. Each village also has its movie theater(s), bars and sometimes pretty posh lounges and dance clubs so that you don't need to drive to Hollywood to get some nightlife. Some lucky people work in the same 'village' where they live, but this is not true for most and also not true for those whose jobs are not stable. And speaking of job stability, I hardly know anyone in my age group (mid-thirties) who have not had to change jobs or offices (even keeping the same job when company relocates) every few years. Most people move from office to office every 2-3 years and once they move office they drive more because they choose not to move. The society has become increasingly mobile as people who stay around major job market metro areas just buy a house in whatever their favorite suburb they can afford happens to be and then get faced with commutes. Or they buy a house next to their job only to find out 1 or 2 years later the company is relocating their job into another suburb where they've built a new campus 40 miles away. Or they simply get unhappy with their job or get laid off and get another job in the same metro area and are forced to face longer commute. These situations I described is what I've observed in Los Angeles, Bay Area and Northern Virginia. Perhaps other metro areas aren't affected by this as much, but I doubt that nowadays holding your same job and office location for 10-15 years is a norm. People jump from jobs to jobs, companies build new campuses, lease old ones, relocate employees, and families don't want to subject their kids with frequent moving from home to home.

The problems I see with it is while there are many centers now (as opposed to one), things are more spread out but not well connected by public transport. Most popular public transport schema has always been a radial ring development where all roads lead to the city and people commuting from one suburb to another may often need to connect going to the city center first. Bay Area with its much glorified public transport still has a huge problem with inter-suburban transportation. Most lines connect in San Francisco or Oakland and suburbs that are only 15 miles away are really 2 hours away if you take the rail system. Buses are not efficient because they have to share the same congested highways with the cars. Carpool lanes in some metro areas like LA and Bay Area are a joke, you will hardly move any faster than the regular 'single commuter' lanes. The rail system of such metro areas with well developed self-sufficient suburbs will have to look like a network with nodes at all the new suburban centers, but this is yet not the case.
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:43 AM
 
583 posts, read 1,139,544 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEsananto View Post
I think $10 per gallon of gas will do the trick.
I doubt that urban dwellers will be sitting pretty at that point either. Everyone will be effected, gas prices make the cost of most goods and services go up. Condo owners will find themselves paying more in condo fees as the maintenance will start to cost more due to the high prices of gas. A 'gas surcharge' - an extra fee to have a maintenance professional come and take a look at your problems is not unheard of already. Of course those who have long commutes will get hit the hardest, for them filling up their tanks every few days will be in addition to all other costs.
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Old 06-10-2008, 02:28 AM
 
583 posts, read 1,139,544 times
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Suburban middle class and upper middle class families are not going to move to the cities in large numbers to make a difference until following is achieved:

1. Schools in the city become better.
2. Real estate in safe areas becomes more affordable.
3. More areas will become safe.

There are those whose lives are already comfortable in the suburbs as they have short commutes, so they will always be reluctant to move anyway. But those who do want to move simply aren't finding this to be a plausible scenario because they feel like they may not be able to afford it or because they don't want to deal with downsizing their square footage or moving to the unsafe inexpensive up-and coming areas.

It's a typical 'chicken-and-egg' problem.

1) In order to have middle class suburbanites want to move to the cities the public schools will have to get better. Schools will not get better until enough of families that care about their kids' eduction move in.
2) Suburbanites who are used to enjoy large comfortable houses are going to be forced to trade down moving to the safe areas of the cities because they are very expensive. Suburbanites will be reluctant to exchange their 3000sq.ft. houses for half or less sized condos, townhouses or bungalows in the city and they will not be able to afford large single family residences with yards (these are reserved for the affluent). In order for city housing to become affordable more areas of the city will need to get 'gentrified' and made safe to increase availability of affordable single and low occupancy residences for families. In order for more city areas to gentrify there has to be more families (or non families) moving in to brave the crime. Families don't like crime, so they won't be gentrifying affordable city areas. This job is left for the younger couples, gays and a few brave urban family revolutionaries.

Basically, this is a slow process, it's happening in some cities but as soon as areas gentrify they become expensive and deter most families from moving in. Raising your kids in an apartment is common in other countries (many developed countries as well), but it's not very common in the US, our cities fortunately do provide quite expansive residential areas full of single family homes, but many have been overridden with crime.

I just heard that Irvine, CA was named once again "the safest city in the US". I was about to joke, hey, Irvine is not a city - get real. It's a giant suburb, but no, it's called a city nowadays, so maybe all these suburbs are going to turn into the cities. Another 'city' on the list was a suburb of Thousand Oaks where I happened to work and live at some point and which is not a city by any means and has never been. The suburbanites don't need to move, they will just make the city come to them (by building artificial 'city-center' entertainment and mixed use complexes) or they would call their suburb "the city" and be done with it.
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:19 AM
 
Location: Cold Frozen North
1,928 posts, read 4,630,657 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
There are many people here in suburban Denver who live and work in the same suburb. OTOH, there are people who live in the city b/c they like city living, and work in the burbs and drive 15+ miles to/from work every day. I think the bigger the city, the more jobs, etc there are in the suburbs.
It's a similar situation in Chicago. More jobs exist in the suburbs than the city. Most people live in the suburbs and work in the suburbs. In fact, there's a few people in my office that live in Chicago and commute to the suburbs - a reverse commute. But most everyone else lives in the suburbs and works here in the suburbs.

I have everything I need in the suburbs. Shopping, jobs, friends and relatives.
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:03 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, USA
3,133 posts, read 8,332,967 times
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Host: Pittsburgh
Suburb: Oakmont

When I was younger I lived in two desirable areas of the city, Shadyside and Squirrel Hill. Shadyside used to have unique mom and pop shops and today it's nearly all chain stores. It used to have a great night life scene that it will never see the likes of again. I could live there again but wouldn't enjoy it so much like I did back in the day. The same for Sq. Hill. It doesn't have all the chain stores and is a fine place to live where you can walk to everything you need but I prefer my suburb. It has a park by the river and at the top of the hill with a large woods. It has one of the finest golf courses in the world at the country club and also a public course that the country club owns. It's a great place to walk around or jog and you can see people doing that 24/7. It has the unique mom and pop stores and no chains, a lot of restaurants and bars with a nightlife suitable for anyone but criminals. Police patroling is a constant presence so low to no crime. Everyone knows everybody just about. Lots of trees and very green. I have a 1/3 acre lot and it's just a great place to live. The drawback is the high school taxes. The worst thing about living in Pittsburgh is the dumb democrats who run the place. I couldn't live there with the stupid people voting for the same old thing for over 70 years then wonder why nothing changes. I couldn't stand being angry at the city mismanagement all the time.
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:30 AM
 
5,858 posts, read 14,044,713 times
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Originally Posted by sweetclimber View Post
You are correct that Rochester has seen pretty good revitalization especially in the whole southern half of the city. The north side unfortunately has not gotten much better at all Alot of younger people are enjoying it in the city like many friends of mine back home because of the cool shops, arts and culture and general fun vibe of that south half of the city. Definately visit Rochester, I believe it has so much going for it and so many fun things to do1 You did spell Irondequoit right. Yhe thing with Irondequoit is that the southern part (near 104) borders on the most vioent part or Rochester (NE part) but it also has some awesome beach areas on Lake Ontario and Irondequoit bay. So basically try to stay in the Northern half there. I have had the chance to visit your neck of the woods (Scranton) and I liked it alot from what I remember. It has the Poconos nearby and a real cool looking downtown that just needs a little tlc for the rest of the city. Hopefully it will continue to revitalize as well as the Roc!
Very sad what happened to Rochester. Kind of like Detroit, only on a smaller scale: a large influx of poor, unskilled rural folks as the city's manufacturing base was shrinking, a racial riot, forced school busing and the building of the expressways was all it took to empty the city of large numbers of stable households.

I was lucky enough to spend my childhood in the city, in a middle class neighborhood on the East side. I have fond memories of visiting relatives in Dutchtown, the 19th Ward, and Northeast Rochester, where my parents and grandparents grew up. Today I understand they are some of the most violent neighborhoods in the city. My cousins all lived in the burbs and they'd always tell me how much they envied me when they'd visit us. Their neighborhoods seemed so lame compared to mine!
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:33 AM
 
5,858 posts, read 14,044,713 times
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I agree with lots that's been said. To me it boils down to:

1. Fix the schools
2. Keep gas prices soaring

They'll come back in droves.
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