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Old 06-09-2009, 12:31 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,125 posts, read 21,227,297 times
Reputation: 4708
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacksonian View Post
How much room do you really need to feel comfortable, provide food, shelter and clothes for you and your family, and entertain guests? Do we all "need" 2 car garages, 2 gas guzzling SUVs to go in the garage, 1/2 acre lots of grass, pools, hot tubs, home movie theaters, home gyms, gourmet kitchens, and sidewalks that lead to nowhere?
This is something that parents should be pumping into their kid's heads from day-one. Things won't change unless masses of people teach their kids the BIG difference between "want" and "need". Many adults however, don't seem to yet understand this.

In the 1950s, the average American "starter home" was in the area of 1500 square feet. Today, it hovers around 2500 square feet... for a STARTER home (?!) You need only watch any of the first time buyer home shows on HGTV to see the mentality of the 20-somethings out there today. They have lists on paper 6 feet long of things they "need" in their first homes, that not too many years ago would have been considered luxury options. Just the other night I watched a young couple with no kids and no pets say that they could not survive in a "tiny" 1800 square foot home any longer and needed something with 4 bedrooms. An older couple with one single teen child "needed" a 3700++ square foot 5 bedroom home and three levels. The list goes on and on, and if I hear one more woman on these shows say she needs a 12x12 closet to "fit her shoes in" or can't cook in a kitchen unless it has granite countertops, I'm gonna crap my pants.

I can understand someone wanting space for a King sized bed, but do you need a 28 foot bedroom to do it? Do you need a bathroom that you can park two Hummers in, or even a garage you can park two Hummers in - or for that matter, why do you need two Hummers??? Why do your kids HAVE to have a 15x15 bedroom and their own bathroom for each kid? Why do we need a separate living room AND a family room... isn't one room good enough?

http://bestsmileys.com/clueless/4.gif (broken link)

Luckily, not EVERYONE is like this. Though the thought changing movement is slow, there does seem to be some progress in toning people down a bit, and it's no longer granola eating hippies, but mainstream young adults who are the ones slowly starting to get it. Some folks are actually starting to look for smaller homes, and a very small handful of builders are now realizing that well-built and well laid out small homes might just be in demand (only problem is, they charge as much for them as they do larger homes).

Teach your kids, folks. Teach them real priorities. It's the only way it's all gonna change.
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
1,847 posts, read 2,660,172 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacksonian View Post
Second, the average European home is not that much smaller than our homes located in urban areas of the US. There are plenty of 300 s.f. apartments in Manhattan.
This is true from what I have seen. My friend in Germany, who lives in a fairly large city, has an apartment that is cheaper and much larger than my Chicago Apartment, and it includes parking which mine does not. This is not typical though, as a much larger percentage of Germans live in apartment buildings than in the U.S. Actually, it seemed like most Germans live in apartment buildings, although I could be wrong about that as this observation is based only on the cities I have visited. The suburban single family homes that I have seen in Germany are also much smaller than their American equivalents (at least those built in the last 20 years or so).
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Las Cruces NM
24 posts, read 35,411 times
Reputation: 45
I find that the dissatisfaction is a good motivation. Look at us: we are always pushing and evolving. It's made us the most powerful nation in the world. I agree that I share a mindset that I never have everything I want, but that same mindset has vaulted me ahead of my lazy co-citizens.
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
1,847 posts, read 2,660,172 times
Reputation: 1543
Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanCiticen View Post
and many trailer residents (in rural regions one in six, on some back roads one in three) have health problems because of the chemistry in the building material!
I think you are over stating the amount of Americans who live in trailers. I grew up in a fairly poor rural area, and trailers where not that common. Also, you had mentioned people living in shacks and tent cities, and I can tell you that is totally wrong. The run down areas in America are mostly in urban cities, although there are also some isolated rural areas that are shabby looking. You make some good points, but lets not get carried away.
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:06 PM
 
2,996 posts, read 4,387,012 times
Reputation: 1925
out of all the countries above the US, Spain & Italy are the only ones worth living in for me personally. I've been to Europe, more than once.
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
1,847 posts, read 2,660,172 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanCiticen View Post
But this wasnt my point. I read that many trailer residents have health problems because of the chemistry in the building material. Its not only the "trailer life" in mobile vehicles, the living conditions for some residents are really bad.

tent city exist (ask your fellow americans in california), also some shacks (for example in Mississippi - you find it on youtube) -, and friends of mine tell me that now the number of homeless gets higher and higher.
Maybe these things you speak of do exist, but they are rare and isolated occurrences. That is my point. I actually used to live in California, and can possible only think of a tent city temporarily existing because of the current economic downturn. Our government would not allow something like that to exist permanently and we have shelters for such occurrences. I also have been to numerous poor areas in rural Appalachia and if there are towns where 1 in 3 live in trailers they are rare and not a common living standard.
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Jackson, MS
1,009 posts, read 2,115,783 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by city_data91 View Post
Smaller buildings can actually lead to a larger population. They lead to a higher population density. The more people you have in one area, the higher the potential population is.
Smaller buildings do not lead to larger populations, but they do allow for larger populations in a more dense area.

But I didn't say smaller buildings create less population, I said smaller buildings create less POLLUTION.
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
1,847 posts, read 2,660,172 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacksonian View Post
I studied for 5 years the effects of urban vs. suburban development, so I know what I'm talking about, and no, I'm not contradicting anything. I stated that:
A) smaller buildings create smaller pollution
B) dense development leads to more healthy lifestyles

The two statements are independent from one another, but I probably should have worded it better from an urban standpoint, but I was focusing on the downfalls of suburban development, which is why I used the term "buildings" rather than "spaces," as in living spaces. Condensing "living spaces" into smaller areas, ie dense development, does create less pollution (not population, for those who get the two confused) overall b/c the spaces use less building material and share utilities, walls, etc in order to lessen the amount of waste that is produced during construction, lessen the life cycle costs of the building, and lessen the amount of waste from an energy standpoint. Dense development = more efficient. Take a look at the footprint of the building itself (or even parking lots for that matter). Every square foot of space occupied on the ground floor dramatically affects the environment in which the building exists. Why do you think New York City has such tall buildings? If NYC were occupied by only 3-4 story buildings, can you imagine how spread out the city would be and how inefficient that would be? The city could not survive the way it does today if that were the case.

Looking at the second statement, dense development encourages less dependency on cars for travel and more dependency on pedestrian travel, which obviously is more healthy for both the environment and the people. Nothing more even needs to be said about that.
Good points. Here is more on NYC. It is the most efficient city in the country.

Environmental issues in New York City - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cities in Europe are more efficient for the same reasons. Even many small and mid-sized cities there have good transit, are compact, and are very pedestrian friendly. This also creates a much more lively environment for living. Many American cities were much the same back in the day.
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Jackson, MS
1,009 posts, read 2,115,783 times
Reputation: 544
Quote:
Originally Posted by constantly gardening View Post
If a smaller building creates less pollution then it would be healthier to avoid dense developments.


If that is an independent statement then it is false. It is far healthier to live off of the land in a rural area then it is to live in a city.

Again as an independent statement that is far from fact.

Only Manhattan has "such tall buildings". The reason Manhattan has "such tall buildings" is because Manhattan has extremely high property values. If you own a lot in Manhattan it is more profitable for you to build a tall building than to buy the surrounding land.

I was under the impression that NYC has a great deal of sprawl (NJ, PA, CT, etc.). Most of NYC and the surrounding areas are occupied by 3-4 story or smaller buildings and the city does indeed survive as it does today.

Then why did you say something more? Dense development may be more healthy for suburban people but it is not more healthy for all people. If you value health and efficiency, the place to be is on a self sustaining organic farm in a less polluted rural area. It is not living in an urban cesspool being dependent on factory farms, trucking in refrigerated food (much of which either spoils in transport or on store shelves or in your refrigerator), and selling it to you from a "large building" or supermarket. Efficient means being productive without waste. Some forms of dense development may be more "efficient" than some forms of suburban development. That does not make dense development "efficient" nor does it mean "dense development = more efficient". The reasons why suburban development is less efficient than urban development are the same reasons why urban development is not very efficient. That is why I pointed out the contradiction. This is also why I pointed out that Europe can not feed itself. The dense development of Europe may be more efficient than post war suburban development in the United States. The dense development of Europe is also fueling the destruction of the Amazon to grow soybeans to feed European livestock and to raise cattle for the European market. Personally i don't find the destruction of the "lungs of the earth" to support dense development to be an efficient lifestyle.

German,
Giving you some rep for the unnecessary apology, as I meant to before but forgot.
So everyone should live on self-sustaining farms? Yeah, there's plenty of room for that...
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:38 PM
 
44 posts, read 50,884 times
Reputation: 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacksonian View Post
...
I got your point. Yes both parties are a joke, the left and the right wing of the same lobbies (banks, shareholder value, oil, weapon, chemistry ... companies) and the americans are trendsetters (this is a famous stereotype about the american people ).
The election campaigns are show, show and show - in germany we have it a little bit better, the campaigns are more quiet

I supposed that many people voted for obama because he promised to change the health and welfare system. But maybe my guess is wrong, i dont live in america, maybe the majority voted for obama because MC Cain is a joke or for the image of america in the world

Im not pro- obama, the "war on terror" continues, now with the center in Afghanistan/Pakistan, the situation for the palestine folk wont change and the global players will do buisiness as usual ...

But its not the issue of this thread ...
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