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Old 07-11-2009, 07:26 PM
98 posts, read 257,381 times
Reputation: 143


Tell me about the city you live in. Is it like mine?

Sometimes I'll take a drive, not because I want to, but because I have to. I have to reach a destination that lies far away. Miles. This drive may be to reach a place of minor significance, but consquentely requires a most burdensome assualt of the senses. An assualt that has no equal in the history of the world of the built environment.

Driving these mysery miles I see reality. I see sprawl. And I see pain. I see a relentless assault to the senses. Terrible things in front of my eyes. Terrible things in terrible places.

Obesed land whales getting fatter, driving longer. A long line of traffic at Hamburger Hut to feed the glut. A violent crash to leave two people dead. A pedestrian playing fr*gger for his life on a lightspeed highway. A bicyclist wrecked and mangled by the road. A head bursting under the wieght of an Escalade.

Bad dynamics drawn by oblique lines of intention. Sickening inertia. Everyone doing their own thing and going their own way. Objects don't move right here. Violent stops and starts blow out the brakes. "$400.00 please." Violent stops to watch the parade of insanity cross at the intersection of automobile domination. Violent starts begin the madness all over again. Engines reving, tires squealing, land whales racing. The only race a land whale could hope to win.

Bad architecture sits comfortably on its lot of land. A sea of impervious non-sense shores up its claim to its right of existance. Happy motorists all to willing to fall between painted lines. Big block stores stacked up high like Legos designed by the whims of a toddler. Big block facades cutting and dicing up God's sky. Disturbing porportions. Confusing themes. Monuments of shopping insanity. Strip after strip after strip of shopping insanity. Vast oceans of verbage polluting the landscape. Signs begging and pleading for allegiance. And happy costumers all to willing to give in.

McMansions cut and pasted together. Three options per stock plan. Vinyl citizen palaces filled to the brim with useless junk. Excess requiring a storage shed on Hell's Highway. In the home, and in the world, citizen kings reign supreme. All business bows.

French tutor, English cottage, post-modern minimalism, mediterranean stucco, Russian onion domes, 1970's monolithic and southwestern ranch share the same block. Insanity. No consistancy. No community. No rules. No sense of place in surburia. No culture either.

No public spaces here in Outland. No squares. No common areas to share. Unpopulated parks. Only the artifical "towne center" where one might bump into a fellow citizen king to issue an assualt. Consumer drones processing post-haste product sales. Extreme consumer inertia. No rest. No leisure.

Shameful architects succumbing to profligacy. Shameful planners succumbing to degeneration. Shameful developers dividing up the land. Deceitful designers writing the codes. Hero Architect Champions slayed for defending virtue.

How did we get here? What methods allowed such madness? Could the system really manifest something this awful? Why didn't we reverse course? Why didn't we prevent it? Why did we allow it?

My city has been fully bastardized. This is not a legacy. Our children will be ashamed. There is nothing to be proud about here. It's a sham. A one-off. A joke. A gimmick. An absolute and monumental disinvestment in architecture and urban planning. A systematic devolution of building and design principles and protocols. All for us. Are we enjoying it?

Now tell me about your city!!
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Old 07-12-2009, 12:27 AM
Location: Atlanta, GA
296 posts, read 538,062 times
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Old 07-14-2009, 02:22 PM
98 posts, read 257,381 times
Reputation: 143
I guess ya'lls cities like my city?
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:19 PM
Location: Mobile, Al
299 posts, read 825,520 times
Reputation: 91
I can kind of see where you're coming from. Sounds reminiscent of our sprawly suburbs- not like our downtown, though.
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:25 PM
12,825 posts, read 20,129,272 times
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A singularly unique conurbation within the Americas if not the world, based on it being situated as intense urban and suburban development ringing a quasi estuarian embayment meanwhile intruding into attached coastal valleys and lowlands while jumping over hill and dale into nearby intermontaine valleys and benchlands. It was not always in this form - previously it was a series of unconnected smaller communities. Its coalescence was relatively recent - in fact its eastern stretches only coalesced within the past 35 years. It is so unique and new in form that even many who live in it do not recognize it as the megacity that it is and instead defer mentally to an earlier vanished age of separateness.
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:39 PM
Location: St Paul, MN - NJ's Gold Coast
5,256 posts, read 11,957,409 times
Reputation: 3079
I was kinda lost reading your post.

-My city is one of the states most diverse cities which means a lot since it's in one of the most diverse states.
-The high school takes 4 towns (well 5 if you count the 18 people total living in Teterboro)
-Has a lot of high rise apartments
-It has Victorian and modern mansions
-It has section 8 projects
-It's the county seat
-It's home to the best burgers in Jersey (it has an award for it)
-The long river that stretches to Elizabeth from NY state is named after my City.
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:45 AM
Location: Albuquerque, NM - Summerlin, NV
3,436 posts, read 5,981,499 times
Reputation: 682
One Picture Can Also Describe A city...

- Our City is the Few Large Cities with Mountains..
- The Route 66 Made our city into what it is today, It made it a boom area.
- Our city's main religion is roman catholism, this is our oldest church.
- We got nightlife, clubs and bars line the old Route 66 DOwntown area.
- Historic buldings mean more to us than highrises.
- We got the balloon Fiesta. (900+ Balloons)
- The county seat.
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:21 PM
3,970 posts, read 11,825,661 times
Reputation: 1576
I stumbled across this thread, but it did catch my attention despite its oddity.

I am curious where the OP lives. Please share.

But to try and offer an intelligent response, I will say that many suburbs in the US today DO have a similar look, and it isn't always pleasing to the senses. However, I do see some attempts to increase visual sensibilities of many of these areas, albeit again, in similar ways from city to city. We seem to have lost that originality that existed 40-50 years ago. And that is a true loss.
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Old 07-16-2009, 11:58 AM
98 posts, read 257,381 times
Reputation: 143
Originally Posted by pw72 View Post
I am curious where the OP lives. Please share.
I live in a Astriod Belt, a.k.a. Raleigh, North Carolina.

Keep in mind that not all of this city is unpleasing to the senses, quite the contrary, a wide portion of this city is rather "gee-golly this is neat". But those parts tend to be older and, as such, are designed closer to traditional urban design principles. These places have smaller homes, sidewalks, oak trees lining the streets, centralized parks and schools and quaint "main street" looking streets.

Outside of downtown and the neighborhoods within a 3 mile radius, the rest of the city is new and poorly designed in my opnion. Refer to orginal post for clarification.

My calling is to destroy sprawl. I am currently getting an Urban Studies degree so I can work specifically at a policy institute that focuses on implementing and promoting smart growth and green building principles.
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Old 07-16-2009, 12:21 PM
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,221,895 times
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My city has few details that would present themselves to the casual observer, and distinguish it from any other city. All cities, to an astonishing degree, are merely places that are different freon non-cities by the fact that there is a great deal of evidence of human presence.

My city, along a major traffic thoroughfare, looks like the comparable part of any other city. My city, away from the trafficways, in residential areas, looks like the comparable part of any other city.

Perhaps it can be distinguished by others, by a few geographical facts. Architecture reflects a hot sunny climate, the ground it is built upon is flat.

A person driving a major traffic thoroughfare would not see the difference between my city and, say, Springfield. Massachusetts, or Kalamazoo, Michigan, or Modesto, Californina, unless observant enough to identify the local flora and birdsong, or recognize some local chain retailers like WhataBurger or Valero gas stations. In the newer residential neighborhoods, the houses are all built from the same plans as elsewhere, and streets laid out by the same planners, and the schools and prisons just as indistinguishable from each other.

Last edited by jtur88; 07-16-2009 at 12:30 PM..
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