U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Happy Easter!
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Pittsburgh
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 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.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Unread 01-25-2011, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,584 posts, read 12,706,581 times
Reputation: 42077
RR, you're talking apples and oranges. The OP is talking about rapid growth, but the restrictions against high rises in some sections of Reston have nothing to do with growth. They would exist no matter how fast (or slow) the area is growing.

1. A significant portion of Lake Anne, where you lived, is on the National Registry of Historic Places. They can't build high rises there because that's part of the deal. Just like you can't build high rises on the property for Falling Water. That won't change no matter how rapid or slow the population growth is.

Anyone who would like to know more about this might find these interesting:

Why is Reston's Lake Anne a "Historic District?"

Architectural Significance of Reston

2. As for the rest of Reston, there are an ample number of high rise condo and apartment buildings there. Significantly more than you'll find in Polish Hill, I might add. You even show some on your own photo tour of apartments there: NoVA is Amazing! . Here are a couple of others:










Photo tour of Reston, for anyone who wants to see more: Reston-Town Center and Lake Anne

3. The reason people choose to live in low slung buildings has nothing to do with rapid growth. It's a matter of personal preference. That's the same reason you did not choose to live in a high rise building in Pittsburgh, or in Reston. Lots of people think everyone else should live in high rises, but choose to live in a 1-2 story place themselves, that's one big reason there are so many of them.

I do want to apologize for a discussion of Nova on the Pittsburgh forum, but sometimes inaccuracies need to be addressed. Now let's get back to the topic: the growth of PITTSBURGH.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Unread 01-25-2011, 09:04 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 16,377,004 times
Reputation: 2786
Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
but a city that lost over 50% of its population over a 60-year period really does not provide an obvious planning model for regions of the country that have experienced sustained economic growth in more recent times.
I think that is true, but on the other hand the Pittsburgh experience may be directly relevant to cities like Detroit, and maybe even cities like Las Vegas if things don't turn around for them soon. And it also indirectly supports a general thesis you could more directly base on cities like New York or Boston, which have experienced relatively slow but not negative population growth in recent decades, and have prospered in that same time.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 01-25-2011, 09:04 AM
 
4,305 posts, read 4,388,162 times
Reputation: 1854
Quote:
Originally Posted by RestonRunner86 View Post
How was I "mischaracterizing" NoVA outside the Beltway? Care to elaborate on how I am incorrect in my assertion that there was unchecked growth that outpaced infrastructural capacity (leading to the nation's worst congestion), uninspired mass-produced residential architecture to cater to that growth, an unhealthy number of chains as compared to indepedenent retailers and restaurateurs, NIMBYs who couldn't see the hypocrisy in demanding height restrictions while also wanting to preserve open space (i.e. neither building "up" NOR "out"), people who were more obsessive about education, career, wealth, and status than many other U.S. metro areas, etc.?

At some point NoVA (outside the Beltway) is going to reach a "critical mass"---a time when so many people are living/moving there that people start to avoid moving there or move away to escape the rising rents/housing prices that they can't afford, their 6-mile commutes that take 45 minutes, the incessant construction of dueling cul-de-sacs for "backyard privacy" instead of more efficient grid-shaped street networks that can accommodate more traffic, etc. Whenever I tried to suggest ways to "fix" all that was wrong with NoVA outside the Beltway in terms of planning gaffes (i.e. Tysons Corner or Reston) people stuck their fingers in their ears while their heads were in the sand. Someday when this "critical mass" happens and the region begins to suffer as a result of this unchecked growth people might not think I was so "crazy" after all. There's already a major push from Republicans to slash the Federal workforce, reduce salaries for Federal employees to early-2000s levels (which would KILL any possibility for entry-level Federal employees to live comfortably in increasingly expensive Metro DC), to utilize fewer private-sector contractors/consultants, etc. If that "bubble" collapses, just what do you think will happen to NoVA outside the Beltway, which is nearly fully dependent (directly or indirectly) upon government spending?
There is a lot of congestion in NoVa and the DC region generally, and regions typically react to their changing circumstances, rather than plan proactively to address them. However, regions generally would prefer to deal with the consequences of continued growth, particularly when accompanied by high-paying jobs, than with those of a sustained, 60-year decline, notwithstanding the fact that the latter renders a 1-BR apartment in the city more affordable to a 20-something. Pittsburgh is doing a nice job of capitalizing on its current strengths, but I don't see you acknowledging that the civic leaders of Pittsburgh put all their eggs in a few baskets for far too long. The quality of housing in the NoVa area is generally higher than you acknowledge but, even so, most would take a well-maintained house with vinyl siding that epitomizes a suburban lifestyle that you reject over a beyond-repair, crumbling four-square in Pittsburgh or the Mon Valley any day, no matter how charming the latter originally may have been. So, too, apparently would all the former Pittsburgh-area residents who can now be found living in the DC area, proudly displaying Steelers decals and signs on their car bumpers and tacky suburban windows.

You lump Reston and Tysons Corner together, but they are quite different. The core of Reston is a planned "new community"; even if much of Reston's later growth did not adhere to Bob Simon's original vision, developments such as Reston Town Center are carefully planned and architecturally significant, and the local residents you call NIMBYs often have a strong commitment to thoughtful planning. Tysons is a different beast entirely; the central business area grew topsy-turvy in response to the needs of local businesses, and is aesthetically ugly, but there are many residents who live in nearby communities in nice homes in good school districts and have short commutes to challenging, high-paying jobs. It's not exactly the worst of all possible worlds, but the Tysons redevelopment expected to take place over the next 40-50 years will make it a more appealing area. Well before then, of course, the Washington Metro will have been extended to both Reston and Tysons. I'm sorry it wasn't there when you lived and worked here, but you should have given us more notice that you were coming.

The DC region has prospered under both Democratic and Republican administrations in recent decades. If Government spending levels decline, which is always a possibility and may be a necessity, the region will still have far more human capital than most regions of the country. That has not been, and will not be, lost on private employers, and recent studies suggest that a stagnant economy reduces rather than increases mobility. In any event, if you really want to discuss challenges facing NoVa, shouldn't you take it to the NoVa sub-forum, rather than discuss it on a Pittsburgh sub-forum while professing - I think incorrectly - to be a "native" of NoVa?

Last edited by JEB77; 01-25-2011 at 10:15 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 01-25-2011, 09:10 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 16,377,004 times
Reputation: 2786
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geeo View Post
While I think the city could stand more people, I see a population in the 400 - 450,000 range as comfortable.
I think that is about right. Another way to put the point is that the City has lost fewer occupied housing units as a percentage of peak than population as a percentage of peak, thanks to fewer people per household. So if you imagine an increasing population but at the new, lower, people per household, the City will hit its peak housing unit count again long before it hits its peak population again.

You can probably get more housing units into the City limits than at its previous peak through redeveloping industrial brownfield sites as mixed-use residential areas, and of course you can get more units into a given area by building denser. But still, I think somewhere around the range you gave is realistic, and much after that point the City would have to start knocking down some existing housing to replace it with denser housing (a process which in fact has already begun in some neighborhoods, like Squirrel Hill).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 01-25-2011, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,584 posts, read 12,706,581 times
Reputation: 42077
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
But still, I think somewhere around the range you gave is realistic, and much after that point the City would have to start knocking down some existing housing to replace it with denser housing (a process which in fact has already begun in some neighborhoods, like Squirrel Hill).
Exactly. The older architecture is a major part of Pittsburgh's charm. Too much rapid growth could result in losing architectural treasures. Slow growth results in them being properly treasured (and helps keep them affordable).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 01-25-2011, 09:19 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 16,377,004 times
Reputation: 2786
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
3. The reason people choose to live in low slung buildings has nothing to do with rapid growth. It's a matter of personal preference. That's the same reason you did not choose to live in a high rise building in Pittsburgh, or in Reston. Lots of people think everyone else should live in high rises, but choose to live in a 1-2 story place themselves, that's one big reason there are so many of them.
That's not strictly speaking true. Various laws and regulations may prohibit developers from building denser even if they anticipate potential demand for such units. In such cases what is happening is incumbent residents are preventing potential new residents from getting the housing mix they would prefer. If enough areas do that, higher-density housing will be priced at a premium due to the artificial undersupply. Some people then may end up in lower-denser housing not because they inherently prefer it, but because it is the only sort of housing available to them at a reasonable price.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 01-25-2011, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,584 posts, read 12,706,581 times
Reputation: 42077
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
That's not strictly speaking true. Various laws and regulations may prohibit developers from building denser even if they anticipate potential demand for such units. In such cases what is happening is incumbent residents are preventing potential new residents from getting the housing mix they would prefer. If enough areas do that, higher-density housing will be priced at a premium due to the artificial undersupply. Some people then may end up in lower-denser housing not because they inherently prefer it, but because it is the only sort of housing available to them at a reasonable price.
I see your point. I guess I should have said it's a matter of personal preference and personal economics. My point, though, is: Is this a matter of rapid growth? If 10,000 people suddenly move to Pittsburgh, will everyone suddenly move into high rises? Will people stop choosing to live in a 2 story building in Shadyside? Maybe some, if the highrises are cheap, but most will still choose the older buildings, IMO. After all, a desire to live in older buildings is one of the big reasons people move to Pittsburgh.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 01-25-2011, 10:28 AM
 
2,621 posts, read 3,681,535 times
Reputation: 1153
Just want to point out that one of reason for the growth in NoVA is that college-educated people with professional experience are more likely to find jobs that pay more than $10 per hour and provide benefits, than they apparently can in Pittsburgh .
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 01-25-2011, 10:46 AM
 
5,742 posts, read 3,166,248 times
Reputation: 1365
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankeesfan View Post
Just want to point out that one of reason for the growth in NoVA is that college-educated people with professional experience are more likely to find jobs that pay more than $10 per hour and provide benefits, than they apparently can in Pittsburgh .
You can't think of it that way. $10/hour can be fine if the cost of living is low. NoVa might pay more but you still have to examine the cost of living. I think there was a USA Today story about how some people's pay in NoVa just wasn't enough to afford living there. I even heard a story about how engineers making 100k in Silicon Valley couldn't afford good housing. Cost of living in Pittsburgh is below the national average.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 01-25-2011, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,584 posts, read 12,706,581 times
Reputation: 42077
Quote:
Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
What I find so amusing is that outsiders appreciate and laud Pittsburgh more than its residents.
I suppose when you are too close to something you don't always know what you have. Sort of like fish in the ocean who don't know that they're wet.
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:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2011 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $74,000 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 > Pennsylvania > Pittsburgh

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:13 PM.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

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 - Top