U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [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: 
View Poll Results: Which setting do you prefer?
Big City (New York, etc) 45 42.86%
Smaller City (Pittsburgh, etc) 28 26.67%
Suburbs 18 17.14%
Rural 14 13.33%
Voters: 105. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 07-21-2010, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
1,316 posts, read 3,048,581 times
Reputation: 380

Advertisements

I grew up in the city (NYC)--in a gorgeous old brownstone in a lovely upper middle class historic district with tree-lined streets and a nice sense of neighborhood. When I became a parent my wife (who grew up in the same place) and I both decided we did not want our kids growing up in the city. No way. Partially because my very best memories as a kid were of the blessed time we spent out of the city each year. Having physical/emotional outdoor space (room to run, woods to explore, etc) and being close to nature is critical for kids. Going to museums and experiencing urban diversity is important too--but once a month is fine for that.

So we moved to the rural burbs where there are plenty of cultural amenities but also lots of natural beauty, nature preserves, and woods to hike in. My kid plays for hours running up and down the hill and exploring the woods. He goes to nature camp (and art camp too). On weekends we go swimming in the lake or go for long hikes and then go to the local museums and to coffee houses to hear live music. And once a month we take the train into the city, go to a big museum, and explore the city. Our neighborhood is mostly older homes (ours is from the 1700's) and there's lots of lovely architecture around. The commute is about 20 minutes longer than it was when I lived in the city, but I take the commuter train which a lot more relaxing and comfrotable than the subway commute was! All in all, I love it and I think my kid is getting the best possible childhood.

On the "walkability" issue, my neighborhood gets a zero on those ratings, but it is really very walkable. Sure you need to drive to get groceries, but we walk every day--down the road to see friends or go look at the horses at the horse farm, into the hundreds of acres of protected woods behind our house to go hiking or into the nature preserve across the street. It's a quiet, gorgeous, safe road which people love to walk and bike ride on. I call it highly "walkable"!
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-21-2010, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
1,709 posts, read 1,491,879 times
Reputation: 1159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
City vs. suburbs isn't as important as the form of the neighborhood. I'd rather live in just about any inner-ring suburb of Chicago than just about anywhere inside the city limits of places like Houston and Phoenix which are populous cities but much of which is "suburban" in form.
I agree. It doesn't matter where I am, as long as I'm able to walk (on sidewalks, not on the side of the street!) to your general everyday places. If I wanted to live in a car-dependent place with no sidewalks, I would live in the country.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-21-2010, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
447 posts, read 278,009 times
Reputation: 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by dma1250 View Post
I grew up in the city (NYC)--in a gorgeous old brownstone in a lovely upper middle class historic district with tree-lined streets and a nice sense of neighborhood. When I became a parent my wife (who grew up in the same place) and I both decided we did not want our kids growing up in the city. No way. Partially because my very best memories as a kid were of the blessed time we spent out of the city each year. Having physical/emotional outdoor space (room to run, woods to explore, etc) and being close to nature is critical for kids. Going to museums and experiencing urban diversity is important too--but once a month is fine for that.

So we moved to the rural burbs where there are plenty of cultural amenities but also lots of natural beauty, nature preserves, and woods to hike in. My kid plays for hours running up and down the hill and exploring the woods. He goes to nature camp (and art camp too). On weekends we go swimming in the lake or go for long hikes and then go to the local museums and to coffee houses to hear live music. And once a month we take the train into the city, go to a big museum, and explore the city. Our neighborhood is mostly older homes (ours is from the 1700's) and there's lots of lovely architecture around. The commute is about 20 minutes longer than it was when I lived in the city, but I take the commuter train which a lot more relaxing and comfrotable than the subway commute was! All in all, I love it and I think my kid is getting the best possible childhood.

On the "walkability" issue, my neighborhood gets a zero on those ratings, but it is really very walkable. Sure you need to drive to get groceries, but we walk every day--down the road to see friends or go look at the horses at the horse farm, into the hundreds of acres of protected woods behind our house to go hiking or into the nature preserve across the street. It's a quiet, gorgeous, safe road which people love to walk and bike ride on. I call it highly "walkable"!
See this is the thought process of alot of parents. They think that it would be better to live somewhere where the kids can run and explore and enjoy themselves, which is fine, don't get me wrong. But this can be done in the city aswell.

I was born in Pittsburgh and grew up in the city, in the Hill District. Granted, the burgh is no where near as big as NYC where you grew up. But I was always in an urban setting. I could walk to places (school, pool, stores) and I still could run and explore my enviornment. I then moved to the suburbs and almost died from how boring it was. Just a neighborhood full of families. I couldn't walk anywhere because everything was to far away. It was a nightmare.

I personally think that a kid should live in the city atleast once in their lifetime.

But I know many families don't think the city is a good place to raise kids, which is their opinion, and it's absolutley fine.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-21-2010, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Philly
125 posts, read 176,730 times
Reputation: 94
I always liked big cities

I've lived in a suburb from when I was around 8 to around 15, and couldn't stand it. Nothing wrong with it, but just not for me
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-21-2010, 04:20 PM
 
Location: St Paul, MN - NJ's Gold Coast
5,262 posts, read 7,689,955 times
Reputation: 2906
The term cities is so vague.

Technically, Jacksonville is the largest city in FL in terms of population and land mass. The way the vast majority is constructed is clearly suburban in character. The rural like living in Jacksonville can't even be found in suburbs in the immediate NYC, SF, or Chicago areas. Jacksonville's local downtowns are Walmarts and Targets. I'd hate to mention Atlanta, but they're becoming guiltier and guiltier of the same thing lately.

Anyway, I feel like living in an urban environment is a more efficient choice.
I prefer cities like Albany, Jersey City, or Syracuse, but I want great access to amazing cities like NYC or Boston.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-22-2010, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Granby, CT sometimes NH.
2,773 posts, read 2,904,564 times
Reputation: 2095
There are many of conveniences, benefits and economies of living in a self-sustaining community. Transportation costs, commuting time, and entertainment opportunities are much better than living in a more rural environment. However, many cities, especially smaller ones, are suffering from decreases in their economic base, an increase in the number of residents in poverty, and a decline in their schools. These factors are all interrelated. It is hard for a parent to justify staying in a community that does not provide the best educational opportunities for their children if nearby communities offer better alternatives. Since education is one of the most important factors in the value of a home it also makes better financial sense to purchase a home in a community with a stronger school system. A stronger economic base is important as well as it keeps the taxes down.

It is very difficult to reverse the economic/skill outmigration trends once they are underway. As middle and upper income residents exit they are often replaced with residents who are at a much lower income level and who require many more social services.

IMHO, the No Child Left Behind Act has accelerated the decline of the urban environment, especially for communities that were largely made up of working class and middle class residents.

Trying to reverse the trends given the current structure is a consuming and frustrating experience. Those citizens most interested in controlling or reversing the trends are often overwhelmed by the sharp increases in social problems associated with poverty such as crime, drugs, and undesirable social behavior. Not wanting to risk exposure to their own family they often find it much easier to just move to a nearby community.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-22-2010, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Toronto, Canada
2,077 posts, read 711,368 times
Reputation: 5020
The City. The Suburbs are boring!
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-22-2010, 10:55 AM
 
Location: The land of Chicago
858 posts, read 1,181,599 times
Reputation: 1106
suburbs, love not being near the center of everything, and i love the peace and quiet
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-22-2010, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
1,316 posts, read 3,048,581 times
Reputation: 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebelution View Post
See this is the thought process of alot of parents. They think that it would be better to live somewhere where the kids can run and explore and enjoy themselves, which is fine, don't get me wrong. But this can be done in the city aswell.

I was born in Pittsburgh and grew up in the city, in the Hill District. Granted, the burgh is no where near as big as NYC where you grew up. But I was always in an urban setting. I could walk to places (school, pool, stores) and I still could run and explore my enviornment. I then moved to the suburbs and almost died from how boring it was. Just a neighborhood full of families. I couldn't walk anywhere because everything was to far away. It was a nightmare.

I personally think that a kid should live in the city atleast once in their lifetime.

But I know many families don't think the city is a good place to raise kids, which is their opinion, and it's absolutley fine.
Having "room to run, woods to explore...and being close to nature" (I'm quoting from my own post) is different from being able to simply explore one's neighborhood. Walking around your city neighborhood is not the same thing as exploring the woods and learning about the natural world.

It sounds like you moved to suburban sprawl, which is very different from the rural burbs we live in. My kid will always have the woods and nature preserves within walking distance. Now, that may not be as exciting to him when he is a teenager as it is now, but I wouldn't let him walk around our old Brooklyn neighborhood until he was at least 15. So he has a lot more freedom where we live than he would have had in the city.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-22-2010, 12:42 PM
 
9,125 posts, read 23,567,049 times
Reputation: 3335
Suburbs. With regard to "why do people live in the suburbs but continue to go into the city for work, shopping, etc.", I live in the suburbs of Atlanta, and only go into Atlanta proper for work- there's nothing else there that I need, and I have no desire to spend time there.

People talk all the time about "but the city is changing- there's plenty of people moving in, the neighborhoods are gentrifying, and the schools are 'up and coming'". Thanks, but no thanks- I've done the "live in a 900sf, 50 y/o house that needs something done to it constantly", and spent enough time dealing with pothole-ridden roads, crumbling sidewalks/curbs, and general deferred infrastructure maintenance while living in central NJ. And I'll take new, energy efficient, high-performing schools in the burbs with all the latest technology over "up-and-coming" schools intown with metal detectors at the doors any day.

Would I like to work closer to home and avoid Atlanta altogether? Absolutely, and once the economy starts to turn around, I'll be doing just that, as there will be plenty of work for me in and around my hometown. In the interim, the commute to Atlanta is just something I deal with to allow my family to have everything else we want out of life.
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.


 
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 $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning

All times are GMT -6.

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