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Old 08-26-2011, 03:59 PM
 
551 posts, read 556,674 times
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Default Do you think natural disasters will cause people to not want to live in dense cities?

After an earthquake and now a coming hurricane I was wondering if you think that it will make people fear living in big cities like New York. I think that these recent events may make people think that living in big urban cities make you more vulnerable to earthquakes and hurricanes, or other types of disasters. Since it is harder to evacuate people or there are more people around, even a small amount of disaster can mean many more people dying compared to if a disaster happened in the middle of Kansas on an open plain or something. Yet the trend like the media is saying the future is in urban living and less in suburban or rural living.

Do you think the issue of disasters striking dense urban areas will cause people to want to flee to the suburbs/rural areas even more now and that it would stop the constant return to the city?

If the world wants or needs to become more urban in order to save the planet, they need to build more confidence in people that urban living can be just as safe if not safer than suburban or rural areas for people to live when disaster strikes. On one hand, you might be "safer" living out on a farm in the middle of nowhere when a hurricane strikes for some reasons, but at the same time you might not get the help as quickly as you would living in New York City because the government, I would think, would pull more of their resources to saving people in NYC than trying to save you from a hurricane or flood or whatever if you were on your farm. An earthquake in a major city can cause glass to fall on you whereas if you're in a suburb or rural field, you would be unharmed.
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Midtown Omaha
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Ehh I don't know. People wont change their lives based on events that happen once every few decades(strong earthquake). Hurricanes happen almost every year the last hurricane that hit New York that caused more than 6 deaths was 1954.

It makes no sense to make decisions about your life because of things that don't happen often.

If people really worried about things like that LA, San Francisco, New Orleans, London, Chicago, New York, Washington D.C, Rome, Tokyo ect. wouldn't have bothered rebuilding after natural disasters or fires.
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:55 PM
 
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Or, if you're in the middle of the country and a tornado hits your house and no one knows about it or how to find you, how is that any better? What if it floods and you are an island unto yourself and can't go anywhere?
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Far from where I'd like to be
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If that were the case, no one would live in LA or San Francisco. Or New Orleans or Miami.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:31 PM
 
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Well New york to Philly it will be hell getting around, with no public Transit after 12:00pm tomorrow.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:35 PM
 
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If you spend enough of your time standing out in a rural field to stand much chance of being there when an earthquake happens, you're either a farm laborer or homeless.

I don't see why this would be an issue at all--there is nothing about cities that attracts natural disasters or makes them worse, and plenty of suburban communities will be affected just as badly.

On the flip side, if your city was flooding to the level of two-story buildings, where would you rather be: out in a field, in a one-story suburban home, or the tenth floor of a condo?
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Far from where I'd like to be
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
there is nothing about cities that attracts natural disasters
Mobile home parks do attract tornadoes, though.
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Old 08-26-2011, 09:04 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
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statistically you're much more likely to die living in a suburban or rural area because of auto accidents.
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Old 08-26-2011, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
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Nope. People consider trade-offs for whatever situation they are in; they won't trade the amenities of the big cities for occasional safety. If people were more intent on self-preservation than immediate gratification, they wouldn't have rebuilt Pompeii after the FIRST eruption, or would have fled NYC en masse after the FIRST bombing of the World Trade Center (not the airplanes).

Fact is, most people live their lives like teenagers the week before prom night, when the firefighters tow the wrecked vehicle onto their High School parking lot, and police officers talk in sepulchral tones about drunk driving. As the kids file by, most say, "That'll NEVER happen to ME, I'm too smart/careful/lucky". No matter what short-term losses people suffer, they look at the long-term and weigh the odds, consciously or not.
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:18 PM
 
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SCgranny: Life expectancy in New York City is higher than the national average.

New York City has highest life expectancy in recorded history: data - New York Daily News (http://articles.nydailynews.com/2010-01-26/entertainment/29436941_1_life-expectancy-annual-vital-statistics-report-bars-and-restaurants - broken link)

World Bank, World Development Indicators - Google Public Data Explorer

Death rates in New York are low:

NEW YORK CITY DEATH RATE REACHES HISTORIC LOW

Compared to the US as a whole:

FASTSTATS - Deaths and Mortality

Per the same link above, infant mortality rates are lower than the US as a whole:

World Bank, World Development Indicators - Google Public Data Explorer
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