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Old 12-26-2012, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,069 posts, read 16,090,068 times
Reputation: 12647

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
There's little reason for a New Urbanist to think about cholera, polio, and open sewers.
But that wasn't what the thread was about. It was about cities such as NYC or Boston in 1900-1920.

I agree, there's no reason for a New Urbanist to worry about cholera, polio, or open sewers. Those were problems of cities of a bygone era where interaction was apparently more natural than it is today. New Urbanists would probably be more concerned with what your typical Manhattan, Brooklyn, SoMa, South Lake Union, Pearl or what have you residents are concerned with. Those are pretty divergent areas. Someone living in NYC might be more concerned with the fact that their 300 square foot studio costs them more a month than the mortgage on a 3,000 square foot house would where they come from, or how everything from groceries to meals out are up to twice as expensive, or how they have to haul their laundry up and down five flights of stairs and six blocks and $3 per wash for a home-sized ($5 for a large washer) per load, or how the garbage truck shows up at 4 a.m. every damn morning.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:14 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,806 posts, read 10,715,921 times
Reputation: 2523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Yes, without thinking about the bad features.

I'm not sure to returning to street facing shops with parking in the rear, corner stores, transit oriented suburbs, etc would lead to the the return of infectious diseases.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:19 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,806 posts, read 10,715,921 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
I agree, there's no reason for a New Urbanist to worry about cholera, polio, or open sewers. Those were problems of cities of a bygone era where interaction was apparently more natural than it is today.
I assume OP meant more face to face interaction on the sidewalk. He may have been wrong about interaction today, but I don't think that we eliminated polio and cholera by reducing interaction on the sidewalk.

Have you ever read Ghost Map? At the time they though slum squalor and smell caused cholera. They were wrong. Its caused by tainted (not necessarily smelly) water. Clean up the water, and the place can still be a stinking slum, and you don't get cholera.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:24 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,011 posts, read 102,621,396 times
Reputation: 33077
Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
I'm not sure to returning to street facing shops with parking in the rear, corner stores, transit oriented suburbs, etc would lead to the the return of infectious diseases.
Well, if the time frame we're looking at is the 1920s, we are surely talking about infectious diseases, not the return of them, but the general ubiquity of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
The OP said "before autos and highways ruled" not before cars existed.

While you could look at it in many different ways, I think the 1920s are a reasonable time to look at.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:55 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,069 posts, read 16,090,068 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
I assume OP meant more face to face interaction on the sidewalk. He may have been wrong about interaction today, but I don't think that we eliminated polio and cholera by reducing interaction on the sidewalk.

Have you ever read Ghost Map? At the time they though slum squalor and smell caused cholera. They were wrong. Its caused by tainted (not necessarily smelly) water. Clean up the water, and the place can still be a stinking slum, and you don't get cholera.
Why is face to face interaction on a sidewalk more "natural" than face to face interaction anywhere else? What's less natural about interactions in restaurants, bars, parks, houses, etc.

But yeah, cholera had nothing to do with the naturalness of human interactions on a sidewalk really. I guess if you want to stretch it, they are really unnatural interactions as only with less natural modern science and know-how is living in large metropolitan cities really possible. Which is really the premise of Ghost Map... the science and know-how parts, that is. It doesn't have any ridiculous about how natural human interactions are in large-scale human constructs that are our modern cities and societies. Nothing is less natural and more artificial than our cities, and I don't say that with any intention of being dogmatic.
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:26 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,806 posts, read 10,715,921 times
Reputation: 2523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Why is face to face interaction on a sidewalk more "natural" than face to face interaction anywhere else? What's less natural about interactions in restaurants, bars, parks, houses, etc.

But yeah, cholera had nothing to do with the naturalness of human interactions on a sidewalk really. I guess if you want to stretch it, they are really unnatural interactions as only with less natural modern science and know-how is living in large metropolitan cities really possible. Which is really the premise of Ghost Map... the science and know-how parts, that is. It doesn't have any ridiculous about how natural human interactions are in large-scale human constructs that are our modern cities and societies. Nothing is less natural and more artificial than our cities, and I don't say that with any intention of being dogmatic.

I wouldn't use the charged and difficult to define word "natural" I think spontaneous interaction is it (unless the OP is referring to all face to face vs online, I dont know) There are certainly spontaneous interactions that take place in parks, and even shopping malls. But houses are the places for planned interaction (except with ones family).
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:37 AM
 
10,630 posts, read 23,421,599 times
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Since the OP clarified "without the really bad stuff," I assume that the question was primarily about city form -- in other words, a return to the form of the city from that era, minus the politics, health issues, etc. A hypothetical flight of fancy.

Unless one is arguing that the city form itself was a direct contributor to those problems.
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,681,041 times
Reputation: 26671
If I was white, I would want to live in 1940s Oakland with the Key System. I'd "suffer" with today's Oakland (where I live now) and a new version of the Key System.

The good news is, some lucky cities had their significant growth before the rise of the car, and some of that remains. There are lots of parts of Oakland that are god places to be car free. I live around 3 blocks from a "main street" that has almost all needs covered. We have a Deco era movie theater, lots of classic architecture, a full service grocery, a drugstore, a diner, a post office, a bunch of coffee shops and a few dozen restaurants in a 10 minute walk.

But whenever I see the pics of the Key System maps, and I realize it went up the street one block away, and had routes to pretty much 90% of the places I ever travel to via car or transit, I am pretty sad.
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:02 PM
 
Location: NC
6,562 posts, read 7,986,401 times
Reputation: 13465
malloric, I also think you misread the question. The OP seems to be asking how we would like the layout of an early 20th century city as a new modern layout today, without autos.

There are some areas near Raleigh NC that are doing the rowhouse look, but these areas are still in a suburban hoa. However, on some of the secondary streets there are being built condos (or something) over the top of 1st floor storefronts. It will be interesting to see if businesses will like to rent those out.

I've read that in the past that when a street has been closed off to become pedestrian-only the stores actually suffer. Seems like people like to drive by in their car to see what's going on even if they can't fnd a place to park. When the pedestrian only streets were reversed to handle car traffic again, the business success came back. An example might be Chestnut Street in Philadelphia.
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Richmond/Philadelphia/Brooklyn
1,263 posts, read 1,273,699 times
Reputation: 741
You have just described the place I would go live If I had a time machine set for the past
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