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Old 01-19-2013, 12:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlite View Post
To me, it's useful to have language which distinguishes between cities with a net in commute and those with a net out commute. That's not stigmatizing, it's analysis.
Arlington, Virginia has a net in-commute. So does Upper Merion Township, Pennsylvania.

Quote:
Suburb is the commonly used term for places that are low density, car dependent, and don't have a downtown, even if they have a substantial employment base.
No. That's a case of calling it a suburb if it has characteristics you don't like.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
There's plenty of retail in Aurora, just not in a downtown. The two premier hospitals in Colorado are there. We're all interdependent on each other.
Then it cannot, in many people's opinion, escape being called a suburb, even if it were 80 km away. I notice some suburbs that never had downtowns are now building them. One feature of a suburb is it zones out what it does not like. Landfills and power plants not allowed anywhere, but also: housing under 300K, Dance clubs, tattoo parlors, liquor after 2 AM, laundromats.

Last edited by pvande55; 01-19-2013 at 01:26 PM.. Reason: Add lines
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:23 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,992 posts, read 102,554,590 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Arlington, Virginia has a net in-commute. So does Upper Merion Township, Pennsylvania.


No. That's a case of calling it a suburb if it has characteristics you don't like.
I don't know where you guys are getting these in-commute stats, but, I'm certain Boulder, CO has a net in-commute. In fact, Boulder at one point proposed limiting jobs for that reason, prior to the current recession. (Keep our city free of Denver metro riff-raff.) One brilliant mind even wrote a letter to the local paper stating what we needed was another recession to set the economy (of Boulder) straight. Oddly (sarc), you don't hear that kind of nonsense any more. Greenwood Village probably has a net in-commute too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
Then it cannot, in many people's opinion, escape being called a suburb, even if it were 80 km away. I notice some suburbs that never had downtowns are now building them. One feature of a suburb is it zones out what it does not like. Landfills and power plants not allowed anywhere, but also: housing under 300K, Dance clubs, tattoo parlors, liquor after 2 AM, laundromats.
Actually, I know Aurora is a suburb. It is also home to 325,000 people. IME, it's cities that are good at zoning out landfills and power plants. (There's nowhere to put it, they'll whine.) There is plenty of the bold in Aurora, except for the liquor after 2AM b/c that is COLORADO law. Heck, you can find the bold in my suburb, too, or probably any suburb of Denver. Laundromats? Really?? You can't really "build" a downtown. You get these cutesy "lifestyle centers" and the like, but they're not the same.

**********************************

Did none of your English teachers (or whatever they were called at your school) never teach some of you that "you can't define a word with the word"? In other words, you can't define a suburb by saying it looks "suburban".
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
Then it cannot, in many people's opinion, escape being called a suburb, even if it were 80 km away. I notice some suburbs that never had downtowns are now building them.
At one time they were universal regardless of suburb, small town, or city. Now they're fashionable. For a while they were not.

Quote:
One feature of a suburb is it zones out what it does not like. Landfills and power plants not allowed anywhere, but also: housing under 300K, Dance clubs, tattoo parlors, liquor after 2 AM, laundromats.
Well, as long as you ignore the fact that many suburbs contain landfills, power plants, dance clubs, tattoo parlors, housing under 300K, and laundromats, while some cities (Philadelphia, for instance) don't allow liquor after 2am or have some of those other things.

Cities engage in zoning as much as suburbs do. Except Houston, which urban planners hate because it doesn't.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Arlington, Virginia has a net in-commute. So does Upper Merion Township, Pennsylvania.


No. That's a case of calling it a suburb if it has characteristics you don't like.
Wrong. Low density, reliance on cars, net out commute are well recognized, well understood features of suburbs, objective and measurable. Suburban commercial uses tend to be more spread out, not surprisingly, than central city ones, but some older suburbs do have downtowns. These are not the value laden terms people use about suburbia.

What characteristics would you say a suburb has?

Many Americans think that low densities, predominantly if not exclusively single family housing, and a transportation system designed for easy car access are good things. But you're saying that identifying them is highlighting a bad thing. Have you accepted the urbanist critique of postwar suburbia after all (smile).
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlite View Post
Wrong. Low density, reliance on cars, net out commute are well recognized, well understood features of suburbs, objective and measurable.
You can certainly easily measure two of them, and come up with some measures for "reliance on cars" (not sure if you're referring to whether the residents do rely on cars, or whether they must rely on cars). But those three features fail to distinguish suburbs from non-suburbs. The "net out-commute" is particularly poor; I identified two obvious suburbs which have a net in-commute. It would likely be easy to find others; just find suburbs which host quite a few office parks. One problem with considering reliance on cars is that suburbs are older than cars.

For any objective definition of "suburb" you can come up with, there are going to be hard cases-- Alexandria and Arlington, Virginia, and to a lesser extent the other Beltway cities. King of Prussia, Pennsylvania -- IMO, if your definition excludes King of Prussia, it's failed. Hoboken, NJ -- a small dense place with urban form but net out-commute.


Quote:
Many Americans think that low densities, predominantly if not exclusively single family housing, and a transportation system designed for easy car access are good things. But you're saying that identifying them is highlighting a bad thing. Have you accepted the urbanist critique of postwar suburbia after all (smile).
I said that was a case of defining suburbs according to characteristics YOU don't like (based on your username, anyway), not characteristics I don't like :-).
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
You can certainly easily measure two of them, and come up with some measures for "reliance on cars" (not sure if you're referring to whether the residents do rely on cars, or whether they must rely on cars). But those three features fail to distinguish suburbs from non-suburbs. The "net out-commute" is particularly poor; I identified two obvious suburbs which have a net in-commute. It would likely be easy to find others; just find suburbs which host quite a few office parks. One problem with considering reliance on cars is that suburbs are older than cars.

For any objective definition of "suburb" you can come up with, there are going to be hard cases-- Alexandria and Arlington, Virginia, and to a lesser extent the other Beltway cities. King of Prussia, Pennsylvania -- IMO, if your definition excludes King of Prussia, it's failed. Hoboken, NJ -- a small dense place with urban form but net out-commute.



I said that was a case of defining suburbs according to characteristics YOU don't like (based on your username, anyway), not characteristics I don't like :-).
How would you define a suburb?
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Around 70% of the population of Toronto's metropolitan area lives in municipalities with net in commutes despite the fact that Toronto's metro area grew 4-5 fold since WWII.

Municipalities with net in commutes (2011 census)

Toronto: 2,615,060
Mississauga: 713,443
Markham: 301,709
Vaughan: 288,301

Toronto Metro area: 5,583,064

The employment in Mississauga, Markham and Vaughan is mostly as high as it is due to the presence of office parks and huge industrial parks, they are very much autocentric with lots of separation of uses. Toronto doesn't have that many more jobs than workers, partly due to streetcar suburbs/neighbourhoods that mostly just have local retail and largely residential upscale auto-suburbs that happen to be within city limits. The post-WWII working class areas of Toronto have a fair bit of industry so the jobs and workers are probably more balanced.

Anyways, the problem is that there's been many different uses of suburb. Originally, they were basically just lower density outlying bedroom communities in the form of streetcar suburbs... or even walking oriented transit-less outlying communities. Then by the late 20th century the dominent characteristics of the outlying communities was that they were autocentric and single family. In the last few decades, many of them have come to have lots of employment, so they weren't really defined as bedroom communities anymore.

Density is also hard to use as a defining characteristic. If it's density relative to the central neighbourhoods, then Phoenix and Las Vegas don't have any suburbs because the densities of more outlying communities are essentially the same as those of the central neighbourhoods. Cities in Alberta and Saskatchewan are the same although the apartment neighbourhoods in their downtowns might be denser than the outlying neighbourhoods. If you use some sort of net density value, you could have a situation where Los Angeles has virtually no suburbs while Raleigh is nothing but suburbs... Not to mention in other countries, outlying communities can be very dense. In Spain they're more like Brooklyn or even Manhattan, and in Russia they're often dense tower in the park housing that's sometimes denser than the core, same goes for Seoul. Even in Toronto the city blocks of outlying residential neighbourhoods have almost the same density at the city block level as the late 19th century neighbourhoods, although the have more parks/ravines as well as retail power centres, office parks and industrial parks while the 19th century neighbourhoods often have post-WWII apartment buildings to boost their densities.

When I think of suburbs, I think of auto-centric neighbourhoods a certain distance from the metropolitan area's main CBD.
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:46 PM
 
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I believe it is the mind
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlite View Post
How would you define a suburb?
Didn't I just say that any objective definition would be likely to fail? As Justice Stewart said about obscenity, I know it when I see it.

What do you call a populated area which is largely economically independent of any central city (though located within the metro area of one), with the built form of automobile suburbia?

What do you call a populated area with an urban built form (downtown area, high density housing) which is economically dependent mostly on nearby areas with a suburban form (though also to some extent on a central city)?

What do you call a populated area with an extremely urban form which is almost wholly dependent on an adjacent central city?

What do you call a former train suburb which no longer has a train, whose downtown has decayed to uselessness, and now has a highway running through it?

For that matter, what do you call a train suburb? It has the downtown and the higher density, but IMO it's certainly a suburb.

What do you call a small farm town which is now a location on a commercial strip, and where the farms have become subdivisions?

What do you call a mill/factory town which relies on the central city (down the river) to provide a market and/or further transportation for its wares? What do you call that same mill town when the mill closes and commuters fill up the housing?

Do traditional distinctions matter? People talk about Hoboken, NJ as opposed to "the suburbs", despite Hoboken being basically a bedroom community nowadays. On the other hand, Norristown and Conshohocken PA (both with a similarly urban form) are typically considered suburbs.
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