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Old 02-09-2013, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pantin23 View Post
I see pre WWII cities as a good growth model for the US of the future if density increaces.
It would be a mistake to try and copy pre-war USA as time has moved forward and there are better models for dense twenty first century urbanism available, ones that incorporate greenspace better and offer a higher quality of life. Pre war urbanism was nice, but it was a failed model that ended in everyone fleeing it for the suburbs. It's better than the suburbs, but we can take its strengths and leave its weaknesses behind.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:37 PM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
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Originally Posted by HiFi View Post
I have a two friends who lives in a single family homes in Hong Kong. Remember, Hong Kong is more than just the the urban areas of Hong Kong island and Kowloon. There are actually some pretty suburban areas in Hong Kong. Some are downright Western in their layout.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:52 PM
 
Location: London, NYC, DC
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Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
It would be a mistake to try and copy pre-war USA as time has moved forward and there are better models for dense twenty first century urbanism available, ones that incorporate greenspace better and offer a higher quality of life. Pre war urbanism was nice, but it was a failed model that ended in everyone fleeing it for the suburbs. It's better than the suburbs, but we can take its strengths and leave its weaknesses behind.
Honestly, current urban design trends, while infinitely better than the failure that was the mid-20th century, don't even come close to matching pre-war land use patterns. This is reflected in population density, land and home values and growth. I can't tell you how many of these new urban mega-developments I've been to that are the most sterile places on the face of the planet (I'm looking at DC's Navy Yard, Mission Bay and such). Green space is easily part of that problem, since without critical mass it's just empty space that was also the source of much of the abandoned feeling of housing projects in the 20th century, leading to social and economic isolation. Pre-war cities also have very intensively used and highly prized green space, but is more focused at the local level (pocket parks) rather than grand green spaces within developments.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:57 PM
 
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To me, the hardest thing to reproduce from pre-1940 urban neighborhoods is the fine grain of mixed use. Those neighborhoods had dozens and dozens of little stores, maybe an A and P that would barely be considered a supermarket today. I think current planners and designers are working seriously on this, but so often there's no more than a Starbucks and a Whole Foods. It's one reason I'm more hopeful for developments adding to existing areas, rather than creating brand new ones. Of course going into existing areas means more NIMBY opposition, even if the building would strengthen them.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:13 AM
 
Location: London, NYC, DC
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Originally Posted by Carlite View Post
To me, the hardest thing to reproduce from pre-1940 urban neighborhoods is the fine grain of mixed use. Those neighborhoods had dozens and dozens of little stores, maybe an A and P that would barely be considered a supermarket today. I think current planners and designers are working seriously on this, but so often there's no more than a Starbucks and a Whole Foods. It's one reason I'm more hopeful for developments adding to existing areas, rather than creating brand new ones. Of course going into existing areas means more NIMBY opposition, even if the building would strengthen them.
^ This. It seems like part of the problem is that retail spaces in new development are too big, which means really only grocery stores or major chains take up the space or it's left empty.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:37 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Originally Posted by geoking66 View Post
^ This. It seems like part of the problem is that retail spaces in new development are too big, which means really only grocery stores or major chains take up the space or it's left empty.
Walmart and I believe also Target are opening new, smaller stores. The economy of scale savings are to duplicate in tiny "A and P(s) that would barely be considered a supermarket today". Also the larger stores do carry more items. We are spending far less of our incomes on food today than in 1930.

• Percent of income spent on food in the U.S. 2010 | Statistic
1930: 24.2%, 2010: 9.2%. Food cost 2 1/2 times as much in 1930. So instead of spending $3.99/lb on hamburger as I did yesterday, you'd spend ~$10/lb. Is that what you want?
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:43 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Originally Posted by Katiana View Post

• Percent of income spent on food in the U.S. 2010 | Statistic
1930: 24.2%, 2010: 9.2%. Food cost 2 1/2 times as much in 1930. So instead of spending $3.99/lb on hamburger as I did yesterday, you'd spend ~$10/lb. Is that what you want?
Not really. To be technical, incomes rose much faster than food prices since 1930. I'm not sure how of the lack of increase in food prices to larger grocery stores.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:48 AM
 
Location: New York City
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Originally Posted by geoking66 View Post
^ This. It seems like part of the problem is that retail spaces in new development are too big, which means really only grocery stores or major chains take up the space or it's left empty.
Developers want to lease commercial space before itís even built. This leads inevitably to chains and big-box stores. The best urban neighborhoods are full of boutiques and small business, but they donít have the clout or the capital to get an original lease.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:56 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Not really. To be technical, incomes rose much faster than food prices since 1930. I'm not sure how of the lack of increase in food prices to larger grocery stores.
How do you figure that? The statistics I posted are about the percentage of income being spent on food.

Large grocery stores can practice "economies of scale", e.g. ordering larger amounts of stock, needing fewer employees per unit sold, etc.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:14 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
How do you figure that? The statistics I posted are about the percentage of income being spent on food.
Yes, I know it's the percentage. Well incomes are much higher today than 1930, so if the percentage declined at the same rate of income rise, the actual amount spent would be the same. The percentage spent on many basic necessities has declined as incomes have risen in the last 80 years.

Quote:
Large grocery stores can practice "economies of scale", e.g. ordering larger amounts of stock, needing fewer employees per unit sold, etc.
I agree, my question is how much of the differences are from bigger grocery stores. Much of New York City has small supermarkets and the prices are noticeably higher, but other causes (high labor and rent costs) could be responsible, the high prices are worst in certain rich neighborhoods.

*In the previous post, I meant to write "I'm not sure how much of the lack of increase in food prices was due to large grocery stores" Ugh. I make too many typos. Please respond to what I meant to say not what I type!
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