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Old 02-14-2013, 08:03 AM
 
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It's really not accurate to describe San Francisco as a highrise city, though some highrises are being built. The "Victorian Crescent" of the city is built up in 2-4 story Victorians, which often have one flat per floor (some more, some only a single house). There are large outer sections of the city that have single family, single story houses on small lots, almost rowhouses, but not quite. In the northeastern area of the city, there are a fair number of 4-7 story apartment buildings, though they only dominate in a few neighborhoods (e.g. Lower Nob Hill). The real highrise residential area is just the Financial District and areas that immediately border it, especially to the south in South of Market. Even there not everything that gets built is highrise over say 8 stories.

San Francisco stands for the proposition that high densities and good quality of life can be achieved with moderate heights and intense use of the land--there aren't too many vacant lots left in most sections of the city.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:39 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Roughly 6% of San Francisco's housing units are in buildings taller than 6 stories (old numbers — 1998). The most high-rise city in the US, New York City, has 28% (2009 numbers) of its housing units in buildings taller than 6 stories. A lot, but not really a high rise-only city. Modern construction tends to build more high rises for urban development than the previous shorter buildings close together. Interestingly, for new construction (last half of the previous decade) in New York City only 28% is 7+ stories, 49% is 3-6 stories. Numbers include Long Island and lower Hudson Valley, I don't how to separate the city proper, but I suspect most of new 3-6 story is within the city proper. I'd guess in contrast Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver newer construction is more predominately high rise.

Off topic, but a common statement on the forum is not much housing was built in the 1930s. This is not true of the NY metro (numbers exclude NJ and CT) where roughly the same number of housing units were constructed in the 30s and 20s and 40s. Ditto with San Francisco , which has slightly more in the 30s than the 20s while the 40s had 50% more.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Off topic, but a common statement on the forum is not much housing was built in the 1930s. This is not true of the NY metro (numbers exclude NJ and CT) where roughly the same number of housing units were constructed in the 30s and 20s and 40s. Ditto with San Francisco , which has slightly more in the 30s than the 20s while the 40s had 50% more.
The drop nationwide is quite marked, however. Note the extreme increase from 1945 to 1946.
http://www.demographia.com/db-hstarts.pdf
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:57 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Love that link, nybbler! It looks like 1933 was the depths of the depression, with an uptick in 1939-41 (up to pre-depression levels) then WW II (apparently) suppressed housing starts again until 1946.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:24 PM
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 nybbler View Post
The drop nationwide is quite marked, however. Note the extreme increase from 1945 to 1946.
http://www.demographia.com/db-hstarts.pdf
Assuming both sources are correct and measuring the same thing they're not; the census numbers I looked at, measure the amount of housing currently existing by decade while your link measures housing built by decade, that means the drop had extreme variation nationwide. I wonder which metros were most affected?
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:02 PM
 
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China already seems to have many cities being a sea of high-rise apartments and that trend is continuing and increasing in most provinces of China at a phenomenal fast pace in events.

I don’t view USA to follow that same pattern in the future compared to China. There is a probably a higher percentage of Americans compared to Chinese that prefer a lower density environment, even while having a lot of urban enthusiasts, and USA doesn’t have the huge population size problem that China has since 300 million people in USA and literally 1.3 billion people live in China. There is more space left in the USA compared to China relative to the population it has to sustain.

However, China also has a lot of lower density smaller buildings/houses that already exist that goes with the sea of high rise apartments. Most of that country’s population lives east of the Chinese/Tibetan Himalayas, with relatively few living west of that, and there is actually a very noticeable conspicuous discrepancy divide between Eastern China vs. Western China. The western areas of China has a lot of space left for more cities, so maybe lack of space is not one reason why China is creating more high rise buildings.

I see the USA having a few areas investing and creating more high rise buildings, mostly confined to Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Miami, and Honolulu.

Most other areas of USA is going to have lower density construction and preventing high rises. However, the spirited, provocative, vibrant urban planning movement in USA is influencing those places to become more urban and less suburban.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:06 PM
 
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Outside of China and USA, other countries that have a lot of high rise buildings are South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Brazil, and UAE.

Most of those other countries are actually following the pattern more similar to China with fast emerging new high rise buildings than USA.

Most areas of Europe probably would never want to be part of that form of occurrence, but some areas of Paris, London, Moscow, Madrid, Barcelona, Frankfurt recently have some new high-rise buildings. Most areas of Europe don’t see it being essential because there is already a lot of magnificent, impressive, exciting architecture over there.

Variety of architecture shows that high rise skyscrapers buildings is not always necessary, and other forms of architecture is equally important and visually pleasant.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Prepperland
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High density population - yes.
High rise housing - no.

High rise apartments are wasteful structures, unsuited for frugality, and wholly dependent on power to function.
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:09 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Originally Posted by jetgraphics View Post
High density population - yes.
High rise housing - no.

High rise apartments are wasteful structures, unsuited for frugality, and wholly dependent on power to function.
Agreed. I've tried to say that before. You said it better.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
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Originally Posted by eastmemphisguy View Post
I think it's foolish to make predictions about 100 years from now. Look how silly the Jetsons looks now. It never even occurred to them that computers would get smaller than the 1960s goliaths they were used to. That said cities would have to shrink considerably to become all highrises. You could probably fit everybody in the world inside a Phoenix sized cluster of 20 story buildings.
That's hilarious about the Jetsons and their mainframe computers. Unintentional, but funny still.
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