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Old 02-08-2013, 08:57 AM
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If you visit most larger cities in Asia and South America most people live in high rise apartments. Think San Paulo:


Actually in my travels around the world to mid sized to large cities I see very few places where there are large number of trees around the houses. Most people in cities around the world live surrounded by concrete- not grass and trees. But most people in the mid sized cities in America (think Minneapolis) live in single family homes next to grass and trees.

While the American model is more attractive visually, I wonder if that model will stay with us in the future. I see large high rise apartments replacing single family homes. A developer will come in and buy an entire neighborhood and in it's place will be huge high rise apartments and in the 22nd Century many American Cities will look like San Paulo. It will be sold as more logical and people will be trained to say they approve under the name of high density is always good.

Only people in small towns and distant suburban areas will live next to grass and trees.

What do you think?
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:41 AM
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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Originally Posted by Old Tired Man View Post
What do you think?
I don't think our fertility rate is going to make this a reality.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:08 AM
Location: Pasadena, CA
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Unlikely because of zoning and neighborhood plans. Even NYC is unlikely to develop a sea of high-rises outside of Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:34 AM
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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.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:37 AM
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hong kong is a good example of insane jungle-like urban density
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:45 AM
Location: Canada
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Won't be necessary unless there's much more population growth. Also, just because there's highrises doesn't mean people can't have greenery and that inamerica it'd look like sao paolo. More likely America would look like Vancouver, which has lots of beautiful greenpace and parks with the highrise apartments.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:14 AM
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100 years ago, in 1913, the American population was predominantly rural, although the 1920 Census would find it primarily urban for the first time (bearing in mind that "urban" was defined as a living in a town of 2,500 or more). It's hard to project out 100 years.

If anything, I'd look at a depopulation scenario that far out. The American population growth rate isn't that high now. The country is below a replacement level of births among people born in the US, we depend on immigrants to maintain the population and the workforce. In the immediate, immigration is down substantially due to the recession and greatly increased border enforcement. In the long run, we could be looking at much less immigration due to 1) Continued hostility to immigrants; 2) Decreased attractiveness of the US/Increased attractiveness of other countries which are becoming economically and scientifically equal or superior. In the long run, things could change, but it's hard to see the US embarking on a French style policy of comprehensive services to families with young children in order to increase the birth rate of the native born.

Declining cities in the US and Europe (elsewhere?) are facing the problem of what to do about neighborhoods that are mostly but not entirely abandoned, this could become a bigger and bigger problem.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:53 AM
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Interesting perspectives but I strongly disagree with the idea that America has stopped growing. The population of Ameerica is growing like crazy. It has nearly doubled since the 1960s to 310 million and they say we are going up to 500 million in the next fifty years. Our economy seems to depend on a rapidly growing population and there are millions of immigrants that want to come to America. The immigration bill that is being floated in Congress will increase legal immigration to 2 milliion a year and immmigrants have lots of babies.

Regarding density I see lots of areas that used to be single family detached homes being bought up under the idea of smart growth and turned into high density. As gasoline becomes more expensive I suspect more and more people will jam into a smaller amount of land. I see a San Paulo model for many American Cities in the 22nd Century.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:39 PM
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Well, "like crazy" isn't a technical term. The Census Bureau's projections show the population growing at less than .8% (eight tenths of one percent) per year currently, declining to .5% (half of one percent) by 2060. They project a total growth of that period of about 100 million people, or slightly more than 30% of the current population. The total would be 420 million. I don't know what kind of place is Sao Paolo is, but it's a different place than what we have or will have here. Nobody wants to project 50 years past 2060.

And where are these places where single family homes are being plowed under and turned into higher density neighborhoods? There's certainly higher density housing getting built, but not on the sites of single family houses--that arouses ferocious NIMBY opposition that no city or developer wants to deal with.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:50 PM
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Most of Sao Paulo's neighbourhoods seem to consist largely of 1-3 storey buildings actually, with a few highrises here and there. And the areas that are dominated by highrises seem to have more greenery with the exception of a few wealthy single family enclaves.
Sao Paulo - São Paulo, Brazil - Google Maps
Sao Paulo - São Paulo, Brazil - Google Maps
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