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Old 12-23-2013, 07:55 AM
 
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As much as I like living in the city, my opinion is there is more socialization outside of it. I find many city people fall into their own secluded cliques made up of college/work buddies. Plus much of this is made up of the early to mid-20's crowd; all centered around hunting for the opposite sex (or same if gay).

I wonder if some of these people who claim the suburbs (and rural?) areas have less socialization has ever actually lived in the suburbs, and if so, what actually are the details regarding the socialization differences? For example, who are you currently socializing with, and how did you meet, and what is the frequency and depth of this socializing?
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Old 12-23-2013, 08:40 AM
 
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Only a millennial would view a 2000 year old pattern of human habitation as new.

The last 50 years are the aberration. It was an experiment, it failed terribly. Most people enjoy being out and among other people as long as the city is well designed.
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Old 12-23-2013, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,430 posts, read 37,892,976 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annuvin View Post
The more posts like this I read, the more I wonder how many urbanists have ever set foot in a so-called subburb, much less lived in one.

FTR: The easiest place to remain anonymous is in a large city. The volume of people that live within them make them inherently anti-social by nature, and is the reason why the streets of large cities often attract large numbers of mentally ill and schizophrenics. You really should try visiting a rural/small town of less than 30,000 people some time if you truly want to know what living in a social community feels like.
This, in spades.

Now, as for the OP's question, I'd say it's the latest fad ("latest" being relative in the overall scheme of things). These things go in cycles, and each generation thinks they've invented them and they're the best thing since sliced bread, and these days with the internet it's a lot easier for it to look like everybody feels that way.

I've lived in the city, in the suburbs (well, they were suburbs then, not so much now that you'd notice), and now in the country, so I can confirm it. In the city, we knew our next door neighbor well, and even put in a fence together, had a yard-sodding party, helped with each other's kids, etc.

My sister and her family live in the suburbs. They've lived there in the same house for about 50 years now; moved in when it was being built. They have deep, abiding, life-long friendships with their neighbors; they raised their kids together, they look out for each other, and when we went to visit once years ago and they were not home yet, they told us to go by a neighbor's to pick up the key - that neighbor had a board with the keys of just about everybody on the block on it because she was always home so she took care of that for everybody.

In the country, we fix fences together, help each other get animals home (having animals is a GREAT way to get to meet your neighbors when you first move to the country!), look out for each other, get together at various social events, etc.

Yes, people are social animals - and it doesn't matter where they are, those that are inclined to make friends will do so.
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,312 posts, read 26,335,336 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
Only a millennial would view a 2000 year old pattern of human habitation as new.
By that standard, there are few things in history that could qualify as "new." The Industrial Revolution, I suppose?

The OP's point is that there is renewed interest in city living after many decades of the opposite and he wants to know what's responsible for it.

In response to the OP, I do think it's both. However, I don't agree with urbanists that there's been a fundamental paradigm shift in America or anything. Urbanists were quick to proclaim the era of the McMansion to be over after a huge housing crash where nobody was buying houses, which seemed a bit rash to me. According to the New York Times (infallible!), however, home sizes are actually getting bigger, not smaller.

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/20...mansions/?_r=0

And while cities have experienced population gains, the growth is really quite when viewed in the context of a region's overall growth.

Last edited by BajanYankee; 12-23-2013 at 10:11 AM..
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
By that standard, there are few things in history that could qualify as "new." The Industrial Revolution, I suppose?

The OP's point is that there is renewed interest in city living after many decades of the opposite and he wants to know what's responsible for it.
The way OP tee'd up this question was odd. The answer is basically this - the thing that is driving interest in cities today is the same thing that caused them to coalesce in the first place. There was an aberration (in the US only - other places cities have always thrived) for the last 50 years. If you look at the whole of human history for the last several millennium is pretty clear the there is a gravitation towards living in connected communities and people have almost always paid a premium to be in the center of it all.
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:25 AM
 
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I currently live in the suburbs, and I can't wait to get the hell out of here and move to a livelier part of town. The suburbs are essentially what you said: a good place to raise children. But that's it. For an adult (and one who doesn't have children), living in the suburbs can be quite boring. It also requires a dependency on a car in order to get around, whereas in urban areas you can get around via public transportation and/or walking. I'll take the liveliness of a city-center any day over the isolation of suburban life.
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,312 posts, read 26,335,336 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
The way OP tee'd up this question was odd. The answer is basically this - the thing that is driving interest in cities today is the same thing that caused them to coalesce in the first place. There was an aberration (in the US only - other places cities have always thrived) for the last 50 years. If you look at the whole of human history for the last several millennium is pretty clear the there is a gravitation towards living in connected communities and people have almost always paid a premium to be in the center of it all.
Yeah, but you have to admit that there's a bit of a different character to it today. I mean, I could be wrong, but I don't think there were banners posted on LES buildings in the 1900s saying "Live, Work, Play!" The concept of the city as an amusement park is probably bigger today than it's ever been.
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Yeah, but you have to admit that there's a bit of a different character to it today. I mean, I could be wrong, but I don't think there were banners posted on LES buildings in the 1900s saying "Live, Work, Play!" The concept of the city as an amusement park is probably bigger today than it's ever been.
Nothing has changed. . .same as it ever was.


Petula Clark Downtown. original version - YouTube
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:37 AM
 
1,356 posts, read 1,640,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxus View Post
As much as I like living in the city, my opinion is there is more socialization outside of it. I find many city people fall into their own secluded cliques made up of college/work buddies. Plus much of this is made up of the early to mid-20's crowd; all centered around hunting for the opposite sex (or same if gay).

I wonder if some of these people who claim the suburbs (and rural?) areas have less socialization has ever actually lived in the suburbs, and if so, what actually are the details regarding the socialization differences? For example, who are you currently socializing with, and how did you meet, and what is the frequency and depth of this socializing?
I agree and I say this as someone who likes living in the city. I've met a lot of people in bars and I find that there isn't a lot of depth to those interactions as opposed to meeting people through volunteer work or through being neighbors(which can be hard in the city).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
Only a millennial would view a 2000 year old pattern of human habitation as new.

The last 50 years are the aberration. It was an experiment, it failed terribly. Most people enjoy being out and among other people as long as the city is well designed.
I disagree. Historically, you're right, people have lived close to cities, but that was out of necessity rather than them actually enjoying it.


Look at the photos on here:

A rare insight into Kowloon Walled City | Mail Online

That's pretty much the modern day equivalent of what it was like to live in a city especially if you were poor or a peasant.
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:14 AM
 
223 posts, read 342,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
The way OP tee'd up this question was odd. The answer is basically this - the thing that is driving interest in cities today is the same thing that caused them to coalesce in the first place. There was an aberration (in the US only - other places cities have always thrived) for the last 50 years. If you look at the whole of human history for the last several millennium is pretty clear the there is a gravitation towards living in connected communities and people have almost always paid a premium to be in the center of it all.

More to the point, except for this abberant period in American history (and probably a few other times and places where racial/class strife was very high), most cities are organized so that the wealthy live in the most central parts and economic status goes down as you reach the outskirts. That has been normal for thousands of years. Living way out in cookie-cutter suburbs in houses that reach their peak value 10 - 20 years after they are built and then start falling apart because they are literally paper houses, in 'communities' built around nothing but strip malls and schools is honestly just not a great way to live. Some may like it, but I would say what is driving people into the cities are a lot of boring lonely childhoods lived by people now in their 30s. I know that's why we moved to the city.
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