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Old 01-10-2014, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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I'd also like to note, that over the past 60-70 years we have mainly developed only one housing option: sprawl. And many people do not feel like they were given the opportunity to have choice.
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:10 PM
 
10,630 posts, read 23,432,789 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
It seems like people care more about density and walkability than things like cost of living, wages, median household income, unemployment rate, etc...

So what makes Density and Walkability so important?
I think density -- done well -- and walkability has an impact on many of those other things. If you live in a compact neighborhood where you can walk to what you need (and which has the density to also justify decent public transportation) you don't need to buy a car, which can be a tremendous savings. We've been able to justify spending more on housing when we've lived in areas where we didn't need to have a car.

In some situations, I also think that density is a way to create more affordable housing; if there's room to safely add more housing units to a given area, then potentially supply-and-demand will be more in balance and housing costs won't skyrocket quite so much. In cases like my present neighborhood, the increased addition of density via newly constructed luxury apartments on parcels of land that were mostly previously empty or low-density means that the older, non-luxury buildings are not as rapidly being purchased and converted into more expensive units.

I also don't think that just because one is interested in density and walkability suggests a lack of interest in wages, unemployment, etc.
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:34 AM
 
38,304 posts, read 14,974,624 times
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Quality of life.

Younger people don't want to spend a fourth of their income on a car plus hours of their lives in traffic.

Older folks are anticipating the day that driving will be a poor idea, if not entirely out of the question, and don't want to be trapped in their homes, waiting on others to run errands or go out to lunch.

The idea of walking home after a few drinks has a certain appeal to those of all ages.
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:17 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 27 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,030 posts, read 102,689,903 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
I think density -- done well -- and walkability has an impact on many of those other things. If you live in a compact neighborhood where you can walk to what you need (and which has the density to also justify decent public transportation) you don't need to buy a car, which can be a tremendous savings. We've been able to justify spending more on housing when we've lived in areas where we didn't need to have a car.

In some situations, I also think that density is a way to create more affordable housing; if there's room to safely add more housing units to a given area, then potentially supply-and-demand will be more in balance and housing costs won't skyrocket quite so much. In cases like my present neighborhood, the increased addition of density via newly constructed luxury apartments on parcels of land that were mostly previously empty or low-density means that the older, non-luxury buildings are not as rapidly being purchased and converted into more expensive units.

I also don't think that just because one is interested in density and walkability suggests a lack of interest in wages, unemployment, etc.
You're right about that, and that is the problem on CD. If you advocate for one thing, people often think you're opposed to something else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GotHereQuickAsICould View Post
Quality of life.

Younger people don't want to spend a fourth of their income on a car plus hours of their lives in traffic.

Older folks are anticipating the day that driving will be a poor idea, if not entirely out of the question, and don't want to be trapped in their homes, waiting on others to run errands or go out to lunch.

The idea of walking home after a few drinks has a certain appeal to those of all ages.
Younger people have always wanted to live differently than their parents. They left the farm for the city. They left the city for the suburbs. They left the suburbs for the city. Yada, yada.

Older people tend to "retire in place" in the house they bought and paid for. If you read "AARP" instead of fluff pieces in "Atlantic Cites" about young retirees moving to "the city", you'd learn that.
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
2,923 posts, read 3,642,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bolehboleh View Post
You could compare Boston and Miami to illustrate your point. Both cities have roughly 12,000 people per square mile, but Boston is much more walkable. Sometimes it depends on how the city is set up.
Except that Boston and Miami have very similar walk scores. And I know that Walk Score isn't completely reliable because it neglects basic fundamentals of walkability - like sidewalks - when calculating scores. But it shows that the gap isn't necessarily as large as the perception. I think that people on these forums often conflate "walkability" with "a pleasant and enjoyable walking environment". My position is that walkability really has more to do with can you walk to places that you need. Having narrow streets and a pleasant environment is a separate issue.
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Center City
6,866 posts, read 7,817,078 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
It seems like people care more about density and walkability than things like cost of living, wages, median household income, unemployment rate, etc...

So what makes Density and Walkability so important?
One reason may be that walkability and density are "important" on this forum is that they are elements of a city each of us experiences on a daily basis. Unemployment? Unless I am unemployed, it is a just a fleeting news topic. Median household income? Most are not seeking a new house, so again, it's an interesting statistic but not one that impacts me on any given day. Wages? I make what I make. But I am aware of the fact that I get in a car and drive across town to buy groceries or I walk across the street to complete the same task.

The people who come to this forum are for the most part urban-philes. Speaking for myself, I prefer to discuss and learn about the amenities and differences in urbanity of various cities, rather than statistical facts. Both threads exists, but I tend to ignore from those that go on and on about GDP, port tonnage, number of billionaires, etc.
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:55 AM
 
2,825 posts, read 3,355,297 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotHereQuickAsICould View Post
Quality of life.

Younger people don't want to spend a fourth of their income on a car plus hours of their lives in traffic.
as opposed to having to work more and spending half or more of that income on rent to live in the area?

Quote:
Older folks are anticipating the day that driving will be a poor idea, if not entirely out of the question, and don't want to be trapped in their homes, waiting on others to run errands or go out to lunch.
What is the statistic for older people that can walk but not drive.
Last time I looked most folks anywhere near that category are also watching finances and they can get a lot more bang for the buck by living someplace other than the areas you are talking about. Catering to older people is a facade. Much of the "dense" housing is not designed to accommodate typical infirmities accompanying age. Look at door widths, garage width, paths in the home, ... The older folks you are referring to won't even be able to get around in their homes.

Quote:
The idea of walking home after a few drinks has a certain appeal to those of all ages.
Yeah, another reason to avoid urban areas especially near a downtown. Not many like dealing with the druggies, winos, etc. "walking home" at all hours.
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Old 01-11-2014, 10:07 AM
 
1,356 posts, read 1,637,660 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
It seems like people care more about density and walkability than things like cost of living, wages, median household income, unemployment rate, etc...

So what makes Density and Walkability so important?
This is an urban planning forum populated by young childless people who would be into walkable environments and the current fad right now is to "live, work, and play" downtown. Back to the city living is more popular right now compared to the last 50 years, but don't mistake that to mean that is what people are doing so in mass. I need to find the data again, but IIRC a significant chunk of millennials are still choosing the suburbs over the city. It's not as one sided as many would believe.

I'm young and like city living as well, but I've also wondered the same thing as you. For example the word gentrification gets used a lot here, but it's hardly ever questioned since doing so raises the issue of some of the topics you're interested in and how they're how they're all interrelated. I find it problematic that people are telling you that these things don't get discussed here because it's an urban planning forum. Cities are increasingly becoming more dumbbell shaped with the ultra rich and ultra poor with the poor(those who can leave), working, and middle classes being squeezed out. Young transient millennial have no real reason to care outside of the abstract because we're not laying down our roots in any one location. When the time does come to do so, the sky is going to fall out when we realized we were more concerned about urban commercialism than making the institutions in our cities functional.

I'm a teacher and I'm interested in educational issues and it's hardly ever discussed here(which shows the age of the posters here). You would think it would be since schools today in the city are one reason why people choose to live in the suburbs over the city if they aren't rich enough to afford private school. I'm sure when many of us have children, we'll be going back to the suburbs(that and many of the buildings going up in cities aren't built for families).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdAilment View Post
I too question this. I recently made my own thread on, "What's with this new urban trend?" asking the very same question you're asking here.

Never really got to the bottom of it or a real solid answer. I honestly believe it's just the caliber of people that are attracted to this site that prefer that sort of thing. Make no mistake, most of this country is in a migration back to the cities and areas of higher density, but a lot of those areas receiving increased population are in the sunbelt which are not famous for density or walkability.

I can say that the newest generation of young people is not so focused on owning an automobile, living in the suburbs, and making long commutes to work every day. It's a generational thing, a change of life, a change of norms in this country that is encouraging people to drive less and live closer, conserve, save, and contract.


I'm not sure what is so enticing about the density of New York City where all the streets are teeming with people, you'd be hard pressed to find a spot in the city where you can enjoy peace and quiet. There's something to be desired about living in the suburbs, a small town, out in the country, or just a more spaced out neighborhood right by the city. Space, peace, land of your own, a car, less noise, less stress, less busy. I don't know, perhaps that way of thinking and the people who clamor for that kind of life is shrinking.


I agree and I'm sure it also has to do with the economy as well since millennials are not going to be as well off as baby boomers due to the economy and growing income disparities.
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Old 01-11-2014, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,766,137 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
You're right about that, and that is the problem on CD. If you advocate for one thing, people often think you're opposed to something else.



Younger people have always wanted to live differently than their parents. They left the farm for the city. They left the city for the suburbs. They left the suburbs for the city. Yada, yada.

Older people tend to "retire in place" in the house they bought and paid for. If you read "AARP" instead of fluff pieces in "Atlantic Cites" about young retirees moving to "the city", you'd learn that.
It's not entirely clear what is meant by "retiring in place" though. Do they mean living in their current home, or just living in their own home (but not necessarily their current one) as opposed to living with relatives or at a retirement home?

Aging in Place Facts--Data

It says 90% want to live in their own home.

But then scroll down a little...
Quote:
According to the MetLife Mature Marketing Institute:
Ninety-one percent of pre-retirees age 50 to 65 responded that they want to live in their own homes in retirement. Of that group, 49 percent want to stay in their current homes, and 38 percent want to move to new homes.


Also, I think it's worth considering a few things... older retirees generally live in small towns, cities and older suburbs, at least around here, so a lot of them already live in relatively walkable places. And when I say cities, I don't mean downtown Chicago but the quieter neighbourhoods beyond downtowns. Baby boomers that are approaching retirement are more likely to live in the suburbs (though not the newest ones). In both cases, it's likely that their family lives in a different city, and that the only reason they lived where they do is work, but now that they're retired, they can live closer to their family, or somewhere with a better climate/setting.

For the retirees who do decide to move, what are the odds they'll move to the suburbs? The main advantage of the suburbs is you can have space while still being close to the jobs of large metropolitan areas, however, jobs is no longer an issue for retirees. If space is important to the retirees, they can have more in the countryside and maybe even a small town. If space is not that important (or even a drawback because of the maintenance), and if walkability is important, cities and small towns will be attractive.
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Old 01-11-2014, 10:17 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
45,992 posts, read 42,037,172 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
For the retirees who do decide to move, what are the odds they'll move to the suburbs? The main advantage of the suburbs is you can have space while still being close to the jobs of large metropolitan areas, however, jobs is no longer an issue for retirees. If space is important to the retirees, they can have more in the countryside and maybe even a small town. If space is not that important (or even a drawback because of the maintenance), and if walkability is important, cities and small towns will be attractive.
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Unless they have friends and family already in the suburbs or in the big city of the metro area but wish to live in less crowded location. [Thinking of a relative at retirement age who lived in upstate NY but moved to suburbs in downstate NY because both his children are there, one in NYC, the other Long Island].
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