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Old 01-13-2014, 06:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Though a city neighborhood (or walkable neighborhood) where the neighborhood commercial district is in walking distance would also describe jade408's post. Downtown wouldn't be in walking distance, but perhaps a transit ride from the neighborhood.

Urban areas seem to have two different types of business districts, especially looking at the more pedestrian oriented ones: shops lined along a commercial street, or concentrated within a neighborhood center. Boston is a mix of both, but more concentrated in certain spots, called "squares", though the squares are usually just intersections not the type you're thinking about. Outer London is definitely the neighborhood center type.

==================================================

Going back to New England towns, so it was mentioned, I'd like to post more. Many towns over 1000 people had industry. This town of 2000 people in a rural area had this wool textile mill building (built 1860s)



From what I've seen of upstate NY, something like that would be less common there and I assume in the Midwest much rarer. Many of the houses in a town like that weren't single family detached, but two-family or slightly larger, which I'd guess would be less common in a small town in the Midwest. Another surprise I found was a dam in rural Vermont, just north of the state border, that used to power a mill. Ran from the 1830s till about 1920, it powered among things, a chair factory. There's not even a town around it, just a cluster of houses. The surrounding roads are all unpaved, it's about 5 miles to the nearest paved road, let alone the nearest town.



[dam underneath covered bridge]; both photos taken by me

In both of these places, and in other small town factories, they were usually placed near a water source, as falling water provided an easy source of power for early industry. Not sure what western PA is like, it sounds like the industry there was larger-scale and it industrialized later. An article I founded about researchers discovering the layout of former agricultural areas in New England using aerial views/maps:

Lasers Unearth Lost 'Agropolis' of New England | Science/AAAS | News

The New England rural population peaked around 1830, the towns that built mills didn't lose population or continued to grow, while those that didn't had heavy losses afterwards. They moved either to larger towns or cities or places with better farmland like the Midwest.
In Upstate NY, many communities had paper mills like many villages near Watertown and many other villages like Marcellus and Fayetteville had mills at one time as well. So, such places are/were present here too. Here's what happened in Marcellus: Upper Crown Mill Condominiums MCK Building Associates, Inc.

Welcome to Flickr!

In Marcellus, crumbling Crown Mills tumbles down
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Actually what I find happens is, younger families (i.e.people with kids under about 12) have a reasonable likelihood of sending their kids to public school. But since middle schools and high schools in Oakland have historically been really crappy.....they end up moving away somewhere between ages 8-12 to a place with better schools (or go private). Middle class + families in Oakland send their kids to private school starting around age 10-12. But the schools have been improving, so this might shift in a few years too. There are tons of good elementary schools these days, and the overall API scores have increased 15-20% every year for about the past 8 or so.

The demographics (and social class) of the students in Oakland, particularly the older ones, do not reflect the overall city demographics. But the elementary schools are actually pretty reflective of the community.
So you think maybe the age at which students are taken out of the public school system could continue gradually rising as the number of middle class + families increase? Eventually even keeping them in public schools through high school? That could be one mechanism for breaking the vicious cycle.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:13 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Though a city neighborhood (or walkable neighborhood) where the neighborhood commercial district is in walking distance would also describe jade408's post. Downtown wouldn't be in walking distance, but perhaps a transit ride from the neighborhood.


Urban areas seem to have two different types of business districts, especially looking at the more pedestrian oriented ones: shops lined along a commercial street, or concentrated within a neighborhood center. Boston is a mix of both, but more concentrated in certain spots, called "squares", though the squares are usually just intersections not the type you're thinking about. Outer London is definitely the neighborhood center type.

Yeah, I guess, though these little business areas are hardly the kind of place where you can meet all your needs. You can rarely buy clothes, shoes, housewares, and the like at places like that. They tend to trend more towards restaurants, boutiques that sell a lot of bric a brac and specialty stuff, professional offices (lawyers, hairdressers), stuff like that.

==================================================

Going back to New England towns, so it was mentioned, I'd like to post more. Many towns over 1000 people had industry. This town of 2000 people in a rural area had this wool textile mill building (built 1860s)



From what I've seen of upstate NY, something like that would be less common there and I assume in the Midwest much rarer. Many of the houses in a town like that weren't single family detached, but two-family or slightly larger, which I'd guess would be less common in a small town in the Midwest. Another surprise I found was a dam in rural Vermont, just north of the state border, that used to power a mill. Ran from the 1830s till about 1920, it powered among things, a chair factory. There's not even a town around it, just a cluster of houses. The surrounding roads are all unpaved, it's about 5 miles to the nearest paved road, let alone the nearest town.

There are some factories in the larger midwestern towns, but there are a lot of little farm towns with not much other than a grain elevator, a grocery store, and a few shops. Some roads in Illinois farm country are gravel, or have only one paved lane. Usually, that's not a problem, but if two cars come together from opposite directions, someone has to move over to the unpaved side.



[dam underneath covered bridge]; both photos taken by me

Nice pictures.

In both of these places, and in other small town factories, they were usually placed near a water source, as falling water provided an easy source of power for early industry. Not sure what western PA is like, it sounds like the industry there was larger-scale and it industrialized later. An article I founded about researchers discovering the layout of former agricultural areas in New England using aerial views/maps:

Lasers Unearth Lost 'Agropolis' of New England | Science/AAAS | News

The New England rural population peaked around 1830, the towns that built mills didn't lose population or continued to grow, while those that didn't had heavy losses afterwards. They moved either to larger towns or cities or places with better farmland like the Midwest.
Mine in blue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
That's more the realm of politicians than urban planners. We have your alphabet soup governmental bodies that control the purse strings for transit spending. California is very top down in that local taxes don't really exist here. For example, 1% of sales taxes are earmarked for transportation spending on the local level. That all goes through your MTC or equivalent. So if you're not playing well with, say, SACOG, which has determined that most housing will be multi-unit, you don't ever see that money. The reality is the purse strings aren't that much. Roseville and El Dorado which don't play well with SACOG just have Mello-Roos. They both have their own transit agencies (as does Elk Grove). They were all fairly recently formed as a means of ensuring that those areas actually saw transit revenue go to them from the state-mandated sales tax they collect. In 2010 the local component of the gas tax was abolished. It now all goes up to the state's general fund. Take Roseville. Right now the state "gives" them $5 million a year for road maintenance, the majority of that is money that is "given" to them that was formerly the local gas tax component that used to be theirs prior to the 2009 gas tax raids. That's a lot of money subject entirely to the whims of politicians.

San Francisco doesn't really have market-rate housing. It exists for SFH only in the city, and there's no room for that aside from tearing down and rebuilding. Any new construction much bigger than that else is above-market rate or below-market rate. That does directly increase the costs.


Charter schools are also a wrench in that. They're most common in failed public school systems. I don't really like it, but what are you going to do? Charter schools mean middle-class families that couldn't afford to pay for private schools may remain. It also just perpetuates the self-selection process and means poor parents have a way out provided their kid is smart enough to get in and they have the means to get them to the school. For parents that lack the means (say a single mother working two jobs who can't play taxi) or just don't care... well, it's just that much worse for those that remain.
There are a number of problems with charter schools. For the most part, students at charter schools do no better than children in neighborhood school, especially if you adjust for SES. Slots are limited. So it's not just the kids whose parents can't transport them or just don't care, not everyone can get a space in one. Charters seem to work better if a certain number of seats are reserved for the neighorhood kids, or kids on free/reduced lunches, or some variable that makes them a little more egalitarian.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:17 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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I'm puzzled what you're referring to:

Quote:
Yeah, I guess, though these little business areas are hardly the kind of place where you can meet all your needs. You can rarely buy clothes, shoes, housewares, and the like at places like that. They tend to trend more towards restaurants, boutiques that sell a lot of bric a brac and specialty stuff, professional offices (lawyers, hairdressers), stuff like that.
I was referring to whether a city concentrates its local shops along a long commercial strip, or in neighborhood centers, just how a city places its shops.

Quote:
There are some factories in the larger midwestern towns, but there are a lot of little farm towns with not much other than a grain elevator, a grocery store, and a few shops. Some roads in Illinois farm country are gravel, or have only one paved lane. Usually, that's not a problem, but if two cars come together from opposite directions, someone has to move over to the unpaved side.
A bit what I expected, most of the roads up in the hills in New England are unpaved, as there's not enough population to support paving. I read somewhere 2/3rds of Vermont roads are unpaved, of course the busier roads are paved. From remember of what I've seen out west, unpaved roads are rarer, and often limited to National Forest or similar areas.

Quote:
Nice pictures.
thanks
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:21 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I'm puzzled what you're referring to:



I was referring to whether a city concentrates its local shops along a long commercial strip, or in neighborhood centers, just how a city places its shops.
I was originally responding to a post about being within walking distance of the "town square". (I believe that was the term used.) I've found a lot of these neighborhood in-city business districts to be mostly bars, restaurants, boutiques, etc, not really town gathering places, e.g. library, post office, grocery store, Target or equivalent, etc.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:26 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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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I was originally responding to a post about being within walking distance of the "town square". (I believe that was the term used.) I've found a lot of these neighborhood in-city business districts to be mostly bars, restaurants, boutiques, etc, not really town gathering places, e.g. library, post office, grocery store, Target or equivalent, etc.
Hmm. I've found that to be more the case for suburban "walkable downtown" districts ( though the ones in Long Island I can think of usually have the library and post office there) rather than neighborhood in-city business district, which tend to be a mix of practical and boutique (or if less yuppie very little boutique). Outside of downtown, where else would shops be besides neighborhood business districts?
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:32 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Hmm. I've found that to be more the case for suburban "walkable downtown" districts ( though the ones in Long Island I can think of usually have the library and post office there) rather than neighborhood in-city business district, which tend to be a mix of practical and boutique (or if less yuppie very little boutique). Outside of downtown, where else would shops be besides neighborhood business districts?
In Denver, there are some "big box" places in the city, with Lowe's, Home Depot, Target, etc. There are generally no clothing stores, shoe stores and the like in these places, except for the boutique element.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
The problem is once a city gets that gentrified, the cost of housing for a family (rather than a childless couple) gets much higher and the city becomes a big deal. And it seems like these days there is more interest in urban living from younger, childless adults* than families, regardless of schools. And there are enough interest these days I think it's possible to have a city almost entirely out of middle class childless adults. Because as a city gentrifies it'll attracts disproportionately childless adults, the end result of your trend will be a place with very few children. San Francisco is among the wealthiest cities in the nation. Families income is higher than the median household income (30% of families earn less than $50k/year, median is $88k/year). Their schools are better than most cities, but still generally worse their suburbs. Seattle is another city with a small poverty concentration, dunno what it's schools are like. Portland's poorer, its schools might be ok.
Young professionals do inevitably get older, and most childless people eventually have children. Only around one in five women, for example, is still childless by their 40s. Many of the oldest gentrified neighborhoods in NYC and San Francisco have fairly middle-aged populations today. So I think it's inevitable that a fair number of "urbanists" will age in place (particularly if they own or get rent control) and change the characteristics of their neighborhood. The number of kids will rise slowly, and the number of 20somethings will drop somewhat more rapidly (they'll find somewhere else where not as many old heads hang out).
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
In Denver, there are some "big box" places in the city, with Lowe's, Home Depot, Target, etc. There are generally no clothing stores, shoe stores and the like in these places, except for the boutique element.
Corso Italia in Toronto is full of clothing and shoe stores. http://goo.gl/maps/0jUl0

Maybe it depends on the demographics of shoppers? If there are limitted shopping streets/town square areas in a city they might attract higher end shoppers leading to more boutiques? New York on the other hand has a huge supply of these sorts of shopping areas so they can't all be of the boutique element (especially in the outer boroughs).

Within Toronto, College W is largely as you describe while Dundas W, St Clair W and Eglinton W are much less boutique and more varied.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:56 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
In Denver, there are some "big box" places in the city, with Lowe's, Home Depot, Target, etc. There are generally no clothing stores, shoe stores and the like in these places, except for the boutique element.
true, big box stores killed off a lot of smaller shops. And they're big to locate in older commercial districts. Still, smaller shops still exist and have to be in the neighborhood. I still see some smaller clothing stores, hardware store*, clothing store in many town centers or city neighborhoods still around. Outer London is particularly good at having normal shops. NYC is decent, though for bigger clothing shops one might make a trip into Manhattan rather than going to a big box store (though the latter exist too). Here's one:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Astor...,11.33,,0,8.31

shoe store among other normal stores. And across the street, a Sleepy's. Why does it seem like NYC has a Sleepy's every half a mile? Bedbugs? Also a bakery, hardware store, some type of pediatric care place, pharmacy, bank, furniture store, another shoe store, dentist radio shack and lots of places to eat. There's a big box electronic store at the very end of the road, with parking.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=5th+A...,199.19,,0,3.2

similar mix of small practical shops, but it's a poor hispanic neighborhood. A lot of signs in Spanish. Actually, since there's not much money, it's probably less full of boutiques than much of suburbia. Not much hip at all, but there are hispanic street vendors and occasional hispanic music blasted onto the street from somewhere.

here's an outer London one I'm familiar with:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=edgew...211.1,,0,-2.65

lots of practical shops, not particularly boutique-y. There's a supermarket with free parking for customers in a back garage, I can't remember how they check. Also a very small indoor mall. But walk a half a mile away and the shops end. Which is what I meant by "neighborhood center" as opposed to a "commercial street". For example, that 5th avenue (2nd NY link) has shops almost its entire length, continuing on to adjacent neighborhoods.

*My town's hardware store claims to have been around since 1796, though not the same location
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