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Old 01-13-2014, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
543 posts, read 1,004,292 times
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I think desnsity and walkability are really indicative of how livable an area is. It's about quality of life for many who are tired of the long distance driving between malls and shopping strips. There is a trend to want to slow down the pace of life; live closer to work and to shopping. Free up drive time. Make choices that feel better, calmer.
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:57 PM
 
56,811 posts, read 81,169,050 times
Reputation: 12565
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
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
Here is a street view of the village of Marcellus, which could fit in with any New England state:
http://goo.gl/maps/GxF03
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:18 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,738,725 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
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.
I think so. There are lots of people that just prefer public schools. The closest high school to me has made huge strides in the past 8 years I have lived in the neighborhood. But we have a really big gap between the haves and have nots. My area is pretty mixed income. The really bad high schools are in miles and miles of poverty with little economic opportunity on the radar. I worry about those schools a lot.

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.
I think it is important to be near. (In walking distance) of the stuff you go to most often. You don't need to buy clothing or housewares that often.

I go to the grocery store, drug store and the coffee shop a couple times a week. (Post office, dry cleaning, farmers market are regular stops too of course). Most of the "main streets" in my region have grocery, drug store, post office and cafés. Some have boutiques. Others have butchers, produce stands, cheese shops and bakeries.

We'd save so many car trips if people could just walk or bike to drop their kids off at school, get their groceries and buy their sundries.
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Old 01-14-2014, 05:31 AM
 
45 posts, read 59,993 times
Reputation: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
There is a pretty wide selection of affordable eco friendly cars now days
Traffic is worse in cities that are more dense compared to spread out cities
Building roads and freeways is much cheaper than building rail lines and train cars
I think there are many reasons why walkability is a factor that is being reexamined these days. For one thing, it's healthier. Our country suffers from much higher rates of obesity than other civilized nations. Fresh air is healthier, especially when it's not so polluted. Yes, there are more eco-friendly cars, but they need parking spaces. All those parking spaces are taking up valuable room that could be used for other purposes, whether for bicycling, walking, shops, or community gathering places. Sprawl is expensive. Density is anti-sprawl. The more sprawl, the more driving, the more pollution, the more highways.

Personally I prefer living in rural areas. I like wide open spaces, my own well water, my privacy. I owned a place outside of town, and there as no public transportation. Had to drive great distances to get to doctors' offices, school, my job, and to the airport or other transit hubs. And I am getting too old and my health is not great anymore, so I need neighbors, community, social connections, and that's hard to come by when you live in an isolated location. I don't like driving so much anymore.

We made a change and moved to a college town, still near the country side but it's highly walkable. I've come to appreciate my new life, with a rail trail for walking, a bus station to go to major cities, and a bus loop for errands around town, and the events and social activities that are happening constantly within my easy reach. I love being able to walk to the post office, to get a loaf of bread, to get coffee and talk to the people who live in the town.

Do I want to live in a big metro? Not really, to be honest. I am retired, my son is a student. We can't afford a big city. This walkable, dense little downtown works well for us. Thankfully there are buses just 1/10 a mile away, plenty of churches, supermarkets, scenic views, and people of all ages. We're OK here. When we need to get to NYC, we take the local bus to the train station, and that's how we get to the city.

I agree with you about costs to build rail lines, except we have to consider that if more people used them, there might be less pollution, less parking issues, and more cost efficiencies. On the other hand, many argue for the benefits of rapid transit and that fuel-efficient and cleaner buses are less costly to put into play. I can understand that too. Either way, the benefit is that mass transit moves large numbers of people to their jobs in the cities. (And there are certainly more jobs in most cities, than there are out in the suburbs.)

Also consider the aging boomers, the huge wave of them, that at some point may not be able to drive for medical reasons, and that isolation for them is not healthy.

Just random thoughts.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:23 AM
 
Location: Poshawa, Ontario
2,986 posts, read 3,329,261 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bler144 View Post
It can simply be a perceived 'quality of life' issue (i.e. opinion), but as others have noted there can be tangible and measurable impacts.

The cost of owning/maintaining/driving/parking a vehicle can add up in real dollars once you think about registration, gas, insurance, maintenance, repairs, etc. If you're in a major urban area the cost of parking can run $20/day. In some cases it can be net positive to live somewhere with a slightly higher cost of living if you can afford to reduce the miles you drive or moreso the number of cars your household owns.
Many of these costs are significantly lower outside of major urban centers, especially insurance and parking.

OP: I think the reason you are asking is because like me, you cannot fathom why anyone would want to pay a premium to live in an overpriced, restrictive space while dealing with constant noise, pollution, high crime, homeless bums and pest issues simply so you can feel good about not owning a car.

People can pretend they are "greener" for not owning a car and living in the city all they want. The reality is that from an environmental standpoint, subburbs pollute considerably less per square mile than cities PERIOD. Excessive pollution is always the end result when you cram as many humans is possible in the smallest area you can.
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, Ga
1,886 posts, read 1,907,507 times
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It was actually the more recent fad to rush to the suburbs and escape cities. Remember suburbs d7dnt rly pop up like thst until after WW2. For thousands of years before this you either lived in the city, or were a farmer out in the country. I thinks its only right we get back to that. If we keep up with this suburban mess, gas will be 10$ a gallon, cars 70k, commutes 3 hours +, and there will be no undeveloped space left anywhere
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:11 AM
 
113 posts, read 127,912 times
Reputation: 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annuvin View Post
People can pretend they are "greener" for not owning a car and living in the city all they want. The reality is that from an environmental standpoint, subburbs pollute considerably less per square mile than cities PERIOD. Excessive pollution is always the end result when you cram as many humans is possible in the smallest area you can.

You're looking at the wrong metric. It shouldn't be by square mile, but per capita.
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:26 AM
 
Location: Poshawa, Ontario
2,986 posts, read 3,329,261 times
Reputation: 5622
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoathere View Post
You're looking at the wrong metric. It shouldn't be by square mile, but per capita.
Really? From a per capita standpoint, Canada is a worse polluter than China. That in itself is a foolish belief when you consider much of the air in China is toxic and their CO2 emissions are exponentially larger by the raw ton. As for the urban/suburban argument, I can see the smog over Toronto from Oshawa on a summer day. But I guess that make it a healthier environment when you look at the problem "per capita".
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:49 AM
 
1,999 posts, read 2,939,725 times
Reputation: 2153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annuvin View Post
Many of these costs are significantly lower outside of major urban centers, especially insurance and parking.

OP: I think the reason you are asking is because like me, you cannot fathom why anyone would want to pay a premium to live in an overpriced, restrictive space while dealing with constant noise, pollution, high crime, homeless bums and pest issues simply so you can feel good about not owning a car.

People can pretend they are "greener" for not owning a car and living in the city all they want. The reality is that from an environmental standpoint, subburbs pollute considerably less per square mile than cities PERIOD. Excessive pollution is always the end result when you cram as many humans is possible in the smallest area you can.

You're completely wrong. Suburbs are much dirtier than cities. Green Cities, Brown Suburbs by Edward L. Glaeser, City Journal Winter 2009
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Chicago
3,391 posts, read 3,747,866 times
Reputation: 7795
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?
Because density and walkability have an enormous impact on the character of your day to day life. It defines your whole way of life. And if you you grew up in a dense walkable city, as I did, shifting to an auto-centric city is just utterly miserable. Auto-centric cities are lonely, ugly, soul-less places. It doesn't matter what else such a place has to offer. For me, a place that is not dense and walkable is not a place I would ever want to live.
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