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Old 01-10-2014, 01:33 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
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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?
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:41 PM
 
Location: roaming gnome
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Walkability is important, density not as much. Density is just a good gauge at quickly finding possible walkable places, it can be dense and not walkable. People want to live in cities where they can walk to places and built around people. Many downtowns were very walkable, but density fairly low, albeit growing in last 10 years. Many rich old home historic neighborhoods are walkable and not dense. Many dense suburban areas that are living lots of multi families are dense on paper but not walkable.
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
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It is relatively rare in this country.
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:00 PM
 
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I think gas prices, people more environmentally conscious and there is more emphasis on restoration/going back to basics, in a sense, that has something to do with it.
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
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Generally speaking, I think density and walkability have become much more in vogue in the US in recent years due to several different factors:

Cost-Benefit Reasons

- The growing expenses of owning a car (fuel and insurance).
- Traffic congestion/commuting times beginning to severely affect quality of life.
- Cost of building/maintaining auto infrastructure is simply not sustainable at current rates.

Cultural Reasons

- Placing higher value on unique, historic places (which by and large are our urban cores) in an era of "sameness" and globalization.
- Valuing more social interaction/connection/experiences and "cultural enrichment" -- this is much better facilitated by in an urban/walkable environment than a less-dense environment.

It's important to note that prior to the great era of suburbanization in the US, density/walkability weren't seen as "trendy" -- it was the norm. It just seems that we are finally returning to those roots.
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:18 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duderino View Post
Generally speaking, I think density and walkability have become much more in vogue in the US in recent years due to several different factors:

Financially-related

- The growing expenses of owning a car (fuel and insurance).
- Traffic congestion/commuting times beginning to severely affect quality of life.
- Cost of building/maintaining auto infrastructure is simply not sustainable at current rates.
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
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:22 PM
 
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Maybe because this forum naturally attracts urbanites who want to or desire to live in highly walkable and fairly dense areas? Houston, Dallas, and Atlanta may have low COL and jobs, but they lack a walkable urban fabric that many on this forum want...
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
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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 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.
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
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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
1. Electric cars are a good start, but the charging infrastructure for those is still extremely limited. The "affordable" models are still not cheap, either. I am sure with time they will become cheaper, though. However, this does not address the cost of insurance.

2. If you look on this list of the most congested US corridors, you'll see that traffic congestion affects essentially every major city in the country: INRIX National Traffic Scorecard. This is not only in dense cities.

3. Building heavy rail and train lines vs. highways per mile is likely more up front, but you have to account for capacity. A given mile of train/rail line can handle multiple times more people at any moment than a highway mile. If you consider "cost per person per mile," I don't think there's a question that public transportation would have the edge.
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:47 PM
 
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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.
Some people may just like the people, the noise, and the exciting, bustling nature of cities.
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