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Old 02-15-2014, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,523,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I suspect there were too many other factors that led to its decline.
True, there is other factors, like putting all their eggs in one basket for industry, but I think things would have been different for the city if they had protected more of their urban fabric by building a subway or elevated rail system rather than most of the highways that were built, as well as the amount of surface parking lots needed for those drivers.

Granted at this point it is all just speculation and the is probably no chance Detroit will ever get any sort of subway or elevated rail system, as most the city could get a light rail line, but from what I know of Detroit, even that is a long shot.

Personally I think Cleveland as a better chance of bouncing back than Detroit does.
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:04 PM
 
1,709 posts, read 1,674,850 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletchman View Post
No doubt. But was there ever an interurban rail or trolley system in Detroit prior to 1946?
There was. Quoting Wikipedia (History of Detroit), "1930 - Detroit's electric streetcar systems peaks in size with 30 lines stretching over 534 miles."

And then: "1956 - Electric streetcar service discontinued on Detroits last line along Woodward Avenue."

Also, have you ever read about this? Seems kind of relevant to the issue.
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Old 02-16-2014, 06:34 AM
 
Location: Issaquah WA
218 posts, read 343,934 times
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the vast majority of Charlotte NC. I would be hard-pressed to choose one spot. The parking lots are famous, the parking decks collapse, the roads are laughable. By the time I left I was convinced they hire all the flunkies to design their parking lots. It's maddening.
They tried to build an outer loop. Built one section of it and then were supposed to start building another. Had to abandon that bc the first, small section was so poorly planned it's constant gridlock every day. I lived there for almost 9 years and they have not completed either widening the first 1/4 or the rest of it.
Then there's the public schools that OPEN with trailers bc they're already way overcrowded and the fact that there is virtually no history left. Everything has been torn down and replaced with fugly cookie cutter neighborhoods and matching fugly strip malls. Seattle feels much older, which is bizarre bc Charlotte's been around.
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,761,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalex View Post
Then there's the public schools that OPEN with trailers bc they're already way overcrowded and the fact that there is virtually no history left. Everything has been torn down and replaced with fugly cookie cutter neighborhoods and matching fugly strip malls. Seattle feels much older, which is bizarre bc Charlotte's been around.
I don't know about opening with trailers (maybe in Brampton?) but many schools around here will pick up a dozen portables by the time they're a few years old, usually around the time their service area has reached built out. Maybe they're hoping the school age population starts decreasing as the number of empty nesters increases and so they don't think it's worth building the capacity for just a few years?
http://goo.gl/maps/l18oL
http://goo.gl/maps/OWuCa
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:42 PM
 
12,299 posts, read 15,196,725 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Robert Moses.
Amen to that. Of course Moses never had to endure his planning mistakes since he never learned to drive.
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:54 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
45,988 posts, read 41,967,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
Amen to that. Of course Moses never had to endure his planning mistakes since he never learned to drive.
Don't building large housing projects have much affect on driving. As for Moses' roads, they're not bad for drivers, others who living right nearby or not driving not as much.
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Michigan
4,571 posts, read 7,034,245 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
absolutely not true:



And the last part is unbelievable - the highways became the expressways for wealthy leaving the city. It was by far the worst decision ever made in a city know for making a lot of terrible decisions.
I'm not sure how that map makes what I said untrue. The radial roads are planned, but the side streets are not. An older picture map show a smaller city with gaps in development and even streets that don't line up.

http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/wi...etroit1835.jpg

Anyway, that besides the point. As far as the wealth leaving the city, well, they always lived outside of the city. Suburbs like Grosse Pointe and Bloomfield Hills had existed at the same time Detroit did and they were always going to be there growing semi-independently.

A big reason for Detroit's lack of wealth is because much of inner-city was filled with factories. Being the hugely industrial city that it was, it wasn't really all that attractive for affluent people to live there anyway. As far as urban planning goes, there isn't too much you can do to create a mixed-use mixed-income neighborhood with heavy industry involved unless you want some serious health issues for the residents.

http://photos.imageevent.com/moparno...odge%20map.jpg
http://photos.imageevent.com/moparno...lant%20map.jpg
http://photos.imageevent.com/moparno...e/Chrysler.jpg
http://atdetroit.net/forum/messages/6790/41570.jpg

And in fact, Detroit freeways were primarily built to connect these factories and make freight shipping easier while at the same time making travel to and from downtown easier. They may be overbuilt and somewhat redundant, but that was the nature of the situation during when they were built.

The population of the city was going to decline and sprawl regardless because factories take up a lot of space, are often unpleasant/unhealthy to live near, and the nature of an economy shifting away from manufacturing which is outside the control of urban planning.
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Old 02-17-2014, 06:15 AM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,955,202 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
NYC is a fantastically planned city (not everyone's cup of tea, but its greatness can not be overstated). Arguable Boston, SF, Chicago and DC approach European cities in urban design (notable flaws with each, but generally great places).
Manhattan wasn't really planned until most of it was already built. Lower Manhattan is medieval in layout - dating to the 1620s - not much different from Boston really. Everything south of Houston St. was built out before the grid plan came into being. The plan for Central Park (ca. 1860) was an afterthought - a reaction to the awful excesses, monotony and horror of the 59 blocks below it - a part of the city distinctly short on any sort of open space. Much of what exists now as open space outside of Central Park is the result of planning trying to fix the development errors of the past.

I think people tend to confuse "planning" with "development". Or, to quote Lewis Mumford, "With a T-square and a triangle, finally, the municipal engineer, without the slightest training as either an architect or a sociologist, could "plan" a metropolis..." Mumford, among others, assailed what he called "the Philadelphia plan" (a grid city) as a simplistic plan cooked up by real estate interests. His contemporary, Sam Bass Warner said the same thing, "[The grid] was an ideal method, since it treated all land similarly, for a real estate market composed of hundreds of land speculators and home builders and thousands of petty landlords."

Daniel Burnham's plan for San Francisco was practically run out of town by real estate interests because it deviated from the grid they had already started.

Most of Boston, with the notable exception of Back Bay, happened organically. Philadelphia had an original plan with ample public open space, minimum lot sizes, setback requirements, etc most of which was promptly ignored by developers and subdividers. When the city grew beyond its boundaries the grid was simply extended, minus the parks or any other amenities. When the Philadelphia grid ran into the grid of the other boroughs in Philadelphia County the streets simply met at funny angles.

DC is really the only city among them that was well and truly planned - by Pierre L'Enfant, who was influenced by the Parisian landscape and urban designers of the time. While L'Enfant's plan remained mostly intact major features were still left out because they weren't convenient for the developers. Same goes for Ildefons Cerda's "L'Eixample" in Barcelona, Haussmann's Paris, Burnham's Chicago, etc.

Most of the older parts of European cities, especially the touristy parts with large pedestrian only areas weren't planned at all. They just happened over the course of the last 800-2500 years.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:02 PM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,715,489 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animatedmartian View Post
I'm not sure how that map makes what I said untrue. The radial roads are planned, but the side streets are not. An older picture map show a smaller city with gaps in development and even streets that don't line up.

http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/wi...etroit1835.jpg

Anyway, that besides the point. As far as the wealth leaving the city, well, they always lived outside of the city. Suburbs like Grosse Pointe and Bloomfield Hills had existed at the same time Detroit did and they were always going to be there growing semi-independently.

A big reason for Detroit's lack of wealth is because much of inner-city was filled with factories. Being the hugely industrial city that it was, it wasn't really all that attractive for affluent people to live there anyway. As far as urban planning goes, there isn't too much you can do to create a mixed-use mixed-income neighborhood with heavy industry involved unless you want some serious health issues for the residents.

http://photos.imageevent.com/moparno...odge%20map.jpg
http://photos.imageevent.com/moparno...lant%20map.jpg
http://photos.imageevent.com/moparno...e/Chrysler.jpg
http://atdetroit.net/forum/messages/6790/41570.jpg

And in fact, Detroit freeways were primarily built to connect these factories and make freight shipping easier while at the same time making travel to and from downtown easier. They may be overbuilt and somewhat redundant, but that was the nature of the situation during when they were built.

The population of the city was going to decline and sprawl regardless because factories take up a lot of space, are often unpleasant/unhealthy to live near, and the nature of an economy shifting away from manufacturing which is outside the control of urban planning.
Your radial streets notwithstanding, your map, as mine, indicates detroit had and excellent (if not perfect) grid prior to 1945, exactly as I stated.

Every freeway that went up in Detroit exported people to the suburbs. It went from a vibrant city of 2Million to a bankrupt city of 700k. BTW - the suburbs didn't lose their population, so you can't ascribe this to industry leaving.

What made travel to and from downtown easier was the massive depopulation of downtown. So, mission accomplished? Congrats? Detroit solved congestion by making the city so unappealing no body wanted in anymore.

Well done.
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Old 02-17-2014, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Michigan
4,571 posts, read 7,034,245 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
Your radial streets notwithstanding, your map, as mine, indicates detroit had and excellent (if not perfect) grid prior to 1945, exactly as I stated.

Every freeway that went up in Detroit exported people to the suburbs. It went from a vibrant city of 2Million to a bankrupt city of 700k. BTW - the suburbs didn't lose their population, so you can't ascribe this to industry leaving.

What made travel to and from downtown easier was the massive depopulation of downtown. So, mission accomplished? Congrats? Detroit solved congestion by making the city so unappealing no body wanted in anymore.

Well done.
When the freeways were built, people were able to move farther out than than they would have without the freeway, but it made little difference to the depopulation of the city; the downtown area had stopped growing as early as the Great Depression and there's much evidence of parking lots that have existed and have grown in number since then. The fact of the matter is that Detroit had a weak downtown and there wasn't much appeal for people to live near it.
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