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Old 02-17-2014, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Population loss for St Louis was still worse closer to downtown than further from downtown though, but within that pattern, the North was worse than the South.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Michigan
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
What I meant was that Detroit's decay was downtown-centric: the worst decay was immediately outside of downtown and gets progressively less worse from there. St. Louis does not display that pattern, neither does Philadelphia, where most of the city decline but the worst spots were not right next to Center City, but centered in several distinct clusters. Manhattan suffered plenty of decay, but the worst of NYC's decay was centered in a ring (Harlem, South Bronx, much of North Brooklyn) and usually got better further away from there.
I know. I meant that Detroit's seems that way because of the concentration of industrial land use around the core of the city assuming most blue-collar workers lived adjacent to where they worked. Therefore a loss of industrial jobs would correlate to a declining resident population in the corresponding neighborhoods. Although it's probably is a bit more complicated than that, I'd imagine.

I just figure it has less to do with the location of downtown than with the major source of jobs which for Detroit was the heavy industrial.

Although going back to when you mentioned Detroit having the largest department tore outside NYC, the retail downtown did start to decline when regional malls were built out in the suburbs during the 50s. Then during the 60s, that's when some pretty huge office parks were built in the suburbs and led to the decline of downtown's office market. I guess that could be attributed to freeway development, but I still contend that it only affected future populations of the metro and not the population that was already present in the city.
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:33 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
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Los Angeles is bad, just endless sprawl with poor public transportation.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by memph View Post
Population loss for St Louis was still worse closer to downtown than further from downtown though, but within that pattern, the North was worse than the South.
I think St. Louis has quite a few bad examples of urban planning. The streets in North City are all set at odd angles with each other, and the grid up there is set up in a very bizarre manner. Also, Highway 44 cutting through South City and sandwiching the homes north of it between itself and the industrial corridor around the RR tracks was a horrible idea.
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Old 10-16-2014, 08:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
I think St. Louis has quite a few bad examples of urban planning. The streets in North City are all set at odd angles with each other, and the grid up there is set up in a very bizarre manner. Also, Highway 44 cutting through South City and sandwiching the homes north of it between itself and the industrial corridor around the RR tracks was a horrible idea.
This thread is old but I just remembered the worst urban planning mistake of all time: the tearing down of Mill Creek Valley.

For those of you who don't know, Mill Creek Valley was a neighborhood in St. Louis adjacent to downtown, bounded by Olive St to the north, Union Station to the east, Grand Ave to the west, and the Mopac/Frisco RR tracks to the south. It was made of very old housing stock, mostly rowhomes, dating to the mid-19th century, and looked a lot like Lafayette Square (albeit much larger). It was architecturally gorgeous, and perfectly walkable. Many of the homes, however, lacked plumbing, with some even lacking electricity. Now this was no big deal, as the city had just undergone in the late 40s and early 50s a program to install such systems in homes on the South side of the city. But the neighborhood of Mill Creek had one key difference from these neighborhoods, one that would be fatal:

It was populated almost entirely by southern blacks.

The current demographics of Mill Creek valley had arisen from the Great Migration, by southern blacks looking for the abundance of WWII manufacturing jobs in the industrial mecca that was St. Louis. The only housing they could really afford, and were allowed to live in according to the racial housing codes of the time, were the worn rowhomes of MCV. However, as more southern blacks moved in, MCV became more and more crowded. So city leaders declared it a "dilapidated slum."

So did they decide to fix the slum? Did they decide to set the stage for social upbringing for the poor blacks? Of course not! This is the 1950s, and ignorance ruled the urban planning sector. They tore MCV down in 1959-yes, the whole neighborhood-and replaced it with a highway, office parks, parking lots, and "new" 50s-style planned townhomes (which became dilapidated shortly after they were built). Not one building remains from Mill Creek Valley.

Meanwhile, the former residents of MCV were lost. Their community institutions such as the black YMCA, locally-owned bakeries & shops, theaters, etc. were gone. The very fabric of their community torn apart, the institutions for building the connections they needed to escape poverty ripped down, they had nowhere to go. So the majority of them migrated to the city's north side, around the middle-class black community in The Ville and Greater Ville neighborhoods, as well as into north side neighborhoods inhabited by the descendants of German, Polish, and other Eastern European immigrants. These white residents, possessed by the ignorance, prejudice, and xenophobia that plagued the 1950s, bailed immediately from their city neighborhoods to the suburbs when blacks moved in. Cue White flight, which gave us the dilapidated and crime-infested north side we have today.

Great job guys!!!
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