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Old 07-01-2014, 07:19 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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^^I think you misunderstood what I meant by my previous post. The urbanists on this forum, which skew towards the young male chidfree demographic, simply don't care about the schools. Many have said as much. They don't think schools have anything to do with urban planning. No matter that in decades past, the schools were the key to joining the middle class, etc. The cities don't run the schools, they say. Now most of them are all excited about transit, and the cities don't run the transit usually either, but "that's different". At most they say charters and magnets are the way to go. These schools may have their place, but they can't guarantee a spot to everyone who wants to access them. For those poor souls, tough beans. Deal.

See these two posts below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by SportyandMisty View Post
A common theme I see in this thread is an assumption that, if affluent urban neighborhoods don't have as many children as the poster would like, that is evidence that there is a problem that needs to be solved by any number of policy decisions.

I don't see a problem that needs to be solved. Nothing needs to be done.

What problem do you see that needs to be solved -- and why is it a problem that needs solving???
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I think the logical answer here is the status quo means the death of city neighborhoods as true communities, and the transformation of them into mere domiciles.

Let's consider a hypothetical gentrified neighborhood with little to no family presence. A large proportion of the population will be young (22-34 year old) professionals, many of whom will only be in the neighborhood as part of a short stint of their life, moving to somewhere else (either with better schools, or lower housing costs) once they breed - or perhaps even if they do not, if they find themselves aging out of the social scene. A smaller proportion of the population will be made up of older individuals and couples who chose not to have children, and perhaps a salting of empty nesters who decided to move to the city once their children were grown.

Parents, and children, change the equation slightly. Kids end up hanging out with other kids in the neighborhood to some degree, which makes one become at least passing acquaintances with their neighbors. It also leads to greater participation in civic events (like say parades) and less time spent on nightlife. Parents are also much more likely to care about the physical conditions of things like parks within the neighborhood - especially when compared to young renters who are just there for a short stint. And if a neighborhood is socially stable enough that there are multiple generations living there - adult parents who were raised within the neighborhood - the level of community involvement is even higher.

Trust me, as an urban father, I usually only talk to my older neighbors, both those with children and those without. And on the rare occasions I do talk to someone in the approximately 25 range, I find that outside of their own immediate social circle they don't know any young adults in the neighborhood - even people who live two houses down from them. The "young professional" model isn't what we want as a sole model for the future of cities if we actually want neighborhoods to be more than a collection of apartments near bars and restaurants.
Clearly, that first poster would not give a **** about the public schools. The schools suck? "I don't see that as a problem. Nothing needs to be done."
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:21 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,003 posts, read 102,592,596 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I know urban schools mostly have big issues and that they greatly discourage families from staying in the city. It's a rather depressing situation but I don't know what else I could say on it. Instead of just complaining no one wants to talk about schools, perhaps starting a conversation on urban schools could be insightful. Where have urban schools succeeded? When did they stop working well? I've made a few posts, it didn't attract much interest.



Or, what American urban schools so bad while other countries manage? Sometimes bad city schools are treated as if they're universal.
Now you know I have tried to have discussions about schools with the general responses I stated in my previous post. "It's not urban planning related. I'm concerned about urban form, not schools. The cities don't run the schools", etc, etc, etc.

I will say that most countries in Europe don't have that many kids, period.
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Old 07-01-2014, 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
45,988 posts, read 41,967,271 times
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You're quoting SportyandMisty out of context. Here are two of the posts he responded to:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
... But that doesn't explain why an urban neighborhood with low crime and good schools has far fewer children than a suburban neighborhood with low crime and good schools...
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
...If urban neighborhoods that meet the criteria of nearly any urbanist can't attract families (in a metro with many, many young and affluent white families), then what's in store for urban neighborhoods that don't have the best schools, lowest crime, etc?
It was taken as given the neighborhoods discussed had good urban schools but still have few children. He didn't see the relative lack of children as a problem.

I can never understand why you make these type of posts: "look at what awful views some people have here". So what? It doesn't add anything about a subject or back up any point of view.
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:30 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 Katiana View Post
Now you know I have tried to have discussions about schools with the general responses I stated in my previous post. "It's not urban planning related. I'm concerned about urban form, not schools. The cities don't run the schools", etc, etc, etc.
Most of the time those discussion consist of complaints "why can't you talk about schools", other posters react angrily to being criticized. I'm referring to actually starting a conversation with some topic or insight to it.

Quote:
I will say that most countries in Europe don't have that many kids, period.
The fertitilty rate of many northern European (and France) countries isn't that different from the US, I feel like that's been brought up a number of times before in other threads. Some American cities with few children don't have the best schools. So I'm not sure if the two are even related.
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:33 PM
 
3,431 posts, read 3,048,200 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I think you misunderstood what I meant by my previous post. The urbanists on this forum, which skew towards the young male demographic, simply don't care about the schools. Many have said as much. They don't think schools have anything to do with urban planning. No matter that in decades past, the schools were the key to joining the middle class, etc. The cities don't run the schools, they say. Now most of them are all excited about transit, and the cities don't run the transit usually either, but "that's different". At most they say charters and magnets are the way to go. These schools may have their place, but they can't guarantee a spot to everyone who wants to access them. For those poor souls, tough beans. Deal.

One parent who does live in the city opined that he thought it was not such a good thing that the businesses in some of these "in" neighborhoods catered so much to the young, single (or at least childfree) demographic, and the general response was "so what?" Many people felt it was fine for the city to be a holding area for this cohort, and when they get older, they can move somewhere else.
I wonder if those young guys are even aware that part of their property taxes go to funding the local school district? Some people aren't into living in a condo building with kids, which is fine for some people, but a lot of us condo dwellers do live in buildings with kids and don't mind it.

The urban renewal trend will, I believe, lead to more families moving back to the core areas of major cities. How long that takes will differ from city to city. Some inner cities are more dysfunctional than others.

Part of the problem is larger multi-bedroom units required for families that are in short supply in city centres. But as in NYC, there is a growing demand for these, and supply will eventually be created to meet demand. I'm convinced of that.

The other problem... People in the sunbelt cities also seem to be the most averse to getting out of their cars and taking the train or the bus, for whatever cultural reasons. Maybe when they see other cities successfully expanding, and using, their rail systems and buses (and the gentrification of city neighbourhoods surrounding transit hubs), it will start to look like a more attractive option to sunbelt commuters. The reluctance to abandon the suburbs is puzzling, but people usually don't feel like being pioneers once they have young children. If they think they need to do it to keep up with the Joneses, maybe that would motivate a lot of them to move closer to the city centres.
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:37 PM
 
3,431 posts, read 3,048,200 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Most of the time those discussion consist of complaints "why can't you talk about schools", other posters react angrily to being criticized. I'm referring to actually starting a conversation with some topic or insight to it.



The fertitilty rate of many northern European (and France) countries isn't that different from the US, I feel like that's been brought up a number of times before in other threads. Some American cities with few children don't have the best schools. So I'm not sure if the two are even related.
I think France's fertility rate may be slightly higher. I was in Paris in March and saw kids everywhere... school groups, out with their family members, etc. Diverse inner city neighbourhoods work.
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,419 posts, read 11,926,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye Burgher View Post
The major thing that is going to keep families from remaining in the cities is the very poor quality of urban
school systems. Here in Pittsburgh we are seeing a renaissance of young people moving in and revitalizing
older urban neighborhoods. But you can be sure that once they start having children they will be gone, due
to the shockingly awful performance of the city school system (very low graduation rates, poor scores on standardized tests, etc.)

Until or unless that can be fixed, no way to keep them here.
This is a really huge misrepresentation of Pittsburgh.

First, it has one of the best urban school districts in the state. Yes, it's in the bottom quarter, but only Scranton and Bethlehem have better districts overall (and Bethlehem's also includes many suburban areas). So when it comes to PA cities, it's close to doing the most right.

Second, there are incredible differences between schools within the district. The neighborhood schools in the Lower East End remain popular areas for middle class parents to enroll their kids, and the magnet system remains popular.

Third, it's just false to say once kids get school age they're all moving to the suburbs. My daughter is attending PPS next year. In my neighborhood I'd say that most parents of small children I've talked with are not planning to move to the suburbs either (although they tend to be split if they're doing the private, charter, or magnet route - essentially no one in Lawrenceville wants the neighborhood chool).
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:33 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,003 posts, read 102,592,596 times
Reputation: 33059
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
You're quoting SportyandMisty out of context. Here are two of the posts he responded to:





It was taken as given the neighborhoods discussed had good urban schools but still have few children. He didn't see the relative lack of children as a problem.

I can never understand why you make these type of posts: "look at what awful views some people have here". So what? It doesn't add anything about a subject or back up any point of view.
Actually, here are all the posts SportyandMisty were (was?) responding to in the post I quoted:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I recognize that the absolute number of families will be higher in the suburbs than in the city. But that doesn't explain why an urban neighborhood with low crime and good schools has far fewer children than a suburban neighborhood with low crime and good schools. Chevy Chase, MD is about every bit as expensive as Tenleytown (if not more). Georgetown may be more expensive by the square foot, but a million dollar home is a million dollar home. It's not like Eric Holder is going to browse properties in Georgetown and suffer from sticker shock. By and large, the demographics of both neighborhoods are similar in terms of affluence, educational attainment and race.

The only difference is housing stock. Chevy Chase is largely suburban. Tenleytown is much more urban but also has somewhat of a suburban character. Georgetown is the most urban of the three (even Georgetown has some large residences, however). Given that none of these neighborhoods are plagued by the things that often prevent families from settling into cities over the long-term--crime, bad schools, poverty--is it the case that people have a built-in bias towards the burbs when it comes to raising a family?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
It may also depend on the educational options these families consider for their children. Some may like the city, but may go the route of private schools, charter schools or even homeschooling their children. This is if they can't or even can get into magnet or good/select public schools within that city.

This is why I think if cities were smart, they would push for county school districts that allow for more public options. They don't necessarily have to be what I call a free for all county school district, but could be a zoned county school district that minimizes things such as long bus rides to schools, for an example.

I also think that there needs to be some incentive that attracts families. For example, here in Syracuse, there is a program called Say Yes to Education, where Syracuse City School District students can get free to a reduced tuition to attend college at a select list of schools. Syracuse | Say Yes to Education

Recent News | Say Yes to Education

Partner Colleges | Say Yes to Education

While the overall results may not be as great as suburban school districts, which are really a different animal altogether, for students that are serious about their schooling, it could be a great opportunity to take advantage of. I think that if more cities had such a program, that would help to some degree as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
I don't see why not, though I do agree with others, it is important to provide affordable housing for middle class families to help encourage them to live in inner city neighborhoods. There is also an issue with density, I think when inner city neighborhoods feel like small urban towns, it makes it much easier and more attractive for young families to want to move into them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
Though I think it would be great if families moved back to the cities, I don't see it happening anytime soon. As I see it, families are more likely to prefer a quiet suburban environment so they can slow down and raise their kids in a safer environment, rather than take risks in the city and put up with the hustle-and-bustle of city living. Of course, if cities can make city living more appealing and safe for children and their parents, and if the kids can be well-educated on safety in the city (walking/running/playing around busy streets, what to do around sketchy individuals, knowing the right neighborhoods and wrong neighborhoods, knowing where they can play, etc.), then I believe families will gradually return to the city. Of course, for that to have any chance at happening, all city schools everywhere must improve. There are no exceptions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
That is where cities come into play by offering tax credits, waives fees, gives building height credits or allow for more units than what is zoned for. Which usually have requirements for how much income one could buy or rent these larger places for.
His/her/their response? I don't see the problem.

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 07-01-2014 at 08:47 PM..
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:41 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,003 posts, read 102,592,596 times
Reputation: 33059
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Most of the time those discussion consist of complaints "why can't you talk about schools", other posters react angrily to being criticized. I'm referring to actually starting a conversation with some topic or insight to it.



The fertitilty rate of many northern European (and France) countries isn't that different from the US, I feel like that's been brought up a number of times before in other threads. Some American cities with few children don't have the best schools. So I'm not sure if the two are even related.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ottawa2011 View Post
I think France's fertility rate may be slightly higher. I was in Paris in March and saw kids everywhere... school groups, out with their family members, etc. Diverse inner city neighbourhoods work.
I have made many suggestions about schools. I have suggested people on this forum get involved with their local schools as volunteers. I have suggested that city planning agencies have reps from the schools. You can search through my posts and find all the suggestions I have made over the years. There used to be another young male who posted here; he is a teacher and he shared many of my opinions on the school issue. But he doesn't come here any more.

France's fertility rate is driven by its large immigrant population, not that it really matters. Everyone has to get educated.

What's Really Behind Europe's Decline? It's The Birth Rates, Stupid - Forbes
British birth rate has soared to one of highest in Europe thanks to increase in migrants | Mail Online

Birth rates for just about the whole world:
https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat.../2127rank.html
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:48 PM
 
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I agree with whoever said that it's really an American thing. Other countries make it work. If American cities were similar to European cities, of a couple of decades ago especially, I would be more than happy to live there in a heartbeat. But you need a vastly improved public transportation service, and a very different way of setting up things like grocery stores for example. Every few blocks there were essential services - a market for essential items (not Doritos and beef jerky, but staples at a reasonable price), a bakery, post office, daycare, etc. If you had more time, you'd go to the supermarket or the equivalent. Many families are used to doing bulk shopping once a week or once a month from the local Walmart - a totally different mindset. And there were lots of third places - pubs, cafes, dessert shops, parks for adults and playgrounds for children, swimming pools, squares... People could walk to those places and feel relatively safe because they were populated by... everyone. Not just shady characters. The shady characters hung out in bars and alleys, or special districts somewhere. The rest of it was alright, generally.

BTW, I don't mean to be elitist about it - I imagine a lot of cities outside of Europe make it work very well too. I know Tokyo for example is very walkable. But I've never traveled much outside Europe and North America.
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