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Old 02-19-2014, 11:13 AM
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
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Interesting, but whether growth occurred in the core city is partially due to whether it was already built out and how big the city limits / when annexation stopped. Boston grew more proportionally in its suburbs than Philadelphia or Cleveland because its city limits are smaller (Boston is weirder since Boston annexed very little to the north of downtown or Charles River). Distance might be a better measure.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:16 AM
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
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Which U.S. cities? New York? That's always been a huge outlier in this country (see nei's density charts). Chicago as dense as Paris? Never. Philadelphia as dense as Barcelona? No. San Francisco as dense as Madrid? No. Boston as dense as Rome? No. DC as dense as Amsterdam? No. What you're saying doesn't make any sense.
Your using southern European cities, which tend to be denser. Looking at Berlin or London the difference would be smaller. But I'm curious how Amsterdam would compare to American cities. It didn't seem that obviously denser to me than San Francisco, but it's been a while. Boston, Philadelphia and probably San Francisco were denser than the industrial northern English cities.

But British cities tend to be at the low of the density scale for Europe. Perhaps it's no coincidence that a country settled by people from the country with among the lowest density cities in Europe would tend to have low density cities. Hard to judge because Hispanic cities are poorer, but I'd guess a New World country settled by southern Europeans would be quite different.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Only the oldest parts of European cities were built prior to mechanized transportation. Southern Europe, in particular, urbanized rather late. Finland was mostly rural while most of New England was urban in the early 20th century.
Yes, very true. New Prague (non-tourist) looks completely different than old Prague or the touristy-part of "new" Prague (built in the 1500s). Communist development is actually amazingly efficient. Not very aesthetically pleasing, however. Even out in the auto-centric areas of Prague, the transportation is generally very good up until you get to what was developed after the communists were rousted.

https://www.google.com/maps/@50.0469...UKON9Tzugw!2e0
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Why is that "institutional corruption?" If that was the Board's ruling, then that becomes precedent that the Board has to follow in all other cases.

When I think of "institutional corruption" in the U.S., I think of city council members who are allowed to earn a salary at lobbying firms. In DC, two council members earned more money from their outside business activities than they did from their "real" jobs (which also pay six figures).



Ethics rules let D.C. Council members shield outside income - Washington Times

Now that is a problem. But who's to say that the same thing doesn't exist in Northern European countries?
Well, rather than argue over what is institutional corruption, I'll just go with your example of elected officials involved in lobbying, which I agree is a good example of what I call "institutional corruption." These are activities that have been encoded into law as being legal, but under scrutiny appear to be bribery, kickback schemes, etc, i.e. corruption.

Again I use the term 'institutional corruption' for lack of a better term. There is a commonly used term "institutional racism," so I'm ripping off (so to speak) from that.

I don't know if Europe has less institutional corruption than we do, but that is my suspicion. I started thinking about this because my friend was spending a lot of time in Canada, and he said that he noticed much less in Canada than in the U.S. Canadians probably pay more in taxes than we do, but they seem to get back much more for it.

I'm not a real economist, just a tooth fairy one, so I can't back this up with any data, but I find it interesting.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Your using southern European cities, which tend to be denser. Looking at Berlin or London the difference would be smaller. But I'm curious how Amsterdam would compare to American cities. It didn't seem that obviously denser to me than San Francisco, but it's been a while. Boston, Philadelphia and probably San Francisco were denser than the industrial northern English cities.

But British cities tend to be at the low of the density scale for Europe. Perhaps it's no coincidence that a country settled by people from the country with among the lowest density cities in Europe would tend to have low density cities. Hard to judge because Hispanic cities are poorer, but I'd guess a New World country settled by southern Europeans would be quite different.
London and Berlin especially were largely built after WWII since they were destroyed in the war.

Greater London Plan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

San Francisco was rebuilt after 1906.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Delray Beach
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The original article described proximate causes of the OP premise.
The root cause is GEOGRAPHY, as evidenced by the similar car-centric nature of Canada and Australia.
The US, of course, led the way as it was settled sooner and in greater numbers.
The coincident HISTORICAL factor of the (cheap) oil-boom in the early part of the 20th century gave added economic strength to the proliferation of the personal vehicle.

Every other "cause" is secondary and a consequence of these basic forces.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:45 AM
 
Location: southern california
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
You know, I was a kid in the 60s, became a young adult by the end of that decade, and I don't know anyone, not one person, who lived like that.



Seriously? Our class system is nothing compared to the UK's.
Britainís Class System is Alive and Well
u r so right but the people of france claim they fixed that long ago.
lol
but the reason i play the same game as my rich black friends which is a car and high rent dodge of the hood is for the same reason, i dont like being mugged.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Your using southern European cities, which tend to be denser. Looking at Berlin or London the difference would be smaller.
That's because those cities have enormous city limits. If you took the densest 134 sq. miles of London or Berlin, do you really think that area would be less dense than Philly or Boston? This is the same approach used all of the time on the CvC forums where we drop parks, airports, mountain ranges, green space, etc. from city limits to get a "true" sense of a city's density. London was a higher density city than Philly with a 600 sq. mile footprint. So I'd imagine its densest 135 miles would beat out both Philly and Boston pretty handily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Boston, Philadelphia and probably San Francisco were denser than the industrial northern English cities.
But that's matching up some of the most urban cities on the North American continent (which Boston, Philly and SF are) against Europe's second string. You can always find some European cities that won't be as dense as a few American cities. But how is that any different from saying the starting lineup for the Cleveland Browns can beat the reserves for the Seattle Seahawks? A better comparator to those cities would be smaller but older American cities like maybe Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Richmond or maybe even St. Louis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
But British cities tend to be at the low of the density scale for Europe. Perhaps it's no coincidence that a country settled by people from the country with among the lowest density cities in Europe would tend to have low density cities. Hard to judge because Hispanic cities are poorer, but I'd guess a New World country settled by southern Europeans would be quite different.
There are examples. Look at Buenos Aires.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wutitiz View Post
I don't know if Europe has less institutional corruption than we do, but that is my suspicion. I started thinking about this because my friend was spending a lot of time in Canada, and he said that he noticed much less in Canada than in the U.S. Canadians probably pay more in taxes than we do, but they seem to get back much more for it.
So perhaps that means that Canada is a paragon of ethical behavior. That doesn't say anything about corruption in the US vs the EU though.

The grass is always greener on the other side. It's really hard to compare the "culture of corruption" in one place versus another if you've never lived there.*

*With the exception of Pakistan and Afghanistan, I suppose. I hear those places are very corrupt and I'm willing to take people's word for it. No interest in visiting any time soon.
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
That's because those cities have enormous city limits. If you took the densest 134 sq. miles of London or Berlin, do you really think that area would be less dense than Philly or Boston? This is the same approach used all of the time on the CvC forums where we drop parks, airports, mountain ranges, green space, etc. from city limits to get a "true" sense of a city's density. London was a higher density city than Philly with a 600 sq. mile footprint. So I'd imagine its densest 135 miles would beat out both Philly and Boston pretty handily.
2.23 million for Berlin (around 3.5 million for London). That's more than Philly but not hugely so. Had Philadelphia not had lost housing stock to abandonment and urban renewal it would probably be pretty close (maybe 1.8 million?).

I agree that age is a factor. Space I'm less convinced of. If we agree that age is a factor though, London was not that much smaller than NYC around WWII and the difference was even smaller the further back you go. London was certainly far bigger than Philadelphia, SF or Boston, and even close to double the size of Chicago. Berlin was similar in size to Chicago, but still bigger than Philadelphia, and quite a bit bigger than SF or Boston. In addition to age, size matters too (I think you agree?), with bigger cities tending to being larger. I don't think London and Berlin fall particularly outside the pattern of density within American cities in 1950.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
But that's matching up some of the most urban cities on the North American continent (which Boston, Philly and SF are) against Europe's second string. You can always find some European cities that won't be as dense as a few American cities. But how is that any different from saying the starting lineup for the Cleveland Browns can beat the reserves for the Seattle Seahawks? A better comparator to those cities would be smaller but older American cities like maybe Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Richmond or maybe even St. Louis.
I agree but again, Boston, Philly and SF were still smaller than Paris, London and Berlin in 1950. Better comparisons would be to Hamburg, Budapest and Vienna.

Also it's worth comparing the US to Canada to Europe. Canada has essentially the same conditions as the US, with lots of space and rapid population growth post-WWII (arguably more so) when automobiles would inevitably have a greater influence on development. Still, the development of Canadian cities is typically maybe about 50% denser than American ones, and the cores lost much less population on average too. Their urban areas overall are still less dense than European ones, but once you account for size and age, it's unclear if the difference is really all that big. Copenhagen's suburbs seem comparable to those of Canadian cities for instance.

Toronto has a decent bit of suburban apartment complexes from the 60s and 70s. I think over 60% of housing built in that period was multi-family. Granted densities are still lower, but you still had a lot of high density neighbourhoods built in that time.

Another factor I think is the condition of the inner cities. In the US, most of the poverty and social issues were in the city cores, which were seen as undesirable, so people left as soon as they could, first to streetcar suburbs, then to auto suburbs. The people who were leaving were generally pretty wealthy, and could afford large homes, large lots and the associated transportation costs. So you had suburbs that wound up auto-oriented.

Meanwhile in many European cities, the core was still fairly desirable, and in addition to the middle and upper classes moving to the suburbs, the suburbs were also geared towards housing the working classes (priced out of the core?). The working classes would be more transit dependent and couldn't afford the American style suburban home. Canadian cities seem to have been somewhere in between.

Now you had urban cores where transit use was high, despite many residents being able to afford a car in theory, there wasn't much space for them, and you had working class suburban residents create ridership that would support transit into these areas. Between the pre-war urban cores (proportional larger than in most American cities) and working class suburban areas, you had a large population spread out over a large part of the metro living in high densities to support substantial transit systems. With such a large portion of the metro areas geared towards transit, it's not surprising that even the suburbanites who could afford cars would get on board since their workplaces were likely in transit oriented areas (shopping areas less so, and Paris' suburbs have plenty of hypermarkets and such).

By the way, the effect of wealth on transit can be seen clearly in Toronto. Parts of Eglinton East (among the poorest in the city, lots of 60s/70s apartments) have over 50% transit mode share. Meanwhile single family areas of North Toronto and Etobicoke (among the wealthiest in the city) near Toronto's subway lines have more like 20-30% commute mode share. The areas that are more in between in wealth like the condos of North York are also in between in terms of ridership. Looking at a map of Toronto, it's very clear that there are three major factors influencing transit use: wealth, quality of transit and distance from core; with all three factors being of comparable importance.

Transit commute mode share
Brown: 60%+
Red: 50-60%
Orange: 40-50%
Yellow: 30-40%
Green: 20-30%
Blue: 10-20%
Light Blue: 10-20%

Black dots are subway stops, and Scarborough RT stops (which appears to attract lower ridership, its the last 5 stations to the East). Red lines are streetcars, blue lines are major bus routes.

Last edited by memph; 02-19-2014 at 04:05 PM..
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