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Old 02-20-2014, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,237,774 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DC at the Ridge View Post
Density of the country as a whole is not arbitrary.

The density of Paris, for instance, plays into whether public transit is a national issue, because Paris represents 20% of the population of the country as a whole.

That's not true for even NYC. Combine that with the relatively smaller area of these European countries, which means that the average citizen will have to conduct business in these major cities at some point, and that's why public transit in the major cities of the United States doesn't get national support. The farmer in Kansas is probably not going to be visiting New York City, not daily, not weekly, not monthly, not annually. Why should he subsidize transit service between NYC and DC?

Public transit is a local issue in the United States, and a regional issue in cases like the NYC/DC corridor. But it's not a national issue. However, the people who want public transit want national support and national funding. They cannot actually argue that the national highway system does them no good. NYC's population is dependent on outside goods making it into the city, and a substantial portion of those goods make it there by virtue of that national highway system.
This is a good analysis. If the Northeastern U.S. broke off into its own sovereign state with its very own central government, then the funding of transit in that country would look very different. This country would have a population density barely higher than France's (309 ppsm vs. 301 ppsm) despite only having about 70% of France's total land area (France is 246,201 sq. mi.).* So in even denser countries like Japan (873 ppsm/145,925 total sq. mi.) or Germany (583 ppsm/137,847), it becomes easy to see why mass transit is a greater priority.

Having significantly less area that is sovereign and completely within your control affects the collective social and political psychology. In the States, we tend to compare our individual states to individual EU nations, but that's not the right way to look at it. Even though these are countries that are highly linked economically and politically, they are still sovereign nations, and their sense of space is based on the territory within their borders. Germany doesn't consider France to be land at its disposal any more than we consider Mexico to be land at our disposal.

*Excluding Maine, the population density would be 375 ppsm. That's higher than France and Spain, but still well below Germany, the U.K and Italy. But would it really be fair to exclude Maine but not exclude areas of other countries?
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Old 02-20-2014, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,237,774 times
Reputation: 11726
Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
I'm not arguing that European cities are/were more dense than US sunbelt cities. That's obvious.
It's still not clear what you're arguing. I think your intent was to "attack" a very specific point you thought was being made (that Europe did not have sprawl), but then after discovering that argument wasn't being made, you started meandering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
If you were implying that Europe does have sprawl but it's just denser than the US then I didn't pick up on it. If you actually wrote that at some point before I quoted you in a reply then I missed it (and couldn't find it on further inspection).
If I said that European cities/urban areas are denser than American cities/urban areas, then by implication it means that its sprawl is denser. Why would I have to spell that out? If I say that someone is straight, do I also need to explicitly state that he's not gay?

The post you initially replied to is below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Compared to Europe, there was endless land to chew up for development, so why would they? Without population pressure and land constraints to check development, we have a lot of low density suburban sprawl as a result.
You didn't have to score a 1600 on the SAT to understand from this post that I thought Europe was less sprawly than America (even if I didn't say "Europe is less sprawly than America"). When you "informed" me that Europe had highways and sprawl, I said the following.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Even when many European cities built their first suburbs after the War, they were still denser and more walkable than most U.S. inner ring suburbs.
So I'm not exactly sure what else you wanted me to say. That should have clarified everything for you. But instead you continued to plough down this course of "American metros are denser than European metros" only for people to present data on urban areas (which really matter) to prove to you that that's not true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
US cities were also dense in the 1940s. (They weren't medieval dense like some european cores but it's a joke to think that most Europeans live that way.) but we chased people out of our cities starting in the 1950s.
Who said that most Europeans live in places like Las Ramblas? This is what I mean by you "meandering." Nobody said that. I've said that Europeans generrally live in denser cities and denser metros than Americans. That's a fact.

I'm not even going to bother addressing the rest of your arguments. You guys want to attack cities like Toulouse, Nice, Birmingham and Lyon when we haven't even gotten to the low-density suburban sprawl that typifies the U.S. "urban" landscape. If you want to point out that Lyon is not really that dense, then it should be pointed out that Charlotte, Atlanta, Birmingham (Alabama), Orlando, Houston, Atlanta, Minneapolis, etc. aren't too dense either. And saying "that's not fair those cities are way younger!" only proves the point I was making all along.
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Old 02-20-2014, 08:23 AM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,954,813 times
Reputation: 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
The US census defined urban areas. MSAs are defined by county limits, why would you use them? The NYC urban area is in dark green:
I see the map and, having grown up in that part of the world, I would generally agree that those are reasonable boundaries to define the NYC urban/dense suburb area . . . but it doesn't answer my question. What data are you using for both cities?

The population of all of the counties in the MSA = 18.3 million. Your leaving off a lot of land but you're also leaving off a few hundred thousand people. The 18.3 million can't possibly be correct and it makes me question the data you're using for Paris.


Quote:
Paris urban area is 10.4 million people in 1098 square miles, roughly 10,000 ppm. The NYC urban area is 18.3 million people in 3450 square miles, 5,318 ppm.
NYC has 8.34 million people in 302 sq. mi.
Nassau Co. is 1.34 million in 287 s/m
Hudson Co. is 634,000 million in 36 s/m

So that's 10.3 million people in 625 sq. mi. in NYC

New York is far larger than Paris so the idea that Paris is a little more dense than the NY metro only after you include the sprawl of Ocean County and eastern Suffolk is not a very convincing one. If Paris had an extra 8 million people it would be dangerous to assume that all of them would be living in towers next to a train station.

Outside of the Peripherique there's a clear gradient at work on this map and a whole lot of orange and yellow which, at their highest ranges, are somewhere between Santa Ana and Huntington Beach.
http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/w...it-Density.jpg

On page vii here NYC has a more diffuse gradient (in part because the presence of so much water) with patches of low density showing up in the core - almost entirely because of wetlands - and where we see the light blues on the fringe it's where suburban development is still mingling with farmland.
http://www.rpa.org/pdf/Smart_Region_RPA_CHPC_0806.pdf
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:10 AM
 
1,128 posts, read 1,521,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
*Excluding Maine, the population density would be 375 ppsm. That's higher than France and Spain, but still well below Germany, the U.K and Italy. But would it really be fair to exclude Maine but not exclude areas of other countries?
Maine is a bit of an exception though, as half the state is really near-uninhabited land used for logging (and recreation).
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:13 AM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,954,813 times
Reputation: 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
So I'm not exactly sure what else you wanted me to say. That should have clarified everything for you. But instead you continued to plough down this course of "American metros are denser than European metros" only for people to present data on urban areas (which really matter) to prove to you that that's not true.
I'm not claiming that US metros are denser than European metros as a matter of course and I never said otherwise. Not explicitly or implicitly. Some are, some aren't. It depends on which cities you are comparing. As to the specific case of NYC vs. Paris the data that has been presented so far has been clearly inaccurate at worst and apples and oranges at best.


Quote:
Who said that most Europeans live in places like Las Ramblas? This is what I mean by you "meandering." Nobody said that. I've said that Europeans generrally live in denser cities and denser metros than Americans. That's a fact.
With the exception of a brief digression into corruption most of this thread has been about density and yet the title is "9 reasons why the USA ended up so much more car dependent than Europe" so one could reasonably assume that people are trying to draw a parallel between density and transit use or car dependency.

IMO, that's a really lazy argument that doesn't stand up well to scrutiny.

We've already established that the 5 boroughs are less dense than the City of Paris but NYC has a much higher transit mode share than Paris (at least for JTW) . . . and that's because most Parisians walk or bike to work and that's only possible because Paris is 1/4 the size of Brooklyn and has more jobs than it does workers.

So if one were to draw any lines to connect some dots wouldn't it be that France has invested a lot more heavily in Ile de France and had coaxed or strong-armed more employers into staying in the City for decades? But that's ended now as the City has lost around 300k jobs over the last ~15 years and all job growth has been in the suburbs - where most people drive to work - and you see the regional and French gov'ts scrambling to build an RER loop and more suburban tram lines. It doesn't matter though because the more diffuse your employment base the more difficult it is connect all origins with all destinations - which is why people in the suburbs use cars.

Residential density is but one component of many and far less important than employment so the idea that Americans are so much more car dependent than Europeans because the Paris metro area might be 15% more dense than the NY metro area is not an impressive argument.

So no, I'm not meandering, I've said the same thing a few times now and that is that the correlation between density and transit use/auto dependency is a weak one and that the "facts" and assumptions you are using in this debate are questionable . . . so I've questioned them.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Paris
8,133 posts, read 6,678,099 times
Reputation: 3371
Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
The 18.3 million can't possibly be correct and it makes me question the data you're using for Paris.
nei's data is the French equivalent of the American urban area, the "unité urbaine" defined by the French institute of statistics INSEE:
Insee - Territoire - Units urbaines de plus de 100 000 habitants en 2010

Comparing the dense core of a bigger city with the entire urban area of a smaller one usually favors the former density-wise.

A dense core comparable to NYC + Nassau county for Paris would be, for example, Paris + all the adjacent departments (92, 93 & 94). That's 6.7 million people over 295 square miles, a density of roughly 23,000 ppsm. 64% of the population of Paris urban area lives in this dense core, as opposed to 56% of NY's in NYC + Nassau. Moreover, it's denser (23k ppsm vs 16.5k in NY's case).
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,237,774 times
Reputation: 11726
Quote:
Originally Posted by millerm277 View Post
Maine is a bit of an exception though, as half the state is really near-uninhabited land used for logging (and recreation).
I gave calculations with Maine included and excluded because someone would eventually say, "No fair! Maine is largely uninhabited. Your calculation is biased in favor of these other countries!". I don't see why that really matters since France and Germany also have large forested areas and mountain ranges cutting through them. "Cherrypicking" is a common cry on the C-D forum. But if you combined Germany, the UK, France, and Italy, they would still have a considerably higher population density while being much larger in land area than the Northeast, and there ain't no "cherrypickin" about that.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:22 AM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,954,813 times
Reputation: 1953
Thanks for that. Very useful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I've always been puzzled by the posters describing little difference between old urban housing and newer housing, with the main difference housing style and quality. I'm more used to mass detached housing being more of a postwar thing in big cities, and a minority of old housing stock.
I don't know - big parts of Queens and a lot of North Jersey (Jersey City, Bayonne, Linden, Elizabeth, Newark, etc) are detached houses. There might be 4ft. between them but they're detached.

The same is true of a lot of the streetcar and railroad suburbs.

I know there are rowhouses all over NYC and even Jersey City and neighboring towns but you don't see them in the "suburbs" the way you do in South Jersey/PA. It's like that housing style couldn't cross the old East Jersey/West Jersey boundary.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:37 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,000 posts, read 102,581,357 times
Reputation: 33059
Quote:
Originally Posted by millerm277 View Post
Maine is a bit of an exception though, as half the state is really near-uninhabited land used for logging (and recreation).
Ha, ha! "That's different"!

Really, it is what it is. Denver is 1/3 airport, with no one living on those 50 sq. mi.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,237,774 times
Reputation: 11726
Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
I'm not claiming that US metros are denser than European metros as a matter of course and I never said otherwise. Not explicitly or implicitly. Some are, some aren't.
It's more like one might be denser. If you had to rank American and European cities and urban areas by density from 1 to 50, Europe would slaughter us going all the way down the list. It doesn't make any sense to me to take one of our densest cities (e.g., San Francisco) and then try to match it up against their 15th densest city. After you match up Paris against NYC (slight advantage in Paris' favor), London against Los Angeles (that's an L), San Francisco against Madrid (L), Berlin against Philly (L), Barcelona against Chicago (L), Rome against Boston (L), we're already at a huge disadvantage, and those are the best cities we have to offer. Warsaw, Vienna, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Dublin easily finish off Baltimore, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, New Orleans and Cleveland. Then the real bloodbath begins when you get to the likes of Atlanta, Charlotte and Tampa.

You have to essentially wiggle, reach and manipulate to find U.S. metros that are denser than European ones. It's clear that they've got the much stronger lineup. As far as cities are concerned, it's like the Yankees' all-time greatest versus the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
It depends on which cities you are comparing. As to the specific case of NYC vs. Paris the data that has been presented so far has been clearly inaccurate at worst and apples and oranges at best.
But urban areas are an apples-to-apples comparison.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
With the exception of a brief digression into corruption most of this thread has been about density and yet the title is "9 reasons why the USA ended up so much more car dependent than Europe" so one could reasonably assume that people are trying to draw a parallel between density and transit use or car dependency.

IMO, that's a really lazy argument that doesn't stand up well to scrutiny.
But there is a relationship between density, transit use and car dependency. Pointing out Los Angeles as an exception to the rule only serves to validate the existence of the rule.

Keep your posts more concise and I'll do my best to respond to all of them.
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