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Old 02-17-2014, 10:48 PM
 
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Is it just me, or is a big part of our sprawl problem that we seem to always have a need to have new and shiny things? In my state anyway, the older suburbs are starting to get neglected with roads falling apart. Instead of fixing the streets and sidewalks, seems like here, and seemingly everywhere else, decide that just building a new neighborhood is better than rehabilitating an existing one. Coupling that with American consumerist attitudes, can it be explained (whole or in part) that we Americans desire something "new and shiny" as opposed to old and renovated?
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:57 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theunbrainwashed View Post
Is it just me, or is a big part of our sprawl problem that we seem to always have a need to have new and shiny things? In my state anyway, the older suburbs are starting to get neglected with roads falling apart. Instead of fixing the streets and sidewalks, seems like here, and seemingly everywhere else, decide that just building a new neighborhood is better than rehabilitating an existing one. Coupling that with American consumerist attitudes, can it be explained (whole or in part) that we Americans desire something "new and shiny" as opposed to old and renovated?
More like we only fund the new and shiny, and the old has to fight for the scraps.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:40 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,989 posts, read 41,967,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theunbrainwashed View Post
Is it just me, or is a big part of our sprawl problem that we seem to always have a need to have new and shiny things? In my state anyway, the older suburbs are starting to get neglected with roads falling apart. Instead of fixing the streets and sidewalks, seems like here, and seemingly everywhere else, decide that just building a new neighborhood is better than rehabilitating an existing one. Coupling that with American consumerist attitudes, can it be explained (whole or in part) that we Americans desire something "new and shiny" as opposed to old and renovated?
Might be a regional thing. Could you show some examples?

On Lawn Guyland, the 40s and 50s suburbs haven't declined, because they stopped building new and shiny things circa 1970. Some of the wealthier neighborhoods have done teardowns of older houses, I've seen some of monstrous McMansions in my parent's neighborhood, to their dismay. And less wealthy — many of the origional tiny Levittown houses have been modified to be almost unrecognizable or replaced, the origional houses are too tiny for a middle-class suburban neighborhood these days.
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:26 PM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,830,658 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theunbrainwashed View Post
Is it just me, or is a big part of our sprawl problem that we seem to always have a need to have new and shiny things? In my state anyway, the older suburbs are starting to get neglected with roads falling apart. Instead of fixing the streets and sidewalks, seems like here, and seemingly everywhere else, decide that just building a new neighborhood is better than rehabilitating an existing one. Coupling that with American consumerist attitudes, can it be explained (whole or in part) that we Americans desire something "new and shiny" as opposed to old and renovated?
A different 'they' is responsible for the "new and shiny" as opposed to the "old and falling apart". A person deciding to move into an area doesn't have the choice to rehabilitate a neighborhood; it's too big a job for one person. So if the old neighborhoods are falling apart, they'll naturally tend to the new one. A developer deciding to build houses also often doesn't have a choice; they can't go and rehabilitate an area that's falling apart instead because there's already people living there, and governments responsible for the streets and sidewalks. There's exceptions when they can acquire large unused properties or occasionally tracts of condemned housing, but in general, it's not possible for a private party to renovate an entire area that is in use.
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Old 02-18-2014, 05:39 PM
 
10,544 posts, read 7,515,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theunbrainwashed View Post
Is it just me, or is a big part of our sprawl problem that we seem to always have a need to have new and shiny things? In my state anyway, the older suburbs are starting to get neglected with roads falling apart. Instead of fixing the streets and sidewalks, seems like here, and seemingly everywhere else, decide that just building a new neighborhood is better than rehabilitating an existing one. Coupling that with American consumerist attitudes, can it be explained (whole or in part) that we Americans desire something "new and shiny" as opposed to old and renovated?
Why take care of something old when our highway, gas, and mortgage subsidizes allow you to move a few miles down the road and have a new house for the same price.

It is not a state of mind issue. It is a policy issue.
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Old 02-18-2014, 05:49 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
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You have to look at the why of people moving.
Prestige
Better schools
Safer environment
Older housing stock which doesn't lend itself to upgrades
Cost, including tax loads

Plus some I've likely missed. The above are in no particular order but schools, safety and cost are probably the top three.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
More like we only fund the new and shiny, and the old has to fight for the scraps.
Cross over to the other side of the Bay sometime, Jade. Sure, it's "newer," but most of the Peninsula is no spring chicken. It's not fighting for scraps. There's a tendency to build new while the old housing gets run down and becomes affordable to the lower-class until geography or infrastructure means it's no longer viable. If I went into the Bay more than once a week on average there's no way I'd deal with 580/4 daily. At this point, I'd say 580 is worse than 680/880 at rush hour. The people that put up with it daily are insane.

Shortly after that, everyone starts whinging about the cost of housing. Sound familiar?
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Cross over to the other side of the Bay sometime, Jade. Sure, it's "newer," but most of the Peninsula is no spring chicken. It's not fighting for scraps. There's a tendency to build new while the old housing gets run down and becomes affordable to the lower-class until geography or infrastructure means it's no longer viable. If I went into the Bay more than once a week on average there's no way I'd deal with 580/4 daily. At this point, I'd say 580 is worse than 680/880 at rush hour. The people that put up with it daily are insane.

Shortly after that, everyone starts whinging about the cost of housing. Sound familiar?
I work in the Peninsula. The scraps for the old vary. For example, no one wants to fund electrification for Caltrain, or improve el Camino into a complete street. BART to San Jose is more important. It happens all over the map. We'd rather spend for a new project than improve or optimize the old.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:28 AM
 
2,824 posts, read 3,350,485 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theunbrainwashed View Post
Is it just me, or is a big part of our sprawl problem that we seem to always have a need to have new and shiny things? In my state anyway, the older suburbs are starting to get neglected with roads falling apart. Instead of fixing the streets and sidewalks, seems like here, and seemingly everywhere else, decide that just building a new neighborhood is better than rehabilitating an existing one. Coupling that with American consumerist attitudes, can it be explained (whole or in part) that we Americans desire something "new and shiny" as opposed to old and renovated?
what sprawl problem?

Your population increased, people had to go somewhere. It's not like the population wants to be residing in 300 story condos near Plymouth Rock. On the same note, however, you've also illustrated why perpetual restrictive covenants should not be recognized. They are an attempt to prevent change. Houses fall into disrepair. Entire areas succumb to age. Existing restrictive covenants burdening the property are another reason why new areas get developed (and the same mistake regarding restrictive covenants is made again).

Last edited by IC_deLight; 02-19-2014 at 06:37 AM..
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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I think it depends on the area and the type of people that live in those areas. But many places are seeing people renovate something old and close in over buying something new that is further out.
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