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Old 02-26-2014, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,660,252 times
Reputation: 26651

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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
Wouldn't that really depend on why people are leaving?

Is this a neighborhood with high homeownership among black households? If so then wouldn't those climbing sale prices be driven by families cashing out? I don't see a problem with that.
Lots of rentals. But some people did cash out and move to other parts of town. Or the exurbs.
Quote:
Are these neighborhoods growing or losing population? What's the median age? Is this a neighborhood that's shrinking as people get old and die? If your neighborhood has been losing 1000 people a decade for the last 40 years then in the last decade 500 white people move in is it accurate to characterize that as displacement?
In a nutshell the neighborhood types in described as popular are maintaining and growing. The non popular ones are losing people left and right. Particularly black people. Some cashed out in the boom, but way too many were foreclosed on. Predatory lending and reverse mortgages were extremely common. Particular in west Oakland and the "flat lands" of east Oakland.

Quote:

For instance, there's a tiny borough called Woodlynne, NJ that's wedged in between Camden and Collingswood. The town has lost much of its white population over the last 30 years but from the data it would appear that white people in the family formation stage had left the town long before that and as the white population got older it shrunk naturally. The black, latino and asian families who were moving in had higher household incomes than the white households they were replacing (these are mostly middle class families getting out of the Camden school district - Woodlynne kids go to Collingswood schools).

No one is going to call that gentrification even though if the scenario was reversed (as it often is) most people wouldn't hesitate to call it gentrification without bothering to look into what's actually happening.

Gentrification is a really loaded term that (like the word "hipster") is so overused and misused that it's lost most of its meaning. It's also become a code word for some people. No one wants to say "we don't want white people here" in public so they talk about "fighting gentrification" even when "gentrification" doesn't accurately describe what's happening in that particular neighborhood. (*not saying this describes you just that it happens)
very loaded term. There was an interesting article about gentrification in dc maybe a year ago.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifest...yfI_story.html

Quote:

lol. never heard that before but I'm gonna guess that would describe the businesses in my immediate neighborhood to a T. Interesting about victorian neighborhoods in West Oakland though. I was unaware.
Ok that was a typo..but likely true. Drug crime has gone down over there hahahha. Oakland has loads of Victorians. Particularly west Oakland and downtown but there are some floating around other neighborhoods too. There are a few in my neighborhood. Oakland also has a Victorian commercial district downtown. It is so picturesque.

Farmers market day! This area has offices, restaurants and bars

Source urban villages farmers market page
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:00 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,008 posts, read 10,791,732 times
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Personally, as a cusp X/Millennial who is starting his own family, I love being in a semi-walkable area or one where I could drive a very short distance to where I need to. My job is out in the suburbs, and many folks choose to live in the suburbs nearby too. Some decide to live in the city of Seattle.

I find the Seattle area to be a model of small, walkable cores in most suburbs surrounded by light bus networks that always havepeople in them. Then Seattle itself has many little cores surrounding downtown and plenty of bus lines and THANK GOD a light rail line or two are getting built.

Most people my generation want nothing to do with a car. THe ones that do enjoy driving, period. The rest don't see a car as necessarily central to their lives, even with kids, soccer practice, etc. They take the bus. It's perfectly normal for high school students here to take the public bus to school. It's also perfectly normal for them to hop on a bus to go downtown or something, 30 miles away.

It's do-able. It's just closed-minded people who think otherwise. I do admit though that local culture shapes a large portion of attitudes. More rural or car-dependent cities will likely languish behind in terms of being more walkabout, mostly due to inertia, until younger people, fed up with having to waste time and money in traffic jams in their now larger suburbs, fund bus systems.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:04 PM
 
1,380 posts, read 1,886,114 times
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Honestly, it seems to me that the burbs are maxed out in very big cities. And that's the bigger factor pushing people into cities. That and that urban crime rates have plummeted. The faster speeds on the interstate highways made it feasible to live 20 miles from the core city and still commute. It was a very big deal and completely revolutionary! But populations continued to grow. And suburbia became an unmanageable and unappealing sea of sprawl and the commute times are maxed out again. And that's made cities look better by comparison. Should some new faster transportation technology emerge, people would build countless houses 50 miles out and repeat the suburban process all over again. Smaller cities with more room to grow, like my hometown, haven't seen nearly as much urban revival.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,660,252 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastmemphisguy View Post
Honestly, it seems to me that the burbs are maxed out in very big cities. And that's the bigger factor pushing people into cities. That and that urban crime rates have plummeted. The faster speeds on the interstate highways made it feasible to live 20 miles from the core city and still commute. It was a very big deal and completely revolutionary! But populations continued to grow. And suburbia became an unmanageable and unappealing sea of sprawl and the commute times are maxed out again. And that's made cities look better by comparison. Should some new faster transportation technology emerge, people would build countless houses 50 miles out and repeat the suburban process all over again. Smaller cities with more room to grow, like my hometown, haven't seen nearly as much urban revival.
Interesting thoughts. I haven't spent much time in smaller metros lately.

But you aren't seeing a trend of creating a walkable space in your community. I keep seeing stories about it on places like strong towns....
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:18 AM
 
Location: Chicago - Logan Square
3,396 posts, read 6,180,961 times
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I think there are some larger historical trends that aren't looked at enough in many of these discussions - i.e. it's not simply a matter of changing "trends", it's a matter of changing realities.

The biggest one would be that cities have become more desirable to live in for many reasons. The riots of the late 60's drove many people (of all races and income groups) out of cities, and rises in crime and a deterioration of services led many people to avoid cities in the 70's and 80's. That started to change in the 90's when the entire country didn't erupt in violence after the LA riots, and that was followed by a significant drop in crime in all urban areas. Environmental regulations and a move of industries to the suburbs to be closer to highways also cleaned up the air and water in cities immensely. For a significant number of people these developments made cities livable again. It wasn't a trend, it was just the fact that if you want to live in a dense urban area it was became a much more logical thing to do in 2000 than it would have been in 1970.

This was also accompanied by more negatives arising in suburbs as they matured. Traffic congestion is much worse than it used to be, and in many areas the worst traffic is seen when commuting from suburb to suburb. No matter how many lanes you build on a highway the exits still need to dump traffic onto local streets which then become their own choke points. Cars have also aged as a technology and lost a lot of the cachet they had in the 60's and 70's. , They also became incredibly boring as SUV's (AKA driving a brick on a sponge) became the dominant family vehicle. The perception of a car providing you freedom to drive freely on winding traffic free roads shifted to a reality of sitting in a box stuck in traffic. Many suburbs have also been dependent on new development to pay the taxes to supply services, and as they've matured and run out of new land they've been forced to cut back on services or increase taxes - basically putting many in the same financial situation that mature cities have been in since the 50's.

Basically cities are once again a viable living option for many people, and people who like that lifestyle (and can afford it) have it as an available option again.
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,258 posts, read 26,231,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
I don't know about Tenleytown but this didn't happen in Mt. Airy or East Falls until relatively recently. I'm not saying people weren't moving there but certainly more people were moving out than moving in through the 70s, 80s and even a good chunk of the 90s.
The same was also true of Tenleytown. It's swanky and in demand today, but that hasn't always been the case. There was a time (in the early 90s) when a fair number of its white residents were government workers without college degrees. Today, I think the number of people over the age of 25 with a Bacheror's Degree or higher is something ridiculous like 88%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
. . . and wouldn't those properties have been cheaper a generation ago because of dwindling demand and harder to come by now because of soaring demand?
I didn't say otherwise. I think a big part of what's changed is that more people within that demographic are getting married later. So there's greater demand in cities overall. During my parents' day, it was graduate from high school, get married/go to college/fight in Vietnam, and then get married if you didn't get married before you went to college or Vietnam. By the time my parents' were my age, they already had 3 kids. I couldn't even imagine that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
I wouldn't go so far as to say that people's values have changed - only that the social and economic reality has changed. It's not so much that people are swooning over urban neighborhoods but that large-lot suburbia has become less attractive.
But has large-lot suburbia really become less attractive? Depending on your source, people are either downsizing and demanding smaller houses in walkable neighborhoods, or people are increasingly moving into larger and larger houses.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/24/bu...back.html?_r=0

I don't see why both can't be true. I honestly think the preference for one or the other mostly breaks down along class lines. When I worked on the Obama campaign, I can't ever recall seeing a Subaru Outback or a Volvo Station wagon parked in the driveway or garage of a McMansion in the distant exurbs. Or on the flip side, I can't recall seeing a Chevy Tahoe or a Denali parked on the street (or in the driveway) of a walkable streetcar suburb. Now I'm not saying that nobody in the outer suburbs/exurbs drives a Volvo station wagon or that nobody in streetcar suburbs drives a Denali. I'm just saying that the urbanist lifestyle seems to be split along class lines, which often has a lot less to do with money than most people think.

Last edited by BajanYankee; 02-27-2014 at 09:53 AM..
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,258 posts, read 26,231,676 times
Reputation: 11716
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastmemphisguy View Post
Honestly, it seems to me that the burbs are maxed out in very big cities. And that's the bigger factor pushing people into cities. That and that urban crime rates have plummeted. The faster speeds on the interstate highways made it feasible to live 20 miles from the core city and still commute. It was a very big deal and completely revolutionary! But populations continued to grow. And suburbia became an unmanageable and unappealing sea of sprawl and the commute times are maxed out again. And that's made cities look better by comparison. Should some new faster transportation technology emerge, people would build countless houses 50 miles out and repeat the suburban process all over again. Smaller cities with more room to grow, like my hometown, haven't seen nearly as much urban revival.
How are the burbs maxed out? If you look at DC, which is supposed to be the hottest city in America, most people are still moving to auto-centric suburbia. The Census tracts that have grown the fastest are in places like Germantown, Leesburg, Sterling, Lorton, and Manassas. This is the type of suburbia that would make an urbanist living in a studio apartment in the Haight weep tears of sorrow. Most of these places aren't walkable in the least (unless you consider being able to walk from one house to another "walkable").

When you look at its denser, inner ring walkable suburbs (i.e., Mt. Rainier, Del Ray, etc.), they haven't grown nearly as much. In Del Ray, for example, you have sizable increases in the white population, large increases in the Hispanic population (they are replacing blacks in multi-family housing) and dramatic decreases for everyone else. This has led to population losses in some census tracts as high as -7.0% and gains only as high as 10.8%. When you look at tracts in Lorton or Germantown, you see sizable increases in the white population but also large increases for everyone else.

So that's why I wonder if some people's perception really aligns with reality. Yes, some cities are getting richer. And yes, some cities are getting whiter. A lot whiter. But does that really mean that the tide is turning in favor of cities, or does it really mean that the tide is turning in favor of cities among a narrow demographic? I mean, are we really seeing the big picture when we celebrate bike lanes, farmers markets and smart cars in some neighborhoods while the overwhelming majority of people head out to car-centric suburbia?
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:50 AM
 
359 posts, read 461,214 times
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I posted this last night in the Chicago Forum, but I would like to post it here as well, as I think this is solution going forward for housing in this country...it is a blend between the urban and the suburban (with a heavy focus on the urban):

About housing in this city - I do agree that there is a real estate boom taking place, and although I want this to continue, a lot of the construction is taking place in the already-gentrified "hot" areas.

What I would like to see, is more blighted areas in the west and south (sides of Chicago), totally torn down, and have big builders like Toll Brothers come in and build really good SFH's in those areas. The idea would be, instead of Toll Brother buying a huge plot of land out in some distant suburb, and having a corny cul-de-sac based subdivison, the "subdivison" would be built in the city limits, on a recently-torn down block of land, that conforms to the city grid, city infrastructure, and public transit (El trains and BRT lines). Tear out the dilapidated crap one block at a time, and replace it with SFH's that have compact lots, with the front door up close to the sidewalk. There would not be any front yard (or maybe 5x10 sq ft front yards), and their would be rear alley-access based garages...but build THOUSANDS of these homes, across hundreds and hundreds of blocks...so that middle class families have the ability to build/buy new homes in the city, that are roughly $350,000 - $450,000 each, that are dense, walkable, close to public transit....build the homes close enough so that you can walk a few blocks to a major street to get groceries, etc. There can still be enough room for one or two cars per house, but instead of having a wasteful front and back yard per house, there would instead be a "central" park, close enough to each block, where kids and families could hang out and play.

Also - I dont want the houses to look like the typical suburban crap - the builder would offer floor plans that are "Chicagoan" in nature. A good example of what I would like to see, would be houses like the one on the NE corner of Ashland and Wrightwood (look on Google Street View to see what I am talking about).

This can be EASILY done, there is PLENTY of land in Chicago. This would attract the middle-class back into Chicago, from the burbs.

My vision would be that 20-somethings live in places like the hot north side hoods, then when they start looking to get married, they do so and can then buy a house in a south or west side "neighborhood/subdivison" that is still dense, urban, and walkable, but still family-friendly.

There are already very small pockets of these types of developments in the city, but they need to be rolled out everywhere.

I know, the reason this hasnt already been implemented, is because of the schools. The answer to this, is to dissolve the existing school system, and have every neighborhood have its own school system. Kids could walk to school to their own neighborhood school.
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,258 posts, read 26,231,676 times
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Chicago is another example of a growing, white professional class in the city center becoming a headline instead of a footnote. You've got tracts in the Loop, the Near North Side, and the Near West Side that have posted large percentage gains among the non-Hispanic white population. But then you've got a huge number of tracts everywhere else that have lost population (some have even see drops in the non-Hispanic white population, which I presume were more working-class whites). When you zoom out and look at some of these distant places near the Wisconsin border, you see large increases among all groups in many tracts.
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
9,199 posts, read 8,287,258 times
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I'm a Gen X and my hubs is ten years older and is a boomer. We are really empty nesters as our kids are grown and have super successful, busy careers of their own.

We live downtown Fort Lauderdale and could not be happier. In addition, we are close to the beach.

We lived in one of those new work/live/play neighborhoods in Myrtle Beach (Market Common) and were VERY happy there.

You could not pay me to go back to the suburbs.
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