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Old 03-02-2014, 10:20 AM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,718,144 times
Reputation: 2538

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Urbanism has won the vast majority of urban planners. Builders are on board as long as the regulatory environment supports them. The market is demanding for more of it driving huge spikes in cost or real estate in good urban places everywhere.

There are two major battles that will be played out over the next century.

1. Win over the D.O.T.s
2. Crush the NIMBYs

Most cities have a comprehensive plan or are in the process of developing one that calls for "compact and connected" cities, vibrant mixed use districts, walkable neighborhoods and traditional neighborhood design.

But there are two major forces pulling in the opposite direction. They must be won over or crushed for urbanism to truly flourish.

The D.O.T.s are still operating on retrograde 1960s thinking that roads, wider, faster, straighter are the answer to traffic woes. It's so damaging on so many levels. And they are completely entrenched - with a huge amount of political power, vast sums of money to play with and an enormous industry that depends on D.O.T.s continuing their destructive path all donating quantities of money to pols to perpetuate the cycle.

But these people are persuadable. 1. The gravy train is over. There is no longer an endless stream of revenue to support this insanity. Most if not all D.O.T.s are extremely cash strapped or in debt to the tune of billions. They can't afford to maintain the current infrastructure, let alone build new ones. Right now every D.O.T. in the nation is trying to figure how to raise revenue - they're almost universally hitting upon tollways - once anathema to car people. That door is opening up a whole new line of thinking among D.O.T.s for ways to deal with traffic with managed tollways. But more importantly, as a new generation of engineers rises in the ranks, slowly but surely outmoded and outdated 1960s thinking will come to an end. The battle will be won by 2050 or so - unfortunately that gives another 35 years to do significant damage.

NIMBYs on the other hand, are not persuadable. They belong to the class of people who will never get it. The only thing to do with NIMBYs is crush them. NIMBY's only have power because pols pay attention to squeaky wheels. But as urbanism becomes more and more the desired goal and as urbanist become more vocal about these issues and as people become more educated about what makes for a good city and what is a disaster - pols are given political cover - and the answer more and more to NIMBY's will be "that's very nice that you feel that way, but we have the entire city to think about, now go sit down."

D.O.T.s and NIMBYs - two front lines in the war to get our cities back.

Last edited by Komeht; 03-02-2014 at 10:30 AM..

 
Old 03-02-2014, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,698,541 times
Reputation: 26671
Speaking of DOTs, ours was blasted for being too car centric.

Report Concludes Caltrans Is Stuck In Past, Needs Major Overhaul CBS San Francisco
 
Old 03-02-2014, 11:57 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,663,662 times
Reputation: 33083
Good to know the OP considers urbanism a "battle". A battle against what, or whom?
 
Old 03-02-2014, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,550,732 times
Reputation: 7830
I like your spirit, but there is more to this than just a battle. I do agree that DOTs need to see a serious reform. NIMBYs are something different, we all have a limit of what we will allow around us and I think there is a happy medium for everyone to reach on any one topic.
 
Old 03-02-2014, 12:32 PM
 
12,973 posts, read 12,804,672 times
Reputation: 5420
What is the old saying?

"Dear Lord please protect us from your zealots?
 
Old 03-02-2014, 12:37 PM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,718,144 times
Reputation: 2538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Good to know the OP considers urbanism a "battle". A battle against what, or whom?
A battle against terrible planning of course.
 
Old 03-02-2014, 12:38 PM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,718,144 times
Reputation: 2538
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
I like your spirit, but there is more to this than just a battle. I do agree that DOTs need to see a serious reform. NIMBYs are something different, we all have a limit of what we will allow around us and I think there is a happy medium for everyone to reach on any one topic.
NIMBYs are making our cities completely unaffordable and resist at every turn necessary changes to city code and transportation systems that make urbanism work. They should be crushed. Eventually they will.
 
Old 03-02-2014, 12:40 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,442 posts, read 9,890,482 times
Reputation: 4691
Quote:
Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
Urbanism has won the vast majority of urban planners. Builders are on board as long as the regulatory environment supports them. The market is demanding for more of it driving huge spikes in cost or real estate in good urban places everywhere.

There are two major battles that will be played out over the next century.

1. Win over the D.O.T.s
2. Crush the NIMBYs

Most cities have a comprehensive plan or are in the process of developing one that calls for "compact and connected" cities, vibrant mixed use districts, walkable neighborhoods and traditional neighborhood design.

But there are two major forces pulling in the opposite direction. They must be won over or crushed for urbanism to truly flourish.

The D.O.T.s are still operating on retrograde 1960s thinking that roads, wider, faster, straighter are the answer to traffic woes. It's so damaging on so many levels. And they are completely entrenched - with a huge amount of political power, vast sums of money to play with and an enormous industry that depends on D.O.T.s continuing their destructive path all donating quantities of money to pols to perpetuate the cycle.

But these people are persuadable. 1. The gravy train is over. There is no longer an endless stream of revenue to support this insanity. Most if not all D.O.T.s are extremely cash strapped or in debt to the tune of billions. They can't afford to maintain the current infrastructure, let alone build new ones. Right now every D.O.T. in the nation is trying to figure how to raise revenue - they're almost universally hitting upon tollways - once anathema to car people. That door is opening up a whole new line of thinking among D.O.T.s for ways to deal with traffic with managed tollways. But more importantly, as a new generation of engineers rises in the ranks, slowly but surely outmoded and outdated 1960s thinking will come to an end. The battle will be won by 2050 or so - unfortunately that gives another 35 years to do significant damage.

NIMBYs on the other hand, are not persuadable. They belong to the class of people who will never get it. The only thing to do with NIMBYs is crush them. NIMBY's only have power because pols pay attention to squeaky wheels. But as urbanism becomes more and more the desired goal and as urbanist become more vocal about these issues and as people become more educated about what makes for a good city and what is a disaster - pols are given political cover - and the answer more and more to NIMBY's will be "that's very nice that you feel that way, but we have the entire city to think about, now go sit down."

D.O.T.s and NIMBYs - two front lines in the war to get our cities back.
Where exactly do you draw the line between a person who's justifiably concerned about a proposed project's effect on the QOL within his/her neighborhood and a "NIMBY?" While we're on the subject, what's the difference between a well-organized band of activists and a bunch of "squeaky wheels"--is it simply a matter of who does (and does not) conform with your subjective worldviews? All's fair in love and politics, and if you're dismayed by a group's ability to command political attention, the answer is to step up the fight and beat them at their own game. The only other alternative I see is switching entirely to at-large city council seats (which is incredibly unfair to the interests of individual neighborhoods) or insulating ward leaders from the democratic process entirely (which would be frightening for a variety of reasons)? In-city machine politics is bad enough in most urban cores as it stands.

Last edited by ElijahAstin; 03-02-2014 at 01:09 PM..
 
Old 03-02-2014, 01:13 PM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,718,144 times
Reputation: 2538
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavenWood View Post
Where exactly do you draw the line between a who's person justifiably concerned about a proposed project's effect on the QOL within his/her neighborhood and a "NIMBY?" While we're on the subject, what's the difference between a well-organized band of activists and a bunch of "squeaky wheels"--is it simply a matter of who does (and does not) conform with your subjective worldviews? All's fair in love and politics, and if you're dismayed by a group's ability to command political attention, the answer is to step up the fight and beat them at their own game. The only other alternative I see is switching entirely to at-large city council seats (which is incredibly unfair to the interests of individual neighborhoods) or insulating ward leaders from the democratic process entirely (which would be frightening for a variety of reasons)? In-city machine politics is bad enough in most urban cores as it stands.
When you put the adverb "justifiably" before concerned how can I every disagree with that position?

Lots of people have lots of concerns about their turf. That doesn't mean we need to pay head to them or that someone has a greater right to decide what happens to a parcel because he happens to live nearby it. The decisions must be made with a holistic view of the entire city.

NIMBY groups by and large always favor preservation over improvement because they fear unknowns. Those fears may or may not be legitimate, but far far far too often those fears become the basis for whether a particular project gets built, no matter what its merits are.

Remember, none, not a single great city of the world, achieved its status, by paying head to NIMBY groups. If we're talking about a place that has truly achieved a pinnacle status, then it makes sense to preserve it. But exceedingly few places have ever achieved such status worthy of preservation in the United States.
 
Old 03-02-2014, 01:21 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,196,468 times
Reputation: 3351
NIMBYers can be a problem for good projects BUT they also can stop bad projects and highways.
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