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Old 03-05-2014, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,550,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Well then the problem is with the definition of community and choice of granularity.

It's not "my neighborhood" - and by using that term you are already segregating it from everything else around as if this was some group of individuals deciding to locate to one area to form some sort of tribe. They aren't a tribe. The people are free to come and go and they do. The "two subdivisions" would remain just as separated from all the other subdivisions because of your abstract line of demarcation for "the neighborhood" to begin with. The residents of both continue to be residents of the same state, same county, same city, and same zip code. I don't recognize your "neighborhood" as a self-contained "community" to start with.
So you see the place you live as just some abstract collection of streets that you don't identify with?
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Old 03-05-2014, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,698,541 times
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There is a book about one the neighborhood just north of mine that was separated by the freeway.

Temescal Legacies: Narratives of Change from a North Oakland Neighborhood By Jeff Norman | DIESEL, A Bookstore

This area was pretty diverse (and one of the first integrated areas in either Oakland or the county, I don't recall which one). I've seen really interesting stuff about the first black families to move in, and the interracial couples and so on. It shifted from an Italian area through about the 1950s, to a mixed area through approximately the 80s, to an even more mixed area with immigrants (Koreatown is just south, and there are tons of Ethiopian and Eritrean immigrants too.) Of course, these days it is popular with hipsters.......

What ended up happening the fortunes of the area are pretty much defined by the freeway. Basically, west of the freeway is "sketchy" and east of the freeway is "nice." There was a period of decline for the area in the 70s, 80s and early 90s, but these days it is "hip" and still pretty diverse. People priced out of the affluent area adjacent, started moving into Temescal in the past 15-20 years (it has the oft-repeated benefits of walkability, transit access and charming homes mostly from about 1900-1940.

But if you take the main thoroughfares, where the freeway goes, through the neighborhood and the one west of it, there isn't a visual difference in the home stock, the neighborhood layout or anything obvious, but the fortunes are wildly different. A divide caused by the freeway (and the BART tracks) that holds true today.

And after the freeway, there are suddenly 2 neighborhoods. Each with different fortunes.
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Old 03-05-2014, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,764,950 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
@memph

Is there any functional difference between a municipal expressway and a provincal freeway?
Functionally no, they're just freeways built and maintained by municipalities, some of them have a bit lower speed limits, others have the same speed limit as provincial ones. Probably that was part of the reason for fewer freeways in Toronto and elsewhere, they had to pay for them themselves instead of getting "free money" from government levels higher up. In Toronto's case they were built by Metro Toronto and include the Gardiner and Don Valley Parkway. The Gardiner was initially proposed to be a toll highway to cover the cost, but opposition from the Ontario government (and Ontario Motor League) led to it being toll free. The Ontario government basically only paid for highways that would function as connecting cities, rather than intracity/suburb-suburb/city-suburb travel (although development often eventually surrounded many of these provincial freeways after the fact).
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:04 PM
 
2,825 posts, read 3,353,954 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
So you see the place you live as just some abstract collection of streets that you don't identify with?
..You identify with streets? Do you feel pain with road maintenance?

apparently some define "community" as a collection of inanimate objects

others define "community" as people living in an area

you are creating an artificial boundary of "place" that is larger than where you actually live but a subset of the area where it is located - all to bootstrap a complaint about "division" over something that is arbitrarily "grouped" to begin with.
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Old 03-05-2014, 04:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
As for the substandard housing, I still think it would have been more sensible to just update the housing without destroying it.

Was much of the housing in Chicago's South Side cold water flats? From what I can understand, the housing was considered pretty high quality and the neighbourhoods were fairly wealthy around the late 19th century, although the standards of that time were not the same as those of the mid 20th century.
Depends on the area. An express way is an huge thing and yes some well off property was lost to it.

However I think the benefits of being able to go from one end of the City to another in an hour to under and hour out weigh what was lost. I would hate to have to ride to O'Hare without the expressway, or frankly many other places in town and the expressways themselves offered benefit to transit users. The Dan Ryan allowed the EL to go to 95th street where as before it never went south past 63rd. The Kennedy was used to take the EL to O'Hare Airport and allowed it to go further north west than Irving Park. So there were improvements.

As for improving it, that would have been more problematic. Cold water flats were owned by land lords. The problem was that these places lacked centralized heat as well as hot water which can lead to fire since each Apartment had it's own hot water heater or stove fueled by coal. They also may not have an bathroom inside the apartment itself as Chicago's early codes only allowed them to be shared between units. Between about 1900 and 1930 there was a revolution in terms of housing technology and things like a gas fired central furnace become possible and after WWII there was a desire to get rid of old, outdated things.
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Old 03-05-2014, 04:02 PM
 
358 posts, read 360,221 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
..You identify with streets? Do you feel pain with road maintenance?

apparently some define "community" as a collection of inanimate objects

others define "community" as people living in an area

you are creating an artificial boundary of "place" that is larger than where you actually live but a subset of the area where it is located - all to bootstrap a complaint about "division" over something that is arbitrarily "grouped" to begin with.
In my opinion most people don't think like that. Their community includes the people, streets, parks, landmarks, homes, etc.

You can argue that inanimate objects shouldn't matter, but that's unrealistic.
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,550,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
..You identify with streets? Do you feel pain with road maintenance?

apparently some define "community" as a collection of inanimate objects

others define "community" as people living in an area

you are creating an artificial boundary of "place" that is larger than where you actually live but a subset of the area where it is located - all to bootstrap a complaint about "division" over something that is arbitrarily "grouped" to begin with.
Sorry, I am not buying this BS, you know what a neighborhood is and how people identify with their neighborhoods. I have no interest in playing games with you. When you cut a neighborhood in half with a highway, you risk killing the neighborhood by decreasing the land value.
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:34 PM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,572,548 times
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When I was a teenager and took the local light rail line downtown, there was a mural that read "People + Buildings = Cities." It's a simplistic idea, but cities (and neighborhoods) are more than just buildings and more than just people--it is the combination of the two that makes them. You can't do without one or the other, alter one element and you alter the neighborhood. And while change happens over time, we do have the ability to direct change to suit our own purposes.

Land in certain circumstances becomes more valuable when a highway comes through--specifically, land near a highway interchange becomes more valuable for commercial property, especially in greenfield areas, and land farther away from the interchange that was previously farmland can become a lot more valuable if rezoned to residential. That's how sprawl works--but it's not how neighborhoods work.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:06 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,862,857 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
When I was a teenager and took the local light rail line downtown, there was a mural that read "People + Buildings = Cities." It's a simplistic idea, but cities (and neighborhoods) are more than just buildings and more than just people--it is the combination of the two that makes them. You can't do without one or the other, alter one element and you alter the neighborhood. And while change happens over time, we do have the ability to direct change to suit our own purposes.

Land in certain circumstances becomes more valuable when a highway comes through--specifically, land near a highway interchange becomes more valuable for commercial property, especially in greenfield areas, and land farther away from the interchange that was previously farmland can become a lot more valuable if rezoned to residential. That's how sprawl works--but it's not how neighborhoods work.

Actually the same thing happened when that light rail was built. Before public transit cities were limited in size to walking distance as most people in the city didn't have horses. It was literally the old cities where the shopkeeper lived above his shop.

The growth of places like New York, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, ect. was fueled by those street car lines. Workers could live further away from factories and with commuter rail owners could live in another town or another part of town away from their factories. Sprawl will occur anytime faster transportation options present themselves.

The automobile made it practical for the public to have private transportation and with that people could live further away from where they worked or shopped. Trust me the EL might beat the car in rush hour but at other times nope and esp. not the bus. The Interstates made suburbia practical for the working man instead of just his boss and they took it. If you have ever seen what cities often looked like before street cars and rail were built you would be amazed at the change.

Last edited by chirack; 03-05-2014 at 09:17 PM..
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:06 PM
 
358 posts, read 360,221 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
I don't "identify with a neighborhood" and I don't find your obsession with a "neighborhood" to be anything particularly worthwhile or even consistent. Everything has a lifespan. You weren't concerned about preserving what was there before and why shouldn't the area be permitted to evolve?

You have no problem imposing your opinion on how entire areas of other people's property need to be re-developed to meet your aesthetic preferences. When areas change in a way that doesn't meet your personal aesthetic preference, you ignore utility, your lack of standing, and common sense. Your aren't interested in preservation unless it is your personal vision. Places need to be able to evolve - and not necessarily only as an entire "neighborhood" at a time.

You play fast and loose with who the "you" is, what the "risk" is, and "who" pays. "Risk" isn't an issue except perhaps for some of the property owners - but that is simply a risk that comes along with being a property owner. There is no guaranteed preservation of "value" nor entitlement to any collective value and that isn't the reason most people buy homes to begin with. It certainly doesn't make sense to claim that it somehow "kills the neighborhood" because of decreased value. If that were the case then every time the real estate bubble pops all the "neighborhoods" would be dead because of decreased value. Nonsense.

Getting back to the issue, land often becomes more valuable when a highway goes through.
If you live in the country/mountains/secluded area, you may not identity with a neighborhood. I can understand that. However, there is nothing unusual about people that do identify with a neighborhood. What you're treating as some fringe behavior is actually extremely common and normal. People identify with their surroundings and take pride in it.

How do you feel about the use of eminent domain of property to build highways?
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