U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-27-2014, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
2,975 posts, read 4,084,553 times
Reputation: 1208

Advertisements

When cities start to fill up and people don't want to live in town, the suburbs get dense and they start getting apartment complexes and townhouses like this, with a road system that's designed for houses with large yards, and without expanding transit. Also the case in LA. The end result: massive traffic jams! Your house might not get town down, but you'll be stuck in traffic and supermarket lines behind all the apartment and townhouse dwellers.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-27-2014, 10:47 PM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,574,087 times
Reputation: 4048
Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Suburbanites don't need walkability. We have cars. Parking spots. Garages, even.
We're using those parking lots to park our cars in.
Sure, you are right now. But we're not talking about right now--the idea of conversion is generally done out of necessity. I wouldn't dream of marching into your neighborhood with the Young Socialist Urbanism Brigade, setting your car on fire and forcing you to live in Urbanist Collective #145567 and assigning a dozen inner-city youth to live in your house. Go outside and hug your car if it will make you feel better, you have nothing to fear from me!
Quote:
Occupado. Suburbanites are living in those McMansions.
People were living in those old mansions too, but then the economics of their neighborhood changed. Not far from my neck of the woods, some suburban communities built only large, expensive houses in an effort to keep poor people out. Some of those large, expensive houses are now de facto multi-family housing, with several families sharing one house. Because they're very car-dependent, they park their cars on the big lawns. This was not the result of any sort of Socialist-Urbanist Reform Dictate, it was the free market at work. There weren't enough wealthy buyers, and a lot of poor people who needed housing, so the market adapted to the conditions. Things change, neighborhoods change, based on the world around you.
Quote:
The Levittowns and the ticky-tacky little boxes of Daly City still stand, as has been pointed out multiple times on this forum.
And I'm talking more about buildings from the past 20 years or so, not mid-century development--which may not have been as robust as pre-WWII housing, but not quite as disposable as more modern housing. Also, just so you know--Daly City has a population density of 13,000 people per square mile, which is actually denser than the mixed-use, central city neighborhood where I live. They're also identified by the US Census as one of the most transit-friendly cities in the country, with many using BART and MUNI lines. So, apparently Daly City has converted from sprawl to urbanity, without demolishing their little boxes, which was basically the point I was making--you don't have to demolish the suburbs (or socialize them, even!) to make them more walkable places.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-28-2014, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,447 posts, read 11,948,134 times
Reputation: 10558
First off, it's worth mentioning this is happening already in cities like Portland and Seattle. "Suburban" style neighborhoods (which are mostly gridded and have Craftsman-era bungalows) are seeing small groups of houses bought out near major transit lines, knocked down, and replaced with smaller to midrise apartment buildings. Hell, this kind of retrofitting has long gone on in areas of high demand, such as around universities.

I daresay most cities, even in the Sun Belt, have tons of neighborhoods like this. Out west they continued to use a grid pattern even in suburban areas, topography permitting, in the MCM period. Most of these neighborhoods are found in outlying portions of major cities (or in some cases, like in the South/West, practically right outside of the CBD), but given they have the closest locations to urban jobs and amenities, one would expect to see retrofitting there first. Even presuming a fair amount of the older detached single-family neighborhoods put up development strictures (historic districts, local zoning rules, etc) there still will be enough "semi-urban" land to densify for the next few decades.

Also, one should keep in mind that while people like suburbs in general, many individual suburbs, particularly older first-ring ones, are not so desirable. The house square footage of the first true suburban developments built between 1945 and 1960 was often smaller than houses in the city proper. Except for some of the more high design/larger houses, the future for many is not bright. In low-desirability areas, these neighborhoods are becoming poorer, and seem to be transitioning into "new ghettos." In high desirability areas, the houses are knocked down, with McMansion infill put in their place. But no one seems to really care about their integrity as a built form. I don't expect the next 30 years to be kind to them.

Last edited by eschaton; 03-28-2014 at 08:02 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-28-2014, 07:18 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,992 posts, read 42,026,386 times
Reputation: 14811
Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
And I'm talking more about buildings from the past 20 years or so, not mid-century development--which may not have been as robust as pre-WWII housing, but not quite as disposable as more modern housing. Also, just so you know--Daly City has a population density of 13,000 people per square mile, which is actually denser than the mixed-use, central city neighborhood where I live. They're also identified by the US Census as one of the most transit-friendly cities in the country, with many using BART and MUNI lines. So, apparently Daly City has converted from sprawl to urbanity, without demolishing their little boxes, which was basically the point I was making--you don't have to demolish the suburbs (or socialize them, even!) to make them more walkable places.
Why would housing built in the last 20 years would be less durable than Levittown-era housing, which was meant to built as cheaply as possible?

As for Daly City, no conversion was done. It just was built up rather densely. Part of it looks to be rather row house but with driveways:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Flour...07.28,,0,-2.19

Other parts are rather dense for typical suburban standards.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Flour...,7.77,,0,-1.28

As for making it more urban, some of its commercial corridors don't look the most pedestrian-friendly. Particularly around Daly City BART.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-28-2014, 07:20 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,992 posts, read 42,026,386 times
Reputation: 14811
Quote:
Originally Posted by hurricaneMan1992 View Post
When cities start to fill up and people don't want to live in town, the suburbs get dense and they start getting apartment complexes and townhouses like this, with a road system that's designed for houses with large yards, and without expanding transit.
Only in suburbs without strigent zoning regulations. With maximum lot size and restrictions on multi-family constructions, those can be prevented. Long Island sees a limited number of those for that reason.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-28-2014, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,703,335 times
Reputation: 26676
Suburbs don't have to tear down to add a little density. There is available land all over the place. I am sure just about every burb has a former big box store that is looking for a tenant. This could be repurposed as mixed use or apartments. There is no requirement to change ever block, just a few here and there. Additionally, adding an inlaw apartment increases density with little impact in neighborhood scale. Densifying requires a little bit of creativity.

There are plenty of people who would want to live in the burbs if there more housing types.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-28-2014, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,554,726 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
That would actually be a great idea, especially if it involves a new BART line running through it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-28-2014, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,554,726 times
Reputation: 7830
The best way to plan urban developments in the suburbs is to work it with transit planning, especially rail stations.

In Hillsboro outside of Portland, there is Orenco Station that is in its final stages of development. They started at the furthest from the rail station with lighter density and are now building the highest density closest to the station. That is probably the best way to build a fully planned urban neighborhood around a rail station.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-28-2014, 09:20 AM
 
Location: 304
5,093 posts, read 6,866,638 times
Reputation: 1697
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
The best way to plan urban developments in the suburbs is to work it with transit planning, especially rail stations.

In Hillsboro outside of Portland, there is Orenco Station that is in its final stages of development. They started at the furthest from the rail station with lighter density and are now building the highest density closest to the station. That is probably the best way to build a fully planned urban neighborhood around a rail station.
This is what I would agree with. Rail is a crucial part of future development of cities, and when urban planners make rail more accessible by walking, then the suburbs will "urbanize".
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-28-2014, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,554,726 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscross309 View Post
This is what I would agree with. Rail is a crucial part of future development of cities, and when urban planners make rail more accessible by walking, then the suburbs will "urbanize".
Also the key thing is, the suburbs can continue to be suburban, there should just be more urban planned areas around each transit stop.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top