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Old 07-12-2014, 02:41 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Originally Posted by wburg View Post
A lot of folks in suburbs really try to convince themselves that suburbs are actually a kind of farm, or maybe a forest, because they have lawns and trees, and living in a suburb is no different than living in rural farmland or the deep forest. It's kind of like an animal in a zoo being convinced that they're living in the jungle because there are some token vines set up around their cage, or on a remote mountainside because there are some fake rocks and their cage is disguised to look like a cave. Funny, really.
There was a thread on another forum complaining about leaf blowers. I chimed in, joining the anti-leaf blowers side and added, "isn't the point of having lots of green space in your neighborhood so that you can have so nature and quiet?" A lot responded back, "if you want quiet move to the countryside, I want my manicured property!" Definitely didn't think they were living in a rural area.
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Old 07-12-2014, 03:25 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
There was a thread on another forum complaining about leaf blowers. I chimed in, joining the anti-leaf blowers side and added, "isn't the point of having lots of green space in your neighborhood so that you can have so nature and quiet?" A lot responded back, "if you want quiet move to the countryside, I want my manicured property!" Definitely didn't think they were living in a rural area.
Not to mention, this thread is supposed to be about living in smaller cities and towns, NOT the suburbs. We've had enough suburb-bashing threads.
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Old 07-12-2014, 08:33 PM
 
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Here's another example of a small city seeing some revitalization in a part of its Downtown: Watertown s Franklin Street Sees Rebirth WWNY TV 7 News Weather and Sports for Local News 9a72308947 - YouTube
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
I take it you believe facts show it is wrong…

At least by energy per capita, higher density living is associated with lower energy use. The density thersholds required are on the high side for American standard, but typically rural areas consume more energy per capita than suburban or urban ones, so there is a thershold at the low density end, too.

http://www.davidowen.net/files/green-manhattan.pdf

And of course, land use / development per area per capita is lower in denser areas. Whether these count as more envirnonmently friendly is something one can dispute, but I think it does. But the energy and land use factor are definitely real.
The best quote from the article:

Thomas Jefferson: cities are "pestilential to the morals, the health, and the liberties of man".

Although the article claimed energy use per capita was lower it did not explain how it arrived at that conclusion nor the source of the information. The author gave only a personal example of how his family consumed more electricity in the countryside than he did living in a 700 sq foot hovel in the city. [Note also that his desire to move out of the city occurred after the birth of his daughter - perhaps a useful point for the "will families live in the city" thread]

However it leads one to question whether he bothered to consider all the energy consumed by the city (not the people) itself in his "per capita" energy analysis. Although his article concludes with talking about the "terrible price we have paid ... - for liberation from the city" after mostly anecdotal stories it's a little disingenuous given the readily verifiable and author-admitted terrible price paid to live in the city.

As another poster pointed out - one reason people move out of such a dense environment is because people don't want to live in such a dense environment (i.e., like hamsters). Lots of folks prefer living in a place with less: noise, people, light, pollution, crazies, taxes, etc. The urbanists on this thread don't seem to understand that mostly because many of them are single, have no kids, have lots of time on their hands, and are looking for entertainment.

Although the author in the story bemoans "sprawl" (a city-centric view of the rest of the world), he engaged unapologetically in the very behavior he believed others should be prohibited from engaging in for "environmental" reasons. The most important "environment" is the one personal to the individual - and like it or not there is a significant portion of the population that finds "urban living" undesirable and who will continue to seek an environment with less noise, people, light, pollution, crazies, taxes, etc.
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Old 07-13-2014, 09:06 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
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post

Although the article claimed energy use per capita was lower it did not explain how it arrived at that conclusion nor the source of the information. The author gave only a personal example of how his family consumed more electricity in the countryside than he did living in a 700 sq foot hovel in the city. [Note also that his desire to move out of the city occurred after the birth of his daughter - perhaps a useful point for the "will families live in the city" thread]
You can check the EPA transportation and household energy use per capita stats. I'm not interested in looking it up at the moment. New York State is usually at the bottom or near bottom for most types of energy use and most its outlier aspects is from the city.

Quote:
However it leads one to question whether he bothered to consider all the energy consumed by the city (not the people) itself in his "per capita" energy analysis. Although his article concludes with talking about the "terrible price we have paid ... - for liberation from the city" after mostly anecdotal stories it's a little disingenuous given the readily verifiable and author-admitted terrible price paid to live in the city.
I'm not sure what other energy you would look at besides the per capita number? What is the all the energy by the city not people you are talking about it. As for the bolded, what is this terrible price? It's mostly just personal taste. Just because crowded environments are unappealing to you doesn't mean it's a terrible price. Although, literally the author would be paying a terrible price to raise his family in Manhattan in a literal sense, it would be very expensive to find the space. But the place he moved wasn't cheap either.
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Old 07-13-2014, 10:48 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
You can check the EPA transportation and household energy use per capita stats. I'm not interested in looking it up at the moment. New York State is usually at the bottom or near bottom for most types of energy use and most its outlier aspects is from the city.



I'm not sure what other energy you would look at besides the per capita number? What is the all the energy by the city not people you are talking about it. As for the bolded, what is this terrible price? It's mostly just personal taste. Just because crowded environments are unappealing to you doesn't mean it's a terrible price. Although, literally the author would be paying a terrible price to raise his family in Manhattan in a literal sense, it would be very expensive to find the space. But the place he moved wasn't cheap either.
I'd guess s/he means the energy for the factories, businesses, etc that don't get computed into per-capital use. Also, we've seen figures in the past that mass transit does not save energy per mile traveled. It does help with congestion.
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Also, we've seen figures in the past that mass transit does not save energy per mile traveled.
This is true in general, but the NYC system is an outlier -- it's about 2/3rds the energy compared to cars, IIRC. And there's fewer miles traveled. It's not surprising that a NYC resident living in a "spacious" 500 sq ft apartment and commuting 2 miles to work via subway uses less energy than a suburbanite living in a 2000 sq ft home and commuting 15 miles to work via car, even if there were no efficiency differences.
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:32 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
This is true in general, but the NYC system is an outlier -- it's about 2/3rds the energy compared to cars, IIRC. And there's fewer miles traveled. It's not surprising that a NYC resident living in a "spacious" 500 sq ft apartment and commuting 2 miles to work via subway uses less energy than a suburbanite living in a 2000 sq ft home and commuting 15 miles to work via car, even if there were no efficiency differences.
If the suburbanite lives with his family of 4, and works at home, or 2 miles away from his office and he rides his bike, the energy difference is negligible.
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:37 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
45,990 posts, read 41,989,613 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I'd guess s/he means the energy for the factories, businesses, etc that don't get computed into per-capital use. Also, we've seen figures in the past that mass transit does not save energy per mile traveled. It does help with congestion.
But the factories or businesses would be roughly the same per capita whether in city or out of city. Obviously the total would be high since the population is high, but why would that be relevant?

I didn't refer specifically to mass transit, just transportation per capita numbers. Mass transit does save energy in high density, high volume setting as to the ones I'm discussing. Furthermore, electric rail has less greenhouse emissions (even if a power plant has a high fossil use, it's more efficient to burn fossil fuels at one big station and send the energy on wires than to burn in thousands of little power plants in vehicles. As long as the power plant isn't coal the advantage is big).

Despite driving by a minority commute mode in NYC (1/3 of commute trips excluding walking, for non-commute trip unsure , maybe 50:50 but it's hard to account for walking), passenger cars create 74% of greenhouse gas emissions:

http://nytelecom.vo.llnwd.net/o15/ag...segas_2011.pdf

see page 10. The document also mentions steam heating (delivered by a central plant) as an energy saver. The document claims greenhouse gas emissions per capita are one-third of the US average. Probably ignores factories and businesses outside of the city that supply things resident use, but that's roughly the same everywhere.
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
You can check the EPA transportation and household energy use per capita stats. I'm not interested in looking it up at the moment. New York State is usually at the bottom or near bottom for most types of energy use and most its outlier aspects is from the city.
If "per capita" is actually only the amount specifically attributed to persons then it is not an accurate picture of the total energy consumption nor an accurate "per capita" number.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I'm not sure what other energy you would look at besides the per capita number? What is the all the energy by the city not people you are talking about it.
The energy consumed by the city would include energy consumed for street lights, water treatment plants, pump stations, subways, other "mass transit", city administration buildings, all emergency response, construction, all non-residential customers, etc. Generally residential plus industrial plus commercial plus transportation. Have these been included in the "per capita" numbers or have they been ignored because they don't appear on individual customer's electric bills? Is the energy consumed by the restaurants, city amenities, etc. being included in the "per capita" consumption number or ignored simply because it didn't appear directly on a residential customer's utility bill?

This economic genius complains about his power consumption in his new location but it's likely he just now sees directly the cost of electric pumps used to bring water to his home, dishwasher used to clean dishes (instead of eating out or using paper plates), clothes washers and dryers (because he's now actually washing his own clothes instead of taking them to a laundry), not to mention his family is larger and don't forget the cleaning, etc. associated with having kids. At least he admitted moving to a two hundred year old house with a two hundred year old leaky roof - but is somehow surprised that it might cost more to heat such a building. [pg 112, col. 1]


Again there is no discussion as to the derivation of the "per capita" numbers. Surprise, surprise, he was paying for it before and at a much greater premium along with taxes to pay for all sorts of unrelated government programs to boot.


Quote:
As for the bolded, what is this terrible price? It's mostly just personal taste. Just because crowded environments are unappealing to you doesn't mean it's a terrible price. Although, literally the author would be paying a terrible price to raise his family in Manhattan in a literal sense, it would be very expensive to find the space. But the place he moved wasn't cheap either.
The terrible price was made obvious by the author in economic terms, health terms, and social terms. [pg 111, col. 3; pg 112, col. 1-3] The author spoke of the financial costs of living in the city and all the taxes. Why did the author move from his expensive 700 sq foot hovel? Because he didn't want to live like a hamster and he wanted to raise his daughter in a BETTER environment. Notice he wants to somehow cast others as wasteful and environmentally insensitive because they don't want to live in the city - yet for all his talk he didn't exactly walk the walk, did he? Of course not - because in the end the city was not the best place for him either.

He moves to a 200 year old house adjacent an established national park but appears to want to turn the place he escaped to into the place he escaped from. The author clearly worships Jane Jacobs' work [pg 113/114 col. 1] and seems to appreciate her observation that "parks and open spaces reduce urban vitality" - whatever that is supposed to mean. It would seem he would prefer to turn the national park he moved next to into an urban wasteland - is that "environmentally sound" or contrary to his thesis of promoting environmental protection via urbanization?

Maybe if his former home had to handle its own garbage instead of hauling it to other states to make it out-of-sight and out-of-mind he wouldn't have the false utopian vision of the place he escaped from.

Neither his nor his wife's job was location dependent. Accordingly they had a freedom that many if not most other persons do not have. If he was so "environmentally" conscious then maybe he could have repaired his roof or moved back to the place he claimed was so environmentally superior instead of promoting urbanization under the false pretext of environment.
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