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Old 05-17-2014, 09:40 PM
 
1,709 posts, read 1,677,803 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
The thread isn't about urban living versus suburban living, it's about downtown living. In many other countries besides the U.S., a lot more families (particularly middle-class ones) do live within the city proper, but they don't live in the Central Business District.

Does Downtown Vancouver have as many families as outlying residential, but still urban, parts of Vancouver?
I'd say it's hard to separate urban living from downtown living. After all, downtown shopping districts, factories, and businesses were always propped up largely by workers in surrounding neighborhoods, and later the suburbs in the era of the car. I don't think downtowns could ever survive as independent entities, but many downtowns are certainly missing things that could strengthen themselves and the surrounding areas.
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Old 05-18-2014, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
12,703 posts, read 8,775,044 times
Reputation: 7319
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
The thread isn't about urban living versus suburban living, it's about downtown living. In many other countries besides the U.S., a lot more families (particularly middle-class ones) do live within the city proper, but they don't live in the Central Business District.

Does Downtown Vancouver have as many families as outlying residential, but still urban, parts of Vancouver?
Urban flight in the US had an effect on your downtowns, so the two are connected. My comments about Vancouver were about Vancouver's downtown and how the lack of that urban flight kept Vancouver's downtown a desirable place to be and live.

Downtown does not have the same number of families that live outside of downtown, since the downtown peninsula is fairly small, not because of any lack of facilities. Downtown has schools, shopping centres, parks, beaches, theatres, restaurants etc.

The reason, as I stated earlier, that some families choose not to live downtown is the cost of space and perhaps wanting a backyard.

I live downtown, and I am surrounded by children. There are playgrounds all around and they are full. In fact they will be building a new kindergarten/daycare across from me because of the need. The new elementary school that opened a couple of years ago could not keep up with the demand.

So to answer the OP's question, for cities in the US that want to attract people there, the answer is simple, but expensive. You have to make it attractive for people to live in. Each city will have it's own unique issues, but it's has to include involved citizens, business and a committed government.
Also people's gluttony for consumer goods affects the living space you need. If you have or need 2 cars because of lack of transit ( something that liveable cites do not lack ) or storage space for all your junk, you are not going to be a good candidate for condo living. People need to learn to live smaller if they want to live downtown.
Seattle, our neighbour south of us, is knocking down an old expressway. That is a huge start and believe it will make a difference since it's unblocking a stretch of waterfront. Something that people who visit Vancouver always comment on, people here have access to with minutes of walking to the ocean. The whole downtown, and beyond is connected by a walking/biking seawall that has restaurants, beaches and parks along it's path. THAT makes it liveable.

Last edited by Natnasci; 05-18-2014 at 12:47 PM..
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Old 05-18-2014, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Old East Dallas
297 posts, read 404,187 times
Reputation: 162
1 The City of Dallas, as well as many other cities in the country
need to eliminate at least 1 freeway that cuts their downtown from
their neighborhood(s) .

2 Parking needs to be CHEAPER.
(yes, there will be some profit loss, but more people will be
willing to Park ! Thus an actual PROFIT)

3 Bicycle lanes (protected by white lines) along the edge(s) of the street
would promote bicyclists to ride bicycles.

Some "professional" bicyclists are AGAINST these lanes because the
believe that if they are made, that they will be Restricted to using them.
So they make every reason possible to make bicycle lanes sound too expensive,
or useless, etc...
Someone needs to educate these Bicyclists and the public so that the can
understand that other cities (like the ones I know of in California) do NOT
restrict bicyclists from riding in the street. You can ride IN or OUT of the lanes.
They are there for those who cannot ride with traffic, such as elderly, kids,
or whomever.

4 bicycle helmet laws in Dallas are not even Enforced. But they still have existed
since 1996. Getting rid of the helmet laws (along with the lanes) creates a feeling
that you don't have to look like a "pro" (knee pads, elbow pads, helmets, gloves, etc...)
to ride a bicycle to town.
It sounds like "too much trouble" and most people (myself included) would feel stupid
using so much equipment .

5 people who hit pedestrians or bicyclists should be given MUCH harsher penalties.
This would ease peoples' minds and let them know that it is safe to walk, and safe to
ride, without fear of crazy drivers.

6 Walkability, and ridability of bicycles would be healthy and make any city more vibrant.

Cars are for freeways, and for travelling over 5 miles.
Anything under that should or could be done with Lightrail, bicycle, bus, or walking.

7 Media needs to promote these ideas.
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Old East Dallas
297 posts, read 404,187 times
Reputation: 162
Default This is an Awesome, well written Observation about Downtowns in the U.S.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sebb_12 View Post
There are no downtowns in the US. (with the exception of NYC). What we call downtowns are just business parks, hyper-zoned and so removed from their original purpose that they're just gimmicky shells of what they used to be and what most people in the world would consider a 'downtown.' As others have alluded to, all you'll most likely find are sad aging condos, hipster haunts and expensive retailers, homeless shelters, dangerous parks, and maybe a 'nightlife' street or two carefully delineated by the wise city planners. Those areas of downtowns which are not consciously and artificially kept nice are in some state of decay, since the property is basically just a playground for investors to flip or hold, having no incentive to maintain.



Exactly. The urban planners out there can spend eternity arguing about walkability, services, housing size, etc... but it's all for naught when most Americans don't and never will live in dense areas. If you want to live in a downtown you need to go to Asia or Europe.

I gave u a rep.
For such a good observation, and blunt but informative assessment of
the situation with Downtown(s) and their problems.

It takes these kinds of analyzations in order to see the problem and FIX
what needs to be fixed.

I'm going to copy your mini-rant and paste it to something I'm preparing
as an email to the Dallas City Hall.

I'm not a City Hall member or official, but as a citizen, I try to keep them
informed on things; with hopes that they will pick up the ball and
do a good job running the City.
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Old East Dallas
297 posts, read 404,187 times
Reputation: 162
Something I left-out (somehow did not get posted in my previously numbered comment)
is that if the City (or cities) want to make their downtown(s) livelier again,
then they have to bring in CHILDREN.

Everyone wants more "walkability" so that the shops don't die.
And the Planners have almost got it figured-out,
but what's missing is the catering to KIDS.

If you want people to spend money, or treat downtown as a "destination"....
then Downtown has to Bicycle friendly (which brings in more walkers)
and the MEDIA (news agencies) have to announce the Free Activities
that are geared around kids to enjoy being downtown.

Schools need to get involved by giving flyers with a list of the places that Parents
can take their children. (Kids eat free; kids half-price)
that sort of thing.

Society's #1 goal is to protect and keep their families happy.
And if the kids want to go downtown, then parents will take them.

Arcades have to be re-established.

Machines that link to the internet and allow for game play
ONLINE. (This is worth money to anyone who has the brains to make it work)

Dallas has an old HighSchool downtown that needs to be reopened.
And so do other cities.
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,448 posts, read 11,951,877 times
Reputation: 10561
Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
I'd say it's hard to separate urban living from downtown living. After all, downtown shopping districts, factories, and businesses were always propped up largely by workers in surrounding neighborhoods, and later the suburbs in the era of the car. I don't think downtowns could ever survive as independent entities, but many downtowns are certainly missing things that could strengthen themselves and the surrounding areas.
There's no question in my mind a healthy city needs to have a healthy downtown. My point was only I think that the "family friendliness" of downtown ranks very low in terms of what a downtown needs (unless you're talking about very basic levels of friendliness, like having low crime and not a lot of sketchy people hanging around, which is universally appealing). A healthy downtown will attract some families eventually, but only the sort of people willing to pay the big price premium for a small amount of living space and no yard. This by nature is only going to be a minority of parents - those hyper-committed to urbanism (so committed they turn up their nose at even a rowhouse, a mid-rise apartment, or a house with a postage-stamp yard), and/or those with enough money they can get whatever they desire.
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:56 PM
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 42,048,502 times
Reputation: 14811
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDarkSide View Post

Some "professional" bicyclists are AGAINST these lanes because the
believe that if they are made, that they will be Restricted to using them.
So they make every reason possible to make bicycle lanes sound too expensive,
or useless, etc...
Someone needs to educate these Bicyclists and the public so that the can
understand that other cities (like the ones I know of in California) do NOT
restrict bicyclists from riding in the street. You can ride IN or OUT of the lanes.
Not always true. For example, in NYC it is illegal not to use an available bicycle lane. Or at least the NYPD thinks it is illegal.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzE-IMaegzQ

nyc-cyclists-are-not-bound-by-bike-lanes/ [change the **** in the URL to your favorite 4 letter word beginning with f after clicking on the link]

http://gothamist.com/2010/10/27/cop_...cket_cycl.php#

The NYPD… “Officers assigned to give tickets to cyclists will give out tickets to cyclists. It makes no difference to them if the ticket is thrown out by a judge. As long as they hand out the tickets they are staying out of trouble with their superiors.”
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Old 05-18-2014, 08:17 PM
 
56,749 posts, read 81,082,761 times
Reputation: 12550
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDarkSide View Post
Something I left-out (somehow did not get posted in my previously numbered comment)
is that if the City (or cities) want to make their downtown(s) livelier again,
then they have to bring in CHILDREN.

Everyone wants more "walkability" so that the shops don't die.
And the Planners have almost got it figured-out,
but what's missing is the catering to KIDS.

If you want people to spend money, or treat downtown as a "destination"....
then Downtown has to Bicycle friendly (which brings in more walkers)
and the MEDIA (news agencies) have to announce the Free Activities
that are geared around kids to enjoy being downtown.

Schools need to get involved by giving flyers with a list of the places that Parents
can take their children. (Kids eat free; kids half-price)
that sort of thing.

Society's #1 goal is to protect and keep their families happy.
And if the kids want to go downtown, then parents will take them.

Arcades have to be re-established.

Machines that link to the internet and allow for game play
ONLINE. (This is worth money to anyone who has the brains to make it work)

Dallas has an old HighSchool downtown that needs to be reopened.
And so do other cities.
Actually, Syracuse has done the last thing in this post, but uses a new extension of an old building. It is now a magnet HS with the highest grad rate out of the district high schools. The Syracuse City School District | Syracuse, NY

Central High School

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insti..._(Central_Tech)

http://goo.gl/maps/0RXbS

It is also discussing the first topic in your numbered post: Changes to I-81 Ramping Up

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 05-18-2014 at 08:25 PM..
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Old 05-18-2014, 08:24 PM
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 42,048,502 times
Reputation: 14811
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
There's no question in my mind a healthy city needs to have a healthy downtown. My point was only I think that the "family friendliness" of downtown ranks very low in terms of what a downtown needs (unless you're talking about very basic levels of friendliness, like having low crime and not a lot of sketchy people hanging around, which is universally appealing). A healthy downtown will attract some families eventually, but only the sort of people willing to pay the big price premium for a small amount of living space and no yard. This by nature is only going to be a minority of parents - those hyper-committed to urbanism (so committed they turn up their nose at even a rowhouse, a mid-rise apartment, or a house with a postage-stamp yard), and/or those with enough money they can get whatever they desire.
Families also tend to prefer other areas with families. Being in area full of tourists and visitors is less appealing than just a high density area full of apartment buildings with no yard. In Manhattan, Midtown Manhattan would be less appealing than the Upper West Side. Of course, choosing to have a home with yard would mean not living in Manhattan. In most other American cities, one could live reasonably close to the center of the city in an area with more living space.

Paris has 300,000 children (ages 0-14), living spaces are small in Paris and any sort yard, shared or unshared yard is mostly nonexistent:

POPULATION PARIS : statistics of Paris 75000

Still, the child % is lower in Paris than its suburbs.

Vancouver was mentioned. In the West End, next to downtown the child % is 6% vs a citywide average of 17%:

http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/profile-west-end-2012.pdf

However, because its population density is so high, the child density is slightly higher than the citywide average [this pattern has been mentioned a while ago]. All three of the West End elementary schools are at capacity. Interestingly, the neighborhood housing stock is mostly post-war despite being within the downtown area in among the oldest parts of the city.
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Old 05-18-2014, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,448 posts, read 11,951,877 times
Reputation: 10561
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Families also tend to prefer other areas with families. Being in area full of tourists and visitors is less appealing than just a high density area full of apartment buildings with no yard. In Manhattan, Midtown Manhattan would be less appealing than the Upper West Side. Of course, choosing to have a home with yard would mean not living in Manhattan. In most other American cities, one could live reasonably close to the center of the city in an area with more living space.
NYC is why I included "midrise" in my point. Manhattan itself only has a handful of single-family houses left at the far north of the island, but there's plenty of places less structurally dense than Midtown which are far more desirable if you have a family.

But yes, in general virtually anywhere outside of a CBD offers some green space. To use Pittsburgh examples, why live in the CBD in a place like this when you could live here, here, or even here and still be within city limits?
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