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Old 05-16-2014, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I do too. I've been a maternal/child nurse long enough to know there's no such thing as "common sense". Common sense doesn't tell you much of anything. Common sense isn't very common.
"Common sense is not so common." -- Voltaire.
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Old 05-16-2014, 03:02 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,980 posts, read 102,527,356 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
"Common sense is not so common." -- Voltaire.
I guess I'm channeling him! I never studied Voltaire.
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Old 05-16-2014, 03:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hurricaneMan1992 View Post
Kind of a subjective personal anecdote here: compare South Beach vs. Brickell in Miami. While Brickell has definitely stolen a lot of limelight from South Beach recently, I find South Beach much more walkable, bikeable, and generally vibrant than Brickell. The recent trend in South Beach has been to renovate older buildings (I live in a fully updated 1920's art deco building), while Brickell is full of new mega-towers. The thing with Brickell is that those massive luxury-oriented buildings (almost) all come with large parking structures. They tend to cater to wealthy folk who have nice cars and prefer to drive them around. (Though you do get lots of students and young professionals with roommates who don't drive everywhere). When walking and ESPECIALLY biking around South Beach, I feel I am in good company and don't get many funny looks, whereas in Brickell I often feel that unless I'm commuting to/from work on public transportation or walking from the garage to the bar, I should rather be in one of those cars. Comparing Washington Avenue with the trickle of pedestrians on Brickell Avenue and Miami Avenue and virtual lack of cyclists and parked, locked-up bikes on a typical evening, it is easy to see I am not alone. OK, South Beach has many tourists, BUT quite a few of those massive buildings in Brickell are hotels too, and Brickell has the greater residential density. Also, not many of the tourists bring their bikes with them or rent bikes, they walk or take cabs...
I don't think anecdotes are irrelevant to the topic at hand. I find that the premise of this article reinforces my personal experiences in Boston. Over the course of about six years I worked in three locations across the city separated by a three year stint in neighboring Quincy.

Place #1 was a temp job in South Boston just across the Fort Point Channel from South Station. It was the home office of a local construction company located in an old three story manufacturing building on Summer Street. Place #2 was on the second floor of an old mall turned office building in Downtown Crossing. Place #3 was the 27th floor of brand new skyscraper a couple of blocks from South Station.

When I worked in the first two places I was much more active in city life. I spent my breaks and lunch period out and about on the local streets adding to the vibrancy although contributing to vibrancy was not my goal in getting away from my desk. When I was assigned to the skyscraper location I grew tired of the time consuming and frustrating routine required to get to and from the street and I got into the habit of going from home to MBTA to desk to MBTA to home every day. In other words I no longer contributed to any street level vibrancy.

I also think that older buildings and skyscrapers attract much different clientele.
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Old 05-16-2014, 03:53 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,980 posts, read 102,527,356 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtkinsonDan View Post
I don't think anecdotes are irrelevant to the topic at hand. I find that the premise of this article reinforces my personal experiences in Boston. Over the course of about six years I worked in three locations across the city separated by a three year stint in neighboring Quincy.

Place #1 was a temp job in South Boston just across the Fort Point Channel from South Station. It was the home office of a local construction company located in an old three story manufacturing building on Summer Street. Place #2 was on the second floor of an old mall turned office building in Downtown Crossing. Place #3 was the 27th floor of brand new skyscraper a couple of blocks from South Station.

When I worked in the first two places I was much more active in city life. I spent my breaks and lunch period out and about on the local streets adding to the vibrancy although contributing to vibrancy was not my goal in getting away from my desk. When I was assigned to the skyscraper location I grew tired of the time consuming and frustrating routine required to get onto the street and I got into the habit of going from home to MBTA to desk to MBTA to home every day. In other words I no longer contributed to any street level vibrancy.

I also think that older buildings and skyscrapers attract much different clientele.
The plural of anecdote is not data. Meme: The plural of anecdote is not data
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Old 05-16-2014, 06:42 PM
 
1,709 posts, read 1,673,134 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Yeah, I got that part, but how is a city to grow if older and smaller is "better"?
Growing isnt always about building. Nearly all cities have areas that were once built-up and are now abandoned partially or fully. Those areas should have to be filled again before a city can start demolishing what it has for bigger structures. There's no point in leaving gaps in development and/or habitation while rebuilding already densified areas. This applies especially to renovating Rust Belt cities like Pittsburgh.

Besides, tearing down smaller and older buildings in favor of bigger ones is nearsighted. What happens if the formerly full small and bustling smaller buildings are replaced by some gleaming skyscraper that is only half-full? What if the skyscraper's tenant leaves or goes out of business? If the building is smaller, it's much easier to find a new tenant than if it's a huge building. You can fill a smaller building easier and thus give an impression of a busier urban area, which will in turn attract more residents and businesses.
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:17 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
45,983 posts, read 41,921,149 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
Growing isnt always about building. Nearly all cities have areas that were once built-up and are now abandoned partially or fully.
No, only rust belt cities, and to a lesser extent some northern cities have that. San Francisco, along with most of the west, has almost nothing like that. In many cases infill by tearing down old building is the only way these cities grow, though some spots may have vacant lots. Almost all abandonment that is salvageable in NYC has been. New England doesn't have partially abandonded areas: some bad areas of cities have scattered abandonment but rather patchy. A lot of old mill buildings can be reused here, and some offices / small industry have reused them, it gives a nice character to the place to still see them in use, rather than new ones that look like they're from anywhere and would further out of town. But there's more mill buildings that there's demand for and some are too far gone:



another view:



can't see, but the interior is crumbling in parts. Opposite is a similar building that is fine shape, probably because it was never left to decay:



In other cities, crime and general disinvestment makes some parts of the city desireable for new growth while others unattractive. Chicago and Philly are good examples. Parts of both cities have seen solid new growth, others have demand, the market has disconnected parts of the cities from each other.
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Old 05-16-2014, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
2,958 posts, read 3,816,032 times
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Newer buildings are expensive to both live in and for retail to open shop for most business save for larger chains. Older buildings offer cheaper, smaller retail spaces so it's more affordable for smaller business owners. Also, older buildings, because of the smaller retail spaces, have a lot more diverse retail options with a higher concentration of businesses, whereas newer buildings offer huge retail spaces with less variety of shops (and few non-chain restaurants).
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:08 PM
 
Location: New York
80 posts, read 168,963 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GatsbyGatz View Post
Newer buildings are expensive to both live in and for retail to open shop for most business save for larger chains. Older buildings offer cheaper, smaller retail spaces so it's more affordable for smaller business owners. Also, older buildings, because of the smaller retail spaces, have a lot more diverse retail options with a higher concentration of businesses, whereas newer buildings offer huge retail spaces with less variety of shops (and few non-chain restaurants).
That's a terrible misconception as to why smaller buildings exist as opposed to new development.
Even I'll go into your argument for smaller older buildings. There is less of a exposure in smaller buildings than huge retails. What attracts the most to future buyers? The prospect to have diversity within a single volumetric space.
And there is something very important you're forgetting. ZONING. Huge retail centers/businesses will be within a certain zone. And that zone will be in that very same space where smaller buildings still stand. As a result, the "newer buildings offer huge retail space with less variety of shops" is not only wrong but is the exact opposite.
Bigger newer buildings offer a safer, cleaner environment that is an eye candy. That's why most people will go there instead. Because in psychological terms, we are attracted to beautiful things.
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:15 PM
 
Location: New York
80 posts, read 168,963 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
No, only rust belt cities, and to a lesser extent some northern cities have that. San Francisco, along with most of the west, has almost nothing like that. In many cases infill by tearing down old building is the only way these cities grow, though some spots may have vacant lots. Almost all abandonment that is salvageable in NYC has been. New England doesn't have partially abandonded areas: some bad areas of cities have scattered abandonment but rather patchy. A lot of old mill buildings can be reused here, and some offices / small industry have reused them, it gives a nice character to the place to still see them in use, rather than new ones that look like they're from anywhere and would further out of town.
I agree.
By revitalizing brown fields(yes it is possible), there is no more excuse to have abandoned lots. It can even be done sustainably rather than infills/chemical approaches.
Small buildings offer diversity of volumes within an area. But they are not the solution.
Yes, it is "greener" to renovate and innovate but it'll cost more.
In NYC, Brooklyn is doing a complete overhaul.
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Old 05-17-2014, 07:36 AM
 
1,709 posts, read 1,673,134 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
No, only rust belt cities, and to a lesser extent some northern cities have that. San Francisco, along with most of the west, has almost nothing like that. In many cases infill by tearing down old building is the only way these cities grow, though some spots may have vacant lots. Almost all abandonment that is salvageable in NYC has been. New England doesn't have partially abandonded areas: some bad areas of cities have scattered abandonment but rather patchy. A lot of old mill buildings can be reused here, and some offices / small industry have reused them, it gives a nice character to the place to still see them in use, rather than new ones that look like they're from anywhere and would further out of town. But there's more mill buildings that there's demand for and some are too far gone.
Even the big and vibrant cities like San Francisco have some vacant spaces and buildings that can easily be taken advantage of. And New York still has tons of available property in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and other less affluent areas outside Manhattan.

Quote:
In other cities, crime and general disinvestment makes some parts of the city desireable for new growth while others unattractive. Chicago and Philly are good examples. Parts of both cities have seen solid new growth, others have demand, the market has disconnected parts of the cities from each other.
That's true. But crime disappears as new tenants take hold. Crime will only perpetuate as long as the area it's in is neglected.
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