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Old 05-25-2014, 12:19 PM
 
1,220 posts, read 1,490,937 times
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A lot of people oppose urban sprawl for various reasons. Probably the most common reason is pollution.
Now what if we could decrease pollution with more sprawl?

In sprawling suburbs the typical house is a large single family home. These homes can allow for a huge surface area of solar panels. Electric cars are becoming more common and cheaper. So, the concept is to fully cover the roof of SFHs with solar panels (or solar shingles), place a large energy storage device (kinetic or batteries) buried or put in a silo in the back yard. Then use electric cars for commute, that are charged overnight from the storage device that was charged by the sun during the day. Basically suburbs would act as point of load power plants. This could not be done in a dense inner city neighbourhood, as each family in the city has access to a lot less roof surface are for solar panels. So inner city residents could not charge their cars using solar energy. If they choose to use public transport, then the public transport vehicles go with fossil fuel (directly or converted for railways). Even the public transport companies would not have access to enough solar panel area to charge/run all their vehicles on clean energy, as there is no space in the city for that. This way inner city living needs fossil fuel consumption, while suburban living could possibly go without any fossil fuels, and therefore no pollution.
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Old 05-25-2014, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,056 posts, read 16,063,174 times
Reputation: 12630
We're still years away from it. Electric and fuel cell cars are nowhere near mainstream yet. Tesla's "not Model E," has a chance at being the first mainstream electric car, but I really don't think it will deliver on that premise. It will end up being more expensive than projected which will put it outside the genuinely affordable range, even with the overly generous subsidies, of the new-car-buying population. Plus more than half the population does not buy new cars. We're still at least two decades away from any sizeable proportion of cars on the road being electric. Hybrids just now really hitting a tipping point with sales really beginning to take off. Still, hybrids represent a very small percentage of sales and will for several more years. Electric or even electric/PHEV market saturation is a long ways from being realized.

Last edited by nei; 05-25-2014 at 08:43 PM.. Reason: removed off topic
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Old 05-25-2014, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,056 posts, read 16,063,174 times
Reputation: 12630
I know. Them darn suburbanites just won't be convinced of their erroneous ways. They actually think technology might make their fake lifestyle sustainable. They have no shame
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Old 05-25-2014, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, Canada
1,255 posts, read 2,107,881 times
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I suggest city planners start adopting the Ewok Village model of development.
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Old 05-25-2014, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Seattle some of the time now.
727 posts, read 523,903 times
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buenos~ I applaud you for thinking creatively to help solve some of today's problems. I hope you won't be discouraged by some of the negative comments on here? Whether an idea works or doesn't work or can be utilized or partially utilized in the future or may lead to other ideas that work beautifully, it can only help us find solutions by continuing to put ideas out there. And what works is one region might not work elsewhere. My little solar light at the end of my walk doesn't light up at all for at least three months out of the year. But I'm in Seattle. But we'll figure out something eventually.

Malloric~ It doesn't seem like that entitlement the city of Detroit is receiving is working out too well. Maybe it's just me?
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Old 05-25-2014, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,164 posts, read 29,645,043 times
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The problem with "sprawl" is both infrastructure creation and trip generation.

If the sprawl adds enough density so it isn't a strain on the rest of the region and it is self sustaining enough people don't need to travel far to leave that zone it isn't a problem. But if the sprawl causes thousands of people to take net new single occupancy vehicle trips that adds congestion and puts a huge burden on the roads.
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:03 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,981 posts, read 102,527,356 times
Reputation: 33045
Quote:
Originally Posted by buenos View Post
A lot of people oppose urban sprawl for various reasons. Probably the most common reason is pollution.
Now what if we could decrease pollution with more sprawl?

In sprawling suburbs the typical house is a large single family home. These homes can allow for a huge surface area of solar panels. Electric cars are becoming more common and cheaper. So, the concept is to fully cover the roof of SFHs with solar panels (or solar shingles), place a large energy storage device (kinetic or batteries) buried or put in a silo in the back yard. Then use electric cars for commute, that are charged overnight from the storage device that was charged by the sun during the day. Basically suburbs would act as point of load power plants. This could not be done in a dense inner city neighbourhood, as each family in the city has access to a lot less roof surface are for solar panels. So inner city residents could not charge their cars using solar energy. If they choose to use public transport, then the public transport vehicles go with fossil fuel (directly or converted for railways). Even the public transport companies would not have access to enough solar panel area to charge/run all their vehicles on clean energy, as there is no space in the city for that. This way inner city living needs fossil fuel consumption, while suburban living could possibly go without any fossil fuels, and therefore no pollution.
Actually, I have often wondered the same thing. But there will be something wrong with living in the burbs, no matter what, according to a certain subset of people.
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Old 05-25-2014, 05:20 PM
 
4,064 posts, read 3,092,705 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
True.

That's basically what my responses pointed out, but apparently arguing the specifics is off topic and they were deleted. The mindset is clearly demonstrated since apparently it's okay to argue for there being something wrong with the tax chattel/serf entitlement attitude as those posts still remain. So rather than be opposed to it, I'll just join in your observation that there will be something wrong with living in the suburbs according to some without opposing said view.
What I see in the urban planning forum among some posters is the personification of inanimate objects (streets for example) elevating cities into living entities where human beings become some sort of commodity to be managed rather than individual beings with inalienable rights.
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Old 05-25-2014, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,056 posts, read 16,063,174 times
Reputation: 12630
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtkinsonDan View Post
What I see in the urban planning forum among some posters is the personification of inanimate objects (streets for example) elevating cities into living entities where human beings become some sort of commodity to be managed rather than individual beings with inalienable rights.
Well, public policy has an impact on the streets. Eg, livable streets. That's a set of public policy tools, if you will, designed to make a street more vibrant with lots of activity. It's not really that anyone thinks the street itself is an animate object. On the other hand, I do see a certain reverence to "cities" that I just don't really understand. For example, if people go out and live in suburbs and are happier there and as a result of that choice a city's core declines, I'm of the opinion of so what. I'm not exactly certain what you mean, however, so that's just my general ramblings.
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Old 05-25-2014, 06:52 PM
 
4,064 posts, read 3,092,705 times
Reputation: 5602
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Well, public policy has an impact on the streets. Eg, livable streets. That's a set of public policy tools, if you will, designed to make a street more vibrant with lots of activity. It's not really that anyone thinks the street itself is an animate object. On the other hand, I do see a certain reverence to "cities" that I just don't really understand. For example, if people go out and live in suburbs and are happier there and as a result of that choice a city's core declines, I'm of the opinion of so what. I'm not exactly certain what you mean, however, so that's just my general ramblings.
To put my earlier post in other words, I think some people in the urban planning field think people should conform to some ideal city form. As the United States is founded on the principle of people voting and our society is highly innovative, I believe living arrangements should conform to what the majority of people want. The prosperity of the people should be the end result, rather than making the people a means to an end, for example, a densified city as the end result. Our goal should be prosperity and health for as many people as possible, not creating bigger cities. The true solution is probably a middle ground between city and sprawl.
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