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)
Closed Thread Start New Thread
 
Old 08-02-2014, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,123 posts, read 102,914,544 times
Reputation: 33176

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Whether or not they were fleeing because of race or for some other reason, folks of my parents' generation did indeed leave the city for the suburbs in the 1950s and 60s. Gram and Gramps and all the great aunts and uncles stayed in Pittsburgh, but every single one of their progeny left for larger yards in the surrounding suburbs.
Heck, it was my great-grands who left Pgh for "bucolic" Beaver County!
*******************************

Yes, bigger yards may have been as much an attraction as the race of the residents.

 
Old 08-03-2014, 07:25 AM
 
1,709 posts, read 1,683,786 times
Reputation: 1843
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Ah. Perhaps. But we'll be still able to choose the correct homonyms.
Lol

Quote:
Suburbanization has been around since the Revolution. Any "trend" that holds up for 230-some years is probably a sure thing.
Growth of perimeter cities has been around since the revolution, but a full-scale emptying out of the cities for perimeter settlements has only been a recent trend. Only the latter is truly "suburbanization."

Quote:
Whether or not they were fleeing because of race or for some other reason, folks of my parents' generation did indeed leave the city for the suburbs in the 1950s and 60s. Gram and Gramps and all the great aunts and uncles stayed in Pittsburgh, but every single one of their progeny left for larger yards in the surrounding suburbs.
I know many people did leave for bigger lots. I was just saying that in many cases (though less prevalent in Pittsburgh), people left for racial reasons too. I'd also argue that people left for pollution reasons and overcrowding-the former because there were little to no environmental regulations, and the latter because families were typically big at the dawn of suburbanization (the avg family size was much larger than today), which caused overcrowding when many of these families lived in older rowhomes and townhomes. Both of those factors are gone now, which could cause some shifts in where people choose to live. People likely also left simply because they saw the city as "old" and the suburbs as "new," and preferences for new over old is all too common among people, whether the new is truly better than the old or not; but now the suburbs are starting to get old and lose their luster too, which again will cause change.
 
Old 08-03-2014, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,123 posts, read 102,914,544 times
Reputation: 33176
Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
Lol



Growth of perimeter cities has been around since the revolution, but a full-scale emptying out of the cities for perimeter settlements has only been a recent trend. Only the latter is truly "suburbanization."



I know many people did leave for bigger lots. I was just saying that in many cases (though less prevalent in Pittsburgh), people left for racial reasons too. I'd also argue that people left for pollution reasons and overcrowding-the former because there were little to no environmental regulations, and the latter because families were typically big at the dawn of suburbanization (the avg family size was much larger than today), which caused overcrowding when many of these families lived in older rowhomes and townhomes. Both of those factors are gone now, which could cause some shifts in where people choose to live. People likely also left simply because they saw the city as "old" and the suburbs as "new," and preferences for new over old is all too common among people, whether the new is truly better than the old or not; but now the suburbs are starting to get old and lose their luster too, which again will cause change.
You gotta love this forum! Everyone gets to make up their own definitions of "suburb" and its derivatives.
 
Old 08-03-2014, 08:36 AM
 
1,319 posts, read 1,077,350 times
Reputation: 683
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post

Suburbanization has been around since the Revolution. Any "trend" that holds up for 230-some years is probably a sure thing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
Lol

Growth of perimeter cities has been around since the revolution, but a full-scale emptying out of the cities for perimeter settlements has only been a recent trend. Only the latter is truly "suburbanization."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
You gotta love this forum! Everyone gets to make up their own definitions of "suburb" and its derivatives.
Fair enough. Let's can the buzzwords and be more specific.

The trend I originally referred to has two parts:

a) Bedroom Communities, where people who worked in the city (typically downtown) would move to the fringes of that city, and often outside the city proper, to live in a generally homogenous residential district, and commute to work every day.

b) Semi-autonomous Suburbs, which contain residents who might work almost anywhere in the metro area, and quite possibly never venture into the urban core. However, these communities are inextricably tied to, and reliant upon, that urban core and the metro area as a whole. If this is not the case, these communities are generally not included in the statistical region of that city, as defined by the U.S. Census.

Throughout history there have always been a handful of people who lived in one of these two ways. Paris "proper" used to be confined to the Seine River island called "Il Cite", home of the Notre Dame cathedral. 2000 years ago, those who lived on either the Left or Right Banks were suburbanites in one sense of the word. http://www.history-paris.com/files/2...ided-Tours.png

But it was the popularization of the automobile that made these behaviors possible as a wide-scale trend, one that was available to a majority of the metro population and capable of gobbling up hundreds of square miles around any given city. Those who lived on the Left or Right Banks of ancient Paris couldn't ignore the fact that they were reliant on Paris proper as an economic engine. But modern suburbanites often find that fact easy to forget, perhaps because their mass exodus left behind a smoking urban hole in the ground, and so many of employment centers followed them to the fringe.

My point is this: Although this movement has been more or less sustainable up until now, we have nowhere near the body of evidence we need to assume that it will continue to be sustainable in the future. When cities have been built around certain principles for centuries, and even millenia, any new methods developed in the last century which run contrary to those principles must still be considered "experimental".

The beauty of forums like this is that we can all debate whether this experiment will succeed or not, in the long run. If you believe it will, I can disagree with you on that. But if you believe that it already has, and that the matter is settled, then we might as well not waste our breath.
 
Old 08-03-2014, 09:32 AM
 
Location: St. George, Utah
756 posts, read 888,421 times
Reputation: 1971
My point is, taking the idea that a relative few young hipsters so strongly prefer urban living to mean that a large part of an entire generation will turn up their noses at suburban life as their families and incomes grow as has been the tendency (for all races as financial means increase, btw) for 3 generations is silly.

The articles cited at the beginning of the thread imply that a fashionable, "trendy" trend of the moment for a subset of a particular age group (albeit the trendsetting subset!! The popular kids, if you will!!) is enough to predict a long-term trend and buying preference. I'm not saying it couldn't happen, that in one generation suddenly young families all over the country could be fighting to re-enter urban areas (as if that was physically possible across the board, which of course it is not) and eschew yards for their dogs and kids and spacious homes with big kitchens (there are practical reasons for these homes as well as for compact, urban living). It's possible. But the reasoning is weak.

Hip urban young people are not anything new. It's just that for this generation of hipsters, it's juxtaposed with the Boomer's sort of over-the-top indulgent lifestyle. From here in between the two generations, I see it as two sides of the same coin. Add to that the fashionable nature of the ideas of green living, small footprints, etc. and yes it's powerful trend, just not one that I would use to predict a housing bust on the level being discussed in the articles. As I said before, I'm willing to acknowledge a likely softening of market prices at some point, due to a plentiful supply. That's about it. To rush out and tell all suburban boomers that they better sell now before it's too late is beyond ridiculous in my view.

Last edited by Montanama; 08-03-2014 at 10:18 AM..
 
Old 08-03-2014, 10:27 AM
 
20,321 posts, read 11,278,902 times
Reputation: 20414
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montanama View Post
Hip urban young people are not anything new. It's just that for this generation of hipsters, it's juxtaposed with the Boomer's sort of over-the-top indulgent lifestyle. From here in between the two generations, I see it as two sides of the same coin. Add to that the fashionable nature of the ideas of green living, small footprints, etc. and yes it's powerful trend, just not one that I would use to predict a housing bust on the level being discussed in the articles. As I said before, I'm willing to acknowledge a likely softening of market prices at some point, due to a plentiful supply. That's about it. To rush out and tell all suburban boomers that they better sell now before it's too late is beyond ridiculous in my view.
That "softening," however, is similar to what caused the suburban boom in the 50s: It became cheaper--more economically viable--to live in the suburbs, thanks to the US government. Houses may be rebuilt smaller, they may be remodeled to house more families or more generations, but price per square foot will still be less.

Combined with that is the decentralization of commerce. In an "information economy" or a "service economy" or any kind of economy we can reasonably foresee in the future, commercial activity confined to a central city core is unlikely to be the result.
 
Old 08-03-2014, 10:56 AM
 
Location: St. George, Utah
756 posts, read 888,421 times
Reputation: 1971
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
That "softening," however, is similar to what caused the suburban boom in the 50s: It became cheaper--more economically viable--to live in the suburbs, thanks to the US government. Houses may be rebuilt smaller, they may be remodeled to house more families or more generations, but price per square foot will still be less.

Combined with that is the decentralization of commerce. In an "information economy" or a "service economy" or any kind of economy we can reasonably foresee in the future, commercial activity confined to a central city core is unlikely to be the result.
Doesn't this reduce demand for urban living as a practical matter (close to work), then? Further weakening the argument that an entire generation will be fleeing suburban life. A lot of people who live in the city do so because it's convenient to work as much as their desire to live urban. Remove this necessity, and you remove at least a percentage of those wanting to live in the urban core.

This younger generation is, more than any other, accustomed to luxury as a daily expectation. These are the first time homebuyers who expect granite countertops and stainless appliances--who feel let down if they don't have an expansive en-suite master bath and a walk-in closet. In their first homes. What other generation would even have thought to expect such things starting out? As a whole (I am generalizing, I know), they expect to live from the get-go on the same level of comfort as their parents did (the homes they emerged from). Those who eschew the comforts of suburban living for the excitement (or the fashion statement) of the urban lifestyle are from a numbers standpoint in the minority (albeit, again, the trendsetting minority). Of that small number, an even smaller number is likely to maintain the urban lifestyle as their lives change--a good percentage will make the time-honored decision to choose a more "family-friendly" home in the suburbs. Again, for the same practical reasons as ever, though perhaps more reluctantly than previous generations have done. With much the same regret, for example, that I watched my first (and only) mini-van pull into the driveway. It wasn't fashionable, and I swore I'd never do it, but it was the practical choice for my lifestyle.

I do think the term "suburb" is somewhat problematic as pointed out upthread. When I think "suburb" I simply think less dense than urban, not necessarily an area ringing a true urban/metro core. By my definition, most small cities and larger towns across the country would be "suburban", while truly small towns and farms would be rural.

I do believe that in this generation there IS more of an appreciation for the upsides of urban life, and that a continuing process of rejuvenation and gentrification within cities will result.

I would also acknowledge that there are lots of events that could possibly cause another housing crash which would affect Boomers' home values disproportionately. Of course it's possible and with the current worldwide state of affairs I might even say likely. I just think the reasoning presented by the articles we've discussed is ridiculously thin and myopic.
 
Old 08-03-2014, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,123 posts, read 102,914,544 times
Reputation: 33176
Quote:
Originally Posted by rwiksell View Post
Fair enough. Let's can the buzzwords and be more specific.

The trend I originally referred to has two parts:

a) Bedroom Communities, where people who worked in the city (typically downtown) would move to the fringes of that city, and often outside the city proper, to live in a generally homogenous residential district, and commute to work every day.

b) Semi-autonomous Suburbs, which contain residents who might work almost anywhere in the metro area, and quite possibly never venture into the urban core. However, these communities are inextricably tied to, and reliant upon, that urban core and the metro area as a whole. If this is not the case, these communities are generally not included in the statistical region of that city, as defined by the U.S. Census.

Throughout history there have always been a handful of people who lived in one of these two ways. Paris "proper" used to be confined to the Seine River island called "Il Cite", home of the Notre Dame cathedral. 2000 years ago, those who lived on either the Left or Right Banks were suburbanites in one sense of the word. http://www.history-paris.com/files/2...ided-Tours.png

But it was the popularization of the automobile that made these behaviors possible as a wide-scale trend, one that was available to a majority of the metro population and capable of gobbling up hundreds of square miles around any given city. Those who lived on the Left or Right Banks of ancient Paris couldn't ignore the fact that they were reliant on Paris proper as an economic engine. But modern suburbanites often find that fact easy to forget, perhaps because their mass exodus left behind a smoking urban hole in the ground, and so many of employment centers followed them to the fringe.

My point is this: Although this movement has been more or less sustainable up until now, we have nowhere near the body of evidence we need to assume that it will continue to be sustainable in the future. When cities have been built around certain principles for centuries, and even millenia, any new methods developed in the last century which run contrary to those principles must still be considered "experimental".

The beauty of forums like this is that we can all debate whether this experiment will succeed or not, in the long run. If you believe it will, I can disagree with you on that. But if you believe that it already has, and that the matter is settled, then we might as well not waste our breath.
RE:
a) Many people never worked downtown in the first place. In the Pittsburgh area, few mills were in the city proper, and none downtown. People moved out to first ring suburbs (someplace had to be first after all) to get away from the pollution of the mills, as well as to have bigger yards, and newer houses. Do keep in mind that every building was new at one time. In Omaha, my husband's hometown, the packing houses were on the south side of the city.

b) "quite possibly never venture into the urban core" is quite the assumption! Even back in the pre-pleistocene years of the 1950s, my family, which I would say was a fairly typical family of its day, went to Pittsburgh to sporting events and to visit the relatives that lived there. Some went there for shopping. I went there to see the Beatles in 1964! My father took the train from Beaver Falls to Pittsburgh (a distance of about 30 miles) several nights a week to go to college back in the 1930s. In the late 60s, when I was a college student, a few people commuted from BF to the U of Pittsburgh. A few people from there even worked in Pittsburgh, though not many. Most worked in mills around Beaver County.

**A county gets included in the MSA if a certain percentage of its residents commute by whatever means to another county to work.

" But modern suburbanites often find that fact easy to forget, perhaps because their mass exodus left behind a smoking urban hole in the ground, and so many of employment centers followed them to the fringe." is certainly hyperbole and actually, incorrect. Who can forget that one lives in metro Denver, even living 25 miles away as I do? (Boulder County is its own MSA b/c more than 50% of workers work in-county.) The TV stations are almost all in Denver. (There is a PBS station in Broomfield.) The major-league football and basketball teams, the two oldest pro sports teams, are the DENVER Broncos and the DENVER Nuggets. The Colorado Rockies, Avalanche and Rapids are newer baseball, hockey and soccer teams that apparently wanted a more "inclusive" name. It seems to be a trend in the major leagues these days. DENVER International Airport. Those are just a few examples. I was just in Denver yesterday, and I didn't see any "smoking hole in the ground". Perhaps you can identify some of these.

In my opinion, we might as well not waste our breath, or bandwidth, trying to predict the future. We'd be just as likely to be correct (maybe more) if we consulted a Ouija board or a soothsayer. Sometimes "things happen" that no one would have ever predicted, and/or were predicted incorrectly. For example, in the early 1970s, over-population was a huge issue. We were going to run out of food to feed people. No one predicted the population drops in Europe and Japan, nor the "green revolution" that has increased crop yields. We've been supposedly running out of oil and water (here in the west) for decades. I'm not a "head in the sand" person, but I do not believe the sky is falling.

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 08-03-2014 at 12:43 PM..
 
Old 08-03-2014, 11:53 AM
 
20,321 posts, read 11,278,902 times
Reputation: 20414
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montanama View Post
Doesn't this reduce demand for urban living as a practical matter (close to work), then? Further weakening the argument that an entire generation will be fleeing suburban life. A lot of people who live in the city do so because it's convenient to work as much as their desire to live urban. Remove this necessity, and you remove at least a percentage of those wanting to live in the urban core.
Yes. The really big question here is what "families" will look like as the Millennial generation matures economically and socially.
 
Old 08-03-2014, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,123 posts, read 102,914,544 times
Reputation: 33176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
That "softening," however, is similar to what caused the suburban boom in the 50s: It became cheaper--more economically viable--to live in the suburbs, thanks to the US government. Houses may be rebuilt smaller, they may be remodeled to house more families or more generations, but price per square foot will still be less.

Combined with that is the decentralization of commerce. In an "information economy" or a "service economy" or any kind of economy we can reasonably foresee in the future, commercial activity confined to a central city core is unlikely to be the result.
It's certainly no cheaper to live in the city, at least here in metro Denver. The same housing will run you way more in most Denver neighborhoods, especially the "hip" ones, than in the burbs, with the possible exception of a) Boulder, and b) some of the very wealthy suburbs. However, even in those suburbs, you'd likely have more land.
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.


Closed Thread

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