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Old 08-05-2014, 07:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by semiurbanite View Post
So my tone was a little snarky, yes, but only because the OP seems to be begging for an explanation as to why urban living is becoming so popular. In my first post on the thread I think I covered that pretty well. However it was just my own opinion based on our interests and needs. To be honest, there are some families in my urban neighborhood that don't take advantage of the city and they should probably move to a leafy suburb where it will cost less and they will have more space. Not to mention someone can buy their home that will take advantage of what it has to offer.
These posts are so obviously viewed through rosy lenses. The OP didn't beg for an explanation of why "urban living is becoming so popular".

She has a point. However, it would appear that there is a very small group of individuals so desperate to promote "urbanism" that they misinterpret and misrepresent data in order to suggest that there has been some massive flocking to the city. You see it in the reports on mass transit (talking about numbers that haven't been seen since the 50s - pretty sad considering the general population increase since the 50s). You see urbanists promoting the "bandwagon theory" (or snob appeal - see last two sentences in post above, or just plain misrepresentation such as the above poster's characterization of the OP's thread) in an effort to generate false herd running to city and false hype about the city. Many in this forum also promote anti-non-city development by trying to restrict the ability to build outside the city - or outside an area designated for "urban growth" in an effort to promote urbanism (i.e., trying to prevent people from having a choice). If urbanism was so great it wouldn't have to rely on forced adoption, discrimination in housing development and financing, or lame debate/marketing tactics for implementation.
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Old 08-05-2014, 07:22 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,011 posts, read 102,621,396 times
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Originally Posted by Pete. View Post
I disagree. He was just stating his own opinion. It's pointless to speculate on what he may or may not think about parents who live in the burbs.

You don't need to feel defensive about where you raised your kids. It sounds to me like they had a great childhood in the suburbs. (So did I!)
I had an epiphany about this issue this morning. If someone wants to state their preference, that's what they'll say. They don't have to get all snarky about someone else's choices, and label these choices "shortchanging".

I will add this conversation has been going on for some time, even though you may have just encountered it on this forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by semiurbanite View Post
So my tone was a little snarky, yes, but only because the OP seems to be begging for an explanation as to why urban living is becoming so popular. In my first post on the thread I think I covered that pretty well. However it was just my own opinion based on our interests and needs. To be honest, there are some families in my urban neighborhood that don't take advantage of the city and they should probably move to a leafy suburb where it will cost less and they will have more space. Not to mention someone can buy their home that will take advantage of what it has to offer.
Apology accepted.

I don't know what you mean about "taking advantage of the city", though. I have raised two kids to adulthood. I can't imagine what would be so different about raising them in "the city". It's what goes on in the home that's more important than what goes on outside.
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Old 08-05-2014, 07:26 AM
 
Location: West Madison^WMHT
3,281 posts, read 3,129,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonesuch
We're seeing some "Push" here in New Hampshire from HUD and the local "Granite State Future". Even ignoring the paranoia about Agenda 21, there is a definite push; in my small NH town the RPC is pushing to change zoning to encourage higher density in-town housing and discourage turning idled farmland into housing developments.
I don't think higher zoning is forcing anyone, especially in a small town area. Zoning usually sets maximum densities not minimum densities, it's not forcing high density on people. And you could argue the previous setup force people to live in less urban places and in-town housing development was limited. Prevnting farmland from being turned into housing development might count, but as someone living "in-town", it is definitely irritating to have the surrounding countryside developed (it's one of the appeals of living here), I'd rather more was developed in and around existing areas.
Traditionally, yes, but the new push by New Hampshire's regional planning commissions (RPCs), similar to what is happening in other states, intend to make it difficult to develop new low-density housing in rural areas and to require building high-density "sustainable community" style town centers in return for HUD grants.

Take a look at the Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI). The SCI is a Federal top-down program combining input from HUD, EPA, and the DOT.
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,426 posts, read 11,929,235 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I don't know what you mean about "taking advantage of the city", though. I have raised two kids to adulthood. I can't imagine what would be so different about raising them in "the city". It's what goes on in the home that's more important than what goes on outside.
I think I know what she means - basically people who live a "suburban" life even though they are in the suburbs. E.g., people who don't walk around the neighborhood, don't use mass transit, drive everywhere, and just spend a lot of time inside their house. Why live in an urban area if you don't use the urban amenities?

We're not that extreme, but we've sort of realized when looking for a new house that paying the "walkable premium" didn't really work for us any longer. I mean, as parents of small children who work full time, we just can't walk around the neighborhood that much. I get home from work with my daughter on the bike around 5:45, and have to start making dinner (my wife gets home after me). By eight we are putting the kids to bed. We might get 1-2 days per week we get to walk around our local business district if we're lucky. And this is in the warm weather - my wife doesn't like walking around outside in the winter (or even early spring/late fall) because the cold bothers her asthma.

Regardless, sitting down and doing the mental balancing between two options we had, we could have moved to another highly walkable neighborhood and gotten a house which was an upgrade in size, but still had size issues (third bedroom in the attic still, no extra room for "flex" usage like playroom/office). Or for the same price we could get the relatively large house which will suit all our needs, but be a 15-minute walk to the nearest business district. Ultimately, we decided that while we only are out an about in the neighborhood a few times per week, we have to live inside our house every single day.

It's not a real suburb of course - it's a old streetcar suburb. There's no off-street parking. The houses were built between 1900 and 1930. There is literally a bus stop outside the front door, which is important for me, because I'm not going to drive to work (and we plan to go back down to being a one-car family again). And while it will be a longer bike commute, I could still bike to downtown from there. But it's a detached house with a real backyard - a notch or two further in the suburban direction than the 19th century rowhouse neighborhood we live in now. A bit bittersweet, but still probably the logical choice for us at this point in our life.
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:27 AM
 
1,211 posts, read 887,150 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I can't imagine what would be so different about raising them in "the city". It's what goes on in the home that's more important than what goes on outside.
I guess if my previous posts over the last year don't convince you that it is different, then perhaps it's not all that different from your perspective. Personally when I look at the day today lives of kids in our neighborhood compared to kids in more suburban areas, it is quite different as far as exposure to new things, different people, and much less time spent driving. My kids also can't play a full soccer game in our small yard like they can. You also have to realize we are the anti-homebody type of household. We are constantly on the go, looking for things to do and see even with three children. An urban neighborhood caters to that lifestyle quite well. As I posted, there were 3 street festivals in the last 2 weekend, all walkable from our home. Also, the fact that so many classmates are within a 0.25 mile walking radius is a big bonus for us.
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:47 AM
 
2,824 posts, read 3,351,950 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by semiurbanite View Post
... Personally when I look at the day today lives of kids in our neighborhood compared to kids in more suburban areas, it is quite different as far as exposure to new things, different people, and much less time spent driving. .... As I posted, there were 3 street festivals in the last 2 weekend, all walkable from our home....

...and lots of families aren't interested in living where you have more street festivals than weekends. I doubt many would view that as a positive thing when talking about "taking advantage of the city".

In more "suburban" areas the residents choose whether they want to attend such festivals instead of having all that the festivals foster and attract at their residential doorstep. If the "festival" is walkable to you then your house is certainly walkable for others attending the festival.

The pattern here seems to be that "home" does not have the same value to those promoting "urbanism" in this fashion.
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:47 AM
 
1,211 posts, read 887,150 times
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Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
...and lots of families aren't interested in living where you have more street festivals than weekends. I doubt many would view that as a positive thing when talking about "taking advantage of the city".
Why wouldn't they view it as a positive thing? Outgoing active families certainly do, like us and many of our neighbors. Home-body types probably don't. The kids especially enjoyed this one this year: Porchfest 2014 | sac
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:08 AM
 
5,076 posts, read 8,511,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Many in this forum also promote anti-non-city development by trying to restrict the ability to build outside the city - or outside an area designated for "urban growth" in an effort to promote urbanism (i.e., trying to prevent people from having a choice). If urbanism was so great it wouldn't have to rely on forced adoption, discrimination in housing development and financing, or lame debate/marketing tactics for implementation.
I don't see it as restricting people's choice so much as not allowing them to make that choice at the expense of others.

There was a good local example last year where a rural/suburban edge community (Black Diamond) voted NOT to allow expansion of the suburbs in their jurisdiction. Clearly the people living there aren't "anti-suburb", they just saw the writing on the wall. Any expansion "further out" was only going to strain their infrastructure and make their existing homes even more inaccessible due to increased traffic while also making them more expensive to own since the new residents wouldn't be solely responsible for paying for the new infrastructure needed to support them.

Transportation is the main problem with creeping edge development. At some point the existing roads hit full capacity and they can't be expanded to hold the increased traffic. At the same time, the new low density development can't support or be easily tied in to a mass transit system. Everyone is forced to pay the price of increased congestion so a few people can get their cheap shiny new suburban homes. If the new residents were forced to pay their fair share of expanding infrastructure, the houses would no longer be cheap and affordable.

When you put this in context of all of the decayed inner ring suburbs that *could* be reconfigured for greater density, you really have to ask why it makes sense to keep building out at the edge just so a (relatively few) people get the luxury of a cheap new house.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,069 posts, read 16,085,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I think I know what she means - basically people who live a "suburban" life even though they are in the suburbs. E.g., people who don't walk around the neighborhood, don't use mass transit, drive everywhere, and just spend a lot of time inside their house. Why live in an urban area if you don't use the urban amenities?

We're not that extreme, but we've sort of realized when looking for a new house that paying the "walkable premium" didn't really work for us any longer. I mean, as parents of small children who work full time, we just can't walk around the neighborhood that much. I get home from work with my daughter on the bike around 5:45, and have to start making dinner (my wife gets home after me). By eight we are putting the kids to bed. We might get 1-2 days per week we get to walk around our local business district if we're lucky. And this is in the warm weather - my wife doesn't like walking around outside in the winter (or even early spring/late fall) because the cold bothers her asthma.

Regardless, sitting down and doing the mental balancing between two options we had, we could have moved to another highly walkable neighborhood and gotten a house which was an upgrade in size, but still had size issues (third bedroom in the attic still, no extra room for "flex" usage like playroom/office). Or for the same price we could get the relatively large house which will suit all our needs, but be a 15-minute walk to the nearest business district. Ultimately, we decided that while we only are out an about in the neighborhood a few times per week, we have to live inside our house every single day.

It's not a real suburb of course - it's a old streetcar suburb. There's no off-street parking. The houses were built between 1900 and 1930. There is literally a bus stop outside the front door, which is important for me, because I'm not going to drive to work (and we plan to go back down to being a one-car family again). And while it will be a longer bike commute, I could still bike to downtown from there. But it's a detached house with a real backyard - a notch or two further in the suburban direction than the 19th century rowhouse neighborhood we live in now. A bit bittersweet, but still probably the logical choice for us at this point in our life.
Just fyi, not all suburbanites spend all their free time in their house. Maybe you do and that's why you think it's normal. No idea. I probably spend more than most since it's also my home office, but unless I'm working or sleeping I'm rarely at home. Since I do spend a lot of time at home, I can tell you the neighborhood is pretty quiet except for maybe weekends. Most people are gone. That's also why burglars like suburban neighborhoods.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:28 AM
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
45,990 posts, read 41,979,923 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Since I do spend a lot of time at home, I can tell you the neighborhood is pretty quiet except for maybe weekends. Most people are gone. That's also why burglars like suburban neighborhoods.
Or fewer "eyes on the street" as in less people walking by notice a burglar. And perhaps even driving, since few non-residents would be driving on them.
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