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Old 07-30-2014, 10:45 AM
 
13,043 posts, read 15,397,378 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
Sometimes a persecution complex, something to discuss with a therapist or psychologist, can give someone the impression that they are being pressured to do something against their will, but that is a topic for a psychology forum, not an urban planning forum.
As I have said repeatedly since the initial post, it's not so much "force" as trying to persuade people that urban living is desirable and the "in" thing now. I have seen a push toward urban living in the last few years, but especially in the last year.

But the fact remains that in terms of total population, urban dwellers are in the minority. I don't think that is going to change anytime soon, if ever.
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:08 AM
 
1,211 posts, read 887,150 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luzianne View Post
To me, suburban is the perfect medium between country and urban. Country is too remote for me; I like to be a little closer to amenities. Urban is too crowded. Suburban is just right. I am close to everything, but not too close to stores, neighbors, etc.
That great, you have found your place. But I see it a bit differently. I grew up in a pretty rural area and liked it, but I have lived in a city since 1995 and I am currently raising 3 kids in New England's most dense city. What I liked about more rural life was access to mountains for hiking and skiing - all within one mile. I liked the bohemian laid back vibe that naturally comes with living in a place surrounded by nature. I liked that it was a true community in that the people who worked in town also lived in town. I liked walking out my back yard to a network of trails in the wood, where there was a river that we could fish in. Suburbs do not really offer these in most cases.

Living in the city, I like the ability to walk or bike to almost everything I need. We have one car and it gets around 3 miles per week. When we decide to head out of town to the country or to visit family we take the car. I like that we can walk just a blocks or two to so many things - you simply do it more when this is the case and we do it all the time. I like taking the kids to interesting ethnic restaurants on foot – my kids eat almost anything because since they were in high chairs they have been eating Japanese, Thai, Indian and Mexican cuisines. I like that there are 5 playgrounds within a 10 minute walk, and because of the density of where we live, every one of them is full of kids playing at most times of the day. It’s a great community meeting spot and place to catch up with and meet other parents. I like the street festivals – from spring to fall there is one every week or two. This past weekend we had these two: Somerstreets and Cambridge Jazz Festival. The weekend before we has this one: Artbeat 2014 | sac. I like the mix of people in the public schools – a combination of Brazilian and Haitian immigrants combined with software engineers, scientists at biotech firms, MIT professors, Harvard Professors and quite a few non-profit types.

So to summarize - in our situation I don't think moving to the suburbs would offer us the best of both of these worlds in any way.

Also - didn't people originally flee cities during the 50s and 60s when crime went up dramatically? I don't think they chose the suburbs so much as felt forced out of the city. I suppose if the cities become dangerous again people would leave again, but I just don't see this happening.
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:13 AM
 
Location: NW Arkansas
18 posts, read 20,586 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luzianne View Post
There is definitely a push toward urban living. Why not just let people do what they want instead of trying to convince people that urban living is better? I've definitely seen people try to push urban living, especially in the last year.

To me, suburban is the perfect medium between country and urban. Country is too remote for me; I like to be a little closer to amenities. Urban is too crowded. Suburban is just right. I am close to everything, but not too close to stores, neighbors, etc.
Different strokes for different folks!

I don't think that there is a push towards urban living for all people, but younger people are finding it more attractive. There are a lot of younger people who grew up in suburban "bliss" and want to experience something different. Urban areas (esp. in KC) may have higher crime rates and lower quality schools, but they also have many draws to them that no suburb can match. Young people may eventually make their way back from whence they came, but I think the experience of living in a more urban area gives a more fulfilling life. I think it's similar to students who study in Europe for a year, and come out of the experience much better for it than if they had stayed at their school in the U.S. for all 4 years.

I lived for 6-7 years around UMKC during and after college, and I wouldn't trade my experience living there for anything.
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:34 AM
 
13,043 posts, read 15,397,378 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HereAgainstMyWill View Post
Different strokes for different folks!

I don't think that there is a push towards urban living for all people, but younger people are finding it more attractive. There are a lot of younger people who grew up in suburban "bliss" and want to experience something different. Urban areas (esp. in KC) may have higher crime rates and lower quality schools, but they also have many draws to them that no suburb can match. Young people may eventually make their way back from whence they came, but I think the experience of living in a more urban area gives a more fulfilling life. I think it's similar to students who study in Europe for a year, and come out of the experience much better for it than if they had stayed at their school in the U.S. for all 4 years.

I lived for 6-7 years around UMKC during and after college, and I wouldn't trade my experience living there for anything.
I appreciate your balanced reply!

I grew up in the suburbs and lived in urban Kansas City as an adult when I couldn't afford to live in the suburbs. As soon as I could afford it, I returned to the suburbs. There were no amenities in urban areas that I don't also have easy access to in the suburbs.

But I do understand that some younger people are looking for that experience, and that's fine. I just don't like the urban = good/suburban = bad attitude. But in fairness, I guess I think suburban = good, urban = bad - so perhaps we're even.
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
2,975 posts, read 4,081,169 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm31828 View Post
I see a few things mentioned here that are not totally accurate. First of all, the traditional suburban development is not on its last legs- that type of development is alive and well now as it always was- just drive around almost any suburban area these days where there is new construction- it is everywhere.
Oh, there is plenty of construction...but it's NOT traditional single family homes on quarter acre-or-large lots, at least not in any major US city I've been to recently. For example, in the city where I live developers want to pour concrete over one of the few remaining natural forested areas and replace it with a mixed use complex of a shopping center anchored by Walmart with 900 apartments. In the vicinity there are mostly single family homes and a few strip malls, an expressway exit, and a 4-lane suburban road with one infrequent bus line. The new development doesn't sound very traditional suburban to me...isn't it the point of a suburb to NOT have to live in an apartment, to have a YARD??? As populations grow and more people move in to the urban areas (and US incomes continue to fall...and car ownership costs continue to rise...), the "suburbs" are going to get more dense and congested and not be what they used to be. The "suburban areas" grow, but it's no longer in the form of a traditional suburb.

Last edited by hurricaneMan1992; 07-30-2014 at 11:51 AM..
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:10 PM
 
Location: NW Arkansas
18 posts, read 20,586 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luzianne View Post
I appreciate your balanced reply!

I grew up in the suburbs and lived in urban Kansas City as an adult when I couldn't afford to live in the suburbs. As soon as I could afford it, I returned to the suburbs. There were no amenities in urban areas that I don't also have easy access to in the suburbs.

But I do understand that some younger people are looking for that experience, and that's fine. I just don't like the urban = good/suburban = bad attitude. But in fairness, I guess I think suburban = good, urban = bad - so perhaps we're even.
There are good and bad things about both urban and suburban living, but I think the encouragement towards urban living is because there really doesn't need to be any push towards suburban living. People will flock to the suburbs anyway.

I know that some people deride "New Urbanism", but I like the concept. Places like New Longview in LS are an attractive option for many people. It's sort of a happy medium. It offers both of the advantages of suburban living and the ability to walk to schools, parks, and some retail.

I think my fascination with this comes from the unique place I grew up in. I grew up on 14 acres in "No Man's Land" in between Raytown and LS. KCMO address, LS schools, and few neighbors. My parent's loved it. I wished for more human interaction.
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 23,289,110 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luzianne View Post
There is definitely a push toward urban living. Why not just let people do what they want instead of trying to convince people that urban living is better? I've definitely seen people try to push urban living, especially in the last year.

To me, suburban is the perfect medium between country and urban. Country is too remote for me; I like to be a little closer to amenities. Urban is too crowded. Suburban is just right. I am close to everything, but not too close to stores, neighbors, etc.
You constantly try to push suburban living on others and disparage urban living. I see no point to this thread. (yet I commented)
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,170 posts, read 29,674,744 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hurricaneMan1992 View Post
Oh, there is plenty of construction...but it's NOT traditional single family homes on quarter acre-or-large lots, at least not in any major US city I've been to recently. For example, in the city where I live developers want to pour concrete over one of the few remaining natural forested areas and replace it with a mixed use complex of a shopping center anchored by Walmart with 900 apartments. In the vicinity there are mostly single family homes and a few strip malls, an expressway exit, and a 4-lane suburban road with one infrequent bus line. The new development doesn't sound very traditional suburban to me...isn't it the point of a suburb to NOT have to live in an apartment, to have a YARD??? As populations grow and more people move in to the urban areas (and US incomes continue to fall...and car ownership costs continue to rise...), the "suburbs" are going to get more dense and congested and not be what they used to be. The "suburban areas" grow, but it's no longer in the form of a traditional suburb.
We don't do this in my region. New development is generally going up in empty lots, surrounded by other buildings. Former gas stations. Surface parking lots. Industrial office parks. ....

There is very little former green space being developed.
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Old 07-30-2014, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
5,311 posts, read 5,332,962 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luzianne View Post
I appreciate your balanced reply!

I grew up in the suburbs and lived in urban Kansas City as an adult when I couldn't afford to live in the suburbs. As soon as I could afford it, I returned to the suburbs. There were no amenities in urban areas that I don't also have easy access to in the suburbs.

But I do understand that some younger people are looking for that experience, and that's fine. I just don't like the urban = good/suburban = bad attitude. But in fairness, I guess I think suburban = good, urban = bad - so perhaps we're even.
I'm not sure how often you run into urban=good / suburban=bad outside of City-Data, but I'll say I've almost never heard that anywhere....and I live in the city. Our society is largely pro-suburbs and at a minimum largely suspicious of urban areas.

Also, it's not just younger people looking for some one-off urban experience. In my building are elderly folks, medical students, middle-aged white-collar workers, a spattering of blue collar folks (they live next door), etc. My perspective on the drive to live in more urban areas is the desire to live in a place that has sufficient amenities (job, market, cultural amenities, parks) that are conveniently located to where you live. Not needing the car for every trip is a great benefit to me.

And I think those who believe that living in the city is some temporary experience that young people are looking for before they move to the burbs will be disappointed. If the suburbanization of America didn't kill city living for those with a choice/money, I don't believe anything can. That's not to say the suburbs will die or even decline necessarily. But it will mean that more of a balance will take hold IMO.
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Old 07-30-2014, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,170 posts, read 29,674,744 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
I'm not sure how often you run into urban=good / suburban=bad outside of City-Data, but I'll say I've almost never heard that anywhere....and I live in the city. Our society is largely pro-suburbs and at a minimum largely suspicious of urban areas.

Also, it's not just younger people looking for some one-off urban experience. In my building are elderly folks, medical students, middle-aged white-collar workers, a spattering of blue collar folks (they live next door), etc. My perspective on the drive to live in more urban areas is the desire to live in a place that has sufficient amenities (job, market, cultural amenities, parks) that are conveniently located to where you live. Not needing the car for every trip is a great benefit to me. It's not just some temporary field trip that you retire from once you turn 30 and get married; like a bucket-list sky dive.
There is a book about this now, the trend deemed: Walkable Urbanism.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Option-Urb.../dp/1597261378

The thing is, lots more people these days, want to have the stuff they do often in walking distance. It doesn't matter if that occurs in a "city" or a "suburb."

There is this strange idea that "city" only comes in Manhattan form. And "suburb" only comes in sprawl form. You can build walkability into any sort of community.
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