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Old 07-29-2014, 12:17 PM
 
13,044 posts, read 15,400,418 times
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It looks like a lot of the focus here is on getting people to move to urban areas instead of suburban areas. Why? I know those of you who are younger think people should flock back to urban areas and you think that is the wave of the future. Maybe it is the wave of the future in the short term, but I think it will come full circle again when YOUR children decide they don't want to live in a population dense area and want room to spread out like their grandparents did.

I really don't understand the current push for urban living. The majority of the population is still going to live in the suburbs. A lot of the population never has and never will like urban living. I just don't understand trying to convince everyone that urban is better. To me, it's definitely not.
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Old 07-29-2014, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
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No one is trying to force anyone to do anything.

Some of us believe that government policy has encouraged suburban living over the last several decades, and we believe that either government should stop encouraging suburban living, or also encourage urban living.

In the context of human history, suburban living has been around for a relatively short time. Before that, people lived on farms, or in cities. So it's hard to say what portion of the population prefers urban/suburban/rural living.
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Old 07-29-2014, 12:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
No one is trying to force anyone to do anything.

Some of us believe that government policy has encouraged suburban living over the last several decades, and we believe that either government should stop encouraging suburban living, or also encourage urban living.

In the context of human history, suburban living has been around for a relatively short time. Before that, people lived on farms, or in cities. So it's hard to say what portion of the population prefers urban/suburban/rural living.
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.
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Old 07-29-2014, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,681,041 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luzianne View Post
It looks like a lot of the focus here is on getting people to move to urban areas instead of suburban areas. Why? I know those of you who are younger think people should flock back to urban areas and you think that is the wave of the future. Maybe it is the wave of the future in the short term, but I think it will come full circle again when YOUR children decide they don't want to live in a population dense area and want room to spread out like their grandparents did.

I really don't understand the current push for urban living. The majority of the population is still going to live in the suburbs. A lot of the population never has and never will like urban living. I just don't understand trying to convince everyone that urban is better. To me, it's definitely not.
Who is forcing anything? Reality is we have actually reduced choice in many of our metro areas. In my own area, there is not enough supply for "urban" housing (read this as housing in walkable areas served by transit), and the prices are increasing about 20% year over year for those types of neighborhoods. Whereas the suburban areas that are less connected to transit are decreasing in price and demand.

A decade ago, in Oakland, the most desirable areas where spots in the hills with views of the Bay and SF. This was the most expensive part of town. That has shifted now, and the most expensive areas are in the "foothills" which are closer to transit, more walkable, and closer (walking distance) to the commercial districts. About 10 years ago these homes were half the price of the hills homes. Now they are the same price and close to exceeding the prices of the hills homes (even though they generally have less square footage).

The demand for these more "urban" areas is coming from all sides: people priced out of SF, apartment dwellers who want more space and walkability, and families.

There is plenty of supply for people who want to live in the suburbs on bigger lots and want to have more car access, for those of us with different preferences the supply is limited and the price is ridiculous.

I can't actually afford to live in a walkable area (and stick with the 3x income ratios that are typical for income to home price), there are roughly 4 or 5 neighborhoods within a 20-25 mile radius of my current home/office that meet that criteria, and I make well above average income. And that is what's wrong with the universe right now. I actually can't really afford to buy anywhere in my region within reasonable commenting distance unless someone gifts me a 20% downpayment, and that would still be at the top of those ratios.
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Old 07-29-2014, 03:48 PM
 
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It's really hard to think of many examples of anyone being "forced" to live in cities. Most dense, walkable urban environments in the US are either: a) very affluent areas that are far more expensive than the rest of their respective metro areas (like Manhattan or most of NW DC) or b) relatively impoverished, high-crime areas. For the first category, almost literally nobody is being "forced" into living there. Quite the opposite - people pay a massive premium to live there versus the suburbs. For the second category, well I suppose the people who were born into those neighborhoods were "forced" into them, but I don't think that's what we're talking about. I think we're talking about people moving from the suburbs to the city -- and I can't think of many suburbanites being forced into poor, high-crime urban areas.

In DC, we see the opposite phenomenon: people (mostly African-Americans) moving out from the city into the suburbs of Prince George's County, either because they cashed out by selling property in their now-gentrifying neighborhood, or because the property values of their gentrifying neighborhood have pushed their rents to levels they can no longer afford. But on the whole, the city has been dramatically gaining population, so these people leaving are more than balanced out by people moving in.
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Old 07-29-2014, 04:02 PM
 
13,044 posts, read 15,400,418 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofnature View Post
It's really hard to think of many examples of anyone being "forced" to live in cities. Most dense, walkable urban environments in the US are either: a) very affluent areas that are far more expensive than the rest of their respective metro areas (like Manhattan or most of NW DC) or b) relatively impoverished, high-crime areas. For the first category, almost literally nobody is being "forced" into living there. Quite the opposite - people pay a massive premium to live there versus the suburbs. For the second category, well I suppose the people who were born into those neighborhoods were "forced" into them, but I don't think that's what we're talking about. I think we're talking about people moving from the suburbs to the city -- and I can't think of many suburbanites being forced into poor, high-crime urban areas.

In DC, we see the opposite phenomenon: people (mostly African-Americans) moving out from the city into the suburbs of Prince George's County, either because they cashed out by selling property in their now-gentrifying neighborhood, or because the property values of their gentrifying neighborhood have pushed their rents to levels they can no longer afford. But on the whole, the city has been dramatically gaining population, so these people leaving are more than balanced out by people moving in.
I'm not saying people are being forced to live in cities against their will. I'm saying that there seems to be an effort to push an urban lifestyle; that people are trying to promote that kind of lifestyle and force it down our throats as the wave of the future and desirable.
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Old 07-29-2014, 04:03 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,005,842 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luzianne View Post
It looks like a lot of the focus here is on getting people to move to urban areas instead of suburban areas. Why? I know those of you who are younger think people should flock back to urban areas and you think that is the wave of the future. Maybe it is the wave of the future in the short term, but I think it will come full circle again when YOUR children decide they don't want to live in a population dense area and want room to spread out like their grandparents did.

I really don't understand the current push for urban living. The majority of the population is still going to live in the suburbs. A lot of the population never has and never will like urban living. I just don't understand trying to convince everyone that urban is better. To me, it's definitely not.
One, unless you're specifically using the definition from transects, you haven't defined "urban," which can, in loose conversation, range from small downtowns to Manhattan. You also use incorrectly density as if it has an inherent definition which we all know and understand in the same way.

Two, as another has noted, urban densities have been the dominant form of cities for much, much longer than anything suburban has existed.

Lastly, I doubt any but the most fringe of us, even on the CD forums, are advocating the razing of the suburbs outright and immediately in favor of something more urban (or vice versa, for that matter).
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Old 07-29-2014, 04:22 PM
 
1,998 posts, read 2,934,174 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luzianne View Post
I'm not saying people are being forced to live in cities against their will. I'm saying that there seems to be an effort to push an urban lifestyle; that people are trying to promote that kind of lifestyle and force it down our throats as the wave of the future and desirable.
What does "promote" mean? Talk about? Write articles about? You're being very vague. What does "force it down our throats" mean?
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Old 07-29-2014, 04:54 PM
 
1,709 posts, read 1,675,691 times
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I feel like the push isn't an aggressive campaign to scare people from the burbs. In fact, there's really no push at all. There's a preference, but not an active effort. A lot of people come on here and ask where they should live, and many posters give them suggestions that they think would work well for that poster. Those suggestions very commonly lean towards the urban side. That's fine, it's people giving ther opinion. If the poster asking where to live truly doesn't like an urban lifestyle, they will mention it beforehand in the topic or turn down/ignore all suggestions that involve urban living. But they don't, because most people don't have an urban or suburban preference, they just want to live somewhere nice. "Nice" is subject to opinion, and most opinions here (like it or not) shift towards urban living, so it gets suggested more. Again, a preference, but not an active push.
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Old 07-29-2014, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,872 posts, read 13,557,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luzianne View Post
It looks like a lot of the focus here is on getting people to move to urban areas instead of suburban areas. Why? I know those of you who are younger think people should flock back to urban areas and you think that is the wave of the future. Maybe it is the wave of the future in the short term, but I think it will come full circle again when YOUR children decide they don't want to live in a population dense area and want room to spread out like their grandparents did.

I really don't understand the current push for urban living. The majority of the population is still going to live in the suburbs. A lot of the population never has and never will like urban living. I just don't understand trying to convince everyone that urban is better. To me, it's definitely not.
Your opinion isn't supported by current census statistics or sociological research. In fact, no one has to focus "on getting people to move to urban areas." It's happening with no official encouragement from anyone. Suburban living is centered on traditional nuclear families. And, in fact, that is NOT how most Americans live these days. But don't take it from me. Study the research.

According to the U.S. Census bureau, unmarried households represent 45% of all U.S. households and as of 2000, the most common household type in the U.S. is a person living alone. Current Population Reports writes that "the average American spends the majority of his or her life unmarried" and a Gallup survey reveals that "68% of divorced or widowed Americans plan to remain unmarried." Single people also represent 40% of the U.S. workforce.

Dr. Eric Klinenberg, professor of sociology at New York University, calls the rise in living alone “the biggest modern social change that we’ve yet to name or identify" and it is having a profound effect on America's cities and suburbs. American households consisting of people living alone is predominantly an urban phenomenon. In Washington, D.C., and Manhattan, for example, nearly half of all households are single-person ones (48 and 46 percent, respectively). “These are staggering numbers, and they say a lot about how we live today."

He maintains that instead of using cities to isolate themselves, single people are attracted to them because their amenities give singles ample opportunities to enhance their social lives. "People who live alone are more likely than married people to go out at night, to attend public events and engage in other activities that 'animate the streets.'"

Dr. Bella DePaulo of UC Santa Clara, another sociologist who studies the phenomenon of the growth of unmarried Americans, says, "There are now more one-person households than households comprised of man, dad and the kids." She says traditional families tend to be attracted to suburbia because of amenities for the children. The downside, however, is that suburban life causes married families to cocoon and concentrate inward, removing their focus from the community at large. "So instead of finding that marriage, as conventional wisdom holds, connects us to more people, instead marriage creates this insular little couple or a little nuclear family." This fact appears to be why many couples, when they become empty nesters, look to moving back into a city where there are more resources for older Americans and why children raised in suburbia look to the city for a home when they leave the nest.

As usual, we can also learn a lot by following the money. In fact, real estate industry analyses and forecasts for the most recent 15 years are remarkably consistent in showing a slow-down of sprawl and gains in centrally located, walkable, amenity-rich neighborhoods, according to The Urban Land Institute’s lengthy report, What’s Next? Real Estate in the New Economy.

The suburbs aren't dead yet, but their allure is fading quickly, according to Leigh Gallagher, a writer for Fortune who published a book called The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream Is Moving. Her analysis shows, "A lot of people ... have a tremendous amount of nostalgia for the suburbs. Going outside, playing until 6 o'clock when it was time for dinner, having tons of kids around [but] that is ... no more." According to the National Association of Realtors, only 12% of future home-buyers want the drivable suburban houses that are in over-supply. America's two biggest home-moving groups, baby-boomers (newly retired empty-nesters) and millennials (newly able to afford their own domiciles) are BOTH attracted to urban downtowns and suburban town centers. They like the walkability and other lifestyle perks and conveniences more densely populated areas.

Last edited by Jukesgrrl; 07-29-2014 at 05:56 PM.. Reason: formatting
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