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Old 09-14-2014, 08:42 PM
 
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I'm sorry Ive been away from this thread for so long. I've been too busy to keep up. I have some points I'd like to address so I'll get to them over time, starting with more recent ones.

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Originally Posted by lvoc View Post
This poor thread just keeps flogging along swinging randomly.

Would it not be best to observe the consensus is that the OP's thesis has no support? That pollution is secondary or tertiary concern in the abandonment of the central core over the last decades?

Pollution may bother people but it does not drive decision making.
So you're saying that if you lived next to a meat packing plant that smelled strongly like cow dung 24/7 and pumped chemicals in your drinking water that you would be "bothered" but wouldn't move? Hyperbolic example but you get my point. The support for my thesis is basic human concern for their own well-being. When human beings became aware that bad-smelling, thick, smoggy air and murky, funny-tasting water was contrary to their well-being, they wanted to escape it because they (as human beings) were looking out for their and their families' health. Wouldn't you do the same?
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
Los Angeles in general contradicts the OP's notion of why cities decline - heavily polluted (all over, even in high-income areas) and with a heavily manufacturing / industrial-based economy, it has always grown, even though its growth rate has slowed down in the last few decades. Today, LA is the largest manufacturing center in the United States and continues with a positive growth rate:

Los Angeles is largest manufacturing center in U.S., government says - LA Times

Just like in South Chicago, much of Los Angeles' east and south sides are criss-crossed with industrial rail ROWs and there are enormous clusters of manufacturing centers in those same areas. Despite this, the population growth has been steady and in fact exploded at the same time as other manufacturing cities mentioned previously were losing population. And the growth was not just at the fringes, the core of the city continued to grow and densify during every 20th century decade, and it still is (though gentrification has causes some neighborhoods to lose a little density).

Of course, LA is unique in that it is basically one of the only industrial-based cities located in the Sun Belt. It also has had a fairly diverse economy, with aerospace and engineering providing lots of white-collar jobs (though those are now largely gone).
This is true. However, a difference is that LA keeps drawing in poor, unskilled immigrants willing to take new industrial jobs that keep popping up. The industrial centers of the Rust Belt and East Coast had that flow if immigrants reduced to a trickle by the 1930s and 1940s due to immigration restrictions from the 1920s, something that had less of an effect on LA because LA had a lot of domestic migration to there during that time (think Okies). Fewer immigrants meant less cheap labor for industries to take advantage of. The RB cities were also becoming largely stagnant in job growth, meaning that there were no new jobs for potential incoming immigrants to take, thus meaning that there would be no new immigrants to take the place of established residents abandoning the older industrial neighborhoods. Pollution caused the (then) current residents of those industrial cities to want to leave. New residents originating from nations with even lower standards of pollution and quality of living probably don't care about that industrial proximity near as much.

Also, modern LA's pollution is largely incomparable to industrial pollution of the 1890s-1940s. It might be bad, but it's largely propelled by auto congestion and local environmental factors, things that largely didn't exist in the example cities I keep mentioning at the dawn of suburbia.

And keep in mind, South LA is crisscrossed by a lot of industrial spur railroad lines. That's a switching jobs, one train a day, deliveries and pick-ups to/from factories kind of deal. The RR lines across South Chicago consisted of a lot of main lines, and heavily used ones at that-multiple trains a day, very long, probably blasting their whistles/horns, probably throwing up a lot more pollution too. Big difference.
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:09 PM
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
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
So you're saying that if you lived next to a meat packing plant that smelled strongly like cow dung 24/7 and pumped chemicals in your drinking water that you would be "bothered" but wouldn't move? Hyperbolic example but you get my point. The support for my thesis is basic human concern for their own well-being. When human beings became aware that bad-smelling, thick, smoggy air and murky, funny-tasting water was contrary to their well-being, they wanted to escape it because they (as human beings) were looking out for their and their families' health. Wouldn't you do the same?
Plenty of urban neighborhoods that declined were not near horrific pollution. And the worst declines were when pollution had lessened, so pollution as a main cause of urban decline doesn't really check, though it's plausible it did have some impact.

For both NYC and Boston, the drinking water comes (and came) mostly sources far out of the city, much of it around 80 miles away. The groundwater of Greenpoint, Brooklyn is toxic but no one's drinking it, nor out of the East River.

Last edited by nei; 09-14-2014 at 09:26 PM..
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
I'm



So you're saying that if you lived next to a meat packing plant that smelled strongly like cow dung 24/7 and pumped chemicals in your drinking water that you would be "bothered" but wouldn't move? Hyperbolic example but you get my point. The support for my thesis is basic human concern for their own well-being. When human beings became aware that bad-smelling, thick, smoggy air and murky, funny-tasting water was contrary to their well-being, they wanted to escape it because they (as human beings) were looking out for their and their families' health. Wouldn't you do the same?
Places like Chicago long fixed the drinking water problem. In short industrialization near the lake was limited and we had water treatment. The Chicago river had it's problems and they were major but not that. The stockyard area still stank into the 80ies and it wasn't an dung like smell and only the areas nearest the stockyards smelled(the El was capable of taking you away from that smell).

The major drivers were the ability to live further away from work via car and highway and the desire for more space.While the air quality of the city has improved due to the loss of the steel plants people never really regarded smog as something man made till about the 70ies.
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Plenty of urban neighborhoods that declined were not near horrific pollution. And the worst declines were when pollution had lessened, so pollution as a main cause of urban decline doesn't really check, though it's plausible it did have some impact.
Many neighborhoods that saw their worst decline because of decreasing pollution saw that decrease in pollution because the jobs altogether left (think the factory shutting down-less pollution, but zero employment), meaning the few that stayed to put up with pollution to keep the jobs had nothing left to keep them there and thus jumped ship. That pollution kick-started the decline though by chasing away first white members of the working class to the suburbs, then black members of the working class who moved to more affluent and white neighborhoods (causing the white populations there to flee-"white flight.") in search of better housing, as the AA population was typically relegated to substandard housing at the time. Often, the working class AA communities were restricted to much older and more derelict housing units, often multi-family ones.

Anyway, to get a better look at this we might need to look at some specific urban neighborhoods.
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chirack View Post
Places like Chicago long fixed the drinking water problem. In short industrialization near the lake was limited and we had water treatment. The Chicago river had it's problems and they were major but not that. The stockyard area still stank into the 80ies and it wasn't an dung like smell and only the areas nearest the stockyards smelled(the El was capable of taking you away from that smell).

The major drivers were the ability to live further away from work via car and highway and the desire for more space.While the air quality of the city has improved due to the loss of the steel plants people never really regarded smog as something man made till about the 70ies.
But people had no problem living in many of those houses for a long time. Why did the desire for more space suddenly appear out of nowhere? I don't think space is a major deciding factor-it's all about location.

More importantly, the car gave people the ability to live further from the city, but what gave them the desire to do so? Pollution!

And I had used those examples in the post you quoted as just generic examples of pollution for him to consider. He said that pollution wouldn't drive a decision, which I think for anyone who is concerned about their health is false.
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
Many neighborhoods that saw their worst decline because of decreasing pollution saw that decrease in pollution because the jobs altogether left (think the factory shutting down-less pollution, but zero employment), meaning the few that stayed to put up with pollution to keep the jobs had nothing left to keep them there and thus jumped ship. That pollution kick-started the decline though by chasing away first white members of the working class to the suburbs, then black members of the working class who moved to more affluent and white neighborhoods (causing the white populations there to flee-"white flight.") in search of better housing, as the AA population was typically relegated to substandard housing at the time. Often, the working class AA communities were restricted to much older and more derelict housing units, often multi-family ones.

Anyway, to get a better look at this we might need to look at some specific urban neighborhoods.
Nah here is what the burbs offer that Chicago can't and never really did. Large houses for the money(great for when you have kids), great schools, low crime. Chicago has been an major city and crowding, limited school funding as well as crime have always been major issues.
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chirack View Post
Nah here is what the burbs offer that Chicago can't and never really did. Large houses for the money(great for when you have kids), great schools, low crime. Chicago has been an major city and crowding, limited school funding as well as crime have always been major issues.
When suburbanism first began, those good schools were in the city. Suburban schools were just getting started in the 50s (the dawn of suburbia) so they were unproved, if they even existed yet. So I don't think people were moving for suburban schools back at that time. And low crime wasn't as much of an issue at that time period either. You're looking at this issue from a 2014 perspective on why someone would live in a suburb of Chicago versus the city. Instead, look at it from the perspective of the 1950s, when cities first began to empty out and suburbia first began. Pollution was an issue back then, much bigger than it is now, and I am hypothesizing that it caused the first wave of the urban exodus rather than continually causing it today. In other words, pollution was the first domino.
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
But people had no problem living in many of those houses for a long time. Why did the desire for more space suddenly appear out of nowhere? I don't think space is a major deciding factor-it's all about location.

More importantly, the car gave people the ability to live further from the city, but what gave them the desire to do so? Pollution!

And I had used those examples in the post you quoted as just generic examples of pollution for him to consider. He said that pollution wouldn't drive a decision, which I think for anyone who is concerned about their health is false.
Before the 50ies most people can't own houses(only 40% of people did) and Automobiles have only been common since the 1920ies (and even then there was no highway system-plus the top speed of an Model T is like 40-45MPH). It really takes about an 1930ies car to travel at highway speeds safely and no cars were made during WWII....not to mention the Depression stalled auto sells as well.

Al Capone liked to hang out in an south burb of Chicago called Calumet City, back then it was an afternoon drive from the North side of the city. Today with the expressway system you could get there in an hour or so no traffic.

Before the 1950ies most people rented due to the way mortgages worked back then(I mentioned it earlier). The GI bill along with the 30 year loan gave an boost to home ownership and the burbs had the space to build them(there was some building in the distant parts of the City but not near as much as in the burbs).
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
When suburbanism first began, those good schools were in the city. Suburban schools were just getting started in the 50s (the dawn of suburbia) so they were unproved, if they even existed yet. So I don't think people were moving for suburban schools back at that time. And low crime wasn't as much of an issue at that time period either. You're looking at this issue from a 2014 perspective on why someone would live in a suburb of Chicago versus the city. Instead, look at it from the perspective of the 1950s, when cities first began to empty out and suburbia first began. Pollution was an issue back then, much bigger than it is now, and I am hypothesizing that it caused the first wave of the urban exodus rather than continually causing it today. In other words, pollution was the first domino.
Crime was very much a issue, ever heard of the St. Valentine's day massacre? There was lots of it in town. I have heard relative talk about people stealing their milk deliveries. Schools might have been unproven but by the 60ies they would have had an edge.
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