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)
 
Old 01-27-2015, 05:04 PM
 
1,915 posts, read 2,049,638 times
Reputation: 2192

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCityTheBridge View Post
It is probably significant to note that the great increases in suburbanization occurred in the midst of the Great Migration, as blacks left the South for opportunities in the North and West.
It is even more significant to note that the West experienced a massive population surge largely as a result of WW2 and its aftermath. Had Japan somehow remained peaceful and WW2 somehow remained a European War, there would not have been the massive influx of industry--and the people that followed it--to the West Coast.

In the West, it was not so much that cities were abandoned in favor of suburbs as it was that all the new construction in post World War Two affluence *was* suburban. Even many "big cities" like San Jose, San Diego and Los Angeles are suburban in nature, and they are many times more populous today than they were in 1940.

Last edited by NickB1967; 01-27-2015 at 05:20 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-27-2015, 05:11 PM
 
1,915 posts, read 2,049,638 times
Reputation: 2192
Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Nobody likes the bus. The bus is transport of last resort. It's slow, uncomfortable, and often takes a circuitous route. You're often stuck waiting for them as they rarely keep to their schedules. To top it off, in some places (e.g. Philadelphia) they're filled with low-lifes talking about how they just got out of jail.
Not if it is an "express commuter" bus, that comfortably gets people to and from where they work and uses a more exclusive lane.

Moreover, a good many "light rail" systems, lacking the "gatekeeper effect" of a bus, have far more scuzzy people riding them than do buses!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-27-2015, 05:17 PM
 
1,915 posts, read 2,049,638 times
Reputation: 2192
Quote:
Originally Posted by FallsAngel View Post
Good post, I've excerpted some things I'd like to highlight.

Many people on this forum have this romantic idea that ALL housing built prior to a certain date (1945 often being used) was "better-built" than housing built since then. Of course, housing built before 1945 really means housing built before 1930, as the Depression then WW II caused little housing to be built during that time. Housing for the well off was "better-built" than housing for the masses; it always has been. But still, this housing was built to the technology of the time. Most homes built before 1930 didn't even have a place for a refrigerator, b/c few owned refrigerators back then.
The Great Depression and the Rise of the Refrigerator - The Science of Society - Pacific Standard: The Science of Society
What Does the Fridge Say? A Historical Photo Essay | Emily Contois

Back to transit. I don't have much more to say about it right now.
THIS. A romantic view of depression era living, where people were packed into small places out of poverty, ignores what was really going on.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-27-2015, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,659,080 times
Reputation: 4508
Quote:
Originally Posted by FallsAngel View Post
Good post, I've excerpted some things I'd like to highlight.

Many people on this forum have this romantic idea that ALL housing built prior to a certain date (1945 often being used) was "better-built" than housing built since then. Of course, housing built before 1945 really means housing built before 1930, as the Depression then WW II caused little housing to be built during that time. Housing for the well off was "better-built" than housing for the masses; it always has been. But still, this housing was built to the technology of the time. Most homes built before 1930 didn't even have a place for a refrigerator, b/c few owned refrigerators back then.
The Great Depression and the Rise of the Refrigerator - The Science of Society - Pacific Standard: The Science of Society
What Does the Fridge Say? A Historical Photo Essay | Emily Contois

Back to transit. I don't have much more to say about it right now.
Sorry for being off-topic, but I just saw this in a quoted post. The statement in bold may technically be true. But, they probably had a place for an ice box. And, all that was needed to retrofit that space for a refrigerator, was an electrical outlet.

Getting back on topic, a little. I actually like that the people I ride the bus with are different. Sure, there is the occasional scary or obnoxious individual, but most people are just going along to get along, like everyone else. Having grown up in the stereotypical suburbs, and living with a faintly bigoted family, riding the bus helped me shake the prejudices that I'd grown up with.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-27-2015, 07:31 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,006 posts, read 102,606,536 times
Reputation: 33064
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
Sorry for being off-topic, but I just saw this in a quoted post. The statement in bold may technically be true. But, they probably had a place for an ice box. And, all that was needed to retrofit that space for a refrigerator, was an electrical outlet.

Getting back on topic, a little. I actually like that the people I ride the bus with are different. Sure, there is the occasional scary or obnoxious individual, but most people are just going along to get along, like everyone else. Having grown up in the stereotypical suburbs, and living with a faintly bigoted family, riding the bus helped me shake the prejudices that I'd grown up with.
Not necessarily (re: the bold). Sometimes the ice box was kept on the porch off the kitchen b/c it made a mess. And the size was different, as well. The previous owners of my parents' house put the refrigerator in the hallway b/c they couldn't figure out a place for it in the kitchen. My dad, a Carnegie-Mellon (actually Carnegie Tech at the time) engineer, figured it out.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-27-2015, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,523,816 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickB1967 View Post
You wish. Unless something akin to school vouchers is made public policy, parents will opt to move to the better suburban schools, unless they can become so affluent to afford private ones out of pocket.

Talk to us when you and the missus are dealing with kids of your own.
We have several great options in Portland, so don't worry about us, but I will gladly keep you informed with what we do.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-28-2015, 05:43 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,659,080 times
Reputation: 4508
Quote:
Originally Posted by FallsAngel View Post
Not necessarily (re: the bold). Sometimes the ice box was kept on the porch off the kitchen b/c it made a mess. And the size was different, as well. The previous owners of my parents' house put the refrigerator in the hallway b/c they couldn't figure out a place for it in the kitchen. My dad, a Carnegie-Mellon (actually Carnegie Tech at the time) engineer, figured it out.
I'm no expert on ice boxes, but a quick Google image search shows me that, like refrigerators, ice boxes came in many different sizes. But, this is off-topic, and will be my last post on the subject, I promise. Maybe we should start another thread in the house forum to rehash this "old house good vs. old house bad" stuff again?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-28-2015, 07:07 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,955,202 times
Reputation: 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
Sorry for being off-topic, but I just saw this in a quoted post. The statement in bold may technically be true. But, they probably had a place for an ice box. And, all that was needed to retrofit that space for a refrigerator, was an electrical outlet.
I think the problem there is that nearly all houses built before the 1950s had plaster walls over lathe so running wiring was a royal PITA. You can't just use a little drywall saw to get your wires in. You have to bust open the wall from one stud to the next.

More importantly older houses didn't have electrical panels full of breakers. They had fuse boxes and you couldn't just go and add a 30amp breaker to run a fridge on if you were working with four 15amp fuses. For instance, my house was built c. 1880. It was built without indoor plumbing or electricity. Fresh water ran to the house into the kitchen and up to the 3rd floor but there was no sewage connection. That was added in the 1920s. The people I bought it from had replaced the old fusebox in the basement with an enormous electrical panel in 2003. They also had to replace the service (the connection to the power lines on the outside of the house) because the new breakers and the new appliances running on them would draw a lot more power than the outside lines could handle and it could potentially start a fire.

So while they spent around $20k on those updates the house was still full of knob and tube wiring that was spliced (and by spliced I mean wire nutted) with the new wiring. Essentially, the bottom half of the house was fully modern because it was easy to replace the wiring because it was all open on the basement ceiling. Half of the 2nd floor and the entire 3rd floor shared the same 15amp breaker such that it was nearly impossible to run tow window unit air conditioners simultaneously. When I eventually wanted to add a split ductless system to the 3rd floor it was no problem to add new breakers to the panel. The wiring on the other hand was a serious problem. My first option was to rip open the plaster & lathe from the floorboards of the first floor to the 3rd floor ceiling. It was actually cheaper, easier, and far less messy to run conduit up the wall in the corners of the rooms and just build a soffit around it.

Most people who grew up after the 80s didn't have to deal with crazy electrical systems or the lights going off - which was common in older houses with older electrical systems because if your dad was watching TV, your sister was using her hair dryer, and the fridge kicked on the lights in most of the house would go off. If you don't know any people older than 35 you can see this quite a bit if you watch older sitcoms or movies. The proliferation of appliances and their demand for power grew a lot more quickly than a 1920s or even 1950s electrical system could keep up with.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-29-2015, 05:50 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,659,080 times
Reputation: 4508
Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
I think the problem there is that nearly all houses built before the 1950s had plaster walls over lathe so running wiring was a royal PITA. You can't just use a little drywall saw to get your wires in. You have to bust open the wall from one stud to the next.

More importantly older houses didn't have electrical panels full of breakers. They had fuse boxes and you couldn't just go and add a 30amp breaker to run a fridge on if you were working with four 15amp fuses. For instance, my house was built c. 1880. It was built without indoor plumbing or electricity. Fresh water ran to the house into the kitchen and up to the 3rd floor but there was no sewage connection. That was added in the 1920s. The people I bought it from had replaced the old fusebox in the basement with an enormous electrical panel in 2003. They also had to replace the service (the connection to the power lines on the outside of the house) because the new breakers and the new appliances running on them would draw a lot more power than the outside lines could handle and it could potentially start a fire.

So while they spent around $20k on those updates the house was still full of knob and tube wiring that was spliced (and by spliced I mean wire nutted) with the new wiring. Essentially, the bottom half of the house was fully modern because it was easy to replace the wiring because it was all open on the basement ceiling. Half of the 2nd floor and the entire 3rd floor shared the same 15amp breaker such that it was nearly impossible to run tow window unit air conditioners simultaneously. When I eventually wanted to add a split ductless system to the 3rd floor it was no problem to add new breakers to the panel. The wiring on the other hand was a serious problem. My first option was to rip open the plaster & lathe from the floorboards of the first floor to the 3rd floor ceiling. It was actually cheaper, easier, and far less messy to run conduit up the wall in the corners of the rooms and just build a soffit around it.

Most people who grew up after the 80s didn't have to deal with crazy electrical systems or the lights going off - which was common in older houses with older electrical systems because if your dad was watching TV, your sister was using her hair dryer, and the fridge kicked on the lights in most of the house would go off. If you don't know any people older than 35 you can see this quite a bit if you watch older sitcoms or movies. The proliferation of appliances and their demand for power grew a lot more quickly than a 1920s or even 1950s electrical system could keep up with.
I promised I was going to drop this subject, so I'm not going to reply.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-29-2015, 04:35 PM
 
3,565 posts, read 1,875,228 times
Reputation: 2263
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickB1967 View Post
It is even more significant to note that the West experienced a massive population surge largely as a result of WW2 and its aftermath. Had Japan somehow remained peaceful and WW2 somehow remained a European War, there would not have been the massive influx of industry--and the people that followed it--to the West Coast.

In the West, it was not so much that cities were abandoned in favor of suburbs as it was that all the new construction in post World War Two affluence *was* suburban. Even many "big cities" like San Jose, San Diego and Los Angeles are suburban in nature, and they are many times more populous today than they were in 1940.
I certainly agree that the rise of the war industry on the Pacific Coast mattered for western development.

As for the cities you name, I don't totally agree with your analysis. San Jose in the 1950s was a much more densely developed place:
Shaping Downtown San Jose | SPUR

Today, San Jose is surrounded by suburban cities and much of the city of San Jose itself is characterized by suburban development; but in the 1950s it was a dense central city surrounded by orchards. It was probably the late 60s to early 70s before you would really look at San Jose itself developed in a more suburban manner.

San Diego is an odd case. It boomed with WWII as a key naval base. Like San Jose, it decentralized in the 60s and 70s.

Los Angeles spread out earlier than the others--actually before WWII (water rights probably had more to do with this than anything else). But it saw a similarly dramatic expansion after the war, as well.

San Francisco, of course, looked very different. It saw big (though not as big as the above cities') population growth in the 1940s, especially after the war, but then population slowly declined before turning around again in the 80s. One of the differences is that San Francisco did not annex neighboring land with the fervor of the other major Californian coastal cities.

But Portland and Seattle, not subject to California's state-level politics, developed a little differently. Seattle did see a postwar population boom, but it several times less rapid as San Diego and San Jose. There are definitely some Seattle-area residents who will tell you that the choice to focus on highway transportation in the Seattle area until the 2000s was a mistake.

Portland's population rise looks still different, but there was a post-WWII bump. But it leveled more quickly. Portland is certainly among the more transit/bike/walk-friendly U.S. cities.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
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.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

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
Similar Threads
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