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Old 02-06-2015, 06:55 PM
 
6,353 posts, read 5,172,907 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Who exactly is in support of blight?
People paying low rents, having few opportunities to rent elsewhere and facing high moving costs.

Less sympathetically, people having their low rents paid by you and me.
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Old 02-06-2015, 07:00 PM
 
6,353 posts, read 5,172,907 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
If this were true, we would have seen a tremendous rise in living standards in the U.S. with the shrinking of families. Instead we largely see stagnation.
Actually, consumption per individual has soared since the 1960s when birth rates were high. Much bigger houses, one car per individual instead of per family, etc. It's consumption per family that stagnated, partly because of smaller family size.

But I agree that people who are well qualified to have one or two kids should consider having more than two. Social capital is not literally fixed, and large families can do fine.
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Old 02-06-2015, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,573,101 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofnature View Post
Just because suburbs are more popular places to raise a family than cities does not mean that cities are inherently unappealing to any family. There are still millions of kids being raised in New York, San Francisco, DC, Chicago, and other big dense cities. Are they outnumbered by kids in the suburbs? Yes. Does that mean none of those families in the city want to be there and they all wish they were in the suburbs? No.
Exactly, apparently the concept of where to raise a child has to be all or nothing. That is why we have the myth that everyone moves to the suburbs to have and raise children.
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Old 02-07-2015, 12:55 AM
 
Location: Chicago - Logan Square
3,396 posts, read 6,190,027 times
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A lot of good points have been made about the things that have already changed over the last 25 years to make urban areas more attractive, including things like:
- Massive reductions in pollution
- Massive reductions in crime
- Growth in industries outside of manufacturing, that aren't dependent on highways for shipping
- Growth in entertainment options in central city areas
- Stabilization of urban population losses in the 90's, and some growth since then
- Lower residential tax bills as the commercial tax base has grown

These things have happened at the same time that suburban areas have seen a slow down in growth due to a simple maturation of suburban communities. That maturation can be seen in a shortage of available land to build on, shrinking lot sizes in new suburbs, aging infrastructures, increased traffic congestion, and aging of housing stock. The ideal of suburbs being a house in the country with a brand new house with a huge yard and a pool isn't really reflective of the reality in most major urban CSAs. It's just as likely to be a smaller lot in neighborhood with HOA fees and restrictions, congested arterial streets, and increasing taxes to fix an aging infrastructure.

This doesn't mean that suburbs are dying, but it does mean that urban areas are on a much more equal footing with suburbs than they were 25 years ago, and they are a viable option for many more people.

All of this creates the backdrop for what makes urban areas attractive to more families today. The big stumbling block in general is education. Unfortunately it is hard to make any general statements about education since it is an extremely local issue. Even within Chicago you can't give a remotely honest answer about education without knowing exact school attendance boundaries, the tier for magnets/SEES that a residence is in, and the age/grade of the children in question. Other cities have different systems, but you still need to have very detailed information before you can tell a parent what their options are. Those options will be wildly different from city to city and neighborhood to neighborhood.

Chicago 76 is absolutely right that the trend towards cities started with Gen X, and it's important to remember that oldest Gen X'ers only started to have kids and send them to school in the last 10 years (with most urban Gen X'ers having kids in their mid-30's). I think the book "How to Walk to School" marks the beginning of the wave, and the main wave of those kids is hitting school right now. We have another 5-10 years before anyone can make any serious statements about how Millennials will deal with this.

As things stand now there has been some great improvements in urban schools, albeit on a very localized level. In Chicago the North and Northwest sides have a couple dozen schools that above state averages, that were terrible schools just 10-15 years ago. I have friends who are happily sending their kids to public elementary in Gowanus Brooklyn, a charter school in Indianapolis (Herron), as well as schools in SF and Boston. There are changes happening, but it's early on and in any large city you need to look at specific neighborhoods or schools to see the changes.

Another thing to note is that when everyone is asking "how urban areas need evolve to accommodate families" it's pretty clear that everyone is talking about college educated middle/upper middle class families (primarily white). Most urban areas have plenty of families, but the change is in the educational and economic composition of those families.
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:24 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,455 posts, read 11,958,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Attrill View Post
Another thing to note is that when everyone is asking "how urban areas need evolve to accommodate families" it's pretty clear that everyone is talking about college educated middle/upper middle class families (primarily white). Most urban areas have plenty of families, but the change is in the educational and economic composition of those families.
Indeed. It's worth noting that even if middle-class families stay in the city in larger numbers, the level of gentrification that this implies (both to get the schools to be acceptable to begin with, and then as a consequence of the schools improving) will mean the number low-income families will drop by larger numeric value. E.g., everything we're talking about to make cities "family-friendly" will result in less families overall in cities.
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:35 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
45,992 posts, read 42,058,839 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Attrill View Post
Another thing to note is that when everyone is asking "how urban areas need evolve to accommodate families" it's pretty clear that everyone is talking about college educated middle/upper middle class families (primarily white). Most urban areas have plenty of families, but the change is in the educational and economic composition of those families.
Yes, I pointed that before. I found the omission rather grating, as if poorer families don't count.
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Old 02-07-2015, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
7,542 posts, read 8,434,010 times
Reputation: 3483
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Yes, I pointed that before. I found the omission rather grating, as if poorer families don't count.

This thread is more about the choices that people make about where to locate their families, and poor people really don't have much of a choice- they will locate where they can afford. Maybe that's cold, but its a fact in every area of life, the wealthy you are the more options you have.
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Old 02-07-2015, 08:49 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,992 posts, read 42,058,839 times
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True, wealthy people have more choices. Title is the title. I took the OP differently than you did.
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Old 02-07-2015, 09:27 AM
 
56,756 posts, read 81,102,256 times
Reputation: 12553
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attrill View Post
A lot of good points have been made about the things that have already changed over the last 25 years to make urban areas more attractive, including things like:
- Massive reductions in pollution
- Massive reductions in crime
- Growth in industries outside of manufacturing, that aren't dependent on highways for shipping
- Growth in entertainment options in central city areas
- Stabilization of urban population losses in the 90's, and some growth since then
- Lower residential tax bills as the commercial tax base has grown

These things have happened at the same time that suburban areas have seen a slow down in growth due to a simple maturation of suburban communities. That maturation can be seen in a shortage of available land to build on, shrinking lot sizes in new suburbs, aging infrastructures, increased traffic congestion, and aging of housing stock. The ideal of suburbs being a house in the country with a brand new house with a huge yard and a pool isn't really reflective of the reality in most major urban CSAs. It's just as likely to be a smaller lot in neighborhood with HOA fees and restrictions, congested arterial streets, and increasing taxes to fix an aging infrastructure.

This doesn't mean that suburbs are dying, but it does mean that urban areas are on a much more equal footing with suburbs than they were 25 years ago, and they are a viable option for many more people.

All of this creates the backdrop for what makes urban areas attractive to more families today. The big stumbling block in general is education. Unfortunately it is hard to make any general statements about education since it is an extremely local issue. Even within Chicago you can't give a remotely honest answer about education without knowing exact school attendance boundaries, the tier for magnets/SEES that a residence is in, and the age/grade of the children in question. Other cities have different systems, but you still need to have very detailed information before you can tell a parent what their options are. Those options will be wildly different from city to city and neighborhood to neighborhood.

Chicago 76 is absolutely right that the trend towards cities started with Gen X, and it's important to remember that oldest Gen X'ers only started to have kids and send them to school in the last 10 years (with most urban Gen X'ers having kids in their mid-30's). I think the book "How to Walk to School" marks the beginning of the wave, and the main wave of those kids is hitting school right now. We have another 5-10 years before anyone can make any serious statements about how Millennials will deal with this.

As things stand now there has been some great improvements in urban schools, albeit on a very localized level. In Chicago the North and Northwest sides have a couple dozen schools that above state averages, that were terrible schools just 10-15 years ago. I have friends who are happily sending their kids to public elementary in Gowanus Brooklyn, a charter school in Indianapolis (Herron), as well as schools in SF and Boston. There are changes happening, but it's early on and in any large city you need to look at specific neighborhoods or schools to see the changes.

Another thing to note is that when everyone is asking "how urban areas need evolve to accommodate families" it's pretty clear that everyone is talking about college educated middle/upper middle class families (primarily white). Most urban areas have plenty of families, but the change is in the educational and economic composition of those families.
Also, in terms of education, let's also add that some families are planning to go private/charter/homeschool anyway, regardless of the public school situation. Such families can and do live anywhere, but if you are a family like this that prefer an urban lifestyle, then raising a family within the city is appealing.
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Old 02-07-2015, 02:20 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,992 posts, read 42,058,839 times
Reputation: 14811
Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Like_Spam View Post
This thread is more about the choices that people make about where to locate their families, and poor people really don't have much of a choice- they will locate where they can afford. Maybe that's cold, but its a fact in every area of life, the wealthy you are the more options you have.
Going a bit more, here's an example: numbers of a gentrifying NYC neighborhood (Williamsburgh & Greenpoint).

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/lucds/bk1profile.pdf

Since 1990 (with most of the change from 2000 to 2010) the population of white non-hispanic children has risen by 26%. But the population of children of other races has declined by 11%. Assuming the white families are wealthier*, the neighborhood became more family friendly (or more of those moved in) to those "with options" and less friendly to "those without". Does this mean the neighborhood succeeded in being friendly for families with children? Or just some types of families?

*Maybe a bad assumption as there's a large population of Hasidic Jews who are relatively poor, have large families, and don't use the public school. I'll assume that an increase in Hasidic Jewish wasn't a big factor as the larger increase in children was in 2000 to 2010 when there was more gentrification.
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