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Old 04-02-2015, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
7,542 posts, read 8,424,081 times
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There is a value that a lot of people put on having a little bit of space, a little bit of room for living.

Sure, it costs money, but everything does, and a whole lot of people would just as soon not live in very dense community settings. So they spend their money on a private quarter acre of grass instead of something else.
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Old 04-03-2015, 06:31 AM
 
6,635 posts, read 4,599,497 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by War Beagle View Post
I don't really understand the point of these types of articles. The people that want to live in the urban core are going to do so. The people that don't want the hassle of everything dense living entails will choose the suburbs, exurbs or rural areas.

The only for these articles I can think of is that the proponents of high density living have an agenda that includes forcing people to live a certain way, or at least penalizing them severely if they choose not to.
I think you understand them very well indeed.
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Old 04-03-2015, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,331,482 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by War Beagle View Post
I don't really understand the point of these types of articles. The people that want to live in the urban core are going to do so. The people that don't want the hassle of everything dense living entails will choose the suburbs, exurbs or rural areas.

The only for these articles I can think of is that the proponents of high density living have an agenda that includes forcing people to live a certain way, or at least penalizing them severely if they choose not to.
Well said!!!
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:57 AM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,005,466 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by War Beagle View Post
I don't really understand the point of these types of articles. The people that want to live in the urban core are going to do so. The people that don't want the hassle of everything dense living entails will choose the suburbs, exurbs or rural areas.

The only for these articles I can think of is that the proponents of high density living have an agenda that includes forcing people to live a certain way, or at least penalizing them severely if they choose not to.
TL;DR: it is important to identify and account for the costs to ourselves, our families, our communities, and our cities of our living patterns, be it urban, suburban, or exurban. Otherwise, we're just making policy by our opinions about what we feel is better. Can you imaging if that's how legal matters were decided, by whom the judge feels was the worst person in a case? City planning and development policy shouldn't work based upon feelings totally absent of costs and benefits, either.

The underlying problems, and the reason for these articles, are twofold: one, that so much of suburban and exurban development fails to internalize all of their costs; two, for sixty years, large lot single family suburban and exurban development has been almost the only thing built.

One could fairly say that, given what's been constructed for decades, there hasn't been a large supply of urban neighborhoods to choose from. Even if, yes, examples exist, there is no basis for denying that they are a minority of what's available. And, given that lack of supply for one product, but the overabundance or later suburbs and exurbs, the lower land costs are tilted firmly toward the latter.

But that brings me to the other issue: cost internalization. Low densities still require city services, and not at a proportionally lower level. The population-services graph would be stepped. Meanwhile, for families, there are costs not counted in with housing but are determined by where one lives. Transportation, for instance. So, while an individual may have cheap exurban housing, they may also be doing a 90 minute, 40 mile commute each way. That's a lot of time in the car not doing other things, and a lot of miles on the car.
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Old 04-03-2015, 03:21 PM
 
Location: IN
20,852 posts, read 35,958,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
A New Report Says Sprawl Costs America $1 Trillion a Year - CityLab



No. lol.

Spending money maintaining cars and gas is not really that big of an issue to most Americans.
We need to have better mixed use developments and planning that result in the solid balance of density and open space/parks whilst costing the city and taxpayers less dollars to maintain and build infrastructure to inefficient low density developments. Toronto, ON is a good example of a metro area that sprawls a good deal but has higher suburban densities thanks in part to greater concentrations of condex, condo, town house, smaller lot residential, and mixed use built environments. We need to stop the subsidization of inefficient residential development in the US, but I think market forces over the next couple of decades will demand housing that fits into more of a mold that incorporates greater efficiency and amenities with less land consumed.
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Old 04-03-2015, 03:27 PM
 
Location: IN
20,852 posts, read 35,958,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Like_Spam View Post
There is a value that a lot of people put on having a little bit of space, a little bit of room for living.

Sure, it costs money, but everything does, and a whole lot of people would just as soon not live in very dense community settings. So they spend their money on a private quarter acre of grass instead of something else.
Well, in semi-arid portions of the US small lots are very common, even in suburban developments. Builders also make larger profits because land values are higher. In grandfathered developments in many older metros in the eastern US lot sizes tend to be larger overall. In what is often known as "snob zoning" some towns have codes that houses have to be on at least 0.5 acre lot and sometimes 1 acre lot or more to "preserve the small town character" of a particular place. In reality, this just benefits those people that bought houses decades ago whilst creating increasing limitations of new construction within a local market- therefore causing prices to rise at a faster rate based on demand. This is often exacerbated by being close to a large city that already is very dense. The end result often results in more leapfrog development to even more outlying towns that have more lenient zoning- even taking into account conserved lands, open space, and parkland. In summary, solutions are going to be harder to find in those type of places- particularly if population growth increases to go along with economic growth.
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Old 04-03-2015, 03:56 PM
Status: "Nobody's right if everybody's wrong" (set 28 days ago)
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
9,841 posts, read 21,144,826 times
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Cost determination is complicated. Low density suburbs do cost a lot of $$ for expanded infrastructure but at the same time many companies make their living building / selling things for people to put in their large suburban house. Many Americans feel they have a right to use a huge amount of resources relative to their poorer global counterparts to maintain the suburban lifestyle.

I totally support anyone living more altruistically but forcing people to be altruistic usually back fires. In rare cases it works because everyone understands the end goal: example being the uber strict restrictions on new home construction in the horse farm country outside Lexington KY. It's communism compared to how most places do zoning but it's accepted because people know that it preserves what makes the region unique.

I do agree though that new developments of all kinds should not pass on their external costs the way they currently do.
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Old 04-03-2015, 06:22 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,008 posts, read 102,606,536 times
Reputation: 33064
Quote:
Originally Posted by censusdata View Post
Cost determination is complicated. Low density suburbs do cost a lot of $$ for expanded infrastructure but at the same time many companies make their living building / selling things for people to put in their large suburban house. Many Americans feel they have a right to use a huge amount of resources relative to their poorer global counterparts to maintain the suburban lifestyle.

I totally support anyone living more altruistically but forcing people to be altruistic usually back fires. In rare cases it works because everyone understands the end goal: example being the uber strict restrictions on new home construction in the horse farm country outside Lexington KY. It's communism compared to how most places do zoning but it's accepted because people know that it preserves what makes the region unique.

I do agree though that new developments of all kinds should not pass on their external costs the way they currently do.
A family of four living in a suburban 2000 sf home (for example) has less sq. ft. per person that some single living in an 800 sf apt., or a couple living in a 1200 sf condo. The first house DH and I bought had 1300 sf. For the two of us, that was 750 sf/person. Then we were three, 433 sf. Then we were four, 325 sf. We've talked about this before. In fact, I did a poll one time b/c some people refused to believe that a lot of urban dwellers had 500 sf/person or more. It was not scientific, but it did show that among responder, city and suburban dwellers had a fair amount of living space. Of course, there were those who felt that their situation was somehow "different" and made it OK for them to be living in 1000 sf or more by themselves.
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Old 04-04-2015, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,674,744 times
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What this obscures is increasingly common stories like this. Since the core Bay Area is development-phobic, we have created sprawl 60-90 miles away. The only areas affordable to lower to middle class workers. Adding congestion, pollution and sprawl. This is not uncommon at all. Many of my coworkers with families live 30+ miles from work and we are pretty well paid at a tech startup. They can't afford to move closer with even above average income.

Long Commute to Silicon Valley Increasingly the Norm for Many | News Fix | KQED News
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Old 04-04-2015, 02:37 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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As my link showed above, the San Francisco metro has the highest rate of very long commutes of any metro in the country.
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