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Old 05-11-2009, 06:39 AM
 
Location: OUTTA SIGHT!
3,025 posts, read 1,234,282 times
Reputation: 1899
Quote:
"why doncha just leave?"

It's actually a pretty valid question. I say stop whining about the question and answer it for once!!
Actually it's an asinine response usually rolled out by people who don't want to hear *anything* negative whatsoever about the place they blindly have chosen to call home...or, more often, were born in.

Quote:
We can argue all day about what the ideal city should look like, but the only way to make it happen is to force people to live in a manner in which they don't want to live. And this is where I wave my flag and say, "that's freaking un-AMERICAN, baby!!"
"Forcing people" to do anything is part of the program. There will always be losers in a democracy.
If the majority of a city like the idea of limited growth then thats what will happen.

You certainly seem to have a hang up about being "forced" to do stuff though.
Good luck with that.

Last edited by brubaker; 05-11-2009 at 07:09 AM..
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:04 AM
 
3,278 posts, read 3,065,038 times
Reputation: 1862
Quote:
Originally Posted by michigan83 View Post
"why doncha just leave?"

It's actually a pretty valid question. I say stop whining about the question and answer it for once!!

Also... the biggest reason that our cities are set up the way that they are is that people are living the way that they WANT to live. They want to have a yard to mow and for the kids to play in. They LIKE driving everywhere. They don't want to walk. They don't want to live in a 2nd story apartment above a 1st-floor retail shop. They don't want neighbors living right on top of them and beside them. They don't like public transportation. Our culture puts a very high value on personal space.

We can argue all day about what the ideal city should look like, but the only way to make it happen is to force people to live in a manner in which they don't want to live. And this is where I wave my flag and say, "that's freaking un-AMERICAN, baby!!"
No, the reason the people live the way they do is because that lifestyle is, and has always been, highly subsidized by the state and federal government.
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:08 AM
 
Location: OUTTA SIGHT!
3,025 posts, read 1,234,282 times
Reputation: 1899
And who subsidizes the state and federal government?
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:17 AM
 
812 posts, read 1,597,862 times
Reputation: 449
what's wrong with projecting a better possible infrastructure? the infrastructure is going to change anyways but will it be better or can it be better is the question.

i've seen city plans that were very nice that included very nice living quarters even if it was a land saving hi-rise with recreational areas and very green also. why not design something more efficient as well? why drive and pollute and waste driving everywhere just to do so? it's a great idea to drive for some things but not all things and it's not as wasteful. who wouldn't want a daycare at thier work or able to walk there or a school in their building or able to walk there also, maybe even safely within the community. just because things are doable the way they are right now doesn't mean things can't be improved or changed for the better.
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:22 AM
 
3,278 posts, read 3,065,038 times
Reputation: 1862
Quote:
Originally Posted by brubaker View Post
And who subsidizes the state and federal government?
Heh. So basically people are giving money to the government to spend money to influence how they live. Pretty lousy deal.

But you do get my point. If tomorrow, the governments decided that they were going to de-incentivise suburban living and incentivise urban living, using taxes and strict land use/zoning policies, the situation would flip. People have less influence over their choices than they would like to believe.
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
1,851 posts, read 2,664,824 times
Reputation: 1546
Quote:
Originally Posted by michigan83 View Post
Also... the biggest reason that our cities are set up the way that they are is that people are living the way that they WANT to live. They want to have a yard to mow and for the kids to play in. They LIKE driving everywhere. They don't want to walk. They don't want to live in a 2nd story apartment above a 1st-floor retail shop. They don't want neighbors living right on top of them and beside them. They don't like public transportation. Our culture puts a very high value on personal space.

We can argue all day about what the ideal city should look like, but the only way to make it happen is to force people to live in a manner in which they don't want to live. And this is where I wave my flag and say, "that's freaking un-AMERICAN, baby!!"
Proper planning does not necessarily mean that everyone has to live in an apartment in a super high density neighborhood with little personal space. You can live in a neighborhood that is well planned with transit access and still have a rather large house with a yard. Pretty much any suburb built prior to the 1940's had these characteristics. I believe it was these suburbs that the concept of the American dream was built on, not the McMansions, Cul-de-sacs, and Walmarts of more recent decades.
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Old 05-11-2009, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
1,308 posts, read 2,138,593 times
Reputation: 1134
Quote:
Originally Posted by redfella View Post
It's my opinion that most Americans don't even consider the environment in which they currently find themselves in. Life is about hopping in the Escalade or Suburban, driving around town, pulling thru the hambuger joint, getting fat, picking up the kids, shopping at the mall, going to work, etc. I think Americans should slow down and take a breather and look around. Is what we have made all that great?

Our constitution is great. Our freedoms are great. Our liberty is great. Our opportunities are great. But most of our cities are not great. Not even good. Passable at best, in my opinion. What have we built for ourselves? What have we built for our children? Nothing really that unique or inspiring. We had an opportunity in this country to build awesome cities, but we blew it. We didn't create great places. We created canned, generic, uninspiring and spirtually demeaning architecture. There is nothing special about sprawl.
Relax, dude. Rome wasn't built in a day. Many of our cities have been around for less than a century or two, and it's not unnatural for disposable buildings to populate the roadsides during cities' earliest stages. It's happened throughout the history of civilization and cities. How many buildings in Paris have been around for a thousand years? London? Rome? A handful, maybe? When our cities have the history those cities have, we'll also have the unique architecture. Until then, we'll build plastic buildings we can later discard and replace with something worthwhile.

Perhaps it's you who should slow down.
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Old 05-11-2009, 08:11 AM
 
177 posts, read 295,195 times
Reputation: 196
I agree with the original poster. Sprawl sucks.

And to imply that just because he says that it means the OP is an elitist rightwinger, and/or hates the middle class, I have this to say - why the hell do you equate middle and working class people with endless sprawlvilles, applebees and walmarts? In the city, the middle and working classes do not all drive out to the burbs and hang out at these places. There are restaurants, stores, and areas for the middle class in our central cities, you know.

All the OP is doing is saying that our cities should be organized far more efficiently. We build huge highways, roads, lay storm sewers, sanitary, watermains, power lines, and all types of other expensive infrastructure, for a relatively small number of folks staying in some cookie cutter subdivisions 30 miles from the central city. They drive miles and miles to work, when a train ride could be the easy answer (if we invested in our mass transit systems more - which we dont because everyone wants to live in sprawlville). Sounds inefficient to me. And, considering we are the most wasteful country in the world (produce the most waste, and use the most energy percapita) due to our chosen lifestyle of centering all our newer cities, and new suburbs around an auto-centric lifestyle, I think mr redfella has a pretty decent point!

And freedom? Everything has its price. And your 'freedom' to drive 20 minutes everywhere is costing us tons of wasted resources, destroying our natural environment, and reducing our sense of community and shared responsibility to provide liveable safe areas within a dense environment (eg our inner city school systems have suffered once everyone ran to the burbs).
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Old 05-11-2009, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
26,275 posts, read 46,077,826 times
Reputation: 11147
It's amazing that someone can post a rant like that on the General U.S. forum and spark an intelligent debate, but if I posted a less-blunt, thought-provoking, and respectful thread along these lines on the Northern Virginia sub-forum I'd be hung out to dry with the "you can gitttttt out" crowd. Obviously says something about the guilty consciences of the sprawl-lovers in the area to which I'm relocating, does it not?

Having grown up in a subdivision that is "technically" within walking distance to some amenities while also not having any safe way to access those conveniences without the aid of an automobile due to the lack of sidewalks, shoulders, bike lanes, etc. along a busy four-lane commuter belt I can most certainly relate to the aggravations experienced by the original poster about many of today's suburbs. However, one would be remiss to criticize sprawl without pointing out some suburbs that are shining beacons of proper urban design---Evanston, Illinois comes to mind immediately, as does Cambridge, Massachusetts. In suburbs like that you can still be out of the "element" of the city while still being able to walk/bike/mass transit to nearly all amenities. Even SOME newer suburbs, such as Katiana's example of Louisville, Colorado, are nearly as walkable as the pre-WWII streetcar suburbs thanks to extensive trail systems connecting subdivisions to other subdivisions, houses of worship, parks, shopping centers, etc. Where I'm moving to in Reston, VA I'll be within walking distance of a faux town center (restaurants, shops, movie theater, skating rink, etc.) and within walking distance of many other amenities. Even though from an aerial view Reston looks like hell on earth to an urban planner it is still reasonable to be able to walk to many conveniences, and in a few years I'll even be able to walk to a new Metro mass transit station to zoom right into DC for fun day-trips.

Most Americans who are today living in traditional post-WWII generic suburban areas of MOST major cities (not just the Sunbelt to those in the Rust Belt who think they are "superior") would be royally screwed if they woke up tomorrow and saw that due to an unforeseen foreign conflict as they slept that gas had spiked to $10/gallon overnight. How ever, pray tell, would they be able to fill the tanks on their Escalades, Navigators, Yukon Denalis, Suburbans, etc. to drive to work, Burger King, Wal-Mart, etc. Pandemonium would erupt! Designing life around gasoline is only going to be successful for as long as gasoline, which is a FINITE RESOURCE, lasts.
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Old 05-11-2009, 08:55 AM
 
Location: St. Augustine
9,258 posts, read 11,499,553 times
Reputation: 7406
Quote:
Originally Posted by roboto View Post

And to imply that just because he says that it means the OP is an elitist rightwinger, and/or hates the middle class, I have this to say - why the hell do you equate middle and working class people with endless sprawlvilles, applebees and walmarts? In the city, the middle and working classes do not all drive out to the burbs and hang out at these places. There are restaurants, stores, and areas for the middle class in our central cities, you know.

The OP expressed disdain for the inexpensive stores where working people shop, it's not much of a leap to infer he has an accompying contempt for working people themselves, or at least of the choices they make and that amounts to the same thing. Around Chicago a large part of the working class has chosen to live in the burbs and why the Hell not? That's their business not the OP's, not your's and not mine.

Then you have the fact that gentrification is forcing working people out of many of the most desirable city neighborhoods. There's only so much room in Chicago you know. If people weren't living in the suburbs just where the Hell would they live?

Americans LIKE to spread out and have what ole Daniel Boone called elbow room. That's our culture. Those of us who choose to live in the city are free to do so and those who choose to live in the burbs are free to do so and I for one won't look down my fine nose at people who make different choices than I do.

Is sprawl ugly? I suppose so but so what? It's not my business to impose my taste on others.
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