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Old 09-18-2023, 06:35 PM
 
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I suspect a few things:

1) The US and Canada is a lot newer than European cities which date back centuries, so it is far harder to recreate the old world cities from scratch. Places like Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas were fractions of the size they currently are not too long ago.

2) The US has lots of local zoning/lawsuits that block development in the walkable urban areas that do exist. Places like Boston, DC, SF could be a lot more dense if development were so hard. Canada (especially Toronto) seems to do a much better job of allowing density and growth in the urban cores.
3) The high violent crime rate in the US discourages a lot of people from living in the central cities.
4) Americans are relatively affluent compared to most Europeans. Affluent people tend to consumer more space (bigger houses), own more cars, which encourages more sprawl.
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Old 09-18-2023, 07:42 PM
 
Location: Brisbane
5,021 posts, read 7,428,815 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpdivola View Post
I suspect a few things:

1) The US and Canada is a lot newer than European cities which date back centuries, so it is far harder to recreate the old world cities from scratch. Places like Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas were fractions of the size they currently are not too long ago.

2) The US has lots of local zoning/lawsuits that block development in the walkable urban areas that do exist. Places like Boston, DC, SF could be a lot more dense if development were so hard. Canada (especially Toronto) seems to do a much better job of allowing density and growth in the urban cores.
3) The high violent crime rate in the US discourages a lot of people from living in the central cities.
4) Americans are relatively affluent compared to most Europeans. Affluent people tend to consumer more space (bigger houses), own more cars, which encourages more sprawl.
The city i live in (Brisbane Australia), passed legislation banning the construction of narrow streets and hign density houses well before the age of the motor car (in 1885 to be precise), when it had less than 40,000 people.

It was an attempt to stop european style crime ridden slums forming in the city.

Of course times change, and appartments have made up the majority of new dwellings built accross the city of Brisbane (The now 1.3 milllion people living in the area under control of the city Government) for the last 25 years. Seperated houses have gone from 75% of the cities housing stock in 2000 to 60% in 2021.

The developments mostly comes in the form of infill and the tranformation of former commercial buildings. Those large blocks and the homes that are sitting on them comming from 1885 till about the end of world war 2 are now either heritage listed, or very difficult to legally knock down/subdivide. They are part of the cities history, and the authorities are determined to maintian it.

Last edited by danielsa1775; 09-18-2023 at 09:11 PM..
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Old 11-18-2023, 02:53 PM
 
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Hi everyone, I am the original OP from 8 years ago..wow..I tried to read most of the comments to get caught up, so many good points being made.


One theme though that I have thought long and hard about over the years is the impact of violence in US cities. I think, as jpdivola mentions above and many others have discusssed, that crime in US cities is a huge factor. Prior to the 1950s, the US was still building cities that had decent public transit, walkable downtowns, more integrated suburbs, and were simply more community oriented. I believe that while the appeal of suburbs and the rise of automobiles are well-established contributors to this shift, I believe the main catalyst supercharging suburbanization and steering us away from walkable cities with robust public transit was the massive increase in violence experienced by U.S. cities from the early 1960s onward and degradation of our city public schools (not due to lack of funding). This violence and decline in quality schools (decline in safety and results) not only heightened the allure of suburbs but also reinforced and strengthened suburban cultural trends and policies, making suburbia the focal point of wealth and policy in the United States. This impact is felt not only in the suburban development of older more walkable metros like New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago but also in the policy and infrastructure of newer metropolitan areas that experienced most of their growth after the 1950s such as Dallas and Atlanta. I can elaborate more in the near future..
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Old 11-19-2023, 07:04 AM
 
Location: That star on your map in the middle of the East Coast, DMV
8,017 posts, read 7,400,564 times
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The National Harbor in Maryland, a suburb just across the border of Washington DC was built with La Rambla (Barcelona) in mind. Built in 2008, it's a "new age" development in mini city form that works it's way down from the top of a hill to an open waterfront on the Potomac River. Along the main corridor there's a series of shops, restaurants, art galleries, and small vending stands in the tree lined center median. Feel free to watch it all, but I'd suggest skipping right to either 5, or 6 minute mark.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDLFREg9loo

They even added a giant Ferris Wheel to give the ambiance of a "London" or "Paris".

https://www.nbcnews.com/business/tra...ve-d-c-n112291
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Old 12-28-2023, 12:16 PM
 
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Default links-National Harbor

Noticed some nice little details, such as fountain; and pavement that has some texture, instead of being dull slabs of concrete. Buildings are rather bland, though.
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Old 12-28-2023, 03:50 PM
 
85 posts, read 32,905 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the resident09 View Post
The National Harbor in Maryland, a suburb just across the border of Washington DC was built with La Rambla (Barcelona) in mind. Built in 2008, it's a "new age" development in mini city form that works it's way down from the top of a hill to an open waterfront on the Potomac River. Along the main corridor there's a series of shops, restaurants, art galleries, and small vending stands in the tree lined center median. Feel free to watch it all, but I'd suggest skipping right to either 5, or 6 minute mark.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDLFREg9loo

They even added a giant Ferris Wheel to give the ambiance of a "London" or "Paris".

https://www.nbcnews.com/business/tra...ve-d-c-n112291
That's a postage stamp-sized La Rambla, and with all the chain restaurants, you'd never mistake it for Paris or Barcelona.
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Old 12-28-2023, 06:30 PM
 
Location: USA
8,844 posts, read 5,878,334 times
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Question: Why don't N. American cities & towns try to emulate W. European cities & towns more?


Why would we want to?

My forebears left Europe because it was inhospitable.

I have no desire to emulate it.


I have no desire for my kitchen to have a dorm-style refrigerator.

I have no desire for my dryer being unable to satisfactorily dry my jeans in a reasonable amount of time.

I have no desire to forego ice cubes from my freezer.
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Old 12-29-2023, 05:05 AM
 
Location: Great Britain
26,876 posts, read 13,094,854 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillie767 View Post
Question: Why don't N. American cities & towns try to emulate W. European cities & towns more?


Why would we want to?

My forebears left Europe because it was inhospitable.

I have no desire to emulate it.


I have no desire for my kitchen to have a dorm-style refrigerator.

I have no desire for my dryer being unable to satisfactorily dry my jeans in a reasonable amount of time.

I have no desire to forego ice cubes from my freezer.
Whilst I agree that this is a fairly silly thread, and that there are many very attractive towns and suburbs in the US, it also should be noted that Europe is not technologically backward and you can purchase a lot of similar white goods and electronic products to the rest of the world. I am not sure about clothes or hair dryers being that different, and you can buy US syle fridge freezers that make ice cubes.
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Old 12-29-2023, 11:14 AM
 
6,191 posts, read 11,800,335 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave New World View Post
Whilst I agree that this is a fairly silly thread, and that there are many very attractive towns and suburbs in the US, it also should be noted that Europe is not technologically backward and you can purchase a lot of similar white goods and electronic products to the rest of the world. I am not sure about clothes or hair dryers being that different, and you can buy US syle fridge freezers that make ice cubes.
The house I had in Italy had 2 full size refrigerators. Only thing is it I don't remember it having a dishwasher, and the washing machine took 2 hours. Plus no central heating and air. Otherwise I'd enjoy living in Europe, just not that particular part (Sicily).
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Old 01-02-2024, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Somewhere on the Moon.
9,778 posts, read 14,616,562 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillie767 View Post
My forebears left Europe because it was inhospitable.
Your European forebears didn't lived in modern Europe. I also have some European ancestors (mostly Spain, but despite the saying Spain is Europe) and neither did they.

The typical European city is more walkable and compact than American cities. The latter are known for consuming irreplaceable resources a little too fast. Too car centric too, especially the suburbs. NYC is sort of an exception in the USA given most of its residents don't drive and the city has excellent public transportation of many kinds. The rest of the major cities in the US aren't like that when they should had been. NYC rather than an exception should had been the norm in the US.
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