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Old 03-17-2011, 09:45 PM
 
Location: north of Windsor, ON
1,903 posts, read 4,991,013 times
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Transit, in the past, did create sprawl, back in the streetcar days. Urban sprawl was around well before the Model T.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:21 PM
 
30 posts, read 57,695 times
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I'm really starting to think that you only read other people's posts to the extent that you can use them to validate your own preconceptions.

I never said Chicago doesn't have sprawl. It does. I've driven through lots of it, and it's totally miserable. 290 out of downtown is like a freaking parking lot of pain and misery.

The point of the thread, the original letter, and everything else is that there are a significant number of younger professionals who don't want to live in sprawl. They might be living in Chicago and other cities that have sprawl, but they aren't living in the freaking sprawl. They're living in the nice, urban parts of the city. The point was that those areas are very limited in Detroit, making it difficult to attract those sorts of people to Detroit.

This is a problem, because you can't base your region around 50 somethings living in suburbs, you need a wide range of demographics. It's also a problem because these people have money, and money is something that Detroit needs to continue redeveloping.

Saying "you have sprawl, we have sprawl, so come live in our sprawl," isn't going to accomplish anything, because these people (myself included) have no desire to live in the dang sprawl. Likewise, throwing up your hands and blaming "social factors" or something else is a cop out.

Like I said, this is really a generational thing. The idea that transit contributes to sprawl is ridiculous. The Metra system in Chicago is a commuter system designed to ferry workers into and out of the city center to their homes in the sprawl-tastic burbs, in no way is that equivalent to having a functional light rail system (like the El, for example), that lets people move around the city.

We're not going to get to where San Francisco or Chicago or New York are overnight. But what we can do is start moving in that direction by redeveloping the core city and putting in the services that are needed to support that. The cost/value proposition of living in Detroit as opposed to one of those other cities helps make up a huge chunk of the difference.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:49 PM
 
54 posts, read 142,155 times
Reputation: 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by us66 View Post
Transit, in the past, did create sprawl, back in the streetcar days. Urban sprawl was around well before the Model T.
If your definition of "sprawl" is "not everyone living in downtown skyscrapers" then sure, but what everyone else is talking about is the 100% automobile-based zero walkability environment that comprises the vast majority of metro Detroit.

Transit-oriented development necessitates dense (by American standards) walkable neighborhoods. I've lived in Europe and Asia in neighborhoods that would be considered as "suburbs" by local standards, but they were compact, active, vibrant communities; mainly pedestrian-oriented and centered around a train station or transit center. In other words, nearly the complete opposite of the "sprawl" that's being derided here.

I remember an article about how some researchers estimated that it would take about 9 Earths to provide the natural resources for everyone on the planet to have the lifestyle of the average American. With so much of the third world modernizing and peak oil likely not far off, gas prices will continue to increase. Combine this with the costs of maintaining poorly-built aging McMansions and the massive amount of infrastructure they require. Then there are the rising medical costs of caring for the obese populace this creates. So even without the current cultural shift away from this type of lifestyle, it's pretty obvious that it's not sustainable for much longer, either environmentally or economically. The America of 50 years from now has no choice but to be fundamentally different than it is today. I just hope that people can start preparing and planning for it sooner rather than waiting until it's too late.
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Old 03-18-2011, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,862 posts, read 17,617,336 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retroit View Post
How did you get that last post to show the quotes and replies, ForStarters?
-----------------------------
(A) Metro Detroit's population did grow.
Year Metro Population
1950 3,016,197
1960 3,762,360
1970 4,199,931
1980 4,618,161
1990 4,665,236
(source: US Census)
Detroit Warren Livonia MSA's population in 1970 was 4,435,051. In 2010, it's estimated to be about 4,400,000. That's 0 growth in 40 years time, yet the Detroit MSA's land area has grown by some 1300 square miles in that time. That is a big problem and it is unsustainable.

Smart Growth America puts Detroit's sprawl at a way worse level than Chicago's:

http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/sprawlindex/chart.pdf (broken link)

(Grand Rapids is not great either, btw).

But what the writer is saying, and what MidMichGuy is saying, is that at least in Chicago's sprawl, you can find a lot of dense urban neighborhood districts that are attractive to "young creatives." Not even including the myriad of cool places downtown and near downtown Chicago. You can't just have driven through Chicago a few times or visited family there to know what I'm talking about.

Pick a stop, any stop along the CTA lines and you'll see that there are vibrant and growing neighborhoods at almost every one:

http://www.rususa.com/city/trainmap.asp-region-chicago

The story is much more limited in Metro Detroit. There are basically a handful of them along Woodward (Royal Oak, Berkley, Ferndale, etc..) and then Midtown. Unless I'm missing something. The people that the writer is trying to attract aren't interested in hanging out at the Village of Rochester Hills and other "sprawly" amenities that are trumpeted by economic development people.

Were there other factors that drove people out of these urban neighborhoods in Detroit? Of course. But the writer is talking about where to go from here.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:54 AM
 
7,237 posts, read 11,126,587 times
Reputation: 5586
Quote:
Originally Posted by us66 View Post
Transit, in the past, did create sprawl, back in the streetcar days. Urban sprawl was around well before the Model T.
The difference is it wasn't unsustainable sprawl before the 1970s.

We didn't abandon another area to build anew before then, the region was actually growing, if even only slightly.
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Here.
14,311 posts, read 13,076,048 times
Reputation: 16758
Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan View Post
Detroit Warren Livonia MSA's population in 1970 was 4,435,051. In 2010, it's estimated to be about 4,400,000. That's 0 growth in 40 years time, yet the Detroit MSA's land area has grown by some 1300 square miles in that time.
This is not uncommon. The sprawl would have been even greater had population grown.

https://www.numbersusa.com/content/f...y%20Sprawl.pdf
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Old 05-26-2011, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Rochester Hills
70 posts, read 117,200 times
Reputation: 61
Can I just say I'm surprised this guy isn't able to find any grads to hire? Between Cooley and the big Michigan universities there are plenty of young people looking for jobs.

I have a lot of friends who have gone to Cooley and they left because they thought there wouldn't be any jobs here since there are so many recent grads in the area.
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