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Old 05-15-2012, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
Cleveland has an arts scene, a pretty good tech u (CWRU) and a bubbling urban revival - in many ways its a more happening than the Clevand suburbs I imagine (not that I know the cleveland suburbs) What the public policies levers are to get MORE development into central Cleveland is, Im not sure (and might be better addressed on the Cleveland forum) - I was merely making the point that there are, from the national/environmental perspective, benefits to development in the rust belt cites over places like NoVa (I imagine even some of the suburbs there have underutilized infrastructure, impacted by decline - at least in metro Detroit) .
I dont deny that, but what they dont have is a population that is as educated as ours (far greater education levels in Arlington/Fairfax than even Santa Clara county... ie Palo Alto), a decent wealth distribution, and proximity to policy makers. Those things are the reason why NOVA will continue to outpace the rest of the country unless we collapse under our own weight.

Cleveland, Akron, Dayton, those regions need to get back to what made them great, start figuring out how to compete in global market places for products and organically grow new industries.

This country is due for a new Menlo Park/Palo Alto, and simply attracting jobs from the outside is not whats gonna do it, thats a net loss scenario. We have to find ways not just to shift around jobs in this country but to create them vs them being outsourced. If the midwest wants to play ball again, they should invest in infrastructure to make their freight products cheaper than shipping across the Pacific. Do that, then outside companies will want to do business there, til then its a place where jobs are still disappearing.
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:17 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tysonsengineer View Post
I dont deny that, but what they dont have is a population that is as educated as ours (far greater education levels in Arlington/Fairfax than even Santa Clara county... ie Palo Alto), a decent wealth distribution, and proximity to policy makers. Those things are the reason why NOVA will continue to outpace the rest of the country unless we collapse under our own weight.

Cleveland, Akron, Dayton, those regions need to get back to what made them great, start figuring out how to compete in global market places for products and organically grow new industries.

This country is due for a new Menlo Park/Palo Alto, and simply attracting jobs from the outside is not whats gonna do it, thats a net loss scenario. We have to find ways not just to shift around jobs in this country but to create them vs them being outsourced. If the midwest wants to play ball again, they should invest in infrastructure to make their freight products cheaper than shipping across the Pacific. Do that, then outside companies will want to do business there, til then its a place where jobs are still disappearing.
A cleveland is in a different position than a place like Akron or Dayton. A better model for Cleveland is Pittsburgh, similar in size, and with a revival based on its arts scene, its Univ (some parallels between CMU and CWRU) etc. Tech, engineering, software, etc more than manufacturing. and a place like that IS in competition with a place like NoVa for the less federally focused jobs. naturally they dont have the same selling points NoVa has, but they have much lower costs of housing, less traffic, etc. at some point the regions advantages tend to equilibrate.
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
A cleveland is in a different position than a place like Akron or Dayton. A better model for Cleveland is Pittsburgh, similar in size, and with a revival based on its arts scene, its Univ (some parallels between CMU and CWRU) etc. Tech, engineering, software, etc more than manufacturing. and a place like that IS in competition with a place like NoVa for the less federally focused jobs. naturally they dont have the same selling points NoVa has, but they have much lower costs of housing, less traffic, etc. at some point the regions advantages tend to equilibrate.
I'm aware, in fact I've considered living in the midwest of recent because they are changing how things are done, specifically in the cities. Hey I am a big fan of cities like Cleveland, Cincinnati, St Louis, indy, and Detroit... if they learned their lessons. Unfortunately they are still in a region of the country that thinks all things cities are evil, and all things suburbs are king and that generally lean conservative and continue to think that all investments in infrastructure are government boondoggles.

Are parts changing? Yes, specifically the inner most parts of those cities, unfortunately their own states don't provide the support that those cities need, even though those cities are the only parts keeping the states fiscal. Sounds familiar

I like what Milwaukee has done. The rest of those have something to prove still. Start tearing down a couple of inner city freeways and I might pay attention.

Last edited by tysonsengineer; 05-15-2012 at 02:11 PM..
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:35 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tysonsengineer View Post
I'm aware, in fact I've considered living in the midwest of recent because they are changing how things are done, specifically in the cities. Hey I am a big fan of cities like Cleveland, Cincinnati, St Louis, indy, and Detroit... if they learned their lessons. Unfortunately they are still in a region of the country that thinks all things cities are evil, and all things suburbs are king and that generally lean conservative and continue to think that all investments in infrastructure are government boondoggles. .
i think thats really rather unfair - i think you will find a mix of thinking on TOD issues not that different from NoVa - some getting the new way of thinking, some not. Note that with slower growth, theres less room to transform legacy development patterns.


Quote:
I like what Milwaukee has done. The rest of those have something to prove still. Start tearing down a couple of inner city freeways and I might pay attention.
NoVa hasn't torn down any freeways yet, and while DC has a plan to tear down the stub end of the SE-SW freeway, thats not implemented yet (and was only made possible by the construction of the new 11th street bridge). But anyway, I doubt they care if they get your attention or not.

they seem to have gotten the attenion of someone with even a wider audience than yourself

How Detroit Is Rising - Jobs & Economy - The Atlantic Cities
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:47 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
If you support promoting walkability, most people would much rather walk through Georgetown than they would the concrete jungle of Ballston.

Georgetown has its retail area and vibrancy because its part of a very large area of townhomes (and denser) extending across multiple neighborhoods. If you simply took the acres devoted to highrises in RBC and made them townhomes you wouldnt get that. The notion of upzoning a section of North Arlington as large as the L'enfant City section of DC into townhomes of the density level of Georgetown, and similar retail development (including that whole 19th century no parking minimum thing) is interesting, but I doubt it would be politically feasible.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
2,772 posts, read 4,123,394 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
i think thats really rather unfair - i think you will find a mix of thinking on TOD issues not that different from NoVa - some getting the new way of thinking, some not. Note that with slower growth, theres less room to transform legacy development patterns.




NoVa hasn't torn down any freeways yet, and while DC has a plan to tear down the stub end of the SE-SW freeway, thats not implemented yet (and was only made possible by the construction of the new 11th street bridge). But anyway, I doubt they care if they get your attention or not.

they seem to have gotten the attenion of someone with even a wider audience than yourself

How Detroit Is Rising - Jobs & Economy - The Atlantic Cities
Yes, I read that too... essentially detroit is super cheap now... so that means new opportunities. If everyone around here is down for that, I say we all tear down every house and start again too/every office should be liquidated so we can build small workshops within them.

I agree, NOVA hasn't done that, which is why if we continue at this rate, and continue to rely on federal work (one of the few differences in the regions) we will end up just like those areas. Unsustainable, unable to attract non-government growth, etc.

Fortunately while a lot of NOVA is really bad for sustainability, lots of NOVA are really good for it too. Analysis? The trend will continue, outer non-sustainable regions will continue to wonder why they are falling apart, inner prosperous regions will become even more prosperous. Eventually outer suburbs will be reclaimed by farmlands/vacant uses because it will become too expensive to live there with no prospect of new jobs.

Thats the worst case scenario

Best case scenario, they learn whats going on, they create high speed connections to other hubs, and keep themselves relevant in the discussion. Improved freight rail would make PWC the distribution powerhouse for the 4th largest consumer base in the country. Agriculture-tourism growth could help keep rural areas healthy without needing high density growth (which is good), western loudoun should secede from eastern loudoun for the above reason (less people means less cost, means you can say no to any new growth and keep it rural and self sustaining), metro and high tech jobs will make eastern loudoun a job creator and connected to other parts of the region for coordination/meetings with a middle ground of density growth (areas directly next to metro in a towncenter format, outside of that suburbia).

Likely end will be somewhere between. Unfortunately mid-western cities still havent figured out what makes them better for business than other regions, nor what their business will be. Is it an auto support business? Is it a freight business? Is it agro? Maybe its all of the above and they use their central location and access to seaways as a selling point. I dont know, but as a whole they need to find a better way to connect to their neighbors to make their region better. Step one, connect those cities to the big city of Chicago and the east coast through the pittsburg high speed system. Corporations will see they can go to meetings on the east coast and at the central financial hub of chicago within 2 hours which will allow them to redistribute the wealth out of chicago and the east coast, and to these locations.

2) They need to improve freight systems. Trucks are far too expensive for long trip hauls. They can become manufacturing heavy weights again if they can lower their transportation costs for products to be lower than the transpo costs for long sea trips from China/Asia.

3) They need to get innovative and creative. Portland has created a manufacturing sector out of nothing. Seattle did the same, Silicon valley did the same (and NOVA btw needs to do this also). If you want to be a leader in the 21st century, you gotta stop whining that china is taking all the jobs, and make something that can't be made in china, can be made in the US cheaper, better, and faster.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:03 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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Quote:
I was in Annandale this weekend and didn't see many McMansions at all, if any.
you didn't look closely enough. There are loads of them.


Quote:
As far as the schools, I disagree that the decline of those in Annandale and others in FFX County is due to the failure to acquire dense development but rather the influx of undocumented immigrants. I'm often empathizing with them on this forum, but no one can argue that an influx of impoverished kids who don't speak the local language and are not from an education-worshipping culture (like China's) doesn't drive down test scores. (I'd be surprised if the teachers at JEB Stuart are really "worse" than those at Yorktown.) The same would happen to the mean standardized-test scores at a wealthy Mexico City high school if we sent our poorest rural Appalachian kids there. The argument that the disparity between the test scores of Stuart and Yorktown is due to the failure to turn Annandale into Clarendon is silly.

I didnt say Annandale schools were bad - I said annandale has problems with infrastructure, and that there are areas with issues with crime. The schools are part of FCPS, which is still well funded.

In the absense of the illegal immigrants, while the SFHs might be less afflicted with certain nuisances, the aging apartment complexes would have far less demand, and might be facing more serious maintenance issues - in all likelihood we'd be facing either more rapid redevelopment to higher density, or descent to slum. Maybe they'd be renovated for higher rent tenants without higher density but I doubt it.

Quote:
If funding of schools determined their mean SAT, then DC would have the highest scores in the nation"
well for one education is about a lot more than SATs. But more directly, Im talking about comparing roughly comparable suburban school systems, with roughly comparable labor and management practices not DCPS. I would say that Annandale schools (like S Arlington schools) are much better than DCPS, in part because they are part of FCPS.

I doubt very much that if FCPS funding significantly declined, that would not have a negative impact on quality of education in FCPS, or, for that matter, on Fairfax county RE prices.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:09 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,868 posts, read 12,035,792 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tysonsengineer View Post
Yes, I read that too... essentially detroit is super cheap now... so that means new opportunities. If everyone around here is down for that, I say we all tear down every house and start again too/every office should be liquidated so we can build small workshops within them.
I'm not sure what that has to do with what I said. I also dont think the city of akron, say, can direct national investment in freight facilities.

All I'm saying, is that if, say, federal agency has a choice of moving an office to Cleveland (without a major issue for their mission) we support that. That if say, a defense company with jobs in Cleveland (there are a few, I think) wants to move a few of them to NoVa, we forego offering tax incentives to get them. Small changes, at the margins.

And that there most of the major midwest metros has folks very active in urban redevelopment. Certainly Chicago and St Louis and Cleveland.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
2,772 posts, read 4,123,394 times
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I didnt know what the discussion on Detroit had to do with what we were saying either... seeing as its not part of the midwest discussion, its more a discussion of how bad things can get when you have only 1 industry in town.

And I am agreeing with those statements you are saying. Never said the feds need to do anything to make the midwest freight systems better. But those jurisdictions should be courting and working hand in hand with CSX to make sure that infrastructure improvements are accommodated whenever possible and at times partially assisted by the commercial sector of those cities. Something that I still dont see happening.

I also think that those areas shouldnt wait on the feds to get funding for high speed rail either. This is the number one priority for those smaller former grand cities to return to prosperity. They should be finding any way possible including whatever they have to do to get Private buy in to get those projects going with or without tax payer subsidies. And moving federal offices to a region shouldnt be a boom or bust anyways. We are talking about millions in the face of billions. Billions is what cities should be focusing on, creating new industries not just robbing some here and there.

And I agree about the major midwest metros being great. Firstly chicago shouldnt even be in the discussion, it is an internationally known and powerful city. St Louis is coming around, if they figure out what to do with the declining waterfront and finally once and for all follow milwaukees lead and get rid of I-70 which cuts right through the heart of their commercial business district and is the epicenter of criminal activity in the city. They have gone from the 5th most powerful and populated region of the country to out of the top 25. How much longer are they going to allow that to happen before returning to designs that made them great in the first place?

And cleveland, well, I like cleveland. Unfortunately something just isnt right in cleveland. It has a decent design for a city, well developed, not to sprawled, lake front. What its lacking is the attraction to youth and entrepreneurs. Most believe Cincinnati is the better Ohio city for those facets. Its a matter of Dallas vs Austin. Eh I have no real issues with cleveland, get a better rock and roll museum thats about it. I know that their industries have been dying (similar to pittsburg in the mid 20th) but I dont think they have done the same revitalization that Pittsburg accomplished. I have no idea to be honest though, only been to Cleveland once 5 years ago.

All of this is tangential

Main discussion, will removing certain specific blocks of height restrictions help the area?

I still say, regardless of the rest of the country, this area needs traffic help, new industries, and revenue to cover infrastructure apart from state ideology. All of those things can be attained via the removal of height restrictions in existing blocks of urban office park sprawl. The cost to realign roads (2-3 million per block) is nothing if the building costs 300 million and attains revenue for the developer of 30 million per year and taxes of 3 million per year to the jurisdiction. The numbers get more attainable.

Last edited by tysonsengineer; 05-15-2012 at 04:02 PM..
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:14 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
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OK, gents, I'm back. TE, I enjoy these debates. Long as you don't call me Hank Hill, I won't call you the Hipster Howard Roark!

I brought up Detroit as an example of what happens when only a few cities get the benefits of a growth sector--in this case, the ever-expanding (since WWII) federal government. (I recognize that Detroit had other things happen--namely, losing most of its primary industry.)

The larger question I think we're debating is: What are the long-term local effects of the increased density that would accompany easing a height restriction? You guys are saying it would alleviate the pent-up demand for more development. I get what you are saying--that if you build up, you don't have to build out. And what I'm saying is that that's true for commercial office space, but I don't see that holding true for residential development, as evinced by the several local (to me) examples I cited--where the Metro arrived, then offices, then big apartment buildings, and then bigger apartment buildings. Yeah, sometimes it was just parking lots that got built onto--I will concede my experience with S. Spring is limited--but other times, it was houses.

Not to mention the aesthetic effect of the "concrete canyon." We now have this in the heart of Ballston--unlike DuPont or most of Brooklyn that I can remember. I see it starting to happen in Clarendon, with that mongo condo building that went up at 10th and Washington Blvd a year or so ago, across from where Tara Thai used to be.

One question I've never heard an urbanist answer in any real sense is: When does the accommodation of growth stop? That is, suppose you get all the tall buildings built that you'd like to see. And then people/businesses move into them. What about in 10 or 20 years, when even more people want to be there? Do you keep tearing down buildings forever? Do you propose we keep building up as far as physics and the limits of engineering will allow? And if so, what about the people who prefer 10-story buildings to 20-story or 100-story buildings? Is every place to become Vancouver?

BBD, you mentioned that no one is talking about putting in transit farther west of Ballston. The thing is, I would actually be FOR that if I knew it would not bring development. I would love to have small jump-on/jump-off trolleys everywhere--but if they ever pipe one down Wilson, I'm positive it'll bring with it more apartments full of 20-somethings, and then, to satiate their unquenchable thirst for getting soused, the rowdy bars will follow, bringing with them (as always) the noise, public drunkenness, and crime that follow. Or it might bring a slew of trendy restaurants, each with 5AM deliveries and service trucks that come with a diesel rumble and incessant beeping of DOT-mandated backup alerts.

RE. the argument that without the growth of the past 30 years, Arlington would be worse off. I disagree. The SFH neighborhoods of Arlington were built in the '30s to the '50s. (With a few exceptions.) It's not like I live in the exurbs of FFX and work for a defense contractor whose existence is the very reason my housing development was built. Had there been a moratorium on development in say 1980, then these companies could have/would have gone elsewhere and spread the development around. I'm tempted to veer off into a tangential diatribe against lobbyists and the explosion of government contracting companies--both of which are largely responsible for the glut of development here--but I'll save that for another thread.

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 05-15-2012 at 04:58 PM..
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