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Old 08-04-2013, 04:09 PM
 
Location: West Cedar Park, Philadelphia
1,225 posts, read 2,275,770 times
Reputation: 686

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The article is so off base for a number or reasons, but the biggest problems I had were:

1. The "clear cut" and redistribution plans are nothing new. We tried them in the 50s and 60s. They're now called "the projects" and were a tremendous failure. This guy obviously doesn't get out much, or read up on the history of urban planning in post WWII America.

2. He's basically saying "the suburbs are successful, so we should shift our land use to be like theirs" when he wants suburban-style office parks and commercial strips. This is wrong on so many levels. The city, any city, needs to stand on its own strengths. These are the things people look for in successful urban areas. You won't lure anyone back by pretending to be the suburbs. You compete by being different than the suburbs and providing things that can't be replicated there.
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Old 08-04-2013, 04:14 PM
 
177 posts, read 306,156 times
Reputation: 40
Those suburbs won't be so "successful" in the next 20 years, and their "successful" suburban design will be their downfall.
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Old 08-04-2013, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Midwest
1,283 posts, read 1,880,905 times
Reputation: 970
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marius Pontmercy View Post
The article is so off base for a number or reasons, but the biggest problems I had were:

2. He's basically saying "the suburbs are successful, so we should shift our land use to be like theirs" when he wants suburban-style office parks and commercial strips. This is wrong on so many levels. The city, any city, needs to stand on its own strengths. These are the things people look for in successful urban areas. You won't lure anyone back by pretending to be the suburbs. You compete by being different than the suburbs and providing things that can't be replicated there.
I disagree that that's what he said. From the article: "If cities do not return to their roots as high-density locations, they will continue to stumble from one financial crisis to another."

This is not a city functioning.

Right now Philadelphia is doing this Navy Yard thing, which is a suburban style development in an isolated part of the city. What's done is done, but there is enough vacant land in North Philadelphia to do similar projects integrated into neighborhoods that are hanging on, on top of already existing transit infrastructure. And yeah, in some cases, it may mean taking several lots of previously land which at one point was densely developed, but is now abandoned, and putting something there that is lower density than it was in its golden age. But that's how the city originally developed, getting more and more dense as time went on. There's not going to be a magic wand to get things back to the way they were before - it's going to be slow, steady work.

If you're talking about potential reuse of a block that is, say, 50-90% abandoned, that is also no comparison to the complete destruction of vibrant communities for freeways and housing projects in my opinion.

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Old 08-04-2013, 06:31 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista
2,472 posts, read 3,485,873 times
Reputation: 2202
I can't believe this dumb story was on the front page of philly.com all day. Not even getting into the ignorance of the main topic of the article, why did the author claim that philly could house 2.5 million people? The highest population it ever had was 2 million. No doubt, with increased infrastructure or housing it could house 2.5 million, it has the land area to do that and still be less dense than NYC, San Fran, etc. It's not like 2.5 million is impossible, but for that matter why not 3 million, or 10 million. It's as if he grabbed the number out of thin air, it makes no sense.
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Philly
10,026 posts, read 14,472,347 times
Reputation: 2774
Quote:
Originally Posted by phillies2011 View Post
I can't believe this dumb story was on the front page of philly.com all day. Not even getting into the ignorance of the main topic of the article, why did the author claim that philly could house 2.5 million people? The highest population it ever had was 2 million. No doubt, with increased infrastructure or housing it could house 2.5 million, it has the land area to do that and still be less dense than NYC, San Fran, etc. It's not like 2.5 million is impossible, but for that matter why not 3 million, or 10 million. It's as if he grabbed the number out of thin air, it makes no sense.
the sixties era plan assumed a city of 2.5 million...of course like most plans most of it never happened. philly could handle another half million with little infrastructure. the problem with his ideas is that he seems to have little idea of whats happening in the city except for his spreadsheets. the city is one of the few places small time builders can operate and all he can think about it how to use tax money for more westrum garbage
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Midwest
1,283 posts, read 1,880,905 times
Reputation: 970
Quote:
Originally Posted by phillies2011 View Post
I can't believe this dumb story was on the front page of philly.com all day. Not even getting into the ignorance of the main topic of the article, why did the author claim that philly could house 2.5 million people? The highest population it ever had was 2 million. No doubt, with increased infrastructure or housing it could house 2.5 million, it has the land area to do that and still be less dense than NYC, San Fran, etc. It's not like 2.5 million is impossible, but for that matter why not 3 million, or 10 million. It's as if he grabbed the number out of thin air, it makes no sense.
When the city was 2 million people, there was still a lot of undeveloped land, particularly in the NE, but also in SW and NW. Without the abandonment of much of North Philadelphia, the population would have reached 2.5 million without added density.

It's important to remember how much of the white flight from Philadelphia was actually able to be RECAPTURED by the city through the post-war development of Northeast. It's also a major reason why, barring a critical mass of movement back to the North Philadelphia, the continued stability of NE Philadelphia as inner city areas gradually repopulate is so important.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:08 AM
 
177 posts, read 306,156 times
Reputation: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by FamousBlueRaincoat View Post
I disagree that that's what he said. From the article: "If cities do not return to their roots as high-density locations, they will continue to stumble from one financial crisis to another."

This is not a city functioning.

Right now Philadelphia is doing this Navy Yard thing, which is a suburban style development in an isolated part of the city. What's done is done, but there is enough vacant land in North Philadelphia to do similar projects integrated into neighborhoods that are hanging on, on top of already existing transit infrastructure. And yeah, in some cases, it may mean taking several lots of previously land which at one point was densely developed, but is now abandoned, and putting something there that is lower density than it was in its golden age. But that's how the city originally developed, getting more and more dense as time went on. There's not going to be a magic wand to get things back to the way they were before - it's going to be slow, steady work.

If you're talking about potential reuse of a block that is, say, 50-90% abandoned, that is also no comparison to the complete destruction of vibrant communities for freeways and housing projects in my opinion.

The Navy Yard is isolated in former Navy land. It only works because of the position of the Navy Yard and how far from the rest of the city yet how close to Jersey and things like I-95 it is, which makes it easy to commute to anywhere on the southern I-95 corridor relatively easily. It's a unique area that can't be replicated anywhere else in the city.

The city didn't actually develop that way. The whole city was built densely from the first major development of houses to the era when the RDA stupidly ruined so many parts of the city.

But it is a comparison. In fact, it's the exact same thing. It's the same assinine, one-size-fits-all planning that produced the current state of neighborhoods like Kensington.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pman View Post
the sixties era plan assumed a city of 2.5 million...of course like most plans most of it never happened. philly could handle another half million with little infrastructure. the problem with his ideas is that he seems to have little idea of whats happening in the city except for his spreadsheets. the city is one of the few places small time builders can operate and all he can think about it how to use tax money for more westrum garbage
God, Westrum. It's amazing they haven't been forced to give back all that money yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FamousBlueRaincoat View Post
When the city was 2 million people, there was still a lot of undeveloped land, particularly in the NE, but also in SW and NW. Without the abandonment of much of North Philadelphia, the population would have reached 2.5 million without added density.

It's important to remember how much of the white flight from Philadelphia was actually able to be RECAPTURED by the city through the post-war development of Northeast. It's also a major reason why, barring a critical mass of movement back to the North Philadelphia, the continued stability of NE Philadelphia as inner city areas gradually repopulate is so important.
Well the first part is true, yeah. That's why I can't stand seeing people discount how dense Philadelphia actually was in 1950.

It didn't actually recapture anything. People didn't move back into the city to the Northeast. It only captured a lot of the people who wanted to flee and hadn't, and we're talking about the middle and Far Northeast. Unfortunately, the fact that nearby Bucks County and South Jersey have lower taxes and better schools due to leaching off of the city caused a lot of those same people to flee the NE to those areas later on. The Lower Northeast is a lot different than that, though. Tacony is really old, as is Frankford, and other sections of the Lower Northeast are actually prewar.
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