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View Full Version : Suburban sprawl (with additions from the Maglev thread)


Darth_Yuthura
04-26-2009, 09:26 AM
Mod edits were removed. Off-topic content was added. Off-topic has been removed again and mod edits restored in this post. Posts related to Suburban sprawl were moved from the Maglev thread where they were off topic to this thread where they were on topic. --Jae

Drunkside
04-26-2009, 12:53 PM
Well spoken DY.

Jae Onasi
04-26-2009, 08:52 PM
If you were to look at the urban footprint of Chicago in 1944, the population of about 6 million sat crammed into an area that is roughly one sixth the area it is today. Today's massive Chicago footprint has grown six times its size since then and the population has only increased by 3 million. That is suburban sprawl written large.
Well, with one of the worst school systems in the country, gang violence, and general 'hate to feel crammed in on top of 6 million of my closest friends' sentiment, I can't imagine why people would want to get out. ;)

The issue is not really that you (referring to anyone with the same mindset) want to go a few miles out of the city. It's that millions of others want to do the same thing and look at what came from that: to get out of the city, you'd more likely have to go more like 30 miles away to get into an undeveloped area. When everyone does that, a city becomes more inefficient and more difficult to maintain. It is not the issue of whether ONE, but everyone wanting their own home, car, and privacy. I see nothing wrong with that. It's called the American dream.

Say I have a job in Chicago and want to live a few miles away... someone's already living there. So I go about a mile down the freeway... another person is already living there... another 30 miles away and there is finally somewhere to build my new home complete with yard and open space with no one else around... at least until the next person buys the next lot down.I know that.

The economy is suffering significantly because American cities are becoming difficult to maintain their infrastructure.
This is an incorrect assumption. The economy is suffering because people overused credit and bought more house and more stuff than they could afford, on top of fraud in the government and banking sectors and changes in regulations that allowed people access to far more credit by predatory lenders than they should have had. It's not the infrastructure that's causing the economy to suffer--that's dependent on our taxes. The infrastructure, being dependent on our taxes, is in trouble because the economy is in trouble, thus lowering the amount of taxes going into the system, not the other way around.

Mass transit is a necessity for a city to function properly.
LA does fine with a completely crappy mass transit system.

Population density is critical for mass transit to work.
That is an incorrect assumption that makes this theory fall apart. Mass transit has to be accessible and affordable to the target audience to get them to use it. Population density has nothing to do with that. Washington DC's population density is much lower than LA's, but their mass transit system works a lot better.

When you have suburban sprawl in most US cities, mass transit is no longer viable because there aren't enough riders for it to break even.I disagree. There are Metra trains (mass transit) going out to the suburbs at all hours of the day in the Chicago region, and they do break even unless the cost of fuel skyrockets like it did last summer. Metra works great and is a wonderfully viable option--I've ridden the trains any number of times. Your theory is based on yet another incorrect assumption.

Compare any US city (except NY) to any other around the world and you realize that we need to follow their urban models if we hope to compete as a global power.
I don't like 'the urban model', I don't agree with 'the urban model' which is based on a number of false assumptions in your theory that I delineated above, and I don't want to participate in 'the urban model'. There are millions of my cohorts who agree with me, because they're getting the heck out of cities on a regular basis. Thank God I don't have the government dictating to me that I must live in a big city.

Americans get their goods from distant locations... that is our way of life. We either need to start providing our goods locallyWhere are you planning to put the millions of acres of required farmland to feed all the people in the big cities? And please don't tell me you're going to put it on top of rooftops.

which is highly unlikely to happen, or we need to have an effective and efficient transportation system to make it viable to transport goods and people from distant places. The US transportation infrastructure is simply outdated, has been neglected, and was overtaken by our dependence on the automobile.Mass transit has been neglected, I agree. If the bus and train schedules were more convenient, I would likely use them more often. Unfortunately, they're not convenient with my busy schedule, so we use a car instead. My husband does use the train now and then to get to his Army unit, since the train stops at the reserve center he works at. However, it requires some planning on our parts to make sure we can arrange our schedule and the babysitter's schedule to account for the extra time it takes. If one of my kids gets sick at school or has some kind of emergency, having a car means I can get to them right away. I can't do that with a bus.

Darth_Yuthura
04-26-2009, 10:49 PM
Deleted.

Darth_Yuthura
04-27-2009, 07:34 AM
Deleted

Jae Onasi
04-27-2009, 10:33 AM
You can't just contradict someone and say you proved something.I certainly can contradict you on your points, especially when you're passing off wrong information as fact, when I know the opposite is true based on my years living in Chicago.

I'm not the one trying to prove that we should all give up our choices on where we should live based on false information and inaccurate premises. My goal was to disprove the false premises supporting a shaky theory. If you would like to provide new information here besides the title of a book, I'll be happy to read it. If what's in the book is what you've already presented here, I don't have to waste my time reading it since I've disproven a number of its points already.


Everything I have stated is backed by this. It was used in my class for urban land-use planning... so it must be reliable if a university would have it.
That proves that one professor thinks this crazy idea of forcing people to live like sardines packed into little tiny spaces is a great idea, and that you've absorbed it completely without thinking fully about it. If your book is saying all this bizarre and incorrect information about Chicago, I would question the veracity of this textbook.


Even as early as 1990, sprawl had already manifested itself greatly.Try a good 40 years earlier than that.

That's gone too far! I HAVE been to these cities and I am earning a degree in Urban geography, so don't proclaim such crap!Don't proclaim crap that's patently false--you're trying to say things about Chicago that I know are frankly wrong because I've lived there, both city and suburbs. Your study of urban geography is pure theory, not based on real life experience. What you're learning in books isn't holding up to the Real World. How long did you actually spend in Chicago? I would think that it was unlikely you were there to look at parking lots.

Alright, maybe I was a bit over the top saying NO parking lots. Uninformed.

I meant no parking lots large enough to support the vast majority of commuters that decide to use cars instead of public transportation. There are dozens upon dozens of very large parking lots and parking garages in the Chicago Loop. Where do you think people go shopping for groceries? At grocery stores with, guess what, large parking lots. I've actually parked in them. Again, you can see them on Google maps for yourself if you want. I never had a problem finding spots in the variety of different parking garages and lots that I used, though it was somewhat of a challenge on very busy days like when there were Cubs, Bears, and Sox games on the same day. Again, you are trying to make a claim about parking in Chicago that is clearly not true. I've experienced parking in Chicago, I suspect that neither you nor the authors of your textbooks have in any significant degree.

Suburbia is mostly dominated by parking lots where NY and downtown Chicago have very little land dedicated to parked vehicles. Obviously there would have to be loading docks, and such; but not in order to support more than... 10% of the commuters or such. In suburbia, you must have about... 90-100% dedicated to car commuters.
Again, you're passing off misinformation as fact. I can tell you, having driven on the Eisenhower and Kennedy with a few hundred thousand of my closest commuter friends, that there is far more than 10% of the city's population driving around Chicago on any given day. You can look at I-pass usage statistics and IDOT information to show you true numbers rather than making pure guesses.
Are you guessing on the suburban car commuters? It looks to me like you are. Also, you're assuming that all suburban commuters are working in the city, when in fact they may be working in the same suburb they live in, or a neighboring suburb. It's far more complex than you're portraying here.

That's because all these suburbs have already been built! Many sat upon perfectly good farmland that is now gone.Yes, Chicago and NYC used to be perfectly good farmland for the Native Americans, too. What's the point, other than 'land use changes'?


They were a mistake from the start to have all these single family detached homes(SFDH) in the first place. People like you are the reason why so much farmland has been lost. There's so much farmland left untilled it's not funny, so I'm not worried. Besides, I grow a garden in my yard (something I wasn't able to do in Chicago), so I'm contributing my little part to green space.

So are you saying it's a mistake for people to have a choice in the type of housing they'd like to have? It's a mistake that the government didn't interfere in our lives to force us into a mode of life we hate? We should just turn into a dictatorship and force people to live in shoeboxes next to trains? You still haven't answered any of my questions or points on reasons why people choose to leave the city in the first place.

This is not only a realistic, but a factual answer I gave. If you took the residents of downtown Chicago and Milwaukee put them in SFDH, the urban footprint would spread to Madison and Rockford. None of the land between those cities could be used for agriculture.Some people are happy to live in an urban environment in condos and apartments, and want short commutes to their jobs in the city because they don't want to spend hours on a train or a lot of money on gas or mass transit costs. Hence why we don't have that situation. However, if you build a bunch of maglev trains for people to commute on, it might alleviate some of the negative social issues like horrid schools and gang violence resulting from urban over-crowding in Chicago, because people would be able to travel faster to greater distances to get to their homes in safe neighborhoods.

That is NOT proof in itself. You have a very narrow view of a much larger issue, but you do have some first-hand experience. Now how about some evidence presented by someone who specializes in urban geography?
First-hand observations aren't proof? Since when? Since you don't like having your points blown apart by someone whose experience doesn't match the apparent misinformation presented to you in a textbook? I've walked and driven and ridden on mass transit all over downtown Chicago, you have not. How about you present some evidence by someone who's actually experienced urban life and doesn't have an agenda about how people should live in Fantasyland?

Your theory is saying we MUST move into big cities to support trains and other mass transit. This is America, we're free people. We don't HAVE to do things if it's incompatible with the way we want to live--in my case in a safe neighborhood free of gang warfare and in a city with an excellent school system, where I don't have to deal with rude neighbors the next wall over playing rap so loud at 2am that the entire apartment building vibrates. If you like the urban lifestyle, good for you. You have lots of choices in that case. You don't like the way I live, but I'm not here to make you happy by buying into a theory full of holes along with you. I'm not in the least worried about not living the idealistic way you think everyone should conform to. If you want people to live in cities, you're going to need a heck of a lot better reason than "you should because it allows us greater population density for better mass transit". I should live in a large city with crap schools and higher crime for an _ideal_ made up by some prof living in an ivory tower? This is reality, not a textbook theory.

Tommycat
04-27-2009, 12:00 PM
I find it funny that most of the authors mentioned seem to have houses of their own with large yards.... Shouldn't they all be living in large towering apartment complexes?

Darth_Yuthura
04-27-2009, 12:57 PM
deleted

Tommycat
04-27-2009, 01:16 PM
pfff. I'd rather live in an area that has a lower violent crime per capita than an area that has better transportation. Phoenix for instance has a higher per capita crime rate than Glendale, Chandler and Mesa(three suburbs of Phoenix). You put too many people closer together, they tend to start fighting eachother.

Q
04-27-2009, 02:52 PM
@D_Y:

The problem with your argument and its sources is that they utterly fail to take reality into account. Most people won't want to live in your Caves of Steel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Caves_of_Steel), and trying to force them to do so would be nothing short of tyrannical. Are you and your sources so detached from reality that you can't see this? I'd really hate to see how you relate to people IRL.

mimartin
04-27-2009, 03:17 PM
I’m sorry Darth_Yuthura, but all reported posts are handled privately. However, the person that reported the post can see what action, if any, was taken. All reported posts are handled as quickly as possible and I have not ignored any reported post. I’ve been looking and reading the current reported posts all morning, but I am also working and the paying gig takes precedence over this.

Since you are the original poster I will lock the thread if you request, but I will not restrict who can and cannot post in any thread open in Kavar. Everyone including moderators are entitled to their opinion (right or wrong) and it does not have to conform to yours even when you believe you have presented a valid argument.

Jae Onasi
04-27-2009, 04:18 PM
I am making this post simply because the issue had been drawn out after I already filed a violation and had it ignored.
You're free to file report. The staff here are all volunteers and are not always available to jump when you say jump.

[I'm afraid that Jae Onasi is only one person and hardly qualified to make such accusations.
Which is why I included Google maps (so that you can see each and every parking lot for yourself, and how the land is utilized), along with IDOT and I-Pass for traffic information. Additional sources would include the City of Chicago transportation office and Metra Rail, so that you can get the raw data and evaluate it for yourself, rather than through the filter of one book or one professor. Go look at the primary sources, Darth_Yuthura, not the secondary or even tertiary ones.

Zyberk is/was the dean of architecture at the university of Miami. Of course, someone in architecture working in a Miami suburb with degrees from Princeton and Yale and no history of living in either New York, Chicago, or LA at any point, whose company's claim to fame is having a pretty building featured in the opening credits of the TV show Miami Vice. Of course that makes her an expert on Chicago. :roleyess: I'd be very surprised if she actually lived in something smaller than 2000 sq. feet herself, considering she and her husband have designed an entire resort. I wonder how much mass transit she's put into that.

Jeff Speck was a professional land-use planner in Germany.Germany and the US have vastly different geography and needs. Of course the land-use in Germany is going to be entirely different. That does not make him an expert on American cities anymore than being a cardiologist makes one an expert in neurosurgery.

I would trust these people much more than any one person I don't even know. People who argue here should either challenge these people, OR challenge that what I posted is not verified by them, OR present some sources of their own. Jae may be qualified as a reference, but still is only one person.It is YOUR job to present the facts for your argument. I have found flaws in your facts that render your argument invalid. It has nothing to do with you as a person. You need to find better information, and if these people are giving you this bad information, then you need to review whether these are even good sources or not. The only way you can do that is if you go to the primary sources that they've used and decide whether or not they've made accurate or inaccurate conclusions.

It's obvious that some people won't be persuaded on this matter. I would rather trust Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck on the matter.
Yes, the same three who work for the same Miami company that designed the lovely building in the opening theme for Miami Vice. I'm sure they've made a lot of money off their book, which undoubtedly assisted as a marketing tool for getting their name out to hundreds of architecture students. I'm sure none of them have dealt with the realities of urban living. I'm sure none of them live in small condos in areas of town where you'd hear guns go off any time of day or night, and I'd be very surprised if they didn't live in single-family detached homes. Speck works for the National Endowment for the arts, his degree is in art history from the ivy league Harvard.

Jeffery Zimmerman, an instructor of mine, also lived in Chicago and Milwaukee. He had disagreed on many of the issues Jae presented as fact. (Yes, I actually bothered to include him on this) And I certainly wouldn't expect people to believe me, which is why I included REFERENCES in my argument. He is more than welcome to present his findings on Chicago and Milwaukee. I'd be interested in knowing what he finds wrong with my observations about parking lots and garages in downtown Chicago when the evidence is available on any map for anyone to see. I'm sure we'd have a delightful time talking about the good, the bad, and the ugly about both cities, since I've also lived and worked in both. He's welcome to post on his theories here, and why people should be REQUIRED to buy into New Urbanism. So far, this looks like a 'Do as I say, not as I do' kind of proposition by the leaders in question.

Suburban sprawl started after WWII and it was because of that which sprawl truly began. It was actually more like 59 years ago that it started, not 40. It became more and more of an issue the closer it got to present day.You said in a previous post that suburban sprawl started in the 1990's. Which is correct?

Those who have a garden and grow their own vegetables I assume don't come close to providing enough for themselves... considering that people don't normally grow food on the land their lawn and house occupies.
You've never been to Amish country or local farms, either, I see.

Zimmerman called this 'false greene theory,' where people presume they make an impact when they actually are just trying to justify what they do and feel better about themselves. I feel fine about my suburban life anyway, and I'm happily out of the dirty, crime-ridden, pothole-filled, crap-school city. I just happen to also grow vegetables because there's nothing like vine-ripened cherry tomatoes that you've picked minutes before putting the into the salad made from home-grown lettuce. I grow my own herbs too.

The suburb location of Prairie Crossing proclaim to be greene, but it was FAR from this because it only has about 1,400 people and it is the juncture point where two major commuter lines between Chicago and Milwaukee
Unless you count Amtrak, which is not really light rail/commuter rail, there is no commuter train line that goes from Chicago all the way to Milwaukee. The farthest north that Metra rail (the commuter rail system for the Chicago region) stops is Kenosha, WI. Please refer to the Metra Rail site for more information on stops. There is a lot of talk about extending Metra all the way to Milwaukee, and I hope it happens. I think it would do a lot to reduce traffic congestion on I-94.

These few people force another stop to be made and add another 5 minutes for everyone on the commuter lines. That's not much, but the additional time for tens of thousands is enormous. The greater the distance and the more frequent the stops a public transportation system must make, the less effective it will be. The fewer who ride, the more it will also cost taxpayers.This entire statement makes no sense. First you complain that not enough people use commuter/mass transit, then you complain about extra stops when people do use mass transit. What do you want? If you don't make frequent stops, you're not going to have nearly as many riders.

The twin cities have a public transit system that is barely used and costs taxpayers much because they get so little revenue from riders. There are so few near the stops that most would rather drive.Have you ever waited outside in -50 windchills for the bus to come? It's winter all year long in the Twin Cities, except maybe July 15th. The answer to that is to put the mass transit stops near the people who are going to utilize the system and make it more convenient and cost effective for them to use it.

Dallas has a transit system that is meant to start transportation oriented development (TOD)gentrification. This is where people want to develop near train stations and will construct large multi-floor structures so more people can use public transportation instead of their cars. Portland is a prime example of where an auto-dependent city could transition to using public transportation and succeed. The city improved because of the light rail system; Dallas, Vegas, and Phoenix are all establishing TOD, but are projected to function AFTER the current depression has passed.Great, build a train station, but build gawdawfully expensive housing within walking distance of the station. That's brilliant land use there for the people who most need mass transit.

I compared some numbers in regards to parking in central Chicago and did severely underestimate the land areas devoted to parking, but still got roughly .28 parking spaces for every worker both for ramps and underground facilities. If you were to compare the LAND area alone, that might compare to a suburb. Now you see what I was trying to get at. You found the data and came to your own conclusions.

Compared to the sheer number of jobs, the amount of space designated to parking is TINY. That would depend on a number of factors, including the number of people who live downtown within walking distance of their jobs and such, along with actual job numbers.

For the sake of not escalating this matter further, I respectfully ask that the public transportation argument end here. I AM NOT just giving up because 'someone has proven all my arguments to be false.' Some of my arguments may be lacking, yes; but so are counter arguments that are not backed by anything beyond one person's experiences in a major city.

I won't carry this on and would respectfully ask that Jae not respond to this again. I don't want this escalate this issue because she has the power to throw me off this forum. I am NOT backed in a corner and could continue this, but don't want to.Sorry, I didn't see this part before replying. You also threw down the gauntlet. I provided you with sources that included not only my personal experience, but also hard data--Google maps where you could see the sites for yourself, IDOT, and I-Pass, as you can see in the previous posts. You could have looked at any of those sites to see where my experiences match up with the data. You can ask for me to not respond, but I felt I had to clarify some issues and decided to post what I'd already written here anyway. If you prefer to be done with this topic at this point, that's fine.

I don't ever throw someone off the forum with whom I've had a discussion with in Kavar's without consulting the rest of the staff. In fact, no one permanently banned from this forum who's had discussions with me has ever been permabanned by me, and all of us who are staff and participate here will continue the practice of discussing that level of sanction with each other before anyone would be banned. All the troublemakers in this forum were banned by admins after long discussions on what to do with them by the staff as a group. The only accounts that get unilaterally permabanned are adbots and pornbots, and even those are reported in the moderator section so that we all know why action was taken on an account.

Darth_Yuthura
04-27-2009, 06:16 PM
deleted

Tommycat
04-27-2009, 07:02 PM
Here are a lot of internet sources to augment what I've presented. These are not primary sources, but they all explain more of the factors that influence the environmental, political, and psychological factors in the US.


You can't find a good place to build a new house that's within 30 minutes of any major US city.
http://www.commondreams.org/views03/1119-13.htm
You saying the capital city of Arizona isn't a major city?

Environmental issues and the excessive sum of fuel in vehicles make suburbs like poison to the American landscape. Few natural spaces and loss of community are all very real.
http://sitemaker.umich.edu/section007group5/home

http://www.ag.auburn.edu/auxiliary/BC/PAGESL1/2003Conference/2003ConfPagesL2/2003FinalReport/2003FinalReportEachPerson/Rogers/ABRogers.doc
Exactly why we need to spend money on fuel efficient/fuel free vehicles. Not some near useless maglev


Health issues in regards to suburbs:
http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/39554/story.htm
overcrowding of hospitals, high exposure to larger numbers of people... ignored? but "Oh noes teh obesitee"

A sad attempt to scare people into taking action. Maybe Americans are just too selfish to put the good of the state before themselves.
http://www.acton.org/publications/randl/rl_article_303.php
Yer darn tootin I'm selfish. The government isn't buying my place to live. When I was in the service, Sure I'd live in barracks. Government was paying for me to live there. Now that they aren't, I will decide where I live. The view is nicer farther out. Air is cleaner. and there isn't a family of elephants living above me.

Overall, this argument is simply to state what could POTENTIALLY be done in the US to improve the transportation infrastructure, but there are so many limiting factors that could be overcome if certain people wouldn't be so selfish and put the good of the state in front of their own luxuries. Regional/local planners don't cooperate well and won't ever for such a massive project like this to ever take off the ground.
Excuse me for wanting a better life for my children. Excuse me for actually wanting to live AWAY from the higher crime areas.

With $10 trillion in debt and America's infrastructure costing more than it can produce and export... the state will ultimately break down before any of this will ever happen. There is very little point in deciding whether to choose option A or option B, knowing neither can come about.
Might want to see how much food we actually produce in the US. Enough to feed the world in fact. At a bare minimum, enough to feed ourselves.

I'm not going to post on this thread again, but won't demand it be closed. Someone has to be mature about this and quite frankly, I'm past caring.

Yes, very mature... :carms:

something I thought was funny
Staley lives in a genuine suburb, Bellbrook, Ohio, near Dayton, with his wife and two children. He also serves on the Bellbrook Planning Commission.
Your source that "hates sprawl" apparently lives in a suburb...

Q
04-27-2009, 07:24 PM
Maybe Americans are just too selfish to put the good of the state before themselves.
Overall, this argument is simply to state what could POTENTIALLY be done in the US to improve the transportation infrastructure, but there are so many limiting factors that could be overcome if certain people wouldn't be so selfish and put the good of the state in front of their own luxuries.
:rofl:

I assume that by "certain people" you mean those who possess a unique personality, and by "selfish" you mean unwilling to be sheep and surrender those paltry rights such as privacy, personal safety and, that bane of the socialist ideal -private ownership :eyepop, for the good of the state when the state is not looking out for their best interests, as it has demonstrated dozens of times in my lifetime. I'm sorry, but what country do you live in, again? :roleyess:

Color me unimpressed with your self-righteous, guilt-tripping BS. :dozey:
Regional/local planners don't cooperate well and won't ever for such a massive project like this to ever take off the ground.
Could it be because they think it's a bad idea? :giveup:
With $10 trillion in debt and America's infrastructure costing more than it can produce and export... the state will ultimately break down before any of this will ever happen. There is very little point in deciding whether to choose option A or option B, knowing neither can come about..
How about option C: make outsourcing illegal? That would solve a hell of a lot of problems like the trade deficit.
I'm not going to post on this thread again, but won't demand it be closed. Someone has to be mature about this and quite frankly, I'm past caring.
Tired of seeing your ridiculously unrealistic arguments being torn apart by common sense? :devsmoke:

Darth_Yuthura
04-27-2009, 09:03 PM
Deleted

Q
04-27-2009, 09:23 PM
As well as just providing yet more proof (as if we needed any) that our illustrious higher education system is using it's esteemed position to push a political agenda.

Web Rider
04-27-2009, 09:55 PM
You know what, I'm glad none of you believe me. It would just mean that I could walk a little higher knowing how little Americans care about their future.
Correction: how little we care about what self-righteous foreigners think of our future.

Just letting people know that all empires have short life spans. And the US is such an empire.
Translation: "I have been clearly bested but refuse to surrender!" or, in the layman: "Bawwww!!"

Darth_Yuthura
04-28-2009, 12:10 AM
deleted

Tommycat
04-28-2009, 01:11 AM
Just letting people know that all empires have short life spans. And the US is such an empire.
for one we aren't an empire.
for another
Ottoman Empire 1299 – 1923 or around 600 years (ok, 624)
Roman Empire 27 BC – AD 1473 or around well... 1500 years (1500 even...)
Holy Roman Empire til 1806
And Russia was an empire from 1547 until 1917

To me that seems to indicate that not only do you not know about our cities, but you aren't familiar with empires either :D Maybe you should get a refund haha.

The US was established as a democratic republic in 1776. so... we're still pretty shy of even the 300 mark.

Web Rider
04-28-2009, 01:20 AM
for one we aren't an empire.
for another
Ottoman Empire 1299 – 1923 or around 600 years
Roman Empire 27 BC – AD 1473 or around well... 1400 years
Holy Roman Empire til 1806

To me that seems to indicate that not only do you not know about our cities, but you aren't familiar with empires either :D

If you define Empires by consistent borders, China, Japan, and Russia are still going fairly strong.

Tommycat
04-28-2009, 01:31 AM
If you define Empires by consistent borders, China, Japan, and Russia are still going fairly strong.
Sadly empires kinda require an emperor... but... I guess if the US counts as an empire, then sure why not?


Instead of arrogantly pretending that everything is alright, maybe you could come up with some potential solutions that are 'more realistic' than this one.

And no, none of the solutions involving hydrogen fuel cell, ethanol, electric hybrid, renewable energy, or 'everything is fine' are realistic either, so don't bother with those.
Um... electric vehicles. GM has the Volt. anticipated to come out soon™. Fuel costs are always a factor. I'm not too worried about power plants. we have Nuclear Solar and Hydroelectric here in AZ(as well as coal).

Jae Onasi
04-28-2009, 02:11 AM
Does ANYONE remember when fuel prices spiked only a year ago?I buy gas on the 30th of April because God knows when May rolls around it spikes. It spikes every summer for a number of reason--summer boutique blends go into effect to reduce ozone emissions, OPEC and oil company greed, and increased usage. I remember when gas was a quarter a gallon before the 70's oil crisis. I would argue that the outrageous speculation and market manipulation by the oil oligarchy is what fueled this severe recession/mild depression in large part. But that's a different topic.

The state was in crisis because they all depended on the automobile and nothing else was there to substitute for it.
And guess what? People stopped driving and used more public transportation. Metra and L-train ridership was up last summer, iirc.

Anyone who thinks everything is alright now and will stay alright is very narrow-minded.I don't believe anyone has argued that things are 'alright' at this time. The baiting comment is unnecessary.

What will happen when oil supplies are in short supply again? The price will go up again until people stop buying, the supply will increase and prices will come down, barring artificial manipulation by OPEC, the oil companies, and speculators.

This is a warning about a potential disaster looming on the horizon. Yes, I've heard about many looming disasters over the course of my lifetime, and we've managed to weather them all. Vietnam war, stagflation, oil crisis, Cold War, Global Warming, terrorists, racial issues, class issues, Iraqi wars 1 and 2, and so on.

If Americans are too stupid to help themselves, then by all means...Of course we'll help ourselves and those around us--we're Americans, when we have a problem, we get a solution. Sacrificing for the state isn't part of our culture, and is the polar opposite of American rugged indivdualism. So we'll find other ways to deal with the oil crisis besides living in gerbil cages by the train stations. We've adapted before, we will again.

they will deserve whatever they get. If you're still around and happy 30 years from now, then you can gloat; but that's not going to happen. This is such a sour grapes comment. I understand your frustration at people not agreeing with your POV. However, you're asking people to do things they don't want to do. It's a pretty idea on paper that will never survive the American mindset and business climate. Now, give businesses incentives to come up with novel and economical alternatives to oil as an energy source, and you'll have a lot of solutions.

If I'm still around and happy in 30 years, I'll gloat about having made it to that ripe age of 4 decades of anniversaries of my 29th birthday. I'll be too busy enjoying life to worry about something said in a thread 30 years back.

Without gasoline, the US would almost completely collapse...Horse hockey. The US survived just fine without gas in the 1800's. We'd get by again on alternatives if we had to--natural gas, electricity fueled by coal, nuclear, wind, and hydroelectric plants, not to mention our own oil shale and oil reserves. We have an extraordinary amount of natural resources at hand, and we'd quickly find cost-efficient ways to use them. Already we have natural gas and electric vehicles, the price of extracting oil from shale is coming down, and we're exploring different kinds of wind, solar, and hydroelectric solutions.

Europe also depends on gasoline, but can get by much better than the US and therefore more resilient. If they're resilient as well, more power to them. I'd like to see every country stop being held hostage by OPEC and dictator oil states like Iran and Venezuela.

This isn't some stupid American pride... it's willful ignorance.[/quote]This is pushing the envelope on flamebaiting--I would recommend toning it down.

Do you know who would be the more resilient if we lost all access to oil suddenly? People who live in rural areas who already know how to be self-sufficient. Guess what group of people in general have no idea how to be self-sufficient? Urban dwellers.

The current credit crisis actually was anticipated and could have been avoided had the markets not been over-inflated with profit on account based on investments that no longer are worth their original value... instead of taking precautions, we're now stuck in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. When the next major economic crisis hits, it will be in regards to energy. The energy crisis is already here.

Instead of arrogantly pretending that everything is alright, maybe you could come up with some potential solutions that are 'more realistic' than this one.Again, this is far more flame-baity than it needs to be. Since you're the one presenting the argument, it's up to you to defend it. Others are not required to come up with alternatives, though for the purposes of discussion it's not a bad idea. Again, no one has said one thing about this situation being 'alright'. Saying that anyone here said that is a misrepresentation of their comments.

And no, none of the solutions involving hydrogen fuel cell, ethanol, electric hybrid, renewable energy, or 'everything is fine' are realistic either, so don't bother with those.Why aren't those realistic? They're fair game for discussion, though probably for another thread.

How much benefit will maglev or high speed rail provide, compared to existing freight trains (which do carry semi-truck cargo, at least in my part of the country)? Will the benefits outweigh the costs in the long term?

Astor
04-28-2009, 02:25 AM
Horse hockey. The US survived just fine without gas in the 1800's. We'd get by again on alternatives if we had to--natural gas, electricity fueled by coal, nuclear, wind, and hydroelectric plants, not to mention our own oil shale and oil reserves. We have an extraordinary amount of natural resources at hand, and we'd quickly find cost-efficient ways to use them. Already we have natural gas and electric vehicles, the price of extracting oil from shale is coming down, and we're exploring different kinds of wind, solar, and hydroelectric solutions.

While I agree that the US (and not forgetting the Western World) would go on quite well without gasoline, the US survived without gas in the 1800s because it wasn't needed in every day life. Very little in the 1800s required gas or oil, as much machinery ran on Steam, until the advent of the internal combustion engine.

Darth_Yuthura
04-28-2009, 07:25 PM
deleted

Web Rider
04-28-2009, 11:29 PM
Egypt was the first empire in history and it lasted for thousands of years.
There were empires before Egypt, though they are poorly recorded, and small in scale. yet empires in their time, none-the-less.

How about the Mongolian Empire? In the course of Ghengis Khan's life, it stretched from the Pacific to the Caspian Sea. That was the greatest single Empire expansion EVER in history at around 1100 AD. And within three hundred years, it diminished and died out. The largest empire ever in history fell within 300 years and the US has become even greater.
The mongolian empire was an empire of a warlord, there was no internal structure, there was no rhyme nor reason to it. Once the empire stopped expanding, it grew stagnant, the Russian people, the Chinese, the Arabs grew restless without the fear of control and conquest, and rebelled. The Russians pushed through the collapsing remains of the Mongolian empire and claimed the empty wastes that had always been empty wastes that were previous held by Mongolians.

It's easy to conquer lots of land when nobody lives there.

As the US Empire spread its tentacles across the globe, it siphons resources from other states very much like the British Empire had from the 1750's. How long did that empire last? Shorter lifespan at about 150-200 years.
The British has been a world power since the 1500's. The Britons have been a European power since before that time. You want European history? You mean you want British, Burbon, and Hapsburg history. Along with Sweden, Prussia, and Russia, these are the big names of European history stretching back some 700+ years.

The US really became an empire at about the 1950's and has been becoming more dependent on the resources it draws from all over the globe. We are far from self-sufficient. Read the book "The World is Flat" and you'll get a better understanding on this. This empire is really 59 years old or so, not 240.
Well you're free to keep redefining what an empire is to fit your ideology. It doesn't change what defines an empire. Yes, in some ways the US is am empire, in a manifold of other ways it is not. You are welcome to favor the bad over the good if you choose. most nations are not self-suffecient, there are too many things in this day and age that a single nation cannot produce. At some point, this may lead to even larger nations, or a breakdown of the entire system. Do not spout doom and gloom over what is only a temporary setback.

Happened to forget some of the more modern empires while giving me a history lesson? Maybe you would have seen that the closer to the present you get, the shorter the life of the Empire on average.
From all you have "emlightened" us upon modern "empires" you know very little about the ways to them, only that they were long or short. Which is fine, at least you know something about history. But knowing the overview of history, does not mean you KNOW history. The lifespan of empires in the modern age gets shorter for a very specific reason. There are more people, and there are more challenges to their power on a more and more regular basis. This is true for any nation, even small ones have their troubles, more people in the same amount of space leads to more conflict, and the more times you roll the dice the more likely you are to lose.

Just as those empires have risen and fallen, so have their challengers risen and fallen. If you think the US is so terrible, imagine the imperialist spirit of America combined with the logical oppression of China, with a mix of violent elimination of the Holocaust. You think the US is bad? The US is by far one of the nicest empires to ever exist. The kind of horrors that a TRUE empire could exert upon the world given American power and presence are unimaginably worse than anything America has done.

Just remember that when you're wishing for the end of America, that what will rise in it's place, and something WILL rise in it's place, is by no measure guaranteed to be any sort of improvement.

Tommycat
04-29-2009, 10:04 AM
I'm quite familiar with empires. The US is not one. We have territories around the globe at the will of the other countries. They tell us to get our army(meaning armed forces) out. We get our army out. We do not govern the other countries. They govern themselves.

And the point of my "educational" post was simply that there is no real timestamp on empires. There is no expiration date. Some last a long time, others fizzle out pretty quickly. You made the fallacious claim that empires don't last long. The fact that China was an empire for around 4000 years would suggest otherwise. And with your rather broad definition, still qualifies.

At any rate that is rather sideways to the argument and has nothing to do with Maglev in any way shape or form.

Again, I just see MagLev as an inefficient method of transportation. Energy costs are high and the efficiency isn't enough to justify the high startup cost. Commuter trains, AmTrack and freight trains make a great deal more sense, and until the construction costs can be brought down it will stay a pretty pretty dream.

Darth_Yuthura
05-02-2009, 08:34 PM
When exactly did Jae Onasi leave Chicago?

Jae Onasi
05-02-2009, 09:21 PM
When exactly did Jae Onasi leave Chicago?
I haven't really--my sister lives there so I'm in the city or its suburbs (where 4 other family members live) on a regular basis. I work in Milwaukee a day a week and live in the Milwaukee-Chicago megalopolis.

Darth_Yuthura
05-03-2009, 12:29 AM
deleted

Tommycat
05-03-2009, 03:26 AM
You forget that she also says that she still goes to the city. I'd say you're still wrong about Chicago. I'd take the opinion of someone who lives there over a book description any day. High population density increases contact with other people. Robberies are far more common. What Utopia do you live in? I ask this because you seem to pretend that the books are right but the people who live(d) there are wrong.

It's funny, according to the "experts" Colorado Springs is one of the best places to live. I've lived there. I left there(Focus on the Family being one reason I wouldn't move back). According to the experts, Mesa is a great place to live. I live in Phoenix, and lets face it some areas of Mesa are nice, but much of it you don't drive through with your windows down.

I don't doubt that walking is one of the primary modes of transport... Though they don't include "Elevator" in transportation. With vertical worlds, the elevator becomes a primary mode of transport. It also happens to be where people get pick pocketed.

It still doesn't eliminate the "elephants living above you" or the "Heavy Metal Drummer living next to you" problems like living in the suburbs. There are also a bunch of huge problems associated with living in a large building. Maybe you have never experienced them. Maybe you're too young to have had them happen to you. But Your upstairs neighbor's kid decides to flush a stuffed animal down the toilet. Maybe it gets stuck and clogs the whole building's plumbing... Nasty enough. Maybe the kid thinks flushing it 20 times will fix it.... Now your roof is dripping with their toilet water. Fun. Pipes break, heat fails, AC fails, power fails. Any one of which are out of your control. Then you have your downstairs neighbor that gets ticked at his girlfriend and decides to light her things on fire... IN HIS LIVINGROOM! Whoops! Now (at best) all your stuff burns up because one of those people that happens to live below you was a moron.

Then of course there's the smell. 40 floors worth of people's garbage all collected in one handy dandy place. YUMMAY! At street level the smell can be overpowering. Sure you get used to it. When I lived in New York I didn't really notice it much. Then I went out to Rhode Island with a few friends. When I was coming back I could smell the city even before I left the 95.

Darth_Yuthura
05-03-2009, 07:32 AM
deleted

Tommycat
05-03-2009, 09:04 AM
Excuse me, but your direct observations are WRONG. Your conclusions are about as accurate as dart throws from a blindfolded man. Quite frankly you must not have much experience with land development. Regardless of building size, development of any area of land requires a set percentage be devoted to public use. A sprawling neighborhood suburb or your multiple 5 story buildings will have the same size land dedicated to public use.

Community sense is more due to a change in social structure. back in the "yusta be" times people got to know all their neighbors. Now more people are introverted. It is not related to the land used. Heck my grandparents knew all of their neighbors and they couldn't even SEE their neighbors' houses.

Darth_Yuthura
05-03-2009, 09:20 AM
Deleted

Q
05-03-2009, 03:10 PM
The problem with your theories is that the human condition is not taken into consideration because it is incorrectly viewed as either nonexistent or unimportant. Robert McNamara made the same mistake when trying to wage the Vietnam War with statistics.

Jae Onasi
05-03-2009, 09:25 PM
Interesting... I happened to wonder how anyone who lived in Chicago could POSSIBLY come to such conclusions that contradicted what I've been saying and suddenly, it all fell into place.You're looking for excuses. ;)

Everything about the high crime, rotting inner city infrastructure, and endless parking lots in the Loop was true... ten years ago. Through a process called gentrification, the social structure common among most American cities has begun to follow New York and Europe's example with the richest individuals wanting to live in the central city again.Chicago is a much, much bigger city than just the Loop. You still haven't looked at google maps, have you?

Virtually every building in the Loop has its own parking facilities underground, so I wouldn't exactly call those lots. This is incorrect information. We have subways along with the L-trains, so large underground structures are out of the question for a number of buildings. Some of the buildings do have underground parking but a lot don't. Loyola University has surface lots. Moody Bible Institute has surface lots and a garage. Northwestern hospital has a garage and surface parking. The restaurants (of which there are many) and hotels have surface lots and garages respectively. Watertower place has a parking garage and surface parking. People parallel park on the streets where it's allowed. The grocery stores have surface lots. My sister lives in an apartment complex that has no parking at all--no garages, above or underground. It's all on-street parking. Cars are packed in like sardines. Those are just a few examples.

I have confirmed various RAMPS, but they serve a purpose other than to provide parking for the expected crowds of Dec. 23. The land is so expensive in the Loop that no one could squander it on parking lots, so they stacked six levels of it on one piece of land and generate some profit off it. Any lot you don't pay to park on is land that has to be taxed and that doesn't provide much return.Right, and the surface lots in the Loop don't charge money for parking? Theaters and restaurants have free parking for their patrons, but they charge money in some cases for people to park there on a daily basis. They charge a lot, too. There are a lot of surface lots in the Loop and in the rest of the city of Chicago. I've seen them, I've parked in them. They're still there when I go to visit my sister or go into the city for various reasons.

Those that lived in the cities often lived there all their lives.Define, preferably with some statistics, "often". I'm not sure what the relevance is to the rest of your discussion this is, so if you'd explain that, that would be cool.

With mixed use buildings and loosened zoning restrictions, the predominant means of transportation is not the car, the L-train, but walking. That's another reason that high-density works so much better... when something's close enough, you can just walk to your destination.From what I experienced in NYC, it was the taxi that was the predominant means of transportation in the very densest parts of the city. Not everyone is able to walk--elderly, handicapped, etc. In Chicago, a lot of residents have cars, and they use them even for short drives. My sister uses her car more than mass transit because she's been mugged twice on the L-train--within the last couple years. There has been a sharp increase in homicides in the last 5 years because of gang activity. Check out the police stats for yourself, or look up The Chicago Tribune or listen to WGN or WBBM radio (they stream their radio programs) and you'll hear all about the crime stats, drug busts, and other issues associated with urban living.

Also, we regularly have snow and below-zero (Fahrenheit) temps in the winter. It is plain just not safe to walk outside or wait for the buses for any length of time when there are wind chills of -40.

Sure, urban living improves our capacity to provide more efficient mass transit. However, it comes at a price--increased crime, less privacy, more expensive and much smaller housing, poor schools, higher taxes, and higher cost of living. Compare the costs of a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread or utilities in Chicago or NYC with any smaller town, and it'll be about 30-50% higher. Gas in Chicago, where I was just at today, cost 25 cents a gallon more in the suburbs than at home, and was almost 50 cents more downtown. The home we bought in WI would have literally cost us twice as much in Chicago (we looked around in the suburbs and even Chicago since both of us worked there then). We could not afford housing in Chicago or most of the suburbs.

but when a new house is built 40 miles away from the CBD of a city; it cost more to maintain than it returns on taxes.Please show me data or link to a site that shows the breakdown of costs to support this point. I'm not sure it matters as much is you might make it out to be. People have to have utilities wired/piped to them whether they live in high rises or suburbs.

The consequences of privacy is cheaper (if any) public spaces.I've never been to a city, small or large, that didn't have a park _somewhere_. There are numerous parks in my town, most of them much nicer than the ones in Chicago, and not taken over by gangbangers and drug dealers.

In Chicago, there were officers on almost every other block in the Loop.Your tour group must have neglected to take you to the projects and Cabrini Green. The police presence is far lower there than on Michigan Avenue, except when there's a shooting. Mayor Daley takes care to have lots of Men and Women in Blue in the tourist areas. It makes the city look good.

The loss of a community sense.My sister lives in an apartment complex in Chicago with several hundred other people. She doesn't know any of her neighbors other than in passing. When we lived in Chicago, we didn't know our neighbors at all except to say hi to them when we both walked our trash cans to the curb on trash pickup day, and I am a social butterfly. People go to work, go home, turn on the TV, and tune out. So many people live in dual-income households and are so busy with work, commutes, and family activities that they don't have time to go sit on the porch or have a coffee klatch with Maude next door. The loss of community sense is due to our busy schedules (and big city commutes take up a lot more time than smaller cities), no one being at home during the day, and far greater mobility. Forty years ago people moved into a house and stayed there for years. Now they live somewhere two years and move on to another apartment or home, or move across country for a better job, so we don't get to know people like we used to.

Education is often sacrificed, due to the cost of keeping the more basic necessities operating.Explain, please, why Chicago has one of the worst school systems in the country, while smaller towns have some of the best. We got out of Chicago to a much smaller town that has a much, much better school system. My kids can walk to school safely. Our high schools don't require metal detectors screening for guns. Explain why NYC, LA, and some other large cities all have lower graduation rates for high schoolers than most smaller cities and little towns. Your theory that bigger cities have better education does not hold up to the data at all. Our smaller town school system has a significantly higher graduation rate and higher SAT/ACT scores than Chicago and the other 'big cities' have.

Ever see any elderly communities before WWII?What elderly communities before WWII? There weren't any then--the average lifespan was quite a bit lower then, and the elderly tended to live with their children when they did manage to make it to their 60's or beyond. "Elderly communities" are a relatively new phenomenon.

but when these people can't drive anymore; they often can still walk or wheelchair to their destinations. If their health is so impaired they can't drive, they often don't have the physical capacity to walk somewhere, either. Ever try to use a wheelchair in the snow, or walk on crutches or a walker on ice? People who can't drive often have friends or relatives drive them to their destinations, or they simply don't go out much.

What I would suggest: five story mixed-use buildings.That may be great for some people, and if they like living that way, more power to them. Hubby and I lived in apartments for 13 years. We were lucky to have good neighbors, but when they partied, it got loud. Our water heater went out when I was at school and Point Man was at work, and it flooded our neighbor below us. We had a set of very nice tools and other items stolen by the maintenance man for one of the complexes we lived in--he stole from a number of people in the complex before they finally caught him and fired him. His idea of repairing the hole in our cupboard that was letting cold air pour in from the uninsulated outer wall was to duct tape a paper plate over it--I'm not kidding. When a 40 foot tall tree fell on one of our other apartments, the apt. manager got mad at us because we woke him up at 6am on Saturday to let him know. We weren't ever allowed to have dogs at any of the places we rented--something we wanted to have in addition to our cats. In our home we have the autonomy to decorate the way we want, fix things the way we want (or hire someone we trust rather than some idiot the apt. manager hired), design the yard how we want, not worry about annoying neighbors with noise, get a dog this summer, not worry about the apartment manager coming in with 1 month notice and saying 'hey, you gotta move out, we're tearing the place down', or the myriad of negatives that Tommycat brought up. I have no desire to live in a multi-unit building of any size, from duplex to skyscraper. I'm sure not going to do it to 'support the state'. The government in the US is by the people and for the people--it exists to serve the needs of its citizens, not the other way around. I understand that this idea is an odd concept for those people who have grown up in a socialist or communist system all their lives and were indoctrinated that people must serve the state, but that's not the way it is in the US, thankfully. We're an independent lot. I'm happy when companies create ways to lower my energy consumption because it lowers my costs as well as having the side benefit of being better for the environment. I'm not giving up my home, however. You can build all the mixed use dwellings you want, but if people want to live in single family detached housing, that's what they're going to buy. If you want your new urbanism to fly in the US, you'll have to find ways to appeal to American's pocketbooks. You might convince a few to live that way because of environmentalism or socialism/communism beliefs, but for most Americans, you'll have to show them why it's a better value to them personally, either benefits or monetary value or more likely a combination of both.

Schools and libraries could become what a neighborhood could take pride in.Is there some reason that we're not supposed to have pride in our schools regardless of size or population density? My husband and his farming family have a great deal of pride in the schools in the town of 2000 that he grew up in. We're proud of the schools and libraries in the town we now live in. As a former Chicagoan, the library system was quite good, but I was appalled by what I then considered 'my school system' and took zero pride in it.

Darth_Yuthura
05-03-2009, 10:05 PM
Yes, that’s just what we need; a third thread!

All suburban sprawl posts should be confined to this thread--starting 3 threads to address the same subject is spamming the forum. --Jae

Given that the Maglev vs. HSR thread deviated into a topic that I didn’t intend to address, I could not properly establish high population density as being a key to mass transit without having to address other limiting factors that had nothing to do with mass transit in the first place. I decided the best thing was to establish a dedicated thread for the discussion of urban development. To have a two-way debate, I cannot afford to have complaints that my argument is too limited. This is a VERY elaborate topic and to have everything addressed, it will require various posts.

In order to avoid some of the mistakes of previous threads, I am listing the various topics that will be evaluated in order to introduce and debate them in an orderly manner. If anyone wants something added to this list, they should request it. If a topic in this thread isn’t addressed, but it is on the list; it simply hasn’t been addressed YET. I want to be civil, but it is difficult to do so when people place their beliefs over that of others and who add posts that detract from the debate. I will do the same, otherwise, no one will listen.

In addition, I am going to address counter arguments properly and concisely. If a counter argument is valid, I will accept it; but DO NOT attempt to attack an argument unless a suitable counter argument is provided. I’m not creating this thread with the expectation that people will suddenly have a revelation or to tell Americans how they should live. I am simply providing details on how Americans in suburbs do live.


Defining urban sprawl

1.The criteria for ‘suburb’
-Edge cities
-dependence on the automobile
-inefficient land-use planning
-loss of local culture
-increased driving distance from inner city
-unsustainable development

2.Benefits of sprawl:
-Privacy
-Ownership of individual home and pursuit of the American dream
-Reduced noise pollution, enclosed environment
-Lower crime rate
-Lower land value

3.History of suburban sprawl

The American city before the year 1945
The structure of American cities from 1950
The results of early suburban development
The shift of the wealthy to suburbs
Real estate markets target the middle class
Nuclear families dominate the average American household
Auto-dependant communities are created
The rise of poverty within the central cities
The loss of industrial centers
The oil crisis of 1971 and continuing rise of fuel prices
Gentrification and the relocation of the wealthy back to central cities
The housing collapse of 2009

4.Facts and statistics:

The 5 major differences between American and European cities
-Steep population density gradient
-Inversed social class structure (Rich on the edge of cities and poor in the CBD)
-Larger urban footprint
-Zoning segregation more extreme
-Dependance on automobile

5.Consequences of low density: Greater distances represent more expensive infrastructure per capita

-Longer commute times
-Greater traffic congestion
-Mass transit becomes less effective/economic
-More extensive network of power lines
-More complex system of water mains
-Sewer and septic systems are over extended
-More roads laid and parking lots demanded
-Police services restricted, due to coverage area of squad cars
-School bus services more expensive with greater distances and stops made
-Fewer public spaces created (Reduced funding because of infrastructure costs)
-Loss of agricultural land
-Higher infrastructure cost to tax ratio (The greater the distance from a source, the more expensive it is to maintain a suburb)

6. Results of migration to suburbs from inner cities

-High crime caused greatly by poverty
-High Poverty and the racial segregation due to migration away from inner cities.
-Long commutes and high traffic congestion JUST OUTSIDE CBD
-Deindustrialization and rise of 'mega urbs'
-Ineffectiveness of public transportation due to migration
-More taxes going into the infrastructure of suburbs than education and public services.

7. Victims of sprawl:

-Working poor:
-Stranded elderly:
-cul de sac kids: children who haven’t been given a healthy environment to socialize or develop mentally. The sacrifice of schools and public spaces is very restrictive to children’s mental health.
-soccer moms: who’s children depend upon them for mobility until the age of 16.
-Bored teens: without proper gathering places, teen suicide is the second leading cause of death and suburbia encourages teens to spend more time trying to escape reality (TV, video games, internet)
-bankrupt municipalities: the organizations that suffer economically for the inefficiencies of the auto-dependant and sparsely populated urban development. Residential zones who’s taxes don’t provide for their upkeep detract from the resources of their municipality.


8. Conclusion:

This will simply depend on which side you want to believe. I can’t do any more than present you with facts. I can’t and won’t tell people what to believe.

For more information, I will present sources as I present arguments and would encourage people to do the same if they wish to present a plausible counter argument.

http://risprawl.terranovum.com/HTML/part2.html

Suburban Nation: the ruse of sprawl and the decline of the American dream.
by: Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck
North Point press: 2000

Darth_Yuthura
05-03-2009, 11:19 PM
You're looking for excuses. ;)

I came to a logical conclusion based on statistics of how the city was twenty, ten, five years ago and how it is now. It's the only theory that fits how our conflicting arguments are both true without declaring the other a liar.


Chicago is a much, much bigger city than just the Loop. You still haven't looked at google maps, have you?

This thread has shifted to debate the areas OUTSIDE of the loop. Have you even been reading the thread? It didn't slip my mind of the 40 miles and two hours of driving through suburban traffic needed to get out of the city last weekend.


This is incorrect information. We have subways along with the L-trains, so large underground structures are out of the question for a number of buildings. Some of the buildings do have underground parking but a lot don't. Loyola University has surface lots. Moody Bible Institute has surface lots and a garage. Northwestern hospital has a garage and surface parking. The restaurants (of which there are many) and hotels have surface lots and garages respectively. Watertower place has a parking garage and surface parking. People parallel park on the streets where it's allowed. The grocery stores have surface lots. My sister lives in an apartment complex that has no parking at all--no garages, above or underground. It's all on-street parking. Cars are packed in like sardines. Those are just a few examples.
Right, and the surface lots in the Loop don't charge money for parking?

Yeah, yeah. How does seven ABOVE ground levels of parking matter? Besides, there were certain skyscrapers that preceded that red line. Those buildings did have underground facilities, but the more recent Trump tower did not. It was still on the same land that the building occupied. I did notice and bring up the various parking ramps that I explicitly described as being made of seven levels that generated profit instead of the great expanses you come to see in suburbia, only there because of the 23rd of December.




Define, preferably with some statistics, "often". I'm not sure what the relevance is to the rest of your discussion this is, so if you'd explain that, that would be cool.

Elderly have often remained in the same communities until death, as they could and would walk after they could no longer drive. My own grandfather lost so much when he could not drive and didn't live in the town that was a few miles away. He was the most active and healthy elderly person you could imagine, but when he couldn't drive to where he wanted; the last two years were brutal for him. He could have and would have walked, but simply didn't have the means to do so.


From what I experienced in NYC, it was the taxi that was the predominant means of transportation in the very densest parts of the city. Not everyone is able to walk--elderly, handicapped, etc. In Chicago, a lot of residents have cars, and they use them even for short drives. My sister uses her car more than mass transit because she's been mugged twice on the L-train--within the last couple years. There has been a sharp increase in homicides in the last 5 years because of gang activity. Check out the police stats for yourself, or look up The Chicago Tribune or listen to WGN or WBBM radio (they stream their radio programs) and you'll hear all about the crime stats, drug busts, and other issues associated with urban living.

Saw them: was hoping for statistics by district, but your source seemed reliable enough. Crime had been on the decline over the last 10 years or so before a noticeable increase in the last two years... rising to the rate from 2003. What's happened in the last two years and why had crime been on the decline before that?

Please show me data or link to a site that shows the breakdown of costs to support this point. I'm not sure it matters as much is you might make it out to be. People have to have utilities wired/piped to them whether they live in high rises or suburbs.

I've never been to a city, small or large, that didn't have a park _somewhere_. There are numerous parks in my town, most of them much nicer than the ones in Chicago, and not taken over by gangbangers and drug dealers.
Your tour group must have neglected to take you to the projects and Cabrini Green. The police presence is far lower there than on Michigan Avenue, except when there's a shooting. Mayor Daley takes care to have lots of Men and Women in Blue in the tourist areas. It makes the city look good.

Okay, think of this: Remove all the buildings other than your home and all the places that supply you with power, water, mail, sanitation, ect. Would it cost more to deliver mail to you if you had your district's post office right next to your home? Wouldn't it cost less to only have one hundred meters of power lines than forty kilometers? How about sewage, school bus coverage, and sanitation costs? The closer you are, the less it costs to have such connections.

This is one of the most basic and fundamental aspect of globalization: making the world smaller. The idea of sprawl complicates the matter because you have millions around you all competing with one another and when you have to step over everyone between you and your destination... that gets VERY expensive. You are not only providing for those one mile out at the outskirts of the Loop... you are providing for those forty miles away as well. Then you get an elaborate web of connections that are much more difficult to maintain than if there were fewer with greater capacity. This is one of the core reasons sprawl is flawed.

And what of the police that I saw in the areas OUTSIDE the Loop? I was actually surprised how many squad cars and officers on foot there were. With more people in a denser location, police could be placed more strategically than any location where an officer has to cover five square miles because there are so few living than on some city blocks. What about private security? Police so scarce that they hire security for that purpose where needed in suburbs.


My sister lives in an apartment complex in Chicago with several hundred other people. She doesn't know any of her neighbors other than in passing. When we lived in Chicago, we didn't know our neighbors at all except to say hi to them when we both walked our trash cans to the curb on trash pickup day, and I am a social butterfly. People go to work, go home, turn on the TV, and tune out. So many people live in dual-income households and are so busy with work, commutes, and family activities that they don't have time to go sit on the porch or have a coffee klatch with Maude next door. The loss of community sense is due to our busy schedules (and big city commutes take up a lot more time than smaller cities), no one being at home during the day, and far greater mobility. Forty years ago people moved into a house and stayed there for years. Now they live somewhere two years and move on to another apartment or home, or move across country for a better job, so we don't get to know people like we used to.

Explain, please, why Chicago has one of the worst school systems in the country, while smaller towns have some of the best. We got out of Chicago to a much smaller town that has a much, much better school system. My kids can walk to school safely. Our high schools don't require metal detectors screening for guns. Explain why NYC, LA, and some other large cities all have lower graduation rates for high schoolers than most smaller cities and little towns. Your theory that bigger cities have better education does not hold up to the data at all. Our smaller town school system has a significantly higher graduation rate and higher SAT/ACT scores than Chicago and the other 'big cities' have.

Is there some reason that we're not supposed to have pride in our schools regardless of size or population density? My husband and his farming family have a great deal of pride in the schools in the town of 2000 that he grew up in. We're proud of the schools and libraries in the town we now live in. As a former Chicagoan, the library system was quite good, but I was appalled by what I then considered 'my school system' and took zero pride in it.

Suburbs included in the Chicago statistics? Thought so. Thanks for proving that argument, as a great majority live in the suburbs.

Does your quaint little town predate WWII? It may follow the 'traditional neighborhood' design, which was not followed by suburban sprawl. I happen to be part of a town that is having budget problems in the schools because it was a 'bedroom community' of Madison. It is suffering because it doesn't bring in much income and expensive to maintain. When $1.7 million were donated for a new public library, $100,000 was skimmed for a sewer repair project. That's just sad.

Well I hope that I addressed those issues. I'm sorry I couldn't do more, but you really haven't given me much to work with. Hope that people are just keeping an open mind... I'm not really expecting anyone to actually follow a better solution if it's too uncomfortable to confront.

Tommycat
05-04-2009, 02:48 AM
You must not be aware of Sun City. It's an area just outside of Phoenix. Mostly 55+ communities. It isn't full of large buildings. Not even your perfect 5 story buildings. It is a whole mess of neighborhoods. They like their own houses for the same reason they don't want to be in a nursing home. They like their independence. Can't say as I blame them. What you are essentially advocating for everyone is that we should all live in the equivalent of a nursing home for the good of the state.

Heck For the good of the state, everyone should be a member of the armed forces. For the good of the state is a VERY dangerous proposition. Imagine what Bush could force us to have done "For the good of the state." Or if you liked Bush, imagine what Obama could do with the justification of "for the good of the state." If you think the USAPATRIOT Act was bad... foof... there's a lot that could be done "for the good of the state."

Tommycat
05-04-2009, 03:20 AM
Lots of misinformation: I'm only going to tackle one segment as you slapped a wall of text for us to pick apart. Kind of a shotgun method. Splatter us with a whole bunch of stuff and hope that one or two items stick.

Stranded elderly? You mean like the number of old folks that are found dead in the city? I guess you have a point. When they get stinky enough that the neighbors call the cops... As a counter I submit to you Sun City AZ. You can look at the google map of that. It is primarily comprised of the elderly. They CHOOSE to live there.

Working poor: Doesn't that go against your earlier statement that the poor are in the inner city?

Cul de sac kids: as opposed to the kids confined to an apartment because their parents are afraid of their child being killed by some psycho.

Suicides? REALLY?!?! You're going to blame suicides on suburbia? Think you might want to check your facts. Inner city kids have a higher suicide rate than rural. And if you are going to claim that suicides are linked to suburban sprawl, the only conclusion you could come to is that since suicide rates have fallen as urban sprawl has reached farther, that urban sprawl has decreased suicide rates. This is a fallacious argument as suicide has very little to do with sprawl.

Bankrupt municipalities: I'd say that has more to do with reckless spending and poor budgeting.

Darth_Yuthura
05-04-2009, 07:20 AM
Lots of misinformation: I'm only going to tackle one segment as you slapped a wall of text for us to pick apart. Kind of a shotgun method. Splatter us with a whole bunch of stuff and hope that one or two items stick.

It seems you already made up your mind. If that's so, then don't post on this thread again.

No, I'm going to present each and every one of these subjects with the expectation that they will all 'stick,' as you say. The purpose of the first post is to indicate the complexities of the subject and what I haven't yet addressed.

Stranded elderly? You mean like the number of old folks that are found dead in the city? I guess you have a point. When they get stinky enough that the neighbors call the cops... As a counter I submit to you Sun City AZ. You can look at the google map of that. It is primarily comprised of the elderly. They CHOOSE to live there.

There are exceptions to the rules, but not many. When elderly retire, they often go to suburban regions of the Sun Belt. They likely didn't consider that they might not be able to drive at some point in the near future. Those that become nonviable members of society would either have to be wealthy enough to hire a chauffeur, or have relatives and friends that can still provide for their social needs. Those that don't are often forced to spend their final years in a nursing home. This isn't always true, but a majority of elderly that can't drive still can get around by walking or in a wheelchair.


Working poor: Doesn't that go against your earlier statement that the poor are in the inner city?

No, there was a trend that began with the wealthy moving to the edges of the original cities and over the last six decades, that edge expanded with middle class citizens following in their wake. Events such as the last two years show that middle class Americans can and do make bad choices that bring them into financial crises. Some cities have undergone gentrification, so you would have to take that into account as well. I'll address that in greater detail when I get to it.


Cul de sac kids: as opposed to the kids confined to an apartment because their parents are afraid of their child being killed by some psycho.

Suicides? REALLY?!?! You're going to blame suicides on suburbia? Think you might want to check your facts. Inner city kids have a higher suicide rate than rural. And if you are going to claim that suicides are linked to suburban sprawl, the only conclusion you could come to is that since suicide rates have fallen as urban sprawl has reached farther, that urban sprawl has decreased suicide rates. This is a fallacious argument as suicide has very little to do with sprawl.

Right, there were no suicides before suburbs. I blame that all on rural areas. Everything is to blame on suburbia.

You might want to check your own facts and determine that 'rural' is not 'suburban.' Instead of looking up American suicide rates in general, look up suicide rates for children and young teens. Maybe this is why you came to a different conclusion. I will address this topic later on.


Bankrupt municipalities: I'd say that has more to do with reckless spending and poor budgeting.

I'll get to this later on. This has to do significantly with the land developer and long-term infrastructure costs not anticipated when utilities were layed. Don't forget that when you had only one mile of sprawl, they didn't lay out the power and water mains to handle ten miles of suburban development that followed. When the original lines were overtaxed, they had to be replaced without disrupting the land already developed. This is expensive and difficult to deal with.


I hope that you don't just dismiss this subject out of hand and please don't be confrontational. I'm not going to do any more than present facts. I'm not going to tell Americans how they should live.

Tommycat
05-04-2009, 01:06 PM
Sheesh lets see, I've made up my mind, so I shouldn't post in this thread. You made up your mind, so you shouldn't have posted the thread. That make sense? This is a discussion board. If you don't want to discuss, but want to propagandize, then you should make it very clear.

I'm gonna try to narrow it down since if I keep tackling all of the points and you tackle all the points we could be looking at a doctoral thesis by the time I'm done.

Suicide: There are a number of reasons for suicide. I looked at suicide rates of inner city, suburban and rural. the most dramatic difference was from inner city to rural, and there was a drop in suicide rates from inner city to suburbia. Feeling like you are a social outcast is not limited to suburbia. Feeling hopeless is not limited to suburbia.

Elderly: sorry, but you are wrong. An elderly person can just as easily be ignored in the city as in the suburbs. And chances are in the suburbs their family will WANT to visit them to make sure they are OK(and bring the grandkids too because there's a yard to play in). It also makes it easier to have handicap access.

Municipalities: I don't think you are aware of this, but municipalities don't pay for things like water and power. They don't pay for power line upgrades. They don't pay for phone power water or sewer. Those are paid for by the company providing the service, and that cost is passed on to the consumers. If you don't believe me, build a house past the existing utilities line. It'll cost YOU roughly $100 a yard to get them to install it. Sewer is required to be provided by the developer. I know, the 150 acres I was involved in the development of I was required to pay for roads, water, sewer and even power since it was all underground power. I even had to pay for the building of the public use area.

Overtaxing the original trunk lines: As if the buildings themselves don't also tax the trunk lines. When the central cities were originally laid out, they didn't have TV's in every room of every house/apartment. They didn't have a computer in most homes. They didn't have electric ranges refrigerators 2 coffee makers(ok one coffee pot and one espresso machine), AC, and the ton of other devices operated on electricity. And again, those costs are passed on to the consumers.

Q
05-04-2009, 02:02 PM
Sheesh lets see, I've made up my mind, so I shouldn't post in this thread. You made up your mind, so you shouldn't have posted the thread. That make sense? This is a discussion board. If you don't want to discuss, but want to propagandize, then you should make it very clear.
Yeah, it kind of reminds you of someone else's posting behavior, doesn't it? Someone on the opposite side of the political spectrum? :smirk2:

I know that I'm on D_Y's ignore list, so would someone kindly remind her that Kavar's is not her own personal blog? :carms:

Tommycat
05-04-2009, 02:40 PM
Yeah, it kind of reminds you of someone else's posting behavior, doesn't it? Someone on the opposite side of the political spectrum? :smirk2:

I know that I'm on D_Y's ignore list, so would someone kindly remind her that Kavar's is not her own personal blog? :carms:

Hehe yeah. and what happened to that person. :D

second part: I'll leave that for a mod to decide. Technically the originating thread should have just been split into a different discussion as it had stopped talking about Maglev.

Darth_Yuthura
05-04-2009, 03:05 PM
Yeah, it kind of reminds you of someone else's posting behavior, doesn't it? Someone on the opposite side of the political spectrum? :smirk2:

I know that I'm on D_Y's ignore list, so would someone kindly remind her that Kavar's is not her own personal blog? :carms:

Speak to anyone who's studied urban planning who doesn't have a stake in this and you'll find the vast majority of them will say the same thing as I am. Is this just too hard a pill to swallow?

If a president could set up false evidence to start a war for his own benefit, is such a thing as this too difficult to conceive? If you don't believe me, then look at Europe's example. This isn't something that Americans should dismiss. They don't have to act on it, but shouldn't dismiss.

Q
05-04-2009, 03:34 PM
Speak to anyone who's studied urban planning who doesn't have a stake in this and you'll find the vast majority of them will say the same thing as I am. Is this just too hard a pill to swallow?
No-one agrees with you because people don't want to live like ants. Is that such a hard pill to swallow?

Well, apparently it is, because, just like the other member I mentioned whose posting style yours emulates, you keep spamming the same inane ideas over and over and over again in a vain attempt at the "burn-through" method, while completely dismissing anyone's reasonable objections to your point of view.

It is spam, pure and simple, and it has gone far enough, thank you.

If a president could set up false evidence to start a war for his own benefit, is such a thing as this too difficult to conceive?
Not at all.

If certain people could set up false evidence to advance their political agenda for their own benefit, is such a thing as this too difficult to conceive?
If you don't believe me, then look at Europe's example. This isn't something that Americans should dismiss. They don't have to act on it, but shouldn't dismiss.
Europe is not the United States.

Tommycat
05-04-2009, 04:00 PM
Suicide rates are declining in the US. Suicide rates increased in the UK. Guess it has something to do with EUROPE IS NOT THE US.

And if you want to talk about the pretenses for the war, look for one of the other threads. I won't be participating in that thread.

I'm still not convinced you have your facts straight. First off as you increase the number of units in the development area you have a greater up front cost due to the requirements for power water sewage and of course roads. In my example I could have 15, 10 acre lots. But would have to drop that to 14 10 acre lots because of the required percentage that had to be allotted to public use. That percentage stayed the same regardless of how many lots I had(actually it increased as we looked at 135 1 acre lots). Costs prevented us from being profitable at 1/4 acre lots(though we could have made it up in lot sales, the start up was too high to be justifiable). The government paid for nothing in the development. WE had to do all the road planning. WE had to work out sewage. They just approved or disapproved our plans. And we had to PAY THEM for the privilege of them saying that our plan would not work. It still seems like you're too focused on books and not too much on REAL WORLD examples.

Darth_Yuthura
05-04-2009, 04:45 PM
No-one agrees with you because people don't want to live like ants. Is that such a hard pill to swallow?

Of course not, but that doesn't seem to relate to this thread. It is for the purpose of defining exactly what it takes to maintain such low population density from sprawl. It is to show how inefficient the American suburbs really are. That has nothing to do with whether or not Americans will ever follow the European example. They never will and I won't expect it of them.


If certain people could set up false evidence to advance their political agenda for their own benefit, is such a thing as this too difficult to conceive?

Europe is not the United States.

False evidence? What have I presented that could possibly be proven as false? Nothing has even been presented on this thread and already it's being declared false. Disregard what had been presented in the last thread and I'll present SOURCES with whatever evidence I post here.

No, Europe is not the US, but if it struggles with infrastructure problems that Europe is already dealing with, maybe it would smart to understand what they're doing right.

Q
05-04-2009, 04:51 PM
Then what's the point of continuing this?

EDIT: If I looked hard enough, I could probably find sources that would argue that the earth is flat and that the moon is made of cheese. What of it? I'm sure that your sources are mathematically correct, but they utterly fail to take what people really want into account and therefore cannot be applied to the real world, which makes them false.


And please stop the ghost-editing. It's highly annoying.

mimartin
05-04-2009, 04:51 PM
Homicide rate have decreased, in large cities, since there high 1991, but homicide rates in large cities still were higher than small cities, suburban and rural areas combined in 2005 (http://www.ojp.gov/bjs/homicide/tables/urbantab.htm).

(according to the U.S. Department of Justice website) (http://www.ojp.gov/bjs/homicide/city.htm#urban)

Urban, suburban and rural (http://www.ojp.gov/bjs/cvict_c.htm)
Urban residents had the highest violent victimization rates, followed by suburban resident rates. Rural residents had the lowest rates.

In 2005--
Six urban residents, four suburban residents and four rural residents per 1,000 were victims of an aggravated assault.


Suburban and rural residents were victims of violence other than rape/sexual assault at similar rates during 2005. Urban, suburban and rural

Urban households have historically been and continue to be the most vulnerable to property crime, burglary, motor vehicle theft and theft in the United States.


In 2005--

Urban households experienced overall property crime at rates higher than those for suburban or rural households.

Crime rates are down in Urban areas, but still significantly higher than small towns, suburban or rural areas.

My counter argument is only my belief that people should have the right to choice where they want to live and should not have government interferences in that decision. If someone believes that it is best for their family to live in the suburbs and they are willing to make scarifies for what they believe is best, then that is their right. I would hardly call that selfish, but I wouldn’t do it. I live less than a mile from my office, I’m not doing it for environmental or any reason, but I am selfish and don’t like commuting.

Darth_Yuthura
05-04-2009, 05:04 PM
Homicide rate have decreased, in large cities, since there high 1991, but homicide rates in large cities still were higher than small cities, suburban and rural areas combined in 2005 (http://www.ojp.gov/bjs/homicide/tables/urbantab.htm).

(according to the U.S. Department of Justice website) (http://www.ojp.gov/bjs/homicide/city.htm#urban)



Crime rates are down in Urban areas, but still significantly higher than small towns, suburban or rural areas.

My counter argument is only my belief that people should have the right to choice where they want to live and should not have government interferences in that decision. If someone believes that it is best for their family to live in the suburbs and they are willing to make scarifies for what they believe is best, then that is their right. I would hardly call that selfish, but I wouldn’t do it. I live less than a mile from my office, I’m not doing it for environmental or any reason, but I am selfish and don’t like commuting.

Finally! Here is an example of a counter argument that has some content to it. Mimartin's set a good example here.

Q
05-04-2009, 05:16 PM
You needed a source to tell you that the homicide rates are higher in urban areas?

EDIT:
Of course not, but that doesn't seem to relate to this thread. It is for the purpose of defining exactly what it takes to maintain such low population density from sprawl. It is to show how inefficient the American suburbs really are. That has nothing to do with whether or not Americans will ever follow the European example. They never will and I won't expect it of them.

<snip>

Disregard what had been presented in the last thread and I'll present SOURCES with whatever evidence I post here.
So apparently the threads are related after all. Given that this thread's apparent purpose is to disprove what myself and others have stated in the other threads, your above statement seems rather disingenuous.

Darth_Yuthura
05-04-2009, 10:46 PM
Actually the source does not confirm that... only that there are a greater number of homicides in urban areas. The source did not indicate anything relating to the proportion of homicides per 10000 people. When I evaluated that source for myself, I found that the relationship between urban and suburban homicides is like 9/7 against large cities. So there is just a moderate difference in homicide rates within major cities.

After further evaluation, there was a significant drop in number of violent crimes within major cities. In the past, the city size made the difference when it came to crime; but the rates have declined to levels comparable to cities of 100,000. Still the issue of homicide rates are against the major city, but not as significantly compared to a decade ago. That is one attribute that I'll admit is against urbanization.

Darth Avlectus
05-05-2009, 02:14 AM
At any rate, I think there is more in depth needed in the downside part with the youth: how youth end up joining gangs, committing acts of crime, how impoverished areas are much more dangerous for youth, crimes committed upon youth, and how many of them end up murdered.



Yeah, it kind of reminds you of someone else's posting behavior, doesn't it? Someone on the opposite side of the political spectrum? :smirk2:


Hehe yeah. and what happened to that person. :D

[Specualtion]: I suspect, seeing as how you are on the same political side of the spectrum, a certain post of yours gave many staff members an affirmative go ahead nod to proceed.[/HK-47]




There are exceptions to the rules, but not many. When elderly retire, they often go to suburban regions of the Sun Belt. They likely didn't consider that they might not be able to drive at some point in the near future. Those that become nonviable members of society would either have to be wealthy enough to hire a chauffeur, or have relatives and friends that can still provide for their social needs. Those that don't are often forced to spend their final years in a nursing home. This isn't always true, but a majority of elderly that can't drive still can get around by walking or in a wheelchair.

I wonder just how bad this is compared to other invalids. Those with severe mental and emotional problems who don't qualify as loony enough to be institutionalized, but they serve no major purpose if any. So they live off the gov't and show no signs of improvement.



Right, there were no suicides before suburbs. I blame that all on rural areas. How do you figure?

Everything is to blame on suburbia. :confused:

You might want to check your own facts and determine that 'rural' is not 'suburban.' Instead of looking up American suicide rates in general, look up suicide rates for children and young teens. Maybe this is why you came to a different conclusion. I will address this topic later on.

I'll get to this later on. This has to do significantly with the land developer and long-term infrastructure costs not anticipated when utilities were layed. Don't forget that when you had only one mile of sprawl, they didn't lay out the power and water mains to handle ten miles of suburban development that followed. When the original lines were overtaxed, they had to be replaced without disrupting the land already developed. This is expensive and difficult to deal with.

I appreciate explorative theses, don't get me wrong, but what is the point of all this? If you would have something or someone to blame, then could you tell us what/who and why?

I hope that you don't just dismiss this subject out of hand and please don't be confrontational. I'm not going to do any more than present facts. I'm not going to tell Americans how they should live.

No, but the point of serious discussion is also to present your opinions based upon facts and projections which I think you have excellent pension for. So you pick a side...you blame suburbs and rural areas for suicides... Can you please go into greater detail why?

Darth_Yuthura
05-05-2009, 08:19 AM
No, but the point of serious discussion is also to present your opinions based upon facts and projections which I think you have excellent pension for.

Thanks. I know that people are not interested in hearing another's opinions so much as understanding why they came to believe it. One major problem I have is that I have more against than with me on this issue. It wasn't because my facts on the subject are wrong, but because I spoke of the US as an empire in another thread. The purpose of starting a new thread was to segregate those comments from the issue altogether, but others have brought it here.

I also do recognize when I make mistakes and admit that I included among the list of public infrastructure expenses 'power utilities.' That was not one of the costs that taxpayers are responsible for. Sewers, water mains, transportation, sanitation, education, and public services on the other hand are paid for by taxes. The more spread out houses are, the more frequent the garbage and mail trucks have to stop... making it that much more expensive. The more spread out they are, the more expensive it is to send a school bus long distances, not to mention police cars.


So you pick a side...you blame suburbs and rural areas for suicides... Can you please go into greater detail why?

I was being sarcastic and thought that going over the top would have indicated that. I didn't say that suburbs caused suicides, but some statistics show that young teen suicide rates are noticeably higher in suburbs and rural areas than in urban locations.

This is not just coincidence, as there are causes that can be explained. Before young teens and children could drive, they were more isolated and restricted from being able to pursue their social needs. They would often get on the xbox or computer, and would shut out the rest of the world because they can't socialize as easily as one in an urban setting.

A pedestrian-friendly environment augmented by mass transit is one such way in which young teens could get around and to their destinations more easily than if they were in an environment dependent on the automobile and their parents for moving about. It doesn't mean they can't, but often is much more restrictive for them.

To give a real answer; suburbs are more likely to induce the conditions in which causes suicide among young teens than urban settings.

mimartin
05-05-2009, 10:56 AM
To give a real answer; suburbs are more likely to induce the conditions in which causes suicide among young teens than urban settings.
I've been looking for the data to support your statement about suicide rates as I would really like to read the source for this statement. Could you perhaps link your source or at least give us the name and title.

I would really like to examine if there is a possible correlation between the extremely high murder rates in the urban areas and your statement that the suburbs induce more suicides among teens. Perhaps there is a possible connection between self-destructive personalities finding other outlets for their behavior in the urban areas besides suicide.

Darth_Yuthura
05-05-2009, 11:47 AM
I got that particular detail from Suburban Nation: the Ruse of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream. Obviously, most people won't have this book just laying around, so I am cross-checking the author's sources and will provide a weblink when I get one that would be reliable.

I would submit myself as a source, as I've lived in sprawl conditions and had the same psychological symptoms that suburbs were conducive to. Although suburbs have a lot of open space and privacy available, that's the very problem that causes young teens to play video games. Without fast food, impressive social areas, or other means of entertainment within walking distance; those that can't drive are severely limited in their ability to socialize.

My author even spoke of some becoming detached from reality and fantasizing on the worlds that they find in video games... because the real world isn't interesting enough for them. I have gone through this and still haven't exactly gotten past this phase, even though I've lived in a city for the last three years. I will say that I can understand why children would fall into these fantasy worlds, because there is nothing around for them without having a car and license. That's not a substitute for real statistics though, so I'll get back with some.

mimartin
05-05-2009, 01:19 PM
So in your expert opinion, how would you characterize such self-destructive behaviors and risk taking such as gang membership, crime, drunk driving and drug addiction?

Top 20 Causes of Death - Young Teen (10 - 14)

Rank Cause of Death Total Deaths No of Deaths Percent
All Deaths 4132 4132 100.00%

1 Unintentional Injury 1542 37.32%
* MV Traffic 874 21.15%
* Drowning 162 3.92%
* Fire/burn 101 2.44%
* Other Land Transport 80 1.94%
* Suffocation 70 1.69%
* Firearm 34 0.82%
* Poisoning 28 0.68%
* Other Transport 27 0.65%
* Pedestrian, Other 26 0.63%
* Fall 24 0.58%
* Struck by or Against 22 0.53%
* Other Spec., classifiable 20 0.48%
* Pedal cyclist, Other 19 0.46%
* Unspecified 19 0.46%
* Other Spec., NEC 12 0.29%
* Machinery 11 0.27%
* Natural/ Environment 11 0.27%
* Cut/pierce 2 0.05%
2 Malignant Neoplasms 535 12.95%
3 Suicide 260 6.29%
4 Congenital Anomalies 218 5.28%
5 Homicide 216 5.23%
6 Heart Disease 163 3.94%
7 Chronic Respiratory Disease 95 2.30%
8 Cerebrovascular 58 1.40%
9 Influenza & Pneumonia 53 1.28%
10 Septicemia 53 1.28%
11 Benign Neoplasms 45 1.09%
12 Diabetes Mellitus 29 0.70%
13 Anemias 24 0.58%
14 HIV 21 0.51%
15 Meningitis 21 0.51%
16 Perinatal Period 16 0.39%
17 Meningococcal Infection 14 0.34%
18 Nephritis 12 0.29%
19 Pneumonitis 9 0.22%
20 Liver Disease 5 0.12%
All Others 743 17.98%


Top 20 Causes of Death - Older Teen (15 - 19) (http://www.statisticstop10.com/Causes_of_Death_Older_Teens.html)

Rank Cause of Death Total Deaths No of Deaths Percent
All Deaths 13812 13812 100.00%

1 Unintentional Injury 7137 51.67%
* Motor Vehicle Traffic 5522 39.98%
* Poisoning 486 3.52%
* Drowning 320 2.32%
* Firearm 107 0.77%
* Other Land Transport 100 0.72%
* Fire/burn 86 0.62%
* Fall 83 0.60%
* Unspecified 79 0.57%
* Other Transport 69 0.50%
* Pedestrian, Other 68 0.49%
* Suffocation 68 0.49%
* Other Spec., classifiable 56 0.41%
* Natural/ Environment 30 0.22%
* Struck by or Against 30 0.22%
* Machinery 11 0.08%
* Other Spec., NEC 11 0.08%
* Pedal cyclist, Other 7 0.05%
* Cut/pierce 4 0.03%
2 Homicide 1892 13.70%
3 Suicide 1513 10.95%
4 Malignant Neoplasms 723 5.23%
5 Heart Disease 405 2.93%
6 Congenital Anomalies 248 1.80%
7 Chronic Respiratory Disease 93 0.67%
8 Influenza & Pneumonia 75 0.54%
9 Diabetes Mellitus 55 0.40%
10 Cerebrovascular 53 0.38%
11 Septicemia 49 0.35%
12 Anemias 42 0.30%
13 Benign Neoplasms 41 0.30%
14 HIV 38 0.28%
15 Complicated Pregnancy 28 0.20%
16 Meningococcal Infection 21 0.15%
17 Nephritis 21 0.15%
18 Aortic Aneurysm 20 0.14%
19 Pneumonitis 16 0.12%
20 Perinatal Period 14 0.10%
All Others 1328 9.61%

Darth_Yuthura
05-05-2009, 01:34 PM
You bring up an interesting point. One other thing I neglected was teens that do get their licenses are the most likely to get into an accident. MV deaths are noticeably higher for older teens than children under 15. Sprawl is also conducive to speeding and the need for an automobile... gentle intersections and inexperience increase the chance for an accident.

I really can't tell much about the question of gangs, driving, and drug addiction based on this. It is more likely that an urban child would wind up in a gang than a rural, but that would also depend on what city you're addressing. The 'ghetto' within New York and Chicago would be highly likely places a kid would eventually be in a gang, but there are many others that don't. It really would relate to the economic status of the city in question, but there are a growing number of gangs in the suburbs of Chicago that have/will form because those communities are not weathering the current depression well. Chicago itself isn't in great condition, but it's not in decline.

It would seem the most serious dangers to youths are more related to automobiles than criminal activity. The issue with gangs is related to the suburban impact on certain cities... I'll get back to that when I address poverty upon major cities. There are certain conditions that didn't exist within American cities before 1950, but could be traced back to the departure of the wealthy and middle class from the CBD, leaving those in poverty behind.

EnderWiggin
05-05-2009, 03:54 PM
I would submit myself as a source, as I've lived in sprawl conditions and had the same psychological symptoms that suburbs were conducive to.

Seriously? :rolleyes:

_EW_

mimartin
05-05-2009, 04:08 PM
Sorry, the data was only there so we knew the numbers involved in suicide (260 out of 4132 deaths in those 10 -14; 1513 out of 13,812 deaths in those 15-19). While I personally consider any preventable death tragic, I do find it important to visualize the numbers we are talking about since there has been no data presented to establish the scope of the problem. I would like to know what percentage of these 2002 deaths for young teens were urban and how many were suburban, but since those statistics are unavailable at least we have an idea of the scope of the problem.

So since we cleared up that the data has nothing to do with my question and since I am willing to accept you as a source, unless/until you prove that acceptance wrong, I would submit myself as a source I will ask my question again. So in your expert opinion, how would you characterize such self-destructive behaviors and risk taking such as gang membership, crime, drunk driving and drug addiction?

You can answer the question, ignore the question or reject my premise for the question that each of these demonstrates self-destructive behavior.

Jae Onasi
05-05-2009, 04:42 PM
I see you've not driven in Chicago or major metropolitan areas, either. Drivers in big cities are far more aggressive than suburban or rural drivers--I've had over 20 years experience driving in all of these settings. You can speed down Lakeshore drive just like you can a country or suburban road. You just can't do it during rush hour. My car insurance was much higher in Chicago than here in WI. Why? More accidents happen in the big city than in suburbia or rural areas because of a higher concentration of cars. I had 2 near misses on the Tri-state tollway this weekend because the other 2 drivers didn't bother to a. use their turn signals or b. look in their blind spots to see that I was there in the lane they wanted to get into. I was not a happy camper at being forced into the next lane to avoid being hit by an idiot, but fortunately for us, the lane was empty.

Quick search, by no means complete:
Using key words: American suicides difference urban rural teen
Yielded this abstract: http://www.springerlink.com/content/t28315u7725l6315/fulltext.pdf?page=1
While I didn't pay to download the entire article, the abstract was sufficient for the point it makes.
That study showed no difference between urban and rural teen suicide rates in NV. Living in suburbia or rural regions does not cause a greater risk for suicide than living in an urban setting does.

I did notice other studies showing male suicide rates are higher in rural settings and female suicide rates are higher in urban settings, but they were not American studies, nor were they confined to teens. Medline will likely have more studies available.

Darth_Yuthura
05-05-2009, 07:53 PM
So in your expert opinion, how would you characterize such self-destructive behaviors and risk taking such as gang membership, crime, drunk driving and drug addiction?

I would assume the majority of gang memberships are related to conditions of poverty and racial segregation. The primary cause for gang activity is most likely that children seek the following: Prestige, friendship, easy money, sense of belonging to a group, or protection from another gang. Any/multiple of these causes can explain why children join gangs. This is more likely to happen when there is a significant level of poverty or racial segregation. Other than that, it really happens if parents neglect their children, not knowing that they are under threat, or have been influenced by people who recruit them into gangs.

I would characterize the majority of the items on your list as actions usually taken by the desperate. Few really turn to such things unless they are forced to or need a means of escape. Drunk driving can be a socialization issue for older teens, but those who become dependent on alcohol often do it because they have extreme levels of stress that they seek escape rather than socialization.

Is this what you were asking to know?

Darth_Yuthura
05-08-2009, 01:44 PM
Okay since no one seems to believe me, how about I ask what it would take to convince people to change your minds about sprawl?

Whatever proof it would take, I'll present that.

Jae Onasi
05-09-2009, 09:04 PM
There's a difference between believing you and agreeing with you. Your information about Chicago may be incorrect, but that doesn't meant all the information about New Urbanism is incorrect. I happen to not buy into the theory because I have no desire to live an urban life anymore.

Darth_Yuthura
05-09-2009, 10:36 PM
Right and I have no desire to have my argument twisted around, get false info verified as true by mostly anecdotal evidence, and see inflammatory, irrelevant posts added only because it suited the opposite side of the argument.

Of course I don't just burry my head in the sand and pretend that everything will be as I want it. I'm not a moderator and my threads can and will be manipulated in whatever way suits those who operate this forum. I either live with it... or I get out. I hate urbanized environments, but I don't pretend that there is no one other than myself who all want the same things.


I also want the first 36 posts removed and the title changed back. They are not meant for this topic and the whole point of starting this thread was to not have to deal with them. I would not have added such content to a thread dedicated to urban development, so it is not admissible here.

Jae Onasi
05-09-2009, 11:28 PM
I also want the first 36 posts removed and the title changed back. They are not meant for this topic and the whole point of starting this thread was to not have to deal with them. I would not have added such content to a thread dedicated to urban development, so it is not admissible here.

Request denied.

You already made this request publicly, had the post deleted because its a violation of the rules that says not to question mod actions in the thread but to take it to PM. I moved the posts to this thread because they were off topic for the other thread but were on topic for this thread because they talk about suburban sprawl. I'm not changing the title back--this one suffices and is less aggressive. Any further discussion of mod actions in this thread instead of PM will result in infraction points. If you have any questions about this PM me.

Darth_Yuthura
06-13-2009, 12:00 AM
Given that this thread had been twice derailed, I've clearly been beaten no matter what facts are presented.

Anecdotal evidence does not constitute real proof, yet this thread is drowning in it. There has been only ONE effective counter argument that has ever given on this thread. That one was crime. Aside from that, all my sources were valid. Those that were presented by the opposite side don't hold water.

Jae Onasi
06-13-2009, 12:16 AM
Your sources on Chicago parking lots are incorrect. I have presented proof (Google maps of Chicago) for you to verify with your own eyes. That is not anecdotal evidence, and I'm not sure why you refuse to look at the maps for yourself. I parked in some of these lots when my sister and I went to a Lacuna Coil concert a couple weekends ago. Since your sources are incorrect about such a simple verifiable fact, it makes the rest of us wonder if they could be incorrect about other things as well.

Darth_Yuthura
06-13-2009, 12:51 AM
What sources did you claim were incorrect?

I've been told to look at google map a number of times to confirm just how much of the Loop's surface is covered with pavement. I will admit right now that there is a significant quantity of land in Downtown Chicago that is designated for parking, but I was arguing under the assumption that anyone who's lived in Chicago might have actually seen its skyline and noticed there were some immense structures rising dozens of stories into the sky.

These are not small buildings; they're huge, with thousands of people concentrated on top of one another.

I was going under the assumption that anyone claiming to be an expert on Chicago wouldn't be suggesting what I think was being implied. Did this source take into consideration the number of parking spaces compared to how many residents and office jobs there were? This 'proof' is by no means accurate to reality.

To prove that, I will lean onto your side by submitting that there actually are more parking spaces in the Loop than what Googlemap shows. When you take into consider that there are actually about SEVEN tiers for most parking ramps in the Loop, then google map only shows a fraction of what actually are there. I did see that source, but I went beyond the limited scope that was presented by a satellite image. What about the lower levels of several towers, where the parking ramps aren't shown in the map? The Trump Tower had six tiers for parking that weren't visible on google map. Any expert on Chicago would have known that the total land area for parking in the Loop is actually much greater than what your map showed.

Then consider that some buildings have their own parking ramps, not to mention some with their own ZIP code, then the total land area designated for parking per capita is quite small. Look next to the Sears Tower and notice a parking ramp rivaling its land area? Remember this structure is 110 stories tall and assume that one ramp provides parking for over 15,000 workers... look at the Pentagon's enormous parking lot and that goes to show how much land is wasted to parking for a suburban comparison to 15,000 workers in one location. That is an enormous sum of land compared to that of the Sears Tower.


-----

Since your experiences seem so restricted that you'd call on to googlemap as fact, it makes me wonder how much more is based solely on direct observation.

Jae Onasi
06-13-2009, 06:15 PM
You were talking about parking and saying there were no parking lots in downtown Chicago. That is what I refuted. I wasn't speaking about any other issue than that, and you're muddying the issue with parking per capita now.

I'm well aware of the skyscrapers in the Chicago Loop, and I've been in a number of them.

Suburban sprawl obviously bothers you, but it doesn't bother me. I'm very happy not living in a rabbit hutch alongside millions of others. If people want to live in an urban area, fine. If they want to live in a suburban or rural setting, fine. We all give up something living in each type of environment, and we all gain something else living in our chosen environments. Right now, my kids are playing outside in our backyard, and I have a lot of robins, chickadees, cardinals, goldfinches, and house finches flying around in my backyard sharing the environment in my flower and vegetable garden with butterflies and different types of bees and other bugs. My kids go to a safe school in an excellent public school system--something we wouldn't have in Chicago. It takes me about 10 minutes to drive to work instead of an hour and a half in the car or on the train like it did in Chicago during rush hour. I don't have to worry about my kids getting shot outside my door or mugged on the L-train. My house cost half of what it would have in Chicago, my insurance rates are 40% lower, and groceries cost a third less. I pay lower property taxes and I don't have to share walls with the 20-something who decides to play music at 3am at 900 decibels. If you feel strongly about New Urbanism, fine, live in a big city--none of us here will stop you from doing that. I don't agree with all their conclusions, and I have no desire to live in an urban area, so I, and a lot of others who dislike urban environments, will cheerfully live in our homes out in Suburbia/Farm-land.

Darth_Yuthura
06-13-2009, 08:29 PM
How typically American.

ForeverNight
06-13-2009, 08:55 PM
The problem with this is... ?

I guess we just don't like being packed in like sardines. :shrug:

Darth_Yuthura
06-13-2009, 09:26 PM
Well I intensely dislike urban environments, for your information. Does it not seem strange why I'm advocating for something I hate?

This entire thread has been to prove that high population density creates a more efficient system than sprawl. No one has brought an effective counter that can disprove this.

My goal has always been to inform people that sprawl has at least been harnessed in the last two decades, but existing sprawl development isn't sustainable environmentally or economically. Anyone who lives this 'American dream'... realize that there are 6 billion other people all struggling for the same thing. Do you really think they won't be competing with you for what you have?

Maybe instead of starting a war to steal someone else's oil reserves, the US could reduce their demand for foreign oil altogether by building a more efficient transportation system... more people using fewer vehicles for shorter commutes... No solution that won't change your lifestyle, so don't bother to say you reject it.

mimartin
06-13-2009, 09:55 PM
Please keep the snarkiness to a minimal. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Jae Onasi
06-13-2009, 11:05 PM
How typically American.
I'm not trying to be insulting with you, just expressing why I disagree with New Urbanism. I have no issue with you. I'd appreciate it if you'd remember that and try to understand that my need to raise a family living in housing I can actually afford, in a town with low crime and an excellent education system, is just as important to me as New Urbanism is to you. I will not sacrifice quality of life, quality of education, and time with my family for a concept that isn't even adhered to by its founders. If they can build that kind of urban environment and people want to live there, that's great for them, and I hope they enjoy it. It's just not for me or my family.

Well I intensely dislike urban environments, for your information. Does it not seem strange why I'm advocating for something I hate?Well, yes, actually it does seem strange. Why are you advocating for it?

This entire thread has been to prove that high population density creates a more efficient system than sprawl. No one has brought an effective counter that can disprove this. That's because everyone has hooked on to your point that you're saying we _must_ live this way because it's more efficient, or else you'll make disparaging comments at us like 'how typically American' as you look down your intellectual nose at the rest of us rubes. You're not quite getting our point on why we don't like the New Urbanism concept--it has nothing to do with efficiency in transportation.

Efficiency isn't the only aspect of urban living, however, and we don't care solely about efficient transportation. Small housing, no yard, no green space, high crime, high cost of living, poor education systems in all of the biggest cities--these are all aspects of urban living that cannot be ignored, and that the advocates of New Urbanism seem to be ignoring. It's simple--safety trumps ideology. All you have to do is look at Maslow's hierarchy of needs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs) and you'll see that physiological needs, safety, and the need for love far outweigh ideological and self-actualization needs. My safety need to live in a neighborhood where I don't hear gunshots outside my door at night time far outweighs my intellectual desire to support a greener planet.

My goal has always been to inform people that sprawl has at least been harnessed in the last two decades, but existing sprawl development isn't sustainable environmentally or economically. Anyone who lives this 'American dream'... realize that there are 6 billion other people all struggling for the same thing. Do you really think they won't be competing with you for what you have?First of all, there aren't 6 billion living in the US or Europe, so let's please be realistic about this issue. Secondly, if it wasn't sustainable environmentally or economically, we'd all be living in humongous cities by now. The New Urbanists have no way to prove how much they'd save vs. how much it would cost to build and maintain their particular type of neighborhood.

Furthermore, it's economically disadvantageous for my family to live in an urban setting compared to where we live now. It's economically disadvantageous for my mother and grandmother to live in a big city--the same small apartments in a big city would cost more than their social security checks each month. My mother-in-law would not have survived economically or emotionally in a big city. She couldn't afford the high cost of living and she was terrified of crowds. This is more than just an ideology, Darth_Yuthura. It's real life, and the reality isn't like the rosy picture painted by the New Urbanism authors.

Maybe instead of starting a war to steal someone else's oil reserves, the US could reduce their demand for foreign oil altogether by building a more efficient transportation system... more people using fewer vehicles for shorter commutes... No solution that won't change your lifestyle, so don't bother to say you reject it.I have rejected the urban lifestyle--I moved out of Chicago, thank God. That doesn't mean I don't care about the oil crisis, however. I do my part in my home by trying to walk to the store instead of driving, using fuel efficient bulbs and taking steps to minimize heat loss from the house in the winter to lower fuel usage. I grow my own raspberries and vegetables in the summer time.
The US could do a lot of things to reduce demand for oil that doesn't involve such a drastic change in lifestyle for people who don't want to live that way. We could work more on wind, solar, and tidal power. We could increase fuel-efficient housing and cars and such. We can make suburban communities more pedestrian-friendly--God knows we all could use the exercise anyway. We could work on flex hours in big cities to reduce rush-hour traffic commute times. We could improve suburban public transportation options. There are lots of things to reduce oil demand that don't involve living the way you're advocating.

jrrtoken
06-14-2009, 12:08 AM
The US could do a lot of things to reduce demand for oil that doesn't involve such a drastic change in lifestyle for people who don't want to live that way. We could work more on wind, solar, and tidal power. We could increase fuel-efficient housing and cars and such. We can make suburban communities more pedestrian-friendly--God knows we all could use the exercise anyway. We could work on flex hours in big cities to reduce rush-hour traffic commute times. We could improve suburban public transportation options. There are lots of things to reduce oil demand that don't involve living the way you're advocating.Not exactly. Government-run incentive programs would still force people to live a certain way, even though it is a friendlier way of doing it. By encouraging an alternative lifestyle, (And yes, I'm talking about that alternative lifestyle :naughty:) and at the same time, quietly discontinuing the zeitgeist, it essentially is forcing people to change their lives, whether they like it or not. Sure, it's much more open and cordial than totalitarianism, but actively forcing someone to live one way, or to simply encourage one to go one way while eliminating remaining options, is the same thing.

Either way, I'm not really going to somehow wake up and live more "environmentally conscious", not really because I'm a lazy selfish bastard, but mainly due to the fact that it's really pathetic that ordinary people can make greater strides environmentally by their own volition alone, than what any government legislation or action has done previously.

Jae Onasi
06-14-2009, 01:38 AM
Not exactly. Government-run incentive programs would still force people to live a certain way, even though it is a friendlier way of doing it. By encouraging an alternative lifestyle, (And yes, I'm talking about that alternative lifestyle :naughty:) and at the same time, quietly discontinuing the zeitgeist, it essentially is forcing people to change their lives, whether they like it or not. Sure, it's much more open and cordial than totalitarianism, but actively forcing someone to live one way, or to simply encourage one to go one way while eliminating remaining options, is the same thing.Well, I can see that with seatbelt laws. Which somehow sounds vaguely dirty juxtaposed with 'alternative lifestyle'. ;P

Either way, I'm not really going to somehow wake up and live more "environmentally conscious", not really because I'm a lazy selfish bastard, but mainly due to the fact that it's really pathetic that ordinary people can make greater strides environmentally by their own volition alone, than what any government legislation or action has done previously.
True--I think more has happened in improving fuel efficiency in furnaces, windows, etc. because people want to lower their fuel bills and companies want to satisfy their needs and gain their business.

Darth Avlectus
06-14-2009, 02:19 AM
Ok. I think I have lost track where this thread has gone, exactly. I'll try to contribute as best I can.

I am wondering so far as economy is concerned, do highly suburban areas have more mom and pop businesses currently surviving, or less, than that of rural areas?

Darth_Yuthura
06-14-2009, 08:13 PM
Ok. I think I have lost track where this thread has gone, exactly. I'll try to contribute as best I can.

I am wondering so far as economy is concerned, do highly suburban areas have more mom and pop businesses currently surviving, or less, than that of rural areas?

A professor once taught me about the 'agglomeration of commerce.' This means that a larger collection of businesses create mutually beneficial system when they are closer together (in an urban landscape for instance) than a suburb or rural area. This does not apply all the time, but the reason that Chicago and New York build so densely is because all the resources of all the corporate headquarters are more conveniently located next to one another. When you place more office towers next to one another, it opens more opportunities for already existing development as well.

As for commerce, this is why you have mixed-use zoning. By placing customers and workers within walking distance of fast-food and convenience stores, you have many more potential customers than if you have a Mcdonald's in a small town. Although there is also a lot of competition among fast food as well, there could be a greater number of pedestrians that would pass by than cars that would pass by a location next to a rural road.

There are other benefits to retail, but as for 'mom and pop' locations... that really depends on the kind of establishment you're talking about. There are many independent business in major cities, but there are not that many if they are overtaken by a single wal-mart or burger king.

I don't have stats, but a successful 'mom and pop' in a major city will be more resilient to economic change, but they are more difficult to establish with high-rent for high value locations.

True--I think more has happened in improving fuel efficiency in furnaces, windows, etc. because people want to lower their fuel bills and companies want to satisfy their needs and gain their business.

No disrespect intended, I'm for smaller cars and better-built homes; but improving efficiency is not as significant an improvement as people think.

I advocated for more use of mass transit, but that isn't me wanting new rail lines as it is improving what already exists. In Chicago, New York, Boston, and other major US cities; I have seen many images where one side of a road is packed beyond the original capacity while the opposite road tends to be much less congested. In the evening, the same thing happens in the opposite direction.

What I look at as a means to improve transportation is to reduce the peak traffic congestion on one side by using the opposite direction more during off-peak conditions. Trains ALWAYS are on the move, so adding passengers on the return trips would reduce congestion from one direction and put them on trains that are already used in the opposite direction.

I advocated about Prairie Crossing being an error in development between Milwaukee and Chicago commuter rails lines converging at one station. With only 1,500 residents and no retail, this was a wasted opportunity to create intense development in a single location. People could get more job opportunities by, instead of going 40 miles towards either city, going less than 10 miles towards this juncture point at Prairie Crossing. And the commuter trains already travel on those lines anyway, so it would make sense to build high-density office towers for thousands to find jobs.

Q
06-14-2009, 09:50 PM
How typically American.
Don't worry, D_Y. If the people in power nowadays have their way, the great evils of free enterprise and private ownership will soon be a thing of the past in this country. You and all of the other people who have been successfully conditioned to think like you by our wonderful education system will have your socialist utopia, and anyone like me who objects to it will either be slaving away in the gulag or dead. :indif:

Darth_Yuthura
06-14-2009, 10:33 PM
Don't worry, D_Y. If the people in power nowadays have their way, the great evils of free enterprise and private ownership will soon be a thing of the past in this country. You and all of the other people who have been successfully conditioned to think like you by our wonderful education system will have your socialist utopia, and anyone like me who objects to it will either be slaving away in the gulag or dead. :indif:

I wouldn't take it THAT far.

The strongest survive and the weak perish. That isn't referring to people; I mean societies. Right now the US is the strongest military and economic power in the world, but that is because we have outsourced many of our manufacturing demands to China, as has Japan. That had given us an advantage to buy cheap across the world and transport it to the US, but as fuel prices go up, that becomes a liability.

China represents the greatest threat to the US, not militarily, but economically. They may be in a bad position now, but they are poised to overtake the US within the next few decades.

No, I'm not going to point to my solutions as the answer. It is impossibly more complex than any one solution could provide, but a part of any solution to improve the US economy is finding and reducing the inefficiencies that this state needs to operate. By improving the transportation infrastructure, many other benefits come from not having to overcome distance as much for every kind of upkeep cost.(police coverage, utility upkeep, fuel demand, transportation upkeep costs, and other items I listed before) It costs a lot to upkeep any kind of system network, but spreading it out costs much more. The idea of placing the same demand on fewer networks of greater capacity is sound.

From this allows the US economy to grow because a billion dollars saved is a billion dollars earned. Much more can be done here and now from reducing infrastructure costs than can ever be achieved through innovation. Once innovation catches up, then I would gladly like to have privacy in a suburb again.

EnderWiggin
06-14-2009, 10:55 PM
Right now the US is the strongest military and economic power in the world, but that is because we have outsourced many of our manufacturing demands to China, as has Japan.

I disagree. China is a stronger economic power.

_EW_

Darth_Yuthura
06-14-2009, 11:04 PM
I disagree. China is a stronger economic power.

_EW_

Technically no, but they are poised to overtake us. We don't manufacture, but the US provides tertiary goods which is value added to the US GDP and something demanded by other states that we have provided mostly after the communications age started.

The US could improve in other areas, such as growing crops for human consumption much more than for feeding to cattle and pigs. That would allow for more food to be exported as well, but that is a very small part of the GDP.

Jae Onasi
06-14-2009, 11:41 PM
We could grow more grain for export--we certainly have plenty of untilled or fallow farmland right now.

Darth_Yuthura
06-14-2009, 11:50 PM
We could grow more grain for export--we certainly have plenty of untilled or fallow farmland right now.

That opens up another front that I'm not inclined to deal with.

There must be a fallow period taken during crop production. At any one time, there are at least 25% of fields not in use to allow the soil to recover after each planting. Crop rotation helps this, but fallow periods have to be taken on a regular basis.

Of all the beef you can produce, you end up feeding the cow twenty times as many calories as you get back from its growth. Instead of growing crops for cattle, you could get twenty times as much nutritional value for human consumption.

Jae Onasi
06-15-2009, 12:21 AM
That opens up another front that I'm not inclined to deal with.

There must be a fallow period taken during crop production. At any one time, there are at least 25% of fields not in use to allow the soil to recover after each planting. Crop rotation helps this, but fallow periods have to be taken on a regular basis.

Of all the beef you can produce, you end up feeding the cow twenty times as many calories as you get back from its growth. Instead of growing crops for cattle, you could get twenty times as much nutritional value for human consumption.
I wasn't clear--I was talking about land left fallow because the gov't pays the farmers not to grow crops on them. With modern agriculture techniques, there's no need to leave ground fallow 25% of the time or even rotate crops, though it helps to grow soybeans every few years to fix nitrogen back into the soil. I'm not familiar with the amount of of calories required to grow cattle, but I do know it's not nearly as efficient a use of calories as feeding people the grain directly.

We also have a lot of farmland in the Plains that just isn't in use at all--there aren't any farmers to till the land in some areas.

EnderWiggin
06-15-2009, 01:21 AM
I do know it's not nearly as efficient a use of calories as feeding people the grain directly.

For sure:

If we're the primary consumer, we can use about 10% of the grain's energy for our own body's processes.

If we're a secondary consumer (ie cow eats grain, we eat cow) then we only get 10% of the cow's energy. That's only 1% of the grain's energy potential.

So yes, it's 10x more efficient to feed people grain.

_EW_

Web Rider
06-15-2009, 02:11 AM
For sure:

If we're the primary consumer, we can use about 10% of the grain's energy for our own body's processes.

If we're a secondary consumer (ie cow eats grain, we eat cow) then we only get 10% of the cow's energy. That's only 1% of the grain's energy potential.

So yes, it's 10x more efficient to feed people grain.

_EW_

Except unlike the cow, people can't survive on grain alone.

Darth Avlectus
06-15-2009, 04:09 AM
Ok. So I see how it is. Mom and pop biz, it's harder to survive in urban areas, but if they can, they are the better for it. Needless to say niche' firms high in demand will do quite well. Especially do better in suburban and rural areas.

I wasn't clear--I was talking about land left fallow because the gov't pays the farmers not to grow crops on them.

Such a folly, and yet we wonder what more could be done to help feed the starving? Hmm. Or how about making able bodied and minded people receiving paychecks and not working do something else for that $$$? It might just save some expenses. Just an idea.

With modern agriculture techniques, there's no need to leave ground fallow 25% of the time or even rotate crops, though it helps to grow soybeans every few years to fix nitrogen back into the soil. I'm not familiar with the amount of of calories required to grow cattle, but I do know it's not nearly as efficient a use of calories as feeding people the grain directly. Well, while I will agree there...on the fact of the matter for cattle...what I cannot figure out is why we're using euro based cattle, instead of indigenous bison: they're heartier plus less destructive given they are in their native environment. Just something to consider. I know I'd be using american bison if I were farming.
We also have a lot of farmland in the Plains that just isn't in use at all--there aren't any farmers to till the land in some areas. Well, if it ain't being used for farming and has no plans to ever be used as such again for a number of reasons and factors (location, people, etc.), then maybe we can either
1) Allow native plants and ecosystem to reclaim it (and shut the enviros up a bit)
2) Construct these "clean/new age" power sources for generating economic revenue and jobs in those areas (and sierra club would you *PLEASE* stop deceptively wording your ballot analyses so that your sheeple vote it down)
3) Give something back to the red man for a change. Love it or give it back. Ok, so I'm kind of getting personal there. Still a suggestion. :carms:

Except unlike the cow, people can't survive on grain alone.

This is true. We need veggies and fruit. Protein one way or another. and a few other things.

EnderWiggin
06-15-2009, 06:40 AM
Except unlike the cow, people can't survive on grain alone.

I'm aware of that. However, people are quite capable of gaining much of their daily nutrients from eating direct producers. They would have to supplement it with some primary consumer in their diet, but not nearly to the extent that they do now.



This is true. We need veggies and fruit. Protein one way or another. and a few other things.

Wow.
http://myspace.roflposters.com/images/rofl/myspace/1234604359019.jpg.%5Broflposters.com%5D.myspace.jp g

_EW_

Darth_Yuthura
06-15-2009, 09:17 AM
Answer: the potato.

With exception to a few nutrients, you can live off potatoes. They yield the greatest nutritional value per acre of land as well, but that's not really what I was going for. I would like to see more crops for food that humans will consume directly, whether it be grain, potatoes, or tomatoes.

Jae Onasi
06-15-2009, 11:08 AM
You cannot live off of the potato alone. It does not have protein, much less any complete proteins.

Darth_Yuthura
06-15-2009, 12:31 PM
That's what the 'exception of a few nutrients' essentially covered. The Irish depended upon the potato so greatly that the potato famine caused mass starvation when it struck.

Obviously you shouldn't depend on any one food, as a restricted diversity in your diet is very unhealthy. The Irish supplemented it with goat's milk to provide the last piece of their diet that the potato didn't provide. Aside from that, it yielded most of the calories, vitamins, and minerals that they needed.

Jae Onasi
06-17-2009, 10:26 AM
"Exception of a few nutrients"? Protein is absolutely essential in the diet. It's also not a great choice for people who have diabetes--potatoes have too many starches and not enough complex carbohydrates. Whole grains are a better choice because they have more soluble and insoluble fiber and less simple carbs.

Q
06-17-2009, 11:37 AM
Sprouted grains are one of the best non-meat sources of protein that I know of.

This discussion is reminding me more and more of Asimov's The Caves of Steel. They ate mostly different strains of yeast in that book.

Darth_Yuthura
06-18-2009, 12:59 AM
Read.

The Potato: How the Humble Spud Rescued the Western World
by Larry Zuckerman, 1999 North Point Press

You might actually find that potatoes have a noticeable quantity of protein. Don't proclaim something that doesn't hold water unless you really know what you're talking about. Thanks to Qliveur for seconding that fact.


The point of this was that the US isn't hurting for agricultural land, which was why sprawl was able to rampage out of control while Europe has had to be more careful with the way they developed their cities. There is enough Agricultural land in Europe to support 10% of the world's population on only 2% of the world's land area. How could they do so well under those conditions?

They use their agricultural land more for human consumption/not raising animals. And they condense their cities to have a smaller footprint, conserving precious land for growing crops.

Jae Onasi
06-18-2009, 06:39 AM
Read (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essential_amino_acids)
Old article, but read (http://journals.cambridge.org/download.php?file=%2FBJN%2FBJN12_02%2FS00071145580 00271a.pdf&code=efff9f1aa107e1d8d298f403f4d38dc7)
Read (http://www.calorie-tools.com/calories/Vegetable-Group/Potato-baked-flesh-and-skin).

You need to take a college level class in nutrition like I did for nursing and then doctor school. Go read about protein needs. I erred in saying potatoes didn't have protein--I view it, as the nutritionists who taught me and wrote books and journal articles on it, as a starch rather than a protein source, and I'm more concerned about foods that affect the eyes in any case. I should have said they have inadequate protein. I was correct about the incomplete protein. The USRDA says the average baking potato contains 6% of the daily allowance of protein. Are you planning on eating 17 potatoes a day? I'm not.

Furthermore, the potato has insufficient amounts of essential amino acids (the ones that the body can't make itself), and thus is an incomplete protein.
An adult needs 1400 mg of the amino acid isoleucine. The baked potato with skin provides 101 mg.
Leucine: adult needs 2730mg, potato provides 150mg
Lysine: adult needs 2100 mg, potato provides 152mg
Methionine+Cysteine: 1050mg, potato provides 70mg
Phenylalanine+Tyrosine: 1750mg, potato provides 202mg
Threonine: 1050mg, potato provides 91mg
Tryptophan: 280mg, potato provides 39mg
Valine: 1820mg, potato provides 140mg.

Furthermore, most of the protein is located right below the skin. If you remove the skin before cooking the potato, you lose a lot of the protein, and then the potato's protein contribution drops dramatically.

You also need to learn what sprouted grains (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprouting) are. Potatoes are not germinated seeds, they are tubers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuber). There is a difference. Before you lecture me again on getting my facts straight, you'd better make sure you have yours straight, too. There's a reason why potatoes aren't mentioned nearly very often in vegan/vegetarian diet books. It's because the protein content is not nearly as good as soy, eggs, milk/cheese (all of which are complete proteins) and grains and legumes, which, while incomplete, have enough of some essential proteins in a reasonable serving that when combined provide the equivalent of a complete protein (e.g. refried beans on a corn or whole-wheat tortilla). Potatoes are calorically dense, but not as nutrient or protein dense, as grains and legumes.

I've been to France. I lived with two different families while I was there. Both families served meat every day. They also grew their own vegetable patches since groceries are more expensive there with the higher taxes. My husband spent several weeks in Germany. They had meat every day, too. Meat is a large part of the European diet, as it is here, so I'd like to see your data on their diet and land use for animals vs. grains/other foods. I would also be interested in seeing how much is imported.

So Europe has to be more careful with their land usage. Fine for them. What's that have to do with the US? It's a different continent. Our needs are different, our wants are different. It's not that big of a deal to have suburban areas here. You're getting your panties in knots over something that isn't a problem here, other than fuel usage, which our gov't is addressing. We could expand all the suburban areas ten-fold and still not make much of a dent in the amount of land going completely unused in the rural parts of this country. I'd also like to point out that those of us who live in single family dwellings wouldn't be able to have our fruit and veggie patches in our backyards if we lived in dinky urban condos, so we wouldn't be able to contribute to our families nutritionally or to increasing greenspace.

Bimmerman
06-18-2009, 08:01 AM
Forgive me for not chiming in on the potato discussion. Jae's right on that.

I've been living and working in Munich for the last six months. I have tons of experience using the excellent public transportation here. I live in an apartment building that is 15 minutes away from where I work. It houses people very efficiently. The grocery store is anywhere between 5 and 15 min away by foot. I have no bicycle. I have no car (here). Everything I need to live and function as a member of society is within 15 minutes by foot.

What do I think?

I cannot wait to go back home to my suburban town and live freely and away from everyone else.

I strongly disagree with and absolutely reject the "New Urbanism" (sidebar, that's a really stupid name) concept. I've lived in the European model that it is trying to emulate, and I've been going crazy. There is no space to live. No green areas without going to a public park. No scenery. No ability to BBQ. Nowhere to park a car, so people do without. I am kept up late by people smoking in their apartment. I am woken up early (or late) by people playing music. I cannot sit outside, as there isn't an outside to sit on. There are no trees. There is no wildlife. Everything costs roughly double what I would deem prudent. There is simply buildings and efficiency and I cannot stand it.

My German friends find nothing wrong with the city. In truth, it is a very beautiful, clean, safe city. I enjoyed visiting and touristing around here in years and trips past. Living here, I feel choked and stifled. Whereas Europeans view the urban model as liberating, I find it cramped and very uncomfortable. I cannot function in a European-model city, and do not ever intend to again. What works for Europe does not necessarily work for America, do not kid yourself otherwise.

Back in the states, I live 30 minutes away from Denver at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Anywhere I want to go takes at least 5 minutes by car. I worked 15 minutes by car, 30 min by bike. The grocery store is a good 5-8 mins. I have nearly an acre of land to do my own thing on. I have trees. I have herds of deer in my front driveway in the morning. I see bears and mountain lions occasionally. My nearest neighbor is 100 yards away. The nearest bus stop is a one mile walk away. My town has one of the best bus systems anywhere, and is part of the RTD, itself consistently ranked in the top 3 nationwide. There is no subway, no mass transit train system where I live. There is one of the best universities in in my town. The education system here is regarded as one of the best. I love it. I cannot wait to get back home. I have decided to veer away from my desired career field to live in the town I love.

Call me a stereotypical American if you want. I don't care. I will NEVER live in a big city again, nor will I ever subscribe to this horrid "new urban" idea. Jae's post on p2 hit the nail on the head perfectly.

D_Y, your posts sound like you have researched and written essays about said New Urbanism, but reek of someone who is spouting what your professor told you to think. The concept is all high and minded, but inherently flawed. Americans like their space. They will never consciously decide to live where they are miserable unless their jobs are worth it. I do not want to live in an apartment building just so I don't need to own a car. Long before I was ever a car addict, I have hated living in big cities (born and moved away from San Francisco) and loved going biking in the mountains above Boulder. I know I'm not the only one.

Please lose the attitude where those of us who cannot stand living in a big city (and who have done so) are somehow inferior and lesser people. It's supremely condescending. I get it, you advocate this concept. Try to live it, as I'm actually doing now, and then tell me if it's all great and wonderful.

Darth_Yuthura
06-18-2009, 10:42 AM
It's not a matter of want, but sustainability.

Americans want their open spaces? How much would they be willing to pay to have their open spaces? Well I'll tell you that when you create a system that spreads itself horizontally, the issue is not any one person, but millions all wanting the same thing. The US has become auto-dependent, which means that when the price of fuel rises, it directly impacts how the state functions.

With mass transit, you will also be dependent on energy; but those that use electricity are not bound to any single source to operate. I'm for clean energy, which is why I'm not in favor of coal; but I also recognize that the US has an abundant supply of it. That makes electricity a more favorable source of power for transportation than oil (gasoline, kerosene, and diesel fuel)

The best solution, however, is to try and promote pedestrian travel. That means having as many destinations within walking distance as possible, which means higher density. That can also be augmented by providing light rail to allow even more destinations to more people. That doesn't mean the automobile has to go, but it should not continue to be the dominant means of transportation.

An issue was brought about public transportation flourishing as energy got more expensive... When the energy crisis of last year hit, public transportation actually suffered badly because they saw a rise in demand while they had to pay even more for their fuel. Public busing couldn't expand in times when demand was at its highest because they didn't have the funding it needed for that to happen. When they didn't have the funding to expand, they became overtaxed and could barely afford to break even with their own high fuel prices. Light rail overcomes this more easily, but demands a set population density for it to work. Portland is the best example of an auto-dependent city that successfully integrated light rail for an effective alternate means of transportation. Even removing 10% of cars improves fuel economy due to reduced traffic congestion. That's why it works so well.

And in regards to the 'open space' issues... the whole point of higher densities is to provide fewer, larger open spaces so that it would make people feel more comfortable than on that 40 X 20 plot of land that is in front of every house for miles on end. It would be better to acknowledge that there are millions of others wanting the same things, so it is best to focus on creating a system by which everyone benefits instead of everyone vying for their own interests.

JediAthos
06-18-2009, 11:47 AM
I don't have a whole lot to add to this discussion that hasn't already been said and I have by no means done extensive research on the subject so in that regard I will pose a question or two.

DY: You said that you would advocate providing fewer large open spaces so that people would feel more comfortable than in their front yard...(assuming I interpreted what you said correctly) How do you believe that would be so? How would you go about taking something that many Americans cherish away from them?

Frankly, I would tend to side with Bimmerman as I spent a fair amount of time in Europe in various cities while I was serving in the Navy. I couldn't imagine living as they do on top of one another all the time. To me personally that would be...claustrophobic.

I do live in an apartment now in West Texas which really doesn't qualify as densely populated and I have lived in apartments in the past in Virginia Beach and frankly I hated it.

I think we might be better served devoting our time and money to revamping our power grid, improving mass transit availability where it is viable, and researching vehicles that can utilize other types of fuel sources.

I guess I just fail to see how it would be economically viable to attempt to implement a system such as you describe. What do you do with people who don't wish to live in a city? Cut them off? Force them out?

Perhaps I don't understand the issue fully, but those are my questions and opinions such as they are.

Darth_Yuthura
06-18-2009, 12:41 PM
I do live in an apartment now in West Texas which really doesn't qualify as densely populated and I have lived in apartments in the past in Virginia Beach and frankly I hated it.


I actually would consider that to be high density. I really am not pointing to New York and downtown Chicago as ideal models, as 40,000 people per square mile is overkill. There is a point where it becomes less logical to stack people on top of one another.

Buildings like the Sears Tower, World Trade center towers, and Tai-pah 101 are not the direction I am going for. I would be more for cities like Portland, with a density of 4,500 people per square mile, where mass transit is viable on a regional scale. That doesn't mean that you should build such a light rail system, but the option would at least be available for future development. That's the target I'm in favor of.

As for apartments and condos, I recognize that they are favored less by families with children. That is not something I really addressed. I know that most who prefer condos will likely be singles or childless couples, which should also be taken into consideration for the placement of schools. For families that do have children that live in single family detached homes, urban planning would be critical for planning bus routes and public spaces.

In my hometown of only 3,200 people, much funding is lost to school buses because there are so many people spread out that they drive 3 miles to collect only 12 children in some rural locations. That sounds small, but if these 12 children lived in a sprawl neighborhood, the number of bus stops adds hundreds to the service costs each year. On another route, in a very low density town, children often walk down their street and reduce the number of stops from 7 to only one (and reduce the time it takes to pick up students by driving along a main road and not turning down every end street along the way)

Same thing goes for post office trucks... consolidate people's mail boxes into one location and you can make each stop they make for a dozen boxes instead of one.

Garbage trucks can provide for many more people if they have one dumpster instead of a can for each house. Utility lines are much cheaper to place and maintain if you have more people sharing the same lines.

As for privacy... either you have a rural home for complete isolation, or you have neighbors surrounding you. If you are going to have neighbors, it's best to work in conjunction with them to share as many of the same systems as possible. It doesn't mean everyone must live in apartments, but those that live in single family detached homes should cluster together whenever possible for services such as these.

Bimmerman
06-18-2009, 12:58 PM
DY, your model may work for big cities. In fact, many people in big cities already follow a similar model. However, it is utterly ineffective at combating suburban sprawl. There is no way to get around the fact that, short of walking everywhere, a car is infinitely more convenient than relying on public transportation. Cheaper too.

I do not want to be forced to take a train or bus or walk everywhere. I do not want to live next to my neighbor with only a wall separating us. I want to have a house with a garage and home theater and yard and space. I do not want to live in super close proximity to other people. I want my space, my privacy. I am not the only one who wants this. This is the American dream, and I take offense that you think I must conform to a european big city model. I do not want to nor will I ever conform to that. I've tried it, and now that I'm not on a keylogged computer at work, I hate it.

I've done the urban thing. I've done the walking everywhere and using subways and buses. It is only convenient when you're coming back from the bar drunk, and that issue can be solved by taxis.

There is plenty of space for "sprawl" here in the west; sustainability is not an issue.

Finally, your point on open space. Munich has one of, if not the, biggest and largest city parks in the world, the English Garden. It is beyond congested, with little room for a few people to toss a frisbee around. Americans, especially out west, pride ourselves on our vast empty spaces. You will never get us to agree to your idea. There is a huge difference in mindset between westerners and country folk and people from big cities: we want our space, and we do not do well in apartment buildings.

As for not using cars as main transportation, go right ahead and make mass transit appealing to use for big cities. It will do the most good there. Mass transit will do absolutely nothing for suburban sprawl. If the light rail here in Denver that goes to the suburbs is any indication, it takes so long and is so inconvenient that the only people who ride it that far are those who cannot afford cars. Do not be so naive as to think all big cities are gridlocked like LA. I have lived in the Denver area most of my life and have rarely experienced LA or NY or SF-style traffic. Most of the US population does not live in the biggest cities, so mass transit is useless for most of the population. Is it useful? Yes. Will it replace my car? Only if I'm in a big city, in which I hate living.

What your argument comes down to exposes a great irony. You claim that the best way to stop suburban sprawl is to have more people live in big cities or areas of high population densities. To have apartment buildings for everyone, mass transit cheap and available, everything within walking distance, low energy living, etc etc. You're evidently unaware that most people living in the suburbs moved out of the big city to get away from all of that. How can you possibly expect people to want to go back to that? Americans want their space, and the suburbs are absolutely cheaper to live in when compared to the big city, even including costs of driving.

I will gladly spend more money driving if I save moeny on rent/mortgage, save money on insurance, save money on utilities, save money on food, save money on drinks, save money on just about everything. Being where you and your family are happy and comfortable is priceless, regardless of any other economic consideration.

mimartin
06-18-2009, 01:06 PM
I actually would consider that to be high density.
I would be more for cities like Portland, with a density of 4,500 people per square mile, where mass transit is viable on a regional scale.
Then no, you would not consider West Texas high density. Even Houston only has a population density of 3,828 people per square mile. We Texans like our space. One of the larger West Texas towns of Lubbock has a population density of 1,831 people per square mile. You may get up to your 4,500 number if you included livestock, but I really don’t want to ride a bus with livestock.

The area I live in has a population of 72,186 with a population density of 402 people per square mile. Of course the density is kind of distorted since no one around here wants to live up against the prisons and chemical plants in the area. Silly people.

Bimmerman
06-18-2009, 01:15 PM
I just wikipedia'd my city.

Ironically, my town has a population density of 3884.1 / sq mi (higher than Denver). Odd. My town has lots of space per person, and has few apartment buildings. Almost everything is single family homes or duplexes. Denver is suffocatingly large and dense to me, while my town with a larger density is much more comfortable. Statistics aren't everything; Boulder has greenery and parks and open spaces that truly disguise the number of people living here.....most cities I have seen do not.

Granted, I live outside the city limits and have more land. The density of where I technically live (the county), is a whopping 391 / sq mi.

However, remove the university from the equation and we have 1790 / sq mi. That's why the town feels small and livable.

Mass transit works in my town, but only as far as buses. As I said earlier, my town's mass transit system is part of one of the highest rates services around. My town is still centered around cars. We don't have traffic of any discernible sort. Population density itself is a useless statistic, as how the population is serviced by infrastructure is more important. If it's a town like Boulder, where most people live in actual houses (ignoring the university students and student-centered apartments), that's not a bad population density.

Where I live now, in Munich, the density is 11000/sq mi. Way too many.

Jae Onasi
06-18-2009, 03:58 PM
I await your answers to my previous questions asking for data.
It's not a matter of want, but sustainability. What sustainability problem are you talking about? We have unsold land in my county that is in between two major cities. We have states where there's so much land the gov't is paying people to homestead on it.

Americans want their open spaces? How much would they be willing to pay to have their open spaces? I pay about 1200 per month for my home. If I had a condo in Chicago, it would cost me three times more and have half the space. It costs more to live in the big city. A lot more.

Well I'll tell you that when you create a system that spreads itself horizontally, the issue is not any one person, but millions all wanting the same thing.Yes, millions want to get out of over-crowded, over-taxed, over-priced city living. There's plenty of space for them, too. You're ignoring all the problems with urban living except the transit efficiency aspect yet again.

The US has become auto-dependent, which means that when the price of fuel rises, it directly impacts how the state functions._I_ am 'the state'. _You_ are 'the state'. Every American is 'the state'. This is a republic, not a socialist or communist state. The government exists to serve the people, not the other way around. The day we all forget that is the day we should just hang it up and sign the Communist manifesto.

The price of fuel rose dramatically last year. Why? Corporate and OPEC greed, pure and simple. OPEC refused to increase production, and oil companies took tremendous advantage of oil speculation. Their greed contributed to the worldwide recession/depression.

With mass transit, you will also be dependent on energy; but those that use electricity are not bound to any single source to operate. I'm for clean energy, which is why I'm not in favor of coal; but I also recognize that the US has an abundant supply of it. That makes electricity a more favorable source of power for transportation than oil (gasoline, kerosene, and diesel fuel)That works for electric cars and electric power to houses all over the country, not just mass transit in big cities.

The best solution, however, is to try and promote pedestrian travel. That means having as many destinations within walking distance as possible, which means higher density. That can also be augmented by providing light rail to allow even more destinations to more people. That doesn't mean the automobile has to go, but it should not continue to be the dominant means of transportation.Who determined that crazy idea? You ever try to carry groceries for a week for a family of four in your arms walking home? I live about 6 blocks from our grocery store and walk there when I only need a few items, but there's no way I could carry a full load home. Furthermore, since you've experienced harsh winters as I have, you know that walking in below zero temperatures and 2 feet of snow that we can experience regularly in WI winters makes a car far more necessary than in places without some of these issues.

An issue was brought about public transportation flourishing as energy got more expensive... When the energy crisis of last year hit, public transportation actually suffered badly because they saw a rise in demand while they had to pay even more for their fuel. Public busing couldn't expand in times when demand was at its highest because they didn't have the funding it needed for that to happen. When they didn't have the funding to expand, they became overtaxed and could barely afford to break even with their own high fuel prices. How were city governments supposed to anticipated the unprecedented rise in fuel costs? Consult their magic 8 balls? They didn't have the funds because they hadn't budgeted for them, and they were seeing a decrease in tax revenue because of the housing collapse and decreased revenues from sales taxes on top of that. There's no way they could expand transit rapidly, anyway. You can't go to the local Wal-Mart and buy 3 city buses and an L-train station or two.

Light rail overcomes this more easily, but demands a set population density for it to work. Portland is the best example of an auto-dependent city that successfully integrated light rail for an effective alternate means of transportation. Even removing 10% of cars improves fuel economy due to reduced traffic congestion. That's why it works so well.Vivat for Portland. Sure we could learn from them, but that doesn't solve the problem: not all people want to live in big cities.

And in regards to the 'open space' issues... the whole point of higher densities is to provide fewer, larger open spaces so that it would make people feel more comfortable than on that 40 X 20 plot of land that is in front of every house for miles on end. It would be better to acknowledge that there are millions of others wanting the same things, so it is best to focus on creating a system by which everyone benefits instead of everyone vying for their own interests.
Great. So I can go to a park 3 miles from my concrete-patio'd condo to sit on a graffiti-covered park-bench and look at some pooping pigeons and dog-ugly starlings pecking the ground around some fenced-in trees. Whoopee. I'll keep my nature-filled backyard, thank you very much.

Darth_Yuthura
06-18-2009, 04:04 PM
It's quite clear that I shouldn't try to argue with an issue like this when others have their own strong opinions. (removed flamebait). mimartin

I see that if people aren't going to confront a painful truth, then they will not believe anything I present. I see that I will only drive people away from what I've presented because they will just generate reasons and justifications for their lifestyle. Just wanted to inspire people to see a better future than what we are embarking upon, but clearly I must be the only one standing out from the group. Clearly if things are working so well, I must be the one not seeing things right.

When I come to see the reality is much different from what I'm envisioning, then maybe I can at least take some satisfaction when I see that all my logic is flawed. Maybe it would be great to see that all that I'm fearing is just in my head. I can stand finding out that I'm the one who's wrong on this issue; that would make me VERY satisfied.

jrrtoken
06-18-2009, 04:44 PM
It's quite clear that I shouldn't try to argue with an issue like this when others have their own strong opinions. (removed flamebait). mimartin
No, it's just people can't be forced to live where the government decides. If what you're proposing was the status quo, then it would be unconstitutional.I see that I will only drive people away from what I've presented because they will just generate reasons and justifications for their lifestyle.Recognizing problems is one thing, but proposing solutions which are either wasteful or restrictive towards citizens is something totally different.

Jae Onasi
06-18-2009, 04:49 PM
Darth_Yuthura, are you done editing your post yet? I'd like to respond, but can't until you're finished changing what you're saying.

Darth_Yuthura
06-18-2009, 05:32 PM
Clearly I don't seem to be presenting any problems, since everything is going just so perfectly with everyone but me. So much for presenting a problem, let alone declaring a solution.

If everything is going so great with everyone, then I'm just playing games on paper. So if everything is just peachy, I'll just stop spouting off about a bunch of nothing that people aren't going to believe anyway. There, I'm done.

Bimmerman
06-18-2009, 05:57 PM
DY, you are continually ignoring the fact that Jae, myself, and many others in this thread have pointed out-- that we don't want to live in a big city. Therefore, your urban utopia is inherently flawed.

No-one here is confronting a painful truth. My painful truth came when I moved from beautiful Boulder to beautiful Munich. I lived in the big city. I hate the big city. I won't repeat the reasons a third time. I am saving for a down payment for a nice suburban house even though I am single at the moment. Wasteful? Maybe so. Unlike you, many others in this thread have lived in the big cities of the world and have experienced this urban model your sociology professor is proselytizing. I reject it as inferior and restrictive. I want the freedom to do what I want on my land; that is impossible in a big city. It is an inherently American (and western) desire as well; my German friends here have no such desire.

If anyone in this thread is ignoring evidence to the contrary, it is you. Keep telling us how this is a great theory, how it will revolutionize urban settings, how it will save the planet, how it will ..... .

I do not see why I should change my lifestyle and sacrifice my happiness and financial security just to not have to drive and live 'efficiently.' I'm an engineer; my profession revolves around doing things the most efficient way possible within realistic constraints. You sound like a liberal arts college student without any real world experience; you're missing the realistic constraint aspect to this discussion.

Here are the biggest flaws in your argument:

1) Americans culturally like having privacy and space. This will not change.
2) Big cities are expensive
3) Suburbs are nicer in all measurable ways-- lower crime, more trees, less people, etc etc
4) Big cities have lots of people. Many Americans don't like that....why else would we have moved out West?

As for inspiring a better future, you have done nothing of the sort. I cringe at the thought of being required or forced to live in the big city all in the name of almighty Efficiency. Flame me or ignore me all you like, but I will always be a very vocal opposing voice to increased urbanization.

What you ask the people to do, in the name of more ideal and efficient living, is near socialism. Removed Flamebait ~ mimartin

To be fair, it is a very ideal model of an urban society. It just doesn't work in reality. I'm proof. Either ignore the fact that both Jae and myself have experienced both sides, and continue to spout your professor's textbook, or find out why we dislike and reject the model and change the model to fit the people you are wanting to apply it to.

An engineer can design a perfect part, but if it cannot be manufactured, there's no point. Similarly, you can accept a theory of urbanism, but if the other people do not accept or flat out reject it, there's also no point in clinging to said model. Either accept our differences on the issue and try to find common ground, or don't and continue to spout elitist nonsense.

Bimmerman
06-18-2009, 07:40 PM
Note to all- DY deleted his post, but the entirety of is is presented below in the quoted text, minus the Declaration of Independence.

Flaws in the counter argument.

1. Suburban sprawl and globalization were fueled by easily obtainable sources of energy.

I fail to see how that matters. Are we not supposed to capitalize on easily obtainable resources? Are we supposed to still be farmers huddled around caves? Are we supposed to not have invented steel or coal fired power plants because the raw materials are easily obtainable?

When peak oil supply takes place, the price of energy is going to skyrocket and there will be difficult times ahead for those who have no substitute for their cars.

True....so long as you term 'energy' as 'oil.' You also seem convinced that everyone drives a 3mpg Suburban. That's false. When oil hit $4.50 a gallon, what happened? People drove less, but still drove. The simple fact is that the American lifestyle depends on cars for the majority of the people. If you cannot budget $30 more per week on gas (due to price fluctuations).....come on. If you can't afford the increase in something that is essential, stop going to starbucks, stop eating out, stop drinking, stop smoking, or quit bitching. Not hard. If a broke college student can afford two cars, school, and fuel to go racing (far more consumed than simple commuting), all by working during classes, and you as an established family cannot, something is very wrong.

Call cars evil all you want. Blame cars as the root of all evil and what's wrong with America all you want. That doesn't change the fact that people are buying more fuel efficient cars to lessen the hurt from the next inevitable price hike. That doesn't change the fact that people are smart enough to figure out ways to cope and deal with increased energy costs. People will either change their lifestyle and not drive as much, or pay more for the privilege of doing so. But do us the courtesy of allowing us to make that choice for ourselves.

Convenience has a price, but living in a big city and simply walking to the store and carrying groceries back is absolutely impractical when there's more than just you. Same goes for inclement weather, hot days, long travel needs, road trips, carrying stuff, pretty much everything. Cars will always be a part of the American culture and society. Stop tilting at windmills trying to change that fact, especially when great strides are being made in vehicle emissions and efficiency.


2. Suburbs are more expensive per capita to maintain.

....and your proof for that blanket statement is...what, exactly?

In terms of costs, you would find that what people pay in taxes is artificially generated and has no bearing on what it costs to maintain per capita.

Um.....what? People pay tax, that's hardly artificially generated. The property tax, city sales tax, and state income tax all go towards paying for the services provided in the suburb. The higher the cost of the house, the larger the property tax, which pays for the maintenance cost and service cost. Including this, it is cheaper to live in the Suburb and commute everywhere in a 2mpg F1 car, changing tires every 40 miles.

3. environmentally destructive.

Sorry, but urban activity destroys nature. When you create a sprawl city, you create an artificially maintained landscape.

....and building apartment buildings and mass transit and buses doesn't? Humans destroy nature, no matter where you are living. Artificial landscapes aren't necessarily bad for the environment, they are simply different.

4. Government services are severely lacking.

Proof. The burden of proof for these statements is on you.


More taxpayers in a smaller area allows for more funding to civil servants and less to their vehicles. Ever hear of transportation oriented development? It's that significant to the function of a community.

Jesus, you're a socialist and borderline communist. I would much rather spend the money on my car driving as I please where I please instead of paying some high school dropout to tell me where it is best for the community that I travel. Absolutely not. Transportation oriented development is the exact same thing as a suburb; it is oriented around people owning their own house and driving their car. Hundreds of millions of Americans are happy with this; why aren't you? Have you ever lived in a suburb or small town?


5. Less is more.

I would get banned for saying my thoughts as bluntly as I'd like.


For most of human history, it has always been a quest to search for more resources when demand went up. The current dilemma is unlike any in the past because the goal should be targeted at reducing demand because most supply WILL NOT hold up under the current demands of the US. Any assumption that innovation will always bail us out of our predicaments is foolhardy.

No. The current dilemma is not even remotely centered around reducing demand; that's what you want to have happen. Toss words like supply and demand around enough, without any discussion of what item or commodity is being supplied or demanded, and you have basically genericized your argument into uselessness.

Furthermore, your blatant disregard for innovation is troubling. Have you paid any attention to the fuel savings introduced in cars in the last few years? Do you have any idea how much a minute increase in powerplant efficiency affects fuel consumption and output? Do you have any idea how better knowledge of materials has lightened and cheapened things without any degradation in safety, performance, or strength? Do you have any idea what agricultural advances there have been since the dawn of time? You thinking that pursuing innovation and improvement is a waste of time and resources frankly scares me.

You do realize that without innovators, we would not have AC electricity to power your ideal transportation? Wow.

Your idea of 'less is more' runs counter to American culture. I want to have a house, filled with a nice TV, sound system, car parts, car lift, tools, a nice yard, a beautiful wife, kids, a dog, guns, three or four cars, bicycles, a boat, camping stuff, etc. I agree that it is not needed. I absolutely reject your assertion that I am a better person and will live a happier life without these things. I have gone backpacking in the wilderness for weeks on end, and nothing makes me happier than to go home and enjoy my life with my stuff. I live in Munich now, with two suitcases of clothes, no car, no bike, a laptop, and a camera, and I cannot stand it. I have more than I need to survive, true, but I am not happy.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

As an American, I have the right to live my life in liberty as I see fit, pursuing my happiness the best way I can. My happiness does not revolve around the things themselves, but around what they allow me to do-- go racing, live comfortably, live without next-wall neighbors, go skiing, go hiking, cook, shoot, etc. New Urbanism threatens my unalienable right to the pursuit of happiness, my personal liberty, and my life.

The classic American dream is to start from nothing, work and earn money as best you can, start a family, buy a house, buy a car or two, and retire richer and happier than you were before. Your urban theory claims my dream is hurtful to society and my fellow man, and that offends me greatly. Basically, according to you and your theory, anyone who is successful enough to afford a house away from the city should be punished, as everyone should live the same way near where they work and buy food, and never go anywhere. That, frankly, is banworthy-word stupid.

We've got overcrowding in all our cities already, so let's move out West!

You would honestly rather live packed on top of hundreds of other people in an apartment building, walking everywhere, relying on the government, than being responsible for your own damn self? Wow.

Please don't move out here and try to change my lifestyle. I enjoy it, I pay for it, do me the courtesy of leaving myself and fellow citizens the hell alone.

The point of this thread, as far as I can tell, is to debate suburban sprawl. Debate means discussion with facts. I, and others, have laid out our reasoning and experiences that justify our intense opposition to your proposed idea. You, as far as I can tell, have made no effort to understand our side, nor do anything about rant on why we are fools and that we should all live in apartments within walking distance of public transportation and everything. You spout talking points like a politician, but do not back them up with anything of substance. No facts, no sources, nothing except what reads as a textbook.

I understand where you are coming from, and thought somewhat similarly (regarding transportation, not on the suburbs part of your argument) prior to moving out here and experiencing exactly what you are proposing. I have found it to be horrible, and you will never convince me to give it another try. It flat out will not work for Americans in anything other than the biggest cities where not even close to the majority of the population lives.

My biggest issue with your unwavering belief in this idea is that it assumes my aspirations, my goals, my world, is unworthy as an alternative. It assumes that everyone is the same, that everyone wants to not have to drive, only wants to live within walking distance of work and the markets. "New Urbanism" threatens my way of life, and I have every right to defend myself and my dreams.

JediAthos
06-18-2009, 07:50 PM
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but don't most larger American cities already have significant amounts of mass transit available?

NYC, Chicago, San Diego, DC, Dallas, Houston etc...all have readily available mass transit systems for those who wish to use them do they not? San Diego's trolley service is especially nice and I used it extensively while I was stationed there.

I've lived in or around several major cities including Dallas, Chicago, Norfolk, and San Diego and I never really found government services to be lacking in the suburban areas. There were always the common government services such as police, fire, water, sewage, and trash pickup.

Bimmerman
06-18-2009, 08:15 PM
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but don't most larger American cities already have significant amounts of mass transit available?

NYC, Chicago, San Diego, DC, Dallas, Houston etc...all have readily available mass transit systems for those who wish to use them do they not? San Diego's trolley service is especially nice and I used it extensively while I was stationed there.

Yes, every large American city I've been to had good public transportation.

I've lived in or around several major cities including Dallas, Chicago, Norfolk, and San Diego and I never really found government services to be lacking in the suburban areas. There were always the common government services such as police, fire, water, sewage, and trash pickup.

+1

jrrtoken
06-18-2009, 08:51 PM
I've lived in or around several major cities including Dallas, Chicago, Norfolk, and San Diego and I never really found government services to be lacking in the suburban areas. There were always the common government services such as police, fire, water, sewage, and trash pickup.QFE, though I think that's more of a negative attribute of local government. If local governments seem to maintain wealthier and more posh communities more than neighborhoods in the city proper, that's more of a massive folly of the government.

Darth_Yuthura
06-18-2009, 09:01 PM
Proof. The burden of proof for these statements is on you.

So why am I to be held responsible for having to disprove your accusations? You're the one who presented a counter-argument, failed to make your case, and then escalated the matter to a personal level...

No. If you bring something up, it's your responsibility to prove it before another is to take you seriously. You presented four major flaws in my logic... where's your proof that those are true? I say they're wrong.

JediAthos
06-18-2009, 09:25 PM
DY...what I think Bimmerman was asking for was if you had evidence supporting the statement you made regarding government services to be lacking, expenditures per capita etc....

Emperor Devon
06-18-2009, 09:29 PM
nice job at ignoring the rest of the post tho

JediAthos
06-18-2009, 09:33 PM
at the risk of being off topic...was that directed at me Devon?

Darth_Yuthura
06-18-2009, 09:39 PM
DY...what I think Bimmerman was asking for was if you had evidence supporting the statement you made regarding government services to be lacking, expenditures per capita etc....

The first law of cognitive geography: Distance and Similarity in Semantic Spaces

http://www.geog.ucsb.edu/~sara/html/research/pubs/fabrikant_etal_gis02.pdf

In this, the basic concept is that you have a much greater influence when you're closer to the source than if you're further away. This is mainly applied to physical geography, but it holds true to human geography. Everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things. From this, it would make better sense to have police, schools, hospitals, and sanitation services closer to where they're needed. You can get more closer to a greater number of people in a dense city than a suburb.

The same thing goes to transportation because you have to spend more for powering these systems the further away from the source you get. This is why density is so important: because it holds true to this fundamental principle by having more people more easily able to reach a greater number of potential destinations with greater resiliency than being solely auto dependent.

Jae Onasi
06-18-2009, 09:59 PM
D_Y, are you going to actually address any of the concerns brought up by Bimmerman, JediAthos, and me, or are you going to continue ignoring all our posts and spamming the thread non-stop with the 'living in an ant farm is more efficient' posts? If so, I'll talk it over with the other moderating staff for thread closure and/or spam infractions.

Darth_Yuthura
06-19-2009, 01:51 AM
Here is an extensive list of sources I've read that lead me to certain ends. Sorry that I didn't take the time to go back and point out exactly where I came to each conclusion, as this is a very elaborate topic. I'm can't directly address anecdotal evidence because I haven't seen how certain people have lived and can't really counter such experts who stand alone against ones that I do indeed know. It then comes down to he said/she said scenarios where there is really no means to verify who should be trusted more.

I don't proclaim myself an expert, but I would trust the logic of people I know if their reasoning is sound. One such professor lived in Milwaukee AND has degrees, which makes his word more credible to me than someone who simply was a passive observer under the same conditions. I will not be convinced by someone else's word unless they have statistics to back their claim, or that they have more credibility than just being a passive observer.


Smart growth: density imperative for good urban design

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2002/05/21/carollloyd.DTL


Health issues:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B73H6-4CCF960-2&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=b52ac45dbc9c6cfb12328a3fea43b94a

Local/Regional autonomy dilemmas

http://www.law.virginia.edu/html/news/2005_spr/lawpolitics.htm

Crime rate issues:

http://media.www.chicagoflame.com/media/storage/paper519/news/2005/09/12/Opinions/A.Different.Look.At.Suburban.Sprawl-981575.shtml
http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=10.1.1.10.6134


Here's some bedtime reading: Very thick source of details

http://books.google.com/books?id=RQN0OXl02qMC&pg=PA37&lpg=PA37&dq=suburban+sprawl+statistics&source=bl&ots=fGEtGGTrus&sig=KsArvlmg-hCcuv-GXP3cTFZfYoE&hl=en&ei=CCM7St6jMo3SMOTS2aAO&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10


Reduced suburban problems in France:

http://bicycleuniverse.info/transpo/sprawl-paris.html

Here's a detailed set of statistics I've read through... population dynamics behind Urban sprawl
http://risprawl.terranovum.com/

Simple site for the stats of population density with some pieces from the social and economic aspects of why density needs to increase, or why light rail needs to be able to adapt for low-density locations.

http://www.apta.com/research/info/online/twenty_first_century.cfm

Jae Onasi
06-19-2009, 03:40 AM
a. Your professor who 'lived in Milwaukee' wasn't from the area, he was from Europe, and he missed the parking lots I've parked in both downtown, near Marquette, and at a number of eye doctor offices in and around the city. Perhaps he was so busy in his ivory tower he neglected to look outside now and then. Everything's changed since they're been doing the Marquette interchange reconfiguration project for the last 2 years or so, which is reshaping traffic flow in that area tremendously. Google "Marquette Interchange" since I doubt you'll believe my observations. If he had children, I would bet good money that he put them in private school, and if he lived anywhere near downtown, he likely had a good security system on his house, too.

b. You still are not answering my question, so let me rephrase it in a way that might make it easier for you to address. Bimmerman, JediAthos, and I have all lived in big cities. We never want to live there again. We won't because of crime rates, poor school systems (I wouldn't subject a dead flea to either the Chicago or Milwaukee public school system), lack of affordable housing, and a variety of other issues that make urban life not the utopia your professors paint for you with New Urbanism. We've dealt with the reality of muggings, break-ins, higher costs of living, higher housing and property tax rates, corruption in government, cramped housing, crowding, insensitive neighbors in apartments next door to ours, no greenspace, and gunshots outside our windows at 2am. All three of us have decided that urban living, no matter how 'efficient', sucks so hard we could make our own black hole if we wanted.

I want you to address those concerns. I don't want to see the intellectual version of you flipping us the bird and telling us we're not being good little citizens of the state by moving into the big cities like you have done already. I want you to tell us how you can adapt your concept to be more inclusive of those of us who choose not to live in an urban setting for the reasons we've enumerated repeatedly throughout the thread. I wan to see what ideas you have for improving suburban life rather than throwing it out altogether.

f you choose to ignore that and instead yet again tell us we should contribute to the state and move into the city or we're nothing but a bunch of selfish rubes, or some version of the same, I'll assume this is nothing but a spamming rant rather than an actual give-and-take discussion. I'll bring it to jonathan7 and mimartin to discuss sanctions for spam if that's the case.

Bimmerman
06-19-2009, 03:58 AM
DY...what I think Bimmerman was asking for was if you had evidence supporting the statement you made regarding government services to be lacking, expenditures per capita etc....

Exactly. Everyone has opinions, but it is hard to dispute actual facts. Based on my experiences living in both, I would argue that government services are far better and have more access (police, fire, mail, health, garbage, water, sanitation, etc etc).

DY, I await your reply to Jae's post.

Darth_Yuthura
06-19-2009, 09:13 AM
Okay...

High crime rate: can be countered by employing more police officers per given area of land. More taxpayers means more police can be provided. A smaller footprint allows more police to patrol a given area than when people are spread out.

Poor school systems: this is a government problem, not one that is caused because of high population density. There is nothing that links these these as cause and effect. I know of a school in a community of about 3000 people (my mother the head librarian there) and this is a terrible place. My mother's being stressed to her limit because the school's budget is stretched to the brink. This is the same for various schools of this size in Wisconsin, not just in major cities. Madison also has some very good schools, which defies the notion that big cities have terrible schools. And small cities don't always have the best school systems.

No green space: That is not so in any Traditional neighborhood development that I've ever seen. That is the form of development that I'm advocating for, NOT places like Chicago, New York, and San Francisco! If people just judge ALL urban development the same as these cities, then they are neglecting the numerous smaller cities that work very well.

Madison, Wisconsin: This city of half a million is a very fine example of the kind of development that doesn't suffer from a poor education system. The crime rate is fairly low, lots of greenspaces, the capital is in the center of the city (symbolic of how they are a community) They have public busing, affordable housing (as well as expensive places I'll grant that) And this particular city is weathering the latest economic turmoil fairly well while neighboring cities (which are not so well-put together) are suffering badly.

Bad neighbors: that's a problem related to the people, not the city's infrastructure.

If this is just the way things are with people: There are single family detached homes in Madison, as with many other cities, where you can get your precious privacy. I'm not advocating so much that everyone must live in condos, but that SFDH don't house the vast majority of the population. The latest economic crisis WAS related to this, as it was SFDH foreclosures that made up the majority of the wealth lost in the nation. This would not have taken place if you had major corporations building more condos and apartment complexes and fewer people buying houses with borrowed funds.

Does this finally address your concerns?

Oh and I just want to point out that accusing people in order to win a debate is not going to work. No one here knows this professor of mine (and maybe it is that I'm the one who listened and made the wrong assumptions) He IS from Milwaukee and I don't appreciate having myself and my sources attacked by someone based on something that isn't true.

JediAthos
06-19-2009, 09:34 AM
Poor quality schools may not be due to high population density, but poor quality due to overcrowding could be related to high population density could it not?

Having bad neighbors could be related to infrastructure if people are forced to accept a more condensed way of living I would think. Condensing folks into urban areas kind of makes who you end up living near kind of a crap shoot doesn't it?

The economic crisis was much more than SFDH foreclosures. Those foreclosures were brought on by the policies of lenders and the government's lack of oversight on certain aspects of the banking and securities industry. There are also other causes that go way beyond the housing market, but that's another thread. ;)

To be honest I remain unconvinced that the model you advocate is the future for the United States. Plato said necessity is the mother of invention, and I believe him to be correct. I think perhaps you underestimate the human spirit.

I also think that if you attempt to force people to accept that which they believe to be inherently against their best interests you end up with revolution...

Darth_Yuthura
06-19-2009, 09:47 AM
It's clear that this kind of debate won't sway people to accept higher population density any more than trying to convince people to accept a different religion. This is all fine-grained in people's minds that it doesn't matter what I present.

Maybe I was a bit arrogant assuming I could actually do that, but I don't want people to get the impression that my arguments have been disproved. I will admit that I had no chance to make a convincing argument, but that DOES NOT mean that the opposite side must be right. I can stand having people dismiss my arguments, but I don't want them to assume they are wrong and that the opposite side must right because of it.

JediAthos
06-19-2009, 09:56 AM
I will say that I've tried not to dismiss what you're saying DY, and if it seemed like I was doing so I apologize. Debating a topic typically doesn't result in an opinion change on either side, that's why it's called a debate :)

I will say that I avoided jumping in on this topic for a long time until I felt I could offer something relevant based mostly on my own first hand experience. The only degree I have is in Network Security Management, but I do believe my experiences in life especially jumping from city to city with the military gave me some insight, and I'm sure Jae can say the same thing since she has had to deal with the military lifestyle as well.

Darth_Yuthura
06-19-2009, 10:35 AM
I will say that I've tried not to dismiss what you're saying DY, and if it seemed like I was doing so I apologize.

I didn't take offense. I do take this matter very seriously, but it was only because I wouldn't have given it a second thought two years ago. When I took human geography, I got exposed to many new concepts that I had never even considered when I was in high school. Topics like globalization, urban geography, human environmental problems, and gentrification meant very little to me only three years ago. When I actually confronted the matter, I came to realize how limited my perspective really was.

In economics I assumed that everything could rationally be explained, but the reality was that 'analytical thinking' was the very reason why business ventures often didn't work. People assume that if a person studied a subject, they must be very capable. I do seriously take other people's first-person perspective as fact, but don't place as much value in it if they assume they are experts because of it.

I recently started working for a company who make VERY high-quality products and my family happened to have some for 20 years. Until I was shown why the products were designed so well, I never really appreciated them; despite having two decades of experience. If I could overlook something like that for two decades, that makes me wonder just how valuable first-hand experience can be. It's not that I think they are wrong; I just don't know how much of the subject they know.

I can't call myself an expert, as I clearly lack firsthand experience, but I wouldn't call someone else an expert without a combination of experience and study on the subject (which my professor has) And much of what I believe in regards to this professor shouldn't be taken as his beliefs, because my words aren't his. My credibility isn't as solid as his.

With this, I won't continue to press the matter.

jonathan7
06-19-2009, 11:42 AM
It's clear that this kind of debate won't sway people to accept higher population density any more than trying to convince people to accept a different religion. This is all fine-grained in people's minds that it doesn't matter what I present.

If I may offer my 2 cents, this swings both ways - you need to have enough in common with people to be able to change their mind, too different and you will keep bouncing off each other; causing aggravation.

The other thing to always keep in mind...

"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject" - Winston Churchill

Jae Onasi
06-19-2009, 03:09 PM
Okay...

High crime rate: can be countered by employing more police officers per given area of land. More taxpayers means more police can be provided. A smaller footprint allows more police to patrol a given area than when people are spread out.Tell that to the Milwaukee and Chicago mayors then. No one wants their taxes raised. There are more people per square mile in big cities, that means there are more opportunities for crime and less accountability to the greater community like in a small town, unfortunately.

Poor school systems: this is a government problem, not one that is caused because of high population density. There are not that many big cities with good school systems. It's an inherent problem in big cities.

No green space: That is not so in any Traditional neighborhood development that I've ever seen. :roleyess: I life within a mile of four parks.

Madison, Wisconsin: This city of half a million is a very fine example of the kind of development that doesn't suffer from a poor education system. The crime rate is fairly low, lots of greenspaces, the capital is in the center of the city (symbolic of how they are a community) They have public busing, affordable housing (as well as expensive places I'll grant that) And this particular city is weathering the latest economic turmoil fairly well while neighboring cities (which are not so well-put together) are suffering badly.I live in Wisconsin. I'm assuming, since you're talking about Madison, that you do, too. I've been to Madison a number of times. Why are you passing off misinformation that I can so easily double check, like the fact that [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madison,_Wisconsin]Madison, WI has a population of only 228,000 people, estimated? Even if you include the surrounding 2 counties to boost that to 500k, 500k is not "big city". Also, the gov't puts a lot of money into making their capital look very good, so of course they're going to have better everything. I live in WI, I follow WI politics closely.

Bad neighbors: that's a problem related to the people, not the city's infrastructure. It is a problem if they're on the other side of your wall.

If this is just the way things are with people: There are single family detached homes in Madison, as with many other cities, where you can get your precious privacy. I'm not advocating so much that everyone must live in condos, but that SFDH don't house the vast majority of the population. Naw, 40,000 of them are UW-Madison students who live in dorms and the typical crap apartments that surround all huge universities.

The latest economic crisis WAS related to this, as it was SFDH foreclosures that made up the majority of the wealth lost in the nation. This would not have taken place if you had major corporations building more condos and apartment complexes and fewer people buying houses with borrowed funds.There were a lot of people who overbought condos--it was not limited to SFDH. In addition, there was poor oversight by Congress and massive fraud, which didn't help.

Does this finally address your concerns?Yes, thank you.

Oh and I just want to point out that accusing people in order to win a debate is not going to work. No one here knows this professor of mine (and maybe it is that I'm the one who listened and made the wrong assumptions) He IS from Milwaukee and I don't appreciate having myself and my sources attacked by someone based on something that isn't true.
You posted the name of your professor, unless you're speaking currently about another one than the one you'd mentioned awhile back. I googled that professor's name and looked up the wiki entry on him. If this is a different prof, then it does not apply.

I don't care about 'winning'. If New urbanism organizes big cities better, more power to that. If you want to live in a big city, more power to you, have fun. I just don't want to be told I _have_ to like your idea and live in a big city, or else you'll tell me I'm stupid and don't care about 'the state'. It's the whole idea of being told I have to do something I don't want to do that I find so offensive.

Web Rider
06-19-2009, 10:54 PM
Okay...
High crime rate: can be countered by employing more police officers per given area of land. More taxpayers means more police can be provided. A smaller footprint allows more police to patrol a given area than when people are spread out.
As you yourself have stated in relation to other topics, a smaller footprint does not indicate a smaller area of land. If people are building vertical, it can be just as difficult to patrol, if not harder, due to stairs(assuming an emergency and the elevator is closed) being slower to climb and requiring more effort than moving around on flat land. Which can be accomplished with various vehicles, instead of by foot, which a tall building would require.

Poor school systems: this is a government problem, not one that is caused because of high population density. There is nothing that links these these as cause and effect. I know of a school in a community of about 3000 people (my mother the head librarian there) and this is a terrible place. My mother's being stressed to her limit because the school's budget is stretched to the brink. This is the same for various schools of this size in Wisconsin, not just in major cities. Madison also has some very good schools, which defies the notion that big cities have terrible schools. And small cities don't always have the best school systems.
It can be, it can also not be, school systems are highly dependent on the income of the people living in the school district, and the culture that those people have. Not to mention that larger class sizes are more difficult for teachers to handle, and therefore more prone to problems. If everyone is getting an equitable amount of home-living space, it's likely that they will be working equitable jobs, which means that taxes are going to be mediocre to poor. You could cram more students in a school in an attempt to make more money per head, but that requires cutting other costs, such as making larger classrooms, fewer teachers, and less staff. Leading to a higher probability of problems due to a diminished capacity to address issues quickly or at all.

No green space: That is not so in any Traditional neighborhood development that I've ever seen. That is the form of development that I'm advocating for, NOT places like Chicago, New York, and San Francisco! If people just judge ALL urban development the same as these cities, then they are neglecting the numerous smaller cities that work very well.
Higher population density is going to demand less green space within a workable distance. Yes, you could have a park every X distance from a central location, but the more "open space" you put in, the lower your population density. Not to mention, if we're also attempting to reduce the number of long-distance quick travel options(cars), then parks are going to have to be in greater numbers and closer together, further reducing population density.

And again, due to higher populations, these parks are going to be less safe, due to an inherently larger number of people that could foreseeably cause problems. The more people you put in a smaller area, the more likely that trouble becomes. Additionally, green-space is a horizontal solution to a vertical problem. If there are 100 people stacked up on top of each other on every 10 acres of land, but you only have 10 acres of park, you flatten that out and that's a lot of people who are attempting to fit in that part, which would make the "green" and "open" space, very cluttered, very dirty, not very peaceful, and very busy.

Bad neighbors: that's a problem related to the people, not the city's infrastructure.
It's both. People, like all creatures, are territorial, and most people like to feel that they have something that is theirs and theirs only. A little box piled in with a thousand other boxes does not develop this, and it only takes one bad neighbor, or one accident, to start the whole place getting on edge.

If this is just the way things are with people: There are single family detached homes in Madison, as with many other cities, where you can get your precious privacy.
Condescension not required, thank you. If you don't think privacy is important, then I HIGHLY recommend living in a frat house or a dorm in an older college for a while.


I'm not advocating so much that everyone must live in condos, but that SFDH don't house the vast majority of the population. The latest economic crisis WAS related to this, as it was SFDH foreclosures that made up the majority of the wealth lost in the nation.
Because houses are expensive, and this expense, this added luxury, contributes to the economy. The problem is not people wanting to have their own homes and their own green spaces, the problem is people being stupid about it and companies taking advantage of it.

This would not have taken place if you had major corporations building more condos and apartment complexes and fewer people buying houses with borrowed funds.
So, we can live in a "borrowed" home, where for 80 years we're essentially renting from someone who was smart enough to own, and not rent, or we can suffer through borrowed money to own. Hmmmm. I'll take my chances with owning over living with the shadow of a landlord over me all my life.

Darth_Yuthura
06-19-2009, 11:36 PM
As you yourself have stated in relation to other topics, a smaller footprint does not indicate a smaller area of land. If people are building vertical, it can be just as difficult to patrol, if not harder, due to stairs(assuming an emergency and the elevator is closed) being slower to climb and requiring more effort than moving around on flat land. Which can be accomplished with various vehicles, instead of by foot, which a tall building would require.


It's called security.


It can be, it can also not be, school systems are highly dependent on the income of the people living in the school district, and the culture that those people have. Not to mention that larger class sizes are more difficult for teachers to handle, and therefore more prone to problems. If everyone is getting an equitable amount of home-living space, it's likely that they will be working equitable jobs, which means that taxes are going to be mediocre to poor. You could cram more students in a school in an attempt to make more money per head, but that requires cutting other costs, such as making larger classrooms, fewer teachers, and less staff. Leading to a higher probability of problems due to a diminished capacity to address issues quickly or at all.

Same thing happens with smaller scale school districts. One teacher for ~20 students at a time is optimal, but that is more difficult to achieve when you've only got one English teacher that has to be shared among two grades with 100 students each. Larger school districts are more versatile in this regard if you can employ more teachers and adjust the average number of students each one is responsible for.

Higher population density is going to demand less green space within a workable distance. Yes, you could have a park every X distance from a central location, but the more "open space" you put in, the lower your population density. Not to mention, if we're also attempting to reduce the number of long-distance quick travel options(cars), then parks are going to have to be in greater numbers and closer together, further reducing population density.

As opposed to what if I may ask? One lawn for EVERY SINGLE SFDH that you must drive passed each time you have to get from point A to point B? It is far better to agglomerate various green spaces into one than have many more little artificial 'islands' that must be maintained. It's better to have green space concentrated in fewer areas than disperse useless bits of it to everyone like a pez dispenser.


And again, due to higher populations, these parks are going to be less safe, due to an inherently larger number of people that could foreseeably cause problems. The more people you put in a smaller area, the more likely that trouble becomes. Additionally, green-space is a horizontal solution to a vertical problem. If there are 100 people stacked up on top of each other on every 10 acres of land, but you only have 10 acres of park, you flatten that out and that's a lot of people who are attempting to fit in that part, which would make the "green" and "open" space, very cluttered, very dirty, not very peaceful, and very busy.

Thanks, that sums up suburban sprawl in a nutshell. Instead of stacking 100 people in a single location and allowing for much more land to be designated for parks, you spread all these people out and there is no land left for a greenspace.

Your example is fundamentally flawed because spreading those 100 (tenants) around would consume far more than 20 acres. Forget any greenspace at that point because you don't even have enough land to go around for all those tenants to live on.

High population density SAVES land. It allows for more such green spaces because you have more people consuming less space for their place of residence. Compare Chicago to London and you find that London, which occupies one fifth the land as Chicago, actually could take that remaining land and use it for parks, farmland, nature preserves... that would make your example more like 100 tenants on ten acres to have 50 acres of greenspace to themselves. THAT I would support.


Because houses are expensive, and this expense, this added luxury, contributes to the economy. The problem is not people wanting to have their own homes and their own green spaces, the problem is people being stupid about it and companies taking advantage of it.

That's why renting is more reasonable than buying a house and expecting that to be the norm.


So, we can live in a "borrowed" home, where for 80 years we're essentially renting from someone who was smart enough to own, and not rent, or we can suffer through borrowed money to own. Hmmmm. I'll take my chances with owning over living with the shadow of a landlord over me all my life.

Real estate is NOT the smart way to earn easy money.

Take rent, deduct taxes, legal suits, maintenance, insurance, repairs. Then the capital costs of the house... that is not so great as it may seem.

With renting, you pay a security deposit and rent each month, but you don't have to pay a massive capital cost to buy the home; allowing you to move more easily if you want to. You avoid paying property taxes and insurance... very significant upkeep costs for homeowners.

The problem is that renting has become something that is almost snickered at in the American society. I'm not suggesting everyone MUST rent, but it should not be regarded as badly or abnormal.

JediAthos
06-19-2009, 11:46 PM
I rented much of my adult life until a year after I got married. The rent on my apartment in Virginia Beach went $900 a month to just over $1000 a month. My wife and I easily calculated that we could own a home for what we were paying in rent, and we were correct. At that point continuing to rent our apartment was throwing our money away whereas owning our home we were building equity that would hopefully be returned when we sold the house.

mimartin
06-19-2009, 11:47 PM
With renting, you pay a security deposit and rent each month, but you don't have to pay a massive capital cost to buy the home; allowing you to move more easily if you want to. You avoid paying property taxes and insurance... very significant upkeep costs for homeowners. No, with rent you are paying all that and more. Only you are paying for taxes, insurance, maintenance and everything else to the landlord, plus the landlord’s profit and in the end you have nothing to show for it.

Darth_Yuthura
06-20-2009, 12:07 AM
I was speaking from the perspective of a landlord. We had one house that really didn't do more than pay for itself with rent... assuming everything else worked out. It was so neglected that the roof had to be replaced, water heater, septic system, and a major garage repair set my parents back greatly. After taking care of those, they sold the house for $25000 less than it was worth because they didn't want to deal with it anymore.

Web Rider
06-20-2009, 03:57 PM
It's called security.
I'm aware of what it's called, but you failed to address my point. My point was that patrolling a vertical building is more difficult than patrolling a flat surface, and that response times to crime would be lower unless you went with police-state levels of "security" on every floor.

Same thing happens with smaller scale school districts. One teacher for ~20 students at a time is optimal, but that is more difficult to achieve when you've only got one English teacher that has to be shared among two grades with 100 students each. Larger school districts are more versatile in this regard if you can employ more teachers and adjust the average number of students each one is responsible for.
Right, but I wasn't really addressing the size of the school districts, I was addressing their income. People who live in smaller homes with fewer requirements will require lesser jobs and therefore have lesser income. Since schools base their income on property taxes, schools will have reduced income if the people and property are reduced as well. Big or small doesn't matter.

As opposed to what if I may ask? One lawn for EVERY SINGLE SFDH that you must drive passed each time you have to get from point A to point B? It is far better to agglomerate various green spaces into one than have many more little artificial 'islands' that must be maintained. It's better to have green space concentrated in fewer areas than disperse useless bits of it to everyone like a pez dispenser.
That is your opinion and you are entitled to it. Though there are benefits to private lawns. For example, the need for security is reduced, it is up to each home owner to build their own fence and watch over the people in it. It is also up to the home owner to maintain it. "public spaces" require public employees to maintain and protect, while "useless bits" are up to the individual to care for, and when people feel personally responsible for something, they take better care of it.


Thanks, that sums up suburban sprawl in a nutshell. Instead of stacking 100 people in a single location and allowing for much more land to be designated for parks, you spread all these people out and there is no land left for a greenspace.
A man-made park is no more "greenspace" than a fenced in yard. It is made by men, taken care of by men, and surrounded by fences, security, homes and concrete. You cannot "build" or "plan" greenspace, it already exists, and the only thing you can do is not warp it into some human-oriented piece of trash. Central park is just as worthless greenspace as a backyard is. It is a controlled, privatized, isolated area of human design, it's as natural and "green" as a cheeseburger.

Your example is fundamentally flawed because spreading those 100 (tenants) around would consume far more than 20 acres. Forget any greenspace at that point because you don't even have enough land to go around for all those tenants to live on.
That depends on how the land is divided up. If it is as you suggest, with minimal green for even the private individual, then we're talking small segements of an acre, 1/4th or less. 20/(1/4)=80. That's almost a hundred, in addition, a person cannot add on or expand an apartment. Is more family desires to live with them, they can't. A personal home however, can be expanded vertically or horzontally to do just that.

High population density SAVES land. It allows for more such green spaces because you have more people consuming less space for their place of residence. Compare Chicago to London and you find that London, which occupies one fifth the land as Chicago, actually could take that remaining land and use it for parks, farmland, nature preserves... that would make your example more like 100 tenants on ten acres to have 50 acres of greenspace to themselves. THAT I would support.
Or, could it be that Chicago was founded in 1833, and London has been around for over 500 years? And that "large swaths of land" were owned by the King, and later private business, therefore preventing development, and when people finally did have homes, they had large extended family dwellings.

That's why renting is more reasonable than buying a house and expecting that to be the norm.
That's an opinion.

Real estate is NOT the smart way to earn easy money.
Tell that to all the real estate moguls who are rich beyond the wildest dreams of most Americans. My Aunt is extremely wealthy due to real estate, sometimes her income isn't great, but that doesn't change the fact that she's very well off for just being a real-estate agent with several private homes she rents and sells.

Take rent, deduct taxes, legal suits, maintenance, insurance, repairs. Then the capital costs of the house... that is not so great as it may seem.
Or you could notice that my apartments are owned by an Arizona-based corporation and is one of 3 major rental organizations in town. They own anywhere from 1/3rd to 1/2 of all apartment complexes. That's pretty darn profitable. And you know what, because I can't buy a home in town, i'm going to leave, because I don't want to live at the whims of somebody else, if I wanted that, I'd never have left my home. This means reduced income for the schools and local businesses.

With renting, you pay a security deposit and rent each month, but you don't have to pay a massive capital cost to buy the home; allowing you to move more easily if you want to. You avoid paying property taxes and insurance... very significant upkeep costs for homeowners.
If I pay 750 a month for an apartment, then, after 30 years(the average home loan period), I have paid my landlord $270,000 dollars. Which is the average cost of a single family home. So, I could pay almost $300k to have no gardening space, no garage, no extra room for my future children, not be allowed to have pets, and always worry about keeping the place in perfect shape or lose the apartment. Or, I could pay almost $300k for my own private yard, a place to put my car, space for my children or extended family, and not worry about losing it if I mess up the carpet, have pets like I want. I think the benefits of a single family home outweigh renting by a great, great deal.

The problem is that renting has become something that is almost snickered at in the American society. I'm not suggesting everyone MUST rent, but it should not be regarded as badly or abnormal.
Considering the cons to renting I just addressed, everything I experience while renting, it's not something the average person should have to live with.

Darth_Yuthura
06-20-2009, 06:31 PM
Right, but I wasn't really addressing the size of the school districts, I was addressing their income. People who live in smaller homes with fewer requirements will require lesser jobs and therefore have lesser income. Since schools base their income on property taxes, schools will have reduced income if the people and property are reduced as well. Big or small doesn't matter.

Big or small doesn't matter. You said it yourself. Therefore the problems with education cannot be attributed to population density.

Otherwise, the benefits of higher population density means more valuable real estate and that means more money towards the education system.


That is your opinion and you are entitled to it. Though there are benefits to private lawns. For example, the need for security is reduced, it is up to each home owner to build their own fence and watch over the people in it. It is also up to the home owner to maintain it. "public spaces" require public employees to maintain and protect, while "useless bits" are up to the individual to care for, and when people feel personally responsible for something, they take better care of it.

Or some residents will let their lawns go into chaos because they don't care one way or another.


A man-made park is no more "greenspace" than a fenced in yard. It is made by men, taken care of by men, and surrounded by fences, security, homes and concrete. You cannot "build" or "plan" greenspace, it already exists, and the only thing you can do is not warp it into some human-oriented piece of trash. Central park is just as worthless greenspace as a backyard is. It is a controlled, privatized, isolated area of human design, it's as natural and "green" as a cheeseburger.

Do you know what the average lifespan is of tree planet in an urban landscape? Well it's not very long because it has to be artificially maintained. You can leave a much larger piece of 'artificial greenspace' and leave it to nature to maintain itself. You get a more diverse ecosystem with a larger agglomeration of land than a bunch of smaller, isolated pieces.

And you are wrong about Central Park. It is a PUBLIC space, meaning that I could enter it without having people complaining that I'm on their property. Are you saying that backyards are not private property?

That's the problem with having Kentucky bluegrass everywhere; there's no such thing as the privacy of someone else's property. You have one plot of land to yourself and everything beyond that is closed off. That doesn't seem too open or vast to me.


That depends on how the land is divided up. If it is as you suggest, with minimal green for even the private individual, then we're talking small segements of an acre, 1/4th or less. 20/(1/4)=80. That's almost a hundred, in addition, a person cannot add on or expand an apartment. Is more family desires to live with them, they can't. A personal home however, can be expanded vertically or horzontally to do just that.

A person can add on and expand an apartment complex, but often it isn't required. And you mostly add on horizontally, which requires an empty lot to do it. You can add vertically, but at that point, it would make just as much sense to build a new house from scratch. Adding a new level for a house not designed for it rivals the cost of the house itself.


Or, could it be that Chicago was founded in 1833, and London has been around for over 500 years? And that "large swaths of land" were owned by the King, and later private business, therefore preventing development, and when people finally did have homes, they had large extended family dwellings.


Chicago: 1950 Population: 6 million
Chicago and suburbs: 2000 Population: 9 million

In these 50 years, the Chicago Metropolitan's footprint multiplied by five fold. An increase in population by 50% compared to a 500% land area increase is directly the cause of sprawl. The city's footprint before 1950 would have compared to London then, but not since.


If I pay 750 a month for an apartment, then, after 30 years(the average home loan period), I have paid my landlord $270,000 dollars. Which is the average cost of a single family home. So, I could pay almost $300k to have no gardening space, no garage, no extra room for my future children, not be allowed to have pets, and always worry about keeping the place in perfect shape or lose the apartment. Or, I could pay almost $300k for my own private yard, a place to put my car, space for my children or extended family, and not worry about losing it if I mess up the carpet, have pets like I want. I think the benefits of a single family home outweigh renting by a great, great deal.


Considering the cons to renting I just addressed, everything I experience while renting, it's not something the average person should have to live with.

You're missing a few deductions.
$250,000 home loan
+ ~3% interest ($7,500*30 = $225,000)
+ ~4% property taxes ($ 10,000 * 30 = $300,000)
+ insurance (depends on whether it's included in the mix)
=$775,000

Which would come to $775,000 for a house bought with a loan paid over 30 years. It hardy compares to the cost for rent. You own the property, but you end up paying three times as much to live there over 30 years for a lawn, garage, and detached home. Now I'm not sure that you were implying a home for 300K and the interest could be reduced to a shorter span of time, but if you would like to adjust these figures to the real world, then go ahead.

I think you made the best choice renting for 30 years, but that is just my opinion.

mimartin
06-20-2009, 09:39 PM
I think you made the best choice renting for 30 years, but that is just my opinion. Glad you said it was you opinion, because it is not true.

When you rent you are paying for the landlord’s property taxes, insurance, interest, maintenance and capital cost for that property. If you are not then that landlord will go out of business because it will be unprofitable. It is cheaper to buy especially when you consider appreciation of the value of the dwelling.

Darth_Yuthura
06-21-2009, 01:56 AM
When you rent you are paying for the landlord’s property taxes, insurance, interest, maintenance and capital cost for that property. If you are not then that landlord will go out of business because it will be unprofitable. It is cheaper to buy especially when you consider appreciation of the value of the dwelling.

Yeah, but compared that to the enormous cost of a home, you end up saving a lot less than you realize. Renters have to pay more than what it costs to maintain the property, but they don't have to come up with >$100,000 to get that kind of deal.

You might as well buy solar arrays for $20,000 to save that extra $79 a month. It's cheaper. Buy that super-expensive hybrid car and save 40% on your gasoline demand.

Why don't you (referring to everyone) do all this? Because you would get more if you just put that money into a CD from interest than any of the above options. Same thing goes for a home... their prices actually plummeted, so that would go against them as well.

Owning a home isn't as cost-effective as people may think. Renting is not as brutal as it may seem because you don't have to buy the place, pay taxes, or worry about insurance.

Web Rider
06-21-2009, 02:35 AM
Big or small doesn't matter. You said it yourself. Therefore the problems with education cannot be attributed to population density.
Otherwise, the benefits of higher population density means more valuable real estate and that means more money towards the education system.
Expensive housing means a limited list of buyers. If all real estate is equitable and it is all equally expensive, and yet jobs are not equally paying, then people can't afford them.

At this point, it would be simpler to give housing for free, give school for free, and not pay anyone for their work.

Or some residents will let their lawns go into chaos because they don't care one way or another.
In almost every community I have lived in, these people are extremely few in number. Just as well, people will treat their apartments badly. However, the condition of one's yard has less effect on me than the condition of their bathtub when it's poised over my bedroom.

Do you know what the average lifespan is of tree planet in an urban landscape? Well it's not very long because it has to be artificially maintained. You can leave a much larger piece of 'artificial greenspace' and leave it to nature to maintain itself. You get a more diverse ecosystem with a larger agglomeration of land than a bunch of smaller, isolated pieces.
At any length, this means high-density locations islated from those "green spaces", spaces which it is highly likely people will never get to visit. If noone goes there, they may as well not exist.

And you are wrong about Central Park. It is a PUBLIC space, meaning that I could enter it without having people complaining that I'm on their property. Are you saying that backyards are not private property?
Parks are as private as National Forests are private. They are only public because those who own them, the government, says so. Should they change their mind, they will not be.

That's the problem with having Kentucky bluegrass everywhere; there's no such thing as the privacy of someone else's property. You have one plot of land to yourself and everything beyond that is closed off. That doesn't seem too open or vast to me.
Few people seek open or vast.

A person can add on and expand an apartment complex, but often it isn't required. And you mostly add on horizontally, which requires an empty lot to do it. You can add vertically, but at that point, it would make just as much sense to build a new house from scratch. Adding a new level for a house not designed for it rivals the cost of the house itself.
No, they can't. There isn't a single apartment complex in this country where the renter can make an addition at their own discretion. Should you take the time to look at any rental agreement, this is generally stated as such.


You're missing a few deductions.
$250,000 home loan
+ ~3% interest ($7,500*30 = $225,000)
+ ~4% property taxes ($ 10,000 * 30 = $300,000)
+ insurance (depends on whether it's included in the mix)
=$775,000
And what does a $250k home provide? around 2000sq feet. And a yard, depending on the area, or variant size. So, if we disregard the yard for the moment, and take into account that my apartment is less than 500sq feet, we would have to multiply the cost of my apartment over 30 years to equal that of a home. Costs are additionally reduced by having more than one source of income, as my apartment is a single-person dwelling.

So, looking at 1 million over 30 years even at multiple incomes for an apartment of comparable size. Which one is more expensive?

Which would come to $775,000 for a house bought with a loan paid over 30 years. It hardy compares to the cost for rent. You own the property, but you end up paying three times as much to live there over 30 years for a lawn, garage, and detached home. Now I'm not sure that you were implying a home for 300K and the interest could be reduced to a shorter span of time, but if you would like to adjust these figures to the real world, then go ahead.

I think you made the best choice renting for 30 years, but that is just my opinion.
As well when the house is paid off, I can give it to my kids, and them to theirs. Only one generation has to pay for a home. But unlimited generations can use it. Everyone pays for an apartment when renting forever.

mimartin
06-21-2009, 03:35 AM
Owning a home isn't as cost-effective as people may think. Renting is not as brutal as it may seem because you don't have to buy the place, pay taxes, or worry about insurance. Is all your valued advice and research in this thread based on this same logic? If so, I will disregard it all instead based merely on your logic here.

There are a lot of reasons to rent instead of own, but saving money is not one of them. If you rent you pay taxes and insurance. You do not have to worry about taxes or insurance because the landlord will, but you are still paying both in your rent payments. You also seem to forgetting completely that by buying instead of renting at the end of the process you still have the house that can be sold by renting in the end you have nothing to show for your money.

I rent, but I know I am flushing my money away. I rent because I do not want to mow two yards.

Bimmerman
06-21-2009, 06:34 AM
I'm surprised noone's brought up the fact that houses appreciate in value better than inflation, even now during the crisis.

Facts: my parents bought a house fifteen years ago when we moved to CO. Said house has nearly tripled in value during this timeframe, and has only lost a small fraction of its value during the crisis.

Now, my parents pay the same amount in mortgage, taxes, and insurance (waaaaaay lower than what you were crediting, DY), but have essentially made hundreds of thousands of dollars of profit in fifteen years. There is no safer way to make money than in real estate, so long as you can afford it and pick houses in good neighborhoods.

....still think pissing away money on renting is the right way to go when you can have a yard, garage, no neighbors 4 inches from your bed, etc etc?

More fact: the US rate of inflation, when I last checked, was about 2-3% Keep in mind that I've been in Germany for six months, so my data is not 100% current. The highest rate I can get now on a 24 month CD from my credit union is 1.50 %. For a 60 month, it goes up to a whopping 2.57 %.

Now, let's account for the financial crisis and be conservative, and say my parents' house has had a 250% appreciation. I.e. it has doubled in value and a bit more. 250% / 15 years = 16.67 % per year. DY, please don't quote opinions as mathematical facts without actually showing numbers.

I only rent now because I am saving for a house down payment and living in my car is a bit too ghetto fabulous.

Furthermore, DY, if people let their lawn go to pot, that's their right. Most people don't want a massive park in their backyard, but do want a small bit of green lawn to let their children and pets play in safety and security. Big parks are anything but safe, no matter how many police you have patrolling. Owning is far better than renting. Living in a house that you own is far better than renting an apartment in a five story building 'for the good of society.' How is this hard to understand?

We don't want to live like that, and our money goes where our mouths are; we've moved to the suburbs, as have millions of our fellow citizens. We all recognize that living in the city.....sucks.... and we want no part of that. I am not threatened or offended by sprawl at all; I welcome it. Every suburb I have ever driven to, lived in, or visited friends in are the most comfortable, peaceful, beautiful, and secure (not gated) communities I've been in. You say cars are required to schlep kids from A to B....I counter that and say have your kid bike or walk to their friend's houses. When I was growing up, my parents worked all the time and didn't have time or the inclination to drive my lazy self from A to B....so I got really good at biking and walking and taking the bus.

Saying a car is required to go a few miles just means you're lazy. If you have to carry things, that's different, but if it's just me, and I don't feel like driving, I have no problem going for a bike ride to a friend's house. As a kid, I biked everywhere. It's amazing what you can do and carry with a backpack and bike, even in the 'evil' suburbs, when you haven't tried it.

mimartin
06-21-2009, 11:37 AM
I'm surprised noone's brought up the fact that houses appreciate in value better than inflation, even now during the crisis. Post 139. ;)

However, I did not go into detail because Finance 101 – “Past growth is no guarantee of future growth.”

Jae Onasi
06-21-2009, 11:56 AM
Big or small doesn't matter. You said it yourself. Therefore the problems with education cannot be attributed to population density.
Then why are all the worst school systems in big cities?

Otherwise, the benefits of higher population density means more valuable real estate and that means more money towards the education system.Please show the data and research where you got this, otherwise this is simply an opinion. One I don't happen to share, because all the best school systems tend to be in suburban areas or small cities where the very rich live.


Or some residents will let their lawns go into chaos because they don't care one way or another. In my town, if you do that you'll get a ticket from the city, and they'll come out, mow the lawn for you and charge you an outrageous sum of money.


Do you know what the average lifespan is of tree planet in an urban landscape? Well it's not very long because it has to be artificially maintained. You can leave a much larger piece of 'artificial greenspace' and leave it to nature to maintain itself. You get a more diverse ecosystem with a larger agglomeration of land than a bunch of smaller, isolated pieces.Do you know the average lifespan of a tree planted in an urban landscape?
My 2 different maple trees are a good 35 years old. The oaks lining the street a block a way are over 100 years old. My next door neighbor has a peach tree (why in WI, I don't know, but he does, and it actually produces peaches now and then). I have lots of bushes in my yard--2 different types of lilacs, several forsythia, 2 rose of Sharons, 3 different types of hydrangeas (total of 5), 2 shrub roses, a climbing rose, 5 different types of tea roses, 2 dogwoods, 2 flowering plums, a barberry, several raspberry bushes, a honeysuckle, a peony, 2 rhododendrons, and 2 summersweet. That's not including the annuals and perennials I have planted to attract birds and butterflies.

And you are wrong about Central Park. It is a PUBLIC space, meaning that I could enter it without having people complaining that I'm on their property. Are you saying that backyards are not private property?And if you walk there at night you risk getting mugged by waiting thieves. I don't have to worry about that at night in my back yard.

That's the problem with having Kentucky bluegrass everywhere; there's no such thing as the privacy of someone else's property. You have one plot of land to yourself and everything beyond that is closed off. That doesn't seem too open or vast to me.See above discussion on my gardening. It's better than the green space in Chicago parks (except for the botanical ones). If I want 'vast', I'll go down to the parks by the lakeshore, or to any of the 4 within a mile of me.


A person can add on and expand an apartment complex, but often it isn't required. And you mostly add on horizontally, which requires an empty lot to do it. You can add vertically, but at that point, it would make just as much sense to build a new house from scratch. Adding a new level for a house not designed for it rivals the cost of the house itself.What's the point?



Chicago: 1950 Population: 6 million
Chicago and suburbs: 2000 Population: 9 million

In these 50 years, the Chicago Metropolitan's footprint multiplied by five fold. An increase in population by 50% compared to a 500% land area increase is directly the cause of sprawl. The city's footprint before 1950 would have compared to London then, but not since.This is bad why? Other than having to drive farther and dealing with rush hour traffic, it means more people have been able to find homes of their own to live in, instead of having to live in tiny little apartments in over-priced areas.


You're missing a few deductions.
$250,000 home loan
+ ~3% interest ($7,500*30 = $225,000)
+ ~4% property taxes ($ 10,000 * 30 = $300,000)
+ insurance (depends on whether it's included in the mix)
=$775,000I find it difficult to believe that you don't know that the landlord would pass these same costs on to you in your rent, in addition to the salary for the manager, profit for the owner, and the salary of a maintenance man, and the replacement costs for appliances and other things that break down.. A maintenance man gets, what, 15 bucks an hour if the owner is cheap. I can do some maintenance on my home for a lot cheaper than that. On top of that the owner gets the tax deduction. The renter does not. At the end of those 30 years, the owner has built a lot of equity in his apartment building. The renter has absolutely no equity. My home has appreciated in value in only 8 years that I've been living in it. Certainly not to the degree that Bimmerman's parents' home has, but it's still worth about 20,000 more than what we paid for it. That's quite a gain in just 8 years for the privilege of paying a mortgage instead of rent.

I think you made the best choice renting for 30 years, but that is just my opinion.Yes, and frankly, it's an opinion based on an inadequate understanding of the benefits of home ownership. Please do some research on that for your own benefit--I don't want you to screw yourself out of a great tax deduction and the benefits of building equity in your own home over time when you get ready to make the decision to own or rent. I don't know who gave you the figures and told you renting was better for someone financially, but they're dead wrong.

Bimmerman
06-21-2009, 02:28 PM
I should probably mention that while my folks' home has appreciated drastically, they have also spent a good deal on remodeling, maintenance, and upkeep. It's very much not the same house it was when they first bought it.

Regardless, real estate values are highly location dependent. Location, neighborhood, and median town income all play a role in house values. Ironically, my parents' home has appreciated not due to what they have done per se, but more because of what the other homes in the neighborhood have been selling for. The house basically appreciated due to other people remodeling and expanding their houses.....i.e. free money.

I am very much aware that most houses do not appreciate at anywhere near the level my folks' home has...far from it in fact.

@mimartin- I know that past growth means almost nothing for future expectations, but does hint strongly towards real estate being a good investment in the future. 200+ years of real estate investment history won't change overnight due to the crisis; it just makes now the perfect time to buy a house to hold on to for a few years, and then flip for a profit.

mimartin
06-21-2009, 02:48 PM
@mimartin- I know that past growth means almost nothing for future expectations, but does hint strongly towards real estate being a good investment in the future. 200+ years of real estate investment history won't change overnight due to the crisis; it just makes now the perfect time to buy a house to hold on to for a few years, and then flip for a profit.

Did not mean to imply that you didn't, just saying why I did not make a bigger deal about appreciation.

Also agree that now is a good time to buy. Although the perfect time may have been a few months ago when interest rates were lower, but hindsight being 20-20.

Darth_Yuthura
06-21-2009, 02:51 PM
I find it difficult to believe that you don't know that the landlord would pass these same costs on to you in your rent, in addition to the salary for the manager, profit for the owner, and the salary of a maintenance man, and the replacement costs for appliances and other things that break down.. A maintenance man gets, what, 15 bucks an hour if the owner is cheap. I can do some maintenance on my home for a lot cheaper than that. On top of that the owner gets the tax deduction. The renter does not. At the end of those 30 years, the owner has built a lot of equity in his apartment building. The renter has absolutely no equity. My home has appreciated in value in only 8 years that I've been living in it. Certainly not to the degree that Bimmerman's parents' home has, but it's still worth about 20,000 more than what we paid for it. That's quite a gain in just 8 years for the privilege of paying a mortgage instead of rent.

I've shown you an accurate statistic; it is expensive to buy and maintain a house with a 30-year home loan. You pay more for rent each month, buy you don't have to deal with the interest payments for buying the property with borrowed funds. Rental houses generally are owned, not bought with a loan. So you wouldn't be including the interest in the mix. If you're renting, you don't borrow a huge sum of cash and take on interest payments over the course of 30 years.

You must throw in ~10-20% of the house's cost up front to get a home loan. Odds are most people don't have over $150,000 just laying around. If you buy a house, you will have to pay the interest on the loan, which often can exceed the cost of the house. The longer the loan extends, the greater the ratio of interest will be compared to the house value.

If you were to put aside the $150,000 you would drop on the house over the course of 30 years and pay a higher rate for renting, you would find out that you end up with more liquid assets by the end, but no property you can call your own.

If you were to buy a house and pay for it in full at the start, then you will drop the interest payments. If you had ~150,000 and invested it elsewhere, you could earn interest on that - a higher cost for rent + normal salary. In this scenario, you would be in a better position to move elsewhere if you wanted, but would end up paying more in the long run. And don't forget that even if you bought your entire house up front, you still have to pay a price for the upkeep. Even then, it's not 150,000 for 30 years, it's that + ~4% of your property's value each year + insurance + maintenance -/+ appreciation or depreciation.

Renting includes this and more, but DOESN'T require you to drop a huge lump sum of capital in the end. You can move out whenever it's convenient, but you never do own anything in the end.

Jae Onasi
06-21-2009, 04:13 PM
I've shown you an accurate statistic; it is expensive to buy and maintain a house with a 30-year home loan. You pay more for rent each month, buy you don't have to deal with the interest payments for buying the property with borrowed funds. My home has appreciated about 15% while the interest I pay is 6%. Tell me where I've lost money. Furthermore, I have received a tax deduction (quite substantial) to cover the property taxes and mortgage interest I pay. That's offset those 2 costs. The apartment complex owner has to pass the costs of property taxes on to you as a business expense. You don't get to write that off on your taxes.

Rental houses generally are owned, not bought with a loan. So you wouldn't be including the interest in the mix. If you're renting, you don't borrow a huge sum of cash and take on interest payments over the course of 30 years.You don't know that at all. Do you have some information to prove this?


You must throw in ~10-20% of the house's cost up front to get a home loan. You don't need this for an FHA or VA loan, which is how many first time home owners get their loans. For second and later houses, the equity built up in the first house serves as the 10% down.

Odds are most people don't have over $150,000 just laying around. If you buy a house, you will have to pay the interest on the loan, which often can exceed the cost of the house. The longer the loan extends, the greater the ratio of interest will be compared to the house value.Really. The answer to that--don't get a 30 year loan. Get a 20 or even 15 year loan.

If you were to put aside the $150,000 you would drop on the house over the course of 30 years and pay a higher rate for renting, you would find out that you end up with more liquid assets by the end, but no property you can call your own.This is completely pulled out of thin air without any data whatsoever to back it up. I don't buy it for a minute.

If you were to buy a house and pay for it in full at the start, then you will drop the interest payments. If you had ~150,000 and invested it elsewhere, you could earn interest on that - a higher cost for rent + normal salary. In this scenario, you would be in a better position to move elsewhere if you wanted, but would end up paying more in the long run. Again, this is pulled out of thin air with absolutely no data to back it up. You are not taking into consideration 30 years of appreciation.

And don't forget that even if you bought your entire house up front, you still have to pay a price for the upkeep. Even then, it's not 150,000 for 30 years, it's that + ~4% of your property's value each year + insurance + maintenance -/+ appreciation or depreciation.The apartment complex owner passes the costs of insurance on to each renter, so drop that from the equation. The apartment owner also passes the cost of a a maintenance man and things like stoves and refrigerators on to each renter as part of their rent. Drop those out of the equation, too. At the end of 30 years, the renter is still without any home equity whatsoever and has lost 30 years of tax deductions to boot--way more in savings than whatever you could have invested in CDs or other non-property investments.

Renting includes this and more, but DOESN'T require you to drop a huge lump sum of capital in the end. You can move out whenever it's convenient, but you never do own anything in the end.You cannot move out when convenient if you have a year long lease like most people do. An FHA/VA loan does not require you to drop a huge sum of money at the beginning, either. Please don't pass off misinformation like this without checking on your sources first.

mimartin
06-21-2009, 04:57 PM
You don't know that at all. Do you have some information to prove this? Can only speak from my professional experience as an insurance agent, but of the 453 Fire and EC policies I have written through my agency, 65% (295) include a mortgagee clause. I do have two insured that own over 10 houses each and they do not have mortgagee clauses on their policies (which I know are rented properties).

That 453 also includes owners that choice Fire and EC policies over Homeowner policies for whatever reason, however it is not cost since in this area of the country a Homeowners policy is cheaper than a Fire and EC policy. So I would say with some confidence that a vast majority of those policies are non-owner occupied policies.

Bimmerman
06-21-2009, 05:27 PM
Did not mean to imply that you didn't, just saying why I did not make a bigger deal about appreciation.

Also agree that now is a good time to buy. Although the perfect time may have been a few months ago when interest rates were lower, but hindsight being 20-20.

No worries, you didn't imply that at all.

Here's hoping rates stay low for another year until I have enough savings to front a down payment.

Darth_Yuthura
06-21-2009, 06:49 PM
My home has appreciated about 15% while the interest I pay is 6%. Tell me where I've lost money.

Wow! 15% increase each year? Oh wait... that's after how many years did you say? I remember seven, but could be wrong. If it was seven... +15% vs. -42% (it would be lower if this is an annuity)

Oh and please take inflation into account. It has been quite high in recent years. That's about another - 10.8 % of the dollar value from seven years ago.

-------

I also deliberately put in a contradicting argument for my last post. If anyone knew what they were talking about, they could have commented on that post again, they could have said that I hadn't the d******** idea what I was talking about. And they would have been right about it that time.

I have actually calculated some figures and thought that a $300,000 house costing over $900,000 over 30 years was just too significant that no one would take it seriously. A more generous home loan would have given people some idea just how significantly more you pay for a house than just the value for an annuity loan. Obviously you could shorten an annuity period, but if you're struggling just to keep food on the table; that may not be able to make the $2500 payments each month + costs of living for a decade.

The whole point behind this latest argument was to demonstrate why it's better for more people to rent than to buy houses. It is clearly better to rent than for a house. No one has presented an effective set of numbers that work to show which is really the better bargain.

I argued that sprawl was linked to the latest economic crisis... I was told that it was 'Because houses are expensive, and this expense, this added luxury, contributes to the economy. The problem is not people wanting to have their own homes and their own green spaces, the problem is people being stupid about it and companies taking advantage of it.'

I was asked where would we find the land to put these 'massive cities' and my answer was that high density would have destroyed less agricultural land. I was told that my solution was unrealistic because you can't destroy neighborhoods that already exist.

I was asked about high crime. I answered that more taxpayers would have allowed for more officers per unit of land area. I was told people didn't want to spend more taxes to employ more police officers... forgetting that the scenario meant more officers for less tax money.

I have presented very simple solutions that have been proven effective and the opposition look to new technologies that don't exist yet and don't take into account for the macroeconomics involved in such projects that limit their rate of growth.

----

The world is an impossibly complex set of systems dependent upon other systems which are riddled with defects... some that we seek to improve on, but more often are those that are improved upon one at the expense of another. Suburban sprawl is one such defect. Growing crops to feed 90% of the grain to cows is a defect. Planned obsolescence is an environmental and economic problem. Increased dependence on foreign resources through globalization is a flawed concept when non-renewable energy becomes more scarce. This list goes on and I would not proclaim to understand a fraction of it all. For those that I do know of, I don't act on them all.

I don't recycle everything that I throw away. I don't actually live in a city as I write this. I'm not a vegetarian. I actually squander lots of fuel when I don't have to. I could write pages of acts that I take where I don't 'lead by example' in this thread.

Why do I actually state this? Like people wouldn't already have guessed? The difference is that when I do anything, I know how my acts reflect upon others and I don't burry my head in the sand because I'm told something that's unpleasant to know. It doesn't mean I or anyone has to ACT on it, but please don't just ignore something because it's unpleasant to hear.

-----

At this point, I'm tired of this thread and being ostracized whenever I present something unpleasant and get harassed for it. Whatever comes, it comes, I don't care!

Darth Avlectus
06-21-2009, 07:54 PM
Poor quality schools may not be due to high population density, but poor quality due to overcrowding could be related to high population density could it not? Happens even in small towns. Particular cases I'm thinking of, though, are due to the fact many illegals and their children live in those areas. And the towns seem to foster a particular undercurrent for it. (Casinos wheeling and dealing in transporting cheap workers and owning apartments in a nearby neighborhood.) But as my point pertains pertains to the schools: rural areas who happen to have a population get more dense over time, this is true.

Also, school problems could be due to mismanagement of the schools's funds--however my old highschool's case was probably a relatively isolated one. They always are asking for more money, but it seems like they never get their projects done, nor turn up a better educated graduating population. They certainly don't spend it on better equipment or textbooks, or materials for the students.


Having bad neighbors could be related to infrastructure if people are forced to accept a more condensed way of living I would think. Condensing folks into urban areas kind of makes who you end up living near kind of a crap shoot doesn't it? Happens in rural areas too, but for different reasons. My only guess is that people can get more territorial out in the open or in the wilderness. Or all the rejects from the city come there.

Out in the valley area where I was recently living: condensed or not, if the infrastructure sucks, it tends to make everyone grumpy. Like we're all sleeping in trash for the few who own all the businesses and apartments. While they wallow in money. Mom and Pop business owners were a little happier if they didn't have to compete with some big company who undercut them.

Okay...

Poor school systems: this is a government problem, not one that is caused because of high population density. There is nothing that links these these as cause and effect. I know of a school in a community of about 3000 people (my mother the head librarian there) and this is a terrible place. My mother's being stressed to her limit because the school's budget is stretched to the brink. This is the same for various schools of this size in Wisconsin, not just in major cities. Madison also has some very good schools, which defies the notion that big cities have terrible schools. And small cities don't always have the best school systems.

While I am inclined to agree with you having come from a more rural area, I would say it is rather a combination of mismanagement (funding, staff, resources, etc.) and under-the-radar over population. However this is just my opinion based on my background.

Bad neighbors: that's a problem related to the people, not the city's infrastructure.

While I have been around no shortage of jerks, I more often find it is due to some bigger reason than just having a chip on their shoulders. Like being stuck in a living situation that sucks AMONGST jerks. Surely you can relate, I think?


It can be, it can also not be, school systems are highly dependent on the income of the people living in the school district, and the culture that those people have. Not to mention that larger class sizes are more difficult for teachers to handle, and therefore more prone to problems. That sort of was why my school where I grew up had so many problems. Highly dependent to the point of local gov't. instating a monthly property tax or something like that. Plus the staff and admin were just... incompetent. However, while it had population overcrowding as I got closer to the end of high school, it wasn't always that way. However, such is the story in various places in CA. Even jokes about CA being a foreign country now. :lol:

If everyone is getting an equitable amount of home-living space, it's likely that they will be working equitable jobs, which means that taxes are going to be mediocre to poor. You could cram more students in a school in an attempt to make more money per head, but that requires cutting other costs, such as making larger classrooms, fewer teachers, and less staff. Leading to a higher probability of problems due to a diminished capacity to address issues quickly or at all. Ah, how familiar. :rolleyes:

It's both. People, like all creatures, are territorial, and most people like to feel that they have something that is theirs and theirs only. A little box piled in with a thousand other boxes does not develop this, and it only takes one bad neighbor, or one accident, to start the whole place getting on edge.


You mean like a landlord who screws everyone out of their money and chinses out on the housing maintenance, combined with cheapskate managers who try to pull whatever crap they can to keep you in place while they let their favorite little pet screw off? Yeah, I know that one.

If you don't think privacy is important, then I HIGHLY recommend living in a frat house or a dorm in an older college for a while.
Hmm. Good point. Example: Simply a place where it's 5 to an apartment for 2 because rent is *so damn expensive*. The whole complex is that way. Imagine a 2 room (just rooms one next to the other, maybe 10X10 ft. avg.) one *small* bathroom, a kitchenette and no laundry room. You live with: your lover, your coworker with a staring problem, a graveyard shift worker at some other place, a grocery store worker who comes home and gets drunk all the time.

You don't get much sleep, your neighbors play rap music all night long, landlord is trying everything he can with due dates to make you late, it's a mess all over, you can't leave your wallet out, anything of value is subject to theft while you're gone, you have to be quiet in the daytime when you're home from work, your girlfriend complains "chad makes me uncomfortable" all the time when changing or showering, you come home to find drunk dude lying in a puddle of his own bodily fluids, they all want to use your car.

In summary: privacy is well treasured.

Because houses are expensive, and this expense, this added luxury, contributes to the economy. The problem is not people wanting to have their own homes and their own green spaces, the problem is people being stupid about it and companies taking advantage of it. Not even companies, just cheapskates.


There are a lot of reasons to rent instead of own, but saving money is not one of them. Tell me about it. :)


Also agree that now is a good time to buy. Although the perfect time may have been a few months ago when interest rates were lower, but hindsight being 20-20.

Agreed. Yeah, my uncle in lake Elsinore bought 10 cookie cutter houses in a development with a mass of foreclosures. Got a *hell* of a deal. --As if he wasn't already doing well enough in his 70s.

mimartin
06-21-2009, 08:14 PM
I'd say someone was corrected when they present something false, but that would be a subject of another thread (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=196159). at least now I understand that thread

Jae Onasi
06-21-2009, 11:30 PM
Wow! 15% increase each year? Oh wait... that's after how many years did you say? I remember seven, but could be wrong. If it was seven... +15% vs. -42% (it would be lower if this is an annuity)You forgot that I also gained ownership of a portion of that home on top of the appreciation, and had a sizable tax deduction every year.

Oh and please take inflation into account. It has been quite high in recent years. That's about another - 10.8 % of the dollar value from seven years ago.
Given your comment below, please cite your source. I can't take your word on it.

I also deliberately put in a contradicting argument for my last post. If anyone knew what they were talking about, they could have commented on that post again, they could have said that I hadn't the d******** idea what I was talking about. And they would have been right about it that time.Uh, I did point out the problems with your post, but I decided to be polite instead of saying I thought the post was a pile of misinformed crap. I made the assumption, apparently completely incorrectly, that you were misinformed.

I have actually calculated some figures and thought that a $300,000 house costing over $900,000 over 30 years was just too significant that no one would take it seriously. a. I ignored your figures as misinformed.

b. I consider your intentional lying a form of trolling. I'm addressing that with the rest of the moderator staff.

A more generous home loan would have given people some idea just how significantly more you pay for a house than just the value for an annuity loan. Obviously you could shorten an annuity period, but if you're struggling just to keep food on the table; that may not be able to make the $2500 payments each month + costs of living for a decade.Then buy a smaller house--it'll still be larger than most apartments. I sure as heck didn't need a 300k home. I bought mine for 130k. Most people don't buy 300k houses anyway.

The whole point behind this latest argument was to demonstrate why it's better for more people to rent than to buy houses. It is clearly better to rent than for a house. No one has presented an effective set of numbers that work to show which is really the better bargain. With your statement about creating a post where you intentionally present falsehoods, I have no more reason to believe you. You have lost my trust.

I have presented very simple solutions that have been proven effective and the opposition look to new technologies that don't exist yet and don't take into account for the macroeconomics involved in such projects that limit their rate of growth.You keep forgetting the one thing that everyone here who objects to this keeps saying--we don't want to live in an urban setting.


I don't recycle everything that I throw away. I don't actually live in a city as I write this. I'm not a vegetarian. I actually squander lots of fuel when I don't have to. I could write pages of acts that I take where I don't 'lead by example' in this thread.I have nothing positive to say about this comment.

At this point, I'm tired of this thread and being ostracized whenever I present something unpleasant and get harassed for it. Whatever comes, it comes, I don't care!
You certainly do care--don't BS.
You're tired of everyone pointing out the flaws in your arguments and opinions. No one here has harassed you, flamed you, or called you any names, and any potential rudeness has quickly been dealt with. Respondents in this thread have given you the courtesy of honest, polite answers and provided a lot of information for you to evaluate for your own decision-making. They deserve better from you than this.

Closed pending further staff review.