Avatar
Active topics
Unread | New posts
Your bookmarks
Your friends' posts
Your posts | Quotes
Welcome, CommonCrawl [Bot]!

It is currently 31st July, 2014, 1:20 am


Forum rules


Welcome to the Intellectual Discussion subforum.

This forum is the place for intellectual discussions, such as philosophical or scientific debates. There are some guidelines that apply specifically to posts in this forum, of which you will be expected to have made yourself aware before participating. They are as follows:

  • Intellectually stimulating topics only. If you can't have a deep discussion about something, it does not belong here.
  • If you're going to post, have something to say. When you make a new thread, write the initial post in a way that provides an introduction to the topic and invites further discussion. You could tell us how you feel and why, but always aim for constructive responses that further a discussion about the ideas involved, rather than a simple list of people's views. (Instead of asking "Are you a vegetarian?", discuss some of the arguments involved.) This guideline likewise applies for responses to topics.
  • Write using good English. That means full sentences with proper capitalisation, punctuation, spelling and grammar. No one is perfect, though; this is not an invitation to criticise others for minor mistakes.
  • Be nice. This is a forum for rational discourse, not flame wars. No one is always right. Be respectful of other people's views and accept that we are all entitled to our own.

These guidelines will be enforced by the moderators based on their best judgement, and anyone who does not take them seriously will lose the privilege of posting here. Spammers will be banned from the entire forum.



 Page 1 of 2 [ 23 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Which community do you prefer to live in?
 A  60%  60%  [ 36 ]
 B  40%  40%  [ 24 ]
Total votes: 60

Author Message
 Post subject: Smart Growth
Unread postPosted: 17th October, 2011, 10:32 pm 
Dome Biscuit
Offline
Joined: 2nd December, 2009, 2:25 pm
Posts: 7877
Location: Florida
Country: United States (us)
Before I begin the discussion, I want to take a poll. Please vote in the poll before reading on.

Given these two communities, which one would be your ideal home? Which one would provide you more comfort, convenience, and livability?

Community A
  • Medium to high-density development
  • Mixed zoning (residential and commercial buildings interspersed)
  • Narrow streets with very limited parking
  • Lots of public transportation options
  • Very short commutes
  • Lots of noise

Community B
  • Low-density development
  • Single-family detached houses on large lots
  • Wide roads with no sidewalks
  • Few or no public transportation options
  • Very strict zoning laws (residential and commercial areas completely separated)
  • Longer commutes
  • Quiet and peaceful

The veil of objectivity is pretty thin here; the former is obviously a smart growth community, and the latter is obviously a typical American suburb. A affords you more convenience to quickly get you where you want to go. B affords you more privacy. What's your American [or British / Bolivian / Czechoslovakian] dream, and what factors play into that dream?

Smart Growth is a pretty encompassing term that refers to communities that promote walkable neighborhoods, mixed zoning, public transportation, and discourage car use. It is opposed to urban sprawl, which is the unplanned expansion of suburbia into rural areas. The obvious problem with urban sprawl is that these unplanned developments tend to encroach on farmland and ecologically-sensitive wilderness. But there's a more immediate threat: it hurts the health of communities. People who live in isolated neighborhoods far away from the nearest central city are more likely to sit in their cars longer while commuting, and more likely to sit around inside more often (what's there to do outside in suburbia? Not much.). So the obesity epidemic can probably partially be attributed to our suburban "car culture."

Another issue with urban sprawl, and which smart growth attempts to amend, is that it hurts the economies of the central cities to which they are associated. Instead of patching up old housing developments, most developers opt to buy cheap land further away from the city. This draws existing residents further away from the center, and as a result, you see things like this in Detroit. Detroit is known for having an extreme income inequality -- if you live anywhere near the city center, you're either very rich or very poor. Urban sprawl is partially responsible for drawing the middle class out. And -- surprise surprise -- businesses move out along with them.

Portland, Oregon is a model for Smart Growth. Between 1990 and 2000, its density actually increased, while every other major US city decreased its density. Atlanta, on the other hand, is the epitome of urban sprawl. According to Smart Growth America, Atlanta ranks 4th of 83 metropolitan areas for most sprawl.

  
 
 Post subject: Re: Smart Growth
Unread postPosted: 18th October, 2011, 12:07 am 
Legal Beagle
Offline
Joined: 13th May, 2010, 9:04 am
Posts: 1705
Location: Christchurch, NZ
Country: Canada (ca)
Definitely agree, thus why I voted A.

What I'd like to think (or hope, at least) is that the desire for a perfect bubble of suburbia might die out somewhat as society moves beyond the nuclear family and the need to condense our living arrangements becomes more obvious.

Personally, I'm a fan of the tight urban environment. Having to own a car to get around is frankly frustrating, particularly where effective public transport (especially subways) get you around significantly faster in many cities (let alone just taking a 10 minute walk wherever you want to go). As far as atmosphere goes, we just need to fight the notion (how, I have no idea) that quiet suburbia is utopic and anything else is settling for second best - then again, rising prices of central city housing seem to suggest that at least for the professional class, this illusion is falling away.

To be honest, I'd put a lot of hope in the growth of cities like Shanghai, New Delhi and Buenos Aries. As our BRIC states develop more and create cities propelled by business efficiency and gradually take global market share away from the US and Europe, it would make sense that the cost-effectiveness of such cities will eventually push American cities to try and compete. Also, as more of our economy moves away from primary industries into secondary and tertiary industries, the number of people based out of offices that can be anywhere will increase; if reality forces people into denser cities to work, their children are less likely to adopt the same view of suburbia.

So yes, go smart growth :D

  
 
 Post subject: Re: Smart Growth
Unread postPosted: 18th October, 2011, 12:14 am 
stay weird
Offline
Joined: 1st May, 2011, 8:36 pm
Posts: 4125
Location: San Francisco or Seattle
Country: United States (us)
I could never live in a small town. I could just never do it.

  
 
 Post subject: Re: Smart Growth
Unread postPosted: 18th October, 2011, 12:28 am 
Bun for your Sausage?
Offline
Joined: 2nd October, 2010, 11:53 am
Posts: 8262
Location: Great Bromley, Colchester.
Country: United Kingdom (gb)
Over here in Britain I think it's acceptable to say that as youth most of us want to spend our times in the various towns/cities (note, towns over here can be perceived as small cities in the states, so they're hardly option B) whilst we grow up for increased job opportunities/more friends/ relationships and all the other benefits that came with living in the city. It's when we're considering retirement that a lot of us retreat in nomadic haste to either the countryside or another country (E.g south France, Spain, Australia or the united states) where rural communities are just that much quieter. I know this ieology is commonplace along most of the western world, but thanks to thatcher ( :argh: ) it's just that much more prominent over here from what I've gathered.

  
 
 Post subject: Re: Smart Growth
Unread postPosted: 18th October, 2011, 12:29 am 
sh3rrimand3r
Offline
Joined: 28th August, 2011, 11:51 pm
Posts: 2863
Location: USA
Country: United States (us)
I'm from a small town and have to say, it SUCKS having to make your own way in one. Jobs are fairly limited to whatever industry is keeping the town alive, and without public transportation, having a car is the only way to get anywhere. Starting out on my own five years ago, I had no job and no car. Without a car, I can't get a job. Without a job, I can't get a car. Fucked much? I'd much rather live in an apartment in a larger city and give up extra space and quietness so that I can actually take a ten minute walk and get to public transport that will quickly get me where I need to go. Owning a car is expensive. I have one now and have to pay for repairs, maintenance, gas, and car insurance. It'd be tons easier to pay a flat fee per month for a bus pass or subway pass or somesuch. I don't mind walking!

When I do get around to relocating and starting my career, I'll be looking for cities that are like Community A. This is a good topic, and a good point.

  
 
 Post subject: Re: Smart Growth
Unread postPosted: 18th October, 2011, 12:31 am 
Lana dull Cliché
Offline
Joined: 13th August, 2010, 3:55 am
Posts: 17141
Country: Venezuela (ve)
Definetly A. I've noticed the suburban model is quite the norm there in the US. It hurts the environment in my opinion.

I saw somewhere that slums are actually great for the environment. Of course I don't wish for anyone to live on a slum but that as a complete opposite explains why the suburban model isn't the best. People move out of the city to live better/cheaper but do they actually do that? They don't even work in agriculture, they still have jobs in the city.

  
 
 Post subject: Re: Smart Growth
Unread postPosted: 18th October, 2011, 12:57 am 
Professor of Twink Studies, UCLA
Offline
Joined: 21st December, 2007, 2:20 am
Posts: 24121
Country: United States (us)
acablue wrote:
Before I begin the discussion, I want to take a poll. Please vote in the poll before reading on.

Given these two communities, which one would be your ideal home? Which one would provide you more comfort, convenience, and livability?

Community A
  • Medium to high-density development
  • Mixed zoning (residential and commercial buildings interspersed)
  • Narrow streets with very limited parking
  • Lots of public transportation options
  • Very short commutes
  • Lots of noise

Community B
  • Low-density development
  • Single-family detached houses on large lots
  • Wide roads with no sidewalks
  • Few or no public transportation options
  • Very strict zoning laws (residential and commercial areas completely separated)
  • Longer commutes
  • Quiet and peaceful

The veil of objectivity is pretty thin here; the former is obviously a smart growth community, and the latter is obviously a typical American suburb. A affords you more convenience to quickly get you where you want to go. B affords you more privacy. What's your American [or British / Bolivian / Czechoslovakian] dream, and what factors play into that dream?

Smart Growth is a pretty encompassing term that refers to communities that promote walkable neighborhoods, mixed zoning, public transportation, and discourage car use. It is opposed to urban sprawl, which is the unplanned expansion of suburbia into rural areas. The obvious problem with urban sprawl is that these unplanned developments tend to encroach on farmland and ecologically-sensitive wilderness. But there's a more immediate threat: it hurts the health of communities. People who live in isolated neighborhoods far away from the nearest central city are more likely to sit in their cars longer while commuting, and more likely to sit around inside more often (what's there to do outside in suburbia? Not much.). So the obesity epidemic can probably partially be attributed to our suburban "car culture."

Another issue with urban sprawl, and which smart growth attempts to amend, is that it hurts the economies of the central cities to which they are associated. Instead of patching up old housing developments, most developers opt to buy cheap land further away from the city. This draws existing residents further away from the center, and as a result, you see things like this in Detroit. Detroit is known for having an extreme income inequality -- if you live anywhere near the city center, you're either very rich or very poor. Urban sprawl is partially responsible for drawing the middle class out. And -- surprise surprise -- businesses move out along with them.

Portland, Oregon is a model for Smart Growth. Between 1990 and 2000, its density actually increased, while every other major US city decreased its density. Atlanta, on the other hand, is the epitome of urban sprawl. According to Smart Growth America, Atlanta ranks 4th of 83 metropolitan areas for most sprawl.

I swear it's like my best friend, who just got his degree in URP, wrote this thing.


I know I'm being irrational but I chose B. :shifty:

  
 
 Post subject: Re: Smart Growth
Unread postPosted: 18th October, 2011, 3:25 am 
Launch Postponed
Offline
Joined: 17th January, 2010, 7:58 pm
Posts: 3769
Location: Gone
Country: Australia (au)
If I had to choose between them, A. But Ideally life between both would be nice. I love using public transport especially when it just runs smoothly. Why spend time in traffic when a Metro goes straight to the city :P

  
 
 Post subject: Re: Smart Growth
Unread postPosted: 18th October, 2011, 11:18 am 
Member
Offline
Joined: 27th April, 2010, 12:18 am
Posts: 1661
The town I live in is pretty much a combination of both, so I vote for C.

  
 
 Post subject: Re: Smart Growth
Unread postPosted: 18th October, 2011, 11:46 am 
Unidastazovamerika'liqua
Offline
Joined: 11th June, 2010, 10:41 pm
Posts: 2540
Location: Atlanta, GA
Country: United States (us)
I hate the suburbs, and it's not just because I've lived in the most sprawling of them most of my life. They're dangerous things that kill the inner city, increase the disparity between races and classes, decrease the quality of education for many people, and leave behind abandoned and/or defunct communities in their expansion. There's little good about them, and anything that you say is "good" about them can possibly be reversed and blamed on them.

All in all, A. I hate metropolitan Atlanta for this reason.

  
 
 Post subject: Re: Smart Growth
Unread postPosted: 18th October, 2011, 12:24 pm 
Member
Offline
Joined: 31st May, 2011, 7:03 am
Posts: 257
Country: Norway (no)
A. I don't mind the noise.

  
 
 Post subject: Re: Smart Growth
Unread postPosted: 18th October, 2011, 12:45 pm 
Member
Offline
Joined: 23rd June, 2011, 5:17 pm
Posts: 1607
Location: Alberta, Canada
It's all relative to the size of the community, the city I live in is quite spread out but has under 100,000 people living here so it doesn't really cause any problems or serious delays, I think a city like this would be perfect, bigger cities can be a pain to get around.

Poster_Undefined wrote:
I hate the suburbs, and it's not just because I've lived in the most sprawling of them most of my life. They're dangerous things that kill the inner city, increase the disparity between races and classes, decrease the quality of education for many people, and leave behind abandoned and/or defunct communities in their expansion. There's little good about them, and anything that you say is "good" about them can possibly be reversed and blamed on them.

All in all, A. I hate metropolitan Atlanta for this reason.


Seems a bit over the top to me, who in their right mind would want to live in the inner city anyways? You have your choice between million dollar bachelor suite apartments or the projects, neither is comparable to a reasonably sized and priced house in the suburbs.

  
 
 Post subject: Re: Smart Growth
Unread postPosted: 18th October, 2011, 1:04 pm 
Archetwink
Offline
Joined: 15th January, 2010, 8:36 pm
Posts: 1745
Sounds like a great idea! History has consistently shown central planning to be superior to market forces.

  
 
 Post subject: Re: Smart Growth
Unread postPosted: 18th October, 2011, 1:15 pm 
Scrooge McDour
Offline
Joined: 15th March, 2010, 3:00 am
Posts: 9889
Location: New Mexico
Country: United States (us)
That Canadian Guy wrote:
Poster_Undefined wrote:
I hate the suburbs, and it's not just because I've lived in the most sprawling of them most of my life. They're dangerous things that kill the inner city, increase the disparity between races and classes, decrease the quality of education for many people, and leave behind abandoned and/or defunct communities in their expansion. There's little good about them, and anything that you say is "good" about them can possibly be reversed and blamed on them.

All in all, A. I hate metropolitan Atlanta for this reason.


Seems a bit over the top to me, who in their right mind would want to live in the inner city anyways? You have your choice between million dollar bachelor suite apartments or the projects, neither is comparable to a reasonably sized and priced house in the suburbs.

I believe the idea is that with proper planning and infrastructure, the price mechanisms which create an inverse relationship between a piece of land's cost and its distance from the city can be negated. If the middle class could be reintroduced to highly urban areas (via a mixture of incentives including public transportation and heterogeneous zoning), then class segregation could be minimized along with the economic ills that accompany it.

Ideally, non-urban land would be extremely cheap—but unfeasible as a home for the average white collar commuter—while the costs of living within the city could be lowered to a level that might offset the high housing rates.

I am a bit curious as to how urban sprawl has established itself as the historical norm despite the obvious disadvantages. Obviously, subsidies on auto manufacturing, oil, roads, housing developments, and electricity have played a significant part, but I wonder if there's some economic factor I'm missing.

Hiccup wrote:
Sounds like a great idea! History has consistently shown central planning to be superior to market forces.

As is so very often the case, I believe that this instance of "market failure" can be traced back to some repetitive and asinine misuse of public funds.

  
 
 Post subject: Re: Smart Growth
Unread postPosted: 18th October, 2011, 1:25 pm 
Member
Offline
Joined: 23rd June, 2011, 5:17 pm
Posts: 1607
Location: Alberta, Canada
Egregious wrote:
That Canadian Guy wrote:
Poster_Undefined wrote:
I hate the suburbs, and it's not just because I've lived in the most sprawling of them most of my life. They're dangerous things that kill the inner city, increase the disparity between races and classes, decrease the quality of education for many people, and leave behind abandoned and/or defunct communities in their expansion. There's little good about them, and anything that you say is "good" about them can possibly be reversed and blamed on them.

All in all, A. I hate metropolitan Atlanta for this reason.


Seems a bit over the top to me, who in their right mind would want to live in the inner city anyways? You have your choice between million dollar bachelor suite apartments or the projects, neither is comparable to a reasonably sized and priced house in the suburbs.

I believe the idea is that with proper planning and infrastructure, the price mechanisms which create an inverse relationship between a piece of land's cost and its distance from the city can be negated. If the middle class could be reintroduced to highly urban areas (via a mixture of incentives including public transportation and heterogeneous zoning), then class segregation could be minimized along with the economic ills that accompany it.

Ideally, non-urban land would be extremely cheap—but unfeasible as a home for the average white collar commuter—while the costs of living within the city could be lowered to a level that might offset the high housing rates.

I am a bit curious as to how urban sprawl has established itself as the historical norm despite the obvious disadvantages. Obviously, subsidies on auto manufacturing, oil, roads, and energy have played a significant part, but I wonder if there's some economic factor I'm missing.



I know but he was speaking to the current situation and I responded as such, certainly for big centers such as Atlanta some serious restructuring could simplify things.


I would say the sprawl partially results from the way our government works, we patch things rather than fix them, roads being a prime example of this. Of course now that everything has expanded so far outwards it's going to cost multiple of what it would have years ago.

  
 
 Post subject: Re: Smart Growth
Unread postPosted: 18th October, 2011, 4:05 pm 
SS-Oberstgruppenführer
Offline
Joined: 21st December, 2007, 8:23 pm
Posts: 8766
Location: Scotland, New Jersey
Country: United States (us)
The further from the city I am, the happier I am. You can keep your apartments, trains, and subways. If a longer commute to work is the price I have to pay to keep away the filth which infests the cities, I'm more than happy to pay it.

  
 
 Post subject: Re: Smart Growth
Unread postPosted: 18th October, 2011, 5:12 pm 
Member
Offline
Joined: 8th July, 2011, 11:01 pm
Posts: 94
I don't think either community is "wrong," but I would rather live in A. Urban sprawl isn't bad if it's kept in check. Atlanta, I concede, is HORRIBLE about this. We have no rivers, mountains, or other cities to contain the metropolitan area, yet we have few politicians who want to do anything about it. Even something as simple as a 1% public transportation sales tax has caused controversy, and the proposal for it will likely die in the upcoming election.

  
 
 Post subject: Re: Smart Growth
Unread postPosted: 18th October, 2011, 7:17 pm 
Legal Beagle
Offline
Joined: 13th May, 2010, 9:04 am
Posts: 1705
Location: Christchurch, NZ
Country: Canada (ca)
Egregious wrote:
As is so very often the case, I believe that this instance of "market failure" can be traced back to some repetitive and asinine misuse of public funds.


This is exactly the problem. The reasons for urban sprawl (to really simplify) are twofold:

1) As has been said, government subsidisation of automotives, oil, roads, housing etc. which led to living outside of inner cities being financially attractive
2) The fact that centre cities were once more dominated by secondary industry (that is, things like manufacturing) which worsened issues like urban smog to ridiculous levels during the Industrial Revolution.

The problem with #2 is that it's developed a culture where cities are perceived as "filthy", when in reality the problem is nowhere near so bad. As has been said, if we made inner-city living attractive for the middle class, property will spring up to accommodate them and reduce the massive economic disparity of cities. What's more, if we have a middle class living there that require higher standards of cleanliness etc., then governments/councils are far more likely to place higher priority and more funds into meeting those demands.

  
 
 Post subject: Re: Smart Growth
Unread postPosted: 18th October, 2011, 10:41 pm 
Dome Biscuit
Offline
Joined: 2nd December, 2009, 2:25 pm
Posts: 7877
Location: Florida
Country: United States (us)
The redevelopment of older, abandoned inner-city neighborhoods would also drive down housing costs in the city, making them more attractive to the middle class. I think this needs to be a higher priority for local governments.

Hiccup wrote:
Sounds like a great idea! History has consistently shown central planning to be superior to market forces.

Are you seriously conflating a national planned economy with urban planning at the local level?

  
 
 Post subject: Re: Smart Growth
Unread postPosted: 19th October, 2011, 12:07 am 
Weapon of Ass Destruction
Offline
Joined: 22nd March, 2011, 12:15 am
Posts: 1406
Location: DFW/Austin TX
I've lived in a B situation, if not more rural, my whole life. It's incredibly boring and leaves your life feeling monotonous, something that I'd rather resist. That is, assuming I have to money to live the life that I would want.. otherwise, I'd opt for B.

  
 
 Page 1 of 2 [ 23 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

Time zone: America/New_York [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot] and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  


Terms of use | Privacy policy

phpBB skin developed by: phpBB Headquarters
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group