These two groups(alt.architecture,alt.lanning.urban) are going head to
with a battle topic debate. If you don't agree with the group you are
in's side, fight for the other one.
Urban Planning, you are going to argue that cities are better then
Alt.architecture, you are going to argue that suburbs are better then
Let it begin!
San Francisco has a much lower median income than the "suburbs" which are
almost ten times bigger than SF.
Everybody is not remotely the same in the suburbs. Bill Gates lives in the
suburbs of Seattle. I doubt anybody in Seattle approaches Bill's wealth
There are a lot of Nobel Prize winners in the suburbs of the bay area. I
don't think there are any winners in SF but UCSF medical research is Nobel
quality and may have some winners.
There are wide variations of people in suburbs, maybe wider variations than
in cities (as a guess)
Jack, that's not "the way societies are described" (your repeatedly
stated sermon) either!
I doubt' that hardly anybody, no matter where, approaches Gates' wealth
... so actually the extreme examples above the 99,9999999 percentile of
population are not relevant for that comparison.
"Vergleich es mit einer Pflanze - die wδchst auch nur dann gut, wenn du
sie nicht jeden zweiten Tag aus der Erde reiίt, um nachzusehen, ob sie
A lot of people try to pretend that the suburbs are only for the bland an
boring with no significant difference between the people that live there.
I am just pointing out that this nonsense from people that live in large
cities is absurd and not even remotely true..
There are also well researched statistical characteristics of cities/suburbs
as a function of size. There is no real dividing line in the statistics of
cities an suburbs, just a continual power law distribution.
True, but look at the book "Sprawl: A Compact History" see:
for my review, or better yet, read the book. You will see that the
vocabulary of what is wrong with the suburbs has a several hundred year
history, and is not related to facts, but to elitism.
Wow. That review is highly rhetorical, and in the paragraph:
As cities grow, however, the critics have a new term to label the process.
That term is sprawl, which even little children know is supposed to be very
bad indeed. But Bruegmann reminds us that the density gradient for London
(and other cities) flattened over time, showing that the so-called suburbs
are in fact getting more dense even as center cities are becoming somewhat
less densely populated. (Bring Up Gradient Chart in New Window). Further,
as economic development takes place, cities all over the world are becoming
less dense. (Bring Up Regression Chart in New Window).
..it seems to me that the claims made in the review are not supported by
those charts. They may be true, but those charts don't support them.
In the first chart, the difference in the slopes of those lines would seem
to describe the *appearance* of suburbs based on car access. It's obvious
that car-suburbs more dense than pre-car countryside. If you want to support
claims that suburbs are getting more dense, then some data after 1950
compared to 1950 might be in order.
In the second chart there is no time dimension, so I don't see how it has
anything to say about historic trends.
As for the elitist nature of anti-suburb rhetoric, in the case of my city,
Toronto, the market indicates that urban living preferential compared to
suburban living through the mechanism of price. That collective expression
of values is not the handiwork of some effete, taste-making elite, but the
result of hundreds of thousands of market place decisions every year. It's
the same thing that says an Aston is better than an Austin.
Here, generally speaking, most people live as close to the center as they
can afford. My last rental accommodation was 1.5 km. from the financial
core. Now that I bought a home, I'm 5-8 km. from the center, depending on
what you call 'center', but I'm 600 meters from 2 different subway stations.
To join the stupid side of the debate I'd have to say that "I'd abolish all
...Just kidding, but I'd be very reluctant to live in one. Ever.
The density gradients, which are a standard demographic and urban
sociology chart, show the history of density for many years. The book also
has density charts for several dozen American cities. You should read the
1801 to 1951 represents some time span to me. Maybe not you.
Planners like to say that when they run up the price due to land
regulation it represents "the market."
It represents politics.
That collective expression
But the criticisms of suburbia are class-based and always have been.
Most jobs are not downtown anymore in most cities, and being close to
downtown is really irrelevant when the jobs are somewhere else. 85% of the
commutes in New York City region are suburb to suburb. That is the kind of
thing the author was pointing out.
I don't think you've understood my point. My comments were clearly about the
review and the claims made in it relative to the data presented to support
<patiently, in the face of unwarranted snarkiness>
Look again. There is no mention of time in the *second* chart. The 2 axes
are density and GDP/capita. (I'm familiar with graphs.)
Maybe, but that's a broad brush. Some people say everything is political.
There's a political dimension to planning, of course. My decision about
where to live is personal in a political context. I choose urbanity....as
much as I can afford.
Merely repeating a claim does not make it so. At least not downtown ; )
The point I made was that 'class' is a very high-level construct, and there
are other simpler constructs to explain the phenomenon, like the market,
unless of course it *has* to be class, then by all means...I'll throw my lot
in with the urban elite. Just don't expect an apology, or any bourgeois
guilt about it, until the Red Guards come to the door. Then, I assure you, I
am quite rehabilitatable. I'll then realize that I was only *pretending* to
like goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes on my thin-crust pizza washed down
with a fine, all-natural, micro-brewed local beer, while watching "those
jokers losing that damned hockey game." (The Leafs)
As Forest, Forest Gump says, Irrelevant is as Irrelevant does. Rush hour is
the same here. The location of jobs is not the primary decision in my
choosing urbanity. Almost everyone travels to get to work, except me. My
primary reasons for being here are "cultural."
wrote:> As Forest, Forest Gump says, Irrelevant is as Irrelevant does. Rush hour
You seem to think what you do is what everybody does which is obviously not
even remotely true.
People typically want to be with in a reasonable commute distance from their
jobs which are now mainly in the suburbs.
It depends entirely on perceptions and definitions of "reasonable
I recall looking at this as a grad student (1970s) -- there'd been a
major Swedish study which looked at the success of their programme of
integrated, planned post-war 'new town' suburbs (around Stockholm,
IIRC) in reducing commuting distances (which was one of the aims of
I'm fairly certain that the results pointed to virtually no
correlation between residence and working locations: in effect,
commuting from the suburbs to the city centre had simply been swapped
for commuting between the various new suburban 'towns'.
Architectural and topographical historian
Well, in the USA the average commute time is about 20 minutes, more or
less. That is a reasonable time. If planners had to decide where everyone
lived, and the average commute time was 20 minutes, they would be posting
about the total success of their planning. The fact that it works out that
way without planners having much effect annoys them.
Not really... it's a valid comment. Mean numbers are mostly meaningless.
We have most people who have a 35 minute commute. We have a few people
with a 5 minute commute. The average could be 20 minutes (because of
how the math works out), but the reality is most people have a 35 minute
commute, not a 5 minute commute. Most people don't have a 20 minute
commute, but according to your logic, the mean says they do. You appear
to be happy with that number, when those commuting clearly are not
because they're spending 15 minutes longer in the car than you say they are.
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