5212Re: [CF] Re: Air Conditioning, Cars, and livable places
- Jun 3, 2002--- Ronald Hands <ronald.hands@...> wrote:
> It's a fascinating chapter in a deeply-absorbing book, which alsoWhat's sad to me is that "habitable" almost always goes hand-in-hand
> chapters on two other U.S. cities: Atlanta -- "one big-ass parking
> under a toxic pall"; and Boston -- a city with "clear, bright
> for the future"; "my own prediction is that Boston will be America's
> most habitable big city in the first quarter of the new century."
with "really friggin' expensive." I lived in Boston for five years and
left last year in part because of the huge increases in cost of living
that had occurred during my time there. When I lived there, my
three-bedroom apartment in Somerville (a 15-minute walk from the
nearest T stop) went for $1400 a month--a reasonable figure split three
ways; the folks who moved in after me paid $2400, a 70% increase. Of
course, this is most acute in areas like mine that were near vibrant,
livable nodes (in my case, Harvard Square), which means that
working-class people who used to live there have to find places in more
distant locales, often necessitating car ownership, greater commute
times, isolation from that urban-neighborhood feeling, etc. Meanwhile,
the white-collar workers who moves into these neighborhoods for their
livability find themselves unable to enjoy it--they have to work too
hard just to pay the rent.
I dunno... while I like smart growth in theory, it comes at quite a
price. Usually this is pitched as a good thing by advocates ("Home
values near new transit lines increase twofold!" "Your neighborhood
becomes wealthy!" etc.), but there's a whole story of displacement that
goes along with it.
The solution is not Las Vegas or Atlanta, or course... it's something
else. If anyone knows of any successful efforts to promote smart growth
and simultaneously stave off exorbitant increases in real-estate costs,
I'd love to hear about them.
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