Re: [carfree_cities] Families move to the suburbs because that's where most of the affordable housing is
> The idea is that the children will have more playmates in the=v= Not all suburbs are the same, of course. In the U.S.,
> suburbs. This is important to many parents.
> There are walkable suburbs with lots of spaces for children
> including parks, stores, libraries, etc. We live in one such
some of the earlier ones, especially the "streetcar suburbs"
on the East Coast, serve well as communities. Many of these
have been wrecked by further suburbanization (we'll just extend
the Interstate highway right through your town commons, that's
the price of progress, you know), but some are intact.
=v= The other winning situation was to be on the leading edge of
suburbanization: a new development where on your right you've
got a new and uncongested highway to get to the city (though it
gets more congested the closer you get there, of course), and
on your left you've got the great outdoors. Up into the 1980s
this might also mean some sort of town center or walkable area,
but the trend has been towards "anchoring" around a gleaming new
mall, and most recently it's meant scattered strip malls.
=v= This situation generally means the ruination of the suburbs
that were built earlier, of course, and only lasts until new
suburbs are built on what was once your great outdoors.
=v= So yes, it is possible to find suburban living of some
quality, but mostly at the expense of others: both financial
and in terms of their quality of living.
> Fact is, most of the affordable family housing that exists in=v= Except that the affordability is undercut by the many hidden
> America today is found in the suburbs. There's no way around
costs of relying on cars. Of course, if you can work it out so
that you can live in the 'burbs without a car, that's *really*
affordable. (I did that myself for awhile, as have some of
my carfree friends, though we all faced cultural voids. The
parents in particular were very concerned about the effect of
this void on their children.)
- --- In carfree_cities@y..., Jym Dyer <jym@e...> wrote:
> Not all suburbs are the same, of course. InI live in an older suburb, called that when it
> the U.S., some of the earlier ones, especially
> the "streetcar suburbs" on the East Coast,
> serve well as communities.
was first developed in the first half of the 20th
century, that is now an inner city neighborhood.
So what counts as a suburb? To some extent, it
is relative. The fringe is the suburb, right?
Perhaps it's easier to see the issue in terms
of sprawl than in terms of suburb vs. city.
- --- In carfree_cities@y..., "turpin" <turpin@y...> wrote:
> I live in an older suburb, called that when itI agree. During the 20's new neighborhoods were built in the Outer Boroughs of NYC
> was first developed in the first half of the 20th
> century, that is now an inner city neighborhood.
> So what counts as a suburb? To some extent, it
> is relative.
to serve as "commuter residences", basically suburbs within the city limits.
Construction began to wain during the Depression and World War II. Then in the
fifties the it boomed again in the City's extremities: Staten Island, northern Bronx,
During the 20's boom, the "suburbs" were built near, or even with, rapid transit. The
50's boom, of course, made the neighborhoods very car dependent.
This was never enough so the sprawl just spread to Long Island, New Jersey, and
the Hudson River Valley.
- turpin said:
>I live in an older suburb, called that when itIt's a little hard to say, and it isn't a fixed
>was first developed in the first half of the 20th
>century, that is now an inner city neighborhood.
>So what counts as a suburb? To some extent, it
>is relative. The fringe is the suburb, right?
>Perhaps it's easier to see the issue in terms
>of sprawl than in terms of suburb vs. city.
target. Parts of "suburban" Los Angeles are getting
redeveloped at densities that are urban. It's not
happening all at once, but densities are increasing.
I think density is the real measure--places that
are low density are suburbs (or rural areas).
Places that are high density are clearly cities.
There is a gray zone in the middle where it's not
easy to say. The gray zone is actually hardest to
deal with--it's too dense for cars to work, but
it's not yet really dense enough to support good
High-density ex-urban towns (such as some of the
early commuter rail and tram-based developments)
are of high enough density to support reasonable
public transport, AS LONG AS THE TRIPS ARE TO
DOWNTOWN, which is how it always was. One of the
tragedies of the 20th century is that we took
most of the important institutions out of downtown
and scattered them almost at random around the city.
This mistake will take a century and trillions of
dollars to fix, but I think it's going to have to
be done. (In these towns, local circulation can be
on foot or by bike.)
-- ### --
J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
- At 07:51 PM 04/05/2002 -0800, John O. Anderson wrote:
>The idea is that the children will have more playmates in the suburbs. ThisSure, cities are more expensive to live in, but my wife and I can afford to
>is important to many parents.
>There are walkable suburbs with lots of spaces for children including parks,
>stores, libraries, etc. We live in one such place.
>I had wanted so much to live in the city, but the bottomline was price.
pay a higher percentage of our income for housing because we spent a much
smaller fraction of it on transportation than the average US household.
And, of course, that percentage would be smaller still if the subsidies for
roads (paid for, in part, from our property taxes, by the way) were removed.
>I don't know what's "acceptable" to you, but to many of my friends, it's
>Downtown there was nothing acceptable anything near our price range.
nothing less than a house two or three times the size of ours on a lot
that's ten (or 100) times bigger. We found a house downtown that we could
afford because our conception of the space we need is much smaller than the
average US household (in part because we don't need or want a 1000 square
foot garage, or the land it sits on, to hold two cars and a riding lawn mower)
>Fact is, most of the affordable family housing that exists in America today isIn part because, in the US, we build new infrastructure in the suburbs at
>found in the suburbs. There's no way around that.
the expense of maintaining the existing infrastructure in the city. and I'm
not just talking about roads, but also police and fire stations, school
buildings, hospitals, librairies, and conduits for sewer, water,
electricity, natural gas, etc. So "the way around that is to spend money
maintaining (actually, at this point, repairing) existing urban
infrastructure and cease building anew. One reason we don't is because most
(80-90%) of the money to build new roads is doled out by the State And
Federal Departments of Transportation, but maintaining those roads after
they are built is left entirely up to local governments. So of course local
governments are eager to spend 10 cents on the dollar for infrastructure
expansion that "creates jobs", but much less eager to spend a dollar on
>Again, if you can spend a higher percentage of your income on housing and
>Hopefully in the future more affordable housing will be built in urban
>areas, but for now, the pickins' are slim.
less on transportation, higher housing prices become more "affordable".
Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin