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Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Status Anxiety

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  • T. J. Binkley
    ... That would be nice. Fire sprinklers are required in all new construction here, and standards for energy conservation are high, but alas, there s a huge
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 2, 2004
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      >At $200,000 for a 1000 sf, 2 BR condo, are we assuming a very high quality
      >of building
      >here? I'd hope that we're talking about a 2-4 story buildings with fire
      >sprinklers, masonry
      >exteriors (I don't care if it's brick, cinder block, or stucco--diverse
      >sidings would actually
      >be nice), concrete separating all units (walls, floors, and ceilings),
      >butcherblock wood
      >doors in steel frames, and mortise locks (as opposed to putting a new $15
      >Kwikset
      >deadbolt on the door every time it changes hands).

      That would be nice. Fire sprinklers are required in all new construction
      here, and standards for energy conservation are high, but alas, there's a
      huge local disincentive to much masonry construction: earthquake
      codes. These make even simple concrete block construction quite a bit more
      expensive than wood. Nonetheless, when I acquire my own little patch of
      dirt, I fully intend to build as you've described.

      >I'd hope that any buildings in a carfree
      >area would be built to last 200 years or more.

      Yes. Here's a proven way to provide affordable, dense, urban
      housing: build structures that are still habitable, serviceable, highly
      desirable for several generations of users, long after the high costs of
      new construction have been paid (Jane Jacobs covered this well).

      In The Baltimore Rowhouse, an interesting review of nineteenth century land
      lease laws describes how developers were more willing to spend money on
      solid construction and elaborate ornamentation of some rowhouses there, in
      order to maximize the ongoing land rents they could expect.

      >If we build carfree areas large enough to accomodate the demans, pricing
      >should drop. I
      >feel that the reason "urban" property is so expensive is that, in many
      >areas, it's illegal to
      >expand urban areas--the law requires sprawl. Thus, even if relatively few
      >people WANT to
      >live downtown, they're still battling over a limited supply, since
      >development code has put
      >the stop on any new development like it.

      Yep. It couldn't possibly be worse anywhere than here, where so-called
      progressives conflate environmentalism with "no-growth".

      Cheers,

      TJB
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