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The Death of Suburbia


margrace

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High-density cities, packing people like sardines into apt. buildings might be good for something, but its not good for the human psyche or soul; people should be free to pursue their dream.

There's no question that people must be free to decide for themselves what suits them. I'm not talking about packing people like sardines either. In two- or three-storey buildings with retail operations on the main floor, they're quite comfortably spaced. This is a model that existed for centuries until around the 1950s. What's bad for the psyche and soul, not to mention the pocketbook, personal safety, and the environment, is spending two hours a day commuting.

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High-density cities, packing people like sardines into apt. buildings might be good for something, but its not good for the human psyche or soul; people should be free to pursue their dream.

There's no question that people must be free to decide for themselves what suits them. I'm not talking about packing people like sardines either. In two- or three-storey buildings with retail operations on the main floor, they're quite comfortably spaced. This is a model that existed for centuries until around the 1950s. What's bad for the psyche and soul, not to mention the pocketbook, personal safety, and the environment, is spending two hours a day commuting.

True, I wouldn't do that either. However, I took the TTC daily to downtown Toronto, it took me 1 hour and 20 mins. to get to the office, 10 mins. less if I timed iit to get an express bus. If I drove (which I did if I had to stay for overtime) I could do it in 35 mins.

There were times then, when I would have appreciated living downtown, but not with kids. I can't imagine raising kids in downtown Toronto.

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Just reading in our local real estate paper. According to it, a person making 65K a year cannot afford to buy an apartment in greater Vancouver. The average detached house price is 658K and would require an income of 168K to buy one as a first time buyer. Suburbs are here to stay I think.

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Suburbs are here to stay I think.

Economies change, and the unsustainable eventually reveals itself for what it is. I like the idea of suburbs--I live in one myself--but I think they will have to become more independent and mixed-use so that people can live and work and go about getting their services in them without having to drive great distances. The idea of building large tracts of single-use single-family dwellings located far from necessary services was really kind of bizarre and ultimately created lifeless neighbourhoods, largely devoid of pedestrians. People just need to demand better from the developers that are building their houses for them.

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Just reading in our local real estate paper. According to it, a person making 65K a year cannot afford to buy an apartment in greater Vancouver. The average detached house price is 658K and would require an income of 168K to buy one as a first time buyer. Suburbs are here to stay I think.

Cities have to find a way to make it affordable to live. Some cities in the U.S. now have to bus people in from great distances to staff businesses.

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I would never live in an apartment or house which is close enough to the next house to spit in the window. I grew up free on 2000 acres and have had to settle for a quarter acre in town. Ideally I would have 5 acres of green space surrounding my house. But alas, I have to work and don't want to commute so I'll stay on the quarter acre for now...

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I would never live in an apartment or house which is close enough to the next house to spit in the window. I grew up free on 2000 acres and have had to settle for a quarter acre in town. Ideally I would have 5 acres of green space surrounding my house. But alas, I have to work and don't want to commute so I'll stay on the quarter acre for now...

Hopefully, the city won't intrude more and more out to farm land. In the east, there is almost no division between city and country anymore. It's all ex-urban and everyone is forced to use the same roads to get from place to place. You get the country traffic jam.

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Hopefully the only alternative to what we see as suburbia right now is not living "in cramped quarters in a filthy over populated dangerous city." There is surely a better way of mixing residential and commercial areas so that living in a suburb does not mean (for most people) that a car is a necessity to get to work, buy your groceries, etc.

In the suburbs of NYC that I live in, we have clean, efficient, reliable and reasonably priced trains to get us into New York City. Perhaps, for other centers, the use of HOV lanes that allow buses could create similar conditions, so we could have the best of both worlds, i.e. use of cars on weekends, mass transit/walking during the week.

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In the suburbs of NYC that I live in, we have clean, efficient, reliable and reasonably priced trains to get us into New York City. Perhaps, for other centers, the use of HOV lanes that allow buses could create similar conditions, so we could have the best of both worlds, i.e. use of cars on weekends, mass transit/walking during the week.

How are the trains paid for? By ticket prices or subsidies?

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In the suburbs of NYC that I live in, we have clean, efficient, reliable and reasonably priced trains to get us into New York City. Perhaps, for other centers, the use of HOV lanes that allow buses could create similar conditions, so we could have the best of both worlds, i.e. use of cars on weekends, mass transit/walking during the week.

The nearest bus stop around here is likely about ten miles away. It would be a long walk. When it's around -35 your next stop after catching the bus would likely be the hospital to be treated for frost bit.

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How are the trains paid for? By ticket prices or subsidies?

They are subsidized. Depending on how one allocates overhead, the subsidy is either large or small.

In the suburbs of NYC that I live in, we have clean, efficient, reliable and reasonably priced trains to get us into New York City. Perhaps, for other centers, the use of HOV lanes that allow buses could create similar conditions, so we could have the best of both worlds, i.e. use of cars on weekends, mass transit/walking during the week.

The nearest bus stop around here is likely about ten miles away. It would be a long walk. When it's around -35 your next stop after catching the bus would likely be the hospital to be treated for frost bit.

Sorry for the misunderstanding. People drive to the stations, typically about 6 or so Trudeau Units from home. Better than driving 42 Trudeau Units to New York City, through intermittently congested traffic.

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Sorry for the misunderstanding. People drive to the stations, typically about 6 or so Trudeau Units from home. Better than driving 42 Trudeau Units to New York City, through intermittently congested traffic.

I have never liked buses. To me they are just human cattle liners completely devoid any individual freedom of mobility.

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How are the roads paid for? By tolls or by subsidies?

In general, in the US, gasoline taxes. In the NYC area, there's a good admixture of tolls. The tolls collected by the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority subsidize certain roads and bridges, plus NYC subways and commuter trains into NYC; the Port Aurthority tolls subsidize certain roads and bridges, plus the Port Aurthority Trans-Hudson ("PATH") tubes, a rare interstate subway.

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It is impossible to talk about North American suburbia without mentioning local government zoning and the effects this has had on the nature of North American cities.

There are many examples of how governments can utterly screw things up and this is one of them. (BTW, if you think North American suburbia is a bad misallocation of resources, you have never seen a Soviet suburb.)

I frankly don't know what the solution would be. I don't think the free market would allocate urban or suburban land use efficiently either despite what the link below implies. But a free market could hardly be worse.

I think you're overlooking the role private interests play in influencing how zoning regulations are set up. Remember at a local level, local businesses wield considerable political clout. I'd wager that no developer would argue for a free-market approach because they rely so heavily on the state for their profits.

I live in a grey area between Suburbia and rural. I drive rural highways to get to school or work, it's not any further to take highway 22... but I have a Co-op (oh, that's a Calgary thing right? best not be confusing)... I have a Sobey's and Superstore a reasonable walk away. Very confusing some days. I pay taxes to Calgary.

I guess you could say I am the absolute worst possible suburbian... a 120km a day commute between school-work-home. Whew, all those greenhouse gases. I do prefer the warmth.

Calgary's a great example of the worst of urban sprawl. Bigger than New York City with a tiny fraction of the population. A blight on the landscape.

There is plenty of land for everyone though. Come out here, tons of land, tons and tons of land.

Of there's the trifling matter of all the resouces it takes to develop that land, the stress it places on existing infrastructure, the pollution, the traffic jams, the deterioraton of the city...but hey, it's all about me me me me me.

High-density cities, packing people like sardines into apt. buildings might be good for something, but its not good for the human psyche or soul; people should be free to pursue their dream.

Nonsense. I'd rather live in a city teeming with humanity and life than some isolated acerage somewhere. But because of people like you and their "dreams", people like me are faced with deteriorating conditions in our cities, while the taxes we pay go to support your lifestyle.

So what gives you the right to pursue your dream at others' expense? What makes you so special?

Fact is, North Americans are spoiled brats. Every jerkoff thinks they are entitled to eat as much, consume as much and take up as much space as possible, regardless of the costs to others.

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