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  #101  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2008, 11:53 PM
Samwill89 Samwill89 is offline
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Originally Posted by dante2308 View Post
On Atlanta, it seems to me that the city works just fine. Even rush hour isn't that serious despite the chorus of whiners. I'm also not sure where walkability comes in. Most cities are only walkable in their urban core, but Atlanta has several urban cores and you an pretty much get everything you want by train or by foot. If you want to talk auto-centric, I dare you to get by in South Florida without a car.

I heard a poster talking about how incredibly dense Miami was but I seriously doubt that amounts to much. I remember sneaking through backyards and hopping fences to get to the shopping center a couple dozen feet from my house down there growing up. In suburban Atlanta, at least the neighborhoods aren't fenced off like some kind of criminal element is stalking around. I don't know if its just Alpharetta, but for being 35 miles from downtown, you can get around it surprisingly well on a bike. Of course Atlanta itself begs you get out of your car by never providing enough parking. Half a million train passengers a day don't lie. If you're going to a sporting event or a concert you automatically use mass transit, no questions asked.

After all Atlanta is drop dead gorgeous. A city in the rolling hills embedded in a dense canopy and free for the most part of the dehumanized oppression of grid networks and numbered streets. If its between Manhattan and Atlanta I'll take nature's beauty over mankind's efficiency any day. Everyone is so damed relaxed and friendly here, homes are on the cheep, and jobs are as ubiquitous as the grass. This city is missing nothing. There is a reason why it tops the list in growth by percentage and only second in raw numbers to LA-Riverside. There is no recession here, no housing crash, no end to the growth. The city is bright blue too so no worries there either. Isn't it nice to be in a city that people drop billions to create new projects out of sheer love of the city? Isn't it nice to be in the city that is building the largest monument built in the US in six decades, the Millennium Arch? Isn't it nice to see a plethora of cranes everywhere heralding that the future is always even brighter than today? Yes it is.
As an out-of-towner, I agree with you. I will even say that Houston is a very successful urban area in terms of its "urbanity" in many areas (that would be larger than Boston or San Fran in square mileage).

I notice cities like Atlanta, Houston and Austin topping several positive lists that deal with the social qualities that matter. Their positives far outweigh their negatives, which is why millions are moving to those places while other areas barely grow (or even decrease in population).

Many may not like it, but the Sunbelt is the economic and social future of this country.
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  #102  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2008, 7:33 AM
sopdx sopdx is offline
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Originally Posted by Samwill89 View Post
As an out-of-towner, I agree with you. I will even say that Houston is a very successful urban area in terms of its "urbanity" in many areas (that would be larger than Boston or San Fran in square mileage).

I notice cities like Atlanta, Houston and Austin topping several positive lists that deal with the social qualities that matter. Their positives far outweigh their negatives, which is why millions are moving to those places while other areas barely grow (or even decrease in population).

Many may not like it, but the Sunbelt is the economic and social future of this country.
I'm not quite sure what lists you are referring to, but I suggest you take some time to read about both the environmental and economic costs of sprawl. It is unsustainable. If you think that communities that have developed in areas with questionable water resources currently - not considering drought cycles and projected impacts of global warming are both the social and economic future of this country you are sorely mistaken. In addition, the cost of transport both product and personal will have its greatest impact on communities that have followed the outdated model of development you've suggested. People aren't necessarily moving to any of these places because they're wonderful. They are moving for real or perceived economic reasons - and that economy is changing.
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  #103  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2008, 8:48 PM
Samwill89 Samwill89 is offline
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I respect your knowledge of urban economics. However, I meant to point out the New Urbanism models being developed in Sunbelt urban areas that are highly successful. They are especially successful in cities that have multiple large employment centers spread throughout their respective metropolitan areas (which covers most American cities), such as Houston, where only 7% of area workers commute to Downtown and the rest look to the burbs for work (minus the TMC, Uptown and GPlaza).

I have read various reports on the effects and economics of sprawl and I have come to the conclusion that it is very possible to turn the ill fated auto-centric American communities into very sustainable areas. The Sunbelt is the perfect region for testing new urban models and that is happening on a large scale as we speak (as I am sure you are aware).

I have no doubt that the Sunbelt is leading the rest of the country in terms of testing new and successful ways to live in cities.
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  #104  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2008, 5:05 AM
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Why test when we already know the most successful way to live in a city? Again, 'testing' different kinds of sprawl is wanting to have your cake and eat it, too. It's trying to reinvent the wheel, and it ultimately we know that it has more negative consequences than sustainable, urban development. What's the use of testing when we know the substandard outcomes of the product? Sprawl by any other name is still sprawl.
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  #105  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2008, 8:40 AM
Samwill89 Samwill89 is offline
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Why test when we already know the most successful way to live in a city? Again, 'testing' different kinds of sprawl is wanting to have your cake and eat it, too. It's trying to reinvent the wheel, and it ultimately we know that it has more negative consequences than sustainable, urban development. What's the use of testing when we know the substandard outcomes of the product? Sprawl by any other name is still sprawl.
That is the point of testing, because we don't know for sure the most successful way to live in a city. The models I mentioned pretty much separates larger cities and divide them into self-sustaining communities that depend less on dangerous energy and fuel consumption and more on urban living in existing less-than-urban environments.

There is no way America cities can go back into their Pre-WWII urbanity unless we can change the dominant auto-centric mentality. That will take a lot of social and economic changes.
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  #106  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2008, 8:59 AM
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No, I think we do know for sure the most successful way to live in a city. And, even if we didn't we for sure by now know the least successful way to live in a city/urban area. This isn't about trying to replicate Pre-WWII density levels. What this is about is how not to replicate a metropolitan Atlanta, the least dense major (top 20) urban area, and least dense major metropolitan area in the United States. The problem is regardless of how fast Atlanta City is filling back in, the damage it's done is already done, and it's going to be very hard to reverse. Again, there are many reasons to love Atlanta, it's sprawl is not one of them. Every city has it's sprawl, but even you can't deny that no-one has done sprawl like Atlanta which is easily the most thinly spreaded major metropolitan area in the United States and probably North America.
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  #107  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2008, 11:56 PM
Samwill89 Samwill89 is offline
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No, I think we do know for sure the most successful way to live in a city. And, even if we didn't we for sure by now know the least successful way to live in a city/urban area. This isn't about trying to replicate Pre-WWII density levels. What this is about is how not to replicate a metropolitan Atlanta, the least dense major (top 20) urban area, and least dense major metropolitan area in the United States. The problem is regardless of how fast Atlanta City is filling back in, the damage it's done is already done, and it's going to be very hard to reverse. Again, there are many reasons to love Atlanta, it's sprawl is not one of them. Every city has it's sprawl, but even you can't deny that no-one has done sprawl like Atlanta which is easily the most thinly spreaded major metropolitan area in the United States and probably North America.
I never said that sprawl was anything to love about any metro. I agree with the notion that sprawl is not a good thing. I just disagree with you when you say that it cannot be fixed or corrected over time.
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  #108  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2008, 3:28 AM
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Fair enough.
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