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Old September 26th, 2006, 04:47 AM   #1
Bond James Bond
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USA Sprawl Festival continued: Silicon Valley

Link to the first thread in this series:
USA Sprawl Festival

Or, click on the following links to see just individual cities in that thread:

Kansas City
Some northern Denver suburbs
Albuquerque
Seattle
Las Vegas
Dallas-Fort Worth
Some western & southern Minneapolis suburbs
Orange County, California
Philadelphia
Tucson
Orlando
Northern Virginia/DC
Cleveland
Houston
Northern Atlanta suburbs
Indianapolis
Long Island, New York
Jacksonville
Boston

And the 2nd round ones:

Phoenix-East
Phoenix-South
Phoenix-North
Phoenix-West
Portland

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SILICON VALLEY











Part of Stanford University




Some uber-expensive stuff.


Tons of stuff like this in The Valley. It's probably the most common type.




More of the really common type.




Some newer stuff.








Some older stuff.






A neotraditional-esque development in south San Jose.






Looks like a Hindu temple at the top-right.






Some tech company's campus. Dunno which one.


There's some industry there, too.


Someone else's office campus. Dunno whose.


More uber-expensive houses, no doubt.






Not really sprawl, I suppose.


Still more of the really common type.








A high school.






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Old September 26th, 2006, 04:50 AM   #2
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that's usa. it's impossible for us to sustain 1 billion people, lol.
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Old September 26th, 2006, 03:22 PM   #3
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America: Spend! Sprawl! Consume!

Wow! America is, indeed, the epitome of excess!

America's economy is unquestionably great! I mean, really! Can you imagine that, a decade and a half ago, an average Japanese was wealthier than an average American. Of coarse, this made Americans feel jittery, at first, since they obviously thought Japan was going to supercede them. That fear, however, was unfounded as of today. America continued to grow moderately, but surely. On the other hand, Japan became stagnant for a decade and a half!

What I want to say is that America is the most consistent among all the wealthy industrialized countries in terms of creating wealth and/or GDP growth, thanks in part to America's insatiable consumption patterns as well as its immigration policies.

Despite the recent hiccups brought about by massive trade and budget deficits, the U.S. is still the most stable and resilient economy the world has ever seen. Now, what America needs to worry about is slightly balancing distribution of wealth among the nearly 300 million populous.
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Old September 26th, 2006, 03:41 PM   #4
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Unsustainability and Scarcity

Obviously, at this point in time, no major and/or large country's population would be able to enjoy the per capita wealth an average American enjoys.

Russia, China, and Brazil do have potential to be wealthy countries in the future, China most especially.

And, honestly, I seriously doubt India can become a high-income country judging from the size of it's landmass relative to its ever growing population (projected to surpass China before 2030).

However, this brings things into perspective. With American excess comes the issues regarding unsustainability as well as scarcity. As we can see, 300 million wealthy people can demand so much (and I mean SO MUCH) resources. How much more if China's or India's billion-plus populations would have similar consumption levels! Moreover, there will be 1.8 billion Africans by 2050. These Africans also pose the same resource constraints as China and India. By the year 2050, there will be 9.1 billion of us. If, we subtract the population of the United States by then (395 million--based on the very latest estimates) to that number then you'd get 8.8 billion. Can the rest of the world's citizens (8.8 billion people) enjoy an average American lifestyle (by year 2005 standards) then?

Well, the answer is, obviously a NO. It would be virtually impossible for the Earth to sustain such a scenario.

America sure has a great and dynamic economy but; if we want to, at least, give relatively equal benefits of wealth among the rest of the world's population; then we should adapt an economic model that shuns American excess.
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Old September 26th, 2006, 04:02 PM   #5
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Car Parking Lots

How come there are too many car parking slots in medium-sized malls? Based from those pictures, they sit there largely empty! Yes, I know there are 270 million registered auto-vehicles in the U.S. but I believe that America has just overbuilt itself with car parking lots.

The United States also has around 50,000+ shopping centers! 15,000 of which were built as recent as the late 1990s. Almost all of which have large parking facilities! Honestly, America has overbuilt itself (I mean this in an awe-struck sort of way)!

What's more, the shopping mall and supercenter construction frenzy continues (e.g. Wal-Mart plans to add 1,500 more stores in the United States in the next 5 years)!
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Old September 26th, 2006, 10:37 PM   #6
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^
Y'know I've always wondered that myself. Most parking requirement standards were written in the 50's-70's when they assumed people would be going to the stores far more often than they actually did (or something like that). So a lot of the older shopping centers have more parking than they actually need. If you look at some of the other sprawl threads I've created (Phoenix-South, for example) and look at some of the newer shopping centers and compare them with similar older ones you'll see that the newer ones tend to have a little less parking.

Also, I've figured out that most of the flights they fly when they took these pics probably occured on a Saturday or Sunday morning when not too many people are shopping anyway.
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Old September 26th, 2006, 11:46 PM   #7
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The school looks like a mall. American schools are very different from european ones.
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Old September 29th, 2006, 08:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cebuano Exultor
Wow! America is, indeed, the epitome of excess!

America's economy is unquestionably great! I mean, really! Can you imagine that, a decade and a half ago, an average Japanese was wealthier than an average American. Of coarse, this made Americans feel jittery, at first, since they obviously thought Japan was going to supercede them. That fear, however, was unfounded as of today. America continued to grow moderately, but surely. On the other hand, Japan became stagnant for a decade and a half!
Actually, the truth of that is that everyone *thought* the Japanese (and Germans) were wealthier on a per capita basis than Americans, but in the early 90's they came out with the idea of adjusting GDP to account for purchasing power (what we now know as PPP). Before that they just used straight exchange rate. It turns out that, all through the 80's when everyone thought that the Germans and Japanese were richer, once you took into account purchasing power, they really weren't.
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Old October 1st, 2006, 05:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cebuano Exultor View Post

However, this brings thing into perspective. With American excess comes the issues regarding unsustainability as well as scarcity. As we can see, 300 million wealthy people can demand so much (and I mean SO MUCH) resources. How much more if China's or India's billion-plus populations would have similar consumption levels! Moreover, there will be 1.8 billion Africans by 2050. These Africans also pose the same resource constraints as China and India. By the year 2050, there will be 9.1 billion of us. If, we subtract the population of the United States by then (395 million--based on the very latest estimates) to that number then you'd get 8.8 billion. Can the rest of the world's citizens (8.8 billion people) enjoy an average American lifestyle (by year 2005 standards) then?

You should read Collapse.
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Old October 1st, 2006, 06:34 AM   #10
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I always admired Silicon Valley for its clear structures. Nice!
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Old October 20th, 2006, 01:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cebuano Exultor View Post
Well, the answer is, obviously, that it is impossible. America sure has a great and dynamic economy but; if we want to, at least, give relatively equal benefits of wealth among the rest of the world's population; then we should adapt an economic model that shuns American excess.
I dont think you see the whole picture. As more countries get richer and demand the same things we do, the price for those things goes up, and thus every side gets less. (Think about how the price of oil has come up recently as Chinese people started driving more)

And uh, we need a cultural shift for sure, but not any change to our economic model. Well actually we do, we should be more free and capitalisitic, that would help alot if the government wasnt subsidizing our wastefulness, but that obviously isn't going to happen anytime soon with the neocons and liberals in power
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Old January 31st, 2007, 06:57 AM   #12
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That's actually a community college. Mission College, to be precise. It looks nicer from the air than it really is. I studied there for a semester, didn't like it.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 07:34 AM   #13
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^
Oh.

Well it *is* kinda hard to tell it from a typical Silicon Valley corporate campus.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 03:17 AM   #14
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Such a waste of space and resources. No wonder we are doomed to environmental catastrophies.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 03:56 AM   #15
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Yeah the USA consumes resources at an alarming rate, but apart from out CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions, I see no major problem! Am I crazy, no, Americans enjoy good air and water quality because of our world leading emissions controls (at least the more dense and less volatile gases and particulate matter which stay close to the earths surfaced) especially when you consider the massive industrial and service output; For example, most "third world" countries, and I use this word for a lack of any better term as the word "developing" doesn't apply to many nations in the world cause their economies are straight tanking - have huge issues with water and air quality despite the fact that they use comparatively tiny amounts of resources. Clearly the issue is not consumption of land and other resources, but how we return the "waste" products back to the environment, i.e. if we plant enough trees to absorb the CO2 we release, or if we treat our waste water and enrich it with the naturally occurring microbes, then whats the problem?
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Old February 1st, 2007, 05:49 AM   #16
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Silicon Valley's sprawl is definitely denser than other metro areas' sprawl, but it's still sprawl.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 08:00 AM   #17
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all i can say is, holy shit, lol.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 11:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vince View Post
Such a waste of space and resources. No wonder we are doomed to environmental catastrophies.
Waste of space and resources? You're sitting on your fat ass making posts on the internet precisely because of what's contained in the above photographs.

Also, Sillicon Valley is quite densely built up compared to the rest of the U.S.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 04:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cebuano Exultor View Post
How come there are too many car parking slots in medium-sized malls? Based from those pictures, they sit there largely empty! Yes, I know there are 270 million registered auto-vehicles in the U.S. but I believe that America has just overbuilt itself with car parking lots.
To elaborate on Bond's response, there are so many parking spots because most American zoning codes REQUIRE private developers to build more parking than they need. American zoning codes were written by a bunch of authoritarian "modernists" and traffic engineers back in the 30s-50s. Aside from hating the city, they also unfairly distrusted the free market. They didn't think that private companies - if left to their own devices - would provide enough parking. Consequently, the zoning codes were written to require that new projects be built with more parking spots, per 1,000 square feet, than any rational person would think necessary. Every American mall is designed to accomodate parking for the Christmas shopping rush. Meanwhile, the rest of the year, the lot sits 1/3 empty.

This is why - in almost all of Bond's fabulous photo threads - you can see a sea of empty parking lots.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 05:06 PM   #20
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This is absolutely true... however, there is another component to it. Commonly, retailers (especially anchor retailers and credit tenants) require a certain number of spaces in front of their stores and have certain visibility requirements for their storefronts. Therefore, if a developer weren't to provide such attributes to their shopping center, they wouldn't be able to attract the necessary tenants to make their stores a financial success.

In any case, both zoning and tenants have forced mall and shopping center developers to provide excessive parking for their stores.
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