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Old December 1st, 2008, 06:43 PM   #541
2co2co
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This city....... really......... sucks
Looks like a newbie SimCity player failing to get any development
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Old December 1st, 2008, 07:00 PM   #542
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The biggest hurdle isn't in convincing people to spend on transit. There are of course exceptions, but in general, people are happy to get transit and are receptive to proposals.
The problem is in convincing them to increase density in their neighborhoods. People are accustomed to the status quo and are afraid of any increase in development scale. That is the biggest hurdle to creating sustainable cities in the US.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 08:26 PM   #543
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@ Substructure:

That last shot is an absolutely ancient shot of Houston's downtown. There's been a ton more development there, and not nearly as many parking lots.

Please stop using that picture without the proper context.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 09:12 PM   #544
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
The biggest hurdle isn't in convincing people to spend on transit. There are of course exceptions, but in general, people are happy to get transit and are receptive to proposals.
The problem is in convincing them to increase density in their neighborhoods. People are accustomed to the status quo and are afraid of any increase in development scale. That is the biggest hurdle to creating sustainable cities in the US.
They going have to get used it than. America needs to change its ways if it wants to survive the 21st century.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 10:26 PM   #545
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
The biggest hurdle isn't in convincing people to spend on transit. There are of course exceptions, but in general, people are happy to get transit and are receptive to proposals.
The problem is in convincing them to increase density in their neighborhoods. People are accustomed to the status quo and are afraid of any increase in development scale. That is the biggest hurdle to creating sustainable cities in the US.
No amount of bills will get people to change what they want. The only way to really get American cities to change is to convince people that smart development really is more attractive and much better in so many ways. The real way to go about this transformation is by convincing people, not by passing legislation. quashlo, you are dead on.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 10:35 PM   #546
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And convincing people that higher-density development is good requires intensification to be done well. It requires excellent urban design, excellent architecture and excellent public transport. It also requires an excellent public realm, as people will be giving up some of their private space for public space.

Sprawl is, basically, the abandonment of the 'public' for the 'private'. People seem to be able to live with crap surroundings in sprawled areas, because they have a massive McMansion and 7 cars. Only quality public space & good urban vitality is going to convince them it's worthwhile to give up their big backyard and 14 bedroom house to live in a much smaller apartment or townhouse in a sustainable area. Quality is critical, and I think there are many parts of the USA that are doing intensification really well.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 11:27 PM   #547
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADCS View Post
@ Substructure:

That last shot is an absolutely ancient shot of Houston's downtown. There's been a ton more development there, and not nearly as many parking lots.

Please stop using that picture without the proper context.
Agreed, and I didn't mention it was Houston to save it from the critics.

Fair's fair, Houston built a very successful LRT in 2004 and is already planning its extension. There are also some zoning laws slowly taking place in the urban strategies, and some densification. But STILL, this is what you get in downtown :

http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=2...05493&t=k&z=18

Right next to the office buildings :
http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=2...05493&t=k&z=18

And I believe this one is not very old either :
http://www.cyburbia.org/gallery/data...n_near_CBD.jpg
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Old December 1st, 2008, 11:51 PM   #548
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Crazy, even if its old the hosts of houston are mental! Its like a city of nothingness!
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 12:40 AM   #549
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Houston is ultimate proof of why city planning is necessary.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 02:23 AM   #550
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADCS View Post
@ Substructure:

That last shot is an absolutely ancient shot of Houston's downtown.

Wow! I thought that was a photo-shop. That actually existed? It's hard to believe- really hard to believe.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 03:03 AM   #551
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Check out Substructure's links... not only did it exist, it still does!
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 03:09 AM   #552
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Quote:
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Houston is ultimate proof of why city planning is necessary.
I'm guessing that those parking lots were a result of freeways. Freeways allowed people to move out far distances and travel to work by car. Those cars needed huge parking lots. So then, couldn't you say that Houston is ultimate proof of why city planning is terrible? Just saying, it can be construed that way. You probably wouldn't have huge parking lots without city planning.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 03:54 AM   #553
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Though Houston is the largest city in the United States without formal zoning regulations, it has developed similarly to other Sun Belt cities because the city's land use regulations and legal covenants have played a similar role. Regulations include mandatory lot size for single-family houses and requirements that parking be available to tenants and customers. Such restrictions have had mixed results. Though some have blamed the city's low density, urban sprawl, and lack of pedestrian-friendliness on these policies, the city's land use has also been credited with a bounty of affordable housing, sparing Houston the worst effects of the 2008 real estate crisis.
From : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houston
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 04:00 AM   #554
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The freeways are massive urban planning.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 12:37 PM   #555
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I think the best way to start is to build mid-to-high income target condominiums in downtown, near public transportation hubs. Carbon tax alongside may help to convince the switchover from private cars to public transportation. Once mid-high income people gets convinced and this way become more fashionable, off you go, the market will do the rest.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 12:53 PM   #556
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
I'm guessing that those parking lots were a result of freeways. Freeways allowed people to move out far distances and travel to work by car. Those cars needed huge parking lots. So then, couldn't you say that Houston is ultimate proof of why city planning is terrible? Just saying, it can be construed that way. You probably wouldn't have huge parking lots without city planning.
They don't NEED huge parking lots. They need lots of parking. (Assuming they had no desire for mass transit which was clearly the case.) They could've built parking garages with retail on the ground floor. That would've been a lot better in my opinion.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 05:19 PM   #557
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Would have been better, but I don't think that developers really cared about making the city look nice since everyone would be in their car if they were in the city.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 06:04 PM   #558
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Quote:
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Would have been better, but I don't think that developers really cared about making the city look nice since everyone would be in their car if they were in the city.
They obviously didn't care. I've seen exurbs here in the northeast with more density.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 06:27 PM   #559
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And yet, with merely three floors, you can achieve some pretty nice densities that could make mass transit very efficient.
If a third of the space is used by the construction, another third for the parking lots/open grass around it, and a last third by the street, then a three floor building means the plot ratio = 1.

Then, if you give everybody 50m˛ (550 sqft/person, or 2200 sqft for a 4 person household), you get a 20000ppl/km2 density (52000ppl/sqm) .. with only 3 floors. That's 10 million inhabitants on 500km˛ (195sqm).

Let's give everybody some room by adding the same area of greenery (50% built - 50% greenery), we get 10 millions inhabitants on 1000km˛ (390sqm).

That's a 20 miles wide city, hosting 10Mhab, and half of it being greenery. Obviously, the city is then designed for the people and not for cars.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 09:42 PM   #560
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Your classic example is central Paris. Unbelievable residential densities yet not much more than 6 levels high. It's hardly overcrowded either and leads to fantastic urban vitality.
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