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Old March 1st, 2008, 10:55 PM   #1761
ChrisZwolle
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Well, i was talking density-wise. A city like Los Angeles has a population density of over 3.000 inhabitants per km2. There are for instance, only 4 Dutch larger cities which have a higher density. (The Hague, Leiden Haarlem and Amsterdam). Ofcourse, suburbs are usually less dense, but a suburbia city like Almere has 1.396 pop/km2, and Zwolle 1.022 pop/km2.

Ofcourse, there are cities like Atlanta, which have 1.200 pop/km2, a very low density. Only large (population near or higher than 1 million) have a considerably higher density than most US cities.

However we are going a bit offtopic this way, but i think the US and Europeans are both very car-dependent. For instance, per capita, US residents drive 40% more than Dutch, but it has to be considered, that the US is very large, with larger trips usually apply, while most Dutch mileage on trips can be outside the Netherlands. Like a typical Dutch summer vacation can take up to 20% of the total yearly mileage of a car, while most of those miles are in another country, and not taken into account.

So, US residents drive somewhat more per capita, but when all local circumstances taken into account, they are not much more car-dependent than the Dutch.
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Old March 2nd, 2008, 01:56 AM   #1762
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Which European cities are you specifically talking about?
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Old March 2nd, 2008, 03:50 AM   #1763
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Hi, new to the thread but I found some pictures of Interstate 90 on the web that I thought would be interesting. This part of I-90 is at Snoqualmie Pass, Washington. A very scenic drive. It was closes several times this winter due to heavy snow and avalanch danger.

Interstate 90 at Snoqualmie Pass
image hosted on flickr


Snowy
image hosted on flickr


Closed
image hosted on flickr


Clearing out the snow.
image hosted on flickr


In addition to the 148 inches (12 feet) (4 meters) of snow that was dumped on Interstate 90, avalanches shut down the interstate even longer.
image hosted on flickr


Hope you enjoy!
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Old March 2nd, 2008, 05:47 PM   #1764
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtBk View Post
Which European cities are you specifically talking about?
Quote:
Originally Posted by KIWIKAAS View Post
I think there are huge differences between European and American cities. Infact I struggle to find much resemblence at all.
European suburbia is generally very dense. Freestanding houses with garage and driveway are extremely rare in Europe. The larger cities are full of apartment blocks. A typical outer fringe suburb in Europe would probably have a similar density to inner city suburbs in America.
Well, i was talking strictly density-wise, and only for the midsize European cities without those very historic, dense cities. Ofcourse, the looks are completely different.

To be frank, i'd rather live in an American suburb than in those new Dutch VINEX locations popping out all over the country. I live in such a neighborhood myself, so i know what i'm talking about. For instance, these typical dutch neighborhoods have a lack of parking space, double-income households (hence 2 cars per house), and are dreadfully boring, and usually build in windy polder plains.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 04:11 AM   #1765
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American suburbs aren't much better.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 09:18 AM   #1766
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Well, at least they are in a nice environment, like in mountains, woods or around lakes. Also, the streets doesn't seem to be littered with parked cars, like in NL.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 05:58 PM   #1767
Alex Von Königsberg
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Chris, I am truly surprised you compare American cities with European cities. I have been to the Netherlands twice - once with car. We didn't even bother to drive into the cities (Amsterdam and Rotterdam) and instead parked outside in a motel parking lot and took the metro to see the city centre. And in the city itself, most people either walk or ride bicycle. In this respect, European cities are much more pedestrian/bicycle friendly than their US counterparts. You can't even imagine the difference.

One more observation - in Europe a lot of stores actually specialise in certain production such as meat, bakery, stationary, etc. They are located it the city centre blocks from each other, and it would be very hard to drive there because you would have to drive from one place to another and simply because there is a BIG problem with parking.

Now, imagine a post-apocalyptic world where there is no benzine left In America people would have to ride bicycle 3-4 km to buy basic necessities while in Europe people would walk 15-20 minutes in the neighbourhood and be done
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 06:03 PM   #1768
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
Chris, I am truly surprised you compare American cities with European cities. I have been to the Netherlands twice - once with car. We didn't even bother to drive into the cities (Amsterdam and Rotterdam) and instead parked outside in a motel parking lot and took the metro to see the city centre. And in the city itself, most people either walk or ride bicycle. In this respect, European cities are much more pedestrian/bicycle friendly than their US counterparts. You can't even imagine the difference.

One more observation - in Europe a lot of stores actually specialise in certain production such as meat, bakery, stationary, etc. They are located it the city centre blocks from each other, and it would be very hard to drive there because you would have to drive from one place to another and simply because there is a BIG problem with parking.

Now, imagine a post-apocalyptic world where there is no benzine left In America people would have to ride bicycle 3-4 km to buy basic necessities while in Europe people would walk 15-20 minutes in the neighbourhood and be done
What are you talking about?

Europe INVENTED the Hypermart. Long before we had Wal-Mart Supercenters, SuperTargets, and Fred Meyer(and Meijer), Europe had Tesco, REAL(in Germany), Carrefour, Auchan, Al Campo, etc. Europe pioneered the Big Box Center with their "retail parks".
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 06:08 PM   #1769
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Those are very uncommon in the Netherlands. We do not have malls or large supermarkets near the edges of the cities.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 06:19 PM   #1770
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post

Now, imagine a post-apocalyptic world where there is no benzine left In America people would have to ride bicycle 3-4 km to buy basic necessities while in Europe people would walk 15-20 minutes in the neighbourhood and be done
In a post-apocalyptic world, Europe would be screwed too...someone needs to ship the food.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 06:31 PM   #1771
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AUchamps View Post
What are you talking about?

Europe INVENTED the Hypermart. Long before we had Wal-Mart Supercenters, SuperTargets, and Fred Meyer(and Meijer), Europe had Tesco, REAL(in Germany), Carrefour, Auchan, Al Campo, etc. Europe pioneered the Big Box Center with their "retail parks".
I am talking about what I saw on my auto-trip through the European Union. If you have different experience then speak up.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 07:42 PM   #1772
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AUchamps View Post
What are you talking about?

Europe INVENTED the Hypermart. Long before we had Wal-Mart Supercenters, SuperTargets, and Fred Meyer(and Meijer), Europe had Tesco, REAL(in Germany), Carrefour, Auchan, Al Campo, etc. Europe pioneered the Big Box Center with their "retail parks".
You missed the point. Read once again what Alex wrote.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 01:01 AM   #1773
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snow pictures are great
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Old March 4th, 2008, 01:22 AM   #1774
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
Well, i was talking strictly density-wise, and only for the midsize European cities without those very historic, dense cities. Ofcourse, the looks are completely different.
There is small problem with density measures. You have to take some surface to equation. And here is the problem. Usually people take administrative borders of city or any other unit.
If you take LA city it is build from border to border. Actually it is build up behind city limits.
In Europe many cities have wide administrative borders. In many cities parts of surface are actually agricultural land. It lower density. In cities proper density is higher than in USA because of popularity of multilevel housing.
It is physically impossible that American flat suburbs are as dense as European neighbourhoods.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 01:52 AM   #1775
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Yep, impossible.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 06:09 AM   #1776
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Majestic View Post
You missed the point. Read once again what Alex wrote.
I did, and it seems far-fetched to think that Europe can have it both ways with small merchants and shops while also having numerous Hypermarts and Retail Parks.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 10:27 PM   #1777
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
Given the fact that cities like San Antonio, Houston or Dallas are very large in area, i don't think it's weird not many people walk. It's just not a pedestrian-friendly environment, not because of the lack of pavements, but just because of the distances.

Well, maybe fatness can be related to traffic congestion, in the way that people are stuck in traffic jams such a long time, they aren't able to spend time in the gym. Or they have usually office jobs, which do not require much energy in a physical way.

To be frank, i never quite understand those "drive-thru" things, it creates an individual atmosphere too much.

San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston aren't spread out by accident. They are bisected and crossed by a bunch of freeways and rail transit is either non-existent or lacks sufficient coverage. The layout of these cities forces people to drive to get anywhere. And the solution to their traffic woes is to build MORE freeways.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 10:46 PM   #1778
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But do you guys think, this population growth wouldn't have been occured if they didn't build so many freeways? I mean, people gotta live somewhere.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 10:54 PM   #1779
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That's right. However, having wide and efficient system of suburban freeways, the Americans chose to live in never-ending sprawl. In Europe, where road system never kept up with the needs, people tend to live in denser, thus less spacious suburbs. Second thing is the abundance of land in the USA, which in most parts of Europe is considered scarce.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 10:56 PM   #1780
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I think it mostly has to do with cheap housing. If people are able to afford their own private, big, multi-storey house with a garage, often for a price not much higher than a small condo apartment in the city - most will buy it. Most such people can also afford a car or two, and hence you get the typical North American suburb. It is not necessarily a bad thing. On the one hand, one might argue that suburbs are not self-sufficient, increase pollution, reduce density, and what not, but on the other hand, they increase the standard of living of people, since in many countries one can only dream of a private home (it would cost millions of dollars). I think it all comes down to improved planning, especially when it comes to commuting to the big downtown city centre to work.
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