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Can we have smart growth and still acomedate middle class families?

  • Yes

    Votes: 3 27.3%
  • Maybe, but it will take some serious planning?

    Votes: 7 63.6%
  • No, only suburbs can easily acomadate middle class families.

    Votes: 1 9.1%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Smart growth is more astheticly pleasing, but it appeals more to the affluent, singles, or subsidiesed poor, while miidle class families move to the suburbs to find homes. How can we have smart growth and still acomadate the middle class families?
 

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By including everything middle class families move to the suburbs for while adding amenities they can't find there. Icorporate green space, or build smart growth around parks. Incorporate transit into the development plan, mixed use, make smart growth communities walkable.

At this point we aren't going to curb sprawl too much but if in the future we build on what we learn now. We may be able to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You could make high density development for acomedating to families, with larger units and open space, but thay would be difficult to aford for most middle class families. Another problem is schools, many urban public schools are in terrible shape, and private schools are to expensive, that is why we need school vouchers to attract the middle class back to cities. On the issue of affordebillity the free-market takes care of the rich, and government subsidies take care of the poor, but how can we make urban areas more affordeble to middle class families?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If we can't acomedate middle class families to dense urban areas, we can still have "smart growth" in the suburbs with dense row houses instead of sprawling track homes, communal spaces instead of large back yards, and pedestrian oriented shopping areas instead of strip malls.
 

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Everyone loves to pay lip service to "communal spaces" over "private back yards", but the fact is, you can't let your dog(s) spend the afternoon running around "communal spaces" unsupervised. You can, however, do it with a fenced private back yard.

For cat owners, a mere back yard isn't enough... you need a back yard you can fortify with an outright caged enclosure ( http://www.cat-world.com.au/cat-worldenclosures.htm http://www.geocities.com/holmescathy/outdoorenclosure.html ), because even an overweight, arthritic cat can effortlessly scale most 8 foot high walls. And unfortunately, most condo associations take a dim view of such enclosures, even if the owner bends over backwards to make them look nice, simply because condo associations normally prohibit anything remotely unconventional as a reflex to avoid setting precedents.

 

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All the high-density developments I have seen were marketed as "luxury" properties with marble countertops and a rat-sized balcony, and sold at ludicrous prices. I don't see why affordability would be a problem, if only developers are held accountable for what they build and sell. What they need are the equivalents of regular houses or apartment units, stacked up in tall buildings. That's it! The catch is, middle-class properties provide smaller profit margins, and all the developers ride the gentrification bandwagon to build more "luxury" units.
 

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Robert Stark said:
Smart growth is more astheticly pleasing,
There's one big factor right there. Keep in mind that those esthetics are not necessarily shared by everyone. Lots of Urban Planners seem to forget that, and that is why there is such resistance to their ideas and a tendency to look at them as out of touch.

Many Middle Class people don't find a whole lot of in terest in urban housing, and too many planners seem to think that the only reason people live in the suburbs is because of prices or amenities. What people like, and it's something that is getting to be more and more important, is security and comfort. They want the backyards where teh children can play safely while the parents work in the yard or in the kitchen. They don't want gang wars, they don't want traffic, they don't want crowds. They want a place where tehy get to know everyone. While that sounds like a more urban thing - it is actually easier to establish a feeling of community in a suburban area, where you know who is living near you, you see them almost every day in the market, and you feel safe that even if your kid is out playing somewhere else there is some at least watching out for them.

I sometimes have very mixed feelings on the Subrubs versus the City. While I like the aesthetics and culture of the city, I also like the community you have in th suburbs that just doesn't exist in more urban areas.
 
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