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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I am wondering a bit about the deserted space issue...

Recently I am thinking a bit about this conceptual idea.
Imagine.. we increase cities density, limit the private space but increase the public comfort. Ecology and energetic situation will improve. The general sprawl across the countries would decrease. Which makes us return to the medieval city type again



But what to do with deserted spaces, villages? How can we positively use them? Just let nature take over? Use it in an ecologic way?

More info about my way of thinking can be found here http://stevenspapen.carbonmade.com/projects/2877758

It's just an open question what I'm wondering about
 

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^^ I don't think the existing sprawl should be removed...Look around the downtowns in USA cities. See the vast empty spaces around them that used to be single famely houses but are deserted today. Whole blocks of empty land...

Lets first begin to redevelop these area's into condo's....
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Agriculture. We've got 7 billion people to feed, and most of it is mostly hungry!
Yes ofcourse, I was thinking in ways like that too...
Just my question arise... is there any possibility doing this in relationship with the current construction we have right now.. so we dont have to demolish everything... are the current structures usefull in this 'future' idea..? and can they maybe be used in some + way?
 

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^^ Nonsense IMO. The amount of land taken by built-up urban areas is not that significant. Less than 4% in US, 8% in Western Europe. Heck, even in Netherlands it is below 17%.

Moreover, unless you are talking about a totalitarian approach in which you'd tell people they would be required to move to skyscrapers (or to incredible small dwellings in terms of area, or both), that is just not going to happen.

Finally, the majority of population is not hungry, and most of those who are hungry have an income, not a food supply, problem. Modernization of agricultural in places where it is backward and outdated, alone, can greatly increase the world food supply. There is also quite decent suitable land for crop cultures expansions in Latin America and Africa.

So the idea we might need to shrink cities to have more space to grow food is just absurd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
^^ Nonsense IMO. The amount of land taken by built-up urban areas is not that significant. Less than 4% in US, 8% in Western Europe. Heck, even in Netherlands it is below 17%.

So the idea we might need to shrink cities to have more space to grow food is just absurd.
1- Indeed, the built up urban areas, only 17% as you said, because of the sprawl, where all is separated once you go out of the core of the city, every house is 5miles away from another.. that's the problem I am talking about. So I'm thinking about increasing the city's core density.. and get rid of those sprawly suburbs around, and as we have in Belgium and holland, in between the cities, which give a immense chaos (traffic, distribution, energy, ....)
 

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Agriculture. We've got 7 billion people to feed, and most of it is mostly hungry!
Most hungry? Source?
And in fact, most food is lost in transport, in supermarket, people waste 25% of food they buy, so, by just optimizing food usage, it is completely possible to feed 7 billion enough. And there are still people who eats over their needs.



1- Indeed, the built up urban areas, only 17% as you said, because of the sprawl, where all is separated once you go out of the core of the city, every house is 5miles away from another.. that's the problem I am talking about. So I'm thinking about increasing the city's core density.. and get rid of those sprawly suburbs around, and as we have in Belgium and holland, in between the cities, which give a immense chaos (traffic, distribution, energy, ....)
Increasing the city's core density, ok, a good and reasonable idea I agree. But, how get rid of suburbs? Destroy them? Lots of infrastructure wasted, asphalt, houses, land. Imagine all the handwork needed to simply dismount all this structure. I don't think it worthwile.

I think that will and also has to happen by market laws and a subtle state help, and not by an enforced plan. People will move to city's core by their own, this is freedom: you can choose between houses and condos, rather than today's choice between suburbs and suburbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
^^

Thanks for the constructive reply,
I follow you entirely..
And there arose my next question...
Maybe the fact that we 'loose' all these current constructions, streets, sewers, ... isn't that big of a problem. But to be honest i dont know an answer on this question yet, but I was thinking...

A house is constructed for let's say 50-60 years maximum, streets,asphalt renews every 10 years (at least). Sewers, with the new seperated sewer-system we need to renew all these ones too...
I might think it is possible, if we see this idea over x years, and we maybe reuse some of the current constructions, or we let nature take over, or ... I dont know (big question mark for me too so far) it might not be such a big problem.

Another point in which you are very right, men needs to remain free :) that's I guess the most important human right... But then again with that one as you said, right now we choice between sprawl suburbs or sprawl suburbs, so we aren't free now actually
 

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^^ Not really. You can choose to live in any downtown if you want. Nothing, except money, will limit your choice. Now if downtown became undesirable because only illegal immigrants, crackheads and gangsters live there (an exaggeration, of course) so that downtown is undesirable for a person, than it is not a government function to limit the choice of those who prefer suburbs so they will be "forced" to move downtown and so make downtown more attractive to that person.

Also, modern houses will not disappear after 60 years, nor will roads. Indeed, you have a quite good idea of what happen with modern neighborhoods that are abandoned looking at the vicinity of Chernobyl or some "no-man zone" near the Turkish-Cypriot line in Cyprus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
^^
true.. what you say is correct
and i know that we houses dont dissapear after 60years.. but I mean that after 60 years or we demolish it and place something new, or we need to repair it 2 - 3 times... if all those materials and costs would be invested in the city density development. Might be a better investment. Sprawled out suburbs could be transmormed, slowly and gradiently into ecologic zones, agriculture, energy stuff... who serve the city...

We would have a way more clear structure of the land planning. A lot less transport costs, ...
City and inter-city zone will be really like that, and not like it is now sprawled suburb and semi-sprawled city (because of the relative low city density (too much m2 private space))
 

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^^ Not really. You can choose to live in any downtown if you want. Nothing, except money, will limit your choice. Now if downtown became undesirable because only illegal immigrants, crackheads and gangsters live there (an exaggeration, of course) so that downtown is undesirable for a person, than it is not a government function to limit the choice of those who prefer suburbs so they will be "forced" to move downtown and so make downtown more attractive to that person.
.....
But the government must act against the decadence of a neighboorhood. They have to enforce laws, keep safety, keep public services so these neighboorhoods won't lose its atractivity due to the much smaller distance to city's core.

And yes, nothing except money will limit the choice, but the living standard, the average housing in surroundings, these things limit the choice. It limits one's freedom. Where a millionarie would live, in downtown, in a common USA city? He doesn't have this choice.
 

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But the government must act against the decadence of a neighboorhood. They have to enforce laws, keep safety, keep public services so these neighboorhoods won't lose its atractivity due to the much smaller distance to city's core.
Enforcing laws is sensible policy anywhere. Keeping streets clean as well. However, there is a myth, or at least an overstatement disseminated on SSC that says denser neighborhoods should be "preferred by policy makers" because of their allegedly lower cost of public services. The public services whose costs concerns area and density, not population, are usually not a big share of total public expense in any developed country. Education, health care, pensions and so on cost much more than some extra sq. ft. of pavement to sweep.

And yes, nothing except money will limit the choice, but the living standard, the average housing in surroundings, these things limit the choice. It limits one's freedom.
If the government is performing his functions but the "wrong" (e.g., undesirable in the eyes of a potential new resident) folks live in the area, than there is nothing the government should do. It is not the role of the government to attract "nicer and wealthier" people downtown just to make it attractive.

Put the other way around, the government should not limit new construction on the outskirts if people are willing to pay and move there to avoid certain social scene they don't like, even if this represents a massive flight of middle-class residents that will impoverish downtown and cause further blight. People do not have a duty to keep living in a place they no longer find desirable. If the desirability is comprised by a lack of decent public services, than it is a government problem. If it is just a matter of any version of "white flight" or "white-collar flight" or "middle-class flight", then it is not the function of government to hamper the ability of richer (or even better, not-among-the-poorest) citizens to move out of areas they don't like anymore because of demographics, illegal immigration etc.



Where a millionarie would live, in downtown, in a common USA city? He doesn't have this choice.
Manhattan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
^^

Wouldn't those rules dramatically increase the rich-poor gap and make the land one big collection of different ghettos?
The rich will go where the rich are.. the poor where the poor are...
I think the whole land will be like Beverly hills and the bronx (never been there, just know both neighbourhoods from the media), with an increasement of sprawl?
 

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^^

Wouldn't those rules dramatically increase the rich-poor gap and make the land one big collection of different ghettos?
The rich will go where the rich are.. the poor where the poor are...
I think the whole land will be like Beverly hills and the bronx (never been there, just know both neighbourhoods from the media), with an increasement of sprawl?
It's not that simple, people don't fit in binary categories. The poorest will have the least choice because they don't have economic means to move to nicer places. I think every citizen should have made available things like health care or decent education, from kindergarten to university/vocational. That doesn't mean people need to live side-be-side.

Up to a certain point, and only up to a certain point, it is somehow desirable that kids of above-average (economic) background are raise not too close enough with poor kids, as to foster a sense of competition instead of contentment (like "look at my friends, I'm already lucky to have a bigger house and travel to Australia on vacation, so I will not work my a** out on school because I don't need to have as much money if all my friends live happily with less").
 

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We used to have this sprawling old 1970's mall called the Cloverleaf mall that was in a falling apart area in our city and the county and a privet builder bought the land it was on and bulldozed it flat to the ground. They then build several new very nice stores over 30% of the land and parking lots. While the other 70% of the land that the mall used to sit on that was covered in vast empty parking lots was ripped up and the vast empty parking lots where converted into grassy fields with a few new trees on them. It's amazing how much of the former empty sprawl space they turned into green space.

The Good news though was that new stores have seen over 200% more people then the old mall ever saw in it's life time. They also plan to use this new project to add new amenites to fix up this old part of town.
 

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And yes, nothing except money will limit the choice, but the living standard, the average housing in surroundings, these things limit the choice. It limits one's freedom. Where a millionarie would live, in downtown, in a common USA city? He doesn't have this choice.
I think most downtowns have at least a few condo's in the high end range. Here in KC, I know we have a few buildings downtown where the lofts run from 300k to 3 million but most people with money live near the plaza which is KC's 2nd downtown.
 

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We should completely demolish sprawl, all the way to the inner city, and replace it with more Urban, aesthetically pleasing, Eco-friendly communities. The city center should also be redone to be the best design for people, and foot traffic (northeastern or European like).
 
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