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25º25'S 49º15'W
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

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on the road
leptokurtic
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Suburbia needs to be expanded, no retrofitted. Al-Gore is the suburb-hater #1. He once said that sprawl was a cancer in America. Fortunately - for many of my American friends - he didn't get elected and couldn't push his hate-the-suburbs agenda.

But what concerns me most is when, in a very anti-patriotic fashion, he comes to Europe tell us "not to follow detrimental US examples" :eek:hno:

Then, as we know, Al-Gore is the master-in-chief of TED.
 

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I don't care what Al-Gore has to say either.
Suburbia needs to change however and building codes brought up to date where they are not already.

Retrofitting Shopping malls for example can be a good idea if done properly. Whats wrong with using concepts that create a pedestrian friendly atmosphere while still catering to those "in love with my car" guys?

People should have the possibility to choose alternatives to the car if they want to.
 

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25º25'S 49º15'W
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Suburbia needs to be expanded, no retrofitted. Al-Gore is the suburb-hater #1. He once said that sprawl was a cancer in America. Fortunately - for many of my American friends - he didn't got elected and couldn't push his hate-the-suburbs agenda.

But what concerns me most is when, in a very anti-patriotic fashion, he comes to Europe tell us "not to follow detrimental US examples" :eek:hno:

Then, as we know, Al-Gore is the master-in-chief of TED.
You sound like you didn't watch that video at all. As this thread is about that video, I'm going to ask you to watch it and then point out your arguments, whether they are in favor or not retrofitting suburbia.

The main idea of creating this topic is to share different suburbia rejuvenation cases, their effects, what happened and what is going on, and not this Al Gore political and patriotic discussion. For such topics, please post on the USA sub-forum.
 

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Suburbia needs to be expanded, no retrofitted. Al-Gore is the suburb-hater #1. He once said that sprawl was a cancer in America. Fortunately - for many of my American friends - he didn't got elected and couldn't push his hate-the-suburbs agenda.

But what concerns me most is when, in a very anti-patriotic fashion, he comes to Europe tell us "not to follow detrimental US examples" :eek:hno:

Then, as we know, Al-Gore is the master-in-chief of TED.
It is hardly unpatriotic to conclude, rightfully so, that the culture of suburbia has lead to a lower quality of life, pollution, longer commute times, more stress, etc. Not to mention that it is wasteful and unsustainable, especially considering we are relying so much on finite resources. It is not unpatriotic to say that the system has to change in our country (USA). Unless you want to be there when we are all fighting over the last resources because we were too stubborn to make the necessary changes in our society.
And of course your solution to all these problems is to build more suburbs, widen freeways, and more cars.
I wonder how much better the US would be if we didn't squander our money towards fighting wars in order to secure Middle-east oil so that we can spend more of our lives behind the wheel of a car. Perhaps we wouldn't have to cut healthcare, education, and let our infrastructure fall apart. As a patriotic American, I'd like to see my country focus on improving the existing cities and making a smart plan for the suburbs that doesn't involve mindless expansion that is destroying our once enviable quality of life. Have you been to Orange county lately? You'd love it! cookie-cutter suburbia as far as the eye can see, smog so thick you can barely see the ocean or the mountains (which is ironic bc that's why people move there :/), clogged freeways, no quality public transport, etc. What are you waiting for suburbanist? Unless, of course, you're full of shit and won't leave your comfortable sprawl free existence in Tilburg (Netherlands, correct?)

Your pro-sprawl arguments are getting more and more tired and unconvincing:bash:
 

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You sound like you didn't watch that video at all. As this thread is about that video, I'm going to ask you to watch it and then point out your arguments, whether they are in favor or not retrofitting suburbia.

The main idea of creating this topic is to share different suburbia rejuvenation cases, their effects, what happened and what is going on, and not this Al Gore political and patriotic discussion. For such topics, please post on the USA sub-forum.
I actually thought the comment the speaker made about underused parking lots very interesting. Some of the areas near were I live are very much urban now but they still have relatively large parking lots and strip mall-type areas that are seriously neglected. Once upon a time, like the speaker said, these areas were once more 'suburban' but are now very much part of the city, so to speak. I'd like to see more of these strip mall rejuvenation projects. It gives me a bit of optimism:cheers:
 

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25º25'S 49º15'W
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It is hardly unpatriotic to conclude, rightfully so, that the culture of suburbia has lead to a lower quality of life, pollution, longer commute times, more stress, etc. Not to mention that it is wasteful and unsustainable, especially considering we are relying so much on finite resources. It is not unpatriotic to say that the system has to change in our country (USA).
I was going to make that comment myself, but I decided not to go down the patriotic talk road -- otherwise the discussion would be way off topic. However, I am glad you pointed things out this way.

Some of the areas near were I live are very much urban now but they still have relatively large parking lots and strip mall-type areas that are seriously neglected.
Do you have pictures, maps, schematics or anything depicting before and after? That's what I hope to see the most: transformation. :)
 

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Suburbia needs to be expanded, no retrofitted. Al-Gore is the suburb-hater #1. He once said that sprawl was a cancer in America. Fortunately - for many of my American friends - he didn't get elected and couldn't push his hate-the-suburbs agenda.

But what concerns me most is when, in a very anti-patriotic fashion, he comes to Europe tell us "not to follow detrimental US examples" :eek:hno:

Then, as we know, Al-Gore is the master-in-chief of TED.
Oh give it a rest...:bash:
 

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Suburbia needs to be expanded, no retrofitted. Al-Gore is the suburb-hater #1. He once said that sprawl was a cancer in America. Fortunately - for many of my American friends - he didn't get elected and couldn't push his hate-the-suburbs agenda.

But what concerns me most is when, in a very anti-patriotic fashion, he comes to Europe tell us "not to follow detrimental US examples" :eek:hno:

Then, as we know, Al-Gore is the master-in-chief of TED.
Good grief, you can't even be bothered to do some proper analysis any more. Instead you are so insistent on pushing your ideology that you have degenerated into spouting vitriol. It is simply getting tiresome now.

I thought the video was interesting to be honest. It covers the topic of wastefulness and how we do need to do something to prevent waste. Lets face it, waste and inefficiency are the worst things about suburbia. If we can reduce these two things then we can begin to improve suburbia without killing the suburban lifestyle that you so cherish.
 

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It's natural that as a city grows, particularly one in North America, there will be areas that started as suburbs which will evolve into more urban neighborhoods. Mostly areas that are either close in or adjacent to suburban activity centers.

It's not so much single family homes being bulldozed to make way for dense residential housing. Rather aging shopping centers and areas along major roads lined with low-slung commercial buildings are giving way to 4-5 story apartment buildings that have businesses on the ground floor. It makes sense because more people want to live in close-in neighborhoods, its simple supply and demand that developers will want to build these larger structures. And the planners know that if done right and managed carefully, new demand can be tapped by designing these neigborhoods to fit certain demographic groups' preferences which until now have gone ignored.

I don't see what the big deal is, nor do I get the war on cars gambit. I get it, people think that evil developers want to build on all that free parking they use and replace lanes on roads they use with bike paths. But this is a flawed argument. Many of the suburban areas undergoing this change, are declined areas that most people who are willing to get in their car and drive, tend to avoid anyways. Chains are always closing older, smaller big box stores and replacing them with newer ones and just as a suburban area gets built out fully with housing, retail, offices and apartments, it starts to become obsolete and unattractive and enters a period of transition. Once again, its a natural process.
 

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Toronto's suburbs shouldn't be too hard to retrofit because many areas are already reasonably dense.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sou...933,-79.237154&spn=0.001805,0.005284&t=h&z=18

A lot of townhouses and apartment buildings are built in the suburbs. Basically, developers try to squeeze as many residences as they can onto the piece of land they bought in order to maximize profit. And there's still demand for condos and towns in the suburbs here.

These suburbs are still 100% auto-oriented and retail is in the form of strip malls and box stores. But those are easier to change. You don't have to worry about bulldozing peoples' homes and expropriating land from residents. I'd like to see them build some street-facing retail along some of those extra wide suburban arterials. Lord knows there's room. Then redevelop the big box powercentres with highrise condos the way brownfields are redeveloped now.
 

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Journeyman
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It's natural that as a city grows, particularly one in North America, there will be areas that started as suburbs which will evolve into more urban neighborhoods. Mostly areas that are either close in or adjacent to suburban activity centers.

It's not so much single family homes being bulldozed to make way for dense residential housing. Rather aging shopping centers and areas along major roads lined with low-slung commercial buildings are giving way to 4-5 story apartment buildings that have businesses on the ground floor. It makes sense because more people want to live in close-in neighborhoods, its simple supply and demand that developers will want to build these larger structures. And the planners know that if done right and managed carefully, new demand can be tapped by designing these neigborhoods to fit certain demographic groups' preferences which until now have gone ignored.

I don't see what the big deal is, nor do I get the war on cars gambit. I get it, people think that evil developers want to build on all that free parking they use and replace lanes on roads they use with bike paths. But this is a flawed argument. Many of the suburban areas undergoing this change, are declined areas that most people who are willing to get in their car and drive, tend to avoid anyways. Chains are always closing older, smaller big box stores and replacing them with newer ones and just as a suburban area gets built out fully with housing, retail, offices and apartments, it starts to become obsolete and unattractive and enters a period of transition. Once again, its a natural process.
I agree with a lot of this. The excepion is that suburban infill is often concentrated in the more desirable areas. That's tends to be where projects pencil out the best...land is more expensive, but construction costs are about the same, and potential rents are much higher.
 

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25º25'S 49º15'W
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think natural reserves should be expanded a lot. The overall big picture is too big for me to get.
Yes, that's the point. By retrofitting the suburbs we can better use the land. The video shows a few cases where parking lots became green areas, with trees, native vegetation, lakes and more. One of the key points the speaker approaches is, on her own words, "developing the suburbs without tearing down a single tree" or something like that. Not to mention that has been a shift on the suburban population profile and many households no longer have an entire family living in, but just a retired couple who need to have more convenience and be closer to retailers, without having to drive a whole lot, which is pretty much who it works for people who live in the suburbs.

I think the future for the suburbs is mixed-used zoning, allowing retailers and homes to be side by side and they will be probably a little denser when it comes to population, although not as dense as central cities, where there are many apartment blocks and condos.
 

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This process seems to tie into the de-urbanization trend that was being experienced in France and discussed some time ago on another on-line forum. Apparently people are moving out of the over-crowded cities and into the ring suburbs. I would guess that these people would bring some "urban" demands with them. Developers should be able to respond to those demands. Likewise if urban dwellers want more parks or recreational areas, there should be appropriate action taken.

My issue is when the government decides on a particular "policy" and starts mandating it where there is no demand or interest in it. Unfortunately, bureaucracies are literally the last to figure out when a change of demand has occurred.
 

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Put it in your mouth
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Good grief, you can't even be bothered to do some proper analysis any more. Instead you are so insistent on pushing your ideology that you have degenerated into spouting vitriol. It is simply getting tiresome now.

I thought the video was interesting to be honest. It covers the topic of wastefulness and how we do need to do something to prevent waste. Lets face it, waste and inefficiency are the worst things about suburbia. If we can reduce these two things then we can begin to improve suburbia without killing the suburban lifestyle that you so cherish.
+1

I can't think of any other forumer that has to relate every single thing to political ideology.
 

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What do you guys think? Do you know any communities that are being successfully retrofitted?
You should follow this thread:

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=442019&page=28

San Bernardino, which lies about 60 miles east of Los Angeles and about 90 miles north of San Diego, is doing much of this. Corridors are being revived. The urban core of the urban core is being re-established. A dead mall is being redeveloped with an authenticity that results from a myriad of developers being involved. Streams are being day-lit. Virtually everything Dr. Dunham-Jones discusses has been integrated into San Bernardino's efforts.
 
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