Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 46

Thread: Lack of babies in San Francisco

  1. #1
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Samsara
    Posts
    5,075

    Lack of babies in San Francisco

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050524/...pearing_kids_1

    Quote Originally posted by AP
    Child Population Dwindles in San Francisco By LISA LEFF, Associated Press Writer
    Tue May 24, 2:16 PM ET

    SAN FRANCISCO - Anne Bakstad and Ed Cohen are starting to feel as if their family of four is an endangered species in San Francisco.

    Since the couple bought a house five years ago, more than a dozen families in their social circle have left the city for cheaper housing, better schools or both.

    The goodbyes are so frequent that Carina, age 4 1/2, wants to know when she is going to move, too. Eric, 2 1/2, misses Gus, his playmate from across the street.

    "When we get to know people through our kids, we think to ourselves, `Are they renters or owners? Where do they work?' You have to figure out how much time to invest in people," Bakstad said. "It makes you feel like, `Where is everyone going? Stay with us!'"

    A similar lament is being heard in San Francisco's half-empty classrooms, in parks where parents are losing ground to dog owners, and in the corridors of City Hall.

    San Francisco has the smallest share of small-fry of any major U.S. city. Just 14.5 percent of the city's population is 18 and under.

    It is no mystery why U.S. cities are losing children. The promise of safer streets, better schools and more space has drawn young families away from cities for as long as America has had suburbs.

    But kids are even more scarce in San Francisco than in expensive New York (24 percent) or in retirement havens such as Palm Beach, Fla., (19 percent), according to Census estimates.

    San Francisco's large gay population — estimated at 20 percent by the city Public Health Department — is thought to be one factor, though gays and lesbians in the city are increasingly raising families.....
    No kidding? I'd think people would have no problem finding a three bedroom ,two car garage, two and a half bath ranch for $150,000 and good schools there.


  2. #2
    Cyburbian Big Red's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    out standing in my field
    Posts
    114
    Maybe the most any of us can expect of ourselves isn't perfection but progress.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Santiago, Chile
    Posts
    4,767
    Hmmm I don't want to sound homophobic or anything... but it is San Francisco and butt babies don't live.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    8,991
    Blog entries
    2
    Wow Skel... Interesting comment...

    Anyways, I blame all those Liberal Scone Eaters... they have no sense of family because they are spending their money on Stonewaretm, repelling vacations in Papua New Guinea, and wine and cheese outings

    When will people learn.....
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  5. #5

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    Liberal Scone Eaters.

    LOL.

    You just need to spell it "Liebrul" and add a reference to the Tribulation Force taking out Sodom Francisco first.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Southern Antarctica
    Posts
    1,001
    el Guapo, you've put your finger on an interesting demographic consequence of SF's gay-friendliness. A lack of children is the exact opposite of the situation faced by most 3rd world countries. It's a shame when these circumstances discourage habitation by breeding couples. Whereas in most urban areas, crime is the primary reason for a lack of children, SF is actually one of the safest big cities you could raise a child in. Of course, the children that do live in cities these days are usually disproportionately those of the poor and minority ethic groups. I'll bet SF's age distribution is comparable to that of the aging Northern European countries where the imbalance resulted from war deaths 6 decades ago. At least when SF's aging boomers start reaching the nursing home years they should have plenty of money saved from not having had kids, to pay for intensive care.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  7. #7
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    8,991
    Blog entries
    2
    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Liberal Scone Eaters.

    LOL.

    You just need to spell it "Liebrul" and add a reference to the Tribulation Force taking out Sodom Francisco first.

    Will do next time...
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    ????
    Posts
    1,184
    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq
    el Guapo, you've put your finger on an interesting demographic consequence of SF's gay-friendliness. A lack of children is the exact opposite of the situation faced by most 3rd world countries. It's a shame when these circumstances discourage habitation by breeding couples. Whereas in most urban areas, crime is the primary reason for a lack of children, SF is actually one of the safest big cities you could raise a child in. Of course, the children that do live in cities these days are usually disproportionately those of the poor and minority ethic groups. I'll bet SF's age distribution is comparable to that of the aging Northern European countries where the imbalance resulted from war deaths 6 decades ago. At least when SF's aging boomers start reaching the nursing home years they should have plenty of money saved from not having had kids, to pay for intensive care.
    There is more to the decline in children in San Fran than just their gay friendliness. Housing prices are probably the number one reason. What do you mean when you say it is a shame these curcumstances discourage habitation by breeding couples?

  9. #9
    Member Wulf9's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Near the Geysers
    Posts
    922
    Housing prices are a main cause. You can buy a house in some exurb, commute 3 hurs a day, and plop your kids in a school that looks like a mini warehouse for less than the cost of a San Francisco house.

    Schools are another. San Francisco gave up on most of its schools a long time ago. So schools are a disincentive to stay in San Francisco.

    The exurban life style depends largely on "free" gas. Cost of fueling the SUV to commute to a far-away place is less than the added mortgage payment for a house in the central city. When gas hits $5 a gallon, there may be some re-arranged housing priorities.

  10. #10
    Housing prices are way out of control, completely ridiculous. My sister lives there and she makes great money. Her main complaint is that it's too expensive. It's not crowded, it's certainly not ugly. There's no place for middle income families to buy an affordable living space. How pathetic.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Southern Antarctica
    Posts
    1,001
    Quote Originally posted by cololi
    There is more to the decline in children in San Fran than just their gay friendliness. Housing prices are probably the number one reason. What do you mean when you say it is a shame these curcumstances discourage habitation by breeding couples?
    Cololi:, Certainly housing prices are affected by lots of things, but the lack of kids, and prevalence of gay people means the average person there has more money to spend on their houses which drives up housing costs more than it otherwise would. But then also, San Francisco is I believe the 2nd most densely populated area in North America, with New York at #1, and Vancouver B.C. at #3.

    I am a proponent of equal rights for gays, and as yet, I have not joined the clan of breeders. I pointed out that SF is relatively safe as big cities go, so in that sense it is a shame that breeding couples often can't afford to live in SF. By "shame", I mean it is a shame for those couples to be missing out on such a vibrant place to raise a kid. I meant it disspassionately. I wish our society wasn't so prone to self-segregate by age, race, and class. I certainly didn't mean the comment in the sense of "Damn those gay people for screwing up SF as a great place to raise kids". If that's what you thought I meant. I believe it takes a village to raise a child; the more diverse the better. Does this clarify my meaning to you?
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    ????
    Posts
    1,184
    I can see your point. I just didn't make the correlation.

  13. #13
    Moving at my own pace....... Planderella's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 1998
    Location
    NOLA
    Posts
    4,468
    Quote Originally posted by SkeLeton
    Hmmm I don't want to sound homophobic or anything... but it is San Francisco and butt babies don't live.
    Even with an emoticon, I think this is a pretty tacky statement.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    4,604
    Agreed, this is tacky and out of line
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  15. #15
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Southern Antarctica
    Posts
    1,001
    Although I don't have a problem with it, it did seem like a bizarre and meaningless comment.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  16. #16
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    at the neighboring pub
    Posts
    5,200
    I think the low amount of kids is a direct result of San Francisco just being too damn expensive. Kids are frickin' expensive and therefore, largely incompatible with overpriced housing. Also, the San Francisco schools are pretty abysmal from what I have read and most people resort to private school--yet another added expense.

    Why put up with that when you can move off the peninsula and hop on the BART? There's a huge difference in costs once you get across that Bay Bridge or somewhere where you can't see ocean/bay in every direction.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  17. #17
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    8,991
    Blog entries
    2
    What about all the kids on Full House?
    Wait they had to pack a ton of people into one house inorder to survive... hense the name Full House.

    "Z Man, Time to get to work!"

    "Yes Boss."
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  18. #18

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq
    Cololi:, Certainly housing prices are affected by lots of things, but the lack of kids, and prevalence of gay people means the average person there has more money to spend on their houses which drives up housing costs more than it otherwise would. But then also, San Francisco is I believe the 2nd most densely populated area in North America, with New York at #1, and Vancouver B.C. at #3.

    I am a proponent of equal rights for gays, and as yet, I have not joined the clan of breeders. I pointed out that SF is relatively safe as big cities go, so in that sense it is a shame that breeding couples often can't afford to live in SF. By "shame", I mean it is a shame for those couples to be missing out on such a vibrant place to raise a kid. I meant it disspassionately. I wish our society wasn't so prone to self-segregate by age, race, and class. I certainly didn't mean the comment in the sense of "Damn those gay people for screwing up SF as a great place to raise kids". If that's what you thought I meant. I believe it takes a village to raise a child; the more diverse the better. Does this clarify my meaning to you?
    I disagree completely!

    Gay couples are a very, very minor factor in house price inflation or why families don't select the City-even in San Francisco. If they were the main factor, then why did housing prices in "family friendly" places like Santa Clara County (Silicon Valley) or Marin County (posh hippies) (or even family-oriented neighborhoods like The Sunset District) skyrocket even more during the boom? The Bay Area housing prices have risen rapidly-even in my very blue collar, very family-oriented county-because of population growth, approaching buildout, impact fees, and planning/political constraints on development. California-especially northern California-is not the Midwest or Texas where cities or special districts blithely annex hundred of acres and easily build with few constraints thousands of housing units. Thus, even during a quite severe economic downturn, we are told that the State is still not building enough housing. Now, my response to this is "maybe everyone can't live here without destroying the environment." But, the fact remains that these factors are far more significant than a minority of Gay Couples bidding up house prices!

    While SF lacks festering abandoned ghettos (except for the industrial wasteland now being redeveloped), it is hardly the perfectly safe, family-friendly place many middle class parents select for their families. There is a very visible population of lost souls, often with severe addictions and other problems, in many neighborhoods. Crime is higher than most suburban areas. As a middle aged male, I rarely feel threatened in the City, and I think much parental fear can be exagerated, but the fact remains that many parents would be threatened by the problems endemic to San Francisco and the urbanized East Bay.

    The other factors (poor, politicized urban schools, cultural factors) have been discussed above-as has the availability of larger, family-scaled housing in the suburbs. Whether these large houses will be so desirable once gasoline reaches $6/gallon, or when the predicted traffic levels make long-distance commuting even more untenable than now, we will see. I am not a family man, but I don't understand the appeal of a 2800 square foot house if it would mean never seeing my family and commuting two hours per day. But, that's just me.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Southern Antarctica
    Posts
    1,001
    Perhaps this is beside the point but -BKM, as a resident of the bay area, why in your opinion did SF become the gay mecca that it is?

    On the crime issue, according to this 2002 data, the SF murder rate was only 7.3, which was only a sixth of what it was in cities like D.C. and Detroit. Sure that's still high crime for a prarie town, but 1/6 as many murders seems like a far safer place to me compared to the other two aforementioned cities. Robbery and assault is probably more comparable among the three.

    You are probably right that I am overstating the issue. You are obviously far more knowledgeable about the city than I am. My assumption is that hyper dense areas like Manhattan and SF tend to nurture gay culture. The denseness of an area proves it's popularity, and thus goes hand in hand with the cost of living. eG's article said SF's gay population is still only about 20%. So obviously, gay culture is not the overwhelming causitive factor upon appreciating SF housing prices. My original point, perhaps not clearly enough stated at first, is that the issues of density and housing prices as they relate to the portion of the population that includes either gay people, or straight people with children, are all interrelated factors, each of which has an impact upon the others. Perhaps you'll disagree with my assumption that dense areas nurture gay culture. If that assumption is indeed false, maybe you could better explain what draws gay people to San Francisco and makes the city so appealing to them.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  20. #20
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    ????
    Posts
    1,184
    One of the things that makes the City so appealling is that the people are pretty accepting (at least based on my experiences). There has been a long history of civil and social movements that have either started or were fostered in the bay area, gay rights being one of the most obvious examples. the long history of progressive social protests and the resulting changes make the place very appealing to those that are not considered part of the mainstream. It is probably the only large City that I have been to where I would actually consider moving to if I could afford it. I agree with BKM, it is not worth giving up a couple of hours of my day to commute to/from work that could otherwise be spent with my kids.

  21. #21

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq
    Perhaps this is beside the point but -BKM, as a resident of the bay area, why in your opinion did SF become the gay mecca that it is?

    On the crime issue, according to this 2002 data, the SF murder rate was only 7.3, which was only a sixth of what it was in cities like D.C. and Detroit. Sure that's still high crime for a prarie town, but 1/6 as many murders seems like a far safer place to me compared to the other two aforementioned cities. Robbery and assault is probably more comparable among the three.

    You are probably right that I am overstating the issue. You are obviously far more knowledgeable about the city than I am. My assumption is that hyper dense areas like Manhattan and SF tend to nurture gay culture. The denseness of an area proves it's popularity, and thus goes hand in hand with the cost of living. eG's article said SF's gay population is still only about 20%. So obviously, gay culture is not the overwhelming causitive factor upon appreciating SF housing prices. My original point, perhaps not clearly enough stated at first, is that the issues of density and housing prices as they relate to the portion of the population that includes either gay people, or straight people with children, are all interrelated factors, each of which has an impact upon the others. Perhaps you'll disagree with my assumption that dense areas nurture gay culture. If that assumption is indeed false, maybe you could better explain what draws gay people to San Francisco and makes the city so appealing to them.
    Put in these words, I'm not sure I disagree with you entirely. I tend to think in terms of metropolitan areas rather than just the City of San Francisco, so I may be taking your argument beyond the (City) limits of what you intended

    As for reasons for the Gay culture in SF? I am no expert, but I can think of a few factors:

    As an old port city, SF, had a large population of unattached males (I'm NOT saying sailors are gay-just that the port city atmosphere tends to be more tolerant and less staid than say, an inland manufacturing or farming hub). This dates back to the old Barbary Coast "city of sin" days and predates any Gay Rights movement. San Francisco was always a fairly open city.

    Despite this, there were certainly family-oriented middle class and working class neighborhoods. But, suburbanization hit the Bay Area as early as the post-earthquake era. Plus, the port and industrial San Francisco began to decline as early as the 60s. The Castro District (home of the million dollar Victorian fixers!) was once a working class white ethnic neighborhood that saw disinvestment due to suburbanization of this population. Thus, those old wooden Victorians were cheap! at one point. Amazing, I know. As gays were indeed less concerned with school district scores and the like, and stereotypically interested in "design," the Castro District Victorians were ripe for conversion into today's extremely gentrified Castro district.

    San Francisco-and California in general-represent the "end of the road" an opportunity tom reinvent yourself. This includes gays looking for a different way of life than Prairie City, Iowa (sorry, Iowans. Not picking on you at all. After all, a Yoga Devidic City could never receive planning approvals in California )

    Just some thoughts-my own opinions/readings, etc.

    \

    Quote Originally posted by cololi
    One of the things that makes the City so appealling is that the people are pretty accepting (at least based on my experiences). There has been a long history of civil and social movements that have either started or were fostered in the bay area, gay rights being one of the most obvious examples. the long history of progressive social protests and the resulting changes make the place very appealing to those that are not considered part of the mainstream. It is probably the only large City that I have been to where I would actually consider moving to if I could afford it. I agree with BKM, it is not worth giving up a couple of hours of my day to commute to/from work that could otherwise be spent with my kids.
    If I were married with a family, yet insisted on living the suburban/auto-oriented life, I would probably not live in the Bay Area: living in Tracy and commuting to the East Bay would be a nightmare. I hate the 9-mile drive I do to work.
    Last edited by nerudite; 27 Jun 2005 at 10:06 PM. Reason: merged

  22. #22
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where Valley Fever Lives
    Posts
    6,950

    Yeah.....

    Quote Originally posted by PlannerGirl
    Agreed, this is tacky and out of line
    And no "yellow" card from THE mod
    Skilled Adoxographer

  23. #23
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Southern Antarctica
    Posts
    1,001
    ^ Insightful. Thanks BKM. This explains much of the origins of SF's gay culture in ways that I had not thought about or was simply ignorant of.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Big Red's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    out standing in my field
    Posts
    114
    It's not the houses that are the expensive part, it's the land.

    Land use restrictions and "open space" laws strictly enforced since the late 70's in an area that is already geographically restricted in terms of available land for development has pushed the value of the available land to the top of our national averages.
    This, plus the highly speculative nature of a housing market that has become increasingly dependant on risky financing mechanisms like no-interest loans continues to push the paper values ever higher.
    In '02 only 11% of mortgages in the SF area were interest only.
    Today, 66% of them are.

    It's hard to see how this upward trend can sustain itself, but, replacing middle and lower income families with rich couples will probably help.
    Last edited by Big Red; 27 May 2005 at 10:37 AM.
    Maybe the most any of us can expect of ourselves isn't perfection but progress.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Santiago, Chile
    Posts
    4,767
    Now for the more serious comment...

    The demographic trend worldwide is less children.. specially around you Developed Nations... and also including Chile
    In such a demanding society (Western world society) there's no time for kids... Women want (and have all the right to) a successfull career, and forgetting or posponing pregnancy and child raising (which actually should be a couple work, not just women work) and with this, we're running out of young ones and cheap labour... eh... I mean... future workers, in the end we'll all be a bunch of old prunes living off working robots that feed us and change our diapers...

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. Colicky babies
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 52
    Last post: 07 Dec 2012, 7:56 AM
  2. [OMG!] Lack of professionalism
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 12
    Last post: 02 Apr 2011, 12:28 AM
  3. [OMG!] Puppies, kitties or babies?
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 19
    Last post: 28 Jan 2010, 4:04 PM
  4. Lack of motivation
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 38
    Last post: 14 Aug 2006, 7:40 PM
  5. Lack of supervisory experience
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 5
    Last post: 29 Mar 2005, 5:41 PM