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Thread: Sprawl: how do you stop it?

  1. #201
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by steel View post
    Stop subsidizing it and make people pay for the true cost of their decision to live in a sprawl environment. That includes all the costs of decay and abandonment, highways, and utilities that are now costs shared by those who live in dense environment. You can not be claiming to be making a free choice decision to live in a certain place if you are forcing others to help pay for your choice.

    Plain and simple if people have to shoulder the full cost of the choice of sprawl they will often choose another course.
    I have been questioning this assertion recently. My experience has been that the construction of "sprawl" and it's direct immediate effects/costs (new streets, water mains, street lighting, etc) and taken care of by impact fees (school/park donations) are pushed onto the developers.

    As for paying to decay and abandonment - how they heck would one quantify such?
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Every day is today. Yesterday is a myth and tomorrow an illusion.

    You know...for kids.

  2. #202
    Quote Originally posted by steel View post
    Stop subsidizing it and make people pay for the true cost of their decision to live in a sprawl environment. That includes all the costs of decay and abandonment, highways, and utilities that are now costs shared by those who live in dense environment. You can not be claiming to be making a free choice decision to live in a certain place if you are forcing others to help pay for your choice.

    Plain and simple if people have to shoulder the full cost of the choice of sprawl they will often choose another course.
    So how do you do that?

  3. #203
    Cyburbian
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    So what am I supposed to do about images? It would be illegal for me to copy them and put them on my own gallery. People also rarely ever click the links just to bring up images.

    But either way, gj bud, you've shown me how much you believe in FLW by ignoring my entires post. I'm asking about dense urban areas, and not about a concept like Broadacres.

  4. #204
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    Dare to Plan!

    Quote Originally posted by steel View post
    Stop subsidizing it and make people pay for the true cost of their decision to live in a sprawl environment. That includes all the costs of decay and abandonment, highways, and utilities that are now costs shared by those who live in dense environment. You can not be claiming to be making a free choice decision to live in a certain place if you are forcing others to help pay for your choice.

    Plain and simple if people have to shoulder the full cost of the choice of sprawl they will often choose another course.
    That’s exactly my point; Congress must stop funding it. - http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showt...780#post357780 - There must be a better way and I think there is, viz., KYMAK.


    Quote Originally posted by boiker View post
    We were a much more localized people prior to industrialized mechanization too.


    I'd suggest that most of the sprawl we know today is manufactured from comprehensive planning that doesn't clearly define development patterns in growth areas. For example, any land annexed here is automatically zoned R-3 regardless of the comp. plan. The applicant will have to ask for a rezoning after annexation.

    The public nor pubilc officials don't see value in planning with a fine-toothed comb. The tradition has been to plan broadly, plan widely, plan loosely and let the markets dictate.
    How so; localized? The population was scattered all along the east coast and their were settlements in Iowa. The Northwest Ordinance was passed in 1787 to govern those territories. Independence, Missouri was being settled by John Jacob Astor as a fur trading post about then.

    You are right on; there is no intelligent comprehensive planning in effect; only a hodgepodge of neatly planned subdivisions that grow into a single overgrown cancerous cell – that is listed as unethical practice in the link I gave above. This is no doubt the reason the general public disdains Professional Planners – and also why FLW was so popular and highly esteemed: he had a plan that suited our desires, perfectly. I think the public knows it intuitively even if they do not understand it by intellect – planning statutes attest to their desire for intelligent planning. It is local politicians who push for an ever-expanding megalopolis; they do this under color of law on the pretense that the people elected them to do that and then ignorantly (or deliberately?) disregard the planning statutes I mentioned – but how can they know if we don’t tell them? Yet, if we tell them they intimidate and defy us; you could lose your job or be forced to quit, then. Who or what is the powerful adversary at work in this matter, pray tell? How dare we Plan!

    Other links:
    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showt...579#post355579
    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showp...3&postcount=48
    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showp...2&postcount=18

    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    But either way, gj bud, you've shown me how much you believe in FLW by ignoring my entires post. I'm asking about dense urban areas, and not about a concept like Broadacres.
    But I'm trying to show you that what you want is neither what people want nor what the law provides. Aren't you begging the question and engaging in wishful thinking. What law are you going by? I realize you may be under pressure to justify the megalopolis mentality of local politicians but they are not the law and you are supposed to be working for the people, not the Mayor and Council. I think FLW had an intelligent plan but actually I believe in his source of inspiration and now mine, viz., Divine Providence that founded this Nation. Why do you want to go back to the Feudal System?
    Last edited by bud; 06 Mar 2007 at 11:26 AM. Reason: merge reply

  5. #205
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by bud View post
    How so; localized? The population was scattered all along the east coast and their were settlements in Iowa. The Northwest Ordinance was passed in 1787 to govern those territories. Independence, Missouri was being settled by John Jacob Astor as a fur trading post about then.
    Localized - meaning that most people in the rural areas, and many urban places, never went much farther than a day's distance via foot (about 10 miles) or horse (about 25 miles) from their place of residence/work (which were often the same place).

    Yes, people did spread throughout the continent during the 18th and 19th century, but once they settled, they didn't really go anywhere on a daily/weekly/monthly.yearly basis.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Every day is today. Yesterday is a myth and tomorrow an illusion.

    You know...for kids.

  6. #206
    Cyburbian
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    bud, you have no idea what people want or need. Again, look at European cities, and place like Manhattan and Brooklyn, or Curitiba, THAT is how cities are meant to be. Not spread out with 1 unit per acre.

    FLW was wrong, he was only an architect, not a planner, and thank goodness he wasn't. Him and Frank Gehry are my two favorite modern architects, however neither of them would make good planners.

    Quit using things like this is the American dream, or this is democracy, that is facism/fuedalism. You don't know what it is, and you are brainwashing yourself into believing there is a higher power involved in his plan. Any plan for a city can work, but only a very small percentage of them will provide the social interaction, good health, good education, concentration of resources/people, vitality, diversity, environmental preservation, etc... that is needed for the world.

    People are meant to interact with each other, not be isolated. Streets are meant to be pedestrian and mass transit oriented, not drivable. The environment is meant to be preserved in it's state and depletion should be next to none from cities. Population growth should be based on good health, death/birth rate, urban health/vitality, not on how much something spreads out.

    Also, what the people want is not always what they need, or what they really want. People don't want spread out communities, they want good neighborhoods, healthy communities, some parkland, less pollution, less crime, better infrastructure, etc... However because of what sprawl has done to urban areas, many urban areas don't meet those criteria, but more and more are meeting those criteria by turning around and going back to the way they were before the 1950s.

    I'd have no problem with a city like Broadacres that is built anew somewhere else, as long as it doesn't keep spreading out. I'd have no problem with another city theory being built somewhere on new ground and not near another city, as long as it preserves habitats/environment and doesn't spread out.

    The environment, human interaction, human instincts, human needs does not know government types. No matter what government you have, the needs and requirements are always the same for humans. Those needs must be met, but unfortunately in many countries, they aren't met because of facism. However there are countries who also don't meet those needs because they allow even the poor types of planning that discourage those needs.

    It isn't facism, it isn't fuedalism, it isn't democracy, it isn't communism, it has jack to do with government. It's how humans live and what humans need.

    From China, to Italy, to Israel, to London, to NYC, cities are basically the same and have been the same since the beginning of organized settlement (after humans were nomads). Humans have always been concentrated in single areas, not spread out, and that is how it always should be. It's best for humans, and for the whole world if we don't spread out and instead concentrate ourselves.

    Humans aren't isolationists and never have been, and we never will be. Creating isolation through sprawl just hurts people (literally), it doesn't help them at all.

  7. #207
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    Core and Backbone

    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    …what the people want is not always what they need…
    Sprawl is what we have now.

    Kansas City, MO is about the same size as NYC, 300+ sq. mi. Density is about two per acre. NYC is about 40 per acre. Manhattan is 23 sq. mi. at 100/ac. You apparently want KCMO to be like NYC. Lower Manhattan is like a magnet, or the center of the galaxy, or a black hole. Millions of people are drawn to it by centrifugal force. It is a huge mouth that must be fed by food grown thousands of miles away; it would cease to exist if that food supply should stop for very long. The people are dependent on the government to create jobs; they are not inherently free and independent except to move elsewhere and that is not likely if you have your way. KC is already rather dense at the core and also holds the surrounding population with a centrifugal force. All this has created the sprawl you are talking about – these “huddle masses yearning to breathe free” like those who fled to this Country from Europe. (Also note that Manhattan is built on solid granite as compared to cities like Houston, Texas where there is subsidence - sinking, as in undulations of the geoid - due to the increase of mass on the Earth's limestone crust).

    Core and Backbone

    Broadacres has never been built so you can only speculate as to what it would do and you do not understand it well enough to make a judgment. Anyway, what about my idea? (see my website) You haven't said, yet. It has a central core but also incorporates agriculture within the city as does Broadacres which if ever built would be like the Backbone of the Country. These two cities are both self sufficient and guarantee freedom and independence to the citizen.

    Again, what Law are you going by? As for me, I am going by the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States of America and the Laws of the Several States. I would not want to presume to do otherwise. What do you know about American History and its Fundamental Laws pray tell?

    http://ecoethics.net/smartgrowth/index.htm
    Last edited by bud; 07 Mar 2007 at 12:15 PM. Reason: add link

  8. #208
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    bud, you have no idea what people want or need. Again, look at European cities, and place like Manhattan and Brooklyn, or Curitiba, THAT is how cities are meant to be. Not spread out with 1 unit per acre.

    People are meant to interact with each other, not be isolated. Streets are meant to be pedestrian and mass transit oriented, not drivable. The environment is meant to be preserved in it's state and depletion should be next to none from cities. Population growth should be based on good health, death/birth rate, urban health/vitality, not on how much something spreads out.

    Humans aren't isolationists and never have been, and we never will be. Creating isolation through sprawl just hurts people (literally), it doesn't help them at all.
    We Americans are not Europeans. European cities were created under totally different conditions - often built and rebuilt numerous times. We left Europe for a reason and we became different as a result. Many of those Europeans that came to this continent wanted space too. Some settled in cities. Many populated the empty lands.

    My people came to this continent before the Revolution and each generation moved a little farther westward for new lands and new opportunities. Only the last two generations settled in urban areas.

    Americans are isolationists to a great extent. It is written into our proverbial hard-drive. American's desire for distance is part of who we are as a people. Look at a line in a bank - people stand several feet apart. In Montana, even more so, where a line of five people is 18 feet long. Americans like distance. Our folklore tells us that Daniel Boone picked up and moved his family because he could see the chimney smoke of his neighbors, who was several miles away.

    We are more individualists than social beings. Look at American literature, movies and pop culture. Natty Bumpo, the Virginian, Roark, Hayduke, Dirty Harry, etc. The loner, the individualist is admired.These are men who are not part of the crowd. They are individualists. Outsiders. Why do we admire them? Because they are. No one wants them to be part of the collective.

    The pioneers and early Americans did not "car-pool" or use mass transit. Every town and city had plenty of liveries and carriage houses, so people could travel at their own will. Automobiles have only increased the distance we can travel. Go to Ponchatoula, LA and you will see that the main street is about 80 feet wide. Why? Because that is how much room that was needed to turn around a team of oxen. Other towns had ox lots, behind stores so farmers who came into town could keep their animals while they sold their products and got supplies.

    The densities you desire would not be acceptable to the majority of Americans. How do I know that? People vote with their feet. If they wanted to live in denser concentrations, they would. I do not believe that if you make dense urban areas more hospitable than people will flock back to the cities. They will not because they want space from their neighbors. I am one of them. Sure, I live in a city (admittedly a small one). Very few of those in Helena live in dense urban conditions (maybe a few hundred people, at the most). Most urban dwellers live on lots that are 4,000-11,000 square feet. Even apartment dwellers mostly live in converted houses with lawns and setbacks. We do not, nor do we desire to live cheek-to-jowl with our neighbors. This is only one example of one community. Every community has its own conditions that are unique to it.

    Do I like sprawl? No. I work to reduce sprawl and mitigate its adverse results. Sprawl can be controlled and mitigated through regulations and public process. I do not believe it can ever be stopped. We are what we are. We want what we want. I doubt the majority of Americans want to live in urban densities, if given the choice. We do not have to subsidize that desire, but legally we cannot stop development of the hinterlands.

    This is the puzzle of dealing with sprawl. We do not like it. It is not a good thing for many reasons. But it also is what a lot of people want, both buyers and sellers.

    Not everyone wants what you are so passionate about. Many want something different.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  9. #209
    Cyburbian
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    Who cares if people want something different? It isn't what they need. Again, building healthy and dense cities has jack squat to do with government and has everything to do with satisfying human NEEDS and social interactions.

    Towns HAVE to be dense, not spread out, that is just the way it HAS to be. Otherwise, it has to either be unoccupied, or spread out farms.

    Yes I know KCMO isn't that dense, but I don't care, in 100 years I want to see it similar to places like DT Vancouver, Greenwich Village, Brooklyn, and European Cities.

    Also, news flash to those of you pulling the bogus "democracy" and "this is America" cards... It isn't just European Cities, it's Middle Eastern Cities, as well as Asian and some African cities. It's how humans need to be, condensed and interacting together constantly. Not spread out among individual farms with personal automobiles.

    I also have another newsflash for you, Democracy existed long before America did, look at Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, etc... THAT is the design of Democracy and human kind, not anything else. People are meant to live in dense areas and interact together all the time. We aren't meant to be spread out and isolated.

    Again bud, you are only saying we should either use Broadacre or your theory to defeat sprawl, but again, you are completely going off the topic of this subject. The subject of this thread is how do we combat/eliminate sprawl with and for dense and healthy urban cities?

  10. #210
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    Who cares if people want something different?
    Wow...I think I've said it before in this thread (and I'm not interested enough to backtrack and check) - good luck in any profession with that attitude, kid - including planning.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  11. #211
    Cyburbian
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    Well the fact is, what people want isn't always what they need. Someone wants a huge yard, don't give them a huge yard, give them a public park. Someone wants a personal automobile, let them have one, but GREATLY discourage it's use. Someone wants to live in a more rural area, don't offer extensive infrastructure and encourage them to either live in an urban area, or a rural area, no in between.


    It is the way things have to be, and have been for thousands of years. There is no reason to change it, and changing it would completely hurt society as well as our world/environment.

    People can build different types of cities, but they CANNOT alter dense, vibrant and healthy urban areas, or existing urban areas. Also, if they choose to build a new city with different policies, then good luck to them, but they CANNOT sprawl out.

  12. #212
    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    It is the way things have to be, and have been for thousands of years. There is no reason to change it, and changing it would completely hurt society as well as our world/environment.
    Wow, I am speechless...

  13. #213
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    Moderator note:
    This thread has zig-zagged all over the place folks. We need to come back to the topic -- how do you stop sprawl? -- or the thread will be closed in short order. Carry on.
    The old women used to say you could tell the next day’s weather, by whether you could hear the highway or the railroad at night. I recall that they were right more often than not.

  14. #214
    Cyburbian Reductionist's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by otterpop View post
    Americans are isolationists to a great extent. It is written into our proverbial hard-drive. American's desire for distance is part of who we are as a people. Look at a line in a bank - people stand several feet apart. In Montana, even more so, where a line of five people is 18 feet long. Americans like distance. Our folklore tells us that Daniel Boone picked up and moved his family because he could see the chimney smoke of his neighbors, who was several miles away.

    We are more individualists than social beings. Look at American literature, movies and pop culture. Natty Bumpo, the Virginian, Roark, Hayduke, Dirty Harry, etc. The loner, the individualist is admired.These are men who are not part of the crowd. They are individualists. Outsiders. Why do we admire them? Because they are. No one wants them to be part of the collective.
    It's rather ironic that we continue to cling to the "rugged individualist" myth in perhaps what is the most conformist, homogenized culture on the planet. Times change and the reality based community (i.e. most of the rest of the world) is moving on without us. Clinging to a romantic, mythic way of life that in reality died at end of the 19th Century may offer comfort to some, but is not a sound basis for policymaking.

  15. #215
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    Do you read me?

    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    Again bud, you are only saying … (cities like Broadacre or KYMAK can defeat sprawl)...
    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    I forgot to mention ... I'm still in high school, i'm a Senior, …. I may be naive, but then again, I still have a lot I can learn.
    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    I guess some of you forget that I'm still learning and have to read more of these books and talk with more people to learn more. I may be naive, but then again, I still have a lot I can learn.
    Are you still learning, or have you mastered the subject in the last 6 months? There was a decal when I was in college that said, “six munce ago I didn’t know what an architect was, now I are one”. You do seem to be a very intelligent young man, but you're speaking total academentia - Taliesin enabled me to overcome the academic mindset by leaning to be objective.. Our "Culture(?)" may have changed, but not the Laws. In the world you envision, we will not have the freedom of speech you now enjoy. No doubt I would be censored in that world. However, I am giving you the solution to sprawl, if you will only open your mind and try to think objectively. Did you have your mind made up before you started or are you trying to draw me out until you can understand me? I hope to keep trying, Do you read me?

    Did you read this? http://ecoethics.net/smartgrowth/index.htm

    Thomas Jefferson said, "The mobs of great cities add just so much to the support of pure government, as sores do to the strength of the human body."
    Notes on Virginia p. 291 et seq.http://wyllie.lib.virginia.edu:8086/...ublic&part=all


    "Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which animates all whom it floats, and you are without effort impelled to truth, to right, and a perfect contentment. Then you put all gainsayers in the wrong. Then you are the world, the measure of right, of truth, of beauty. If we will not be mar-plots with our miserable interferences, the work, the society, letters, arts, science, religion of men would go on far better than now, and the heaven predicted from the beginning of the world, and still predicted from the bottom of the heart, would organize itself, as do now the rose, and the air, and the sun." Ralph Waldo Emerson http://www.emersoncentral.com/spirituallaws.htm
    Last edited by bud; 08 Mar 2007 at 11:15 AM. Reason: grammar

  16. #216
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    Who cares if people want something different? It isn't what they need. Again, building healthy and dense cities has jack squat to do with government and has everything to do with satisfying human NEEDS and social interactions.
    How does one build "healthy and dense cities" when most Americans prefer something else, ie, the detached single family home? If there's limited demand for dense, urban living, who's going to build it?

    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    Towns HAVE to be dense, not spread out, that is just the way it HAS to be. Otherwise, it has to either be unoccupied, or spread out farms.
    Why does it HAVE to be???? Is there some rule that says it's either Manhattan or farms??? My hometown has around 2500-3000 people, most of whom live in single or double family detached housing. I don't believe there's a building in town higher than 3 stories, unless you consider the bell tower on the Free Methodist Church. It's been that way since the area was settled in the 1830s. Oh, yeah, and West Main Street in the downtown area is wide enough for cars to park parallel on both sides and still have room for four lanes of traffic.
    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    Yes I know KCMO isn't that dense, but I don't care, in 100 years I want to see it similar to places like DT Vancouver, Greenwich Village, Brooklyn, and European Cities.
    That is your dream, not the dream of all the other residents of Kansas City, Missouri. If they wanted that dream, they'd move to NYC or Chicago or Copenhagen, etc, etc.

    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    Also, news flash to those of you pulling the bogus "democracy" and "this is America" cards... It isn't just European Cities, it's Middle Eastern Cities, as well as Asian and some African cities. It's how humans need to be, condensed and interacting together constantly. Not spread out among individual farms with personal automobiles.

    I also have another newsflash for you, Democracy existed long before America did, look at Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, etc... THAT is the design of Democracy and human kind, not anything else. People are meant to live in dense areas and interact together all the time. We aren't meant to be spread out and isolated.
    Excuse me, Heartland, but anyone who cites the Romans as an example of "democracy" in ancient times loses all credibility on his knowledge of history.

    Moreover, if you want to discuss where and how people were "meant" to live by nature, then it would be in small family or clan groups dependent upon hunting, gathering, and subsistence agriculture, since that is the way human kind existed for thousands of years before the establishment of ancient civilizations -- and the way that millions still live today in "the Third World". Cities and towns only developed when various groups of peoples developed enough agricultural technology to insure a surplus of food so they could support full-time artisans and merchants who didn't produce their own food.

    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    Again bud, you are only saying we should either use Broadacre or your theory to defeat sprawl, but again, you are completely going off the topic of this subject. The subject of this thread is how do we combat/eliminate sprawl with and for dense and healthy urban cities?
    The only way you are going to "combat/eliminate sprawl" and build your vision of "heaven on Earth" in the US is for you and your cadre of like-minded would-be dictators to set yourselves up as rulers of the US by taking over the federal government, banning cars, burning down the suburbs and most residential neighborhoods within city limits, and ordering everybody to move into abandoned buildings in the nearest downtown area.

    I'm sorry if that's harsh, but you don't seem to understand that you cannot force people in the US to live where and how you want them to live. Otterpop gave an excellent explanation of why Americans are like we are, but you have arrogantly dismissed it. Your lack of respect for American institutions, politics, and thought as well as your arrogance are going to sink your career outside of academia.

  17. #217
    Mod Gedunker's avatar
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    Moderator note:

    I warned everyone this morning to stay on topic and y'all just couldn't do it.

    I know how to stop sprawl: Thread Closed.

    The old women used to say you could tell the next day’s weather, by whether you could hear the highway or the railroad at night. I recall that they were right more often than not.

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