Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 28

Thread: Buffalo polemic (was: Censorship in Cyburbia)

  1. #1
         
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Buffalo, New York
    Posts
    23

    Buffalo polemic (was: Censorship in Cyburbia)

    There was a discussion in the Planning Peeves forum that ended with a message saying that people should not criticize other places...that message also included a mention of Dan's apparent dislike of Buffalo, something he has not make a secret about (see Planning Polemic).

    That series of messages has since disappeared? What's going on?

  2. #2
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,552
    Blog entries
    3
    It's not so much "censorship" as it is "moderating."

    I want to try to keep name-calling and disparaging comments comments about other Cyburbia users to a minimum here. Debate is good; something that could lead to a flame war is not.

    My weakness, I will admit, is that I'll tolerate somewhat disparaging comments towards other users (i.e. the recent debate about those posting one-way messages advertising certain Web sites), but when those comments are directed my way ... well, you know.

    I have banned only one ISP -- not because they had a user who constantly called me a "facist," but because the user tried to turn almost every thread into a socialist rant, threatening to turn the bulletin board into the Web equivalent of alt.planning.urban.

  3. #3
         
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Buffalo, New York
    Posts
    23
    Moderation is fine Dan except that you didn't feel a need to moderate yourself when you posted your diatribe against Buffalo and other cities, claiming that they were corrupt and not worth the effort. As a planner in Buffalo, I was quite offended, as were any others. We chose to ignore you because the effort seemed ridiculous. You can't expect to put something like that out in public and then not have people reference it. As an AICP hopeful, my advice would be to review Section C. of the AICP Code of Ethics...

    The Planner's Responsibility to the Profession and to Colleagues

    C. A planner should contribute to the development of the profession by improving knowledge and techniques, making work relevant to solutions of community problems, and increasing public understanding of planning activities. A planner should treat fairly the professional views of qualified colleagues and members of other professions.

    1) A planner must protect and enhance the integrity of the profession and must be responsible in criticism of the profession.

    2) A planner must accurately represent the qualifications, views and findings of colleagues.

    3) A planner who reviews the work of other professionals must do so in a fair, considerate, professional and equitable manner.

    Neither you nor "french canadien eh" offered a fair and professional critique of planning in Buffalo and other cities. All I said was that we should not be in the habit of criticizing other places. People make choices about where they live for many reasons, and as I said before, there are no good or bad places. We all try to make the places we live in better, and we deserve more professional respect.

  4. #4
    Member Mary's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    outerspace
    Posts
    127
    Personally I'm delighted with the way things are going on this site. The debate seems enough to keep it interesting. People are still allowed freedom of expresion and the ranting mad man who wanted to take away our useful site has left &/or become more reasonable and limited in his tirades.

  5. #5
    Keep in mind Dan's uncensored, er, uh, excuse me, un-moderated comments were in the Planning Polemic folder. He did exactly what a polemic grouping is supposed to do: create controversy. I thought his question was indeed over-the-top, but phrasing such as "justify your existence" is such a blatant provocation, that I knew he was just blowing off steam. On the other hand, maybe he just craved intellectual stimulation and the only way he knew how to do that was to be controversial. Not too many folks took his bait, which is unfortunate as I thought his comments were interesting. Though I'm not trying to corner myself into defending Dan here, I do want to encourage folks on these threads to not be offended... instead, offer cogent and coherent rebuttals. I think I quashed Dan's polemical provocation quite nicely while justifying the necessary existence of cities like Buffalo, Hartford, and Detroit. Planning doesn't have to bleak, and neither do these message boards.

  6. #6

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    I have to agree that I like a little polemics. And, frankly, some cities deserve some serious criticism. Are the complainers now going to start dismissing prAnna's rather bleak (but oh so appropriate) comments about Phoenix? For the Buffalo defenders-since the area is one of the few that actually LOST population, even the most "patriotic" person must recognize that there is a little bit of a problem there (By the way, like Ian, I actually diagreed with the implicit "the Sunbelt will rule forever" bias).

    I like the over the top "Justify yourself" statement.

    Frankly, as a public sector planner, it is nice to transcend the measured "professionalism" of a "public servant" and sometimes blow off a little steam! What's more, it can be fun if you don't take yourself too seriously and look behind the surface polemics to the underlying, often serious issues. I see no need for major changes to Cyburbia or the Cafe.

  7. #7
    I miss talkin smak!! Mike was disagreeable only because he knew not of which he spake. Dan's statements were stinging, but no one has yet said that they were untrue.

    I think we need a modicum of civility in order for us to have a truly constructive dialog on issues, however, we usually go too far in self censoring. I have not yet bitten the head off a NU, and they have not yet thanked me for that.

    Otherwise, I think Dan Tasman has done a great job, and I think Cyburbia is the top website for planning and planning discussion existant.

    Thanks Dan.
    In my life, I have met men both good, and evil. I defend my self against them all...

  8. #8
    Being a native Western New Yorker, (white hots and beef on 'wick anyone?) I have to say that I didn't take umbrage with Dan's comments. I didn't feel like he was denigrating the planning community of Buffalo, but was rather stimulating discussion.
    We're actually going back to Cheektowaga this weekend, and everytime we go back, it is apparant that the neighborhood is moving through its stages of decline. I think Dan was asking a rhetorical, but not totally unlegitimate, question.

    The reason why I check into the Cyburbia Boards everyday is the thought provoking and entertaining ideas that are generated by such discussion. So keep on keeping on.

  9. #9
         
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Buffalo, New York
    Posts
    23
    That's all fine and dandy, but the fact remains that Dan removed messages that were not to his personal liking. That's called censorship. I did not call him names, and I don't appreciate having my opinions selectively removed from the dicussion.

  10. #10

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    Not knowing specifically which messages were removed, I might note that several posts critquing his rhetorical position remained on the board (including my doubts about California suburbia). To me, his role as moderator does not appear to be that heavy handed. And, it is very clear UP FRONT that this is a MODERATED Board, and he is the Moderator. Crying "Censorship" is inappropriate, as this Board is only a moderated discussion board, not a component of the free press. If he were too heavy handed, the discussion would disappear, and the board would wither away. I would argue that this has not happened.

    I think we have beaten this topic to death! Back to "dissing" metro area we don't like!

  11. #11
         
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Buffalo, New York
    Posts
    23
    My initial posting was in response to someone named "french canadien eh", who asked Dan if he was working on a worst places to live book (e.g. Las Cruces, Buffalo, Orlando...) I said that we should not be in the habit to criticizing other places (except perhaps Dan Tasman who seems to have issues with his hometown!)...

    I do not consider the above statement worthy of moderation. Believe me, I love a good argumenrt, but I am really angry about this. I did not use foul or inappropriate language, I did not call anybody names. I know Dan--I went to school with him and I know the number of hours he spent creating PAIRC / Cyburbia. It was and is a labor of love, and it's the best thing out there. But I think Dan crossed a line. I'm done with this issue.

  12. #12

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    Isn't it sad that our economy and culture builds houses that fall apart after only twenty years? I don't see too many historic preservation movements springing up to "save" the neighborhoods of the 60's-90's.

    We are all hypocrites. I am a major "self-righteous" complainer about suburban lifestyles and the car-oriented city. But, I work for a suburban city and would never move to and work in the Central Bay Area. Why? Simple economics. My employer pays (there's that mercenary term) Bay Area wages, but I can take advantage of a housing market that is 1/2 of the central Bay Area.

    On the plus side: I live in a townhouse (all I could afford, even in this "cheaper" market)in an older neighborhood within walking distance to the traditional "downtown" of that otherwise suburban City. I can walk to a grocery store in 20 minutes.

    On the negative side: I drive to work (ten miles is not that bad), I don't live in my City of employment. I work for a City that is the epitome of the suburban dream (The sales pitch: "Move here and you can buy a 3,000 square foot house for you and your one kid!!!! Too bad you'll see them 1/2 hour per day after the commute")

    And-every weekend-I escape to the "Big City" that, barring a lucky lottery ticket, I would never be able to afford. (I am a dog nut, so a studio apartment that rents for more than my mortgage is NOT an option.)

    So: We are all hypocrits.

  13. #13
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,552
    Blog entries
    3

    I'm such a hypocrite

    You know, I consider myself to be a proponent of new urbanism and living in urban settings. In Denver, I lived in a house that was built in 1925, three short blocks away from a pedestrian-oriented business district that was developed around the terminus of a streetcar line. A seven minute drive would land me in downtown.

    I wanted to live in the same environment in Orlando, but unlike Denver, my new home only became a large city in the past 30 years. Thus, those intimate pre-World War II urban neighborhoods are few and far between -- and usually very expensive. I left an environment where people were paying outrageous sums for tiny houses in neighborhoods with "character," and I wasn't going to blow all the equity from the Denver house on a dwelling here. I also found myself working for a municipality in far west Orange County, a location that would make my commute difficult, though not impossible, from a neighborhood near downtown Orlando.

    New "new urbanism" neighborhoods weren't an option, either. Most are too far from work, and they're just beginning to turn dirt on a few near work. I could endure the haul from Celebration, which I can barely afford, but I'd have nothing left over to invest or save -- I'd be living paycheck to paycheck.

    Eventually, I found a house. I close on August 10.

    It's a ranch, built in 1987.

    It's in the suburbs.

    It's not within walking distance of any retail services, although a four minute drive will land me in the parking lot of three supermarkets, a power center, and a shiny new mall. 150 stores. Five anchors. Lots of parking.

    It's at the end of a cul-de-sac. (I hear your gasps.)

    It has more than twice the floor area as my old house in Denver.

    It was CHEAP. The price, that is ... the inspection said that the house is surprisingly well built.

    Hey, what were my options? "Get a job in Buffalo?" Right ... like I'm supposed to wait forever for a job to come along in a city where I can live in a vibrant, yet affordable urban neighborhood? Hey, gotta' eat.

    At least for that municipality, one that values its "olde Florida village" feel, I can prevent the place from becoming the domain of loops and lollypops, like the place where I live. Still, considering the lush vegetation, friendly neighbors, and utter quiet, I think I'm gonna' like it, despite the fact that I can't walk down to a neighborhood coffeehouse.

    I'll invest the equity from the Denver house, and hopefully, when I get married, with a nice nestegg and two incomes I'll be able to afford a house closer to downtown.

    So, am I a traitor to the cause?

  14. #14
    No, you are not a traitor. Why would you consider such a designation?! You bought a house that was already on the market... among many choices out there. That's what we love in this country, the right to have a choice of what we want, isn't it? And just because your house is in a neighborhood designed for the car and not for foot, I wouldn't worry about it. This is the 21st century, cars dominate, and you simply cannot avoid that reality.

  15. #15
    I find it interesting that you have totally bought into the "American Dream" scenario in which homeownership is the only acceptable model and by golly, once you buy that home it had darn well better appreciate (you see, it's your God-given right) because it's the BIGGEST INVESTMENT you'll ever make! I've listened to more ugliness from people who are afraid that their property values may possibly "go down" as a result of some proposed development (for example, $180K homes being built near their $200K home). Why is a single-family home on its own lot considered the only acceptable way to live? It seems to me that if everyone quit freaking about about the property value thing, realized that a dwelling is just that, a dwelling, and not a mandatory future windfall, that we could all start worrying about other, more important things.
    It's also interesting that you mention Celebration as being somehow more correct, since all it really is is a big, glorified subdivision totally under the control of a corporation.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    68
    I buy what I can afford. I don't have the money to make my purchases based on politics.

    I would like to live within convenient walking distance of my office, but I will not pay $125,000 dollars for a twenty year old house that's falling apart near my office, when I can get a new house for twice the size, for $110,000, forty minutes away and in the neighborhood where I grew up and where my parents and grandmothers still lived. I want to have a large family, and I never want to have to relocate, so I will stick with the more central location and the larger house in my home town.

    I wanted to buy a gas electric hybrid car last year when my Ford Escort died, but they were $20,000, which is about $8,000 more than I am willing to pay for a car. Plus, I don't want to own a vehicle whose engine my mechanic has never before seen (Something's wrong with it? Of course something's wrong with it! It's got a huge battery and all these extra belts inside it! No wonder it ain't working.) So I bought a Saturn program car for $12,000. By sticking within our budget, my wife can quit her job and actually raise our child!

    I still would prefer to walk to work, or to ride a bus to the office. I would like to have an environmentally friendly vehicle. I'd like a home with solar panels in a nice little cluster development where all the trees haven't been bulldozed for effeciency of construction. However, I will not forego placing food on the table or throwing our family budget out of whack for such reasons. I have more important goals that take priority.

    Sometimes, it is necessary to make sacrifices in order to be true to your politics. For me, I am not so devoted to any cause that I would sacrifice my family life or what little economic freedom we have for it. I do what I can, when I can, but I have to stick with my priorities.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian prana's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    SERA Architects-Portland
    Posts
    565
    Alright- I have to fess up here too. With a conscious effort to avoid buying a new house in the sprawling monotony of the outskirts of Phoenix, our last two houses have at least been 30 and 35 years old respectively, but I still currently drive 30 minutes each way to work. It's killing me. (I feel like this an AA session!)

    So...at the end of the month, packing up the house, wife, daughter and two dogs and moving to Ft. Collins. (Before I get bashed for moving to Colorado , like the rest of the country is doing, at least I was born there and 90% of my relatives have lived their whole lives in the Denver area, so I have some history there.) We are searching hard for a place within walking distance of CSU and Old Town so that we can practice a little more of what I preach! The thought of going from 1/4 acre, 1600 square foot house with a pool and two car garage to a 5000 square foot lot, 2 bedroom 900 square foot house is actually kind of enlightening. Whether the actual experience is as blissful as the thought of it, I'll let you know in a few months.

    Anyone have any job leads in the area? (minor detail)
    "You can measure the health of a city by the vitality and energy of its streets and public open spaces.-- William H. Whyte..

  18. #18
    On topic:

    Am I missing something? Why are we hypocrites?

    I don't think Dan is a hypocrite, and I don't understand the assertion that we all are. Is the main assumption here that all us planners desire to live in a dense, non-suburban, pedestrian oriented town, hamlet, village, neighborhood, new urban development, or whatever, etc, as long as it is not suburbia? I wouldn't assume that all planners want to live in those types of places, those "villages," or whatever they are called.

    The market provides many choices, although sometimes limited and expensive ones at that, and as planners who may choose to live, and perhaps work, in a suburban neighborhood, I don't think you or anyone else is an automatic hypocrite. Stop feeling guilty, already. Circumstances vary from person to person, and each of us acts independently to maximize (or, at least, to maintain and/or enhance) a rewarding lifestyle to the best of his or her ability. Choice is our mantra in this country, though it is hampered by the limitations of the market. If those choices are restricted by costs, availability, location, etc, then there is no reason to apologize.

    And is that where our profession is today? That we are so disgusted with suburban neighborhoods that we have to denigrate them to the extent that we exact extensive guilt and psychological damage to ourselves? Surburban neighborhoods are diverse, by age, by design, and most importantly, by those inhabit those places. Those who assume that all of suburbia in this country is on par with the anti-christ are, in my opinion, a little short-sighted.

    I wonder, is this the natural bias in the Cyburbia bulletin boards? That it's "Suburbia versus New Urbanism"? Or is it just a select few who choose to reply to these types of posts? I would welcome any arguments on this board in defense of suburbia.

    So: We are NOT all hypocrites.

  19. #19

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    Ian:

    You are right in the sense that "Suburbia" is a broad world that includes many types of communities. And, we have to avoid too broad overstatements. There is a world of difference between a gated community and an "urban suburb" like Berkeley (sorry to be focused on Bay Area examples).

    The only place I would have any caveat with your comments is that an auto-centric lifestyle (which I believe is what this thread is REALLY about) does have serious environmental and, I would argue, design, health (look at obesity levels in US) and even social impacts (why are we so violent). I am not claiming clear causality here, just noting some trends and pssioble contributions of auto-centric suburbia. Such a lifestyle is not value-neutral. It may be inevitable, but there are serious consequences for this country if we continue to double our driving time, congestion, and sprawl into food producing areas.

    As for the homeownership versus renting debate: maybe I am "petty bourgeoise," but there are advantages to not being at the mercy of a landlord. Before I was "forced" into buying a home, I lived in an apartment. That apartment's rent is now 50% higher than my mortgage. Because I live in a townhouse in a suburban town, I didn't buy it as a moneymaking investment.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian prana's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    SERA Architects-Portland
    Posts
    565
    Ian-
    There are certainly those that consistently respond to the Suburbia vs. Urbanism type posts in Cyburbia. That is not in question.

    But Dan's first statement spells out why he (and I) feel like a hypocrites. How do you support one cause when you actually monetarily back the opposite? You can't show up at a PETA convention bitching about the tragedy of killing foxes while wearing a fox coat just because you found the coat on sale. And I don't want to tell a group of people the benefits, as I see them, of living in an Urban area rather than the suburbs, and then drive 45 minutes to my house in those same 'burbs.

    I have yet to find a suburbia that I want to support monetarily. I also don't like living somewhere that I can't take public transit. I hate being a one-person auto driving 50 miles each day. So...I'm making a lifestyle change to fix some of that.

    You are absolutely right in that CHOICE is key. I am choosing to live the same life that I support because there is nothing worse than preaching one thing and living another.
    "You can measure the health of a city by the vitality and energy of its streets and public open spaces.-- William H. Whyte..

  21. #21
    Member Mary's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    outerspace
    Posts
    127
    Amen says the chior.

    There is no trasit where I work and the housing stock is painfully new. But as we're expecting a baby, which we don't want to raise in an apartment, we found a 37 year old house (that has WAY too many things that need repair for it's age) that is almost right between our two places of work and is walking distance from many city services. Groceries are a bit farther than I'd want to walk (OK I'm lazy and expecting) but it's mostly doable or either one of us can buy what we need on our way home from work without making any side trips.

    I agree with PrAna, taking these kind of things into consideration makes a statement about living what we preach. If you preach that people should live where ever they want and that farm land and forest land has no importance than you can let the market decide. Otherwise while you may not be able to match everything, you do the best you can to live what you believe.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    68
    I don't consider myself a hypocrite on this issue. I don't mind people living in suburbia, or even living there myself. I would rather that neighborhoods were planned a little bit better.

    I would also prefer that I could afford to live in an area where I could get a house of an appropriate size for my life goals that was actually within a safe walk of a grocery store.
    We almost got a Wal-Mart within five blocks of my house, and on my side of the freeway (there are grocers nearby, I just don't like crossing under two freeways to get to them, and I won't feel any better about it with kids tagging along). My neighbors fought it because of their concern over increased traffic (like finishing out several hundred houses in the new subdivisions down the road from us wouldn't add even more traffic), and lowered property values (I have no plans on selling. Lower my taxes... please!). It was defeated.

    I would also like to have a bus system that I could use to get to work. I live in Arlington, TX, one of the largest cities in the States that has no mass transit! I have lived here all of my life, and will continue to support efforts to get a bus system in town.

    However, on a practical side, even if we get buses, they may not be able to connect to the Dallas System effeciently enough for me to be able to give up my car for the daily commute. I might not get to use them on a daily basis, but my wife will, and others in the community could benefit. My taxes helped pay for the Ballpark, and I supported that use of my money.! I don't even like baseball! I have only been to the park three times (2 free tickets and a friend with a suite), but I feel it is important for the city. I feel the same about buses, but I am likely to actually use them.

    I have been inside some of the downtown loft apartments in the area, and I like the looks of them. Really though, they aren't for me. My brother would love to live in one, but I don't really want to share walls with my neighbors. I'll just stick with a single family home, even though I'd rather not mow lawns either (according to my neighbors, I don't).

    Everybody has different goals and different ideas of what is best for them. I know what I would like (xeriscaped yard surrounding a solar powered house with a storm cellar, but laid out like my current home and located near my office and with all of my close relatives and friends nearby), but I know what it would take for me to get that wish (more money than I will have for a very long time and relocation everytime I change jobs for myself and for all my kin). I choose to get as close as I can to that goal, and not sweat the rest.

    Living in a loft above a business might be fun. We should encourage such mixed use developments. Single family homes are nice for those of us who generally don't get along with other people (like me!) or for those who love yardwork (like my neighbors), so they should be an option too. We should just plan the layout of such communities more effectively to preserve some of the features that attract people to virgin land (I miss the trees that used to be all around my parent's house when we first moved into this part of town). We should encourage the availability of alternate transportation choices, and make sure that many communities are walkable.

    However, doing what I can in order to get as close to my goals as possible doesn't make me a hypocrite. I'll never have my ideal house in my ideal location, but I am perfectly happy in my current home.

    It's just that sometimes I wonder... Can you retrofit a storm cellar beneath the slab of an existing home without ruining the foundation?

  23. #23
    prAna: You are right, Suburbia v. New Urbanism is not the issue in this thread. I should have clarified my statements on that matter; however, please keep in mind that I am reacting to BK Miller's assertion that we all are hypocrites, which implies, by the content provided by BK and other posters in this thread, that we as planners should feel guilty for choosing to live in suburbia. I cannot disagree more whole-heartedly.

    Planners are not inherently hypocrites for choosing to live in suburbia: we are trained to be objective and, as such, from a professional perspective, have no reason at all to feel good or bad about suburbia (suburbia just IS; we can discuss the drawbacks and advantages of a site plan and it's design, but ultimately, council and existing policies call the shots). From a personal perspective, planners can feel any darn way they want about suburbia. BK asserted we were all hypoctites; I just attempted to show how wrong that assertion is.

    The point, that "we are all hypocrites," is a dubious one, and with a quick analysis of the subtext and content provided in the posts of Dan and BK (especially BK), a clear bias emerges: that we planners favor walkable communities, density, etc, etc, etc. I didn't think that was necessarily true. I would imagine that some planners out there favor wide streets, no sidewalks, an abundance of collector streets, arterial streets, no alleyways, 50' setbacks, etc, etc, etc. Therefore, we are all NOT hypocrites.

    Perhaps the bias expressed by BK wasn't intended. I have nothing against bias (I love opinions and controversy!), however, when that bias is translated into a broad-based assertion ("we are all hypocrites"), and I sense that the assertion isn't necessarily true, I decided to comment.

    Based on the posts above, I assumed the opinions about the guilt emerging from choosing to live in suburbia had a professional spin on them. I apologize if I gave the wrong impression from my comments in the above posts. The trouble, I guess, is that no one explicitly stated thay had seperated their professional opinions from their personal ones. I assumed they were professional opinions.

    For the record, I try to promote walkable communities, density, etc, etc, etc, whenever I can, but the reality is that council and existing policies will always override my opinions. Professionally speaking, I don't get too hung up on what gets approved or not; there isn't much I can outside my role as staff who can provide recommendations. The values of the elected and appointed officials and the general public often run counter to my own values; I try to look for open doors and to use politics whenever I can to promote my agenda, which is to say, not too often and hadly ever.

    Personally, I want to live in a place that is convenient and relatively quiet with decent neighbors. If convenience means I have to drive to places that I like, then so be it. If seeking quiet means living in a single-family, detached home, then so be it. If having decent neighbors means living "on the right side of the tracks," then so be it. On each of these points, I have attained what I desire, however, I do walk to places I like, I do not live in a detached, single-family home, and have great neighbors. The point is this: I am willing to give up a little of something that I want in order to gain a little bit more of another that I want. You can't always get everything you want, so you better prioritize and decide where you can make sacrifices. That's everyday life. And as planners, we can't escape that reality

  24. #24

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    Ian: I didn't mean to say that we are all hypocrites. I'm sorry if you read the message that way. I was agreeing with you that suburbs are very diverse and can't all be tarred with one brush. And-I agree that the issue remains choice.

    I did note that one set of choices does impose certain costs-environmental and otherwise.

    And, like every suburban person, I do resent the growth out here (that I make my living off of!) that now makes the area more unpleasant. Bicycling is much less pleasant now than it was ten years ago when I moved here from somewhere else). But, the real issue is probably population growth, in that California suburbs are very dense by American standards (we are now seeing 4500 square foot lots for our single family neighborhoods!).

    I agree that we shouldn't beat this thread to death! Everybody makes choices that inevitably result in compromises. Living relatively close to work may not be possible or easy for many.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian prana's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    SERA Architects-Portland
    Posts
    565
    I gotcha Ian! There is no doubt that there are as many varied opinions amongst planners as any other profession, so to call all planners hypocrites is incorrect. And I also agree with the problems of getting certain projects through the city or investors, etc.

    Getting back to the previous discussions about New Urbanism that we have had, I think it is with planners that the evolution of design will begin to change our societies. Whether it will be called New Urbanism, who cares, as long as urban areas and suburbia, with all of the ranges of lofts to affordable housing to multifamily to single detached homes to retail and everything else, be designed in a more sustainable manner. Whether anyone likes the suburbia that they live in or not, as long as they are educated, they have to recognize the downward spiral that a good portion of society is on right now (especially environmentally and socially).
    "You can measure the health of a city by the vitality and energy of its streets and public open spaces.-- William H. Whyte..

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 0
    Last post: 02 Apr 2011, 3:30 PM
  2. Replies: 6
    Last post: 04 Jan 2005, 6:27 PM
  3. censorship
    Perry's Cantina (archive)
    Replies: 2
    Last post: 03 Sep 2001, 1:36 PM