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Thread: A city with only apartments?

  1. #1
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    A city with only apartments?

    I can't find much information about Disney's original EPCOT plans, but I read a brief paragraph about how all of epcot's residents will live only in apartments---whether they be in highrises or detached single family units. There was to be no difference between "home" and "apartment."

    Is there a reason for this? Pros and cons?

    IMO, Epcot was supposed to be a city of the future, and its houses were to be built to easily accomodate new technologies. If everybody owned their home, they might potentially opt out of tech upgrades if it was expensive. But if the city owned every home, they could upgrade every house regardless since the costs to upkeep the city and to upgrade to new technologies would be "hidden costs" within the monthly rents the residents would pay.

    That's just my reasoning...but I want to know if there was something more profound for having only apartments in a planned city. I sort of like that idea...to literally own and be the landlord of a metropolis!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    I don't know about the reasoning behind it or the land tenancy (perhaps something akin to the old British leasehold system?).

    I can tell you that virtually all the vast majority of urban dwellers in continental Europe live in apartments; just as a frame of reference.
    Life and death of great pattern languages

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    What's the old British leasehold system?

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    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Is it clear in the info you have that these were to be LEASED apartments? Plenty of people live in apartments that they own, afterall, and this would likely get around the issues you were speaking of - paying for improvements to your dwelling.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  5. #5

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    I'd bet that the reasoning for an all-rental community at EPCOT had nothing to do with the altruistic reasons you mention, and everything to do with the fact that Disney Company wanted to keep full and complete control of its property. Celebration has already been built there -- I believe people have long-term leases on the homes.

    Subdividing Disney World = too many people trying to have input in what happens there (in Disney's eyes).

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by biscuitboy86 View post
    What's the old British leasehold system?
    Typical (worldwide) rental: a landlord owns a building (or part of it) and the land under it (or a notional part of it) and rents it to a tenant for a monthly/quarterly rent. There are provisions (regulated in many countries) for the landlord to terminate that arrangement/ change rent.

    Typical (worldwide) ownership. You own the land and the building on it, lock stock and barrel (tho you may owe the bank a bunch of money for it...).

    British Leasehold (*in massively oversimplified terms): The landlord owns the land (freehold). The leaseholder 'owns' (and has varying but almost owner-like rights over) the building/apartment for which they typically pay a large one-off sum (like buying a house). The lease has a fixed duration (in olden days, typically 99-125 years but it varies a lot) after which the property reverts fully to the landlord. Landlords often levy a (typically annual) 'ground rent' which can be non-trivial down to 1 GBP/year (so called 'peppercorn' rent)
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  7. #7
         
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    Take a look at Pullman, IL (now annexed into Chicago). It was a utopian company town similar to the EPCOT concept... all property was owned by the Pullman Car Company, and if you wanted a job with Pullman, you would get a house in the town. When you went shopping for groceries, you would shop at the Pullman market. The company became overly protective of their property, though. If they thought one of their workers or their families weren't taking care of their house properly, then the worker would risk losing his job AND his home. Of course, like any absolutist system, there were abuses. Workers were threatened for hanging curtains that were the wrong color, putting the wrong kind of furniture out, etc.

    All this eventually led to a strike in 1894, when the company had massive layoffs and cut hours on the remaining workers, without lowering the rents on the houses or the prices at the market. Workers simply could not afford to live in Pullman/work at Pullman, but they had slim prospects elsewhere and could be replaced easily, so they organized.

    Basically, at least IMO, some level of home ownership is necessary to maintain healthy communities. Of course, this leads to the occasional chartreuse house or the rusty cars in the lawn, but such is the price to avoid tyranny.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    Plenty of people live in apartments that they own...
    Those are called condos or co-ops. In most parts, apartments are rented. That is what differentiates them from condos.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by jmello View post
    Those are called condos or co-ops. In most parts, apartments are rented. That is what differentiates them from condos.
    Purely a matter of linguistic shifting due to class prejudice. Originally, housing units within multi-story, multi-unit buildings were referred to as "tenements" in the U.S. In the late 19th-cent, the upper-middle and upper classes began moving into such buildings in New York and other cities (that is, buying units in them). Uncomfortable with the connotations of the word tenement, they handily imported the French word "apartment" to describe this type of dwelling (of course, anything sounds better if you say it in French, right?).

    Today we see the same thing going on with "condo." Basically, most American homeowners believe that what they have worked so hard to achieve is to be above those people who live in apartments. So if their dwelling happens to be a piece of a multi-story building, they need another word to call it. "Condo" to the rescue! However, in New York as well as cities all over Europe it is still quite common to hear people talk of owning apartments.

    I have never, in my entire life, heard the word "apartment" used to refer to a rented free-standing house.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by unless View post
    I have never, in my entire life, heard the word "apartment" used to refer to a rented free-standing house.
    That may be true. In New England, where I lived most of my life, it is hard to find a single-family home for rent. So, the issue is really moot.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    A City with only apartments?

    I tried this once in sim city...my city failed...

  12. #12
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jmello View post
    Those are called condos or co-ops. In most parts, apartments are rented. That is what differentiates them from condos.
    My understanding of the legal definitions are that a condominium refers to the joint ownership of the property while the apartment is the specific unit owned within the condominium. Colloquially, people often call the unit a condo, but legally I think condominium refers to the type of housing tenure used. In New York, I always heard people saying they owned their "apartment."
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

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