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Thread: Methods to end various aspects of sprawl?

  1. #26
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Okay.... I think it is time to quit baiting this troll...
    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

  2. #27
    Cyburbian
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    I don't qualify as a troll just because you disagree with me.

    Just because I'm more closed-minded (though willing to listen to ideas), more community minded (than those focused on individuals) and just because I deal in absolutes does not make me a troll.

  3. #28
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Gosh this debate is soo..well..like planning theory. Gosh it sounds great, but hey is a theory, so why they hell should we care?

    Fact #1:
    Americans love single family homes

    Fact #2
    You can't change the minds of most american family who have been trained from generation to generation the homeownership is the way it ought to be

    Fact #3
    Most "mericans" hate multi-family buildings, and think of projects or communisum when it comes to putting a bunch of people there

    Fact #4
    Until you change the mindset of 99% of "mericans" you will continue to get sprawl, and there is only one phase left of you to remember...

    You can't stop sprawl you can only hope to contain it!

    So heartland city boy, care to change the mentality of "mericans" then you better get your face planted on the TV and spread your message across the our airwaves because most "mericans" think that multi-family units are just slums home to "drug addicts, pedophiles, and 'those people'"

    Either that, or practice what preach by moving to a co-op home, ditch your car, and well..live within walking distance to just about everything.
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  4. #29
    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
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    I still want to know if Heartland is a professional planner...

  5. #30
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    I think the obvious answer to the question is yes...

    *** as HCB waves a flag that says Planners**

    Go planners!

    Moderator note:
    Alright, be nice and keep it civil.
    mendelman
    Last edited by mendelman; 08 Oct 2007 at 8:54 PM.
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  6. #31
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    ....Also, here is the only way to solve the loops and lollipops... Which requires the demolition of buildings:
    http://img236.imageshack.us/img236/2...cuttinghb9.png

    ....
    That's a great idea. Design and build the project, preserving wetlands to the fullest extent, then after-the-fact cut through them with more asphalt. Brilliant.


    If somebody proposes to cut through the end of our cul-de-sac or wants to demo my house and cross the wetland in my backyard to connect to another street, I'm coming out screaming unless you got a nice big check in your hand.
    Habitual Offender

  7. #32
    Cyburbian
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    The wetlands/creeks will still be preserved. Only the neighborhoods would be better connected, as they should be.

    CPSURaf, my goal isn't to change all of America. My goal is to just change my city. Maybe by helping KC, I could inspire others to change the rest of the country...

    Also simply put, I'm very against sprawl because I see sprawl as being against my personal faith. So it's something that I don't really see possible to give any room to. However as this is a forum, I will not elaborate or discuss that subject any further. I just want everyone to understand that my position against sprawl is not just social or economical.

  8. #33
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    The wetlands/creeks will still be preserved.....
    Yeah, right. Your total ignorance is on full display. Wetland crossings cause irrevocable and unmitigatable impacts to the natural environment as a result of short-term construction activity and long-term shadowing at the crossings. Discontiguous natural habitats are a great idea.

    In my suburban subdivision, the developer recreated the natural drainage pattern that eventually flows into the bayou. It's now a very healthy and productive riparian environment. The drainage was filled by the former rancher who used the property for grazing cattle.


    I'm done here. This is a waste of time...
    Habitual Offender

  9. #34
    Cyburbian
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    And yet your neighborhood is not well connected with the neighborhood next to it.

    Brush Creek in KC has bridges around it, and though it is a large creek, it still is sort of related to the "wetlands" you speak of (which actually don't exist that much in Missouri/Kansas, most of those spaces are either lower laying areas or creeks)
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ansas_City.jpg

    This is also an example of a creek in an urban area that has bridges and stuff going over it, but it still flows and exists. However this could be altered to allow people to walk up to it instead of having to stand over it near the retaining walls.
    http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s...s/100_0371.png

    Also, sprawl and subdivisions destroy a lot more natural land than they preserve. Which is one of the reasons they need to be stopped. Even if they preserve creeks and wetlands, that doesn't give them a free pass on the ecological issue.

  10. #35
    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
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    If suburban development of the sprawl variety are existing, why would you compound the problem by razing them and destroying even more natural resources with redevelopment?
    I'm a little concerned about your "personal faith" comment. That's the kind of thing an eco-terrorist would say when justifying burning down developments.

  11. #36
    Cyburbian
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    You wouldn't be destroying more natural resources by razing them and replacing them.

    Sprawl typically takes up 1/3 to 1/4 of an acre for each unit. Proper development takes up at least 1/6 of an acre. Say you tear down 4 homes for 1 full acre... You can place at least 6 new homes on that same lot. Which is much better than the 3 or 4 that already existed on that single acre. Those six will also help fulfill the demand for new growth, reducing the amount of new homes that would be constructed on greenfield land.

    Some illustrations from DPZ showing my point:
    http://www.dpz.com/images/lexicon_5_market_segments.jpg
    http://www.dpz.com/images/lexicon_5_minwalk.jpg
    http://www.dpz.com/images/lexicon_5_...ares_parks.jpg
    http://www.dpz.com/images/lexicon_an...mplt_randm.jpg
    http://www.dpz.com/images/lexicon_ci...ofneighbds.jpg
    http://www.dpz.com/images/lexicon_cu...ningvsprop.jpg
    http://www.dpz.com/images/lexicon_in...activities.jpg
    http://www.dpz.com/images/lexicon_pedest_car_routes.jpg
    http://www.dpz.com/images/lexicon_pr...publc_strt.jpg
    http://www.dpz.com/images/lexicon_prop_tnd.jpg
    Last edited by HeartlandCityBoy; 09 Oct 2007 at 12:01 AM.

  12. #37
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    You wouldn't be destroying more natural resources by razing them and replacing them.
    Your bulldozers run on water? You can rebuild the units that were there using only the resources that were in the previous units?

    Listen, I'm all for infill (it's 90% of what I do), but tearing down structures in use to increase density is not at all environmentally positive nor even remotely politically possible. Infill is best when existing infrastructure can be used and the property is either currently unused or extremely underutilized - as in replacing five units with a hundred. Replacing four units with six will always be a net environmental negative. The links you provided show how things would be starting from scratch - not tearing down entire cities and rebuilding. Here is one example of types of projects we'll see more and more of:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...rss.realestate
    Last edited by CJC; 09 Oct 2007 at 2:57 AM.

  13. #38
    Cyburbian
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    Urban planning wise, perhaps if you have enough power, to not approve subdivision designs that do not meet certain urban design standards?

    Approve additional-storey(ies) renovations to existing dwellings. Support subdivisions of lots.

    And of course government has to step in and buy over plots of land to make way for new roads, etc. Can't see any way around it, unless the developer is urban design trained to see the benefits around it and willing to implement it.

    The question then is whether this is financially viable and will people actually live in it brings up another point of view.

  14. #39
    In West Los Angeles and surrounding neighborhoods, they are slowly but surely replacing single family homes with apartment buildings. A home sits on a 6000 square foot lot. It is torn down and replaced with a small apartment building with 4-6 units.

    It is easier there because the basic street structure is more or less a grid.

  15. #40
    Cyburbian
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    Like I said, there is practically no way to improve the housing in existing subdivisions.

    There isn't enough room between the houses to build new buildings, and the homes are already too far from the existing streets. Most houses in sprawl are about 30ft-40ft from the street, instead they ought to be 10-20ft from the street.

    Shopping centers (like the link you provided) are easy to infill because they are sprawling and are generally surrounded by parking lots.

    http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=...2190&encType=1

    How do you propose that we increase the density of development such as that, as well as increase the connectivity and implement a grid system in that development?

    Also, like I said before. Instead of acquiring the land from people who live there, we instead need to acquire it when it is vacant. As soon as someone moves out, the city can purchase it... Or moves can be taken to make the area less desirable, lowering the price of the house and lowering the likelihood that ppl will want to live there. Thus as the units become vacant, they will be acquired, then removed.

    You also forget that there is a little thing called recycling, which can be done with many materials from houses, recycling the wood and concrete can make a big difference. It isn't like they will be trucked off and burned.

    I personally think that as inner-ring suburbs become less desirable, developers and others ought to acquire the houses located there and replace them and their neighborhoods will denser housing and with a grid system.

  16. #41
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    Cpt Worley, I'm not an authoritarian, i'm a Communitarian.

    Also, It is not about what people want, it is about what they actually need. Humans were created as social creatures. We aren't meant to isolate ourselves and shut others out.
    Isolation can also cause many things: depression, prejudice, racism, sheltering etc...

    Planners, activists, developers and architects all have more power than they think. Sway the public towards your viewpoint, convince them change has to be made, and change will occur. There are a lot of ways to sway the public... (and no, not all propoganda/persuasion etc... is bad)
    Communist! Communist! Just kidding.

    But seriously...

    Planners, at least in the United States and most Western nations, have to work within the context of market capitalism in some form. You can influence the market without hindering it. However it requires, as most people have said already, going to the root of the cause (which in turn creates the demand).

  17. #42
    Cyburbian
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    Also, this development in KC (actually in North Kansas City) replaced existing apartments and housing with new urbanist development:
    http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=...0452&encType=1

    North Kansas City is hemmed in and cannot grow anymore, thus this is it's way of growing and gaining population. Now if we can only get cities that aren't hemmed in to do this.
    Granted, that development is about 16 units per acre (in it's SF housing) but that doesn't mean we can't go to 6 units per acre or higher to replace subdivisions on the outer edges of the city.

  18. #43
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    Also, like I said before. Instead of acquiring the land from people who live there, we instead need to acquire it when it is vacant. As soon as someone moves out, the city can purchase it... Or moves can be taken to make the area less desirable, lowering the price of the house and lowering the likelihood that ppl will want to live there. Thus as the units become vacant, they will be acquired, then removed.
    People don't typically just "vacate" houses. They sell them to someone else. Where is government going to get the money to outbid all other buyers for the houses?

    You also forget that there is a little thing called recycling, which can be done with many materials from houses, recycling the wood and concrete can make a big difference. It isn't like they will be trucked off and burned.
    Recycling is fine and good, but again - tearing down four houses to build six, even if everything is recycled, would be a net environmental negative. You vastly underestimate the amount of resources needed to tear a place down (and the amount of resources needed to recycle something - it's not a zero-sum game)

    I personally think that as inner-ring suburbs become less desirable, developers and others ought to acquire the houses located there and replace them and their neighborhoods will denser housing and with a grid system.
    Why are inner ring suburbs becoming less desirable again?

  19. #44
    Cyburbian
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    CJC... I'm surprised you don't know this...

    As sprawl occurs, the undesirable areas closer to the inner-city begin to spread out. Kind of in a ripple effect.

    So as that sprawl occurs, and inner-ring suburbs become less desirable, those inner-ring suburbs would be acquired for less money, and redeveloped (in conjunction with redevelopment in the inner-city). This would raise the areas desirability and lower the growth on the outer edges of the city.

    Also CJC, not all houses are sold, and the houses that aren't sold for some time typically lower in value (so they can be sold). As they lower in value, developers can acquire them.

    Another option is to move the houses. However most of those houses have large fronts rather than short fronts.

    What are we supposed to do? If we move the houses closer to the street without flipping them 90 degrees, then the density is still lower than it ought to be. If we flip them 90 degrees, then the areas that would become the fronts would not have any architectural beauty to them.
    Not to mention the houses in sprawl are typically 1 floor buildings that are 2000 square feet each. Meaning they have dimensions around 60ft x 35ft. However, well built neighborhoods and well-built single family homes have at least two floors, and take up a maximum of about 1500 square feet of area.

    We also have the issue of the streets. How can we turn those lollipops and loops into a grid w/o the demolition of buildings? We can't, unless we move the houses blocking the streets. If we move the houses, we also have to worry about their density and architectural beauty.

    Another issue with sprawl are the housing associations for subdivisions. Which often restrict what one can do to their house. Instead of allowing homes to become unique and be built on, they instead encourage similarity and monotony (which borders on communist-like principles). How can we keep these associations from forcing monotony on the homeowners?

  20. #45
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    CJC... I'm surprised you don't know this...

    As sprawl occurs, the undesirable areas closer to the inner-city begin to spread out. Kind of in a ripple effect.

    So as that sprawl occurs, and inner-ring suburbs become less desirable, those inner-ring suburbs would be acquired for less money, and redeveloped (in conjunction with redevelopment in the inner-city). This would raise the areas desirability and lower the growth on the outer edges of the city.
    You're talking about what has happened in a few select midwest and rust belt cities. What you state has certainly NOT happened in areas of the country with rapid population growth. Try buying a place in an inner-ring suburb of Boston and then tell me that they are "less desirable". Your theory ONLY works in areas that sprawl without population growth.

    You're completely ignoring the facts on the ground in 80% of the country.

    Also CJC, not all houses are sold, and the houses that aren't sold for some time typically lower in value (so they can be sold). As they lower in value, developers can acquire them.
    Funny stuff. Again, try touring some areas outside of Kansas City, in areas with rapid population growth (and in turn, much more demand to sprawl) and then tell me that "not all houses are sold".

  21. #46
    Cyburbian
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    CJC, if you remember what I said earlier, I don't care as much about what is going on outside of KC... I want to know how to fix what is going on in KC... Someone else can deal with the whole country or their specific city. For me, I would be happy with my life if I simply helped fix what is going on in KC and Missouri.

  22. #47
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    those inner-ring suburbs would be acquired for less money, and redeveloped (in conjunction with redevelopment in the inner-city).
    Ignorance is bliss HCB, and it is obvious from your posts in the student lounge that you are just spewing knowledge that is passed down from your professor, yet seldom practiced in the real world. Developers would never, and i do mean never redevelop an area without some incentives, and those incentives come from redevelopment funds provided by Cities and Counties. Sorry to say you need to brush up on your redevelopment laws before going off on redevelop the whole thing because most states are tightening up definitions of what constitutes a redevelopment law thanks to the Kelo backlash (don't know what this is, well look it up son). In California, most inner ring suburbs do not qualify for redevelopment status just because housing prices fall and people leave. It doesn't quite fit the blight status. In addition, most developers will choose a greenfield development over a greyfield development in a heatbeat without these incentives. If you want to stop sprawl in KC you have to start where it counts: the comprehensive plan, and those responsible for implementing it, your planning dept and city council/commission or whatever is the governing board.

    step 1: Institute a UGB
    step 2: Provide policies and funds for redevelopment within the UGB and follow those policies
    step 3: mandate a 1:1 ag mitigation for loss of farmland to development within the UGB
    step 3: mandate that all new subdivision within the UGB are LEED ND certified developments
    step 4: provide for target growth zones in the UGB starting with redevelopment
    step 5: provide policies that mandate developers pay all infrastructures costs associated with development, not just fair share.

    These are steps to curb urban sprawl, but not stop it completely. That just will never happen because the next town over from KC will just welcome developers with open arms (ala Portland, or) and growth happens outside the UGB. Without regional planning, the cycle will never stop.

    If you plan on serving the public good as a public planner you need to put your "faith" aside and do what is right for the public as a whole because free market society will always be in your background and it is up to all those public sectors planners to do this very thing day in and day out. If you can't do that, then you simply don't belong in planning.

    I'm out son...
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  23. #48
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    CJC, if you remember what I said earlier, I don't care as much about what is going on outside of KC... I want to know how to fix what is going on in KC... Someone else can deal with the whole country or their specific city. For me, I would be happy with my life if I simply helped fix what is going on in KC and Missouri.
    Alrighty then...your "faith" only applies in your backyard?

    I think I'm done here.

  24. #49
    Cyburbian
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    CPSU, you also assume that there is no way to change local laws, codes and trends. Also, my goal isn't just KCMO alone, but the entire metro area. The only other areas that would benefit from other developers would be St. Louis, Springfield and Omaha. Which are 240mi, 150mi, and 160mi away from KC.

    You also have the lead by example. The trend is slowly going away from sprawl. We are realizing and will continue to realize that sprawl not only destroys the natural environment, but is also much less economically feasible and sustainable than smarter and more urban development.

    Also, none of my beliefs come from my professors. I have yet to enter a true Architecture class, and while many of my professors dislike monotonous subdivisions, they are focused more on our education and artistic development than our urban design mentalities.

    I also do not believe that things cannot be changed. You are going under the assumption that in 10-50 years that nothing is going to change, that even our economy and trends are going to be the exact same as they are now. However our economy and trends are a ton different than they were in the 1940s and 1950s, and even what they were in the 60s and 70s.

    CJC, I can be an advocate in other cities. But I'm going to focus in my backyard because if I focus in one place, I can make a big difference in that one place. I'm only one person, and if I and others focused around the entire country, only a little progress would be made because we would be fighting all over the country. Whereas if I focused in my area, I could change my area drastically. And by seeing our city/area as an example, other cities would be more open to the change.
    I want sprawl to end all over the world. But I cannot do that even if I dedicated my whole life to it. As long as I make a small difference in one area of the world/country, I'll be happy.
    Also, my personal life and faith is more important to me than dedicating my entire life to changing the whole country. Someone can dedicate themselves to changing the nation, however that would require a practical abandonment for the hope of having any sort of life outside of that goal. I'm opposed to sprawl and would love to see it stopped, even if it's just in my area. But my life and faith comes first.

  25. #50
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    Another issue with sprawl are the housing associations for subdivisions. Which often restrict what one can do to their house. Instead of allowing homes to become unique and be built on, they instead encourage similarity and monotony (which borders on communist-like principles). How can we keep these associations from forcing monotony on the homeowners?
    I'll concede on this one...

    This I like. Many older neighborhoods we built with often the same house design. Over the years individual variation to the facade or building footprint (as well as ample landscaping) have tranformed these older tract built subdivision into some very attractive areas.

    Quote Originally posted by CPSUraf
    These are steps to curb urban sprawl, but not stop it completely. That just will never happen because the next town over from KC will just welcome developers with open arms (ala Portland, or) and growth happens outside the UGB. Without regional planning, the cycle will never stop.
    Check out Boulder, Colorado and the surrounding areas for this one too.
    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

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