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Thread: Methods to end various aspects of sprawl?

  1. #76
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    How can we end the various aspects of sprawl in single areas, such as midwestern cities?
    You'd probably have to employ very very very tough stances. Apart from the rezoning to farmland, to make it even more difficult for development, perhaps the government have to buy over say 2 mi of farmland all around the city so as to force an artificial UGB around the city, disallow all form of developments within this and beyond this UGB. This is what the UK employed which renders all farmland almost useless for development (by this I only meant the farmland zoning prohibition, not the purchase of land). Ensure that your Council, State and Federal Governments are OK with this - if there are any appeals that go all the way up - and reject all applications for developments beyond this boundary.

    As to what is currently within the city, consider a 'staged' development plan whereby you set timelines for redevelopment of specific areas.

    Implement a 'sprawl' and 'car use' tax that taxes people and developers on the greenhouse gas emissions created because of car use and the encouragement of car use.

    Whether all of this are acceptable politically is another issue altogether. Our plain laziness, culture and financial profitability ensure that trends are moving towards sprawl and car use, despite people talking about being 'green'. If you really want to do something about it immediately, the only way politically around it is to have a totalitarian political system, which will not work in the US' context (and beyond).

  2. #77
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    I am not going to get into a debate on this issue, but I would recommend that HCB take a few classes in economics, especially Urban Economics, while you are in school. The economic free market is the only way you are going to be able to make your pipe dream come true.

  3. #78
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    Plan-it, why should I take an urban economics course and learn about the economical free market now when in 25-50 years it will be different?

    As fast as things move and will be moving, I'm sure economics will change as much if not more than they did in the past decades.

  4. #79
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    HCB, that isn't a very good attitude. Learn what is going on now and continue to learn as things change.

  5. #80
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    Plan-it, why should I take an urban economics course and learn about the economical free market now when in 25-50 years it will be different?
    Unless you think America is heading towards socialism within the next 25-50 years, or that bush will destroy the Constitution and anoint himself king of democracy, i highly doubt that the free market will disappear, just globalism will be even more intrenched then it already is. Broaden your horizon in school son, or else you are just taking up a seat in a class that a more worthy person who wants to learn couldn't get.

    And BTW, how do you intended to pay for infrastructure and public services improvements for the increase density in your midwest utopia? Where are all the kids going to school? What about the cost of pipe improvements for water/sewer/stormdrainage? What about landfills? How do you intend to improve police/fire services? What about disaster planning, i hear you got mighty fine tornadoes out there too...
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  6. #81
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    CPSU, how do you plan on paying for infrastructure in sprawl? Infrastructure is a lot easier to pay for with an urban setting than it is with a sprawling community.

  7. #82
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    CPSU, how do you plan on paying for infrastructure in sprawl? Infrastructure is a lot easier to pay for with an urban setting than it is with a sprawling community.
    I dunno, but our dirt roads are pretty cheap to build and maintain.
    @GigCityPlanner

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    Plan-it, why should I take an urban economics course and learn about the economical free market now when in 25-50 years it will be different?
    Why go to school at all? Things are always changing. No point in learning any of it.

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    Plan-it, why should I take an urban economics course and learn about the economical free market now when in 25-50 years it will be different?

    As fast as things move and will be moving, I'm sure economics will change as much if not more than they did in the past decades.
    HCB, I hope you intend on staying in school and being a professor because you will never get a job in public or private sector planning, delevopment, or policy with your narrow ideology and your inability to listen. If you do not understand some basic economics, planning theory, history, government, and sociology, you will be nothing but a blowhard idealist with no realistic method to get your vision into a reality. While you are in school, try learning something.

    There are many fine professionals with many years of experience here on this board and (hopefully) in your educational institution that are trying to assist you. You refuse to listen to anyone but yourself. You will go nowhere with that attitide. Signing off from this thread!

  10. #85
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    CPSU, how do you plan on paying for infrastructure in sprawl? Infrastructure is a lot easier to pay for with an urban setting than it is with a sprawling community.
    There is a substantial cost difference from developing a greenfield infrastructure then it is for an ubran setting because 1) you have to dig the thing up 2) you got to replace the pipe 3) you have to repave the road

    Items 2&3 are the cost items in replacing infrastructure. And you still didn't have an answer for me on the landfills, who's going to pay for, and did the aforementioned upgrades to fire services. To serve the higher densities, you probably have to build up, and i would assume a new fire truck doesn't come standard in with each demolition. You go to follow ISO ratings for some protection, but i guess you would just include that in fees right? Now we wouldn't want to fee to death this project now would we?
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  11. #86
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    You just don't understand... In an urban setting, you have more people condensed in an area. In sprawl, you have few people condensed in the same amount of area with pretty much the same infrastructure.

    KC has about a 3-4 billion dollar infrastructure (sewage) problem right now. That would not have happened had the city stayed within about 100 square miles and still increased it's population.

    Which is easier and cheaper to support and maintain (Infrastructure wise) a city of 100 square miles with 1,000,000 people? Or a city of 400 square miles with 500,000 people?

    The answer is very very easy...

    And btw, most of the sprawl in KC do not have dirt roads. Dirt roads are for rural areas. KC sprawl has paved roads with infrastructure provided including power, water, sewage, fire and police protection etc...

  12. #87
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    You just don't understand... In an urban setting, you have more people condensed in an area. In sprawl, you have few people condensed in the same amount of area with pretty much the same infrastructure.

    KC has about a 3-4 billion dollar infrastructure (sewage) problem right now. That would not have happened had the city stayed within about 100 square miles and still increased it's population.

    Which is easier and cheaper to support and maintain (Infrastructure wise) a city of 100 square miles with 1,000,000 people? Or a city of 400 square miles with 500,000 people?

    The answer is very very easy...
    Well, duh. But you're talking about tearing down and replacing all of the infrastructure currently in place. My friend, it is you who just doesn't understand.

  13. #88
    Cyburbian
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    And then what are we supposed to do? Keep the sprawl we currently have? That is horrible.

    And no, I'm not talking about tearing down ANY infrastructure. That would mean destroying the streets and the sewers/water lines underneath them. I'm talking about destroying and/or moving the existing houses so that proper infill and development can occur so that the land does not stay underutilized. What is the purpose of fully developing surrounding areas and keeping the sprawl there just because people don't want to remove the existing houses? Leaving those areas underdeveloped means that expansion outward would have to occur a lot sooner than it would have to. It would also show leniency to possibly allowing that sort of development in the future.
    Last edited by HeartlandCityBoy; 10 Oct 2007 at 5:44 PM.

  14. #89
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    Which is easier and cheaper to support and maintain (Infrastructure wise) a city of 100 square miles with 1,000,000 people? Or a city of 400 square miles with 500,000 people?

    The answer is very very easy...
    Actually, it not as easy as you may think. Sewage (or sewerage, if you prefer), water delivery, etc. infrastructures are often based on density, or "carrying capacity" of a particular area. Increasing density is not just a question of hooking more people into the sewer line. It involves tearing out existing networks and replacing them with ones that can handle the extra loads. Failure to do so will result in sewage backups and major public health problems.

    This very issue came up recently at a planning meeting here in the South Valley, a semi-urban (really rural-becoming-urban) area that is in both Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. In community meetings, there has been a favorable response to using TDRs (transfer of development rights) that would establish denser, mixed use "village centers" in some areas so that farmland and open space can be preserved in others. It was pointed out that along with transferring rights to increase density in certain places, the sewage lines would also need to be replaced because at present they are designed to handle a much lower capacity.

    This same issue would apply to storm sewers in your example. The denser an area, the more hardscape (which includes roofs) and therefore the more water that needs to be dealt with to avoid flooding. In a less dense environment, a greater amount of rain and snow permeates the ground, so that makes for another dramatic change that needs to be dealt with and paid for.

    Once again, my point, and the point of most people here, has been to urge you to consider that there are a great many complex factors involved in increasing density. Personally, I am not saying it can't be done or that these problems are insurmountable, but it does seem that you are not taking many of these factors into consideration. In general, I cringe when people say things like "Its simple, see..." because if it were, these problems would have been solved long ago. These issues are, in fact, remarkably complex as they involve economics, politics, social issues, legal concerns, engineering constraints and all the other issues aired in this forum.

    As you are a student, I suggest that you assume a student approach and accept that you do not (and cannot, no one can) know everything - and even more so, you may have more to learn. We all do and that is one of the most useful things about Cyburbia as a resource - you can tap the Throbbing Brain and gain insights you may not have thought of. Plus, with each mind working on a project, your creativity expands exponentially. Unless you are too bull-headed to assimilate other people's input...

    I'm not saying abandon your ideas. I am saying that you should let them mature, change, shift and adjust based on input and expanding knowledge on your part. This is what a good planner does.
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  15. #90
    Cyburbian Plan 9's avatar
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    I'm thinking that if infrastructure was so easy and inexpensive to maintain, that NY city and all those other east coast cities would have done it long ago, so that we wouldn't have 100 year old steam lines exploding in the streets and killing people....

    The denser and more overlapping the infrastructure, the more difficult it is to maintain (you have to avoid damaging all the other pipes, cable, and such that you are not working on), thus the cost actually goes up.

    The term Troll comes to mind reading this thread.

  16. #91
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    Actually, it not as easy as you may think. . . .

    This very issue came up recently at a planning meeting here in the South Valley, a semi-urban (really rural-becoming-urban) area that is in both Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. In community meetings, there has been a favorable response to using TDRs (transfer of development rights) that would establish denser, mixed use "village centers" in some areas so that farmland and open space can be preserved in others. It was pointed out that along with transferring rights to increase density in certain places, the sewage lines would also need to be replaced because at present they are designed to handle a much lower capacity.

    This same issue would apply to storm sewers in your example. The denser an area, the more hardscape (which includes roofs) and therefore the more water that needs to be dealt with to avoid flooding. In a less dense environment, a greater amount of rain and snow permeates the ground, so that makes for another dramatic change that needs to be dealt with and paid for.

    Once again, my point, and the point of most people here, has been to urge you to consider that there are a great many complex factors involved in increasing density. Personally, I am not saying it can't be done or that these problems are insurmountable, but it does seem that you are not taking many of these factors into consideration. In general, I cringe when people say things like "Its simple, see..." because if it were, these problems would have been solved long ago. . .

    As you are a student, I suggest that you assume a student approach and accept that you do not (and cannot, no one can) know everything - and even more so, you may have more to learn. . . Unless you are too bull-headed to assimilate other people's input...

    I'm not saying abandon your ideas. I am saying that you should let them mature, change, shift and adjust based on input and expanding knowledge on your part. This is what a good planner does.
    Wahday's post contains excellent points well-presented.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  17. #92
    Cyburbian
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    So how many of you are fans of sprawl, how many are opposed and how many are neutral?

  18. #93
    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
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    I don't think anyone here is "pro-sprawl", per say. Some people are pro-choice, (not talking abortion), as in, believing that Americans have the right to a variety of housing choices. There are also multiple definitions of "sprawl" so its not the most helpful word for this conversation.

  19. #94
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by KSharpe View post
    Americans have the right to a variety of housing choices. There are also multiple definitions of "sprawl" so its not the most helpful word for this conversation.
    K-Shape is right. If i have a piece of property that is on the fringe of the City that is say, oh about 40 acres, and it is currently being farmed, but it makes no economical sense for me to continue to farm (i.e. i incur more of a debt load to continue farming, and thus i borrow money from the bank to continue my lively hood) and a City has pre-zoned my land with a variety of land use such as commercial, park, and residential and someone offers me a whole lot of money to get out of debt and provide me with some income for sometime, than it is my choice to develop my land under the guise of the general plan, comprehensive plan, whatever. That's how it works in America. If you don't like, move to Burma.
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  20. #95
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    So CPSU, where is the love for the natural world? Don't you care about the environmental effects of sprawl? Are humans more important than the environment?

    By being pro-choice, you are still allowing the destruction of our environment. Which is equally as harmful as being pro-sprawl.

    Do you see my point? By being pro-choice for sprawl, you are still allowing the destruction of our environment. Which is what we have a duty to prevent.

    *After reading the rules, I read the part about religion and from what I read, as long as I don't try to convert or preach, I can talk about it"

    So to explain my POV on sprawl, here is a quote from one of my friends after a discussion about this subject with people of the same faith as me:
    We are commanded by God, and this is confirmed by the Church, to love the creation of God (not on its own terms, but as a way to worship Him and because He loves it). This includes people, to be sure, but it definitely includes our natural environment, which is the gift and provision of God to us, and one of His greatest works of art.

    If you believe, and I have no reason to disagree with you, that urban sprawl (ie SoCal) is damaging our environment and our way of life, then love demands that you do what you are able to prevent it. Just make certain that the impulse to correct others is kept down (voice and present your opinion, but make certain that your attempt to love the environment doesn't prevent you from loving your neighbor). Still, you have to speak up - it's a balancing act.
    Hopefully that explains my position. I cannot accept any form of sprawl, even pro-choice because it allows the destruction of what is, in my view, God's creation. I respect other people's ability and choice to hold those opinions, but I feel like I can't ever agree with their opinions.

    --And yes, I know I can be hypocritical sometimes, humility is something I'm trying to work on, especially in excersizing it in debates/arguments.
    Last edited by HeartlandCityBoy; 11 Oct 2007 at 10:21 AM.

  21. #96
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    You know, I was thinking about this thread last night.

    HCB, I admire your ambition and gumption. You're young, you want to lead by example. Instead of overhauling the government in order to establish your agenda and ideas, why not go about it yourself, as a developer. Start looking that way and you can change the world as you see it and then, if the ideas work, local zoning administrators and governments may follow suit.

    America is set up so that the individual, while restricted in some aspects, can do a lot to change the status quo.

    I think that reading many of the posts from us (mostly government planners, including myself) is that changing the planning establishement, a compromise between planning interests and those of development and business, is going to be really tough.

    The best way to fight this, since you have established the anti-sprawl ideal as Priority One in your eyes, is to prove all of us and the planning establishment wrong.

    Save your pennies and your dollars, by some infill sites and develop them! Show us what you are talking about and you lead by example, not the KC govt.

    Z Man Out!
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    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
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  22. #97
    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
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    You're missing the point, Heartland. You seem to think that the only opinion that matters is your own. . I agree with you that sprawl is a bad thing, I think most people in here do. However, you don't have the right to dictate what everyone else does with their property. You are not elected, you don't represent your community, and you need to be respectful of the larger community.

  23. #98
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    I would say that most people here are both pro-urban and pro-rural, in the sense that we want both strong urban cores and viable farmland/rural areas. However, most people would agree that you can't simply draw a line in the sand and say "The city ends here, and now the farmland begins."

    There has to be a natural progression from the city to the rural land and that is where suburban development come into play. Now I'll be the first to say that most suburban development over the past few decades has been designed poorly and that is where the anti-suburbs movement stems from.

    As a planner in a outer-ring suburban township, I see it as my job to create a suburban environment that is sustainable and not cookie-cutter in form. I would be foolish to think that somehow I as a professional planner could stop people from wanting to live in the community that I work for.

    And I agree with K-Sharpe, in that the term "sprawl" is so value-laden that is automatically espouses a negative connotation. I personally find it amusing that the very thing that we call "sprawl" is the very thing that millions of people have decided to live in. Perhaps it shouldn't be our job to stop suburban (or sprawl if you wish too call it that) development, but to design it in a way that is both sustainable and still offers all of the amenities that people are attracted to in the first place.

    I can't wait to see how much HCB thinks I love sprawl.

  24. #99
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    I cannot accept any form of sprawl, even pro-choice because it allows the destruction of what is, in my view, God's creation.
    Dude, you picked the wrong educated catholic planner to have this debate with. Yes it is God's creation, but didn't God give man, whom all Christian's believe is made in his image, with intelligence, and with that we have evolved into a more advanced society, to which included the ability to construct and design buildings. If you think sprawl is the destruction of his creation, then isn't any development, including our towns, cities, churches, etc the distruction of his creation? Then shouldn't you choose to live like Adam and Eve whom "might" have roamed first off the land which means you shouldn't be on the net, shouldn't have a house to live and live off of what God originally created?

    I am done here. If i am banned for posting this then so be it. Sprawl is not a a tool that destroys God's beauty. It is a flaw that we must live with due to our advance society given to us by God or for that matter any other high power (CYA) that's out there. I can't intelligently argue with a closed minded person like yourself. I'm out.
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  25. #100
    Cyburbian
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    The individual's rights is not above the good of the community and the rights of the community. And the human is not above the respect and preservation of the natural environment.

    Freedom is only good if it has restrictions put in place. Complete freedom is chaotic and destructive. Restricted freedom ensures control and is not as destructive and is good.

    If people are allowed to develop where they want, as long as they don't destroy a lot of natural land, then they have some restricted freedom, but freedom nonetheless.

    The other issue is that I agree people ought to be able to live in single-family homes, which can allow a transition between a more urban center and the rural areas. However the single-family housing ought to be more compact and well-planned than it currently is.

    Priority one needs to be the preservation of natural land. If natural land has to be used for development, then it ought to be well used and more dense than traditional sprawl.

    As I've said before and in my last post. In my view, we have a duty to preserve and protect God's creation beyond just ourselves. Sprawl causes destruction and harm to his natural creation. Thus I have to be completely opposed to it and I feel as though I have to do what I can to prevent it.

    I'm not for communism or socialism. I support democracy/republic and freedom. However I believe that there needs to be restricted freedoms and that an individual's rights aren't to be put above those of the community and definitely aren't above respecting God's creation.

    This is why I personally cannot support it. While I don't care if others disgaree with me. All I care about is preventing sprawl. If others can at least support the prevention of sprawl, I will feel like I have succeeded.

    _________________________________

    CPSU, I am only closed-minded because it has to do with my faith. My faith is the most important thing to me, and is the only thing I am completely closed-minded about. I can listen to other people's opinions and consider them. However if their opinions don't make it through my "filter" and are contradictory of my beliefs, I cannot accept them.
    There is only one group that can completely change my opinion, and those are the Saints and the Church itself,

    **However I must make a note that I do not represent the Church, and that I have not officially joined it yet. Again, my opinions are not representative of the Church and my beliefs come from explanations by friends in the Church.**

    And by Church, I am not referring to the Roman Catholic Church.

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