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Thread: Problems with suburbs

  1. #26
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
    Apr 2004
    Tri-Cities, Washington
    Blog entries
    Quote Originally posted by HeartlandCityBoy View post
    It all depends on the neighborhood and the people. However the more dense neighborhoods always will have more of a community than the less dense neighborhood, if a community exists at all.

    I my first-hand experience the opposite of this is true.

    Community lies in people and their efforts.
    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

  2. #27
    Feb 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Quote Originally posted by Plan-it View post
    Market desire eventually trumps bureaucracy. There are some community activists, especially in suburban areas, where they continually lobby for "lower density" development. That may be appropriate in some areas, but it is ridiculous in others. A lot os it is location specific. Is the developer trying to provide this product on an old field in a more exurban area with poor access or are they putting it within a mile of an interstate highway? Too many times, developers have the right idea but the wrong location. That puts the citizen activists in a strong position to fight and gives the political decision makers no room to wiggle. It often times alters greatly when these same developments are near regional transportation infrastructure or town centers. Codes can get variances when a good product is proposed that does not fit the "normal" suburban model.
    Market desire may eventually trump bureaucracy, but that doesn't negate the fact that in most places there is significant market intervention which favors suburban style development over urban style. If you put barriers in place that force the price of Pepsi 50% higher than Coke, of course you're going to sell more Coke, regardless of market desire. Pricing has a huge influence on market desire - many times desire for a product can be created or destroyed entirely because of cost.

  3. #28
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
    Feb 2007
    Playing at a movie theater near you
    I agree with CJC. I have worked on projects where the municipalities Zoning Code heavily favors suburban type of development based on the setbacks of housing, low FAR development for commercial, and ridiculous parking requirements. How else can you do a different housing product when your High Density R-4 zoning required a 6,000 sf minimum lot? That basically predicates a basic apartment complex, rather than something that can fit a context of its surround neighborhood such as zero lot line townhomes, 3 plexes that look like victorians, etc. If municipal planners stopped and looked at their code, than try to move forward with more flexible codes, than the market for more "urban" style housing and commercial development might be more prevalent.
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