Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Hot planning topics through the years (AIB Quintessence)

  1. #1
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,552
    Blog entries
    3

    Hot planning topics through the years (AIB Quintessence)

    AID the Quintessence thread, I was thinking about Quintessential planning issues. It seems like we planners find ourselves getting wrapped up around some hot issue, and then moving on to something else. For instance, articles about dealing with gas stations were de riguer for zoning newsletters in the 1960s, but today, it's just another land use.

    This is just one planer's list of quintessential hot LULU zoning topics through the years, at least in the United States:

    * Late 1930s-mid-1940s: hot dog stands (Really! Check out some of the planning literature from the era. Hot dog stands, ice cream stands, and "taxpayers" - the bane of Depression-era suburbia.)
    * Late 1950s: Auto dealerships, used car lots
    * Early 1960s: Gas station proliferation/control
    * Late 1960s: Billboards
    * Late 1970s: On-premises signs: backlash against Googie and the Great Sign
    * Early 1980s: Video game arcades
    * Late 1980s: On-premises signs, the sequel: revenge of the portables
    * Late 1990s: Wireless facilities
    * Early 2000s: Big box retail, trade dress architecture
    * Late 2000s: On-premises signs, the trilogy: electronic message centers

    What about urban design trends? Economic development trends? Open space trends?

    "Hey, remember linear parks?"
    "That's sooooo 1970s. Betcha' still think playground equipment made from railroad ties is also still in, too. Maybe some exurb of Cleveland might be interested, though."
    "What about pocket parks?"
    "Feelgood planning for 1980s ghettos. Besides, most of them now look indistinguishable from the battered urban prairie that surrounds their sites."
    "Community gardens?"
    "So 1990s. You're probably still mourning the suicide of Kurt Cobain.
    "Okay, how about loop lanes?"
    "Early 2000s. Speaking of which, Sex and the City opens in theaters today."
    "Traditional, defensible village squares completely or almost completely surrounded by street frontage?"
    "Annnnnnnnnnd?"
    "Dog parks?"
    "There you go. And tot lots too. It's like a dog park for kids, and helicoper moms that think every man over 18 is a child molester in waiting also love 'em."
    "What about Rails to Trails?"
    "Timeless, if you can get it past the NIMBYs."

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 1999
    Location
    400 miles from Orlando
    Posts
    13,747
    hohoho. In the late '90's I was dealing with hot dog stands in front of every Home Depot, Toy's R Us, and Albertsons's supermarkets in the county. We put so many of those people out of business we worried if our lives were in danger.

    "Linear parks"; still a term sometimes applied to trails. And yes, there are still NIMBYs; well, until they figure out how to create an (unapproved) bridge across the ditch behind their house so they can access the trail easily.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Appleton, Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,166
    Two words from the 1950s/1960s:

    "Urban renewal"

    'nuff said!



    Anyways, my crystal ball says that for the 2010s, (market based) urban densification and expanding, upgrading, reopening and establishing new railroad corridors will be 'de riguer'.

    Mike

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Northwestern Ohio
    Posts
    9,327
    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    hohoho. In the late '90's I was dealing with hot dog stands in front of every Home Depot, Toy's R Us, and Albertsons's supermarkets in the county. We put so many of those people out of business we worried if our lives were in danger.
    OK, help out a non-planner on this topic. What's so bad about hot dog stands in front of these stores? I have a product, I want to sell it, I have a market for that product. If the store has agreed to allow me on their property ("enhancing" the total buying experience) what's wrong with that?

    Help me understand why street vending (or parking lot vending) is "bad". To this unencumbered-by-planning-coursework Bear these vendors exemplify a true capitalistic spirit.

    Help?

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  5. #5
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Jukin' City
    Posts
    16,482
    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North View post
    OK, help out a non-planner on this topic. What's so bad about hot dog stands in front of these stores? I have a product, I want to sell it, I have a market for that product. If the store has agreed to allow me on their property ("enhancing" the total buying experience) what's wrong with that?

    Help me understand why street vending (or parking lot vending) is "bad". To this unencumbered-by-planning-coursework Bear these vendors exemplify a true capitalistic spirit.

    Help?

    Bear
    Off-topic:
    Let's say I own a nearby brick and mortar that also happens to offer hot dogs on the menu. I pay property taxes, insurance, business licenses, health department permits, workers comp, etc., etc., and a fly-by-night comes by with a portable hot dog stand in direct competition to me but does none of the above. Is that fair? I'm sure you could put it in context with your business.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Slightly Off-Center
    Posts
    8,258
    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    Off-topic:
    Let's say I own a nearby brick and mortar that also happens to offer hot dogs on the menu. I pay property taxes, insurance, business licenses, health department permits, workers comp, etc., etc., and a fly-by-night comes by with a portable hot dog stand in direct competition to me but does none of the above. Is that fair? I'm sure you could put it in context with your business.
    Off-topic:
    Opposition to street food vendors typically comes from business owners who feel threatened by competition and government agencies charged with enforcing health codes. I'm not sure that either objection is very relevant, street food vendors seem to be a normal activity in Europe and, in fact, even is some major metropolitan areas in this country. From what I've seen of conditions in brick and mortar restaurants vs street vendors, there isn't a big difference in sanitary conditions but it's a lot easier for government to monitor, fine, and tax folks who stay in one spot.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  7. #7
    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Loma Linda's
    Posts
    1,413
    I predict the next big thing will be "personal" wind generators, for home and office. How will communities react to the thought of hundreds of 50-100 foot windmills in town?

  8. #8
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,552
    Blog entries
    3
    The opposition to hot dog stands in the 1930s and 1940s wasn't really directed at carts downtown, but rather ramshackle joints on roads leading out of town. I've seen photos in old planning publications from the era that show streets lined with hot dog stand after hot dog stand, in the way they were strips of used car lots in the 1950s and fast food restaurants in the 1980s.

    Up until recently, the Buffalo area still had a lot of 1940s-era hot dog stands on the radial roads in the 'burbs, miles from downtown. They were far from pretty, but locals were passionate about them. Mention Pat's, Ja Fa Fa or Polka Dot's to anyone over 45 in Buffalo, and watch the tears well up as if you told them their dog died.



    Off-topic:
    From what I remember in my childhood, it was probably more convenient to do grocery shopping in the former Soviet Union than order a meal at a suburban Buffalo hot dog stand. There was one window where you ordered a hot dog, and another where you chose the toppings, and another where you paid. For the hot dog. There was a separate window where you ordered fries, and a separate window just for paying for fries. Same thing with drinks: one to order, one to pay. And another set of windows for ice cream. Fast food it was not.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 1999
    Location
    400 miles from Orlando
    Posts
    13,747
    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North View post
    OK, help out a non-planner on this topic. What's so bad about hot dog stands in front of these stores? I have a product, I want to sell it, I have a market for that product. If the store has agreed to allow me on their property ("enhancing" the total buying experience) what's wrong with that?

    Help me understand why street vending (or parking lot vending) is "bad". To this unencumbered-by-planning-coursework Bear these vendors exemplify a true capitalistic spirit.

    Help?

    Bear
    In both FL counties where I worked in zoning, hot dog stands, or any other non-permanent business, had one huge a$$ strike going against it: no sanitary facilities, no parking. Yep, zoning rules said all businesses had to provide paved handicapped parking (who can argue against this?) and bathrooms. You figure, maybe the stands on the sidewalk in front of Home Depot have the bathrooms inside the Depot, and they're probably just pulling in customers who already parked in the handicapped space, and that's reasonable. But the big retailers were generally in a Planned Unit Development, and if the applicant did not include outside/sidewalk sales in their application.... bye bye hot dog guy.

    Same deal for the guys who set up boiled peanut stands, hot dog stands, etc, on vacant lots. Only they got shut down way quicker.

    I have to admit, one of the most interesting ones I worked, involved a hot dog stand run by a woman on the major road in the county....she wore a thong every day. Every construction worker and businessman in the area said the county discriminated against her because of the thong. Yeah, in part; the county commissioners had sooooo many calls complaining, but they sure went by a lot to "check out the situation".

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Akron
    Posts
    2,255

    OTH (On the Horizon)

    In case you haven't noticed, we baby boomers are a ticking "housing for the aged' time bomb.
    WALSTIB

  11. #11
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Staff meeting
    Posts
    8,188
    Quote Originally posted by Tom R View post
    In case you haven't noticed, we baby boomers are a ticking "housing for the aged' time bomb.
    Indeed. And housing you guys will probably be a great investment/development opportunity.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    In a 480 square foot ex baseball nacho stand
    Posts
    7,045
    Quote Originally posted by Tom R View post
    In case you haven't noticed, we baby boomers are a ticking "housing for the aged' time bomb.
    ..and the overabundance of "un needed" houses
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  13. #13
    I predict the coming planning rage will be the densification of the suburbs. You can already start to see it in Tyson's Corners, VA and their efforts to redevelop by permitting much greater densities.

    I agree with TOFB, too that personal wind generation and micro-generation will be issues as well.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Appleton, Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,166
    Quote Originally posted by Tom R View post
    In case you haven't noticed, we baby boomers are a ticking "housing for the aged' time bomb.
    Imagining the Eagles, Jimi Hendrix, REO Speedwagon, Supertramp, etc, becoming 'nursing home music'....

    But then again, when I start hearing 20ishes playing ghetto (c)rap, I'll start telling them that in 40-50 years or so, their descendants will also look upon that as being nursing home music - booming through the corridors of Happy View.

    Agreed, though, that will be a growth industry. I am also eagerly awaiting the coming storm, the train-wreck collision of current zoning density limits and market demands for more residential units in close-in places.

    How are things working in Ontario, where, IIRC, the province prohibits its munis from regulating unit density in residential zones? Might we someday see something like that being adopted by one or more USA states?



    Mike

  15. #15
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    New Town
    Posts
    3,827
    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    I predict the coming planning rage will be the densification of the suburbs. You can already start to see it in Tyson's Corners, VA and their efforts to redevelop by permitting much greater densities.
    This is my feeling, too. From establishing "town centers" to allowing additional on-site dwelling units so retirees can stay in their homes longer, we are likely to see more and more suburbs develop into places of their own (as opposed to bedrooms for a distant urban center).

    In the Albuquerque area, Rio Rancho (which is its own city, but essentially serves as and is built like a suburb of albuquerque) has embarked on an ambitious project to carve out a small business district/downtown from their miles and miles of housing.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 0
    Last post: 09 Jan 2013, 12:56 PM
  2. Quintessence
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 41
    Last post: 15 Jun 2012, 1:01 PM
  3. Replies: 11
    Last post: 18 May 2011, 2:01 PM
  4. Environmental planning thesis topics
    Environmental Planning
    Replies: 9
    Last post: 14 Feb 2009, 3:17 PM
  5. Replies: 5
    Last post: 17 Apr 2007, 5:40 PM