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Thread: How cars change the city and time

  1. #1
    Apr 2007

    How cars change the city and time

    Here is my study report of city 1900's to now .Need some markers or pointers.

    Note if some of the information , dates or wrong please fix.After reading some books I think I got it now.

    Cities built after ww2 are very car centic do to large ownership of cars and growth of the middle class.Cities built before the 50's where more compact and dense and walkable streets.All cities have sprawl it just is it walkable streets or car centric or how compact and dense it is.

    Before the 50's cities where compact and walkable neighborhood ,and convenient access to public transport or the streetcar line ,bus or subway and most were laid out in a grid plan, although some designers of these often modified the grid pattern to suit the site context with curvilinear streets.And most included alleys with a noticeable absence of front-yard driveways.Most cities before 50's remained very pedestrian friendly. This was not always the case for other vehicles looking for parking or driving .Because of the pedestrian-oriented nature of these communities, sidewalks were necessary .

    Before the 50's

    1 grid-system
    2 store-fronts
    3 high density
    4 side-walk ( foot traffic)
    5 uniform city
    6 Building more at the street level
    7 compact and walkable neighborhood

    After the 50's

    1 anti-grid-system
    2 low-density
    4 side walk pulled back or lack of side walk on the streets
    5 parking lots
    6 Plazas and malls
    7 building more pulled back
    8 hierarchy of streets
    9 fence of subdivision
    10 industrial park
    11 big 3 lane collector roads with boulevard in the center at higher city speed limits . Where very little buildings on the road .And almost any where you go in the city even 2 KM you have to come out of your maze to the collector road to go anywhere.
    12 with plazas and malls built at intersections

    There is 3 types of living a city/urban living , suburb living and country living.

    Moving in the city you move to the core or old section and suburb out side the core or old section and country living out side of the city or suburb.

    There are some reason why we do not use a grid-system now .One most people conplain of cars on their street or people driving fast down their street so they built crescent and courts to stop cars driving down their street. Also the garden city movement.

    The reason we do not built store-fronts is people need parking so every thing is plazas and malls.

    The reason why we built 3 lane collector roads with boulevard in the center and speed limit of 70 KM is do to high traffic and little if no food traffic. In city planning they want more lanes and faster speeds to keep taffic moving and cut down on intersections . On fooot we want more intersections and blocks so it is easy to walk or do a 360 walking in a city block

    The city planners now try to make a suburb that is less city buzz more office parks ,industrial parks , parks ,trails , greenbelts ,and buildings less at the street and more green space , trees and just more green city and open space .This was not the case before has they had to make the city compact and dense and walkable streets . The ownership of cars change that.

    The big box stores and power centers started in the 90's to do away of malls and plazas.There is less malls and plazas now and more big box stores and power centers .Do to the cold people in Canada love malls so they do not have to walk store to store in the cold.The idea of big box stores and power centers was not having to go 200 or 300 small stores you can go to walmart , k-mart , zellers so on :- all 200 or 300 small stores under one roof .

    Picture of a industrial park of the green movment and trying to make it look nice but car centric and sprawl


    Other industrial park

    older part of the city and less green and building more at the street

    Now city planners will pull the building back ,give it more green ,give it parking lot and try make it look nice.

    Store-front Before the 40's

    no one built store-fronts now do to very bad for cars cannot find parking

    Store-front Before

    Typical of cities built from 50's to now

    older cities built before the 50's

    You can tell it is on a grid-sytem , compact and dense and walkable streets and this was the thing before the 50's

    This area was in the 30' and 40's typical of sigle tent stores and small parking.Now city planner give them big parking lot with plaza so tax is not so high.


    An area with cheap land value typical of sun belt cities .Where land was more costly in the North and North East where they built 2 story or more store-fronts and more dense .


    city planners hate the typical of the 30' and 40's sigle tent stores do to tax problem


  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
    Feb 1998
    Greensburg, Kansas
    Don't forget street car suburbs that permitted people to work in the city while raising families away from all the evils of the city.

  3. #3
    Apr 2007
    I have done some reading at wikipedia about suburbs.But I really think it just evolution of auto-centric city.

    Starting out with stotre-fronts with people or the shop owner living above the store .With lots of foot traffic getting around the city.

    old classic stotre-fronts

    Than the commercial strip !! Where small parking and any where from 1 to 5 stores per parking lot .Where side walk at the street and stores on both side of the street . The commercial strip ie restaurants , bars ,night clubs ,hotels, motel,casino ,car wash , fast food ,car dealerships ,ice cream shops ,hot dog stands , other stores ..

    I think the commercial strip was in the 30' and 40's and may be a little in the 50'a .

    commercial strip



    But after the 50's use of plazas where there is a big parking lot and any where from 15 to 30 stores and in some cases even more.


    And the late 90's to now use of box stores and power centers.


    Also keep in mind that some cities built malls where there can be 100 to 200 stores in a mall.I think Canada built more malls than plazas do to the cold .

    And malls where big thing in the 60's , 70' and 80's ..


    Note the commercial strip normally has 2 lanes like 2 lanes going one way and 2 lanes going other way.With speed limit of 50 KB that is 31 miles or some places in the US 25 miles the speed limit .

    The commercial strip normally has more foot traffic but not is much has the classic store-fronts.And the commercial strip normally has big signs and is more anti-garden city.But is more in between of the auto centric city.

    Last edited by nec209; 22 Jul 2009 at 9:45 PM.

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