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Dangerous weather and architecture

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#21
They don't? The slums and shanty-towns around most second and third-world cities are infamous. :-o

As for Europe ...

Photo Essay by Jean Roder

1 Billion Slum Dwellers

Then there's the grim, soulless apartment complexes built by the Communist regimes in Eastern Europe ...
Linda, the impoverished that live in the slums don't compare to America's Lower Class. Even America's lower class is more well-off financially than those that live in those slums. My point wasn't suggesting that Europe doesn't have slums (i've seen them), my point is that those of equivalent income in Europe have better dwelling places than mobile homes. And yes, as cruddy as the complexes in former communist lands are, they are still better than a mobile home when it comes to safety against weather.
 

ColoGI

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#22
My point wasn't suggesting that Europe doesn't have slums (i've seen them), my point is that those of equivalent income in Europe have better dwelling places than mobile homes. And yes, as cruddy as the complexes in former communist lands are, they are still better than a mobile home when it comes to safety against weather.
How are you going to force low-income agents into such housing? What are your proposals to change their minds? How will you convince them that a small chance of weather risk is a better choice than a higher chance of unhappiness after being forced in such housing?
 
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#23
There are other merits to mobile/modular housing, particularly in rural areas where land economics / housing demand makes stick-built housing unfeasible.
 
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#24
How are you going to force low-income agents into such housing? What are your proposals to change their minds? How will you convince them that a small chance of weather risk is a better choice than a higher chance of unhappiness after being forced in such housing?
ColoGI, I'm not recommending those types of housing, I don't know where you got that from.
There are much better ways, traditional urbanism shows that the poor are able to have a quality place to live, even right next to the rich. We know better than to isolate the poor like in modernist housing projects.

Modernist housing projects and mobile homes aren't the only places the poor can live in. There are good, (and better) traditional alternatives...

Lastly, regarding Soviet-Era housing...
I have a close friend who lived most of her life in one of these housing projects (in a city composed mostly of them) and according to her, it wasn't the depressing, horrible thing that most of us think of them as. She lived in the Russian city Naberezhnye Chelny...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naberezhnye_Chelny
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Naberezhnye Chelny&um=1&hl=en&biw=1280&bih=909&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=il
But while it may work there, I don't think that works in America, in fact, I think the last 50-60 years has proven that it doesn't work in America.
 

JNA

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#25
FEMA Independent Study avaialable - http://training.fema.gov/IS/crslist.asp

IS-8.a Building for the Earthquakes of Tomorrow: Complying with Executive Order 12699

IS-279 Engineering Principles and Practices for Retrofitting Flood-Prone Residential Structures

IS-386 Introduction to Residential Coastal Construction
 

Linda_D

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#27
ColoGI, I'm not recommending those types of housing, I don't know where you got that from.
There are much better ways, traditional urbanism shows that the poor are able to have a quality place to live, even right next to the rich. We know better than to isolate the poor like in modernist housing projects.

Modernist housing projects and mobile homes aren't the only places the poor can live in. There are good, (and better) traditional alternatives...
The problem with your proposal for banning mobile homes is that the people who live in them do so generally because they don't want to live in an urban setting. They prefer to live in an exurban or rural area, even if they're only a few feet from their neighbors in a trailer park. Other people put their mobiles on their own land out in the country. You don't find many mobile homes or mobile home parks in cities or even in fairly close suburbs. If these people wanted urban living, they'd move to "the city" (or in some cases, overgrown small town) where they would probably have better job prospects, too.

A much more sensible approach anywhere else tornadoes are common is to encourage building underground storm shelters on private property and requiring them for mobile home parks and apartmet complexes. Maybe underground shelters or safe rooms become the norm for all new builds/substantial remodels in the Midwest just like meeting earthquake or hurricane standards are required in California or Florida.
 

ColoGI

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#28
ColoGI, I'm not recommending those types of housing, I don't know where you got that from.
Then the very next sentence is:

There are much better ways, traditional urbanism shows that the poor are able to have a quality place to live, even right next to the rich.
Where'd I get that from...where'd I get that from...I wonder...I wonnnnnderrrrrrr...

Nope. Can't figure it out. A mystery.
 
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#29
Then the very next sentence is:



Where'd I get that from...where'd I get that from...I wonder...I wonnnnnderrrrrrr...

Nope. Can't figure it out. A mystery.
Are you really taking the time to read my posts? Or are you just reading into them what you want to? I'm sorry if I'm causing some misunderstanding...
If you watch the video I posted above, you'll see that I'm saying there are much better ways of providing affordable housing for the poor.

I never, ever said that we should build Soviet-Era housing, that is not traditional, neither are mobile homes or modernist housing projects.

Also, Linda_D, the problem is that many mobile home parks are located in flood plains (because it's cheap land), so underground storm shelters are out of the question in those locations.

Mobile homes might be in exurban/rural areas, but they are still usually 20-30ft from one another, putting them in a semi-urban state/density. Not to mention that most mobile home parks have no (or virtually no) real open space, other than their tiny yards. So they may be sitting in a rural area, they are still essentially "urban". If things were done in a more traditional manner, we would be building small villages in the country rather than mobile home parks or subdivisions. This allows for 100-500 people to live in the country, and in a small-town setting; yet still retain a good level of self-sustainability and some good sturdiness to their buildings. As can be mentioned, this is how we used to do it. If you look at most American cities that were founded prior to the 20th Century, you will see that they all were forming as small, urban villages. This allows for people to live in the country, yet also in a quiet "urban" area. It also offers opportunity for farmers, who can live outside the city in the rural areas, and allows them to bring their goods into town for sale. Mobile homes serve just as that, homes, and they serve no other purpose. The people that live there have to go somewhere else for work. It is an area that is just one, single use, and yet we know that denser areas have to be multi-use, and that it is a bad thing to separate "zones" and uses.
We also seem to treat the country and farmland like it's area for development, or area to just "squat" on. Yet it ought to be used for a purpose, mainly for farming. Some of it also has to be naturally preserved and allowed to grow naturally. Cities are the places for development, not the countryside.

People also seem to be afraid of urban areas and seem to associate them with NYC, Chicago and Los Angeles. Yet I would argue that those situations are also un-traditional, and urban areas ought to be smaller, with buildings reaching only about 4-5 stories, and with populations reaching only about 100,000-150,000 people (and areas of about 1.5-2 square miles maximum).
Cities like this aren't going to be quite the blemish that some in the country think of cities as being. (if they are built traditionally) That doesn't mean people in the country should want to be in the city, their choice is to live in the country. But it just means that the cities should work in tandem and cooperation with the farming communities around them, the cities shouldn't be consuming them like a wildfire.
 
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#31
Think about it, imagine (for example), if Joplin were built like a traditional city would have been (ignoring the last century of city-building). Chances are that the buildings would have been much more sturdy, and the city would have been dense enough that if you look at the tornado's path, it would have missed the developed area.

Our current state of development means we are spread out to about 1,500 people per square mile. For a metro area the size of Kansas City (2 million), that is 1,225 square miles of developed area. Yet if it were built entirely by traditional methods of city-building, only about 40-50 square miles would be developed in the area. (and they would be spread-out towns/villages, not contiguous)
Conversely, what if Joplin were built in a much more dense manner and the tornado's path had hit right in an area with many multi family buildings or single family homes on small lots? If we think 142 deaths is a lot, the possibility of 1,000 deaths from a Tornado would be beyond catastrophic. The same situation could already occur in much more dense places like Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Omaha, or Tulsa.

Outright banning certain types of construction or dictating that folks must live in certain areas just does not seem feasible especially as a method of mitigating against the exceedingly slim chance of death and destruction from a natural disaster. I stand by my original suggestion that ending subsidies, tax credits, and federal backing of mortgages for homes and subsidies for insurance on certain types of construction in certain areas would probably be more palatable and feasible. This way, the government wouldn't be telling you what you can or cannot do, they are just not going to make it easier for you to do it.
 
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#32
Conversely, what if Joplin were built in a much more dense manner and the tornado's path had hit right in an area with many multi family buildings or single family homes on small lots? If we think 142 deaths is a lot, the possibility of 1,000 deaths from a Tornado would be beyond catastrophic. The same situation could already occur in much more dense places like Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Omaha, or Tulsa.

Outright banning certain types of construction or dictating that folks must live in certain areas just does not seem feasible especially as a method of mitigating against the exceedingly slim chance of death and destruction from a natural disaster. I stand by my original suggestion that ending subsidies, tax credits, and federal backing of mortgages for homes and subsidies for insurance on certain types of construction in certain areas would probably be more palatable and feasible. This way, the government wouldn't be telling you what you can or cannot do, they are just not going to make it easier for you to do it.
The thing is, those buildings wouldn't be built out of wood, but concrete and masonry (like brick). So they would be much more solid. We need to quit assuming that an F5 destroys EVERYTHING. As we see from photographs, there are buildings that took direct hits from the F5, and yet remained standing.

ColoGI, it's better for everyone, not just the poor. It's safer for the poor, and it integrates them with the medium and upper class. Haven't you read about New Urbanism, Form Based Code and Smart Growth?

I think we also need to quit acting like banning certain things is "oppressive" or a violation of "freedoms". We can't let humans do whatever they want whenever they want and then assume that they are "free" and that it is "good". Humans are terrible at doing what is right and good, and we are extremely good at ruining our environment and making ourselves unhappy. We need to be doing what is best for everyone, not just those that want to make a quick buck. We're going to end up destroying ourselves the way we are going. Yet I guess it's "worth it" if we retain our "freedoms" to do whatever we want... One definition of insanity is "extreme foolishness or irrationality"; well I argue that our current behavior is insanity.
 

ColoGI

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#33
ColoGI, it's better for everyone, not just the poor. It's safer for the poor, and it integrates them with the medium and upper class. Haven't you read about New Urbanism, Form Based Code and Smart Growth?
Who says it is better? You? The downtrodden people you are improving via your ideas, do they want this or are you simply stating it, hoping it is true and the poor follow along?
 

Blide

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#34
I think we also need to quit acting like banning certain things is "oppressive" or a violation of "freedoms". We can't let humans do whatever they want whenever they want and then assume that they are "free" and that it is "good".
What planners want and what is acceptable to the public are two entirely different things. Planners have to work within the constraints set by the public and elected officials.
 
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#35
What planners want and what is acceptable to the public are two entirely different things. Planners have to work within the constraints set by the public and elected officials.
That is the situation where Planners, Advocates and Architects need to educate the Public, and get the elected officials to change their minds.

ColoGI, we know it's better based on history and first-hand accounts. There are other places in the world that are still traditionally designed and planned. The last 100 years has been a disaster in the architecture and planning world. 100 years of deviation isn't going to change thousands of years of history. For thousands of years humans designed and built cities a certain way because it works and because it's good. We just seem to think that we know better than our ancestors...

Thankfully many of the planning schools have woken up and are teaching their students traditional planning. Now we just need to get the architecture schools to do the same, but as history has shown, as architects, we are especially stubborn and slow to adapt/change.
 

Blide

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#36
That is the situation where Planners, Advocates and Architects need to educate the Public, and get the elected officials to change their minds.
There in lies the problem though. You have to be able to convince people that the status quo is no longer acceptable. Often times people are perfectly happy with the way things are and getting them to change is rather difficult. What you're proposing would be an emotional issue where simply educating is often not sufficient. Then as ColoGI alluded to, what the planner wants may not always be the best course of action.
 
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#37
TradArch12,

Your views here are clouded by a blind adherence to a rigid adherence to a certain planning archetype. Among other things, this has led you to interpret the history of urbanization in a particular way, and to assume that there is no value to practices such as balloon frame construction, mobile/modular housing, suburban development, etc. Nothing is so clearly black and white, which is what we have been trying to communicate to you. Ideas such as banning balloon frame construction might seem to solve one problem (a "problem" many do not believe exists) but fail to recognize an entirely different, and potentially more significant set of problems created by the "solution".
 
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#38
There in lies the problem though. You have to be able to convince people that the status quo is no longer acceptable. Often times people are perfectly happy with the way things are and getting them to change is rather difficult. What you're proposing would be an emotional issue where simply educating is often not sufficient. Then as ColoGI alluded to, what the planner wants may not always be the best course of action.
It is most definitely the best course of action. If someone is a smoker, is it easy to convince them to stop smoking? No, but once they do stop, isn't it better for their health? Or if someone is an alcoholic, isn't it hard to convince them to stop? Yet once they stop, isn't it better for them? Or if someone is ill, is it always easy to convince them to go to the hospital? Yet if you convince them, isn't it better for them?

Our society is sick and delusional, and we need to convince people to change. Yes, it's the "status quo" now, but it's only been the status quo for 50 to 60 years. There are still people alive that remember when things were different. We have young people that are growing up and rejecting everything previous generations (That is, the 60s, and the Baby Boomers) gave them, we need to take advantage of that and allow ourselves to start combining our new technologies with the old, traditional, pre-1950s methods of city building.

There was a lecture at Notre Dame where they pointed out that the traditional building always outperforms our modern sustainable buildings that use technology to be sustainable. If we managed to combine the traditional with the technology, we will reach a level of sustainability and environmentalism that our current model couldn't even dream of.

Going back to the original topic. Yes, it would be "painful" for people to leave behind the balloon-framed house and the mobile home. Yet in the long run, it's going to be better. Yes, right now it's going to be painful, and the withdrawal is going to be tough. But we have to think in terms of decades and not months/years. While leaving those behind will be tougher at first, in the long run, it's going to be much, much safer. Load-bearing walls can withstand hurricanes and tornados, wood-framed houses cannot.

TradArch12,

Your views here are clouded by a blind adherence to a rigid adherence to a certain planning archetype. Among other things, this has led you to interpret the history of urbanization in a particular way, and to assume that there is no value to practices such as balloon frame construction, mobile/modular housing, suburban development, etc. Nothing is so clearly black and white, which is what we have been trying to communicate to you. Ideas such as banning balloon frame construction might seem to solve one problem (a "problem" many do not believe exists) but fail to recognize an entirely different, and potentially more significant set of problems created by the "solution".
Actually I'm not a "blind" adherent to New Urbanism, I know the alternatives. I wasn't always a "New Urbanist" and I wasn't always a "Traditionalist". But based on solid facts, and based on history, I know it is a much better alternative.
I realize people love the current status quo (to a degree), and I realize people don't know the problems it causes. Yet, there is something better out there.

We are going to destroy ourselves if we continue down the same path. We will be ruined economically, environmentally, culturally, socially, physically etc...

People today are literally afraid of thinking things are "black and white" and people are convinced there is no such thing as objective truth. Yet for generations upon generations, humans recognized there is something as the "truth". We have convinced ourselves otherwise and it's been to our disadvantage.

I'm convinced that we as traditionalists will win, but if we don't win, then the world will be worse off. We might be the minority right now, but looking back at history, the vast majority and history of human civilization stands on our side.

Being traditional isn't a "reversion" or "going back". If it was such a thing, then human civilization has been held back for tens, if not hundreds of thousands of years.

If there is such a thing as objective truth, it inevitably means someone is wrong. People are too unwilling to stand up for their personal beliefs these days. I don't believe "sprawl" and "suburbanization" is "evil", but I do believe it is wrong and is going to send our society & culture into the dirt.
 
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Linda_D

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#39
Also, Linda_D, the problem is that many mobile home parks are located in flood plains (because it's cheap land), so underground storm shelters are out of the question in those locations.
The solution is for municipalities to disallow further new development in flood plains, especially residential development, or discourage it without mitigation measures. That means that existing trailer parks in flood plains cannot expand -- and new ones can't be built there but it also means the same for any other kind of development in flood plains. You are constantly coming with excuses to defend an idea that is really indefensible anywhere that purports to support democratic values in order to force people to live the way that you think they should live.

Mobile homes might be in exurban/rural areas, but they are still usually 20-30ft from one another, putting them in a semi-urban state/density. Not to mention that most mobile home parks have no (or virtually no) real open space, other than their tiny yards. So they may be sitting in a rural area, they are still essentially "urban". If things were done in a more traditional manner, we would be building small villages in the country rather than mobile home parks or subdivisions. This allows for 100-500 people to live in the country, and in a small-town setting; yet still retain a good level of self-sustainability and some good sturdiness to their buildings. As can be mentioned, this is how we used to do it. If you look at most American cities that were founded prior to the 20th Century, you will see that they all were forming as small, urban villages. This allows for people to live in the country, yet also in a quiet "urban" area. It also offers opportunity for farmers, who can live outside the city in the rural areas, and allows them to bring their goods into town for sale. Mobile homes serve just as that, homes, and they serve no other purpose. The people that live there have to go somewhere else for work. It is an area that is just one, single use, and yet we know that denser areas have to be multi-use, and that it is a bad thing to separate "zones" and uses.
We also seem to treat the country and farmland like it's area for development, or area to just "squat" on. Yet it ought to be used for a purpose, mainly for farming. Some of it also has to be naturally preserved and allowed to grow naturally. Cities are the places for development, not the countryside.
Have you ever been "out in the country"???? You think that 100-500 people can form some magical little village where they can work, educate their kids, support cultural institutions, medical facilities, etc surrounded by prosperous organic farms that sell all their products at food coops and farmers markets??? You need a serious reality check. Most rural areas are dotted with tiny towns that are struggling to survive.

People also seem to be afraid of urban areas and seem to associate them with NYC, Chicago and Los Angeles. Yet I would argue that those situations are also un-traditional, and urban areas ought to be smaller, with buildings reaching only about 4-5 stories, and with populations reaching only about 100,000-150,000 people (and areas of about 1.5-2 square miles maximum).
Cities like this aren't going to be quite the blemish that some in the country think of cities as being. (if they are built traditionally) That doesn't mean people in the country should want to be in the city, their choice is to live in the country. But it just means that the cities should work in tandem and cooperation with the farming communities around them, the cities shouldn't be consuming them like a wildfire.
I live in a city of 30,000 people in a county that is 1200 square miles and has all of 130,000 souls in it because I like living in an overgrown small town where it's hard to be a stranger unless you work at it. The next county east has about 75,000 people in about the same area with its largest city having around 15,000 people. This is in New York State. Most of Pennsylvania is even more sparsely populated. Get out in the Plains or the Rockies and the numbers get even smaller. By all means let's round up all these people who choose to live out in the boonies and force them into cities of 100,000-150,000 where they will be sooooo much better off whether they think so or not.

Moreover, I lived for 20 years in Buffalo, NY, and another dozen in the Albany area, including living in apartments, so don't even try to lecture me on the "virtues" of urban living. Been there, done that, and don't want to have any part of that any more. I like the fact that I can be to work, door to door from one end of the city to the other, in less than 15 minutes unless it's snowing hard because "bad traffic" is five cars lined up behind a school bus! I like living on a quiet street in a totally residential neighborhood where I don't have to listen to the thumping bass from a string of local bars at 2 am or smell the exhaust from the restaurants down the street, either. As I've said before on other threads, "mixed use" is highly overrated by people who haven't actually lived in it.

I have no problem with people who choose to live in mobile homes. Or apartment complexes. Or big city neighborhoods. Or suburban developments. Or in yurts, either, if that's their thing. That my idea of the perfect place to live is well back off a lightly traveled gravel road on a big tract of land with critters for close neighbors doesn't mean that I expect everybody else to live that way. I truly fail to understand this need that you -- and a few other posters on this MB -- seem to have with forcing the worship of the cult of New Urbanism on others.

Actually I'm not a "blind" adherent to New Urbanism, I know the alternatives. I wasn't always a "New Urbanist" and I wasn't always a "Traditionalist". But based on solid facts, and based on history, I know it is a much better alternative.
I realize people love the current status quo (to a degree), and I realize people don't know the problems it causes. Yet, there is something better out there.

We are going to destroy ourselves if we continue down the same path. We will be ruined economically, environmentally, culturally, socially, physically etc...

People today are literally afraid of thinking things are "black and white" and people are convinced there is no such thing as objective truth. Yet for generations upon generations, humans recognized there is something as the "truth". We have convinced ourselves otherwise and it's been to our disadvantage.

I'm convinced that we as traditionalists will win, but if we don't win, then the world will be worse off. We might be the minority right now, but looking back at history, the vast majority and history of human civilization stands on our side.
Yes, you are. You are as "blind" an adherent of New Urbanism as any Bolshevik in the 1920s/1930s or as any obnoxious "Christian" evangelist giving religious people a bad name.
 

JNA

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#40
What no discussion on the Urban/Wildland Fire Interface.
Defensible space, choice of building materials - particularly roofs, no elevated decks

For more information Firewise Communities
 
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