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Methods to end various aspects of sprawl?

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#41
Cpt Worley, I'm not an authoritarian, i'm a Communitarian.

Also, It is not about what people want, it is about what they actually need. Humans were created as social creatures. We aren't meant to isolate ourselves and shut others out.
Isolation can also cause many things: depression, prejudice, racism, sheltering etc...

Planners, activists, developers and architects all have more power than they think. Sway the public towards your viewpoint, convince them change has to be made, and change will occur. There are a lot of ways to sway the public... (and no, not all propoganda/persuasion etc... is bad)
Communist! Communist! :p Just kidding.

But seriously...

Planners, at least in the United States and most Western nations, have to work within the context of market capitalism in some form. You can influence the market without hindering it. However it requires, as most people have said already, going to the root of the cause (which in turn creates the demand).
 
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#42
Also, this development in KC (actually in North Kansas City) replaced existing apartments and housing with new urbanist development:
http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v...=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&scene=15120452&encType=1

North Kansas City is hemmed in and cannot grow anymore, thus this is it's way of growing and gaining population. Now if we can only get cities that aren't hemmed in to do this.
Granted, that development is about 16 units per acre (in it's SF housing) but that doesn't mean we can't go to 6 units per acre or higher to replace subdivisions on the outer edges of the city.
 

CJC

Cyburbian
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#43
Also, like I said before. Instead of acquiring the land from people who live there, we instead need to acquire it when it is vacant. As soon as someone moves out, the city can purchase it... Or moves can be taken to make the area less desirable, lowering the price of the house and lowering the likelihood that ppl will want to live there. Thus as the units become vacant, they will be acquired, then removed.
People don't typically just "vacate" houses. They sell them to someone else. Where is government going to get the money to outbid all other buyers for the houses?

You also forget that there is a little thing called recycling, which can be done with many materials from houses, recycling the wood and concrete can make a big difference. It isn't like they will be trucked off and burned.
Recycling is fine and good, but again - tearing down four houses to build six, even if everything is recycled, would be a net environmental negative. You vastly underestimate the amount of resources needed to tear a place down (and the amount of resources needed to recycle something - it's not a zero-sum game)

I personally think that as inner-ring suburbs become less desirable, developers and others ought to acquire the houses located there and replace them and their neighborhoods will denser housing and with a grid system.
Why are inner ring suburbs becoming less desirable again?
 
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#44
CJC... I'm surprised you don't know this...

As sprawl occurs, the undesirable areas closer to the inner-city begin to spread out. Kind of in a ripple effect.

So as that sprawl occurs, and inner-ring suburbs become less desirable, those inner-ring suburbs would be acquired for less money, and redeveloped (in conjunction with redevelopment in the inner-city). This would raise the areas desirability and lower the growth on the outer edges of the city.

Also CJC, not all houses are sold, and the houses that aren't sold for some time typically lower in value (so they can be sold). As they lower in value, developers can acquire them.

Another option is to move the houses. However most of those houses have large fronts rather than short fronts.

What are we supposed to do? If we move the houses closer to the street without flipping them 90 degrees, then the density is still lower than it ought to be. If we flip them 90 degrees, then the areas that would become the fronts would not have any architectural beauty to them.
Not to mention the houses in sprawl are typically 1 floor buildings that are 2000 square feet each. Meaning they have dimensions around 60ft x 35ft. However, well built neighborhoods and well-built single family homes have at least two floors, and take up a maximum of about 1500 square feet of area.

We also have the issue of the streets. How can we turn those lollipops and loops into a grid w/o the demolition of buildings? We can't, unless we move the houses blocking the streets. If we move the houses, we also have to worry about their density and architectural beauty.

Another issue with sprawl are the housing associations for subdivisions. Which often restrict what one can do to their house. Instead of allowing homes to become unique and be built on, they instead encourage similarity and monotony (which borders on communist-like principles). How can we keep these associations from forcing monotony on the homeowners?
 

CJC

Cyburbian
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#45
CJC... I'm surprised you don't know this...

As sprawl occurs, the undesirable areas closer to the inner-city begin to spread out. Kind of in a ripple effect.

So as that sprawl occurs, and inner-ring suburbs become less desirable, those inner-ring suburbs would be acquired for less money, and redeveloped (in conjunction with redevelopment in the inner-city). This would raise the areas desirability and lower the growth on the outer edges of the city.
You're talking about what has happened in a few select midwest and rust belt cities. What you state has certainly NOT happened in areas of the country with rapid population growth. Try buying a place in an inner-ring suburb of Boston and then tell me that they are "less desirable". Your theory ONLY works in areas that sprawl without population growth.

You're completely ignoring the facts on the ground in 80% of the country.

Also CJC, not all houses are sold, and the houses that aren't sold for some time typically lower in value (so they can be sold). As they lower in value, developers can acquire them.
Funny stuff. Again, try touring some areas outside of Kansas City, in areas with rapid population growth (and in turn, much more demand to sprawl) and then tell me that "not all houses are sold".
 
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#46
CJC, if you remember what I said earlier, I don't care as much about what is going on outside of KC... I want to know how to fix what is going on in KC... Someone else can deal with the whole country or their specific city. For me, I would be happy with my life if I simply helped fix what is going on in KC and Missouri.
 

Raf

As Featured in "High Times"
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#47
those inner-ring suburbs would be acquired for less money, and redeveloped (in conjunction with redevelopment in the inner-city).
Ignorance is bliss HCB, and it is obvious from your posts in the student lounge that you are just spewing knowledge that is passed down from your professor, yet seldom practiced in the real world. Developers would never, and i do mean never redevelop an area without some incentives, and those incentives come from redevelopment funds provided by Cities and Counties. Sorry to say you need to brush up on your redevelopment laws before going off on redevelop the whole thing because most states are tightening up definitions of what constitutes a redevelopment law thanks to the Kelo backlash (don't know what this is, well look it up son). In California, most inner ring suburbs do not qualify for redevelopment status just because housing prices fall and people leave. It doesn't quite fit the blight status. In addition, most developers will choose a greenfield development over a greyfield development in a heatbeat without these incentives. If you want to stop sprawl in KC you have to start where it counts: the comprehensive plan, and those responsible for implementing it, your planning dept and city council/commission or whatever is the governing board.

step 1: Institute a UGB
step 2: Provide policies and funds for redevelopment within the UGB and follow those policies
step 3: mandate a 1:1 ag mitigation for loss of farmland to development within the UGB
step 3: mandate that all new subdivision within the UGB are LEED ND certified developments
step 4: provide for target growth zones in the UGB starting with redevelopment
step 5: provide policies that mandate developers pay all infrastructures costs associated with development, not just fair share.

These are steps to curb urban sprawl, but not stop it completely. That just will never happen because the next town over from KC will just welcome developers with open arms (ala Portland, or) and growth happens outside the UGB. Without regional planning, the cycle will never stop.

If you plan on serving the public good as a public planner you need to put your "faith" aside and do what is right for the public as a whole because free market society will always be in your background and it is up to all those public sectors planners to do this very thing day in and day out. If you can't do that, then you simply don't belong in planning.

I'm out son...
 

CJC

Cyburbian
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#48
CJC, if you remember what I said earlier, I don't care as much about what is going on outside of KC... I want to know how to fix what is going on in KC... Someone else can deal with the whole country or their specific city. For me, I would be happy with my life if I simply helped fix what is going on in KC and Missouri.
Alrighty then...your "faith" only applies in your backyard?

I think I'm done here.
 
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#49
CPSU, you also assume that there is no way to change local laws, codes and trends. Also, my goal isn't just KCMO alone, but the entire metro area. The only other areas that would benefit from other developers would be St. Louis, Springfield and Omaha. Which are 240mi, 150mi, and 160mi away from KC.

You also have the lead by example. The trend is slowly going away from sprawl. We are realizing and will continue to realize that sprawl not only destroys the natural environment, but is also much less economically feasible and sustainable than smarter and more urban development.

Also, none of my beliefs come from my professors. I have yet to enter a true Architecture class, and while many of my professors dislike monotonous subdivisions, they are focused more on our education and artistic development than our urban design mentalities.

I also do not believe that things cannot be changed. You are going under the assumption that in 10-50 years that nothing is going to change, that even our economy and trends are going to be the exact same as they are now. However our economy and trends are a ton different than they were in the 1940s and 1950s, and even what they were in the 60s and 70s.

CJC, I can be an advocate in other cities. But I'm going to focus in my backyard because if I focus in one place, I can make a big difference in that one place. I'm only one person, and if I and others focused around the entire country, only a little progress would be made because we would be fighting all over the country. Whereas if I focused in my area, I could change my area drastically. And by seeing our city/area as an example, other cities would be more open to the change.
I want sprawl to end all over the world. But I cannot do that even if I dedicated my whole life to it. As long as I make a small difference in one area of the world/country, I'll be happy.
Also, my personal life and faith is more important to me than dedicating my entire life to changing the whole country. Someone can dedicate themselves to changing the nation, however that would require a practical abandonment for the hope of having any sort of life outside of that goal. I'm opposed to sprawl and would love to see it stopped, even if it's just in my area. But my life and faith comes first.
 

zman

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#50
Another issue with sprawl are the housing associations for subdivisions. Which often restrict what one can do to their house. Instead of allowing homes to become unique and be built on, they instead encourage similarity and monotony (which borders on communist-like principles). How can we keep these associations from forcing monotony on the homeowners?
I'll concede on this one...

This I like. Many older neighborhoods we built with often the same house design. Over the years individual variation to the facade or building footprint (as well as ample landscaping) have tranformed these older tract built subdivision into some very attractive areas.

CPSUraf said:
These are steps to curb urban sprawl, but not stop it completely. That just will never happen because the next town over from KC will just welcome developers with open arms (ala Portland, or) and growth happens outside the UGB. Without regional planning, the cycle will never stop.
Check out Boulder, Colorado and the surrounding areas for this one too.
 
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#51
Also, changing an area of over 2 million people with many different suburbs and cities is no small feat. Imagine if I were to try and change the whole country. I would get nothing done and have no life of my own.
Even if I were to fail, it wouldn't be the end of the world and wouldn't be impossible. (for me to fail that is)]

However my personal faith and goals are NOT the subject of this thread.

So could we please discuss the subject at hand? I guess I ought to have phrased it better.
How can we end the various aspects of sprawl in single areas, such as midwestern cities?
 

KSharpe

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#52
One idea is impact fees. If you make developers pay for the added expense of sprawl, it can be effective in deterring its more grotesque forms.
 

CJC

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#53
How can we end the various aspects of sprawl in single areas, such as midwestern cities?
All you need to do is make harder to rezone farmland. If land can't be zoned for development, it obviously can't be developed.

As many on here have been trying to tell you - identifying what needs to be done is easy, actually doing it is hard. In this day and age, the physical act of building or changing something is relatively easy, it's the politics that are hard. No one here is saying that things won't change in the next 50 years - they will, but it will be a slow progression. Many of your thoughts and ideas seem to be directly from the words of Jane Jacobs - from 50 years ago. I know that you're only interested in Kansas City, but you really need to look at areas that have developed extensively in the past 10 or 20 - many of the issues you talk about don't exist in those areas. The issues causing sprawl in most cases now are completely different from "people abandoning the city".
 
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#54
I have read Jane Jacob's book "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" and it is one of the main books I'd look to, especially in dealing with urban issues. In fact, it is one of the books I brought with me to college, in addition to my many architecture books.
 

CJC

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#55
I have read Jane Jacob's book "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" and it is one of the main books I'd look to, especially in dealing with urban issues. In fact, it is one of the books I brought with me to college, in addition to my many architecture books.
I would imagine that most people here have read that book - and it's a good book - but remember that it was first published almost 50 years ago.
 

Raf

As Featured in "High Times"
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#56
identifying what needs to be done is easy, actually doing it is hard. In this day and age, the physical act of building or changing something is relatively easy, it's the politics that are hard.
CJC hit the mark. We are all throwing out ideas to you, it is just following through is the hard part. I understand that sprawl is enemy number 1 to you, but have you ever thought about changing the way development is done in the midwest by utilizing the principles of LEED ND?
 
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#57
I don't know much about LEED, but the general idea I've also been trying to get across is we do need to change not only how development is done, but also how many things are done today.
 

Raf

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#59
Leadership in Energy and Enviornmental Design.

This used to apply specifically to new single structure design, but they have branched out to neighborhood design, or LEED ND. It is sponsored by the US Green Building Council and incorporates the principles of smart growth, new urbanism, and green building into a national standard for neighborhood design. Some communities in California are moving in this direction and my firm is working on a few plans (i am working on one of them) that implements the preliminary principles of this initiative.

http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=148
 
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