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Proud of my Subdivision

DArchitect

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Okay, what do you do if you have several unconnected but nearby subdivisions, built over five decades, in an often-overlooked part of one of the wealthiest counties in the country? How do you encourage "subdivision pride" in a place where people try to keep private?

That is my case. I live in Silver Spring, Maryland - not the part with the new American Film Institute theatre and the worldwide headquarters of the Discovery Channel, but a few miles north of it - in an area of large housing tracts, strip malls, and endless sprawl. For the past year I've been trying to encourage "subdivision pride" with my site, The New Urban Suburbanite.

Do you think it works? Do you think it can encourage "subdivision pride"? Are my pictures decent?
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
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4,896
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27
From a cynic...

Are you selling real estate? Your site would be a great marketing tool for these subdivisions. ;)

Your pictures are fine. But I question whether there is such a thing as "subdivision pride." Is a subdivision really a community? In most cases, no. For people who desire privacy, the only "pride" is that of a homeowner keeping up the value of their property.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
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10,080
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34
An excellent site. It is not hard to tell that a lot of time and good thought went into it. Sorry I can't help you with "subdivision pride." Maybe that has more to do with people than with the form of development.
 

H

Cyburbian
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2,850
Points
24
I think this is a positive effort if you have truly benevolent intentions. Asking again (as did Mud Princess) are you selling Real Estate? Also, Is it connected to the Christ United Methodist Church that you mention? If so, does it maybe accidentally exclude members of other faiths? Organized religion can be intimidating to many.

I think one of the biggest problems seen in suburb pride is peoples’ transient movement. Often it is not their fault, but a transfer of locations by their corporation they work for. And often it is their decision because as families and or pocket books grow, the suburbanites tends to move to the “next level up” suburb; the newer one, with more amenities and larger lots and sq ft. It is rare to see home additions and remodels in the suburbs of cities I am familiar with. Then as they become empty nesters’ they scale back down and mostly move to Florida, then die. But always in transition causing a “temporary” mindset, and putting suburb pride on the lower end of the priority list.

Although I do believe “suburban pride” is an achievable goal.

To echo Mud Princess, again, this does look like a real estate site. Why do you ask for original builders & home prices, models, floorplans, etc.? What do these items have for do with “pride” ? People might not want you “selling” their house or neighborhood and accidentally raising taxed values

So, if you want my opinion (and I assume you posted this for opinions). Overall it is good, but my two faults with it (or why I would not call you if I lived there) are because it looks like you are recruiting as a;

1. Real Estate Agent
2. or a Church

Anyway, It is hard for me to commit much more, because being so opposed to this type of development is a strong reason why I became interested in planning in the first place.

Good luck.
 
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BKM

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6,464
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29
I think I would somewhat parallel Huston and the others. Subdivisions are almost by definition a disposable "consumer product" quick to be "traded in" for the next model. Given that we now NEED 3,000 square feet for a family of three, not sure about the long term viability of older tract subdivisions. And, the cycle of obselescence seems to be moving faster. I really think this is one of the biggest planning issues over the next few years

We always talk about planning for "sense of place." Sense of place requires a commitment to a place, something we are not willing or able to do in this country. We are a mobile population-true "sense of place" means generations living in a community. That's not a judgement, just the way things are.

Anyway-overall a nicely designed site.
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
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4,896
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27
BKM said:
Subdivisions are almost by definition a disposable "consumer product" quick to be "traded in" for the next model. Given that we now NEED 3,000 square feet for a family of three, not sure about the long term viability of older tract subdivisions. And, the cycle of obselescence seems to be moving faster. I really think this is one of the biggest planning issues over the next few years.
My husband likes to point out that the <1,000 sf bungalow we outgrew was the same size as the house in which he grew up (a family of 5).

I'll never understand how a family of three *NEEDS* a 3,000 sf home. Often I'll see these pricey new homes have several unused rooms -- like a huge foyer, or a living room that is abandoned in favor of the family room off the kitchen. What happens when the kids grow up and move out?
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
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23
Huston said:
as they become empty nesters’ they scale back down and mostly move to Florida, then die. But always in transition causing a “temporary” mindset, and putting suburb pride on the lower end of the priority list.

Although I do believe “suburban pride” is an achievable goal.
Maybe people are always moving on, and have little attachments to their communities, because there is nothing to be attached to. Perhaps homeboy's new urban suburbanites will foster that "pride" and get people to invest themselves in these places, stick around, build that social capital.

A very small percentage of the workforce >10% is employed at these big corporations with offices all over the country. Just over half of americans work at businesses with less than 150 empoyess, 20% work in the public sector, and another 5% work in non-profit. Most of the rest fall into companies with between 150 and 500 employees.

We move because we're chasing a bigger paycheck, more land, better benefits - or worse - we're chasing the bs dream that the next place will be better than the one we're in now.
 

H

Cyburbian
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2,850
Points
24
jresta said:
...A very small percentage of the workforce >10% is employed at these big corporations with offices all over the country...

I’ll trust your math on that, but I am sure the percentage is higher when referring to upper middle suburbs such as the ones mentioned on the subject website. Plus, the Corporations don’t have to be countrywide. They can be regional, state, or even part of a state. All they need is more than one office.

From personal experiences growing up in Atlanta, I remember many of my friends moving away because their father was ‘transferred’, sometime just down to Albany or Macon, but transferred none the less.

And to add to your comments,

Of course there are other reasons to move, people get downsized and move to another town, people chase bigger paychecks (as you said), especially in the field of City Planning in the public sector. Folks move on all the time, not because they are transferred, but to go on to a new “better” position with another town. Maybe planners us are the problem ;)
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
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23
regardless of how often it happens that's just the point -

to some people their career comes before everything else. To others, moving is just not an option.

to still others, the workplace is their "community" and their life revolves around the company they work for and their coworkers.
 
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