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Sprawl: how do you stop it?

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Sprawl, like everything else, is fed by money and politics. Take any potential solution to the problem and you will still end up with these two factors at the core. If you want to know why something is the way it is, ALWAYS follow the money. No matter what potential solution you come up with, and there are a number of them listed here, you will still have to account for money and politics. If you keep that fact in mind, you can work toward achievable goals. Unfortunately, a number of well-intended and thoughtful solutions never come to fruition because they do not operate within the boundaries that these two factors create.
 

boiker

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Sprawl, like everything else, is fed by money and politics. Take any potential solution to the problem and you will still end up with these two factors at the core. If you want to know why something is the way it is, ALWAYS follow the money. No matter what potential solution you come up with, and there are a number of them listed here, you will still have to account for money and politics. If you keep that fact in mind, you can work toward achievable goals. Unfortunately, a number of well-intended and thoughtful solutions never come to fruition because they do not operate within the boundaries that these two factors create.
and to simplify even more, politics becomes an issue only because of money. Money and the potential to generate more is the driver. Politics is the frontline that can force a stop to sprawl or a encourage it. You need to convince the elected decision makers that proper city and regional planning is needed to curb sprawl.
 
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You need to convince the elected decision makers that proper city and regional planning is needed to curb sprawl.
Even more simplified/jaded view: You need to convince the people with the most money to convince the elected decision makers that proper city and regional planning is needed to curb sprawl :-D As they say, money talks...
 
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and to simplify even more, politics becomes an issue only because of money. Money and the potential to generate more is the driver. Politics is the frontline that can force a stop to sprawl or a encourage it. You need to convince the elected decision makers that proper city and regional planning is needed to curb sprawl.
No that's not true. Politics is an issue because money is out of the picture. Since the mayor doesn't need to economize as part of his functions, he can spend the city's capital as his political needs arise.

If money was an issue, then it wouldn't matter what side of the political fence the mayor is from. They would all have to do the same thing in order to save money.
 

bud

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Catagorize

Anybody here go to this conference?
http://www.newpartners.org
Established professionals presented a wide variety of solutions to the thread question.

Could you categorize the various schemes that have been proposed? We should know that continuous growth does not work. Our cities “look like the cross section of a fibrous tumor” (FLW, 1958). “Continuous growth is not possible in healthy organisms or healthy populations. Continuous growth is, in fact, the unmistakable sign of pathology and imminent de ath.”… http://ecoethics.net/smartgrowth/index.htm The KYMAK concept is composed of cells that continual divide as in healthy biological organisms; these cells are 12 mile squares (four townships) each of which at on acre per person would accommodate a population of about 100,000 which is an economically optimum size city. I also believe that this and the linear city such as the Broadacres concept would compliment and supplement each other and could grow in conjunction. Together they would provide for over a billion people. There are more than 2.5 billion acres in the United States - using it right is only a matter of good urban design and planning. As things are going, it is leading to the demise of our Nation.


Countless buildings had no plan to build it. People simply knew how to build and did so.
Those who build cities these days in America do not know how to build. They have the power but they do not know how – those who know how (architects) do not have the power. Congress has the power and to be sure they should consult an architect before funding any building projects whatsoever; likewise for State Legislatures who presently give that power to the Governor; so, does the Governor consult an Architect? Not really. Architects would have to control at least half of the building budget to be effective. One major problem is that architects and planners cannot agree on how to proceed - we are dealing with a confusion of languages among us that has only produced Babylon, “cities of confusion” full of crime and disorder. http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=%22cities+of+confusion"&fr=yfp-t-447&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8
 
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Mastiff

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No that's not true. Politics is an issue because money is out of the picture. Since the mayor doesn't need to economize as part of his functions, he can spend the city's capital as his political needs arise.
So you believe that a mayor has unfettered discretion to spend city money? So after cities have goal setting sessions, work through a budget committee, and create the fiscal budget to achieve the goals, the mayor just spends the money on... whatever.

Yeah, it happens. That's when mayors go to prison.
 
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Here's some bullet points of the conference:
http://www.asla.org/land/2007/0227/smartgrowth.html
You'l note an absence of any Utopian schemes, no Broadacre cities, no Socialistic plans for equal distribution of land. The concentration was on making existing cities more livable, more pleasant, greener, more transit friendly, and on preserving farmland. While political corruption is often a motivating factor in why people leave cities, it wasn't a topic, apparently. Is it reasonable to expect designers and planners to influence personal virtue? Has there been a strategic retreat from that aspect of planning? There was discussion of crime prevention, CPTED, etc.
 
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bud

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Utopian?

Here's some bullet points of the conference:
http://www.asla.org/land/2007/0227/smartgrowth.html
You'l note an absence of any Utopian schemes, no Broadacre cities, no Socialistic plans for equal distribution of land. The concentration was on making existing cities more livable, more pleasant, greener, more transit friendly, and on preserving farmland. While corruption and crime is often a motivating factor in why people leave cities, it wasn't a topic, apparently. Is it reasonable to expect designers and planners to influence personal virtue? Has there been a strategic retreat from that aspect of planning?
There is nothing Utopian about good urban design and planning - anyone who knows how to build can follow the plans if they only have the power, or incentives such as the money. Those who now have the power seem to be the adversary who hurls such epithets - it may be a matter of misunderstanding or mistrust; probably because architects and planners have been faking it for the past 70 years. I assure you Broadacres and KYMAK are not faking it and are perfectly viable schemes. Can you give a reason for your judgment or do you cast these aspersions only to distract from your lack of a reason. There are no socialistic plans for equal distribution of land - once developers are properly motivated they will proceed in a normal fashion, it would then be an orderly process of orderly development. I have not retreated from Professional and Ethical responsibilities nor has anyone else who is willing to face the truth. Everyone in the Planning Profession would then be able to cooperate and that is essential. Presently cities are going nowhere! Utopian means Nowhere - that is not what I have in mind, at all; please rest assured.
 
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So you believe that a mayor has unfettered discretion to spend city money? So after cities have goal setting sessions, work through a budget committee, and create the fiscal budget to achieve the goals, the mayor just spends the money on... whatever.

Yeah, it happens. That's when mayors go to prison.
Substitute mayor for whoever actually gets to make the decision then. What I said is still true, they don't have to bother about making money.

Those who build cities these days in America do not know how to build. They have the power but they do not know how – those who know how (architects) do not have the power. Congress has the power and to be sure they should consult an architect before funding any building projects whatsoever; likewise for State Legislatures who presently give that power to the Governor; so, does the Governor consult an Architect? Not really. Architects would have to control at least half of the building budget to be effective. One major problem is that architects and planners cannot agree on how to proceed - we are dealing with a confusion of languages among us that has only produced Babylon, “cities of confusion” full of crime and disorder. http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=%22cities+of+confusion"&fr=yfp-t-447&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8
There are no architects anymore. You said so yourself, "architecture" schools today train building designers. In fact they always have. The great architects of history didn't come out of architecture schools, they came out of the building trades or were trained by other architects who did.

Haussmann was a lawyer, for christ's sake, and his work on Paris is better architecture than anything the building designers punished Paris with in the 20th century. When you claim that only architects can fix cities, we can only laugh at how preposterous the claim is.
There is nothing Utopian about good urban design and planning - anyone who knows how to build can follow the plans if they only have the power, or incentives such as the money. Those who now have the power seem to be the adversary who hurls such epithets -[...] There are no socialistic plans for equal distribution of land - once developers are properly motivated they will proceed in a normal fashion, it would then be an orderly process of orderly development.
Anyone who believes that fixing an economic problem only requires the right application of power is by definition a socialist.
 
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Gedunker

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<snip> The great architects of history didn't come out of architecture schools, they came out of the building trades or were trained by other architects who did.
Sacre bleu! L'Ecole Des Beaux Arts produced no "great architects"? Shocked! I'm shocked, I tell you.
 

Mastiff

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Substitute mayor for whoever actually gets to make the decision then. What I said is still true, they don't have to bother about making money.
No, what you said is wrong. Just because a city isn't in business to make money, doesn't mean they can spend money as "political needs arise." The people who work in the budget process, often the city manager or administrator with a budget committee, use the goals of the city as the guide to spending. So yes, they often economize in many areas. Being that I have at least six sections of the budget under my control, I assure you... we economize.

Politics becomes an issue because money is the picture. If the taxpayers believe the politicians and administrators are not spending properly, either in line with their goals or overspending, then politicians don't get re-elected, and administrators get fired.
 

bud

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Architecture

Substitute mayor for whoever actually gets to make the decision then. What I said is still true, they don't have to bother about making money.


There are no architects anymore. You said so yourself, "architecture" schools today train building designers. In fact they always have. The great architects of history didn't come out of architecture schools, they came out of the building trades or were trained by other architects who did.

Haussmann was a lawyer, for christ's sake, and his work on Paris is better architecture than anything the building designers punished Paris with in the 20th century. When you claim that only architects can fix cities, we can only laugh at how preposterous the claim is.

Anyone who believes that fixing an economic problem only requires the right application of power is by definition a socialist.
Building cities is an architectural problem. As far as the definition of a socialist, that would be one who advocates that the State (public sector) have control of more than one of the factors of production (that would be land, rather than labor or capital); that is what we have now – the State tries to control all three. Land use planning is a legitimate function of the State. I am advocating that Architects have control especially of site selection - as things are that is assumed by non-architects by power of money alone; however, being in the private sector I have a right to power by virtue of knowledge - I would not have even known there was a problem let alone found the solution had I not pursued a course in architecture - every architect is aware of the problem of helter-skelter haphazard growth of our cities and of their responsibilities and prerogatives in the matter of site selection; those who have the power of money (Bankers and Politicians) remain blissfully ignorant. Site Selection is the key to orderly and systematic development since that is the first step in the building process. This may be more complicated than brain surgery or rocket science; that is why it is a fiduciary relationship. Architects have not been completely honest about the matter of city planning and now no one is willing to trust them. Frank Lloyd Wright was an exception but even the honest architect is suspect, now.
 

giff57

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Being that I have at least six sections of the budget under my control, I assure you... we economize.
I have all of ours, and trust me, we don't get to spend the money on the stuff everyone agrees is needed, let alone stuff that isn't.





If the taxpayers believe the politicians and administrators are not spending properly, either in line with their goals or overspending, then politicians don't get re-elected, and administrators get fired.
:-c :-c :-c
 
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No, what you said is wrong. Just because a city isn't in business to make money, doesn't mean they can spend money as "political needs arise." The people who work in the budget process, often the city manager or administrator with a budget committee, use the goals of the city as the guide to spending. So yes, they often economize in many areas. Being that I have at least six sections of the budget under my control, I assure you... we economize.

Politics becomes an issue because money is the picture. If the taxpayers believe the politicians and administrators are not spending properly, either in line with their goals or overspending, then politicians don't get re-elected, and administrators get fired.
Do not confuse economizing with restricted spending. If I cut my food budget to zero, that is I stop eating food, I am not economizing. I am destroying value and hurting myself. If I maintain my food budget at the same amount, but decide to eat nothing but McDonald's McNuggets from now on, I am also destroying value and hurting myself. To economize is to create the maximum possible amount of value. To economize means to choose the most profitable act. Without profits, you simply cannot economize. It is impossible.

The goals of the city are set how? By a political process where the city's profits, the most economic choices from the point of view of the city, are irrelevant. Only the goal of the bureaucrats or the mayor's matter, and they reflect their own personal choices and values. The mayor has to preserve himself or his party in office. The bureaucrats want to preserve their jobs (as you clearly indicated, they could get fired) by avoiding any and all controversy. None of this reflects what is good for the city.

See The Concept of Action from Man, Economy, and State.


Building cities is an architectural problem.
That's true. That's why we need to keep building designers as far away from it as possible.
As far as the definition of a socialist, that would be one who advocates that the State (public sector) have control of more than one of the factors of production (that would be land, rather than labor or capital); that is what we have now &#8211; the State tries to control all three. Land use planning is a legitimate function of the State.
Why? Why can't private estates compete with their own planning schemes?
I am advocating that Architects have control especially of site selection - as things are that is assumed by non-architects by power of money alone;
however, being in the private sector I have a right to power by virtue of knowledge - I would not have even known there was a problem let alone found the solution had I not pursued a course in architecture - every architect is aware of the problem of helter-skelter haphazard growth of our cities and of their responsibilities and prerogatives in the matter of site selection; those who have the power of money (Bankers and Politicians) remain blissfully ignorant. Site Selection is the key to orderly and systematic development since that is the first step in the building process. This may be more complicated than brain surgery or rocket science; that is why it is a fiduciary relationship. Architects have not been completely honest about the matter of city planning and now no one is willing to trust them. Frank Lloyd Wright was an exception but even the honest architect is suspect, now.
Money is not power. Money is what people spend when they want something.

You can tax people's money and then use it to build yourself your New Town (don't think the concept hasn't been tried before) and it will be exactly what you want it to be where you want it to be. Except it won't reflect at all what everybody else wants it to be and needs it to be. Your town may yet be a ghost town.

Economic demand fixes site selection. A city grows wherever people want to be. You can't avoid this.
 
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Mastiff

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Do not confuse economizing with restricted spending. If I cut my food budget to zero, that is I stop eating food, I am not economizing. I am destroying value and hurting myself. If I maintain my food budget at the same amount, but decide to eat nothing but McDonald's McNuggets from now on, I am also destroying value and hurting myself. To economize is to create the maximum possible amount of value. To economize means to choose the most profitable act. Without profits, you simply cannot economize. It is impossible.
Well, I'm using the term as defined by an English dictionary:

Main Entry: econ&#183;o&#183;mize
Function: verb
intransitive verb : to practice economy : be frugal
transitive verb : to use frugally

Your problem is that you cannot see profit in any terms aside from monetary profit. Profit, again by definition, is "a valuable return" and nothing more. So yes, cities can choose the most profitable act, even if some do not. Therefore, your assertion of impossibility falls on its face. When you stop talking in silly absolutes, your arguments will do much better.


The goals of the city are set how? By a political process where the city's profits, the most economic choices from the point of view of the city, are irrelevant. Only the goal of the bureaucrats or the mayor's matter, and they reflect their own personal choices and values. The mayor has to preserve himself or his party in office. The bureaucrats want to preserve their jobs (as you clearly indicated, they could get fired) by avoiding any and all controversy. None of this reflects what is good for the city.
Incorrect. The goals of many cities are done with a public hearing process where the public has input. But, since the mayor and council are elected, they are there to serve the will of the people. (It's a democracy thing...) I know it is not true that "[o]nly the goal of the bureaucrats or the mayor's matter" from personal experience. And if a bureaucrat only wants to keep a job, they ought not have it, regardless of controversy. Citizens of the city don't always agree, and the professional advice of administrators is part of the job.

You seem to think a "city" is an inaminate object, and it isn't...

"Concordia civium murus urbium" - That motto hangs over my door.
 
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Convert Garages

Take over a normal suburb and turn that average car-oriented subdivision into a walkable village by converting all the garages into shops, studios, galleries, and mother-in-law dwellings. Then everyone can get rid of the cars, or park in a commom area:) and walk to the shops in the neighborhood garages. Ok, this isn't practical, but it's an idea.
 

bud

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Concepts like Broadacre City could potentially work, however they aren't urban areas. Same as sprawl, it works, but it isn't urban.
Broadacres is urban; it has all the elements of urbanity. Aren&#8217;t you hung up on the Euorpean mo del? Broadacres was designed especially for American Democracy, the New Republic; the ne plus Ultra of the E pluribus Unum.

If it is too hard to get your mind to accept any other way than a central urban core, how about the KYMAK concept of a Municipal unit of four townships.


Quote:
Originally posted by bud
Building cities is an architectural problem.


That's true. That's why we need to keep building designers as far away from it as possible.
Yes, that is true. I had to take an entirely different course to understand Urban Design and Planning. That is something most building designers have yet to comprehend; with the exception of FLW; but he studied Civil Engineering in college. You do not get it in the regular academic curriculum.


Quote:
As far as the definition of a socialist, that would be one who advocates that the State (public sector) have control of more than one of the factors of production (that would be land, rather than labor or capital); that is what we have now &#8211; the State tries to control all three. Land use planning is a legitimate function of the State.


Why? Why can't private estates compete with their own planning schemes?
As far as I am concerned that would be the end result. That is what laissez faire economics is all about, not in terms of Adam Smith but of Quesnay and Turgot, and of Jefferson and Dupont, et al.
 
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No bud, 1 acre per family isn't urban. Urban is about 100 or more units per acre. There is a big difference between urban areas, suburban areas, sprawling areas, dense areas, etc...

Urban areas look like European Cities, Manhattan, Brooklyn, etc...

Broadacre is a concept for a "city" just like suburban sprawl, Radiant City, Garden City, etc... However they are by no means urban, and if implemented alongside urban areas, would eliminate/kill urban areas.

Broadacre, Radiant, Garden, Sprawl, etc... are just ways of living and planning, however they are not urban and do not belong in urban areas. If they were off on their own as independent cities, then ok. However they cannot and should NEVER be implemented with cities, just look what happens if you try to blend Radiant, Garden and Sprawl with cities, it destroys the cities urban area.

Also, Frank Lloyd Wright was an architect, not an urban planner, and he himself was not for such dense urban areas, especially when seeing his buildings, etc... As well as his ideas for cities. I have several of his books and have listened to about 5-10 of his interviews, and he showed that he wasn't really for dense urban areas.

Broadacre isn't a dense urban area... Look at the Illinois, it's concept was to be so cities wouldn't have to be so dense, that you could have a few of these towers in an area and preserve lots of greenspace, etc... below the towers. That isn't urban and is anti-urban.

Dense urban areas, as in what urban areas should be:

Copenhagen-
http://www.indiana.edu/~overseas/pics/copenhagen.jpg
Zurich-
http://www.swisscastles.ch/aviation/zurich/photos/zurich071557.jpg
Barcelona-
http://www.spanishholidaysguide.com/articles/dreamstime_1120303903IQ3gc8_barcelona_skyline_small.jpg
Curitiba-
http://www.braziltravel.com/cities/curitiba/curitiba.jpg
Manhattan-
http://www.nyc-architecture.com/LM/aerial1.jpg
Brooklyn-
http://www.3dphoto.net/world/united_states/northeast/wtc/aerial_brooklyn_bridge.jpg


Compared with the very not dense/urban plan of Broadacre City:
http://www.queensu.ca/surp/surp817/pictures/flw1.jpg
http://static.flickr.com/36/98378257_591e30b88c_o.jpg
http://static.flickr.com/35/98378241_227414b221_o.jpg

Moderator note:
Leeched images replaced with a URLs.



Please, no hotlinking of images unless they're from an approved hotlink site, see the Forum Rules on Images. Next time will be a 1 day suspension.
 
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