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Urban Sprawl: Issues and Alternatives


{Nature_and_Environment.12.44}: ... {wren1111} Tue, 07 Jun 2005 17:23:30 CDT (HTML)

Is Gentrification Really A Threat?


{Nature_and_Environment.12.45}: Suzanne Griffith {sggriffith} Tue, 07 Jun 2005 17:32:40 CDT (6 lines)

Gentrification has been devastating to urban neighborhoods in my
experience *if* the neighborhood is still doing ok culturally and
economically. It can be fine if the neighborhood is completely run down.

It's always hell for students and others needing low cost housing when
redevelopment strikes their neighborhoods.


{Nature_and_Environment.12.46}: George Upton {gaupton} Tue, 19 Jul 2005 13:32:56 CDT (33 lines)

I notice that environmentally minded people (of which I am one) often
cite New York City as if it were an environmental disaster. True that
it does not have the best air quality, but consider this: The
population density of New York is 26,663 people per square mile. If
the entire world population of 6,454,882,702 lived at that density,
it would cover 242,091 square miles. The State of Texas covers
262,000 square miles.

If the US population of 296,660,077 lived at that density, it would
cover 11,663 square miles. The states of Connecticut plus
Massachusetts cover 12,683 square miles.

That would leave plenty of land for environmental preservation,
wildlife refuges, wilderness preservation, food production, and

It would also be much more energy efficient in that public transit is
feasable and practical at such a density. I can't cite a source right
now, but I have heard that more than half of all mass transit
passenger miles in the US on a typical day are in New York City.

Not to mention that home heating is more efficient in large apartment
buildings typical of NYC than individual detached homes typical of
the 'burbs.

I remember being at the Frank Lloyd Wright museum in Wisconsin and
viewing that "visionary's" model for the city of the future. Wide
streets, individual houses with large yards and carports. It was a
sugarcoated urban sprawl.

Let's stop pretending that environmental concern means living "away
from it all". New York is the real environmental model that could
save the planet.


{Nature_and_Environment.12.47}: Richard Witty {gisland} Tue, 19 Jul 2005 16:44:54 CDT (7 lines)

New York is the center of a system. To assess the quality of New
York, you'd need to also assess its effects.

Mass transit is great, as is cogeneration of steam, and utilization
of energy-efficient shared walls.

But, it is NO ecological heaven, nor positive ecological impact.


{Nature_and_Environment.12.48}: George Upton {gaupton} Wed, 20 Jul 2005 07:24:42 CDT (10 lines)

What would you consider a "positive ecological impact"?

If the eight million New Yorkers lived at average suburban density,
they would cover an area at least the size of Massachusetts. Would
you prefer such urban sprawl? Houston covers an area about the size
of Rhode Island with a population about a third of New York's. Is
that a better model?

I might also note that most of the air pollution in NYC comes from
cars, which could be eliminated if people used public transit.


{Nature_and_Environment.12.49}: Richard Witty {gisland} Wed, 20 Jul 2005 19:04:10 CDT (30 lines)

Impact is the effect of their actions.

Live and let live is a "positive ecological impact". New York is the
metropolitan area at least, and much larger in reality.

The New York Metropolitan area contains wonderful spots, but IS
relatively a car-infested desert spreading 300 sq miles, in what was
a wonder of nature. (New York City itself was beautiful and a spirit
center of Indians, meeting to enjoy and thank the presence of its
meeting of waters.)

Its not that now.

As much as mass transit is greatly appreciated, it is not a result of
the collective intent of the people to live and let live. Mass
transit there is merely a logistical necessity in origin.

New York would have to intend to effect other communities
beneficially, ecologically and socially, and in a comprehensive sense.

It could do that. It could consider itself a neighbor of other

Mass transit, motivated by living lightly on the land, would be that.
And if mass transit originally motivated by logistical necessity
adopted living lightly as a primary value, that would help.

But seeking a rationalization to justify how "good" one is, without
that realistic transformation in intent and practical ethic, is not


{Nature_and_Environment.12.50}: George Upton {gaupton} Wed, 20 Jul 2005 20:20:40 CDT (4 lines)

You haven't answered my question. All you have said is that you
don't like New York.

What model would YOU propose?


{Nature_and_Environment.12.51}: Richard Witty {gisland} Thu, 21 Jul 2005 06:44:05 CDT (2 lines)

What are you asking? What physical model? What ethical model? What
political model?


{Nature_and_Environment.12.52}: George Upton {gaupton} Thu, 21 Jul 2005 07:18:08 CDT (3 lines)

I am asking for an example, either actual or hypothetical, of a city
structure that you think would work. You say New York doesn't. What


{Nature_and_Environment.12.53}: Richard Witty {gisland} Thu, 21 Jul 2005 16:36:15 CDT (1 line)

A regional approach, say like Portland Oregon begins to do.


{Nature_and_Environment.12.54}: George Upton {gaupton} Thu, 21 Jul 2005 19:29:48 CDT (1 line)

OK, fair enough. What does that entail?


{Nature_and_Environment.12.55}: Suzanne Griffith {sggriffith} Thu, 21 Jul 2005 19:43:11 CDT (4 lines)

Portland has done some good with their metro, but sprawl in the
surrounding counties continues unabated, or so it looks just driving
through. I visit there every 5 years or so, and it grows and grows
like a rash, just like all the other locales.


{Nature_and_Environment.12.56}: Richard Witty {gisland} Thu, 21 Jul 2005 22:09:04 CDT (21 lines)

With isolated jurisdictions (New York separate from Yonkers,
Eastchester, Scarsdale, Massapequa, Bergen County) governance of the
region is impossible regardless of the intent of the residents.

With integrated jurisdictions, it is possible to address regional
problems within an environment of due process and law.

It still requires an ethic of live and let live though, nearly
everywhere, to make happen.

Sprawl is different from that.

Portland integrates libraries, transportation, some revenue-sharing,
some regional environmental regulation, and even across state lines.

It has a long way to go, and I expect that the will is flagging. I
lived in Portland for five years in the early 80's, and there was
much pressure for sprawl, and much cultural conflict between those
that regarded their own effect on others as incidental as "their
property right", and those that regarded their effects on others as


{Nature_and_Environment.12.57}: Craig Cuthbert {match22} Thu, 28 Jul 2005 19:05:08 CDT (7 lines)

I'm in San Diego. Being so close to the border I want to share how
many gringos I am meeting who have either bought or are looking to
buy in Central or South America or Mexico. I imagine people in
Europe look to Eastern Europe for some unspoiled communities in the
same way, as well as perhaps in Asia- Pacific areas.


{Nature_and_Environment.12.58}: Suzanne Griffith {sggriffith} Thu, 28 Jul 2005 21:17:23 CDT (2 lines)

Are people looking for unspoiled, or are they looking for houses they
an afford?


{Nature_and_Environment.12.59}: Craig Cuthbert {match22} Sat, 30 Jul 2005 01:14:43 CDT (9 lines)

Both. Its becoming increasingly clear to me that the housing bubble
does not represent an increase in land and houses. It represents an
increasein teh cost of buying into intelligently designed
metropolitan infrastructures that provide reasonably well-designed
communities, utilities, employment, accessible consumer goods
transortation infrastructures, acessibility to banking, commerce and
legal services, and more.

Though I'll take the peace of mind of just listening to crickets.


{Nature_and_Environment.12.60}: fuel prices ... {wren1111} Sun, 02 Oct 2005 13:38:44 CDT (HTML)

Fuel prices are inducing Americans to lifestyle changes. Unfortunately, our infrastructure and built environment is not conducive to living with less driving. It is a shame we were not busy these last 3o years (since the last fuel crisis in the 70's) building our cities and towns to be more walkable/bikable and jobs closer to home.

Bicycle sales boom in US amid rising gas prices " entbicycles_051001131528"

Gas prices changing suburban lifestyles ""


{Nature_and_Environment.12.61}: ... {wren1111} Thu, 12 Jan 2006 00:21:06 CST (HTML)

What Drives Sprawl? Try Zoning Codes

" plcsprawlcom1016.artoct16,0,2599967.story?coll=hc-headlines- commentary"


{Nature_and_Environment.12.62}: ... {wren1111} Mon, 20 Feb 2006 18:25:26 CST (HTML)

Curitiba and Hope ""

The Brazilian city of Curitiba is a global model for development that both respects the earth and delights its inhabitants.

The first time I went there, I had never heard of Curitiba. I had no idea that its bus system was the best on Earth or that a municipal shepherd and his flock of 30 sheep trimmed the grass in its vast parks. It was just a midsize Brazilian city where an airline schedule forced me to spend the night midway through a long South American reporting trip. I reached my hotel, took a nap, and then went out in the early evening for a walk--warily, because I had just come from crime-soaked Rio.

But the street in front of the hotel was cobbled, closed to cars, and strung with lights. It opened onto another such street, which in turn opened into a broad and leafy plaza, with more shop-lined streets stretching off in all directions. Though the night was frosty-Brazil stretches well south of the tropics, and Curitiba is in the mountains- people strolled and shopped, butcher to baker to bookstore. There were almost no cars, but at one of the squares, a steady line of buses rolled off, full, every few seconds. I walked for an hour, and then another. I felt my shoulders, hunched from the tension of Rio (and probably New York as well) straightening. Though I flew out the next day as scheduled, I never forgot the city.

From time to time over the next few years, I would see Curitiba mentioned in planning magazines or come across a short newspaper account of it winning various awards from the United Nations. Its success seemed demographically unlikely. For one thing, it's relatively poor - average per capita (cash) income is about $2,500. Worse, a flood of displaced peasants has tripled its population to a million and a half in the last 25 years. It should resemble a small- scale version of urban nightmares like São Paulo or Mexico City. But I knew from my evening's stroll it wasn't like that, and I wondered why.


{Nature_and_Environment.12.63}: ... {wren1111} Fri, 21 Sep 2007 13:13:03 CDT (HTML)

Continued sprawl will undo cuts in auto emissions, study says " AID=/20070920/NEWS06/70920040/1118/RSS"

An expected 59% increase in the number of miles Americans drive between 2005 and 2030 will outpace any reduction in greenhouse gases from better fuel efficiency of cars and trucks, said a report issued Thursday.

If there is any hope of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, a key component of greenhouse gases, the nation needs to slow sprawl and build more compact housing, such as lofts atop commercial buildings in downtowns and taller buildings on less land, the report said. It was compiled by the Urban Land Institute and issued by the Michigan Environmental Council.

The authors said development patterns that put housing further from workplaces contribute to climate change and changes in those patterns are crucial in slowing global warming. Smart state and local planning is needed, said Brad Garmon of the Michigan Environmental Council.

Michigan residents are driving more than ever before, leading to increases in vehicle fuel emissions, the researchers said.


{Nature_and_Environment.12.64}: ... {wren1111} Wed, 05 Dec 2007 17:49:21 CST (HTML)

Leaps of faith drive ever-expanding 'burbs 'Drive until you find your house'

" /chi-adv.bdog.acmain1nov25,0,2812451.story?coll=chi-politics- topheadlines"


{Nature_and_Environment.12.65}: ... {wren1111} Mon, 07 Jan 2008 21:44:44 CST (HTML)

The End of Sprawl?

" dyn/content/article/2007/12/28/AR2007122802449.html?sub=AR"


{Nature_and_Environment.12.66}: {wren1111} Fri, 15 Feb 2008 18:56:54 CST (0 lines)
{erased by wren1111 Fri, 15 Feb 2008 18:57:18 CST}


{Nature_and_Environment.12.67}: Wren W {wren1111} Fri, 15 Feb 2008 18:57:16 CST (HTML)

Traditional Building Sustainability roundtable 2008



{Nature_and_Environment.12.68}: ... {wren1111} Mon, 25 Apr 2011 16:47:51 CDT (HTML)

It’s the Sprawl, Stupid — The Budget Buster No One’s Talking About

" about-its-the-sprawl-stupid/"


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