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-- Urbanophile - joe the planner - sprawl the r word sequal - 4-22-10

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-- Urbanophile - joe the planner - sprawl the r word sequal - 4-22-10

  1. 1. 4/28/2010 Joe the Planner Share Report Abuse Next Blog» Create Blog Sign In SU B SCRIBE THURSD AY , APRI L 2 2 , 2 0 1 0 Post s Sprawl and the r-word: The Sequel A ll Com m en t s My previous post w as picked-up by Buffalo Rising and provoked more comments than Ive seen in a w hile. A mong them, there seems to be a lot of confusion betw een the AB OU T M E terms suburbanization, spraw l, and grow th. These w ords are related, but not JOE THE PLA NNER interchangeable. If one w ants to have an intelligent discussion about the subject, the BUFFA LO, NEW YORK, distinctions betw een the terms are important. Perhaps the following w ill provide a little UNITED STA TES clarity: I present a sequel post, collected from my comments here and on Buffalo Rising: VIEW MY COMPLETE PROFILE The word suburbanization generally refers to dev elopment outside of, and often geographically separated from, the population of a central city , but still socially and economically dependent on it. Suburban dev elopment is ty pically (but not alway s) less AB OU T TH IS B L O G dense, div erse, and self-sufficient than its urban counterpart. I st a r t ed t h is blog m a in ly t o st op t or t u r in g m y g ir lfr ien d. A lso, in m y Howev er, contrary to popular belief, suburbanization was not strictly a post-WWII h u m ble opin ion , t h er e a r e sca n t few penomenon. There was some suburbanization before WWII, but it paled in scale to what g ood u r ba n pla n n in g blog s, so I came afterward. Also, the v ast majority of pre-WWII sprawl was not automobile-based, w a n t ed t o cr ea t e a n en lig h t en in g , pr ov oca t iv e, a n d en t er t a in in g for u m so sprawl was not the large problem in the way that we now know it. (Incidentally , most for pla n n in g -focu sed issu es in m y pre-WWII suburbs were known as streetcar suburbs, a term y ou may hav e heard of.) h om et ow n of Bu ffa lo, NY . Locally , it took until the 1 930s to fully urbanize the 42 square miles within the city limits In a ddit ion t o u r ba n pla n n in g , Ill be of Buffalo, so until then there was not a whole lot of pressure to dev elop much further cov er in g econ om ics, polit ics, a n d pr oba bly a n y t h in g else I n eed t o g et out. Furthermore, pre-WWII dev elopment in the Buffalo area was driv en generally by off m y ch est . population growth, so it could be accurately referred to as growth. Real grow th, if y ou So, w h et h er or n ot y ou a g r ee, post a will. On the other hand, most post-WWII dev elopment in this area was (and continues to com m en t a n d let m e kn ow . Ma y be it ll be) low-density , automobile-based, and not driv en by population growth. So its not real h elp r a ise t h e lev el of t h e loca l growth. Because of this, the ty pe of sprawl we hav e here is considered, perhaps, the con v er sa t ion . purest ty pe of sprawl, and has arguably resulted in its worst effects. A few commenters mentioned the fact that there are fewer people per household today F OL L O W E RS than in 1 950, so naturally there are more households today for the same number of people. Y es, household size is smaller today , but this still doesnt account for the increase Follow in housing units. Strictly by the numbers one commenter prov ided, from 1 950-2000, w ith Google Friend Connect housing construction outpaced shrinking household size in the Buffalo area by 1 1 9%. Followers (18) While not as stark as the statistics for urbanized area, these numbers only add to the already bad news. Shrinking household size doesnt aquit the many defenders of sprawl that come out of the woodwork to remark on this topic; the numbers only magnify the already obv ious problem. Already a member? Sign in For a real ey e- opener, I direct y ou to the Brookings Institution study , V acating the City: A n Analysis of New B L OG ARCH IV E Homes vs.http://joeplanner.blogspot.com/ 1/3
  2. 2. 4/28/2010vs. Homes Joe the Planner ▼ 2 0 1 0 (2 ) Household Grow th. ▼ A pr il (1 ) Figure 1 , Spr a w l a n d t h e r -w or d: T h e reproduced from Sequ el that report, tells the ► Ma r ch (1 ) somber tale (see ► 2 0 0 9 (2 ) graphic at right). The Buffalo area had by far the worst L IN KS numbers of any of T h e New Millen n iu m Gr ou p the 7 0 metro areas Bu ffa lo Sm a r t Code studied: "While the Buffalo area had household growth of only 1 .5 percent for the entire decade of the 1 990s, JO E L IKE S TH E SE B L O GS: almost four units of housing were built for each additional household." Bu ffa l o Risin g On l in e Wow. A s if that wasnt bad enough, the comparisons with other areas indicate the ex tent Com m on Cou n cil Item s of In terest 37 minute s ago of our perv erse lead. When measuring building permits and household change from 1 990–2000, Metro Buffalo was first (worst) at 289%, followed by Pittsburgh, PA (1 91 %); t h e t r a n spor t pol it ic U.S. PIRG Sl am s A m eri can Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Hazleton, PA (1 53%); Y oungstown-Warren, OH (1 34%); and Tr an spor tation Prioriti es as Roads Day ton-Springfield, OH (1 21 %). Fal l A part 2 hours ago An intelligent discu ssion St r eet sbl og Today ’s Headl in es Now that wev e got all that straightened out, heres the intelligent discussion part alluded 2 hours ago to earlier: Metro Buffalo hasnt really grow n in about a half century . The area has, T h e Ur ba n oph i l e Ch u ck Ban as: Th i s Is Spr awl howev er, sprawled. The fact remains that if Metro Buffalo had not sprawled starting after 20 hours ago WWII, or only sprawled a little, we wouldnt hav e the redundant infrastructure, ex tra V er it a s et V en u st a s gov ernment, soaring costs, and pov erty /blight issues we hav e today . Wed hav e had the CN U N ew Y ork Con feren ce: Sprawl necessary concentration of people, ideas, and resources to weather deindustrialization Retrofit 22 hours ago and the other economic and social changes that befell the Rust Belt. Wed be much better A m er i ca n Col ossu s: T h e off than we are today . Gr a in El ev a t or , 1843-1943 Th e Su peri or El ev ator in Bu ffal o, N ew Unfortunately , we cant change the past. But we can learn from it. Today , recognizing and Y ork understanding the ov erall causes of sprawl as we do, wed be stupid not to do something 1 day ago about it. This is not to denigrate any ones indiv idual choices. This problem is far bigger fix bu ffa l o t oda y than any single person. This has to do with larger economic, gov ernmental, and cultural Cen tral Park Pl aza - Part I 2 days ago sy stems that hav e driv en large-scale trends ov er decades of time. Bu ffa l o Ca r Sh a r e The bottom line is that the sy stem as it stands is rigged; it is incentiv ized for sprawl. In Press Con feren ce tom orrow 4/1 3 we e ks ago large part, the sy stem was set-up to produce the ex act outcomes we see today . The sy stem will continue to produce the same result if nothing is done to change it. im n ot sa y in , i m ju st sa y in Rou n du p of A ppl e Tabl et Detai l s from A l l eged Beta Tester Jason Cal can is, Howev er, the sy stem wev e got was not the result of some absurd gov ernment Oth er s conspiracy . Most of the policies in land-use, transportation, finance, and gov ernance 3 months ago that driv e the current sy stem were intended to solv e the legitimate problems of an Ped Sh ed earlier time. They were created in a day when urban and economic problems were quite Robert Ch ar l es Lesser & Co. Market Stu di es different and the automobile was seen (naiv ely ) as the sole sav ior of our transportation 3 months ago troubles. T h e Hy dr a u l ics (Bu ffa l o s La r k in Di st r ict ) Today wev e got new problems, many of which were ironically caused by the old policies. Register ed! Kam m an Bu il din g, These new problems require a new set of solutions. Transportation policy , land-use laws, Hy dr au l ics h i story set for n ati on al spotl i gh t and gov ernmental structures will all hav e to change. A nd they will change; well be 4 months ago compelled at some crisis point to do so. But how big does the crisis hav e to get? And will the problem at that point be too big—and the resources too scarce—to fix ? So, the real question is this: A s a region, are we able to recognize the new reality and adjust quickly and wisely ? Perhaps if we all begin to understand the subject better we can actually start hav ing an intelligent public discussion. Thus far, howev er, we hav enthttp://joeplanner.blogspot.com/ 2/3
  3. 3. 4/28/2010 Joe the Planner shown much of an ability to form any kind of coherent consensus. P O S T ED B Y J O E T HE P LA NNER A T 12: 23 A M 1 C O M M ENT S Home Older Posts Subscribe to: Posts (Atom)http://joeplanner.blogspot.com/ 3/3

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