FangKC wrote: ↑
Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:03 pm
There are many blocks of single family houses in this City I would like to just bulldoze and replace with denser housing
. In the past that is what I would have advocated. However, now I see the wisdom in renovating what exists. I understand the ecology that is involved better.
kcjak wrote: ↑
Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:36 pm
You're opposed to tearing down homes to rebuild something 'better' but would like to demolish the current parking lot for underground parking/above ground plaza? Tearing up that parking lot would be a lot more intrusive than replacing a few vacant homes with ecologically sound apartments.
I didn't say "a few vacant homes." I said "there are many blocks of single family houses....I would love to bulldoze and replace..." It's quite a different argument when one is making judgements about ecological impact.
I would only tear out the surface parking for a deck under a central pedestrian plaza, and so buildings can be placed up against the streets, and also to replace the parking that the Uptown Theater needs. If you don't do that, then the neighborhood will be up in arms to stop everything because Uptown visitors parking on their street. I would just add more decks to the garage under the apartments, but one doesn't know how high one can build before the neighborhood protests. I will cite the 17th and Madison project on the Westside as an example.
One is still creating added density and getting rid of a surface parking lot by adding buildings along Valentine and Broadway.
Tearing down blocks of existing homes is different. I've read many arguments that the most ecologically-sound thing that can be done is not demolish existing housing. In many cases, demolishing houses and building denser new replacement housing just adds greenhouse gases to the planet. And the structures you have torn down, some of the greenhouse gases required to build them 80-100 years ago are still in the atmosphere.
It depends on what you call ecologically-sound. Maybe if you are building new structures out of packed earth, and green roofs, you gain in the long run by replacing with those structures. But if you are just building the way we usually build now, you are just adding more greenhouse gases. Any gains will take decades to achieve.
If one is wanting simply to add density to the City, then build those new "ecological" structures on vacant parcels, or put "granny-flats" on lots of existing houses. Keep in mind that in many cities, 40 percent of the land area is surface parking. So there is plenty of land to build the new denser city upon.
The most ecologically-sound method of providing housing is to reuse older structures and just improve the insulation; and methods that are used to heat and cool them. For example, add a lot of insulation in the roof and walls, and put solar panels on the roof. If you stop using mostly natural gas and coal to heat and cool a 100-year-old single family house, that is a huge step forward.