What Will Save the Suburbs?

Come here to talk about topics that are not related to development, or even Kansas City.
jlbomega
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Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by jlbomega » Thu May 14, 2009 4:14 pm

Midtownkid wrote: Good point.  And, back in the 1970s a lot of people probably couldn't imagine American cities would have such a great comeback.  NYC was a bankrupt shit hole back then.  Now, most of Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn are almost impossible to live in without being rich or being able to get by with huge sacrifices.  We've made a lot of progress!
NYC is still a bankrupt shit hole

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Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by jlbomega » Thu May 14, 2009 4:22 pm

I don't think the suburbs are going anywhere much to the disappointment of many pro urban people on this board.  Kansas City has been a suburb centric city since the post war era.  Most Kansas Citians enjoy the good schools, acre of land, safety, lack of diversity, and simplicity of suburbs.  Suburbs embody more of a midwestern lifestyle than an urban setting. 

I think the conversation should be centered around the death of McMansions rather than the death of suburbs.  We need to figure out what to do with this glut of homes that are too big and overpriced in the burbs.  If/when energy costs rise again those 4 bedroom/3.5 bath 4000 sq/ft + homes in the burbs are going to be a b!tch to commute from, heat, cool, and take care of in general. 

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Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by KCPowercat » Thu May 14, 2009 6:02 pm

aknowledgeableperson wrote: Interesting info found:

From city data for zip code 66212.  Almost 70% of that zip code residents live and work in JoCo.

So I will go back to my original post, what will save the suburbs will be jobs.
I'm shocked 70% of the residents live in JOCO....I'm also not sure your point. 

How long did it take you to find the best zip code to try and prove whatever point you have?

Nobody says the burbs are going away....good housing for families will keep them around.
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Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by Gladstoner » Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:16 pm

*Bump*

Just seeing if the 'General Discussion' area is still alive.
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Re: Housing Crash Crushes Suburban Ideal

Post by Pork Chop » Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:53 pm

Here's an article that was posted on CNBC based on the ULI's study, "Housing in America:  The Next Decade."  I know that I fit their model of Genertion X (where I would rather be in an urban setting and not in the suburbs".

Given everything in this particular study, and others I've read like it, I tend to think that housing investment dollars over the next decade should be spent in urban and close-in suburban settings.  That's where Boomers want to be and that's where young people want to be.


http://www.cnbc.com/id/35316715

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Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by FangKC » Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:14 pm

jlbomega wrote: NYC is still a bankrupt shit hole
I completely disagree. I lived in NYC for 10 years, and it is one of the best living experiences I ever had. 

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Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by KCMax » Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:51 pm

FangKC wrote: I completely disagree. I lived in NYC for 10 years, and it is one of the best living experiences I ever had. 
Indeed. And compared to just about every other major city in America, NYC seems to be the most well run, in sharp contrast to the 70s when people claimed it was "ungovernable."
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Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by FangKC » Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:10 pm

I used to think NYC was ungovernable as well. Then Guiliani got elected, and proved everyone wrong.  I didn't vote for him the first time, but I did the second time, because I had never seen such measurable change.  A city can be turned around--with the right leadership.

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Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by loftguy » Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:33 am

FangKC wrote: A city can be turned around--with the right leadership.
Bring it on, KC!!!!!!!!!!

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Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by aknowledgeableperson » Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:04 pm

Given some recent articles I have read it would appear that suburbs won't need saving in the future.  Will things be alittle different, yes, but they will survive.  And one might say "What will save the cities?"

One item that might threaten the cities would be the cost of living there.  Given the possibility of long-term higher levels of unemployment than in the past coupled with a slow growth of wage increases and mixed in with the normal higher living costs in the city it may become less attractive to live there.

Granted, it is hard to predict the future so I guess we will find out the answer when the time comes.
I may be right.  I may be wrong.  But there is a lot of gray area in-between.

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Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by KCMax » Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:22 pm

Why would cities have a high cost of living if people don't want to live there? If they are so undesirable, wouldn't that deflate the cost of living?

I think the suburbs face two big threats in the future:

a) Generation X - even those Gen Xers with families - see the cities as hipper places, moreso than previous generations and find the suburbs more boring

b) Energy costs will make the cost of living in the suburbs cost prohibitive for some families

I don't think either of these will doom suburbs - they are here to stay. But they will change the way suburbs grow, and will make it very hard for certain suburbs that cannot adapt.
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Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by Highlander » Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:09 pm

aknowledgeableperson wrote: Given some recent articles I have read it would appear that suburbs won't need saving in the future.  Will things be alittle different, yes, but they will survive.  And one might say "What will save the cities?"
I hope you don't mean that out of context stuff you posted in the transportation room.

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Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by aknowledgeableperson » Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:32 pm

Highlander wrote: I hope you don't mean that out of context stuff you posted in the transportation room.
NOPE
I may be right.  I may be wrong.  But there is a lot of gray area in-between.

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Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by taxi » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:28 am

Interesting NYT article about a problem I've been thinking about:
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/20 ... lumburbia/

While our area obviously hasn't been hit as bad as others (like "foreclosure alley"), I think a lot of these newer suburban/exurban communities are going to get hit hard by foreclosures and the consequences may ruin some of them to the point where they just get plowed, like the agricultural fields they replaced. I can't imagine ever living in one of those awful places, but it seems it might be worse to own one and be surrounded by the impending blight and complications from too many bank-owned properties than to have to walk away from one you couldn't afford.

Every time I drive out to the edges of town, I see these terrible Monopoly-looking developments and think how so many of them are going to end up mostly abandoned. The combo of vacant properties and poor construction can't be good.
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Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by jdubwaldo » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:40 am

taxi wrote: Every time I drive out to the edges of town, I see these terrible Monopoly-looking developments and think how so many of them are going to end up mostly abandoned. The combo of vacant properties and poor construction can't be good.
I agree w/ KCMax above, and totally with this.  Much to my disdain, the suburbs will not go away.  Yet the way they put up the cookie cutter houses and strip malls so quickly and shoddily, what are these structures going to look like in 10 years, let alone 25 or 40?  Our society is so wasteful and everything is becoming so disposable, I guess they will just be abandoned in favor of moving even further out to create more sprawl, or get torn down for yet another new crappy building that looks just like the one next to it...?

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Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by aknowledgeableperson » Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:15 pm

If and when the economy turns around and true job growth happens again what will save the suburbs and/or the cities will be where the new jobs go.  If the recent past is an indication most of that job growth will be in the suburbs.  Which could lead to an interesting future, more people commuting from the cities to the burbs for work than what happens now.
Yet the way they put up the cookie cutter houses and strip malls so quickly and shoddily, what are these structures going to look like in 10 years, let alone 25 or 40?


I read an article a month or so ago that compared current or recent  and possible future housing construction and materials to housing construction in the past.  In some respects the past had an edge but in other respects what occurs now had the edge.  In summary it was a wash, unless of course one values some items more than others. 
I may be right.  I may be wrong.  But there is a lot of gray area in-between.

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Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by ThaMexican » Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:37 am

Anyone wonders how the green movement will affect where you leave? I read somewhere (can not find it) that some people instead of buying a new home, are looking to re use what is already there, like going back to the older parts of town, what some people would looks as undesirable hoods. It was cheap places to live and they said want to go green re use a house.

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Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by Highlander » Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:13 pm

aknowledgeableperson wrote: If and when the economy turns around and true job growth happens again what will save the suburbs and/or the cities will be where the new jobs go.  If the recent past is an indication most of that job growth will be in the suburbs.  Which could lead to an interesting future, more people commuting from the cities to the burbs for work than what happens now.


I read an article a month or so ago that compared current or recent  and possible future housing construction and materials to housing construction in the past.  In some respects the past had an edge but in other respects what occurs now had the edge.  In summary it was a wash, unless of course one values some items more than others.  
I have no doubt that the vast majority of people want to live in the suburbs.  I bought a house in the Houston burbs for a variety of reasons; schools, relatively close to my office (in the city would have been closer), schools, schools, etc...  The amount of home building going on here is rather incredible for a recession, I've had two tires go flat in 6 months because of all the construction material in the roads.

That said, the suburban dream, whether it's Sugarland Texas or Johnson County, is simply unsustainable...it is and always will be entirely dependent on the availability of one particular kind of cheap fuel....oil.  There is not and never will be a substitute for oil regardless of how much we would like to think otherwside.  When it's gone or becomes too expensive for extravant usage, we will simply have to change our lifestyles.  I do not think the suburbs are set up to ever be capable of the kind of dense living the future will require.  I do not take any solace in the fact that consumption is down in the US.  A quick check of the reality of situation would show that it's not down very much and crude oil is still in hot demand.....which is reflected in the price.  Even when oil is 50$ per barrel instead of 150$ per barrel, we still are depleting resources at astonishing rates.  The world uses 30 billion barrels per year, we replace probably a fifth or less of that with new discoveries.  Even though there is a lot of oil still around, it will not be developed unless prices are very high and high prices are not good for sparsely settled burbs.

 

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Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by jdubwaldo » Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:12 pm

ThaMexican wrote: Anyone wonders how the green movement will affect where you leave? I read somewhere (can not find it) that some people instead of buying a new home, are looking to re use what is already there, like going back to the older parts of town, what some people would looks as undesirable hoods. It was cheap places to live and they said want to go green re use a house.
I like your thinking and hope and pray you are right.  For a whole host of reasons.

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Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by Highlander » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:00 pm

ThaMexican wrote: Anyone wonders how the green movement will affect where you leave? I read somewhere (can not find it) that some people instead of buying a new home, are looking to re use what is already there, like going back to the older parts of town, what some people would looks as undesirable hoods. It was cheap places to live and they said want to go green re use a house.
The amount of people that will purchase a home with environmental issues on their mind are probably inconsequential.  When I bought my house in Houston, I was very conscious of energy efficiency and bought a smaller house than I could afford (which has turned out to be a pain in the ass but we have endured) and one with modern energy efficient features such as heat shields in the attic and double pane windows.  You would not find these on most existing homes built before even 2005 so re-use was out.  I did this to keep my energy costs at a minimum and really without any regard to the green issues.  With most people, such issues will come in far behind resale, price per square foot, neighborhood quality and, most importantly, schools. 

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