What Will Save the Suburbs?

Come here to talk about topics that are not related to development, or even Kansas City.
User avatar
FangKC
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 13181
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 10:02 pm
Location: Old Northeast -- Indian Mound

Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by FangKC » Sun Feb 14, 2010 1:06 am

When I bought my house a year ago, I recall the realtor kept wanting to show me houses that were too big for me. I live alone, so I don't need a three or four bedroom house. I had to keep reminding him that I wanted a smaller house, and he had to work harder to find me one. Like Highlander, I had future energy costs on my mind.

I could have bought a larger house, but I just seemed wrong to me to have to heat and cool a bigger house when I live by myself.  Just because I could afford to heat and cool a bigger house and live alone, doesn't mean that I should.

The other thing was the realtor kept showing me houses on big lots with a lot of mowing, and I didn't want that either.

I could drive a car with a V-8 engine, but I opt instead for one with a 4-cylinder instead.

The moral question that many don't consider is just because you can overuse energy resources, should you?

Is it moral to use up energy resources now that future generations will need, and that will be scarce?  Sure, we may find other ways to heat and cool our homes, and run our cars, but future generations will still need oil and gas for other things.

ThaMexican
New York Life
New York Life
Posts: 344
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2004 3:56 pm

Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by ThaMexican » Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:17 am

I agree with you  Fang we could afford a bigger house but the question for me was, well how much is it going to cost me to heat that big house, now in the other  hand having an old house with leaks it is also an issue :( Regardless I was like why would I want to have a huge house that we do not need for now and why would I look into a house way out of the core when I can buy one already built that nobody was living on, close to the city.

danno25nh
Parking Garage
Parking Garage
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2009 5:43 pm

Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by danno25nh » Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:05 pm

We choose to live near the urban core despite working in the suburbs. Olathe in my case.
School districts did indeed enter into our decision making process. We have no children, but to dismiss the affect of good schools on home prices and resale value would be silly.  We could have purchased much more house in JoCo for the same cost.  In the end our love of the neighborhood, walkability, and access to those things we enjoy, 39th St, Westport, downtown, and the River Market, beat out cheaper housing and suburban sprawl.
I'd guess we are the minority.  I like the term streetcar suburb.

User avatar
KCMax
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 24051
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 3:31 pm
Location: The basement of a Ross Dress for Less
Contact:

Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by KCMax » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:54 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.
It could have consequences down the road, but only because of financial constraints. If new homes become price-prohibitive for some families because of costs due to resource scarcity, I can see it being an issue. Otherwise, Highlander is right, the amount of people making a decision based on it are pretty small.

I think the credit crunch may have more of an impact. People will no longer qualify for mortgages that are way over their head, leaving them to buy smaller, older homes. My uncle's family recently bought a McMansion in a new development waaaaaay out in Leawood. He bought the house for about half of what it went for four years ago. And the neighborhood is kinda eerie - half of it is empty and there are foreclosure signs everywhere. And this is really nice neighborhood in a really nice school district. I have to wonder how many more of these developments are out in the far flung suburbs.
SAVE THE PLAZA - FROM ZOMBIES! Find out how at:

http://twitter.com/TheKCRag

User avatar
KCMax
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 24051
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 3:31 pm
Location: The basement of a Ross Dress for Less
Contact:

Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by KCMax » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:27 am

Being continually shortsighted will not save the suburbs.

Overland Park Chamber of Commerce opposes Mid-America Regional Council?s green development proposal
The Overland Park Chamber of Commerce has come out in opposition to a Mid-America Regional Council proposal that calls for more sustainable development trends in the Kansas City region.

Among other things, the MARC proposal calls for redevelopment to account for 40 percent of new growth in the Kansas City region. A more reasonable redevelopment goal would be 10 percent to 15 percent, the chamber said in a position statement adopted by its board last week and disseminated Monday.
The Chamber needs to venture north of 435 sometime and see how many parts of north Overland Park are being left to rot so that the city can develop a new Starbucks/Pride Cleaners/Pei Wei Noodles strip mall in a grass field at 215th street.
SAVE THE PLAZA - FROM ZOMBIES! Find out how at:

http://twitter.com/TheKCRag

aknowledgeableperson
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 12251
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:31 pm

Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by aknowledgeableperson » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:45 pm

Highlander wrote: 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.
As one who has seen the price of gasoline go from $.20 to over $4.00 for a period of time, a loaf of bread go from $.25 to over $2.00, prices of new cars going from $2,000 to over $20,000, houses going from $10,000 to over $200,000 I don't think the price of oil will affect our society so much todrastically change our lifestyle over a long period of time.  We adapt, we go for alternates, but we do go on.
What may affect how we live more than the price and availability of oil is our level of government budget deficits and debt.  Eventually taxes will go up and items like social security and medicare will be changed.
I may be right.  I may be wrong.  But there is a lot of gray area in-between.

LenexatoKCMO
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 14667
Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 3:34 pm
Location: Valentine

Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by LenexatoKCMO » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:50 pm

aknowledgeableperson wrote: As one who has seen the price of gasoline go from $.20 to over $4.00 for a period of time, a loaf of bread go from $.25 to over $2.00, prices of new cars going from $2,000 to over $20,000, houses going from $10,000 to over $200,000 I don't think the price of oil will affect our society so much todrastically change our lifestyle over a long period of time.  We adapt, we go for alternates, but we do go on.
What may affect how we live more than the price and availability of oil is our level of government budget deficits and debt.  Eventually taxes will go up and items like social security and medicare will be changed.
The inflation you describe took more than half a century to develop and was accompanied by wage inflation.  The inflation Highlander is alluding to, caused by drastic supply and demand imbalance, will likely be similar in scale but over the course of a few years and without any accompanying wage inflation. 

nota
Oak Tower
Oak Tower
Posts: 5725
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2003 6:48 am
Location: Northland (Parkville)

Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by nota » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:08 pm

Just for the sake of a bit of drivel-why would anyone care if the 'burbs die? If no one wants to live there, let 'em go??

aknowledgeableperson
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 12251
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:31 pm

Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by aknowledgeableperson » Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:34 pm

LenexatoKCMO wrote: The inflation you describe took more than half a century to develop and was accompanied by wage inflation.  The inflation Highlander is alluding to, caused by drastic supply and demand imbalance, will likely be similar in scale but over the course of a few years and without any accompanying wage inflation.  
Guess you were not around in the 70's.  Yes, there were COLA's but they did not come into existance at the beginning and it is quite possible that COLA's would reappear (afterall you can't prove that they won't) since employers would do something to keep employees from switching jobs or to recruit new help.

I guess it depends on if one is an optimist or a pessimist.  I tend to be an optimist.  I have seen many changes over a long period of time and have seen the resourcefulness of humankind.  Much like alternatives to oil are already being developed the future progress of these will accelerate as oil becomes a scarce resource, which likely won't happen for decades.

And this could be the future.  As I said it will all be about jobs.

http://www.kmbc.com/news/22593890/detail.html

Wednesday night, the paper is reporting that Manna of Utah plans to build a manufacturing facility to make non-fossil fuel generators.
I may be right.  I may be wrong.  But there is a lot of gray area in-between.

User avatar
KCMax
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 24051
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 3:31 pm
Location: The basement of a Ross Dress for Less
Contact:

Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by KCMax » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:24 pm

aknowledgeableperson wrote: I guess it depends on if one is an optimist or a pessimist.  I tend to be an optimist.  
Except when it comes to anything regarding downtown Kansas City.
SAVE THE PLAZA - FROM ZOMBIES! Find out how at:

http://twitter.com/TheKCRag

aknowledgeableperson
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 12251
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:31 pm

Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by aknowledgeableperson » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:52 pm

Nope.  I just believe that KCMO pursued dt development the wrong way.  Too much tax revenue was given away for what was received and part of the city's current financial problems are due to past practices.  It would have been nice if city leaders had a vision and presented it to the taxpayers, like OKC for one, that way all of the taxes generated from dt projects would flow to city uses instead of giving some of those funds back to developers or paying bond costs like for the P&L.  Yes, a tax increase would have taken place but the taxpayers would have voted for it.
I may be right.  I may be wrong.  But there is a lot of gray area in-between.

shinatoo
One Park Place
One Park Place
Posts: 6119
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 3:20 pm

Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by shinatoo » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:51 am

So what do you think about the study that came out today that shows a 40% increase (23 mil) in annual revenue downtown and 32% increase overall since 2002? KC was not going to raise taxes on itself and with the recession I believe that would have been a negitive number without the investment the city made DT.

Was it the best plan? Probably not.

Rest in peace Do Nothing Attitude, 1960-2002.
Quocunque Jeceris Stabit

aknowledgeableperson
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 12251
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:31 pm

Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by aknowledgeableperson » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:28 am

I will have more comments in that topic but in summary:

Don't forget that is not all new growth.  Some of that is from moving H&R Block from midtown to downtown, some IRS workers from other locations in KCMO, and don't forget restaurant business that shifted from around town to dt.

Part of that increase is also due to the increase in Hotel/Motel taxes to pay for the Sprint Center (so KC did raise some taxes).

And if one wants to follow the recent arguments concerning the northland annexation one must take away from that revenue growth the cost associated with it.  Namely the $10M to $12M debt service payment for the P&L plus other downtown TIF and Super TIF payments.
I may be right.  I may be wrong.  But there is a lot of gray area in-between.

LenexatoKCMO
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 14667
Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 3:34 pm
Location: Valentine

Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by LenexatoKCMO » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:02 am

aknowledgeableperson wrote: Guess you were not around in the 70's.  
Only half of them -  but I do have a degree in economics and the ability to spot that you have no understanding that there are different types of inflation with drastically different causes and effects. 

aknowledgeableperson
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 12251
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:31 pm

Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by aknowledgeableperson » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:28 am

OK, you with the econ degree go ahead and educate us.

Yes, there will probably be an inbalance of supply and demand for oil.  But do take into account that as the price of oil increases other forms of energy become more viable.  And at the same time energy efficiencies will come into play.  It is likely that these changes will lower the demand for oil so that supply and demand will be more in balance.  The price of energy will be higher, no doubt, but we have been there before when the price of a barrel of oil increased from $5 or $6 in the early 70's.
I may be right.  I may be wrong.  But there is a lot of gray area in-between.

LenexatoKCMO
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 14667
Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 3:34 pm
Location: Valentine

Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by LenexatoKCMO » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:53 am

aknowledgeableperson wrote: But do take into account that as the price of oil increases other forms of energy become more viable. 
What other forms of energy can ramp up to the scale of making any sort of significant dent in our demand for energy in any sort of short term window?  Do you know how long it takes to approve, construct, and implement just a single coal or gas power plant?  Let alone any other type of power plant? 
aknowledgeableperson wrote: The price of energy will be higher, no doubt, but we have been there before when the price of a barrel of oil increased from $5 or $6 in the early 70's.
And how exactly did that work out for the economy again?  Don't forget that the 70's crisis was eventually eased mostly by a return in supply, not the modest fall in demand.  The future crisis isn't going to be caused any temporary, OPEC induced supply shortage; it will owe to the supply actually permenately running short.  Thus we won't be able to count on supply rising back to demand - ever.  Demand will have to fall - given the short timeframe and lack of any effective replacement, that can only happen one of two ways: 1) massive life style change, or 2) AKP manages to perfect cheap cold fusion energy production in his basement. 

What do you think would have happened had supply never returned after the 70's crisis?  Do you really believe that we would have continued on with another thirty years of development focused around long haul automobile transit?

aknowledgeableperson
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 12251
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:31 pm

Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by aknowledgeableperson » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:36 pm

LenexatoKCMO wrote: What other forms of energy can ramp up to the scale of making any sort of significant dent in our demand for energy in any sort of short term window?  Do you know how long it takes to approve, construct, and implement just a single coal or gas power plant?  Let alone any other type of power plant? 
You go from talking about oil to electrical generation.  How much electricity is generated using oil?

With regards to powering autos via electricity it is given that most of the recharging will occur during the nighttime which is non-peak so the demand for more power plants is minimal.  And with hybrids those vehicles generate most of their power.  Plus there is talk of compressed natural gas powered vehicles.

And with natrual gas power plants, as found out in Cass County recently, the approval process may be prolonged but construction of these peak power plants is quite fast.
And how exactly did that work out for the economy again?  Don't forget that the 70's crisis was eventually eased mostly by a return in supply, not the modest fall in demand.  The future crisis isn't going to be caused any temporary, OPEC induced supply shortage; it will owe to the supply actually permenately running short.  Thus we won't be able to count on supply rising back to demand - ever.  Demand will have to fall - given the short timeframe and lack of any effective replacement, that can only happen one of two ways: 1) massive life style change, or 2) AKP manages to perfect cheap cold fusion energy production in his basement. 

What do you think would have happened had supply never returned after the 70's crisis?  Do you really believe that we would have continued on with another thirty years of development focused around long haul automobile transit?
The 70's energy crisis did have a return of supply but the inflation was eased by a increase in interest rates in the early 80's.  And yes, future supplies will run short but that is not in the near future, more in the long term.  In the meantime, there are already developments being made in renewable energy sources and in energy efficiency that, in time, can take the place of oil as supplies decrease.  Will the price of energy be higher?  Again, yes.  But we have already gone through a huge increase in the price of energy since the 70's and adaptation occurred.

And to answer your last two questions.  I think some changes would have occurred but at the same time not much would have changed in our lifestyles.  We would have had 25 to 30 years of studying and developing alternative and renewable energy sources instead of being stymied in the mid 80's and have more efforts put into energy efficiency.  In place of wondering what the future holds 25 to 30 years from now we could have been living the future now.

There is no way to accurately say one side is right and the other side is wrong but my conclusion is based on the belief that when we are presented with a challenge or a problem we respond to overcome or solve it instead of just giving up and being satisfied with a perceived lower standard of living. 
I may be right.  I may be wrong.  But there is a lot of gray area in-between.

LenexatoKCMO
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 14667
Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 3:34 pm
Location: Valentine

Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by LenexatoKCMO » Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:02 pm

aknowledgeableperson wrote: You go from talking about oil to electrical generation.  How much electricity is generated using oil?

With regards to powering autos via electricity it is given that most of the recharging will occur during the nighttime which is non-peak so the demand for more power plants is minimal.  And with hybrids those vehicles generate most of their power.  Plus there is talk of compressed natural gas powered vehicles. 
Even if that were remotely true that we already have the power plant capacity to support a significant shift to electric propulsion (which its not) - what sort of fuel is going to power all those plants as they charge cars all night?  Natural gas plants have relatively tiny yield so don't be thinking that we can suddenly expect to just build a few of those and significantly increase capacity. 
aknowledgeableperson wrote: And yes, future supplies will run short but that is not in the near future, more in the long term.
What rock have you been living under?  Even some of the oil execs have changed their tune and begun acknowledging that peak oil is real, imminent, and likely to be sharp.  Don't dismiss Highlander - he is closer to the inside on this issue than any of us. 

You may have a glass half-full kind of guy  (:roll:did I just say that)  but none of these alternative energy options has shown any reason to think it is ready to carry the load any time soon - wind/solar still yield relatively tiny output, biofuel still consumes almost as much energy as it produces and has the nasty side effect of triggering massive food price inflation.  Nuclear is still extrodinarily expensive.  Sure some of these issues might someday be surmountable, but none of them are the sort of thing that we are just going to be able to hop right over once we are back in supply crisis. 

User avatar
KCKev
Alameda Tower
Alameda Tower
Posts: 1392
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:23 pm
Location: Tucson Arizona

Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by KCKev » Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:22 pm

LenexatoKCMO wrote: Even if that were remotely true that we already have the power plant capacity to support a significant shift to electric propulsion (which its not) - what sort of fuel is going to power all those plants as they charge cars all night?  Natural gas plants have relatively tiny yield so don't be thinking that we can suddenly expect to just build a few of those and significantly increase capacity.
I've been pondering buying a large chunk of land here in Tucson and starting a Solar Farm, so I would sell you all the Sun you need to recharge your Electric cars at night . :)
If you're not on the EDGE, you're taking up TOO MUCH ROOM!

aknowledgeableperson
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 12251
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:31 pm

Re: What Will Save the Suburbs?

Post by aknowledgeableperson » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:40 pm

LenexatoKCMO wrote: Even if that were remotely true that we already have the power plant capacity to support a significant shift to electric propulsion (which its not) - what sort of fuel is going to power all those plants as they charge cars all night?  Natural gas plants have relatively tiny yield so don't be thinking that we can suddenly expect to just build a few of those and significantly increase capacity. 

What rock have you been living under? 
What rock have you been living under?  The future will be here before you know it.  Utilities already making plans for electric cars.
http://www.kansascity.com/2010/02/26/17 ... -cars.html
Kansas City Power & Light Co. is preparing for a highway power play — a new breed of electric cars.
While the environmentally friendly vehicles are likely to generate more of a trickle of sales in the Kansas City area over the next two years than a surge, that’s not stopping KCP&L and other utilities from getting ready for them.
KCP&L hopes to open its first of 10 public charging stations next year in midtown Kansas City and is considering educational campaigns to tell customers about what’s involved in owning an electric vehicle.
...
“The electric utility industry wants to enable (electric vehicles) and not hinder them,” said Kevin Bryant, vice president of energy solutions for KCP&L.
The Electric Power Research Institute and a group of about 50 utilities — including KCP&L — have been working with automakers to do just that.
...
Owners will be encouraged to charge the cars at night, but eventually “smart” meters could offer an incentive of lower electricity prices if the recharging is done at non-peak periods.
Recharging at night could someday have more benefits for those wanting a smaller carbon footprint. KCP&L said wind kicks up at night, meaning more wind energy could be used for recharging electric vehicles.
“We will look to use wind energy to power electric cars,” said Chuck Caisley, a spokesman for the utility.
I may be right.  I may be wrong.  But there is a lot of gray area in-between.

Post Reply