Our City Online

Messageboard - Politics

NOTE: You are viewing an archived version of the Columbus Underground forums/messageboard. As of 05/22/16 they have been closed to new comments and replies, but will remain accessible for archived searches and reference. For more information CLICK HERE

"The War Against Suburbia"

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Politics “The War Against Suburbia”

Viewing 15 posts - 166 through 180 (of 182 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #343024

    Thanks Brant for x-posting this discussion to the original article.

    A.

    #343025

    myliftkk
    Participant

    michaelcoyote wrote >>

    gramarye wrote >>
    A good question. I imagine that in suburbs where the tax base begins to deteriorate, they will indeed push for higher density in order to consolidate services.

    Exactly

    gramarye wrote >> However, keep in mind that most suburbanites, at least as of today, like their single family homes on reasonable-sized lots. Therefore, those that are able to maintain that will be inclined to do so. Will all of them be able to do so? I don’t know. Maybe they will. As I said earlier in this thread, I fully expect technology to make suburbs more sustainable in the future, not less.

    I think “reasonable size” varies with the age and era as much as it does with the people you ask. As for technology making it easier to work from remote locations, that is true, but I don’t see the fall of the office or office worker any time soon.
    Additionally, remote work technology isn’t the only factor here. I see energy prices affecting this as well. However efficient we make our vehicles, it’s still going to become a factor in how far away from the CBD we want to go. Energy costs are also going to affect what people want in a home. Energy efficiency will probably be even more of a factor than it is today. I’d imagine that when some of these 2500+sft. outer ring houses go up for sale in 10 years, they’re going to go without buyers, and a condos in a building closer in are going to start to look more attractive.

    gramarye wrote >> Maybe they will have ways of providing for services like street sweeping and snow removal more cheaply than is possible today. Maybe they will simply end up scrimping on those services and suffering the consequences, finding them still better than accepting higher density. And maybe they will indeed bring in higher density development.

    Who knows. I’m guessing that services will be reduced and new develop will be denser. How’s that for covering my bases? :-)

    Andrew Hall wrote >>

    HeySquare wrote the existing system proscribes that: the city, the suburbs, all segregate people by class and race and income, and the reality of demographic information proves that.

    Isn’t one of Kotkin’s points and references that the suburbs are rapidly becoming less segregated on racial lines than the urban areas?
    When I travel, I certainly see a lot more ethnically integrated and mixed commercial zones in the suburbs than in the urban areas. Morse Road, for example, is the kind of environment I see more and more away from the urban cores. The enclave mentality that gave us NNNN-town within cities seem to be on the wane in favor of a strip mall with a Halal butcher abutting an Indian grocery abutting a Vietnamese restaurant with a comic book shop at the end.
    Admittedly, that is a subjective impression and I haven’t followed up Kotkin’s references. I do think the 2010 Census is going to reveal some surprises.

    New immigrants have usually congregated to poorer neighborhoods for economic reasons. This is nothing new. Nor is it that new that they share their neighborhoods with other poor/frugal immigrants. My favourite American food story is the story of how the Irish adopted corned beef from their Jewish neighbors in New York. I think that smaller cities like Columbus are going to continue to have these kinds of multicultural neighborhoods.
    OTOH, saying the enclave n-town neighborhood is dead is another thing altogether. There are parts of San Jose that are essentially Vietnamese. Another place that flipped my lid was driving through Bellaire,TX and seeing miles of strip malls with not an English language sign in sight (aside from some roadsigns). All the stores and restaurants there are Chinese. Enclaves will be around for a while, especially near big cities because people like the familiar foods, music, media, etc. of home.
    As for moving out of urban areas, it’s sheer economics. It’s recently become more attractive to many people to live closer to the CBD and in more walkable neighborhoods, which is driving up the costs of those neighborhoods. If living in $URBAN place costs x, and $SUBURB costs x-n, the poor and frugal are going to move. If they bought in $URBAN place, all the better. They can sell and get a nicer spot. Welcome to America huddled mass, here’s your dream.

    Interestingly, the tradition of the relatively poorer immigrants moving to the suburban/exurban outskirts is closer to the way many european cities are in fact demographically divided today.

    #343026

    myliftkk
    Participant

    Andrew Hall wrote >>
    @KSquared
    That is kind of my point. I’d like to see a progressive agenda geared to finding way to give people what they want (and maybe more) instead of telling them to want something different or, even worse, telling them what they want is somehow wrong, contemptible or only fodder for derision. To me, that is a true progressive agenda.
    The reason I am pursuing this (obsessed with this?) is that I see the positioning brought up in the original article as being one of those seemingly small, but defining issues. In order to get people to buy into larger social goals, they need to have a comfort level that the people leading “get” what they want and their idea of “home” is a crucial part of that. I submit you are going to have a hard time getting someone on your bus when it isn’t clear the driver understands (even shares) the emotions and desires you describe above.
    A.

    But, where exactly is the anti-suburban policy agenda Kotkin’s so feverishly complaining about in reality? Did the suburban voter not already receive “new/old home buyers tax credits”, “cash for clunkers” (including motor homes I might add), “vehicular sales tax deductions”, “mortgage refinancing support”, “college savings plans”, etc (not that other voters don’t receive these, but the value of these particular elements could be said to affect suburban voters quite generously). I fail to see, unless we narrow the scope of policy down to maybe a tiny segment of singular policy items in possibly climate change policy (which frankly makes his trend argument facetious), where there is some sort of discernible anti-suburban bias manifesting itself in administration, or even congressional policy. If there’s been any bias in policy enacted thus far, it’s been biased in favor of existing power relationships, typically favoring those industries already favored by existing policy. Any policy initiative, that so much as gets a mention, that attempts to re-calibrate a previously-favored industry’s power relationship, like say HCR or Climate Change (neither of which could be in their entirety, classed as anti-suburban), and suddenly Kotkin and his brothers start shrieking like harpies about how we’re all catching the next bus to “red square central”, as if. I mean, isn’t the ultimate anti-suburban/rural policy gun control, and where exactly has that gone? It’s been d.o.a. since obama got elected, and not one word has been spoken about it (in fact, quite a few friendly nra things have gotten passed).

    So, there’s the carrots that Kotkin imagines himself not seeing. He doesn’t see them, not because they don’t exist, but because if he acknowledges them, he loses his fear-the-dems memes and thus, his fear-influenced constituency (who frankly, have to be clouded by fear in order not to pick out the fatal flaws in his logic). This cycle is the same cycle disingenuous gadflys have practiced for years against any progressive policy, no matter who it benefitted.

    The fact is, most of the populace has already come to the point that they recognize the existing power relationships have grown so perverted that the country’s the worse off for them (hence the recent strain virulent populism that’s survived proto-populist pols, edwards and palin flaming out). There’s little radical in most of the policies proposed so far, and there is legitimate criticism that sometimes they even further ensconce already problematic existing power relationships, but politics is the art of the possible (though dems are becoming quite adept at making it seem impossible – and that is not helping their, or the progressive, cause). The dems political sense (at least a number of them), at this point, seems about as attuned to the political winds as marie attoinette’s was, carrots or no. What they can’t seem to figure out is that progressives can’t live in a house that conservatives framed for them, they have to deconstruct their narrative brick by brick, 2×4 by 2×4, nail by nail, until the pieces of it that should be hauled off to the dustbin where they deserve to be cached, are in fact taken there.

    That’s why I can’t accept Kotkin’s framing as a starting point for intra-progressive political critiques. He’s framed his argument in a manner that invariably tilts the argument in his favor by his implied rules of discussion. Even if there are issues within the progressive policy structure, I don’t think Kotkin’s identified a serious one, nor provided anything insightful about a particular weakness in the structure itself (I illustrated earlier what I think the glaring weaknesses are). Furthermore, Kotkin spouted nearly the exact same “concern” back almost a year ago in the wsj opinion page (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123578533109798571.html). Now, maybe he’s just playing the odds, or maybe he’s just a column recycler (though he appears to have a real sore spot for rail – maybe that old american folk tale about the railroad scared him or something as a child). Evaluating his year-long concern about obama’s coalition fracturing over suburban/urban development issues, can we at all point to that to be the case? Only a contrarian, hyper-focused on one particular tree in the whole policy/political forest could make this same claim, now a year later, with a straight face.

    I’ll readily admit that progressive’s have got real political issues regarding policy to deal with. But, I’d like not to get distracted by ephemeral issues, possibly never really rising above an minor annoyance level, on the policy periphery when there’s recurring political rigor mortis set in among progressive’s supposed allies. Progressive and independent voters expect action on policy, they don’t expect circular firing squads (please, let’s leave that to the opponents), and the dems are ultimately going to be judged on whether they take action or, to quote to prescient mr. squarepants, “they lie on the deck and flop like a fish”.

    ETA – Kotkin actually would say we were “taking the next train to red square central”, since he is a lover of all things automotive.

    #343027

    myliftkk
    Participant

    One final point, which I think further reinforces the political weakness in execution, not policy, argument, is take a look at what obama’s done to resucitate the regulatory agencies that were pretty much raped and pillaged under bush. Almost all of that has been done quietly by executive order, but not insignificantly. John Judis (sic) has a recent article covering this suprising (in comparision to the congressional dem ineptitude) finding. But, no one’s even noticed this, certainly not politically, and it’s probably the strongest pure progressive moves thus far. If the administration’s progressive policy push really were at odds with the suburban everyman, wouldn’t this have registered somewhere, anyhwere, on the political radar?

    #343028

    HeySquare
    Participant

    HeySquare wrote >>
    Why do you think the government’s role has expanded in “every aspect of people’s lives” to the extent that it has? Because the public has demanded it.

    Remember this conversation the next time we have a major snow storm. Listen to the news, and count how many complaints there are to the government about how the snow isn’t plowed. All of this infrastructure costs money to maintain. Roads (versus rail or water) are this most expensive types of infrastructure to upkeep.

    An example of exactly what I was talking about:

    redfish-bluefish wrote >>

    brothermarcus wrote >>
    ODOT and the city did a great job with snow removal… hope it happens again with the next storm!

    you’re being sarcastic, right?
    every street in my area, except for high, north bway and dodridge, is 3″ of hard, car packed snow, aka: Ice.
    and i see no evidence that they even plowed those.

    Damnit, the Mayor didn’t shovel my driveway. I want my taxes back! And sorry Redfish… I’m not actually trying to put you on the spot, but rather use your perspective to support what I was saying about how many demands are put on government services, and what the expectations are.

    #343029
    rus
    rus
    Participant

    HeySquare wrote >>

    Damnit, the Mayor didn’t shovel my driveway. I want my taxes back! And sorry Redfish… I’m not actually trying to put you on the spot, but rather use your perspective to support what I was saying about how many demands are put on government services, and what the expectations are.

    Would be nice if people didn’t look to government to solve all their problems, but instead picked up that metaphorical shovel and got to work.

    Of course, I don’t see how that would serve the interests of politicians. Never happen.

    #343030

    gramarye wrote >>
    Are we seriously about to revive the Great Carryout Debate of Yesteryear?

    You can start your own thread on that; it was mentioned in passing.

    #343031

    Mercurius
    Participant
    #343032

    myliftkk
    Participant

    Apparently, it’s called slumburbia now.

    #343033

    Alex Silbajoris
    Participant

    myliftkk wrote >>
    Apparently, it’s called slumburbia now.

    … at least here in California, the outlying cities themselves encouraged the boom, spurred by the state’s broken tax system. Hemmed in by property tax limitations, cities were compelled to increase revenue by the easiest route: expanding urban boundaries. They let developers plow up walnut groves and vineyards and places that were supposed to be strawberry fields forever to pay for services demanded by new school parents and park users.

    *cough* Hayden Run corridor

    #343034

    agtw31
    Member

    alexs wrote >>

    myliftkk wrote >>
    Apparently, it’s called slumburbia now.

    … at least here in California, the outlying cities themselves encouraged the boom, spurred by the state’s broken tax system. Hemmed in by property tax limitations, cities were compelled to increase revenue by the easiest route: expanding urban boundaries. They let developers plow up walnut groves and vineyards and places that were supposed to be strawberry fields forever to pay for services demanded by new school parents and park users.

    *cough* Hayden Run corridor</blockquote

    the hayden run corridor(behind tuttle mall)was built on a swamp

    drive up and down the neighborhoods over here,you can see some of the support beams on the front porches leaning like drunks.

    these houses aren’t settling,they are sinking.

    #343035

    Alex Silbajoris
    Participant

    Remember the city bought a property for a firehouse on Tuttle and it turned out the ground was too soft?

    Here’s another thing, the horse sculptures along Hayden Run Road (where I remember seeing actual horses) were put on the bottom land. Add a few years and a few square miles of pavement upstream and this is what you get.

    #343036

    KSquared
    Member

    alexs wrote >>
    Remember the city bought a property for a firehouse on Tuttle and it turned out the ground was too soft?
    Here’s another thing, the horse sculptures along Hayden Run Road (where I remember seeing actual horses) were put on the bottom land. Add a few years and a few square miles of pavement upstream and this is what you get.

    That used to be Sid Griffith Equestrian Center. I took riding lessons there as a kid :)

    #343037

    gramarye
    Participant

    alexs wrote >>

    myliftkk wrote >>
    Apparently, it’s called slumburbia now.

    … at least here in California, the outlying cities themselves encouraged the boom, spurred by the state’s broken tax system. Hemmed in by property tax limitations, cities were compelled to increase revenue by the easiest route: expanding urban boundaries. They let developers plow up walnut groves and vineyards and places that were supposed to be strawberry fields forever to pay for services demanded by new school parents and park users.

    *cough* Hayden Run corridor

    I don’t suppose it would ever have occurred to such communities to not increase revenue, and instead live within their existing budgets. Sigh.

    #1059965
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    The latest article from New Geography that continues to fight back in the make-believe “War on Suburbia” attempts to equate urbanism with communism:

    http://www.newgeography.com/content/004830-looking-back-the-ideal-communist-city

    Yeesh.

Viewing 15 posts - 166 through 180 (of 182 total)

The forum ‘Politics’ is closed to new topics and replies.

Local journalism is more important than ever. Please take a moment to read a bit about our mission and consider financially supporting our cause.

CLICK HERE