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NOTE: You are viewing an archived version of the Columbus Underground forums/messageboard.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 - 31 through 45 (of 182 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #342889
    rus
    rus
    Participant

    HeySquare wrote >>

    rus wrote >>
    Rail certainly can move goods as well as people, but aren’t the recent rail initiatives aimed at solely moving people?

    No. Although that is what has been highlighted in the press coverage.

    rus wrote >>
    I confess, I’ve no plans to use anything I’ve seen proposed along those lines… I can’t see a reason to go to Dayton, Cincinnati or Cleveland by car, bus, rail or teleporter so it’s a non-issue for me.
    But to say a city to city passenger rail service is the same as a highway seems disingenuous.

    Disingenuous in what way? Certainly the rail corridor between DC, Baltimore, Philiadelphia, and New York works much like a highway.

    I’m seeing freeways as multi-use ( freight and people at the same time ) while I understand rail is either / or ( no mixing of freight and people on the same tracks at the same time ). That makes them different enough to me that comparisons aren’t necessarily valid.

    Of course, if I’m wrong and fright and people can move on the same tracks at the same time, then yes a rail line is much more akin to a freeway.

    #342890

    myliftkk
    Participant

    gramarye wrote >>
    I think he makes a lot of good points, and I’m more sympathetic to his suburban sympathies than many here, but I do agree with some of the criticism of his factual cherry-picking. The $8 billion outlay on rail doesn’t really seem all that extravagant to me, either, and the article would be more balanced if it included the proposed spending on highways over the same time frame.
    He does have a point talking about the higher costs of urban construction, particularly on a cost-per-square-foot basis. Getting four bedrooms and 2.5 baths into a mid- or high-rise residential tower really is significantly more expensive than getting the same square footage in a single-family home. Also, while “war” might be hyperbole, his general frame of reference does have a basis in truth: many dedicated urbanists really do have an antagonistic attitude towards the suburbs, including some who openly admit this and others who deny that they’re trying to do anything more than achieve “balance” (which, ever so coincidentally, will result in a massive diversion of resources from the suburbs to the cities vis-a-vis the status quo).

    once he characterized an innocuous analysis of available strategies as “draconian laws coming to a suburb near you”, he’d pretty much given up any attempt at anything other than dime-novel punditry (and that was only a couple of paragraphs in). just because someone hides a kernel of truth in a haystack-sized mound of visual diarrhea doesn’t make it worth the sifting.

    manufactured “war on x” controversy propoganda… that’s all it is, but it does sell books.

    #342891

    Brant
    Participant

    rus wrote >>
    Of course, if I’m wrong and freight and people can move on the same tracks at the same time, then yes a rail line is much more akin to a freeway.

    That seems to be the case, from what I understand.

    #342892

    HeySquare
    Participant

    rus wrote >>
    I’m seeing freeways as multi-use ( freight and people at the same time ) while I understand rail is either / or ( no mixing of freight and people on the same tracks at the same time ). That makes them different enough to me that comparisons aren’t necessarily valid.
    Of course, if I’m wrong and fright and people can move on the same tracks at the same time, then yes a rail line is much more akin to a freeway.

    I’m not entirely sure of the rail logistics here; however, there are enough examples of limited use on highways– lanes designated for “Passenger Cars Only”, High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, that sort of thing, that is seems like a bit of a line drawn where no line exists. Of course rail and highways are two different modes, both with benefits and drawbacks.

    #342893
    rus
    rus
    Participant

    Brant Jones wrote >>

    rus wrote >>
    Of course, if I’m wrong and freight and people can move on the same tracks at the same time, then yes a rail line is much more akin to a freeway.

    That seems to be the case, from what I understand.

    I was just looking for a reference, but didn’t find anything either way.

    #342894

    lifeontwowheels wrote >>
    To each their own. I could care less where someone lives. Just don’t get too critical on the expenditure of an “urban” project when government subsidies have largely been responsible for creating the suburbs we have today.

    Could that be because in a representative democracy subsidies flow to what people want (vs what 3rd parties think they should want) ?

    Not surprising given the overwhelming shared bias here, but the real point of the article is being missed – the Obama administration and Democratic party is rhetorically channeling Cheever and ‘American Beauty’ far too much for its own political health.

    The root of the issue stems from what is fundamentally double-talk given by ‘urbanist’ proponents which, in its transparency, is revealed to be more anti-suburban than pro … anything. When pollution/congestion/fossil fuels are discussed, the lack of time given to telecommuting/flex-time and technologies which would enable the stated goals while maintaining suburban lifestyle is telling. Instead of discussing what will make a suburban community more walkable, more ecological and more of all the positive urban memes, we hear a relentless drumbeat of mass transit and move-to-the-city-living. The ultimate message passed on to many (and many voters) is that it is mere lip-service given to the positive values and is merely cloaking the core value of anti-suburbanism.

    A.

    #342895

    pedex
    Participant

    Andrew Hall wrote >>

    lifeontwowheels wrote >>
    To each their own. I could care less where someone lives. Just don’t get too critical on the expenditure of an “urban” project when government subsidies have largely been responsible for creating the suburbs we have today.

    Could that be because in a representative democracy subsidies flow to what people want (vs what 3rd parties think they should want) ?
    Not surprising given the overwhelming shared bias here, but the real point of the article is being missed – the Obama administration and Democratic party is rhetorically channeling Cheever and ‘American Beauty’ far too much for its own political health.
    The root of the issue stems from what is fundamentally double-talk given by ‘urbanist’ proponents which, in its transparency, is revealed to be more anti-suburban than pro … anything. When pollution/congestion/fossil fuels are discussed, the lack of time given to telecommuting/flex-time and technologies which would enable the stated goals while maintaining suburban lifestyle is telling. Instead of discussing what will make a suburban community more walkable, more ecological and more of all the positive urban memes, we hear a relentless drumbeat of mass transit and move-to-the-city-living. The ultimate message passed on to many (and many voters) is that it is mere lip-service given to the positive values and is merely cloaking the core value of anti-suburbanism.
    A.

    suburbia has big problems staying viable when fuel gets too expensive which is why cities existed to begin with before energy became so absurdly cheap

    Telecommuting and working at home is all well and good but not all that practical for jobs which are actually productive in an environment where energy is expensive in real terms. Energy is the great equalizer, it enables things to happen that ordinarily wouldn’t, remove its advantages and jobs that are profitable and productive now cease to exist under energy constraints. Some of this is already underway, many jobs lost over the last couple years won’t be back.

    Either way this is approached either via CO2 reductions or the coming energy crunch as the world exported oil market dries up energy is going to get really really expensive in real terms, suburbia is not designed for it. Suburbia is designed and intended to use as much resources as possible per capita as man could probably design and build and get away with. This isn’t politics, its just basic physics and economics.Our cities typically aren’t a whole heck of a lot better but they do offer the advantage of needing little transportation and they can easily be converted back into places to work AND live rather than just a place to have an office. Suburbia and exurbia doesn’t have much in the way of options.

    #342896

    DavidF
    Participant

    Andrew Hall wrote >>

    lifeontwowheels wrote >>
    To each their own. I could care less where someone lives. Just don’t get too critical on the expenditure of an “urban” project when government subsidies have largely been responsible for creating the suburbs we have today.

    Could that be because in a representative democracy subsidies flow to what people want (vs what 3rd parties think they should want) ?
    Not surprising given the overwhelming shared bias here, but the real point of the article is being missed – the Obama administration and Democratic party is rhetorically channeling Cheever and ‘American Beauty’ far too much for its own political health.
    The root of the issue stems from what is fundamentally double-talk given by ‘urbanist’ proponents which, in its transparency, is revealed to be more anti-suburban than pro … anything. When pollution/congestion/fossil fuels are discussed, the lack of time given to telecommuting/flex-time and technologies which would enable the stated goals while maintaining suburban lifestyle is telling. Instead of discussing what will make a suburban community more walkable, more ecological and more of all the positive urban memes, we hear a relentless drumbeat of mass transit and move-to-the-city-living. The ultimate message passed on to many (and many voters) is that it is mere lip-service given to the positive values and is merely cloaking the core value of anti-suburbanism.
    A.

    Which is what happens when you don’t think for yourself, and simply gravitate to simplistic concepts like “the war on suburbia.”

    It simply doesn’t exist. Urban centers and suburban communities often have divergent priorities, and fight for many of the same state and federal dollars, but that doesn’t constitute a “war” than Ohio’s war on other states in regards to federal monies.

    The point of these types of articles is simply to stir up resentment and create the illusion of an us vs. them mentality.

    The passion for urban living by “urbanists” is no different that that of “ruralists,” or committed “suburbanites.” People tend to see their preferred lifestyle as the one superior to all others. The type of community one lives in is in no way different.

    I’m suburban born and raised, and I live in one now. I prefer the city for a variety of reasons, but I have no animus towards the suburbs, and I suspect neither do most people.

    Again, I have to reiterate, I find myself pitying people who take this type of dross seriously.

    #342897

    DavidF
    Participant

    DavidF wrote >>

    Andrew Hall wrote >>

    lifeontwowheels wrote >>
    To each their own. I could care less where someone lives. Just don’t get too critical on the expenditure of an “urban” project when government subsidies have largely been responsible for creating the suburbs we have today.

    Could that be because in a representative democracy subsidies flow to what people want (vs what 3rd parties think they should want) ?
    Not surprising given the overwhelming shared bias here, but the real point of the article is being missed – the Obama administration and Democratic party is rhetorically channeling Cheever and ‘American Beauty’ far too much for its own political health.
    The root of the issue stems from what is fundamentally double-talk given by ‘urbanist’ proponents which, in its transparency, is revealed to be more anti-suburban than pro … anything. When pollution/congestion/fossil fuels are discussed, the lack of time given to telecommuting/flex-time and technologies which would enable the stated goals while maintaining suburban lifestyle is telling. Instead of discussing what will make a suburban community more walkable, more ecological and more of all the positive urban memes, we hear a relentless drumbeat of mass transit and move-to-the-city-living. The ultimate message passed on to many (and many voters) is that it is mere lip-service given to the positive values and is merely cloaking the core value of anti-suburbanism.
    A.

    Which is what happens when you don’t think for yourself, and simply gravitate to simplistic concepts like “the war on suburbia.”
    It simply doesn’t exist. Urban centers and suburban communities often have divergent priorities, and fight for many of the same state and federal dollars, but that doesn’t constitute a “war” any more than Ohio’s fight for federal dollars at the expense of other states is an act of “war.”
    The point of these types of articles is simply to stir up resentment and create the illusion of an us vs. them mentality.
    The passion for urban living by “urbanists” is no different that that of “ruralists,” or committed “suburbanites.” People tend to see their preferred lifestyle as the one superior to all others. The type of community one lives in is in no way different.
    I’m suburban born and raised, and I live in one now. I prefer the city for a variety of reasons, but I have no animus towards the suburbs, and I suspect neither do most people.
    Again, I have to reiterate, I find myself pitying people who take this type of dross seriously.

    #342898

    DavidF wrote
    Which is what happens when you don’t think for yourself, and simply gravitate to simplistic concepts like “the war on suburbia.”
    It simply doesn’t exist. Urban centers and suburban communities often have divergent priorities, and fight for many of the same state and federal dollars, but that doesn’t constitute a “war” than Ohio’s war on other states in regards to federal monies.
    The point of these types of articles is simply to stir up resentment and create the illusion of an us vs. them mentality.
    The passion for urban living by “urbanists” is no different that that of “ruralists,” or committed “suburbanites.” People tend to see their preferred lifestyle as the one superior to all others. The type of community one lives in is in no way different.
    I’m suburban born and raised, and I live in one now. I prefer the city for a variety of reasons, but I have no animus towards the suburbs, and I suspect neither do most people.
    Again, I have to reiterate, I find myself pitying people who take this type of dross seriously.

    I think you still missed the point. Yes, “war” is an over-played rhetorical trope. So what? Pretty much anything outside of really dry technical journals use rhetoric like that.

    And rhetoric is what it is about and the currency of politics. Stripped down to the bare essentials, this is another issue where the Obama admin has a complete tin ear when it comes to perceiving how their rhetoric is perceived by anyone who isn’t inside their self-referential circle. Instead of being on the side of working toward what people (suburbanites) want, they are consciously choosing to pander to Daily Grist readers.

    If you don’t see animus to the suburbs, you are totally oblivious. It has been a mainstay of Americans arts and music since … the inception of the suburbs.

    Instead of glee at the death of the suburbs, there should be lament. A brief run where abundant energy and optimism gave access to so many a dream and an inversion of the relationship between land and power that was dominant since the Middle Ages. That, at minimum, ought to be what the urbanists would be communicating if they had anything except contempt for everyone else.

    A.

    #342899

    myliftkk
    Participant

    Andrew Hall wrote >>

    lifeontwowheels wrote >>
    To each their own. I could care less where someone lives. Just don’t get too critical on the expenditure of an “urban” project when government subsidies have largely been responsible for creating the suburbs we have today.

    Could that be because in a representative democracy subsidies flow to what people want (vs what 3rd parties think they should want) ?
    Not surprising given the overwhelming shared bias here, but the real point of the article is being missed – the Obama administration and Democratic party is rhetorically channeling Cheever and ‘American Beauty’ far too much for its own political health.
    The root of the issue stems from what is fundamentally double-talk given by ‘urbanist’ proponents which, in its transparency, is revealed to be more anti-suburban than pro … anything. When pollution/congestion/fossil fuels are discussed, the lack of time given to telecommuting/flex-time and technologies which would enable the stated goals while maintaining suburban lifestyle is telling. Instead of discussing what will make a suburban community more walkable, more ecological and more of all the positive urban memes, we hear a relentless drumbeat of mass transit and move-to-the-city-living. The ultimate message passed on to many (and many voters) is that it is mere lip-service given to the positive values and is merely cloaking the core value of anti-suburbanism.
    A.

    I would argue, however, that the tenuous inferences he tries to draw between somewhat isolated Democratic rhetoric (and other than him, does anyone even pay attention to Ray Lahood, much less the other urbanists he quotes?) and Democratic candidate losses are on even shakier ground than his other assertions. I’m pretty well read in virtually all of pol contests he mentions, with the exception being the “attractive” Democrat of Nassau county (sheesh, could he get more trivial), and there’s at least a hundred better explanations for shifting sentiment outside of some perceived “war on suburbia” that’s somehow become the daily concern of citizen average joe (as opposed to say, hemorraging job losses, and one’s 401k). It’s simply another brick in the “america is a center-right country” meme that people like him and NYT’s Brooks keep building up regardless of what the most obvious facts on the ground say. I think the political assertions he makes, specifically that suburbanites are punishing the dems for their urban policies are the least supportable of them all.

    Now, that said, I think I can explain why when enacting policy, urban policy gets high-lighted over suburban policy. For one, implementation of policy is far easier dealing with urban political centers, than disbursed suburban ones. One basic flaw in his reasoning is the assumed proposition of suburban areas as some sort of unified political structure, which is farcical on its face. Any large suburban area is almost certainly made up of vastly more major political actors per/captia than a condensed urban area. As such, I don’t see real powerful political actors proposing suburban-centric policies of any sort, ouside of home ownership (from either ideological bent), mostly because the reward versus risk is too high. Policy wonks, when they plan, aim at the natural locus, or nexus, of an issue in order to maximize the chance their policies will affect change. There is no natural locus to suburbs or exurbs, there are simpler vastly smaller and more fractious political microcosms that are often tedious to engage for limited reward. As a counterpoint, you now have suburbs attempting to raise their own “downtowns” as a locus (which incidentally better focuses their political power – though they’re still far behind large cities) in order to reclaim some of political power they lost by being suburban. Hence, policy planners overlooking suburbs isn’t new, or limited to a single party, or even shocking.

    Would it be a good thing for suburban living to be more “sustainable”, undoubtedly. Is it the fault of the pols for not addressing it, or the fault of suburbanites for willingly sacrificing their political power by dispersing themselves in a manner that weakens their ability to attract policy students and thinkers (other than complainers)? Ultimately, what’s usually touted as “suburban” policies is typcially a stand-in for “no policy”. The author neither proposes a solution to the dearth of suburban policy (save his lone example of tele-commuting), nor seems to even make the case for anything but complaints against random statements by adminstration actors or unrelated urbanists (not putting red staters in your government hardly qualifies as anti-suburban). Regarding tele-commuting specifically, many slices of society are dismissive of tele-commuting, including a lot of the business community (the old school management by fear/presence style – not to mention the service economy portion which can’t be tele-commuted), so I’d hardly call overlooking tele-commuting as a major solution a real snub (and I’m immensely for tele-commuting). Regardless of the blind spots in the administration’s urban/suburban policies or lack of policy thereof, it’s likely to have little to no political effect in the grand scheme of things given historical voting patterns and preferences. The author might think there’s a “war” on, but I’m pretty sure it’s just in his head (and a few urban planners on the other side).

    Show me a suburban area that concentrates its political and economic power to a large enough nucleus to get planners to notice, and they will.

    #342900

    myliftkk
    Participant

    Andrew Hall wrote >>

    DavidF wrote
    Which is what happens when you don’t think for yourself, and simply gravitate to simplistic concepts like “the war on suburbia.”
    It simply doesn’t exist. Urban centers and suburban communities often have divergent priorities, and fight for many of the same state and federal dollars, but that doesn’t constitute a “war” than Ohio’s war on other states in regards to federal monies.
    The point of these types of articles is simply to stir up resentment and create the illusion of an us vs. them mentality.
    The passion for urban living by “urbanists” is no different that that of “ruralists,” or committed “suburbanites.” People tend to see their preferred lifestyle as the one superior to all others. The type of community one lives in is in no way different.
    I’m suburban born and raised, and I live in one now. I prefer the city for a variety of reasons, but I have no animus towards the suburbs, and I suspect neither do most people.
    Again, I have to reiterate, I find myself pitying people who take this type of dross seriously.

    And rhetoric is what it is about and the currency of politics. Stripped down to the bare essentials, this is another issue where the Obama admin has a complete tin ear when it comes to perceiving how their rhetoric is perceived by anyone who isn’t inside their self-referential circle. Instead of being on the side of working toward what people (suburbanites) want, they are consciously choosing to pander to Daily Grist readers.
    A.

    I agree on the “tin ear” symptom, but I disagree on the disease. I honestly don’t think anyone outside of the intellectual elite on either side is paying attention to the rambling of either urbanists or their suburbanist counterparts.

    In the cacophony of: bailout, bailout, healthcare, healthcare, afganistan, bailout, healthcare, terrorism, bailout, finanical reform, bailout, bailout, etc, I don’t think urban policy statements have even registered.

    I think the administration’s tin ear has and is hurting them much more on banking issues (bailout and reform) and many other of their self-proclaimed major policy initiatives (that are getting slogged through a bought and paid for senate) than we’ll ever see from the world of urban/suburban policy. Even some of the major repubs are ready to cut a deal on climate change regulation, so I don’t see a suburban backlash fear being whipped up (nor even really hinted at in repub circles), and even if that is what it comes down to in the future, then the rest of the policy iniatives must be working out pretty swell.

    #342901

    DavidF
    Participant

    Andrew Hall wrote >>

    DavidF wrote
    Which is what happens when you don’t think for yourself, and simply gravitate to simplistic concepts like “the war on suburbia.”
    It simply doesn’t exist. Urban centers and suburban communities often have divergent priorities, and fight for many of the same state and federal dollars, but that doesn’t constitute a “war” than Ohio’s war on other states in regards to federal monies.
    The point of these types of articles is simply to stir up resentment and create the illusion of an us vs. them mentality.
    The passion for urban living by “urbanists” is no different that that of “ruralists,” or committed “suburbanites.” People tend to see their preferred lifestyle as the one superior to all others. The type of community one lives in is in no way different.
    I’m suburban born and raised, and I live in one now. I prefer the city for a variety of reasons, but I have no animus towards the suburbs, and I suspect neither do most people.
    Again, I have to reiterate, I find myself pitying people who take this type of dross seriously.

    I think you still missed the point. Yes, “war” is an over-played rhetorical trope. So what? Pretty much anything outside of really dry technical journals use rhetoric like that.
    And rhetoric is what it is about and the currency of politics. Stripped down to the bare essentials, this is another issue where the Obama admin has a complete tin ear when it comes to perceiving how their rhetoric is perceived by anyone who isn’t inside their self-referential circle. Instead of being on the side of working toward what people (suburbanites) want, they are consciously choosing to pander to Daily Grist readers.
    If you don’t see animus to the suburbs, you are totally oblivious. It has been a mainstay of Americans arts and music since … the inception of the suburbs.
    Instead of glee at the death of the suburbs, there should be lament. A brief run where abundant energy and optimism gave access to so many a dream and an inversion of the relationship between land and power that was dominant since the Middle Ages. That, at minimum, ought to be what the urbanists would be communicating if they had anything except contempt for everyone else.
    A.

    Exactly my point. The reality is simplistic talking points, parroted over and over again, divorced from any extant reality. Such as your final point that urbanists only communicate contempt for everyone else. Simplistic dross that fires up the masses without actually saying anything. I can recognize the reality and still pity the people who fall for it.

    I don’t expect urbanists to kiss the asses of people in the suburbs. They have a point of view, and every right to express it. Do I think some of them are a little over board? Of course, but no more so than any group of people with a point of view. Again, I don’t see the urbanists trying to scare monger people with a so-called “war.” But hey, why bother trying to figure out what is really going on, when you can accuse people of being elitist and contemptuous? Of course the Obama administration has the tin ear, not the do nothing, fight everything opposition. Of course it is the responsibility of progressives to listen to the other side, but never conservatives.

    #342902
    rus
    rus
    Participant

    http://www.grist.org/article/2010-01-29-cities-vs-suburbs-the-next-big-green-battle/

    Q. Where do the suburbs fit into the urban focus you’re calling for?

    A. The biggest fight I think we’ll see in the next ten years is the fight between people in cities who are trying to transform them into ‘bright green’ cities and those economic interests in the [outer-ring] suburbs who see that as a threat to their livelihoods, and in some cases just despise it on ideological grounds.

    So, no one hates the suburbs?

    #342903
    alove
    alove
    Participant

    Fighting suburbs in Columbus is a lost cause.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (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