Life in the suburbs

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,044
Las Vegas, NV USA
#1
I grew up in suburban New York. We had the usual amenities of a single family home, private yard, a two car garage, etc. There were no blacks, native Spanish speakers and just a few Asians. That's the way everyone liked it. It was overwhelmingly Republican in contrast to the "city" where the Democratic Party dominated. Although my father worked in Manhattan, we rarely went there. As an uncritical adolescent I had no complaints. As an a young adult I came to hate the suburbs. I never lived in the suburbs as an adult. I preferred small university towns with easy access to the countryside.

Suburbs are wasteful inefficient places. They cut off true urban areas from the countryside by mile after mile of dreary tact housing and ugly commercial development. Humans have long lived in cities or rural areas. It seems natural. I blame suburbs for much of the modern cultural/social dysfunction in the US. Europe has done a better job of keeping their cities viable but the they are not immune from the disease of suburbanization. Does anyone disagree? If you agree, what can done to prevent the planet from the becoming a wasteland of suburban sprawl?
 
Last edited:

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
33,045
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#2
Osaka has large suburban areas, filled ith mile upon mile of multi-story spartment buildings, as is normal in some partsofJapan. And, by god, it is the most depressing cityscape I have ever seen.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,044
Las Vegas, NV USA
#3
Osaka has large suburban areas, filled ith mile upon mile of multi-story spartment buildings, as is normal in some partsofJapan. And, by god, it is the most depressing cityscape I have ever seen.
At least multistory construction saves rural land and it need not be dreary. Paris solved this problem in the 1850's when the city was largely rebuilt. The population density is over 20000 per sq km (over 50000 per sq mile) within the city limits, but people love it.

 
Last edited:

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,813
Dispargum
#4
The problem I have with suburbia is the lack of culture or at least the difusion of culture. Various services and cultural activities are only available above their threshold populations. By spreading people out, suburbs make it more difficult to achieve the different population thresholds. How do Japan's densely populated suburbs compare culturally to cities?
 
Likes: stevev
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#5
Australia is the land of the quarter acre block, with traditionally one of the highest rates of private home ownership in the world. I grew up in such a suburb.

My city, Adelaide, has a population of around 1 million. On the coast, with the Mount Loft Ranges in the east, the sea to the west. The suburbs stretch over 60 miles north-south.

I also live vin one of those suburbs, but a bit further out, about from the CBD. Also have a, smaller block land, ,@ 700 sq metres. Suburb like mine are called' dormitory suburbs' , because families tend to be two income and no one home during the day.

My house was built in 1974 ,the same time as the rest of the suburb.That means an ageing population, with people falling of their perch or going into care.
A big change in this suburb and others like it-------- House comes on the market. bought by developer for close to land value, house is bulldozed., developer builds up to THREE new houses on the block, rarely less than two. Land size' average is now 300s sq metres. One change has been a massive increase in the number of two story houses (called McMansions) and town houses. I have a McMansion next door, tiny block, 300sq metre , two story house.



People no longer want to spend an hour or more commuting to the city. I bought this house to be close to work; a twenty minute drive in peak hour and free parking . I moved offices two years before retiring; that was 6 minutes away.

Adelaide does not have an efficient public transport system. This may change with greater population density.


Adelaide is becoming a mid density city. Density will slowly increase because our largest demographic, 'baby boomers', is ageing. I think it's significant to realise that this state has been moving away from a manufacturing base to a service industry base for the last 30 years. All car producers and major white goods, and. electronics manufacturers have moved, usually off shore.

Society is always in flux, it's dynamic, not static. Change is constant , but often so minor a change or so slow, we don't notice.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,044
Las Vegas, NV USA
#6
. How do Japan's densely populated suburbs compare culturally to cities?
I don't know but If the densities are high, they should be closer to urban amenities and Japan generally has good public urban transport. Slap-dash uniformity is nevertheless depressing.

The Paris model has 4 floors above street level with businesses on the first floor (shops, restaurants, groceries, and other convenient services for the neighborhood). There is a central open space on every block only for residents and guests.. There many ways to humanize apartment blocks with a little imagination. The entire city of Paris has uniform height of apartment blocks and business venues. There are high rises in a specific area to the northwest of the city proper.
 
Last edited:
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#7
In the last 20 years or so, numbers living within the city square mile have boomed. A lot of multi story apartments, often using that ghastly' facadism'. They tend to be up market, with a sprinkling of high quality, low rent, public housing appartments.Their public ownership is not at all obvious.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,044
Las Vegas, NV USA
#8
In the last 20 years or so, numbers living within the city square mile have boomed. A lot of multi story apartments, often using that ghastly' facadism'. They tend to be up market, with a sprinkling of high quality, low rent, public housing appartments.Their public ownership is not at all obvious.
"City square mile" ;) Yes, I know. Australian cities have just a fraction of their population within the central city limits which is usually the central business district. On that basis the City of Sydney has about 17,200 people.

What I worry about is that self driving cars will exacerbate suburban sprawl.
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#9
@stevev

Adelaide is almost unique of Australian cities,. but really not in the least original. Designed by Colonel William Light in 1837. It is simply based on an army camp. The free colony of South Australia was founded in 1836.

A grid of one square mile,. It is defined by four by four imaginatively named terraces, North South, East and West Terraces. The streets are laid out in a grid too,.Originally, many of the streets were occupation and use specific.

There is also a green belt surrounding the city.

The city is jumping after hours because of the umber of clubs and pubs.

Current population of the square mile of Adelaide is 24,143.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
33,045
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#10
At least multistory construction saves rural land and it need not be dreary. Paris solved this problem in the 1850's when the city was largely rebuilt. The population density is over 20000 per sq km (over 50000 per sq mile) within the city limits, but people love it.

The Osaka suburbs did't have shops on the bottom floor - if they had, it wouldn't have been so bad. It was just mile upon mile of identical white buildings.
 

Similar History Discussions