Life in the suburbs

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
32,000
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#11
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?
I can't say for certain, as I've not really experienced life in suburban Japan, but I know there is generally a strong community spirit. Cultural activities will probably centre around the local shrine or temple.

In big cities like Osaka and Tokyo (in particular), the transport links are so good that a lack of local services is not a huge problem. Children can easily get to schools, for example, by train or bus. Thatcompares to suburbs here in the UK, where, if you don't drive, you're screwed, usually. There are unreliable bus services, all now run by private companies, which str as lkely as not to turn up.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
2,861
Las Vegas, NV USA
#12
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.
A little imagination can cure this. These components can be mass produced and assembled in many unique ways.


From Montreal Word's Fair 1967
 
Jul 2017
123
Europe
#13
It’s nice to live in the suburbs. You can have your own back garden, a vast space, you are isolated from the citys hustle and bustle, and in most cases, it’s much more family-friendly than living in the city. So, my vote goes for suburban living anytime.
 
Jul 2016
8,401
USA
#14
Suburbia is a great place to raise families. Not great if you're trying to start a life as an adult, as finding work and a spouse can be a bit harder.

A lot of people, me included, hate cities. If I'm forced to work in one, I sure don't want to live in one. Hence suburbs.
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#15
Paris is the most beautiful city I've ever seen, a great experience just walking around.

Mine is a small country in population, but vast in area. We are only 23 million, an 85% of us live in about 8 coastal cities.

Adelaide is tiny, often called 'a village' by residents. --only 182 years old. It may be centuries before we develop the ambience found in some European cities, if ever.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
2,861
Las Vegas, NV USA
#16
It’s nice to live in the suburbs. You can have your own back garden, a vast space, you are isolated from the citys hustle and bustle, and in most cases, it’s much more family-friendly than living in the city. So, my vote goes for suburban living anytime.
You identify as living in Europe. If you were in the USA I could see your point better. Suburbanization has drained the vitality of many American cities and virtually destroyed a few (Detroit). In 1950 the population of Detroit (city proper) was 1.8 million and it was prosperous. English Tudor style brick free standing homes predominated on shady streets. The public schools were among the best in the nation. In the next 15 yrs the Detroit area acquired a Los Angeles style freeway system and the surrounding countryside succumbed to massive suburbanization . Today the city has about 700,000 people and a lot of open space after thousands of once fine homes were demolished. The metropolitan area has about 4.5 million people spread over about 1200 square miles (nearly 3000 sq km). There is no center to this sprawling mass of unorganized development. Without a car you can't survive. With a car you can spend hours getting from A to B with traffic going in all directions.Yes, people have their own back yards but the front yard faces the street, so forget privacy
 
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tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
12,941
#17
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 population of Paris proper (as limited by the bd peripherique) has been in constant decrease (down from some 2.8 mio in the 1950s to less than 2.2 mio today....(vs more than 10 mio in the suburbs)...This s getting worse as 10s of thousands of appts have been converted to airbnb etc... Prices are outrageously high (as relating to average income), at least twice higher than in other large French cities, and many buildings are still without lifts (those were made mandatory only in 1980, but many buildings are much older).... and of course old buildings have other issues such as poor sound insulation , wooden floor/ceilings, inadequate water/waste/electricity (since those were added long after building construction)

So it cannot be said that "the people love it" ... rather "some people love it" and they are a minority.... its basically a live in disneyland with only a privileged minority able to afford it and a constant flow of tourists (other cities such as Barcelonas and Venice are seriously looking at limiting the flow of tourists and making the cities more resident friendly).... Paris is one of the few cities where appts for rent are snapped up and you can see people lining up at a designated time and day to visit an appt with a queue forming in the stairs.... Its like "visit 10 to 12 on Thursday and submit your application for rent on the spot"..... the owner will often have 10+ applications to choose from....


I do not really see this as a successful model and I am now thinking that the main problem in Europe is those mega cities with a "golden" center and sprawling suburbs due to excessive concentration ........ The challenge of the 21st century will be to better spread people, wealth etc across whole countries instead of just a few megacities..
 
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Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
32,000
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#18
+Paris seems similar to London. I used to live in central London (well, zone 2 at any rate(, but my apartment was paid for by my company - there's absolutely no way I would have been able to live there otherwise. For a British city though, London has pretty good transport links, which means the suburbs sprawl out even further. The Greater London area has well over 13 million peopke, but the City of London is almost dead at night.

The Tokyo Metropolitan area is the largest urban area in the world, but the transport links are excellent - most people use the trains. and buses are generally used to get to the nearest train station. There are certainly many apartments around the hub of central Tokyo - of course, these are Japanese apartments, which are often one room affairs, but there are jpising districts within the city itself, which are exactly the sort of houses you see in films like The Ring....

I'm not sure about workers, but I certainly knew people who, for a period of time anyway, lived some distance away, sometimes even in a nearby city, and travelled into Tokyo for work.

What I haven't really seen there though is large gardens. The only houses I saw with large gardens were in nearby Kamakura and they obviously belonged to quite wealthy people.
 
#19
Map from 2016 giving a rough idea on how far people commute to London. For contrast the next 3 largest cities by population in England are shown along with their smaller commuter range.




Birmingham



Leeds



Manchester

 
Jul 2016
8,401
USA
#20
You identify as living in Europe. If you were in the USA I could see your point better. Suburbanization has drained the vitality of many American cities and virtually destroyed a few (Detroit). In 1950 the population of Detroit (city proper) was 1.8 million and it was prosperous. English Tudor style brick free standing homes predominated on shady streets. The public schools were among the best in the nation. In the next 15 yrs the Detroit area acquired a Los Angeles style freeway system and the surrounding countryside succumbed to massive suburbanization . Today the city has about 700,000 people and a lot of open space after thousands of once fine homes were demolished. The metropolitan area has about 4.5 million people spread over about 1200 square miles (nearly 3000 sq km). There is no center to this sprawling mass of unorganized development. Without a car you can't survive. With a car you can spend hours getting from A to B with traffic going in all directions.Yes, people have their own back yards but the front yard faces the street, so forget privacy
Suburbia didn't destroy Detroit, Detroit destroyed Detroit.

The car industry went under, putting factories out of business. Destructive race riots in the late 60s gave many the idea to get the hell out, the famous White Flight. Horrific, criminal, incompetent city leadership where one party controlled the city since 1962. Sound nice? Suburbs didn't cause that. But suburbs provided an option, a better one, than living in a crappy city going downhill further every year.

And you're talking about Detroit, the historic home of American automobile manufacturing, and private car ownership as if its a chore and not a privilege to own one. Yes, there is traffic, but even worse inside Detroit itself.
 
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