Essay talk:A nineteenth century solution to a twenty-first century problem

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You have my compliments[edit]

<friendly joke>You're command of English grammar is astonishing.</friendly joke> <-𐌈FedoraTippingSkeptic𐌈-> (talk) 20:59, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

As I said, this essay is a bit old (back then my English was a bit weaker, I think) and I just now copied it verbatim as I found it interesting and wanted to hear other people's opinions on it... Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 21:03, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

Good start[edit]

Looks interesting, and I am not sure if you have been in a city with a lot of public transit...but I find it generally more appealing if it's safe and run well. My biggest complaint was capacity, as sometimes things over-capacity where additional capacity wasn't added, and that it can take a lot of time depending on how things are laid out. Horses are not appealing in terms of sanitation, cost, room to frolic, and a number I met are real assholes. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 21:32, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

Well as for your question regarding public transit, I currently live in a city that enables one to get around very well indeed without a car or the need for one. And your points about horses are well taken. Though they are only ever intended as a stopgap in countries that positively can't afford any other solution. The first streetcars were actually horse-drawn. A huge benefit (at least as a backup) in a country with frequent power outages. Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 22:03, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
I lived in one that I rode ~4x a day on average, and loved it. However, many seemed to go through the center of town which became inconvient if you needed to get from the North part of one side of time to even the south side. It was just bad planning. Horses for less developed areas make sense. However, knowing someone that owns four...they aren't as good in my opinion as a bike or electric car unless that's what you got. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 23:09, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
City planning is a thing that matter greatly and a thing that has been fucked up greatly by ideology. It is in my opinion no accident of history that Le Corbusier, the "automotive city" and Fascism are roughly contemporary. Soviet style Leninism also arose at a similar time. Of course they were faced with an entirely new problem and had no precedent to draw on (though cities have been "planned" in one form or another since antiquity), but the "solutions" they came up with are extremely bad. As can be evidenced by cities that are supposedly designed around the "free flow of traffic" yet for their myriad downsides they can't even deliver the upside of less congestion. There has never in the history of earth been a human traffic jam of pedestrians. And getting congestion with bikes is rather difficult as well... Creating a major city free of congestion unless you ban or limit cars in some way... A problem for the ages Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 23:15, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
When you want to foot the bill and creation of plans for your new not-car focused city expansion and rebuilding, you let us know. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 23:17, 24 September 2015 (UTC)--"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 23:17, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
Please tell me who pays for all the car centric design planning, parking minimums and all the other things that enabled the current car-culture. And that's not even getting into the ridiculously low gas taxes Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 23:32, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
Who pays for your version? The current idea being bad does not justify your idea being -better-. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 23:33, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

β”Œβ”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”˜ Road wear raises with the fourth or fifth power of axle load. Hence lighter vehicles (like bikes) are a very good way to reduce the costs for road maintenance. And public transit can be done by things that will fall in price over the next decades. Steel and electricity. On the other hand, oil and asphalt (also ultimately oil) are running out. Fast. Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 23:57, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

On bikes[edit]

Clearly at the time I wrote this I considered bikes part of the solution but did not really give them credit. I think that in many cases bikes are a better solution for mobility needs thaen draft animals and in some cases they are even better thaen public transit. Given that a durable bike can be manufactured for fifty dollars or less, I think spreading bikes in the developing countries of our fine earth is a "safe the world" task worthy of our effort. Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 22:42, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

It takes me 20 minutes to get from the edge of the town i live to the middle where my school is, and it takes another 15-20 to get from there to the east end of town. Do you see the issue with bikes?--"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 22:44, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
Settlement patters are not static. They depend very much on the traffic choices and on government policy. Copenhagen for instance is a rather big city in terms of population (and it can get rather nasty weather) yet it also has a huge cycling mode-share for people not living in Copenhagen but commuting to work there daily Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 22:50, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
"But it worked somewhere else!" does not mean it will work in my 110 to -10 droughts and blizzards common city. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 22:54, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
It has been said that it's always impossible until it becomes inevitable. In case you want to inform yourself on how Copenhagen does it and why this is indeed applicable to other places, look no further thaen this Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 23:08, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
I'm more thinking of the realities that bike rides are not a practical reality in my town and anybody proposing they are is an idiot. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 23:10, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
Just out of curiosity.... Was your place inhabited one hundred years or more ago? Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 23:43, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
My town was founded in 1854 and incorporated in 1857. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 23:52, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
So have you asked yourself how people got around back then? There obviously is an alternative to cars. See MCA. Btw have you watched the first talk I linked to? Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 23:54, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
The difference is my town is no longer the small capital of the territory, but a major city of 500k spread across the county to the point that, assuming i use the interstate, it will take 40 some minutes to drive across town. At best. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 23:59, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

β”Œβ”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”˜Sprawl is not a law of nature. It is the result of human decisions. And human decisions can be reversed. At least most of them. And once the oil runs out, they will have to be reversed. Suburbia is dying. Don't let it kill you as well... Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 00:01, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

I don't see how you propose we solve urban sprawl without forcing people out of their homes they payed money for.--"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 00:02, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
Suburbanization has been a trend for long times in most of Europe as well. However, it is now reversing itself. Why? Rising gas prices mostly. The city is the place to be once more. Many places in the back of beyond will revert to quiet agricultural villages once more. Suburbia is - once you get down to it - not a desirable place to be. And any house is worth only as much as someone will pay for it. But if all are moving out of the suburbs, who will buy your house in the burbs? Maybe you'll cry for big government buy-up then? And also: zoning laws. Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 00:11, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
Where i live, the places that could replace the suburbs are either crime ridden ethnic ghettos whites dont want to live in (and thus no money ever flows in, keeping that fun cycle going) or do get so much money influx in the existing residents have to move. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 00:15, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
It's also worth to pointout that where I live, Suburbanization is not reversing and is still going on strong - when we moved to this house 17 years ago it was near the edge of town, and the high school i went to was bordered by a dirt road. flash forward 17 years and the edge is now another... what, 40 streets to the west? (From 180th to something like 220th street) with ever more going on. Gas also continues to remain cheap here, never hitting as high as the coasts. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 00:17, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
Gentrification is a funny thing. Thirty years ago there was no less desirable part of Berlin thaen Kreuzberg. "NeukΓΆlln" is still known in some parts as an undesirable ethnic ghetto with lots of crime and unemployment. But lo and behold, it is now almost impossible to get an affordable apartment in Kreuzberg and parts of NeukΓΆlln. A city is a living breathing system. Assuming them to be static is one of the most stupid assumptions one can make. Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 00:19, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
Shame, all the Blacks, Hispanics and other various minorities who will have to be forced out of their homes because white people want to live in the city again, as has happened in the areas that have or are slated to be renewed. The recovery of inner city whites comes at the expense of those who filled the gap when they fled. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 00:48, 25 September 2015 (UTC)--"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 00:48, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

β”Œβ”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”˜You know I am starting to think your confrontational and dismissive tone on almost anything I ever write is done on purpose. As to the issue at hand... Gentrification can also happen by the people already living there getting richer. Yes black and brown folks can get rich. One of the richest people in the world is an actual Mexican to be quite precise... Kreuzberg and NeukΓΆlln still have quite a number of people who are called Murat Γ–zdemir instead of Sophie Meyer-Brinckmann Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 00:52, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

Amusing, your optimism.--"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 00:54, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
May I ask what your background in urban planning is to be so dismissive of my point of view? Surely you have studied and read quite a bit to know better thaen I do... Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 00:56, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
So what will happen to all those minorities who do not gentrify and become rich, and thus are forced to move elsewhere due to the white return? You have an odd sense of reality if you think having all the whites returning to the inner city with their suburbia money is going to end well for the existing inhabitants of said inner city. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 00:58, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
-Waits Patiently for an answer to this actual problem with your idea- --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 00:12, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
Well let's just ignore your prior hypocrisy where you associated inner cities (of either gender) with drugs and criminal activity... And let's address your point. First of all, it was already addressed above: Kreuzberg and NeukΓΆlln are still rather multi-cultural. Furthermore, gentrification usually does not affect all central quarters at the same time. The rather big city I live in has one rather densely built neighborhood that is being intensely gentrified. Other parts of town however are not changing in any perceptible way. In fact some of the less desirable parts of town (usually on the outskirts) are losing inhabitants just as the city as a whole is growing. That being said, strong tenant protection and rent control make it very hard indeed to throw someone out of an apartment against their will. Those are laws that don't exist in the US, I know, but laws can be changed. There should be an honest acknowledgement that a world where everybody lives in a one family house that they own themselves is not sustainable. The city is a tremendous way of solving problems. The city, whatever its faults in the present - and for that matter in the future - is still a place where people can come together. And just because the average fifties suburbanite (and really suburbs are just a way to artificially prolong the fifties, the worst decade in all the time since World War II ended) can't imagine living in a diverse neighborhood, doesn't mean it is impossible. The Eastern bloc of all places had parts of town where the Professor and the janitor literally lived literally door to door. And they all took the streetcar to work. That's not saying the Eastern bloc was better, but they had some things in urban planning that were good - most of them purely by accident. US urban planning on the other hand is fucked up on so many levels... Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 00:27, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
The actual effects of gentrification in america disagree, there will be no multicultural living of the two together. The poor will be forced out while the whites tear everything down and replace it with what they want.--"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 00:39, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
It's still a very slow process. Round these parts the only thing that is remotely white-related that has pushed poor people out is the local gas station, a Quinto Sol Inn, and the possibility of a future NFL stadium where the Hollywood Park Casino is. Otherwise, all of us over here have to cope with poverty. Yay! Zexcoiler Kingbolt (talk) 19:04, 1 October 2015 (UTC)Zexcoiler Kingbolt

A digression regarding suburbs[edit]

Do you think the suburb as it has been developed in its most striking and extreme form in the US in the 1950s can survive in any way? By that I mean: Big single family home that look if not exactly alike incredibly similar. Huge lots with mostly lawn and pool occupying the parts that are neither house nor car (even in drought stricken SoCal). A street layout that reminds one of a leaf in the areal view, with cul-de-sacs leading to ever more "arterial" roads. Virtually no accommodation for or indeed possibility to biking and walking as means to get from A to B as opposed to exercise. And of course all the things associated with suburbia: Huge "big box" stores sitting in seas of parking; People living in the burbs (almost) as homogeneous as the houses they live in; a (false) sense of security as the only criminals are "outsiders" (be they poor, minorities or simply "from elsewhere"). Which of these do you think will survive? Will the physical neighborhoods that constitute suburbia survive? Will there be a suburban revival even? What about countries that are not the US? What about Africa and Latin America? Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 21:35, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Suburbia seems fine where I'm living, so it depends. You want to condemn suburbia as a blanket ideal destined to fail and yet plan to blanket replace it with an ideal just as likely to fail. What do the people where I live during the winter do when biking is not an option but public transport isn't good enough? What do we do during the Summer months when the same issue is at stake? Do you just plan to force suburbia residents and inner city residents to live next to oneanother in your reduced cities? That will never work, one group is going to be pushed out, and odds are it will be the poor, often non-white inner city dwellers there first because the suburban returners are going to have a lot mor money and influence to throw at the city, which will drive up property values and drive out the people already there - which has happened throughout the US when older areas are rebuilt and gentrified. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 21:41, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Your biggest problem is you are attempting to fix the legitimate issues of Suburbia without dealing with the myriads of changes suburbia has caused. As much as your idea in of itself is not bad, the reality on the ground means it will never be anything but Suburbia returning to the cities and pushing everybody already there who cannot keep up out. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 21:43, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
The thing I like most about cities is that they are messy contradictory places. I don't know much about younger cities, but in a city like Nuremberg, which has almost a thousand years of history, you can find ideologies, styles and eras next to each other that have little to do with one another. In Berlin the same is of course multiplied by the time 1949-1990. If you look at Karl Marx Allee in Berlin, it is entirely different from Kreuzberg. Which is of course entirely different from Marzahn still. And the inhabitants of this city are as diverse as the city itself. In my opinion suburbia is largely a failed idea. And the solution is for the city to grow again. This is happening globally. More thaen half of the world population live in cities now. And the way our cities look will be one of the most immediately notable politic questions for the 21st century. However, I think that the biggest problem with any ideological approach to constructing a city is the "blank slate mentality" - Planners always want the whole city to follow the model du jour - whether it be the "automotive city", the "socialist city" or the residence of some ruler built in their image. And for that you will of course have to do a lot of tearing down. In my humble opinion sometimes not tearing stuff down is the best building policy. When the Plattenbau were built in East (and West) Germany, people were tearing down turn of the (19th to 20th) century housing. Today rents in Plattenbau are as low as they can be and rents in late 19th/ early 20th century housing are rising wildly. I am glad that structural inertia made tearing them down hard. And even though a Plattenbau may now be considered an eyesore - Who is to say this will stay that way for ever? Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 21:57, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately in America returning suburbia by and large prefers to tear down the old stuff to put in nicer, more maintained stuff. Old style housing in Europe may be nice, but the same isn't as easily said about most inner city housing since the white flight to suburbia. All of the money and all of the interest in maintenance followed them.--"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 22:10, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
This American suburbia phenomenon is kind of a peculiar occurrence, to be honest. The normal way of things is having the wealthy living in big cities with the poor living in slums at the periphery of the city. (talk) 22:18, 1 October 42015 AQD (UTC)
There are three separate periods of ancient Egyptian history that are commonly referred to as the First, Second and Third "Intermediate Period"s respectively. Each one of those has endured for a longer time now thaen the era of the automobile and the era of suburbia. This is just to put things into a bit of perspective. Historians of the 30th century will call the suburbia and car era a remarkable era, no doubt, but they won't say that it lasted tremendously long. For better or worse, the end of suburbia is visible to people who were born close to its beginning (unless we count the "streetcar suburbs" that were kind of a false start of suburbia). As for the niceness of certain neighborhoods...
this is the fastest gentrifying neighborhood of Dresden - a place that the GDR wanted to tear down wholesale in the 1990s - only that the GDR ended in the 1980s and hence the plans never worked out.
this is what was considered "modern" at the time people wanted to tear down Dresden-Neustadt
. Styles change. And most of the things that make people choose or reject a particular dwelling (e.g. lack of central heating) can be built in during renovation. A big problem of US style suburbia is the fact that most houses are not built to last. They are mostly built from wood and stuff, whereas European suburbia is (mostly) built from sturdy stone or concrete. Sure this makes building more expensive and hence more people rent (especially in Germany, where protection for people who rent is very strong), but houses last and don't capitulate at the first sing of strong wind. Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 10:17, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
When the style and tastes of white suburban dwellers becomes inner city run down you let me know. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 13:16, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
"run down" is by its very nature a reversible state. However, you can't easily change a building from one architectural style into another. That would take tearing down and building anew. Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 19:46, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
which is by and large what American gentrification does as funny eniugh the people with money who moved there are the ones deciding the style. They aren't just fixing up old houses and whoever told you so was a liar. In America by and large gentrification is a negative event for anybody living there already--"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 20:42, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
Three words: Zoning Zoning Zoning. Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 21:00, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
the money interests of suburian dwellers > zoning. Or the money interests of suburbia decide zoning. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 21:35, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
If suburbanites can't vote in the city, they can't make the zoning laws. And many zoning codes (at least in Germany) are rather divorced from public input through elections. That being said, why would people come to a place because they like it and thaen proceed to destroy it by tearing down its historic buildings? Most areas of German cities that are currently being gentrified were largely constructed in the late 19th / early 20th century. There might be something about this style of architecture... Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 21:48, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
America is not Germany. Stop conflating how things were in Germany with how America is. The places in America that will be gentrified in your system aren't quant old style housing, it's areas whites lived til white flight and then went to shit because all the money and urban interests followed them. White suburbia doesnt want the houses there, they want the area. Gentrification patterns in america are "money starts to flow in, rates rise and anybody who can't keep up are forced out. Renovate into nice apartments and open air malls. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 21:55, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
Lol, at first I read that as Zioning. :D (talk) 00:58, 3 October 42015 AQD (UTC)

β”Œβ”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”˜Are the gentrified neighborhoods in the US more or less ethnically homogeneous thaen the suburbs? Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 21:57, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

here, Some are, some aren;t. But even discounting whites are the main gainers, Gentrification in america is not going to be a good thing for the people living there overall, because it's the new rich people coming in deciding things, not the long term residents, though as tibet shows you don't much care for the wishes of long term residents. Oh, and a thing you said - The suburban residents can't influence zone planning, sure they can, it's called money. or cities like mine that have mostly annexed most of it's suburban areas.--"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 00:01, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
Unless you also beleive that all of the controversy of Gentrification is just fake and people bitching about nothing, at which point you really don't have a right to talk about gentrification. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 00:03, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
I am not as stupid as the German Verfassungsschutz (I would explain the background of this cryptic comment in a footnote, but alas...). I know that gentrification is a real, observable fact that serious scientists spend time and money on studying. That being said, I guess part of the problem is that the US never had a "Hausbesetzerszene" or a movement to "occupy" houses that stood empty and would have likely been torn down. Many of the houses that were occupied in the 1970s and 1980s in Frankfurt or West-Berlin are now being rapidly gentrified. Hence the same processes on the face of it can have vastly different consequences. Wholesale tearing down of neighborhoods in one place versus the exact opposite in another. In the end however the demographic composition and the house rents (as well as the objective quality of the provided housing) drastically changes. But maybe this question has to be tackled on: Do you think suburbia is a positive good, a necessary evil or some other thing? I would also like to hear a reason or justification for your opinion. Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 16:06, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
you could also explain what that is like a normal fucking human would in the body of your text, no footnote required. But please, bitch more. I think suburbia is an issue for community building and in the long term is a completely dumb idea, but it has the big block of also fulfilling the American desire for -ones own home- and the autonomy it at least implies one has, to some degree inspired by business interests resurgent after the era of FDR and to some degree inspired by the myth of the homesteader and farmer citizen of the 18th and 19th centuries. The problem with America is that having Suburbia return to the inner city is only going to benefit Suburbia, the inner city is going to be drowned out by all of the money and thus influence Suburbia already has. And with that money and influence, what Suburbia wants will decide how things go, not some democratic "both sides get their say" because who cares what the less rich natives want, Suburbia got the money and votes. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 23:12, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
Reality lends itself better to the footnote. That's why stream of consciousness is a realistic but horrible to read style. Thoughts go hither and thither and yon and unless you put at least some of the tangents in their own footnotes, you'll get complete and utter chaos. But enough on that tangent for now. I think your formulation betrays a major error in thinking. As any good Marxist knows "das gesellschaftliche Sein bestimmt das individuelle Bewusstsein" (see, for translating this a footnote would also be great) - The position people have in a society (and in another sense the way society is) determines individual consciousness. "Suburbia" does not move into the inner city. People living in the suburbs do. And just like people who are part of the wage earning proletariat start thinking differently when they by some stroke of luck acquire means of production, suburbanites become city dwellers in more senses thaen one after moving to the big bad city. Yes there are countless jokes about the guy from BΓΆblingen near Stuttgart who moves to Kreuzberg or Prenzlauer Berg (both gentrifying or gentrified neighborhoods of Berlin) and tries to introduce his concept of sweeping the sidewalk once a week, but even if you have a whole "colony" of Swabians living in a given street in Berlin, the very nature of them living in a city makes them have different lives. Imagine some alien space bats suddenly force all residents of Dallas to do their daily commute on a bike. There would be massive changes within a few years. Not least in the body mass index and the percentage of muscle and fat of these people. And just the same is true for settlement patterns. Urban development is not a cure all. Some people (roughly one or two per cent of the population) will still have to farm the land and the "dying towns" in the countries with falling and low birthrates are a real and urgent problem. But if you have better cities, you'll have better people. Just like the incidence of Tuberculosis drastically fell when the urban proletariat was exposed to more sunlight, culture will change with the re-emergence of the city. Or do you think places like Copenhagen or Seattle are entirely self selecting and the people only move there because they are crazy leftist green communist hippy somethings? And of course their children automatically inherit said traits? In my humble opinion, your place of residence influences you more thaen many things, including your national origin. And given that now more thaen half the citizens of our blue marble are living in cities, urban planning is kind of a big deal. Don't you think? Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 23:26, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
The issue is that that isn't how it's working in America - when AMERICAN gentrification is taking place, it's largely at the desires of the new people wanting things to change to how -they- want it too. When old areas of cities get renovated, it's largely because the new young rich white want it to be rennovated, not because the people living there wanted it to be, though they have for quite a long time and only get it now that somebody the city gives a shit about is around. Like I said above - Suburbia, when it moves back into the city in America, does so because it wants to live in those areas, not what is already there. That it works out well in germany is completly irrelevant, this isn't germany, and a completly different, much more capitalist, materialist individualistic-aspiring culture exists here and has since before suburbia really started. I can go into midtown and downtown and look at all the new gentrfied neighborhoods, and the amazing thing is it's all expensive housing on a model that white former-surbirbia dwellers find attractive. So please, stop being an idiot who goes "But IN GERMANY IT WORKED!"--"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 23:37, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
Well first of all, you seem to need a bunch of Hausbesetzer. I think Joschka Fischer is free this weekend... Unless he is busy "consulting" for the auto lobby... And your point is basically American exceptionalism. Sure gentrification in the US has taken another path. Thus far. There is no guarantee that it won't follow a similar trend to that observed in Europe. Especially once gas prices hit some threshold that will only be determined empirically. The re-emergence of cities is happening. It is happening around the globe. It is even happening in places where cities never underwent any sort of shrinking and suburbanization never happened in any real sense. The US are the slowest to jump on the bandwagon. As has been the case with high speed rail or the re-emergence of public transit. But even though those things are not nearly as developed as in Europe, they are gaining steam. Fast. Cultural attitudes towards home-ownership won't apply or at the very least they will lose a lot of their importance once "drive till you qualify" no longer works. And once the scale is tipped, once this particular tipping point is passed, there will be a lot of relatively well of potential voters who will move into some sort of "not private one family homes" - and the current abysmal protection of people who rent will become a major political issue. This will happen within the next two or three decades. Who knows, maybe even President Sanders' second term will include a "renter's bill of rights" as a serious policy proposal. The only question is: Will this all be enough? In essence: Will suburbia die quietly or will it take us all with it through global warming and sea level rise? And once suburbia loses its culturally dominant position, politics will change. They are already changing. Twenty years ago, Trump would have gotten away with his anti-Latino remarks. Today a young coalition of city dwellers says "fuck you" to the hairpeace and many of them even add a few profanities in Spanish for good measure. Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 23:49, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
You greatly underestimate the power of both suburbia's money and Suburbias desire to reshape things, even if they become city dwellers, to how they want them to be, and I wish I had your idealism. And it really isn't American Exceptionalism, it's called different cultures that do their own things. Hausbesetzer works because people are ok with living in those old buildings, the buildings left for Suburbia to move back into in the cities in America are not those buildings. they are run down "Ghettos" destroyed by 50+ years of urban neglect because all of the city influence and wealth sat out in the suburbs, leaving little real interest in fixing up politically and economically weak areas instead of just catering to the inverse out in the outskirts. A little renovation isn't going to be what makes them acceptable to an American used to living in his own house in the burbs, wholescale replacement is though, and thats exactly what we are seeing happen in American cities. And Hoping that we will go the European way when we are inevitably forced to recede city sprawl is wildly idealistic and Stupidly naive because it's planning all policy decisions on a Hope that it will work out for the better.--"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 00:01, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

β”Œβ”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”€β”˜Have you seen images of now gentrified neighborhoods in the time they were mostly occupied houses? Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 00:10, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

"But but things will work out". is every reply you give me. Every. Single. Reply. You never give me a reason why it will, besides that it worked out in Europe.--"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 00:14, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
There is only one thing I am sure about: Suburbia will die. It can't last. It won't last. The question planners and politicians will have to ask and answer in the coming two or three decades is: What will it be replaced by? Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 00:19, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it will, but I don't see why we should make this future plan on an assumption. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 00:23, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
Hey Avenger, could I borrow this crystal ball of yours? ;) (talk) 00:23, 4 October 42015 AQD (UTC)
While I just barely passed my planning class in the literally last attempt ("obere RaumordnungsbehΓΆrde" and "oberste RaumordnungsbehΓΆrde" - who cares what the difference is?), I do know that all planning happens with assumptions. Sure they are usually grounded in facts and based on observable reality, but they are assumptions nonetheless. And as for how I get my assumptions, no crystal ball but two words: oil prices. Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 00:26, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
And what's the price of oil got to do with it? (talk) 00:29, 4 October 42015 AQD (UTC)
'burbs are based on "drive till you qualify". Once the cost of said drive or its length gets a ridiculous value, people will have to move back into the cities. Just like people in the 13th century could not commute fifty miles daily... Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 00:31, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
But who says cars (or similar means of transport) will always run on oil? Also, once society stops sillily demanding people to spend 5/7ths (or more) of their prime doing some usually blatantly monotonous activity to the benefit of some bossy stranger, they wouldn't have to commute a lot, would they? (talk) 00:38, 4 October 42015 AQD (UTC)
Well if we can get rid of wage dependent labor, we're talking an entirely different ballgame. But who knows when that will happen? Surely not at a time when more thaen half the world is embroiled in antisemitic distractions. And as for your points regarding alternative fuels... The electric motor is not exactly new technology. It may be my brother who works in cars talking, but I don't think that the factors that have kept electric traction mostly limited to fixed guide-way systems (trains, subways and other types of rail or rail-like stuff) will change all of a sudden once gas gets expensive. Simply said: Unless you are talking Reykjavik in a blizzard, a bike is just as useful if not more thaen an electric car, due to range issues. Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 00:51, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but those assumptions you are making are based on how it worked in a completely different culture. Like I said below, you are playing a dangerous game of demanding policy action on the hope it will work out like in Europe, with not a thought to the differences between Europe and America or the possibility of the very terrible things that will come if you are -wrong-. you literally have no concept for "you are wrong", you just keep going "but it worked elsewhere so it must work here!"--"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 00:33, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
Ultimately cities are different. I know. LeΓ³n, Nicaragua has nothing in common with Chongqing. It does however have some things in common with LeΓ³n, Spain. So there is a good chance that things in America will look extremely different. But for example the "demographic transition" (basically from a high mortality five or more children society to what we got in Europe today) happened very similarly wherever it occurred. Unless there is clear indication to the contrary, taking a country that is more advanced in one regard as a model for another country is a good first approximation. Or how do you think the death of suburbia is going to transform American cities? Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 00:47, 4 October 2015 (UTC)


a street in Berlin ca. 2006
the same street "occupied" in 1990

That is just a bit of context on German Hausbesetzer Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 00:17, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

Yeah, the after picture looks better than the before picture. But what's your point? (talk) 00:20, 4 October 42015 AQD (UTC)
I know what they look lile, we talked about it in some of my German classes. That it worked out in the homeland doesn't mean it'll work out here, or that it will give the same results here. This is the entire core of your problem: you assume because it worked out nicely for pretty much everybody in Europe, it must translate just as well to America, despite any cultural differences. Then, and this is the biggest flaw of your idea, you propose we make policy initiative on this assumption it will work out nicely. If it doesn't work out that way, like in many places it isn't, seems to not be a concern to you because you are so hell bent on it working you refuse to acknowledge where it might go horribly wrong. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 00:23, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
My point is that the original buildings still stand. People wanted to tear them down. The Hausbesetzer said: fuck that. And they won. And as it still baffles me why someone would move to a neighborhood for its style and way of live and thaen proceed to tear down its architecture, I was just trying to argue that tearing it all down and rebuilding from scratch is neither necessary nor likely. In Germany this became impossible due to Hausbesetzer and their political Lobby, small as it may have been. In the US there might at some point be some people who appreciate architecture. All buildings were considered nice at the time they were built. So why are so extremely sure that nothing short of nuking it can be done to the "run down slums" you like to bash? After all, we're not talking about places whose downtown was literally leveled by an earthquake, are we? Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 00:30, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
I don't think you understand what White flight did to american city interiors.--"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 00:35, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
How does the young folk say on these tubes of the Interwebz? Pics or it didn't happen! Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 00:52, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
One wonders why you are so resistant to the actual words of people living in America on what its like here. --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 00:59, 4 October 2015 (UTC)