While your at it went not add listening to classical music as another reason for the decline. It has just about as much validity as the rest of your treatise.
I remember living in Little Rock in the nineties and 2010’s. We could see the city expanding always further west, and trees and forest receding. We had chosen to live in an older part of the town, close to the city center, that used to be a suburb in the old days, because it still had sidewalks and you could walk to a few shops. Probably a “suburb” that was designed before cars took over the city.
But this is not the only thing that happened: lately, downtown began to change and high-rise luxury apartment complex started to appear and replace old parking lots that weren’t producing enough money.
But given the price of these flats, only very few individuals will probably afford living downtown. The rest will be maintained out of the virtuous center that use e-scooters and walk to the shop, and condemned to the pollution of their gasoline powered cars.
The U.S. abandoned city-building in favor of population dispersion. This gave rise to the inefficient suburban sprawlscape of today. It looks densely built, but by historical household size standards and worldwide city population densities, few people are there. The private, individual auto is the only way to cover the built-in distances produced by suburban zoning. That this is a consequence of decisions from the Cold War is a little known history. As a regional planner beginning in 1973, I noted that in spite of all the urban talk, lot sizes got bigger, densities lower.
I posited an American “fear of density” in the 1990s. My planning peers did not agree. In 2004 I learned about Cold War “urban vulnerability” which explained the pattern shift. The paper is here on my Google drive: “Reduction of Urban Vulnerability: Revisiting 1950s American Suburbanization as Civil Defence”-Kathleen A. Tobin-UK Journal: Cold War History https://goo.gl/4sXjbg
We are only 68 years into the auto-suburban century and it is failing. Correction will take several hundred years. Once subdivided, land is not easily reassembled for redevelopment. To get the American transportation options of walking, cycling, taxi, bus and rail, and households with no car, or just one, as was the case in cities and towns of the 1940s, the U.S. would have to go back to 1940s land use patterns.
That would undercut the value of existing and planned development. Those that recognize the contextual necessity may act. Before ordinances can be changed, comprehensive planning must articulate that future. Neither simple nor easy. The necessity will have to be recognized.
you might find this interesting:
GOING DOWN THE ROAD
Most things in our world have an industrial history. Behind the computer, the T-shirt, the vacuum cleaner is an industrial infrastructure fired by energy (fossil fuels mainly). Each component of our car or refrigerator has an industrial history.
Mainly unseen and out of mind, this global industrial infrastructure touches every aspect of our lives. It pervades our daily living from the articles it produces, to its effect on the economy and employment, as well as its effects on the environment.
Most of us don’t thnk about the road we are on. It is just there unless it has huge potholes or other problems. It allows our mobility from home to work to shopping to play or even to the hospital. It allows us to visit friends and relatives near and across the country. Huge trucks criss cross this country on this dark ribbon bringing goods and food. It allows us to drive to the airport. It allows the planes to take off and land.
ASPHALT IS EVERYWHERE AND WE DON’T REALLY SEE IT.
See videos and more at: http://sunweber.blogspot.com/2016/11/going-down-road.html
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