January 15, 2014

Herbanism

Michael Wolf photo of Hong Kong
From Gizmodo
Tall is Good: How a Lack of Building Up is Keeping Our Cities Down
Urbanism -- Alissa Walker
Early in Spike Jonze's new film Her, Joaquin Phoenix's character gazes out his Los Angeles window. As the camera pans, we see not a squat, sprawling metropolis, but a golden-lit landscape of skyscrapers stretching all the way to the horizon. 
When I saw the film last Friday night, this scene made me gasp. 
It wasn't just the shock of seeing L.A. rendered as a vertical city. It was because this L.A. of the future looked like a place where I wanted to live. 
This digitally enhanced, metastasized Los Angeles—an L.A. that grew up instead of out—is almost a secondary character in the film. Jonze tapped graphic designer Geoff McFetridge and production designer K.K. Barrett, and also consulted with architect Elizabeth Diller on the look of L.A.'s future, which—for once—was blissfully free of those dystopian stereotypes. Even against the bleak narrative (no spoilers, don't worry!) the city around the characters is bustling, colorful, vibrant. It's a gorgeous world of tall buildings, mass transit, and busy sidewalks. 
Dare I say, this movie made density beautiful. 
Beautiful density is, of course, a reality for many cities; some of Her's most dramatic shots were filmed on the skyways and skyscrapers of Shanghai. But here in L.A.—like many cities that aren't Shanghai, or Tokyo, or New York—many people are doing everything in their power to suppress this future, citing detrimental side effects from building heights, whether it's shadows or earthquake danger. Even some already dense cities make it impossible to secure air rights, pass ridiculous parking restrictions, and work hard to incentivize low-rise development. 
But there is a huge problem looming larger than any skyscraper. Many major cities are experiencing a housing shortage which is pricing out large swaths of their populations—the workers, the creators, the young'uns. We need to start thinking big—or, rather, tall. 
In theory, most of us know density is good for us—it allows us to live closer together, share resources, save energy, and stay safe. But we like the idea of skyscrapers right up until the point where one is constructed next door. 
Suddenly, we lament that a tall building might obscure our view, or darken our perfect afternoon sunlight. There is an ongoing sentiment that density should be for someone else. I should be able to keep my car and my yard, while my neighbors get a subway and a public park. 
Anti-skyscraper urbanist Jane Jacobs argued for a "proper density," which it can be assumed looked a lot like the typical 1960s Greenwich Village street that she canonized through her writing.

Jane Jacobs liked her own neighborhood. Most people grow fond of where they live. I've liked every neighborhood I've lived in (except the one that had drug addicts shouting all night for their dealer Eddie to buzz them in so they could get their cocaine -- that started to get on my nerves). This is not to dismiss Jacobs, a wise woman, but urban planning mostly works by who it attracts and who it repels, not by the re-engineering of souls.
With this reasoning, we'd organize all the residential buildings into neat four-story walkups and go to work in the skyscrapers (an equation which obviously does not work out in today's cities). Jacobs was fearful of those towers sprouting throughout Manhattan at the time, which she believe took away a neighborhood's diversity and sense of community.

However, that doesn't seem to be the case. Hong Kong, which has more buildings over five hundred feet tall than any other city in the world, has been the muse of photographer Michael Wolf, who captures the towers as well as the people living inside them. These photos are shocking at first in their overwhelming scale. But 80 percent of the residents Wolf interviewed said they were happy, thanks to the sense of community. "The important lesson to be learned is that it's not space which is important for humans," Wolf told Atlantic Cities. "It's your neighbors."

Indeed. 

For example, in Chicago, Cabrini Green and Sandburg Village were modernist highrise complexes that were built about a mile apart at about the same time. The former was a public housing project that all the white residents soon fled, while Sandburg was a city-led for-profit project intended to drive out the Puerto Ricans from the neighborhood. It became a proto-yuppie haven. Cabrini Green is gone, but Sandburg Village is still there.

The unmentionable fear, of course, is running out of good neighbors. There are only so many to go around. And the American establishment has had as its policy for decades to make the population less white, more diverse. 

Obviously, immigration policy interacts in all sorts of ways with urbanism policy. America has been testing the diverse future out in ultra-immigrantish Los Angeles for a long time. (You might think that some lessons could be learned, but that'll never happen.) For example, the nice liberals of Beverly Hills have been resisting building the L.A. subway through Beverly Hills for the last 28 years. And if that mountain is finally climbed, the so-called Subway-to-the-Sea will still stop four miles from the sea because nobody has a clue how to get the People's Republic of Santa Monica to agree to a subway.

But you aren't supposed to think about that. Thus, in the movie Her, the population of Future Los Angeles has grown immensely, but almost all the characters are attractive white people.

In reality, Mexicans hate taking public transportation, hate high rises, hate driving Priuses. If they were suddenly renamed South Texans, the New York Times editorial board might even defy Carlos Slim and rethink this whole immigration amnesty project.

Armenian-type white immigrants like driving large expensive new cars really fast.

So, there are urbanist lessons to be learned from L.A.'s experience with immigration, but please don't mention them.

The other issues with high rises are traffic and that American white people don't breed in them. They are like zoo creatures -- to get them to reproduce, you need to take them out of small cages and put them in big enclosures. In Her, there is only one child and she lives in what appears to be the only single family home with a yard in Future Los Angeles.

L.A. subway map from Her
Also from Gizmodo:
One of the best moments in the new movie Her is watching Joaquin Phoenix ride an elevated train through a Los Angeles of the near-future, dance through a bustling subway station, and emerge at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. 
The scene got a surprised laugh from everyone at the screening I attended. After years of nimby battles and funding shortfalls, director Spike Jonze had just completed the Subway to the Sea!

Of course, it's the people who have upcoming movies screened for them who have done the most over the decades to keep the LA subway out of the liberal westside of LA. Funny how that works.

By the way, is this Google driverless car thing ever going to happen? If it does, who will take public transit then if you can sit in your own car and watch videos while Jamesbot drives you right to your destination? (Note, I'm not saying it's going to really happen.)
    

112 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do some high rise places have areas where dogs can pee on the floor they live on? It must be a bitch to have to take the dog down the elevator and outside to pee every time.

Are there highrise homes?

How about one home stacked upon another home upon another home and etc? That way, we can have home feeling and high rise feeling. Each level will have its green lawn and other stuff to make it homey.

Bert said...

"It must be a bitch to have to take the dog down the elevator and outside to pee every time."

Please tell me you're joking.

Anonymous said...

"running out of good neighbors."

Here in New Yawk we have this thing called a co-op which is like what people in the sticks call a condo only you cannot sell to anyone that is not approved by the board. This of course means you can more or less violate all those silly fair housing rules as long as you are not so crass as to say why you rejected someone. Also worth noting is that co-op are notorious for rejecting people that get aggressive mortgages they will have difficulty paying back. Need to rent your place? Renters have to be approved also, if renting is even permitted.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Housing_cooperative

Anonymous said...

When will they build skylands, or sky islands?

Ironically, the urban 'leftists' are taking over the 'capitalist city'.

Laputa is cool.

Had self-absorbed people like Jonze grown up in the 60s, they would have felt some social and ideological pressure to join with the PEOPLE and fight for equality or some such. Today, such issues are on the backburner as the main progo issue is 'gay marriage', 'more cheap nannies and waiters', and 'beans are good for white trash and negroes'.

So, a lot of film-makers feel just fine gazing at their own navels.

In the past, Hollywood movies tended to be depoliticized while smaller indie films were more politicized.
Today, blockbuster movies like HUNGER GAMES and BATMAN are more likely to be politicized while indie films are all about 'my navel is so novel.'

Anonymous said...

I suppose you can train it to pee out the window.

Anonymous said...

"How about one home stacked upon another home upon another home and etc? That way, we can have home feeling and high rise feeling. Each level will have its green lawn and other stuff to make it homey."

Check out Rem Koolhaas's book "Delirious New York," page 83, for just such a vision.

Whiskey said...

Dense urban spaces are possibly only in ethnic monocultures. Japan, China, Korea.

NYC is already full into Taxi Driver and Escape From New York mode, expect that city to die rapidly. And not come back, either.

American social peace has been gained by the suburb and private car which meant the Klan could be traded in for a commute. Push Whites into close proximity with "vibrancy" and I guarantee you that somehow order will be maintained and it won't be pretty.

The suburbs allow Black people to be Black, and Whites to be White.

Anonymous said...

It must be a bitch to have to take the dog down the elevator and outside to pee every time.

I'm sure there's an app for that, or else, if you're too lazy to deal with newspapers, you could just go with this.

Anonymous said...

Steve, what's going on? Are you ever going to write a post on Stanley Fischer? Your silence on the issue is puzzling.

David said...

>urban planning mostly works by who it attracts and who it repels, not by the re-engineering of souls<

Thus much to 99.9% of the assumptions of the Great and the Good.

nice cake said...

At this moment I'm at a bar in SF's Richmond district. The bartender is a young woman from Hong Kong. I show her the pic and tell her there are people who want to turn life in the U.S. into this. She goes, "what? No! That's why I came here, to get away from that."

Jerry said...

"The other issues with high rises are traffic and that American white people don't breed in them."

Or indeed any other people. Here are the CIA fertility stats by country, from the bottom:

224 Singapore 0.79
223 Macau 0.93
222 Taiwan 1.11
221 Hong Kong 1.11
220 British Virgin Islands (UK) 1.24
219 South Korea 1.24

All of the countries above in Asia have predominantly high-rises, and--apparently paradoxically--tremendously high housing prices. In HK, on average 60% of your income is spent on housing.

And have to call b.s. on "80 percent of the residents Wolf interviewed said they were happy, thanks to the sense of community. " It has gotten so bad here that by measures of life satisfaction China now outperforms HK. The main problems behind housing in HK, echoing many iSteve themes:

--continued high immigration from China
--government dependence on land taxes for revenue, conspiring to keep supply low (the government gets most of its revenue from a so-called land premium, a one-time permit to build a certain amount of space when land is sold, i.e., leased, to a developer).
--a limited supply of land, furthered by an oligarchic real estate market, increasing NIMBY-ism, environmental activism, etc.
--housing as an investment, for the Chinese in particular; and when condos are bought for investment, they are usually kept empty, not rented out.

In any case, everyone has their own problems... and it boggles the mind that the Heritage Foundation has once again put HK at #1 in its economic freedom ranking. This was greeted with ridicule in the South China Morning Post. Median income in HK is only at #25 worldwide, and we have been losing ground here, suggesting that so-called "economic freedom" does not correlate very well with prosperity!

Anonymous said...

Dick Florida tweeted 4 hours ago:

https://twitter.com/Richard_Florida/status/423564695966973952

"Crime is down in many cities, schools are improving, immigrants moving in - all of which improve quality of life for families in cities."

Orthodox said...

Maybe America needs residence permits, such as the Hukou system in China. Force the city people onto less land, but do not allow them to own land or move out of the city (they can move to another city if they want). To lower prices, the government can subsidize skyscraper construction with cheap loans. The flip side is that development is restricted outside of the city. Land is cheap, but city people can't buy it. The only way for the city to become cheaper is to build taller.

My other idea is to put up fences and guard checkpoints around the cities to keep people from getting out. That could work to, and it would be a chance for Red State America to show Blue State America that fences do indeed work.

Anonymous said...

--government dependence on land taxes for revenue, conspiring to keep supply low (the government gets most of its revenue from a so-called land premium, a one-time permit to build a certain amount of space when land is sold, i.e., leased, to a developer).

Land taxes keep the price of real estate down. Without a land tax, Hong Kong real estate would be even more expensive. Land taxes don't lower the supply of land since land is fixed.

as said...

The other issues with high rises are traffic and that American white people don't breed in them. They are like zoo creatures -- to get them to reproduce, you need to take them out of small cages and put them in big enclosures.

Ha.

David said...

How on earth bunching up on top of each other makes people "safer" is beyond me. How safe was high-density Nagasaki, or Dresden?

Imagine trying to evacuate "Her" LA. It would be a nightmare.

There are two kinds of people. Individualists (for whom space and solitude are the "hard-wiring") and collectivists (for whom closeness and interaction are the "hard-wiring").

Call 'em natural introverts & extroverts, or whatever you like.

While individualists can often understand collectivists, the converse is never true. So we hear a lot from the collectivists (who include most sociologists) about how neighborhood child-rearing and group cooking in a shtetl kitchen are "healthy" and "human" while the nuclear family is "sick"; owning land is "sick"; having your own free-standing home is "sick"; sprawl is "sick"; American society is "sick." Americans are too busy staring into cell phones or refraining from sticking our noses into each other's business, we aren't interacting enough! We need more Democracy! More condo meetings about who should be allowed to upgrade his toilet, etc., etc. (Cue Babs singing "People.")

A curious thing about "Her" is the evident contradiction that the characters are living in a high-density, high-population world (after all, who inhabits all those buildings?) but are nevertheless introvert types. There they are, bunched on top of each other, yet they're free to be twee, free to naval-gaze; there's no distracting noise, apparently no or low crime. Although they live in a "people person's" collectivistic dreamworld of urban planning, human interaction is actually nil there (the theme of the film).

The Bizarro World version of that world would be a sprawling suburbia - or a place in low-density rural America - where people know and help their neighbors.

Is "Her" a satire on urban planning? Showing inner poverty in the midst of all that plenty? Is it saying you can live in a high-rise and rent everything and still be lonely? Is it obliquely anti-liberal?

georgesdelatour said...

Hi Steve

I don't know if you've ever read "Monocle" magazine. Every year it does a chart of the top 20 best cities to live in, and it's utterly hilarious as unintended SWPL comedy. Their wet dream is to find a city with lots of cycle lanes and a gay mayor. And, of course, they always wind up choosing a city - usually a European city - which is as white as possible. Last year's winner was Copenhagen. Watch their video and notice what they seem unable to notice:

http://monocle.com/film/affairs/most-liveable-city-copenhagen/

They never put, say, London or Paris anywhere in their list. But they just can't figure out why. In London, Boris Johnson's introduced Boris Bikes, they have the western world's most aggressive anti-car congestion zone, but something is turning the Monacle set off London. What could it be?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/uk/05/born_abroad/around_britain/html/overview.stm

Anonymous said...

"It must be a bitch to have to take the dog down the elevator and outside to pee every time."

That's the main reason they hire dog walkers.

Just another promising, high-prospect nontraditional form of work that needs fulfilling in our post middle class service economy.

kurt9 said...

Could skyscrapers be a female thing? Most women I've dated, both Asian and Caucasian, seem to like them. Most guys I know hate them. Guys like wide-open spaces. I prefer the spread out sunbelt style that is representative of cities like Phoenix and Dallas to the high-rise style of Hong Kong.

Auntie Analogue said...


Even ultra-urbanist density advocate Andrew Sullivan has announced his failed attempt to live in New York City. In that city's concrete canyons the absence of natural light, Sullivan said, drove him to verge on depression, so he's returning to live again in Washington. D.C.

Anonymous said...

1. Jane Jacobs' Greenwich village had a population density around 50k/mi^2 and no high-rises.

High-rises are not pleasant and are not directly connected to high density. The road space, infrastructure, surrounding plaza and access space, and other surroundings usually make them lower density than old style low-rise European style cities.

2. Toyko is made up almost entirely of single family homes and low rise commercial buildings. It has a density around 40k/mi^2, three or four times higher than L.A. Outside the center it is quite affordable compared to NYC, LA, or SF.

Likewise Paris is 80k/mi^2 without high-rises but with mostly apartments.

Urban Los Angeles city, not including the mountains, is about 12k/mi^2. So is Santa Monica. Outside those centers, it gets more spread out.

3. Cabrini Green and Sandburg village were both mid density high rise complexes. It's a shame Sandburg is still there and a mercy that Cabrini isn't as they were both horrible abominations to live in.

4. Mexicans don't hate public transportation. I see thousands to Mexicans cheerfully riding trains, busses, and peseros all the time. Mexico City added the longest subway expansion in the world last year and should have a world top-5 highest ridership system again now. Smaller Mexican cities are built around public transit, too, all the way down to the villages.

The all-car-style suburban planning style was tried in the 1970s and abandoned in Mexico because Mexicans hated it.

I can't say if Mexicans hate high-rises. There are very few of those in Mexico. There are few Priuses but the average Mexican car is more fuel-efficient than a Prius.

5. The typical density of Mexico City is 40k/mi^2 with an even mix of homes and apartments; Mexican villages are typically about 20k/mi^2 with almost all freestanding homes. Mexicans like living close together and have no trouble with fertility at that density. No high-rises are involved.

----

In conclusion, the writer doesn't know what she's taking about with respect to density and height. Steve has some mistaken notions about Mexicans. Some density is good -- anywhere between Tokyo and Paris is nice -- but midtown Manhattan is not nice. LA urban planning policy will probably guarantee that things get worse and worse and more unaffordable for the foreseeable future.

Eric said...

If these people ever get their way we'll all be living in 10x10 rooms with communal facilities.

Living in a high-rise city is my idea of hell. I don't know how people breath in NYC or Hong Kong.

Anonymous said...

http://youtu.be/ayTnvVpj9t4

Master of visual syntax. Amazing. Restless and busy but never out of step or breath.

Anonymous said...

"How about one home stacked upon another home upon another home and etc? That way, we can have home feeling and high rise feeling. Each level will have its green lawn and other stuff to make it homey."

Sounds like SITE's Highrise of Homes project (unbuilt).

http://jamestamp.com/highrise1.jpg

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mdj39tVffr1rejuwio1_1280.jpg

http://www.moma.org/collection_images/resized/393/w500h420/CRI_8393.jpg

You know, avantgarde architects are often caricatured as effete, heartless snobs, but they really do have the interests of the common man at heart.

2Degrees said...

Living on the bottom floor of a high-rise is miserable. I lived in one in Tokyo.

High rise living is great if you are high up and your neighbours don't piss in the lifts.

Auckland has started to build up. The rest of New Zealand is resisting. I like living in a thinly peopled country. You can't put a price on empty roads and clean air.

Mr. Anon said...

"Even against the bleak narrative (no spoilers, don't worry!) the city around the characters is bustling, colorful, vibrant."

The kind of vibrancy that SWPLs like - not what they say they like, but what they really like: lots of trains, not many minorities.

"There is an ongoing sentiment that density should be for someone else. I should be able to keep my car and my yard, while my neighbors get a subway and a public park."

Here's where she went wrong. If you live in a house in the suburbs, those people who live in a downtown highrise are not your neighbors. Your neighbors are the other people in the suburb. I don't live in New York City, because I don't want a bunch of New Yorkers as my neighbors.

Anonymous said...

OK, maybe it's already been said.

LONDON. PARIS. Those two cities have very few, FEW high rises and skyscrapers when compared to NY, Tokyo, etc.

Are London and Paris considered 2nd rate or 2nd tier cities? Or are they doing just fine? (e.g. economically, socially, culturally, etc)

The western european model for centuries has been to build out and not up.

And for the most part, the historical first rate cities are doing just fine.

From time to time, Steve likes to quote Ben Franklin and how he wanted plenty of land with fewer immigrants for native born Americans. Ben Franklin would have detested the modern sky rise and insisted to build outward, much like the Parisian example. If it was good for Ben Franklin's America, it ought to be still good and relevant for us today.

Something to consider.


PS: Just got back from holiday vacation visiting family in So Cal. Stopped on Christmas Eve for lunch at local watering hole Dukes in the bu. Awesome fish tacos.

There was not a sky scraper or high rise in sight near that beach. Most commercials were built to a reasonably sized scale.

It was paradise if not heavenly to behold.

Long live Ben Franklin!

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Here in New Yawk we have this thing called a co-op which is like what people in the sticks call a condo only you cannot sell to anyone that is not approved by the board. This of course means you can more or less violate all those silly fair housing rules as long as you are not so crass as to say why you rejected someone."

Interesting. New York behaves like an independent city-state, dispensing with all those laws they think the rest of us should follow.

Glossy said...

"...midtown Manhattan is not nice."

I love midtown Manhattan. It looks great from street level and breathtaking from high up. Much better than in pictures, probably because the resolution of photographs and computer screens isn't high enough to reproduce the full effect of looking at it from the roof of 30 Rock or the ESB.

Walking around there you feel like you're in the center of the world. Few live there, by the way. It's mostly offices. Steve is most likely right about the fertility-suppressing effect of living in apartments, and that's bad. This has little to do with central business districts like Midtown Manhattan though.

Anonymous said...

"The other issues with high rises are traffic and that American white people don't breed in them."

In the Botany - Plant Succession lexicon this is called "Shade Intolerance."

Neil Templeton

Anonymous said...

Her idealization of vertical living seems to have a bit of the "grass is greener" mentality.

I live on the Upper West Side (NYC) in one of the larger buildings. There is very little sense of community. I've lived in my building for almost ten years and have had almost no contact with my direct neighbors (and it's not because I'm anti-social - I'm on the board of directors of the building).

I've lived in other East Coast cities and there's definitley more of a sense of community in these low rise cities than there is in New York City.

It's amazing how little critical thinking/research authors can get away with by appealing to the fantasies of their audience.

Bert said...

"I don't know if you've ever read "Monocle" magazine. Every year it does a chart of the top 20 best cities to live in, and it's utterly hilarious as unintended SWPL comedy."

Heh, well that was a funny read. In a pathetic kind of way. White liberals have an amazing ability to not understand anybody who isn't like them. It's always amusing hearing them berate conservatives for being "bigoted" when they're far more insular than we could ever hope to be.

Anonymous said...

The NY Times has gone back to ripping on North Dakota.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/14/opinion/running-on-fumes-in-north-dakota.html?hp&_r=1

Reg Cæsar said...



Living on the bottom floor of a high-rise is miserable... High rise living is great if you are high up and your neighbours don't piss in the lifts
-- 2Degrees [Celsius, I hope…]

That seems to be the perception in the McKnight towers in Minneapolis, a.k.a. "The Crack Stacks". The top half offers great views and is in demand-- once you're above the highest subsidized floor.

The lower levels were their own circles of Hell until the residents were eventually displaced by Somalis and other Africans. But at least their kids know their dads, and they're no more eager to touch you than you are them. Call them the Khat Stacks now, if you will.

Incidentally, a fire in a low-rise building adjacent to this complex was bad enough to make the Drudge Report recently. I think Dylan and his ilk played, dined, drank and maybe even slept in that row of storefronts.

Steve Sailer said...

"I love midtown Manhattan. It looks great from street level and breathtaking from high up. Much better than in pictures, probably because the resolution of photographs and computer screens isn't high enough to reproduce the full effect of looking at it from the roof of 30 Rock or the ESB."

That's how they are trying to sell these new 4K hyperdefinition TVs. In Best Buy they show a loop over and over of shots of skylines and you can see the tiny people walking on the streets miles away very closely.

These 4K TVs look like they'd be great if you rewatch Koyaanisqatsi every night, but will they make David Letterman look better? Will they make Jay Leno a better interviewer?

Reg Cæsar said...

I don't know if you've ever read "Monocle" magazine. Every year it does a chart of the top 20 best cities to live in, and it's utterly hilarious…-- GdlTour

Monocle is the spawn, so to speak, of the ostentatiously named (and accoutred) Tyler Brûlé. He's a proud Montréaler who suffered the indignity of having been born in Winnipeg, where his father played professional football. I wonder how much that drives his views.

He's also, get this, a gay only child. Talk about demographic collapse! Unless Paul Brûlé had brothers, genetically les Brûlés sont brûlés.

TheLRC said...

Like Jerry, I live in Hong Kong, and have for almost 25 years. I love it, and not because I have a big flat (mine is very average for HK, i.e. tiny) or because I grew up this way and am used to it (I'm from Iowa, so I know open space).

One factor that makes HK high-rise life attractive to me is safety: there is virtually no violent crime here, and burglaries are extremely implausible in the kind of development (comprising 15 50-story towers) I live in. This is a huge worry off your mind.

Another huge advantage of living the high-rise/big-development life here is the excellent recreation facilities. My development's got four big pools, two each indoor and outdoor, squash courts, gym, bowling alley, etc -- we just need to take the elevator down and we're there.

In other words, for many people in Hong Kong, at least those in 'decent' buildings, i.e. middle-class and above, it's a bit like living in a resort hotel. Not as much living space as you'd like, but actually quite relaxing and orderly.

But all this is predicated on safety and good (i.e. quiet) neighbors. Hong Kong for the most part has both.

Oh, and one other thing: 80% of Hong Kong is unbuilt-upon because it's mountainous. Almost no one in Hong Kong lives more than a 15-20 minute taxi ride from country park land that's essentially wild.

Black Sea said...

Some people just can't tolerate the fact that their preferred options in life aren't everyone else's. Therefore, if we're not all living in high rises and commuting on the metro, it's because we're either too stupid and unsophisticated to know what's good for us, or we're being prevented from doing so by antiquated and socially regressive zoning regulations.

Zoning certainly restricts what you can do with a piece of property (that's what it's there for), but that's because most people owning property in that area want those restrictions. If enough property owners want to allow high rises, and if enough developers think a market exists there for high rises, then eventually, you're going to get more high rises. And in any event, if zoning codes were the main explanation for the dearth of high rises in American cities, then Houston would be the high-rise capital of America.

Years ago I owned a book on the urban history of Paris. I was amused to read that, based on a poll conducted in the 70s or 80s, the majority of Parisians, when asked what type of home they would prefer if money were no object, answered that they would choose a single family, detached home. This doesn't mean to me that everyone wants or should want such a home, but it is telling that even the residents of a storied European capital would like such a home. For my money, the nicest urban landscapes are largely composed of four to six story buildings, with shops and restaurants on the ground floor.

TheLRC said...

By the way, the fact that I like Hong Kong life doesn't mean I disagree with Jerry. His assessment of the Hong Kong property situation is accurate.

Anonymous said...

Walking around there you feel like you're in the center of the world. Few live there, by the way. It's mostly offices.

New York is definitely in a class of its own in terms of its huge buildings and atmosphere. The huge buildings, narrow streets, grid pattern, create this imposing urban atmosphere that imprints in your mind what a bona fide city is like. After being in Manhattan, other cities almost don't even feel like real cities. Chicago has big skyscrapers but the streets are relatively wide.

Maxwell Power said...

Hmm, those must be the highrise apts. Villaraigosa's buds are going to build now, on the seismic fault

Anonymous said...

In conclusion, the writer doesn't know what she's taking about with respect to density and height. Steve has some mistaken notions about Mexicans. Some density is good -- anywhere between Tokyo and Paris is nice -- but midtown Manhattan is not nice. LA urban planning policy will probably guarantee that things get worse and worse and more unaffordable for the foreseeable future.

That kind of puts a bow on things. Nobody I have ever known returns from a trip to Paris or Barcelona wishing they were more like Anaheim.

Anonymous said...

For my money, the nicest urban landscapes are largely composed of four to six story buildings, with shops and restaurants on the ground floor.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! That's what towns used to be prior to suburban strip malls and cul-de-sacs.

Anonymous said...

The huge buildings, narrow streets, grid pattern, create this imposing urban atmosphere that imprints in your mind what a bona fide city is like.

It's an abomination. The scale of the built environment in Manhattan is inhuman. It's built for Transformers.

Paris is built on a more human scale. You can get that same feel even with single-family homes. Build them in combination with walk-up apartments with ground-floor retail. Use wide boulevards for transit, delimited by trees and patches of green space to separate transit from cars and bicycles and give pedestrians some space. Street parking can be used to slow down traffic where needed, especially on neighborhood side streets. And for God's sake, get rid of one-way avenues, they're just drag strips.

Anonymous said...

if zoning codes were the main explanation for the dearth of high rises in American cities, then Houston would be the high-rise capital of America.

The only planning in Houston is traffic engineering. Frankly, most American cities are that way to some extent. All the thought is spent on curb cuts, one-way streets and traffic light synchronization. They don't care about the residents just the traffic.

Anonymous said...

There are two kinds of people. Individualists (for whom space and solitude are the "hard-wiring") and collectivists (for whom closeness and interaction are the "hard-wiring").

That's why we need two types of built environment, urban and rural. And they should be clearly delimited, like back in the day when we used the term "the edge of town." Town lots literally ended at "the edge of town" and the next guy was a 10-acre gentleman's farm. We don't need miles of sprawling suburbs that confuse urban and rural. Urban gets urban services like public transit, garbage pickup, city water etc. Rural doesn't. Pick one.

AMac said...

"urban planning mostly works by who it attracts and who it repels, not by the re-engineering of souls."

Another nice iSteve quote.

The desire of the U.S. elites to re-engineer the souls of their lesser fellow citizens continues to grow. As with their spiritual forebears, the Winners have no particular appetite for their own medicine.

Your kids should grow up to be urban dog-walkers with a taste for beans. Not mine.

Anonymous said...

Can someone with better eyes than mine tell me if, from looking at the Metro map, any of the trollies stop at Santa Anita?

Because if not, I ain't giving up my '98 Corolla -- I don't care how cute the girls are in the movie.

Anonymous said...

"Why can't I be one of the Beautiful Ones living in Rat Paradise, like Blaire in Gossip Girl? It isn't fair!" --another dumb woman

Anonymous said...

"In reality, Mexicans hate taking public transportation, hate high rises, hate driving Priuses. If they were suddenly renamed South Texans, the New York Times editorial board might even defy Carlos Slim and rethink this whole immigration amnesty project."

LOL at "South Texans" - The entire Rio Grande Valley is on Google Street View, so all can take a virtual drive and see what it's like. As for the NY Times editorial board, I'm sure they're more likely have taken a vacation to a Puerto Rican resort than actually lived in a Puerto Rican neighborhood in their own city.

Anonymous said...

The media.

There is a diversity of puppets but homogeneity of puppet masters.

------

Media that comply with official taboos cannot be said to be free. They are a propaganda department.

What are the main taboos in America?

Jewish power, black problems, homo influence, increasingly the dangers of immigration.

Anonymous said...

"Some people just can't tolerate the fact that their preferred options in life aren't everyone else's. Therefore, if we're not all living in high rises"

One cool thing about high rises is the view.

Part of my childhood was living on the 24th floor of a high rise housing project, and even though I didn't care for the bugs, mice, negroes, ethnic food smells, hindu farts in elevators, smell of urine in the emergency staircases, the thugs, Laotian refugee women going around in their bras, etc... I did love the view. It was fantastic, even though the social reality sometimes made you wanna jump out the window.

Autumn-to-winter and X-mas season were special cuz I could see the gradual changes to the weather and the world all around from high up.
Love the lights at night, the traffic by the waters, etc.

Dahinda said...

"It was because this L.A. of the future looked like a place where I wanted to live." I myself kind of like the old LA. The film noir LA that you would see in the old 1940's era films. LA back then had the largest streetcar system in the world.

Anonymous said...

"How on earth bunching up on top of each other makes people "safer" is beyond me. How safe was high-density Nagasaki, or Dresden?"

Well, war changes everything, but I don't think any nation is gonna drop load of bombs on the US. 9/11 was an anomaly.

But even in war, the city can be the safest place. Why? High density means a powerful force.
During the Russian Civil War, whites once held most territory, but Reds held the big cities.
Even with just a 1000 troops, you can conquer nearly all the rural areas of NY. Cows and dispersed farmers aren't gonna offer much resistance. But try conquering NY city with millions of people. You need at least 300,000 troops, maybe more. In the Middle Ages, when foreign armies came invading, everyone ran to the fortress. While there was problem of disease and other things, there was also strength in numbers, unity, and cooperation.

Nazis conquered so much territory in Russia but couldn't take Moscow or even Stalingrad after doing so much damage. So, even as cities are the main targets in a war, they are also the bastions of power and last defense.

-----

Speaking of density, even a dense city may not feel that way if people are single. Being alone even in a small apartment can seem freer and more open than living in a bigger space with lots of other people.

I guess in HER, cuz she's a voice--a spirit--and not a PHYSICAL presence, she is both anywhere and nowhere. So clean and convenient.
In contrast, living together has its curses as blessings in ABOUT LAST NIGHT and HIGH FIDELITY.

A child who has a small room to himself/herself and his/her music and movie collection prolly feels more spacious than children who must share a room even if the room is considerably bigger. Psychological space isn't same as physical space.


Anonymous said...

http://www.bizpacreview.com/2014/01/16/senator-federal-judge-get-involved-to-halt-dhs-smuggling-of-immigrant-kids-into-us-94505

Anonymous said...

http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/15/showbiz/how-i-met-your-mother-controversy/index.html?sr=fb011614himymcontroversy930a

Zzzzzzzz

Anonymous said...

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/experiments-in-living/

Reg Cæsar said...

In Best Buy they show a loop over and over of shots of skylines… --Steve

But do they show their own skyline? That neo-Corbusian stretch where I-494 meets I-35W among 10- and 12-story office towers and even higher old-folks condos. It's about halfway between America's oldest and America's biggest enclosed shopping malls.

Not that nature is unavailable. Gander Mountain and REI have big stores nearby , the latter offering a fake indoor cliff for you to climb.

Anonymous said...

Hipster infantilism

This is white trash infantilism:

http://youtu.be/FPyBp-H3pxU

Anonymous said...

Trans-ageism

http://youtu.be/5nfvATupMTY

How about WWB(baby)?

Anonymous said...

http://pjmedia.com/rogerkimball/2014/01/15/only-in-america/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Camlost said...

Mexicans don't hate public transportation. I see thousands to Mexicans cheerfully riding trains, busses, and peseros all the time.

LOL. These are the Mexicans who can't afford vehicles of their own.

If they had a choice they'd much rather be driving a Silverado or Suburban with their 6 kids inside.

Bill said...


Steve said . . .
[Cabrini] was a public housing project that all the white residents soon fled, while Sandburg was a city-led for-profit project intended to drive out the Puerto Ricans from the neighborhood.

The contrast in imputed intentionality here is pretty striking. Sandburg Village, a white enclave plopped in the path of "encroaching blight," to quote Wikipedia, was intended to drive out PRs. On the other hand, Cabrini, a heavily black public housing project plopped down in an Italian neighborhood wasn't intended to do much of anything, I guess. Certainly not to destroy said Italian neighborhood. Cause I guess sometimes urban planners understand cause and effect and sometimes they don't.

Anonymous said...

"I don't know if you've ever read "Monocle" magazine. Every year it does a chart of the top 20 best cities to live in, and it's utterly hilarious as unintended SWPL comedy"

Monocle is "funny" magazine. Its at best a colorful dumpster of aspiration for suckers. It seems to be targeted at the type of people who vote, support, and comment on the internet for low taxes on the rich and pro-rich people policies yet, they themselves nor will their children ever reach an "out of sight rich" financial lifestyle position but, will most likely be the bean eaters of the future.

Most of the crap they advertise and write about are not even remotely interesting to the rich. I doubt any real rich people read the magazine, or takes its advice seriously.

Barnes and Noble stocks the magazine but, I highly doubt the type of people who might wander into a bookstore are interested in such material.

Nonetheless, Monocle will be a great artifact of the decadence of our civilization for the archeologists of 2200.

Anonymous said...

>>"TheLRC said...
By the way, the fact that I like Hong Kong life doesn't mean I disagree with Jerry. His assessment of the Hong Kong property situation is accurate."


Something else you're leaving out. What country is Hong Kong now a part of? Yeah, we quickly overlook that part. We all understand how Tibetans feel whenever China flexes their musicles and says "no, you guys cant leave us since we've wanted you back in the fold for so long a time."


Also, not everyone is rich and can afford those amenities in a resort like complex. The realistic alternative is either Cabrini Greens or row houses as far as the eye can see. With no land everything attached no back or front yards and very little to call one's own. Everything and everyone is within easy access to one another, including the wrong sort of folks.

Nothing beats detached plus LAND, a YARD. Nothing. Lord bless the suburbs and the car.

When its done correctly, its Capitalism at its finest. A responsibility, certaintly, and unlike the carefree worry free of a complex where most things are taken care of for you (much as babies and children are provided for in nearly every single situation) but as mature grown ups, more is required on a responsibility level.

Bottom line: This is a non issue. We are not the rest of the world and the world is not like us in more ways than one.

This movie Her sounds like East Coast read NYers private fantasies and the ideal wish list of what their ideal west coast would be like at a future date.
But as said before, with the San Adreas Fault Line, sort of makes a lot those buildings moot.

BenTzotAbrit said...

It's not exactly true that fewer white people means fewer good neighbors. All things equal, most white people would prefer their neighbors white. And there are plenty of black people who prefer their neighbors black, indeed plenty who are actively discomfited by having to engage with their white neighbors. None of this reflects poorly (or positively) on any of them.

It's enough that white people have interests. It confuses things to claim their interests are best and truest, and it certainly precludes discussion with a whole lot of people. Some iSteve readers may not believe this, but I tell you from experience that if you can restrain the impulse to crap on others, it's often possible to discuss white people's interests with black people, white Christian interests with Jewish people, and so forth, as well as white interests with whites who'd never considered such a thing might exist.

Anonymous said...

I think LA's lack of density is exaggerated because the city limits contain a lot of mountains and parkland that are uninhabited. If you look at the overall density it's only a third of NYC but in the areas people actually live in, it's pretty dense.

Per the comments about some people actually liking to live in high rises, it's true. In the east suburbs of Cleveland around Mayfield, where land is dirt cheap, there are nevertheless a number of high rises. I think they cater to homesick NY Jews.

Anonymous said...

How about self-parking cars? Can't find parking space in front of your work? Get off and go to work and the car will go off on its own and park itself where it finds a space. And after work, just 'call' the car and it will pick you up at the work place.

Anonymous said...

With virtual work spaces interconnected thru the net, what need for office space?

But what if those business connections are spied upon by others? NSA?

Anonymous said...

Monocle should be called monoculture.

Anonymous said...

monocool

Anonymous said...

My vision of hell.

I lived in midtown Manhattan for some years...it "had everything." Everything but the kind of solitude, fresh air, chlorophyll, animal biodiversity, subtle movements of air, views of the sky, walking access to wildlands, and etc. that my genome craves and I get physically and emotionally sick without.

So yeah, I'm being selected out of the white population...so we can more resemble Chinese ants in an urban hive. Where you have to pay priests for access to relief from the hive...if you're even allowed to go in the first place, or there's somewhere to go to. Where individualism is taboo, and not possible even if you have the genetic capacity for it. Where everything is monetarized, merchandised, and engineered for profit.

Great vision of the future. UGH.

Thank the ancient gods we still have Montana and my 40 acres in it.

Anonymous said...

Libs say 'we should all live like this', but do you think they would really be happy if indeed Southern bubbas put on hipster airs and lived like them?

I mean how would they distinguish themselves from others?

Gringo said...

Anonymous/Sin nombre 1/16/14, 9:28 AM
I think LA's lack of density is exaggerated because the city limits contain a lot of mountains and parkland that are uninhabited. If you look at the overall density it's only a third of NYC but in the areas people actually live in, it's pretty dense.

LA, even with the mountains, is a lot more dense than sunbelt cities like Houston or Dallas, which have densities of 3,000-4,000 per square mile.

The last time I was in LA, I was impressed with its bus transit system. I could take an express bus that got me 10 miles south of downtown in around 20 minutes.

Cail Corishev said...

I live on the Upper West Side (NYC) in one of the larger buildings. There is very little sense of community.

Yeah, the idea that living in tight quarters encourages community is silly. I grew up in the country, where the nearest neighbor was half a mile away, usually hidden behind crops. Yet we knew everyone in the area, and could recognize their vehicles going down the road. I've lived in a variety of towns with populations from 200 up to 500K, and the sense of community in each was inversely proportional to its size.

Another rural-raised friend once said that when he first moved into town, one hard thing to get used to was not looking directly at his neighbors' homes, because they're right there, sometimes mere yards away, and an open curtain could have you intruding into someone's business. He had to learn to keep his blinds closed and not look certain directions, which had never been necessary before. That's the way most city-dwellers I know live, though they don't seem to notice it most of the time.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said..."That's why we need two types of built environment, urban and rural. And they should be clearly delimited, like back in the day when we used the term "the edge of town."...We don't need miles of sprawling suburbs that confuse urban and rural. Urban gets urban services like public transit, garbage pickup, city water etc. Rural doesn't. Pick one."

Who is this "we"? I don't know you, nor based on the limited amount of information I have, do I want to know you. When did "we" vote on what "we" need?

I live in the 'burbs and like it. I hope that you don't like it.

Anonymous said...

upburbs

Anonymous said...

The guys look like putti or cherubim with mustaches.

Cupid shot arrows to make people fall in love. It seems this guy fell in love with the arrow itself and stuck himself with it.

Cupid,
draw back your bow-oh;
no need to hit a ho-oh.

Anonymous said...

It's enough that white people have interests. It confuses things to claim their interests are best and truest, and it certainly precludes discussion with a whole lot of people.

Oh yes, absolutely. Because nobody thinks their group is better than any other. For example, just look at how jews refuse to participate in any discussion of "is it good for the jews?"

Anonymous said...

How about underground cities with artificial suns and the like?

And floating ocean cities?

Anonymous said...

I can see myself living in this skyscraper but I am short a couple of dozen million.

Yeah, this is a building for very rich people. But many now common things once were. A skyscraper doesn't have to be thousands of cramped apartments. Skyscrapers have the potential to give ordinary people ginormous amounts of living space (including vertic space!), multicar garages inside their own apartments on whatever floor, amenities downstairs or on the roof. And a good sized and well designed balcony/terrace can take care of the backyard needs for 95% of the people.

Anonymous said...

"I live in the 'burbs and like it. I hope that you don't like it."


If I had lots of money, I'd like a luxury high rise condo in the city and a nice house in the suburbs with big green lawn.

But for most folks, to live well in the city, it's much dinero whereas to live pretty good in the suburbs is cheaper.

In a lot of cities, it's either the great life or the bad life. Suburbs offer the good life for lots of people.

If you're young and putting off family, even bad city living can be fun cuz proximity to museums, theater, and cafes and the like.
But as you grow older, city life isn't as exciting and younger people who enter the scene make you seem old and outdated.

Anonymous said...

That's why we need two types of built environment, urban and rural. And they should be clearly delimited, like back in the day when we used the term "the edge of town." Town lots literally ended at "the edge of town" and the next guy was a 10-acre gentleman's farm. We don't need miles of sprawling suburbs that confuse urban and rural. Urban gets urban services like public transit, garbage pickup, city water etc. Rural doesn't. Pick one.

Right. Many of the suburbs people have in mind are actually urban areas. Having to drive a car doesn't mean an area isn't urban. The suburbs are spread out towns and cities with urban infrastructure.

pat said...

I'll put the case is simpler and more direct terms - appropriate building height is a function of race.

This has been an unspoken insight in urban planning for nearly three generations. Black people can't be housed in high rises. In San Francisco we had had the Pink Palace until the early eighties. The thirteen story public housing buildings were torn down or converted into 'senior' housing which in San Francisco meant white or Chinese residents. All the newer public housing in the Bay Area is now no more than two stories.

I visited a black housing project high rise on my very first home visit as a social worker trainee. There were human feces in the elevator. You wouldn't want to be in a stairwell after dark. The armored lights were nevertheless all broken. The multi-storied housing projects were so dangerous that the city government hired the Black Panthers to keep order. They ran those buildings as a protection racket.

A decade later the theory was that black families required low rise projects so as to keep better communication with the kids. I found that ironic since by then I had been back to Washington DC and planning school where 'garden apartments' were blamed for their racial troubles.

So I'm not surprised that Hong Kong has success with high rises. The Chinese are always well behaved.

BTW when I first came to San Francisco I found to my delight that I could ride the Muni all the way to the Pacific Ocean for something like 15 cents. The odd thing was that Playland (the amusement park) was a wreck and a slum. The surrounding residential area was depressed. Maybe a 'subway to the ocean' would do better down south but up here the ocean's too cold and the fog is too heavy. Also your car will rust out if you park it on the street. Beachfront property isn't all that desirable here.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

Who is this "we"? I don't know you, nor based on the limited amount of information I have, do I want to know you. When did "we" vote on what "we" need?

I live in the 'burbs and like it. I hope that you don't like it.


I like the 'burbs too, but they're not rural homesteads. The 'burbs are sprawled out urban areas that spread out urban infrastructure over more territory and urbanize more of the land.

Simon in London said...

"The other issues with high rises are traffic and that American white people don't breed in them. They are like zoo creatures -- to get them to reproduce, you need to take them out of small cages and put them in big enclosures."

UK whites are the same; a small back garden (yard) is the minimum requirement for most. Lots of apartment blocks going up in my gentrifying neighbourhood, lots of young white professionals moving in. I worry if they'll ever have children.

Matt said...

LOL. These are the Mexicans who can't afford vehicles of their own.

If they had a choice they'd much rather be driving a Silverado or Suburban with their 6 kids inside.


I agree with your overall point, but it bears pointing out that the total fertility rate of Mexico is 2.3 and falling. (That of Mexicans in the US is somewhat higher, natch.)

BenTzotAbrit said...

"For example, just look at how jews refuse to participate in any discussion of 'is it good for the jews?' "

As a Jew who's spent most of my life around other Jews, I have too much data to share your birds-eye clarity on what Jews talk about. I defer to your expertise.

In any case, if what you have just taught me about the Jews is something you admire about us and wish to emulate, then by all means knock yourself out. I can introduce you to some other philosemites if you feel lonely.

Hong Kong: the one massive residential complex there that everyone seems to loathe is Chungking mansions. Vertical as it may be. On another topic, the community in Chungking Mansions features a lot of West Africans in the stairwells.

Cail Corishev said...

The 'burbs are sprawled out urban areas that spread out urban infrastructure over more territory and urbanize more of the land.

Right. Many suburbs seem to me like the worst of both worlds. Like urban dwellers, your neighbors are close enough that you have no real privacy and a lot of rules about what you can do on your property. Like rural dwellers, you have to drive a long way to get a loaf of bread, and sometimes you don't even have basic urban amenities like sidewalks. Suburbs probably could be done well, but I don't know if many are.

Anonymous said...

>>"I like the 'burbs too, but they're not rural homesteads. The 'burbs are sprawled out urban areas that spread out urban infrastructure over more territory and urbanize more of the land.I like the 'burbs too, but they're not rural homesteads. The 'burbs are sprawled out urban areas that spread out urban infrastructure over more territory and urbanize more of the land."


Ok, lets get to it. For the most part, suburbs are faarrrr more rural than the original cities that they've sprawled out of. They're just enough far away from the one main thing that almost ALL cities/true urban centers contain in far larger numbers and percentages than any suburb ever will.

No one seems to mentioning the elephant in the room.

So here goes.

WHERE....do most robberies and murders and all violent crime occur The cities.

THAT....in most people's minds, is the main demarcation of whether one is in the city or the suburbs.

Crime.

All cities have it and far far greater numbers and percentages than the 'burbs.

And the farther away from the urban center you go, the lesser the crime and that means....you're no longer in the city or an urban area but the burbs.

So you can have your theater and museums, even though as a percentage these things are no longer as relevant among folks under 30 as they once were about 25-30yrs ago,....and take the high crime rates as well.

We'll take the safer much much much safer 'burbs and better performing public schools in the process.

Philip Neal said...

London high rises are heated from boilers at the base and the upper floors are oppressively hot for white British tastes. To judge by the flags billowing from the open windows, it is mainly Africans and South Americans who live in them.

Maxwell Power said...

the nicest urban landscapes are largely composed of four to six story buildings, with shops and restaurants on the ground floor

Sounds like NW Portland, Ore. It's sort of Milwaukee done right.

Fresno, Omaha, Buffalo have plenty of tall buildings but nobody wants to live there; Houston has the most west of the Mississippi--QED

David said...

>do you think [liberals] would really be happy if indeed Southern bubbas put on hipster airs and lived like them?<

Oh, boy. Come to the Southeast USA. Let me show you around our liberal-SWPL playlands.

E. Rekshun said...

In theory, most of us know density is good for us—it allows us to...stay safe.

Huh? Most of us? Stay safe?

Anonymous said...

Funny that skyscrapers are phallic symbols but so many people living in them are dickless dorks.

Maybe there's a correlation. I mean why do Asians try to build the biggest towers?

heartiste said...

Aspiring artists flock to the cities because the higher crime and ominous threat of danger electrifies their creative juices. It's the "I gotta make it or I'm screwed to live in this urban hovel forever" motivation. Peaceful burbs encourage lassitude and complacency. Children happily cavorting on lush expanses of lawn? Yawn.

Also, sex. Women go to cities to hopefully meet captains of industry and other assorted alpha males. Men go to cities because that's where the hot babes are, and that's where the hot babes are more likely to indulge a bit of the ol' anonymous, atomized sexual adventure.

5371 said...

the total fertility rate of Mexico is 2.3 and falling

Only in someone's imagination. Check the results of the last two censuses.

Anonymous said...

sky-scrapers are sky-rapers!!!!

they are 'sexist'!!!!

to make them PC, how about fitting every spire with something that looks like a butt. that way, it would at least be 'gay friendly'.

Anonymous said...

THAT....in most people's minds, is the main demarcation of whether one is in the city or the suburbs.

Crime.

All cities have it and far far greater numbers and percentages than the 'burbs.


This isn't true as there are plenty of 'burbs with higher crime rates than cities proper.

At any rate, it's beside the point as 'burbs are sprawled out urban areas. The 'burbs are urban areas beyond the political boundaries of a city.

Anonymous said...

Some iSteve readers may not believe this, but I tell you from experience that if you can restrain the impulse to crap on others, it's often possible to discuss white people's interests with black people, white Christian interests with Jewish people, and so forth, as well as white interests with whites who'd never considered such a thing might exist.

What a kidder! The very meek and mild Jamie Kelso (former high school buddy of Michael Medved) tried that:

Jamie Kelso at CPAC

Everyone knows that speaking of white interests is a big taboo. But probably most sane blacks wouldn't be bothered if you discussed it with them-not that that would have any impact on public debate.

E. Rekshun said...

This place was very popular in many SWPL-type write-ups back about twenty years ago; from Wikipedia, on Celebration, FL: Celebration is...a master-planned community in Osceola County, Florida, located near Walt Disney World Resort and originally developed by The Walt Disney Company...Celebration's population was 7,427 at the 2010 census... The town itself remains directly connected to the Walt Disney World resorts via one of its primary streets, World Drive, which begins near the Magic Kingdom. Response to Celebration has been mixed, some feeling it is creepy, one resident even admitting it is "Stepford Wife-like," to those who see Celebration as an example of new urbanism with its safe, walkable community...The racial makeup of the CDP was 91.0% white (with 81.9% of the population non-Hispanic white), 1.5% black, 3.2% Asian.

BenTzotAbrit said...

"What a kidder! The very meek and mild Jamie Kelso... tried that".

Gosh, I didn't realize someone already tried something and didn't get good results. Never mind, then. Go back to talking about overlords, bro.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, I didn't realize someone already tried something and didn't get good results. Never mind, then. Go back to talking about overlords, bro.

The extremely civil Jared Taylor has also tried it at least a few hundred times. He's been losing ground steadily for at least a decade.

Bert said...

The reason fertility rates are so low in dense skyscraper villages is cost.

If you could somehow create a city of skyscraper megablocks that were nevertheless low cost and very safe, there's no reason why ordinary white folks wouldn't want to raise a family there.

The Asian cities problem is that their so hideously expensive.

peterike said...

Speaking of buildings... fascinating photos of Eero Saarinen's Bell Labs building, now a wasteland.

The metaphors of that whole Bell Labs / Lucent story are just too tragic to contemplate.

http://www.metropolismag.com/Point-of-View/January-2014/In-Photos-Eero-Saarinens-Bell-Labs/

BenTzotAbrit said...

The extremely civil Jared Taylor has also tried it at least a few hundred times. He's been losing ground steadily for at least a decade.

Right, I got ya, some people out there made efforts and didn't meet with glory. You guys sure seem eager to fly the white flag and don your victim badge. If that's what feels right to you, maybe you'll at least earn some pity for white people that way.

Anonymous said...

"The extremely civil Jared Taylor has also tried it at least a few hundred times."

Taylor is sneering and snotty. Petty too.

As for Kelso, he chose the wrong place to spout off about such stuff.

Maxwell Power said...

One thing I never got about Taylor was flaunting the Yale thing and the Japan thing. I mean, what's the point? If Valerie Jarrett gratuitously added in every interview that she was born in Iran as a qualification for something, even the most sad-sack Daily Beast gelding would laugh at her

fnn said...

One thing I never got about Taylor was flaunting the Yale thing and the Japan thing. I mean, what's the point? If Valerie Jarrett gratuitously added in every interview that she was born in Iran as a qualification for something, even the most sad-sack Daily Beast gelding would laugh at her

You and the overtly Jewish guy would never be happy with anything that didn't endorse the current regime. Taylor's main fault is that he fails to attack (on his site) the Zionist-imprisoned foreign policy of the American Empire.

The "Yale thing" never hurt WFB. Jarrett left Iran at the tender age of five. It's not clear if she still speaks fluent Farsi.Could she find legitimate employment as a Farsi translator? But she's now an insider in the national security establishment,so no one cares.

Ray Sawhill said...

I like towns, cities, villages, the countryside ... The 'burbs not so much. They seem centerless, blah and culture-barren to me, and I despise having to drive everywhere.

Incidentally, are most of us aware that there are many different kinds of suburbs? What we're talking about here is one specific kind: the post WWII American automobile suburb. We aren't talking about "streetcar suburbs," for instance.

Maxwell Power said...

fnn, I take it you are one of Taylor's most trusted Bonesmen in these matters