Planning ‘Whole’ Changes

An aerial view of a human ecosystem. Pictured ...

Formed by Choice & Templates

One aspect of planning is trying to change newer areas to be like the past. That involves oversights of there being less wealth & many fewer cars in the past.  Older urbanized areas are based on a core central city (sometimes multiple) of high density, having surrounding cities of lesser density. The high concentration of jobs in the CBD, with clustered concentrations along commuter hubs (stops) makes public transit more efficient.

There seems to be an implied competition between different densities of urban areas. Actual figures show a very small amount of low density urbanization. High density is also fairly uncommon; only 17 cities with populations 100,000+ having a density of >10,000/sq.mi. There is a high portion of drivers (>80%) & a low amount of public transit users (<5%). The total population (3/4 of all) in urban areas actually take up a small amount of land (<3%). What’s seen as sprawl is actually medium density. Of all U.S. urban areas, L.A. is actually the densest at about 7,000 (average: ~2,665). The amount urbanized land can be misleading when looking at where you live. There is an incredible amount of open space between metropolitan regions. Over 95% of California is non-urban. When the density of an area is increased, without increasing road capacity, congestion increases. It’s funny that there are problems blamed on what is perceived as sprawl, yet the problems occur as a result of increasing density. The various levels of densities have different pros & cons. People obviously have choices of where to live. Did those points come across in my paper? If not, then I failed in my purpose.

Was I blamed for possible misconceptions or were my numerous facts thought to be false? It might be boring, but to judge urban conditions, isn’t it important to know the statistics? “Don’t let the figures get in the way of my beliefs.” What was there to disagree with? Should people not have a choice to live in medium density? I know a major desire is to increase transit use, but people don’t behave that. I didn’t address that.

The city of San Jose has a density of more than 5,000. Should that be tripled to equal the density of San Francisco? Imagine how much congestion there would be then. Perhaps a person should be more concerned with moving to an area that is liked, rather than complaining & trying to transform the area that you choose to live in. Of course improvements can be made. Are things going to get better if more people are crammed in?

Don’t forget growth, people do move. Without allowing more space for them, things get really crowded & the infrastructure over-taxed. Many residents have the “drawbridge principle,” which is, “I’m here, nobody else allowed.” There are exceptions to that: People want more retail & jobs, yet where are those additional people to live?


About Randall
A contrarian, not for conflict, but because many decisions are made, without considering the full impact & consequences.

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