Density aspects

Beyond land use and urbanization, density needs to be more closely examined to put things in perspective.  In addition to the higher efficiency for and availability of transit, high density has other advantages, which can basically be summed up by big cities have “more stuff.” Living in high density is a choice, and not for everyone though. The HDC (high-density coalition) seems to want to force that on everyone. Many people don’t want that crowdedness. The 2 charts below show urban areas, categorized by density & total size of the urban area. Data is from the 2000 Census, when national population was 281M. It should be noted that there is an apparent gap in the figures below for non-urban & earlier figures for rural. Those names do not mean the same thing. And the classifications are neither always used nor consistent. Between populations of 10,000 & 50,000 those areas are considered urban clusters, rather than being an urban area. Both are still urbanized. As for what constitutes an urban area, the core needs to have a minimum density of 1,000, counted by Census block, and nearby blocks of at least 500 density are included. For the charts, the number in (_) is the number of urban areas within that population range. Read more of this post

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Farming in Rural; Living in Urban

Seal of Santa Clara County, California

Was an 'Ag' Valley, Delightful in Heart

As for farming in California, that’s not in jeopardy, at least from urbanization. Water is a different story. By the way, the people moving to the Central Valley are really competing with the farms for water. That’s not much of a future problem along the coasts, if changes are made. San Diego has already started desalination. More coastal cities can develop that, especially when combined with a power plant (nuclear). Desalination at its best price can cost between 3-4 times normal. That’s not too bad when the price is averaged out with other the other water sources, it would be a lot less. Example: 20% of water from the ocean, at triple pricing, results in costs only 40% higher (=3×20%+80%). That would be pricey for industry, but many people don’t want heavy manufacturing here, despite some resistance to China and other importers. Water-use heavy industry can go back to the Rust BeltRead more of this post

Health Aspects of Living Areas

Silhouettes and waist circumferences represent...

Daily actions or exercise?

To really remedy obesity, rather than this complicated expensive restructuring or urbanism: For the statists to control behavior and appearance, how about a physical/health test to get a driver’s license? Actually, if health deform passes, there will be many more controls on eating and such. Looking at avg weight is insufficient for any conclusions. Analyzing deciles can reveal more. But it needs to be compared with many other variables. Bodyfat data is better.
If gov takes over more health payments, then it will pass more laws on behavior to increase health in order to reduce expenses. Read more of this post

Land Use

Skyline Boulevard stretches through the Santa ...

Great Place for 'Stuff'

Urbanized areas take up less than 5% of the land nationally. The map, to the right, gives a rough approximation of that. The metropolitan areas occupy more land area than urbanized land, because whole counties are included. Those counties that are considered to have urban population usually have a total population above 60,000. That figure is used because those counties are included for the annual ACS (American Community Survey). This is not an accurate account for people who live in an urbanized area, but does give an idea of the spatial distribution of people. Of all the counties (3,077) only ¼ of them have populations above 60,000, as shown in the chart, below-right. All of those counties hold over ¾ of the people, as shown in the chart, below-left. Read more of this post

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. Read more of this post

Regional Planning in the Bay Area, the MPO—MTC

Bay Area Transit

The MTC’s priorities are out of line with the way people want to move/transport. In general, the SF Bay Area is really whacked on priorities, that’s why housing costs are so high and flora and fauna are given preeminence. The Bay Area is almost doomed without building more lanes.

Despite the efforts of ABAG and its compact development push, congestion and living condition will worsen.
More people need more more roads., and space. Duh! For San Jose, go south–Coyote Valley. It’s a shame that enviro-wackos are anti-human. The Bay Area has lost citizens–more positive domestic outflow. The pop. is growing due to births and immigration. Read more of this post

Retail—Shopping & Manufacturing

Non-traditional exterior of a SuperTarget, Jac...

Drive or walk? Carry crap?

Buying products (and services), are very important. Wide selection & competition are important. Being close is seen as great & offering many things, when in fact the offerings & benefits are minor. What’s the problem with big-boxes? Regardless, zoning doesn’t create. Businesses will construct when they think they will have consumers (for shopping, living, working, etc.). People are satisfied to shop at large stores (more selections, better prices, parking) and the free market lets other stores fold, if they can’t compete. Read more of this post