Comments on: ■ We all want to live in small towns, and it’s killing cities https://persquaremile.com/2013/05/07/small-town-seduction/ Tue, 02 Jun 2015 14:30:43 +0000 hourly 1 By: AlexB https://persquaremile.com/2013/05/07/small-town-seduction/#comment-5738 Tue, 07 May 2013 17:39:13 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=5431#comment-5738 If people are spreading out and prices are increasing, it makes more sense that zoning laws are restricting what can be built in developed areas rather than consumer preference. If someone has a choice between a cheap home on a larger plot of land on the edge of town or an expensive smaller older house in an area where no one is allowed build anything larger, they’ll likely go for the house farther out simply for financial reasons.

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By: Catbus https://persquaremile.com/2013/05/07/small-town-seduction/#comment-5737 Tue, 07 May 2013 17:10:40 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=5431#comment-5737 I, for one, would love nothing more than to live in a major metropolitan city that consisted of a collection of “urban villages” with mixed housing types and well-defined centers. As it happens, I’m lucky enough to live in the one neighborhood in my city that is exactly that. But it’s too bad that, in a “city of neighborhoods,” most of those neighborhoods are so amorphous and, in many cases, centerless.

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By: Matthew https://persquaremile.com/2013/05/07/small-town-seduction/#comment-5736 Tue, 07 May 2013 17:02:45 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=5431#comment-5736 I’m a bit puzzled. American cities already have wide streets, single family homes, and large lots. That’s what drove so many people away. Wide streets are dangerous, you may as well live in a low density area if you have to drive everywhere. And single family homes/large lots make housing costs go up in a place where land is valuable.

Perhaps the ideal is to live somewhere with community, where you know your neighbors, and your kids play together. That’s certainly possible in a city, and existed long before families could afford to flee to white picket fence-land.

City neighborhoods and actual small towns are not so different in some ways. By small town I don’t mean the sprawling disaster that Americans think is a small town. I mean a place where everyone lives close enough to walk to any point in the town, maybe within 15 minutes or so. In a city, if you keep going, you end up in another neighborhood. In a small town, you reach the rural area just outside town limits. That’s a more traditional view.

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By: LetsGoLA https://persquaremile.com/2013/05/07/small-town-seduction/#comment-5735 Tue, 07 May 2013 16:58:29 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=5431#comment-5735 Felix Salmon is wrong about weighted density going down. If the rich people condo anecdote were true, that would make actual population density fall in addition to weighted population density. What’s happening is that low-density areas are adding population faster than high-density areas.

Consider a metro with three areas: a 100 sq mile core with 500,000 people, 300 sq miles of dense suburbs with 900,000 people, and 1000 sq miles of sprawlsville with 1,000,000 people. Density is 1714 and weighted density is 2583.

Now let’s say by the next census, the core has expanded to 101 sq miles and 515,100 people, the dense suburbs to 315 sq miles and 976,500 people, and sprawlsville to 1200 sq miles and 1,260,000 people. Density is 1965 and weighted density is 2536.

So, every part of the metro area got denser, but weighted density went down because growth in the less dense areas was faster. That is what is happening in America.

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