Monday, December 10, 2007

Density Density Density Pt. 2.0 Perception

Look at these three pictures.



First blush they are seem pretty high density but that's only because you are judging density by looking at what I've chosen to show.
Here are those three again. Golf course, tract crackers and beachfront.



This is perceptual density. Planners have no clue why beachfront commands a premium. Unfortunately planner theory doesn't place any value on many of the built environment amenities people value.

7 comments:

Casey Serin said...

F I R S T. My new job involves selling pills which impart a certain "density" and turgidity to various bodily organs, but that's neither here nor there, I suppose...

Tyrone said...

Mr. Serin,
Upon checking your profile, it seems rather apropos that one of your favorite movies is "The Fugitive." hehehe

Brian said...

I am an american living in a European city. I live in an apartement with 5 small bedrooms and about 1500 sq feet (considered large here).

The density is very high here, but you don't fee it because of a few common parks as well as plenty of restaurants and retail outlet.

The life is very convenient and I use my car less than once a week.

It does have some issue as the city is dirty compared to the suburbs, but they work hard to keep it reasonably clean.

That said, the youth are moving to suburbs becuase the can't afford to buy here. Also, new apartments going up are 1,2 and 3 bedrooms like the states, making it harder to raise a family here, although many still do.

Some also have second homes in the "country," but which are essentially just suburbs that people only live in on the weekends.

Just a data point. I like the lifestyle and would like to reproduce in the states, but obviously not so easy.

Lou Minatti said...

That said, the youth are moving to suburbs becuase the can't afford to buy here. Also, new apartments going up are 1,2 and 3 bedrooms like the states, making it harder to raise a family here, although many still do.

Actually, they don't. Europe's birthrate has collapsed to far below the replenishment rate. It's kewl to live in a hip urban city like Amsterdam and New York and San Francisco, it's another to raise a family there.

Europe is attempting to solve this problem by importing millions of people from Africa and the Middle East, the theory being these will be the worker bees who pay the taxes when the "natives" retire.

Seems like an odd way to solve this.

Metroplexual said...

Rob,

I don't know what planners you deal with but any real planner knows amenities drive desire and price for certain places whether natural or man made like a golf course. In grad school I was working on a fractal analysis of urban areas to arrive at a desirability index.

rogersmith8080 said...

It is the error that we are stuck with called New Real-estate theory. During the bubble the industry got this ridiculous notion that a stucco box with 4 walls and door in zip code ##### was worth $300,000 no matter what. Furthermore it will be worth $400,000 the following year. The only requirement is that it has 4 walls and door.

People bought them up so that is what KB Homes and Lenner built was as many 4 wall boxes with a door that they could fit. It could be the size of an apartment; they simply needed to call it a single family home and it was magically worth $300,000. The people who bought those 4 wall boxes never intended on living in them at all, the few that did expected they would move out to something bigger when the 4 wall box gained $100,000.

Unfortunately it was all a bubble and we are stuck with what we built during the temporary insanity that was the housing bubble. We have tracks of these undesirable boxes built two feet apart deep in the inland empire. No one is going to want to live in those homes on purpose. The homes are already being broken into by the drug addicts in the IE and the pipes and electrical wiring are being ripped out of the walls to sell as scrap metal to feed drug habits. Which explains why no one would want to move to the IE or as the DEA knows it the Meth Producing capital of the world

Brian said...

Actually, they don't. Europe's birthrate has collapsed to far below the replenishment rate. It's kewl to live in a hip urban city like Amsterdam and New York and San Francisco, it's another to raise a family there.

There is a bit of a chicken and egg issue here. Is the lack of affordable family housing reducing family size?

Also, women work a lot in Europe now, making it hard for them to have more than 1 or 2 kids. I would say it is more than in america where, at least in my circule, wives stop working when they have that first kid, a lot of the time.

I still think you can have good density with the proper urban planning. Unfortunately, the planning is typically done via political "donation" which doesn't lead to good results.

All very difficult issues.