I like this article, send in by Mark… It gives a different view of parking buildings and parking lots as seen in Houston, arguably the poster child for urban sprawl. Think of it this way:
But garages are worth thinking about. Maybe more than any other kind of building, they show the city that we’re becoming: a city that’s growing up in a different way than the old-style cities of Europe and the East Coast. Instead of starting out with a tight-packed core and then sprawling, we started out sprawling, and are now developing tight-packed cores.
Check out my blog back in August and a comment it generated today:
my dear americans, the model of an north american city, the vast areas covered by single family houses, the ghost office down town places, it is all a product of a car ridden society. Because of the car you could afford to built this fucked up urbanizm where everybody is forced to commute great distances. the low construction density does not allow for public transport to be effective, hence you are stuck up with the cars. your society runs on cars, hence the imminent interest of your government in oil producing countries. well the oil is running out and your government is trying desperately to shift your transport habits away from the car. well it will never work in your spread out low density cities. anything else your hear is a lie.
Sorry, Ian — it’s not that simple – in fact our urban centers are reinventing themselves – people are moving back into the cities by the tens of thousands – LA, Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis, Houston, Atlanta are all seeing rapid downtown growth. The lure of the single family house is not as great as it was a few decades ago. All the demographics show that downtowns (yes even LA) are booming. Your view is based on fantasy, not facts. (By the way, we are not running out of oil, we have more available now than any time in history -0- we are getting better finding it.) I think you will find that the population, left to its own devices, will find solutions to the density problem in spite of what the government does to try to “solve” the problems.
The gist is that we are lost and cannot be found. The article Mark send in indicates that we are in fact not only found, but moving past our “sprawl” stage JVH, right again…