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  #581  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2013, 2:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10023 View Post
I can't help but think cities like Shanghai are going to be miserable places in about 50 years. For one thing, all those concrete housing blocks had better be perfectly maintained so they don't look like their American counterparts from the 50s and 60s, because there are a lot of them.

The bigger issue would be if the Chinese middle class follows the same pattern as most western countries and decamps for the suburbs. They are building in such an out-of-scale way that the only thing keeping Chinese cities from being completely overbearing and soulless is that there's enough pedestrian traffic and street level activity. If the inner cities were to depopulate at all, they would probably be extremely depressing.
10023, it's pretty obviously you've never been here, and know very little of life in a Chinese mega-city, but I'll bite.

China isn't the west. In fact, when it comes to its cities, they couldn't be more different than your typical American metro region. The 'suburbs' in China are where the poor/under-class live. They are the ones who have to travel by subway or bus for at least an hour everyday to get to work. It serves no purpose to live further outside of the city if you can afford it. Getting a license is severely regulated by the government, and in turn getting a licene plate is expensive and rare, and you'd have to live in a high-rise/ commie block out in the 'burbs' as well. Besides a few ultra-rich enclaves in Pudong and Hongqiao, there's no such thing as a single family home in Shanghai. All the best neighbourhood, schools and amenities are in the central city (where close to 15 million people reside).
Central Shanghai is vibrant. While it may look dark and grey from the sky on a December day, it's a colourful and exciting place to be, and hardly depressing or overbearing visually (this is when it helps actually going to a city before making statements like that). Why would there be some sort of exodus from this area when life would become less convenient and exciting if one were to do so?

In spirit of this thread, here's an aerial (ok, not really) of my neighbourhood in central Shanghai. Does this look overbearing to you?


dramp by matteroffact, on Flickr

The view from the north of my place might be a bit more intense, but it's hardly soulless.


pink lemonade by matteroffact, on Flickr
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  #582  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2013, 7:08 AM
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Originally Posted by TWAK View Post
Here is Sacramento from the international space station

One of the most weird building patterns you will find for a city/metro

http://blogs.sacbee.com/city-beat/20...ter-space.html
Holy crap, that astronaut has an amazing gallery of aerials!

Here's his pic of San Francisco:


https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...type=3&theater
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  #583  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2013, 7:08 PM
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San Francisco:


by michael.2999.pics on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/5283603...7626212781450/


by michael.2999.pics on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/5283603...7626212781450/


by michael.2999.pics on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/5283603...7626212781450/


by maxxsmart on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/maxxwel...n/photostream/


by StevenBrisson on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevenb...n/photostream/


by TIA International Photography on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tiascap...n/photostream/


by lonedfx on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lonedfx...n/photostream/


by robt_sf on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/3120017...n/photostream/


by LAXFlyer on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/southbo...n/photostream/


by LAXFlyer on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/southbo...n/photostream/


by michael.2999.pics on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/5283603...7626212781450/
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  #584  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2013, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by giallo View Post
10023, it's pretty obviously you've never been here, and know very little of life in a Chinese mega-city, but I'll bite.
I haven't been to Shanghai, unfortunately. I've been to Hong Kong and Shenzhen (for work), but only briefly.

Regardless, I'm well aware that the richer Chinese cities look much more hospitable at street level (and I've seen your photos from your window before). And I know that affluent Chinese don't live in suburbs, that driving is expensive and heavily regulated, etc.

But one can't assume that things will always be the way they are now. There was a time when few Americans drove and suburban development was minimal, too. I was just saying that IF the preferences of the average Chinese do change over time, along with the country's politics and regulatory environment and all the rest, and China follows the West in becoming more suburbanized, then the effects of the kind of depopulation that this precipitated in the US are going to be tenfold in China given the scale and speed with which its cities are being built.

You can try to tell me that this is impossible, that people in China will always favor the convenience and excitement of the central city, but I don't buy it. Americans and Europeans can get more excitement and convenience living in the center of New York, London or Paris as well, but most don't. The desire for personal space and breathing room is fundamental to humanity, and there will be a point when the average Chinese middle class family with a couple of kids (I can't believe that the one child policy will survive forever) can get a much more comfortable space away from the middle of Shanghai. And as the political system and economy liberalize, planning and zoning will too, and they might also work in offices located on cheaper real estate away from the center (making the convenience argument largely moot).

Don't assume that, because China is at the same point in its economic and urban development that the US was in the 1920s, the pattern of development will always be fundamentally different.
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  #585  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2013, 1:26 AM
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Originally Posted by 10023 View Post
I haven't been to Shanghai, unfortunately. I've been to Hong Kong and Shenzhen (for work), but only briefly.

Regardless, I'm well aware that the richer Chinese cities look much more hospitable at street level (and I've seen your photos from your window before). And I know that affluent Chinese don't live in suburbs, that driving is expensive and heavily regulated, etc.

But one can't assume that things will always be the way they are now. There was a time when few Americans drove and suburban development was minimal, too. I was just saying that IF the preferences of the average Chinese do change over time, along with the country's politics and regulatory environment and all the rest, and China follows the West in becoming more suburbanized, then the effects of the kind of depopulation that this precipitated in the US are going to be tenfold in China given the scale and speed with which its cities are being built.

You can try to tell me that this is impossible, that people in China will always favor the convenience and excitement of the central city, but I don't buy it. Americans and Europeans can get more excitement and convenience living in the center of New York, London or Paris as well, but most don't. The desire for personal space and breathing room is fundamental to humanity, and there will be a point when the average Chinese middle class family with a couple of kids (I can't believe that the one child policy will survive forever) can get a much more comfortable space away from the middle of Shanghai. And as the political system and economy liberalize, planning and zoning will too, and they might also work in offices located on cheaper real estate away from the center (making the convenience argument largely moot).

Don't assume that, because China is at the same point in its economic and urban development that the US was in the 1920s, the pattern of development will always be fundamentally different.
I don't see Chinese cities ever having the urban decay and decentralization that have plagued many American cities. Most countries do not have the same social, racial, and political dynamics that would lead to the wholesale destruction of most of their urban areas. People always try to sugarcoat it but the fact remains that American cities suffered because of the white flight caused by racism and the creation of policies to maintain de facto racial segregation when outright housing discrimination was outlawed.
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  #586  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 12:51 AM
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I don't see Chinese cities ever having the urban decay and decentralization that have plagued many American cities.
No, no--nobody is saying China must necessarily replicate the American experience.

It is a truism that things change over time. We can easily see how much things have changed in China just in the last generation. If China's largest cities continue to suffer, among other things, choking traffic and very dangerous air pollution levels then I absolutely expect to see "middle-class flight" to cleaner, more manageable places. Those who can afford to raise their families in a cleaner environment will almost certainly do so.

China can clean up its big cities, cede future emigres from urban pollution to other nations with more residential options, or allow for the kind of physical environment desired by the emigres. Or maybe it will do all three. But I don't see this leading to a bunch of bombed-out Chinese Detroits. That is very unlikely.
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  #587  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2013, 8:41 PM
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  #588  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2013, 9:03 PM
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  #589  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2013, 9:29 PM
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Originally Posted by tech12 View Post
San Francisco:


by michael.2999.pics on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/5283603...7626212781450/
I know that San Fran is hardly the only American mega-city, let alone international alpha-cities that have this problem but it looks like owning/parking one or more vehicles in that district would be a hell of a challenge. It is so sexy and dense, how much would an average parking spot sell for in whatever district that is? I assume in the six figures for ownership per single spot if there even is any?
Of course I knowthe many forms of mass transit become increasingly crucial for a city of this density but seriously; What are we talking here? Anybody with knowledge can chime in, thanks!


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by TIA International Photography on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tiascap...n/photostream/
Killer density that even makes parts of downtown Chicago look like Schaumburg!!



Amazing aerials.
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  #590  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2013, 5:50 AM
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  #591  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2013, 8:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Austinlee View Post
I know that San Fran is hardly the only American mega-city, let alone international alpha-cities that have this problem but it looks like owning/parking one or more vehicles in that district would be a hell of a challenge. It is so sexy and dense, how much would an average parking spot sell for in whatever district that is? I assume in the six figures for ownership per single spot if there even is any?

That's the Tenderloin district, which is the densest neighborhood in SF, and one of the poorest. It's full of old apartment buildings and SROs, many of which have retail on the bottom. There aren't many parking garages or lots, and street parking is mostly metered. I don't think many people buy/rent spots there...and if they do it would probably be relatively cheap (it's a busy, high crime neighborhood, not the ideal parking situation). The tenderloin is well served by public transit because of it's location in the middle of downtown, and most residents don't own cars.
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  #592  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2013, 1:19 PM
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Originally Posted by fflint View Post
But I don't see this leading to a bunch of bombed-out Chinese Detroits. That is very unlikely.
For the record, I wasn't saying it's likely either... just that if it did happen, god help these places, because the problem would be magnified by the massive scale of development.

However, even today you do read about "ghost town" cities in China that were built by the government and remain mostly empty. I don't know how much of that is true, but I do believe that the more central planning is involved, rather than organic settlement, the more likely it is that these places will be abandoned when the planning regime goes away.
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  #593  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2013, 5:33 PM
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  #594  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2013, 3:29 PM
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  #595  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2013, 1:14 AM
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Those Montreal aerials are the best I've ever seen.
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  #596  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2013, 2:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Austinlee View Post
I know that San Fran is hardly the only American mega-city, let alone international alpha-cities that have this problem but it looks like owning/parking one or more vehicles in that district would be a hell of a challenge.
It's not a problem; it's a feature. The fact that walking is more convenient than driving is exactly what makes those cities so great. Any city worth a damn is hard to park in.
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  #597  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2013, 10:46 AM
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  #598  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2013, 2:24 PM
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  #599  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2013, 2:55 PM
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Awesome Montreal aerials!
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  #600  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2013, 2:55 PM
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Stuy Town by Surrealplaces, on Flickr



New York City by Surrealplaces, on Flickr
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