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November 22, 2017, 03:14:14 am
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Author Topic: Walkable cities= richer & smarter  (Read 1921 times)
TheArtist
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« on: July 13, 2016, 08:33:42 pm »

Splains a lot about this town, too bad we are decades behind the curve and still having to fight so hard to get on it lol.


http://www.bbc.com/autos/story/20160712-do-smart-people-walk-more

"DO YOU PREFER WALKING OR DRIVING?
Your answer may suggest something about your education level, according to a new study.
A report published last month says metropolitan areas in the United States that were found to be more pedestrian-friendly also often had higher levels of GDP — and their citizens were better educated."
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"When you only have two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other."-Chinese proverb. "Arts a staple. Like bread or wine or a warm coat in winter. Those who think it is a luxury have only a fragment of a mind. Mans spirit grows hungry for art in the same way h
davideinstein
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2016, 08:41:09 pm »

City wasn't built to be walkable. It would take decades of progressive policy to even become remotely walkable outside of the entertainment districts. Stinks.
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AquaMan
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2016, 06:51:33 am »

It was until the late 1950's. The huge postwar growth skewed growth towards suburban style development that maximized ROI by dropping the niceties the old model afforded. They replaced them with pie shaped lots, curvy streets with no sidewalks, elimination of parks, neighborhood schools and shopping. It made sense to planners at the time given the incentives and constraints they had to deal with (geography, racism, urban renewal, white flight, redlining, expressways). In fact, it was considered intelligent. School boards, zoning authorities, commission form of government were all dominated by builders/developers.

Hard to armchair quarterback now when the environment is totally different.
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erfalf
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2016, 07:04:24 am »

I still think age is the single most determining factor. The education thing always gets brought up in my opinion because subconsciously everyone wants to think they are smarter. When in reality, I would bet heavy that educational attainment is a lagging indicator vs age of the city.

Just my opinion. Articles like these are like blunt objects to beat people in the head with. "Don't you know any better stupid" as they are wailing away on them. It doesn't help the argument in virtually every circumstance it is used, no matter how "smart" the argument is.

I mean seriously, how do they look at this study, see that GDP and educational attainment are higher in New York, Washington and Boston and conclude that it's because they are drawn to walkable environments.  Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: July 14, 2016, 07:06:52 am by erfalf » Logged

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AquaMan
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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2016, 07:16:28 am »

Age? Age of the city or average age of its citizens?

To me it seems much of a city's current status was determined by when it experienced its largest growth. We are not an old city so our growth was during the twenties, the fifties and the late sixties. Those growth periods are easily recognized as old Tulsa near downtown, midtown and South (of I-44). Other, smaller growth periods, coincided with oil cycles but largely went to the far south and nearby small towns. Hard to compare us with cities who experienced huge, multiple growth periods from the 19th century through the 20th century.
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BKDotCom
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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2016, 08:06:01 am »

Which one's the cause and which ones the effect?

Walkable because the townsfolk are richer and smarter?
Or richer and smarter because it's walkable?
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AquaMan
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« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2016, 08:08:41 am »

I agree that these articles are mostly used to cast aspersions on different classes and different regions. They are helpful in attempting to influence the current attitudes but growth is still largely determined by economics and politics of the growth periods. And who is in charge of zoning boards, school boards and authorities.
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erfalf
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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2016, 09:32:27 am »

Age? Age of the city or average age of its citizens?

I was focusing on the age of the city, ie when the growth occurred. Those cities (NY, Boston, D.C.) were being formed when walkability was a necessity not, a convenience. it is impossible to compare. There are so many factors that are based more on the age of a city than whatever these study authors are trying to tie it to. Education, economy, government, etc. Think of cities like humans. The older they are, generally the more established and stable they are, the smarter they are. Oklahoma is a young pup in this country. For example our Universities are several hundred years younger than those on the eastern seaboard. That's a lot of catching up to do.
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johrasephoenix
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« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2016, 09:50:19 am »

Also -

Most of the oldest, most walkable cities came of age before the land grant public university system took off in the 1890s.  So cities like DC, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, etc have loads of private universities founded in the 18th and 19th century on a shoestring with one building and two teachers.  Those schools have since grown enormously and become huge assets.  They simultaneoulsy attract educated folks AND pump university graduates into the local economy.  

Tulsa didn't really take off until the 1920s, well after the philanthropist-founding-universities craze.  If I could go back in time I would tell Phillips, Kerr, Skelly, and the whole oil baron lot that the best thing they could do for Tulsa would be to found colleges.  If we had a Phillips University, a Skelly College, TU, etc all dumping educated people into our local workforce it would be totally transformative.  

It's also lame that there was no Indian Territory University or Indian Territory A&M in Tahlequah or Muskogee that would play the same role that Norman and Stillwater play for OKC.  The other half of the state got all the big land grant universities because we were a separate territory until statehood.
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TheArtist
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« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2016, 12:43:12 pm »

True some of the bigger older cities have an advantage.  But part of what I got from the article is added confirmation that there are a lot of people wanting to live in pedestrian friendly urban areas.  And until we get some pedestrian friendly urban areas, Tulsa is at a competitive disadvantage.

On the radio this morning I heard something to the effect of in Tucson, I think it was, they invested 100 million more in Transit and within 3 years saw an additional 1billion in development around that transit.

I have seen studies that show that as time goes by, more and more places all over the country which have urban, pedestrian friendly areas are growing faster than their suburban areas.

Another study showed that for instance, during the "downtown pedestrian mall" phase that many cities, young and old, big and small went through.  Of those every single one that put in "pedestrian zoning" into their pedestrian mall areas (wow rocket science there) those pedestrian malls thrived and were basically great cores ready to facilitate even faster growth around them when this "we want to live in pedestrian lively urban areas" trend took hold.  Meanwhile those cities that created pedestrian malls and did not put in pedestrian zoning, saw those areas decline.

We are still relying solely on suburban style growth. All our eggs are still in the same basket. We still have hundreds of square miles of auto centric zoning, and not one mile, indeed one block even, of pedestrian/transit zoning. Still!  We now have some small "islands" where pedestrian development is "allowed", but thats a sad state of affairs when you look at it.

This has all been decades in the making.  The writing has been on the wall, the trends in the making, for decades now and we have just been again, putting all our eggs in one basket which I hope nobody would ever think is a good idea.  At least have some small back up plan in place just in case lol.  But here we are pretty much knowing whats what, and are still having to actually fight the right thing.  It's baffling. 

 
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Bamboo World
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« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2016, 06:51:59 pm »


We are still relying solely on suburban style growth. All our eggs are still in the same basket. We still have hundreds of square miles of auto centric zoning, and not one mile, indeed one block even, of pedestrian/transit zoning. Still!...

...It's baffling.
 

It's baffling to some people, yes.  But remember:

1. Most Tulsans do not care one iota about urban planning, zoning, walkability, etc ... for a variety of reasons.

2. Most Tulsans do not choose to conduct their daily routines in a pedestrian-friendly manner ... hence the ample parking near the front door of many, many buildings, such as the proposed Jackson Technical HQ.

3. Many (or perhaps most) Tulsans do not give a flip about minimum and maximum setbacks.  In fact, large setbacks are generally preferred, for a variety of reasons.

4. Many (or perhaps most) Tulsans think streets are for motorized vehicles, not bikes, not pedestrians ... hence the annoyance some drivers display after a brief inconvenience caused to them by a bicyclist riding on Peoria Avenue on a weekday at 5:15pm, for instance.  Heaven forbid a driver in Tulsa being forced to slow down or to stop for a moment or two for a poky Okie.
 
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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2016, 08:20:45 am »

I was focusing on the age of the city, ie when the growth occurred. Those cities (NY, Boston, D.C.) were being formed when walkability was a necessity not, a convenience. it is impossible to compare. There are so many factors that are based more on the age of a city than whatever these study authors are trying to tie it to. Education, economy, government, etc. Think of cities like humans. The older they are, generally the more established and stable they are, the smarter they are. Oklahoma is a young pup in this country. For example our Universities are several hundred years younger than those on the eastern seaboard. That's a lot of catching up to do.



Stanford.  UCLA.  Both much younger Universities than the eastern seaboard and on a par with ANY of the old ones - all their catching up was done decades ago.

Stanford was started only 5 years before OU.  So how does one explain the difference between Stanford and OU??  Oh, wait... got it..!

Progressive thought is a better indicator than age of the city or the people.  And being better educated.



Depending on where I am going, prefer to walk.  Intentionally park at the furthest row in the work parking lot, so get to walk about 925 feet to office - one way.  Yeah...I have measured it....

« Last Edit: July 15, 2016, 08:22:57 am by heironymouspasparagus » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2016, 08:57:21 am »

Stanford was started only 5 years before OU.  So how does one explain the difference between Stanford and OU??  Oh, wait... got it..!

Well let's start with the fact that OU is just a sub-standard school to begin with (says the OSU alum).

All kidding aside, there are a lot of factors that would lead to this. Money being a big one. $5 Million got Stanford kicked off ($132 in today's money). Today Stanford's endowment is somewhere north of $20 Billion. OU sits around $1.5 billion. And I imagine the growth/economy of San Francisco likely would make a difference as well. And not because people liked to walk their either. But because there were opportunities there, natural resources, ports, banking, much more so than in central Oklahoma.

You all realize the world is not a static environment right?
« Last Edit: July 15, 2016, 08:59:23 am by erfalf » Logged

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AquaMan
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« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2016, 11:12:12 am »

Average scores on ACT test several points higher at OU than OSU. Around 28 iirc. 24 at OSU. Stanford requires 32 just to get in! (from an OU grad).

But H makes a good point. Go back to the growth periods in Tulsa I listed. The first one was oil related. In the 1920's, that brought many employees to Tulsa from the Northeast and upper Midwest. Illinois, NY, Pennsyvania etc. Those people brought their progressive community concepts with them. The older area of Tulsa around Maple Ridge was laid out in the way that older cities found comfortable. They were walkable, compact, and included parks, nearby walkable shopping, neighborhood schools and well built homes of varying styles, though mostly styles found in their Eastern origins.

The second growth was fueled by returning GI's from WWII and second generation oil. These soldiers were now well travelled and aware of different ways of living but it was the strong demand for housing that created the cheaper, more modern forms of housing design. California designs, shotgun housing, schools for the boomers changed the way we lived and incentivized unwalkable, inconvenient neighborhoods. However, the more affluent, educated oil execs maintained the more traditional style of homes and some semblance of walkability, namely Utica Square, Forest Hills, and Ranch Acres. This was the last period that Tulsa voted Democratic in national elections.

Then it all changed. Nixon, Ford, Reagan, evangelicals, conservativism. No doubt Tulsa made a hard right turn. Started with Jim Jones, ended up with Inhofe. Rhema, ORU. The last spurt was Cities Service moving its headquarters to Tulsa. It was the go-go period where real estate was suddenly more of an investment than a home decision. Execs knew they were subject to sudden transfer and didn't trust the salability of older, walkable, compact neighborhoods and opted for suburban growth that had the support of banks, realtors and other execs.

California stayed fairly progressive. They exploded their education opportunities all over the state even with wildly fluctuating political leadership from Brown to Reagan. They didn't have to put all their eggs into the one basket like we did.
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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2016, 12:30:08 pm »

Well let's start with the fact that OU is just a sub-standard school to begin with (says the OSU alum).

All kidding aside, there are a lot of factors that would lead to this. Money being a big one. $5 Million got Stanford kicked off ($132 in today's money). Today Stanford's endowment is somewhere north of $20 Billion. OU sits around $1.5 billion. And I imagine the growth/economy of San Francisco likely would make a difference as well. And not because people liked to walk their either. But because there were opportunities there, natural resources, ports, banking, much more so than in central Oklahoma.

You all realize the world is not a static environment right?


Also OSU alum...and at one time, I believe OU was much less in the areas where my interests lie - engineering.  But since Boren took over as President, the school has changed dramatically it is good in engineering!  Note another 'progressive' connection there....

And why is money the issue?   Well, as always, it IS about having a progressive outlook.  Willingness to be "risk takers", try new things, expand beyond one's horizon's, etc.  Think new thoughts.  Go where no man has gone before...!

The opportunities grew there because the people were looking forward.  Thinking about new and exciting. Doing the stuff the Failin' makes so much noise about then helps destroy any chance of it ever happening.  That is how growth and opportunities develop.  The only missing piece from your list is natural resources (NR) and the big gaping hole there is that NR's can be shipped in.  That's how Japan does it.  That is how Cali does it for stuff they don't have - they have lumber, gold, oil/gas, salt, and borax.  We are missing borax....and a whole lot of imagination and vision.    

It takes the insight, initiative, and the vision to see what can be and move in that direction.


As for being static - well, I do realize that - I have been outside the state from time to time and know for a fact that there IS life outside!!  It's Oklahoma that wants to think it's static and works so hard to avoid the change inherent in a dynamic world!!

« Last Edit: July 15, 2016, 12:31:59 pm by heironymouspasparagus » Logged

“When you wage war on the public schools, you're attacking the mortar that holds the community together. You're not a conservative, you're a vandal.”    - Garrison Keillor

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

What you do speaks so loud, I cannot hear what you say.
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