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The most common coping strategy, though, is simply to increase the number of paying people per square foot of dwelling space

We've seen this before, when single family brownstone townhouses were converted to apartments in the big move to the suburbs.

There is a strong tendency in the US to stereotype a slum as an inner urban area, but the same thing happens whenever the property value drops below the replacement cost ... landlords begin extracting value from higher density renting to incomes lower down on the income ladder, while the property is allowed to depreciate.

And higher density in former suburban area where there is also out-migration implies abandoned housing.

If it dawns on people over the coming decade that a stopping rail service through the town can raise property values in an easy walk or park and ride of the station, and keep some districts out of the slum zone that are at risk of falling into the slum zone, the politics of establishing rail services will start to swing. NIMBY's will be converted into PIMBY's.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Jun 17th, 2009 at 02:36:11 PM EST
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Rail service indeed.

Instead, urban planning of the 60s designed highways that tore through neighborhoods and allowed business people quick exits to the suburbs.

Ironically, those businesspeople have now had to move farther out as their first ring suburbs deteriorated, and even the water and sewage lines (made out of cheaper materials) began to burst. We had a snowstorm here that caused flooding a few years ago, and these first ring burbs were without water because their systems couldn't take the pressure.

Meanwhile, the city rolls along with 150 year old pipes made of lead coated with all kinds of sediment. They've never had to dig up the system in a century and a half.

by Upstate NY on Thu Jun 18th, 2009 at 04:00:36 PM EST
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