Other posts related to city

Bombinate the Message

| May 11, 2009 11:34 am

Sorry about all the videos lately, but looks like some really good stuff out there.

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Egregious Statement

| August 8, 2008 4:09 pm

My favorite politician did it again. She managed to prove one more time that either there is no intelligent design, or the designer wanted to make its subject not intelligent. I mean, seriously… Just watch her video:

I guess she is trying to make the whole thing sound like some kind of communist country, but really beside the “government jobs” part it actually sounds really good. I would much rather take public transportation. I would much rather live in the city.

However, let’s play with her statement a little bit. My favorite politician seem to be in favor of Americans being uneducated, moving to the suburban isolation, live in the giant single family monstrosities, and take ASSUVs to their army contractor and oil jobs. Oh, how happy the world would be.

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Cogent Living in the City

| June 18, 2008 4:45 pm

There is an overwhelming amount of arguments for living in the city. And I don’t mean cities like Santa Clara, CA or Columbia, MD. And don’t even get me started on Clifton Park, NY. When I say city, I am really referring to a dense urban environment. Such as Ljubljana Slovenia, San Francisco USA, and Munich Germany. You can call this the European style or whatever. As long as there is a large population in close proximity.

Large in this case is a relative term though. Ljubljana, for example, has only 300,000 people or so. So, it is not all about the number of people. It is more about the density. The denser the population, better the infrastructure can be. Imagine things like electricity, transportation, heating, cooling, stores, etc.

When I have this argument with people, they typically counter with arguments such as congestion, neighbors, and pollution. I would argue that you can counter all of them using proper city design.

Congestion is really the cause of people traveling from residential areas to the business areas. If you mix the residential and business areas, then the average distance traveled gets minimized and congestion is reduced. Of course the layout of the city is much more conducive towards the less destructive modes of transportation, such as walking, biking, and public transportation.

People tend to prefer the suburbia for their independence from the neighbors, by having access to large back yard, no shared walls, etc. Reasoning for that are things like safety, peace and quiet. In the dense city, there will be inherently less space for private yards. Also, in most condominiums, the apartments share walls. But, there are community gardens, community pools, community parks. They can be maintained much more efficiently. Same goes for the maintenance of outside of the apartment buildings versus the detached houses. And people are way to isolated as is with all the modern technology, so having neighbors that you interact with is a good thing.

Finally, environmentally, well designed cities tend to be much better than any form of suburbia. Apartment building for example, consumes has significantly less energy for heating, cooling, lighting, etc then a large number of detached homes. Since things are close together in the city, there is much less impact on the surroundings. For example, a single apartment building can host hundreds of families, and take a fraction of land that single family houses would. Because of that you can simplify the utility delivery, such as water, power, telecommunications.

I get asked by people something like why would I like to live in the city if I love to bike in the nature. Well, the answer is because I love to bike in the nature instead of bike in perpetual suburbia. For example, in upstate NY or Maryland, you have to bike really far to get out of the housing developments. Since San Jose is surrounded by suburbia, you have to bike pretty far to get anywhere without population. On the other hand, Ljubljana has several hills and mountains very close to downtown. So does San Francisco.

Of course, there are limits on the density. At some point the city density is too high and the benefits get diminished by the drawbacks. Typical examples of that are cities in Asia. That said, with proper urban development and with proper mixture of residential and business areas in the city, the lifestyle in the city is significantly sustainable than lifestyle in suburbia.

Here are some of interesting articles about the city living:

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Intransigent Beauty

| May 27, 2008 2:02 pm

Happy 71st Birthday Golden Gate Bridge!

It only takes a tiny corner of
This great big world to make the place we love;
My home upon the hill, I find I love you still,
I’ve been away, but now I’m back to tell you…

San Francisco, open your golden gate
You let no stranger wait outside your door.
San Francisco, here is your wanderin’ one
Saying “I’ll wander no more.”
Other places only make me love you best,
Tell me you’re the heart of all the golden west.
San Francisco, welcome me home again;
I’m coming home to go roaming no more!

Golden Gate Bridge

The loveliness of Paris seems somehow sadly gay,
The glory that was Rome is just another day,
I’ve been terribly alone and forgotten in Manhattan,
I’m going home to my city by the bay.

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Into The Throng

| September 29, 2005 1:53 am

Turns out weeks can be spend working, sleeping, eating, and maybe, if you are lucky, having fun. On Monday morning, WS and I drove towards the beautiful Boston. Waking up at 6 o’clock in the morning is a good thing, but it does leave a toll. I guess I am not that young any more. Going to Boston was a part of a business trip. There were some meetings we had to attend and going there was necessary.

Driving to Boston is always interesting. The 180+ miles go through fairly fast, but sometimes I wish it would go even faster. Maybe next time I go for a bit longer, such as longer for three days, I will try flying. People on the road are typical aggressive drivers, though this time there was no incident. The only bad thing was that I had a t-con scheduled for 10:30, so we almost had to rush. We came to the destination at 10:15, so more than enough time to get ready.

The meetings were, well, meetings. It was nice to see some people working on the project and of course meet some new ones. After the meetings we all went to a nice sushi restaurant in Brookline, called Ginza. I had a couple of rolls, but I traded a slice with SP for two slices of a yummy octopus. Next day went by in a similar fashion, except that instead of sushi there was Italian food.

Both mornings I went for a long jog. I started next to our hotel and run along the Riverway and Fenway roads in the park. It is kind of need to be able to just go from the hotel and run in the park. Here in the cuntry, there is not enough space to put sidewalks. That is why if you want to go for a safe jog, you pretty much have to sit in the car and drive to the park. Kind of backward if you ask me.

On Wednesday we drove back after lunch in a sports bar. Now, I am all for physical activity, but a sports bar is something I am just too dodo to comprehend. Why would you go to a restaurant to watch a game, whatever it is. Anyway, turns out they did have good food, and I had one of the best salads ever. That and we managed to see a celebrity softball or something.

The voyage home was pretty peaceful, except of the little accident somebody had around exit 13 on the interstate 90. Turns out somebody lost twenty or so boxes of empty bottles of beer. These boxes and bottles were all smashed all over the highway blocking all three lanes, so all the cars had to go around on the shoulder. I always wonder if people just do not notice, or they just do not care.

Anyway, I had a fun trip to the college town. It is always good to be immersed into the throng. One day, I just might stay there.

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