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sunshine

What do you think is the best way to stop sprawl?

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Give you opinions!

Here are mine:

1. Increse sales tax or collect special taxes on car purchasing. Increase the price of car by 100% gradually over 5 years. This will allow the car dealer to digest it without having to lose all the business at once. The extra money can be used to build transit and maybe school and other. Cars become unafforable and people will used public transit and move closer to work. Same thing was done in countries like Malaysia and Singapore and it works.

2. Build skyscraper public housing in downtown area.

3. Set a boundary for development.

4. Developer that want to build very far away from the city need to pay huge amount of taxes to pay for the sewer and road.

What are you thoughts?

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Here in London, they had a massive sprawl problem.

The city did the following and had amazing results. The downtown is filled with cranes and condos going up, and this town is only 430,000 people:

1) Lowered property taxes (corporate and residential) in the downtown core to promote growth and private investment.

2) Showed its confidence in the downtown core. The city invested hundreds of millions, by building a huge entertainment complex, a beautiful public library, a huge concept market place (Covent Gardens), a convention centre. All this lead to more activity downtown, more people coming downtown, and more of a reason to live downtown.

**Note: There is no intra-urban expressway here (or ring road). Travelling ain't that easy from one area of town to the other. But, sprawl was terrible thanks to so many new 'power centre's' with box stores, and large suburban malls.

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Guest donaltopablo

1. Increse sales tax or collect special taxes on car purchasing. Increase the price of car by 100% gradually over 5 years. This will allow the car dealer to digest it without having to lose all the business at once. The extra money can be used to build transit and maybe school and other. Cars become unafforable and people will used public transit and move closer to work. Same thing was done in countries like Malaysia and Singapore and it works.
I'd rather see them tax the hell out of gas. I'm a car lover, but I'm still a responsible member of my community. I car pool regular (since no mass transit is available), and tend to own fuel efficient cars. What you purpose would destroy my hobby by pricing me out of it, and destroy my business (aftermarket auto parts). Tax the hell out of gas, and people who choose to make long commutes in non-efficient vehicles.

Although car pooling isn't as effective as mass transit, car pooling can be a very viable way to reduce traffic 50-75% without requiring significant investment in infrastructure in mass transit. Mass transit makes a lot of sense for dense enviornments, but the problem is you must start by stalling the growth and damage of sprawl, and I believe car pooling is the way to start this while you develop denser enviornments that properly support mass transit.

4. Developer that want to build very far away from the city need to pay huge amount of taxes to pay for the sewer and road.

I do like this idea. I think it would help encourage developers to build denser since they would have to pay for infrastructure required to support their developments in rural areas. Plus, the closer they build to existing infrastructure, the cheaper it would be. Just make them pay for whatever it costs in roads, sewer, water to build their development.

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4. Developer that want to build very far away from the city need to pay huge amount of taxes to pay for the sewer and road.

Definately a very good idea. These are called impact taxes, and in many areas they are illegal. It is my feeling that developers should be the ones paying for the new infrastructure, not the residents who live in already urbanized areas. My community is growing very fast, and they keep raising taxes to pay for infrastructure improvments that must be made due to the massive influx of new homes being built (our population has increased 23,000 in less than four years). We recently had to approve a millage to build new schools. Why should the longtime residents be taxed? What about the developers who are creating the mess in the first place? Tax them instead!

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I'd rather see them tax the hell out of gas.  I'm a car lover, but I'm still a responsible member of my community.  I car pool regular (since no mass transit is available), and tend to own fuel efficient cars.  What you purpose would destroy my hobby by pricing me out of it, and destroy my business (aftermarket auto parts).  Tax the hell out of gas, and people who choose to make long commutes in non-efficient vehicles.

Although car pooling isn't as effective as mass transit, car pooling can be a very viable way to reduce traffic 50-75% without requiring significant investment in infrastructure in mass transit.  Mass transit makes a lot of sense for dense enviornments, but the problem is you must start by stalling the growth and damage of sprawl, and I believe car pooling is the way to start this while you develop denser enviornments that properly support mass transit.

Just so you know, a Honda Accord Coupe cost 30 thousands dollars in Malaysia and a Mercedes-Benz 360 is at least 120 thousands US dollars.In singapore they have extra tax if you own a car that is more than 10 years old.

BTW, sine you are selling aftermarket parts, not usre what kind of deal can you get me for a hardtop for a covette?

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I think this thread shows that there are different answers for different places. We have a different type of sprawl here in Massachusetts than..say, Las Vegas or Atlanta or Detroit... or even London

btw-We all subsidize sprawl everytime we pay an electric or phone bill that has a fee for hooking up rural areas at no extra cost to those rate payers.

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Here in London, they had a massive sprawl problem. 

[...]

**Note: There is no intra-urban expressway here (or ring road). Travelling ain't that easy from one area of town to the other.  But, sprawl was terrible thanks to so many new 'power centre's' with box stores, and large suburban malls.

Maybe I'm just completely wrong here, but when I look at my map here, it looks like the M25 does a great huge circle around London.

The most effective way is probably to make it more cost effective to live in downtown areas or areas near fixed transit lines.

The problem you then encounter is that alot of people these days, especially in America, want their own house.

So you have to convince people that the the American Dream is infact false, and a condo in the sky is better than that.

Another way would be to require all counties (or whatever subdivision of a state you like) to have strict zoning laws to control growth and mandate smaller spread out commercial areas rather than massive commercial complexes such as malls, or just large stripmalls and those single boxes eg: Walmart that sit out on a large tract of alnd all by its lonesome with other businesses nearby but on separate land tracts.

The only problem I see with taxing everything is that eventually it becomes a deterrent rather than a control. It might be very costly to play with taxes and the realize you've gone to high in a certain area and its too late to change a trend. It would proabbyl work to some extent though.

Cities offer services to its citizens, such as: sewer, garbage, fire, police, water, power etc. in exchange for taxes. The probelm with chagring developers for putting in the lines for these various services is that it is really the only incentive to be in a city. I know that around here nobody has this great desire to be in the city limits. The City of Columbia has to annex areas by "bargaining" with its water service.

Mass transit is probably the best way. Zoning for dense development around stops and making bus stops very obvious and appearing safe to encourage its use seemd to eb one of the best ways to go about stopping sprawl.

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Hopefully I'll have time to read all the comments so far and show you guys my opinion, but one word on the London sprawl.

After spending two weeks in southern England and getting to know London a couple years back - I only have to say one thing.

London sprawl and sprawl you find here in the USA are two completely different animals. Not even close to one in the same. London sprawl would be considered very urban by North American standards.

With that said, hopefully I can upload photos I took of "suburban" London to show you... England has a land mass less then the size of a state like Oregon; yet fits 60 million people into this space. They have no option but to build dense housing. :D

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Guest donaltopablo

I bought a house in the burbs because I wanted a two car garage. But honestly, I could care less about the rest of this. They could have built my exact same neighborhood anywhere on half, maybe even a third of the land (I don't have much land to begin with, I hate yard work) and doubled or tripled the density and actually made it a semi-urban neighborhood, and I would have not lost any of the livability and lifestyle. This is something where I wish developers would take more notice. They outta go back to neighborhood parks and less individual land, it would suit me just fine.

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what can be done to stop sprawl:

1. Not allow it.

That's pretty much it.

100's of acres of farmland gets bulldozed every day in Florida. And they just keep letting them do it. You can't build on land that's not zoned for it.

America could use a good dose of regional planning with the backbone to stand up to developers. You get too many agencies with different plans overlapping each other. This is especially bad in places like Atlanta with their numerous small counties.

This doesn't have to be anti-growth either, just a little more controlled. The process ends up reversed in most places. We build a bunch of houses and then go back and worry about services, transit, etc.

OK maybe there is one more thing. Stop building roads (especially expressways) out into the middle of nowhere. That only encourages development. Cut the road budget in half and invest in public transportation.

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Also, eliminating cul-de-sac neighborhoods would help to decrease congestion like near the Birkdale Village in monsoon's post.

Infact, I could be wrong here, but I think Charlotte has made an ordinance to the effect.

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Guest donaltopablo

You get too many agencies with different plans overlapping each other. This is especially bad in places like Atlanta with their numerous small counties.

This is one of the truest statements about Atlanta I've heard in a while. It's a huge part of our problem. It's really been a huge problem as of late. I don't think it would have changed much during the 80s and much of the 90s for the city, but now that it's time to step up and do something about the way the metro is building out and the lack of transit options for a city of this size, individual politics has gotten in the way. Even with these "supposedly" regional bodies to help steer development and transit, very little has changed.

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i say just make boundries on growth

Unforunately that might just make property values rise to the point that many people wouldn't be able to afford it. It would certainly stop sprawl, however.

BTW, welcome to the forum, paper scissors cut steel. :)

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Make it rather expensive to drive is the best way... toll on all major roads and increase the gas tax. People would then be encourage to live closer to where they work and more likely to take public transportation. It works well in Europe. Alas, there is no political will as everyone wants cheap gas and big SUVs.

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one of the best ways to prevent sprawl is to re-use abondoned or derelict (brownfield) sites that exist in city centres, and also to re-use empty buildings.

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one of the best ways to prevent sprawl is to re-use abondoned or derelict (brownfield) sites that exist in city centres, and also to re-use empty buildings.

The problem is that this is America. Heaven forbid we reuse something! We live in such a wasteful society. There are acres and acres of land in many cities that sit undeveloped, and at the same time we keep building houses on the outskirts of the metro areas.

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The problem is that this is America. Heaven forbid we reuse something! We live in such a wasteful society. There are acres and acres of land in many cities that sit undeveloped, and at the same time we keep building houses on the outskirts of the metro areas.

But still - that trend is taking place, in Atlanta there are numerous infill developments. But even with opening up more options, people are still going to be attracted to cheap housing. And until county zoning boards join the boat developer's greed will drive sprawl.

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I suppose it depends on the city. Detroit has many infill projects...although the land had to sit vacant for 30 or 40 years before someone finally built something on it. Michigan just passed a brownfield tax credit program. I can't remember exactly how it works....I'll have to look up the specifics. But that certainly will aid the process of building things in the inner city.

I think a lot of infill development occurs where it's easy to build. A city like Detroit just isn't easy to build in. There's so much red tape in the approval and permitting process that people just don't want to build there. It's not uncommon for it to take a full day to pull a permit for a house...in other cities pulling a permit for a house might take an hour. Development in cities around here is painfully slow. IMO, we'd see a lot more development if they could streamline the approval & permitting process.

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