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New Urbanism


richyb83

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Take DC for example: great public transit, great parks, great museums, and overal plenty of things to do. It is also the most dangerous city in the country with the worst public schools that I've ever seen with absolutely no hope of changing without a massive cultural shift.

Because conditions are so terrible in the city, DC has spawned some of the country's best suburbs. The metro rail has acted almost as an enabler to the sprawl as it expanded to outlying areas. Many employers moved to outlying areas as well.

The big difference btw DC in Baton Rouge is that DC attracts way more younger single people who don't have a need for some of the public services that the city can't provide. Even with their steady supply of young people moving they haven't even made a dent in correcting their problems. There literally isn't a thing Baton Rouge can do to bring that many young people in, so unlike DC- Baton Rouge has to actually role up its sleves and make changes. There isn't the political will in town to accomplish that.

Washington hasn't been the most dangerous since the 90s. I can't imagine public schools are that bad in DC. They also offer charter schools which would help the school situation in the city. They have also been an improvement for New Orleans. Baton Rouge and do alot to attract young people to the city, not in the same amount as DC but in the same respective scale. We have a growing tech industry, filming industry, and LSU.

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Nice points on all sides...very complex indeed. It's a tug-of-war with the burbs and the city.

Woodlawn wanting to create it's own school district encompassing a large area(South of I-12/East of I-10 will make things interesting. Those Charter Schools are not everything they are supposed to be...students leave those schools and struggle mightily in the public schools the few times I have witnessed it....nevertheless the public school system is being dismantled...it's a shame the good will have to suffer for the bad.

I hope one day we won't look back at 2012 when gas was cheap...as long as this Iran war talk(different animal) continues to fester we will beg for prices under $4.00...

Edited by richyb83
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I assure you that DC public schools are an abject failure on every level. Charters there face a stronger teacher union than what exists in Louisiana. New Orleans is far ahead of DC on charters. There is more money in DC, but Charters are very difficult to start there though some do exist.

I support the Woodlawn district, but I'm afraid it will come at the expense of the magnet programs...I hope those folks realize that the same issues hurting the inner city schools play out in suburban districts as well. The difference is that you have more high performing students bringing up the average. You won't completely avoid the kids or teachers who do not care in suburban districts like that.....which highlights the importance of parental involvement.

EBR magnets are very, very impressive schools. Their setup attracts high performing students and great teachers. The curriculum is far ahead of even most private schools in town. Unfortunately, they have many enemys in the school board for political and race reasons. Not sure how much longer they will be around, but if you can get your kids in there....do it. Most perform better than anything in Ascension or Livingston.

Louisiana just made it much easier to receive vouchers, which will encourage charter development. I don't expect every one of them to make it, but I do expect some very high performers. Scaling back teacher tenure alone will help. Jindal's education strategy is controversial, but if it works it could be the best tool to encourage people to stay in town.

Like I said, it is a complex issue that goes way beyond public transit and quality of life improvements for yuppies and DINKs. Public schools in Baton Rouge undermine every improvement made in the city.

It's simply inhumane to force children (especially those in tough economic situations) into a failed neighborhood school- of which many exist in Baton Rouge. The choice needs to be available for those who care about their future but don't have the means to move to a better district or pay for private school.

Edited by cajun
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Nice points on all sides...very complex indeed. It's a tug-of-war with the burbs and the city.

No suburbians point to cities and write articles about how cities are disgusting dumps of failure. Yet Urbanists (some) want to blog, or even funnier, link to other blog articles about how the suburbs suck and how all those people who left are going to come flooding back to the cities. It's sad because those types are delusional. It's almost as if their pride is hurt as time goes on and the working class flees and is replaced by crime and undesirables.

Those Charter Schools are not everything they are supposed to be...students leave those schools and struggle mightily in the public schools the few times I have witnessed it....nevertheless the public school system is being dismantled...

You do realize EBR public schools are atrocious. Right?

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Nice points on all sides...very complex indeed. It's a tug-of-war with the burbs and the city.

Those Charter Schools are not everything they are supposed to be...students leave those schools and struggle mightily in the public schools the few times I have witnessed it....nevertheless the public school system is being dismantled...it's a shame the good will have to suffer for the bad.

The good are suffering for the bad in the public school system right now and have been for decades. The current setup is derived from single room school houses with a strict curriculum used to develop the agrarian parts of this nation over 200 years ago. It is an obsolete system.

Add to that the fact that it is nearly impossible to fire a teacher and you start seeing the failure factories that have sprung up in struggling areas over the last 40 years. The few good teachers often burn out and quit. The crappy ones get paid regardless of if they their students learn.

Generalizing all charters is a common argument used by AFT, who time and time again demostrste their self serving bias and latch their socialist wagon to Americans emotional concerns over their children's education. They have nothing to say about the charters that produce great results, and blast them and politically undermine them at every opportunity. Anything but the status quo is a threat to them.

Not all charters are going to be great especially this early in the game....but the good ones that show up are going to provide a choice for the "good" that are currently suffering from the "bad".

Since the boards hate magnets because they are predominantly white schools, and hate charters because the unions are not in charge....they should be providing some innovative ideas on their own. The only thing they know how to do is ask for more money to waste.

Not really a tug o war between the burbs and the city. Tug O wars end when the other side fails. Urban public schools did that decades ago.

It is more of a struggle between an obsolete system and the children who are a victim of the self serving bias of the adults that should actually care about them.

Today, those types seem to outnumber the truly talented individuals who dedicate their life to children in urban areas.

There are reasons to be positive. Louisiana's education reform is far from perfect, but it is one of the most truly progressive I've seen. They are essentially inviting the organizations who run charter schools into the cities. Many of them are not shy about their only purpose is getting under privileged kids into colleges- and already have tremendous success in inner cities throughout the country.

Schools are one of the largest reasons people move around. I gladly put up with a 30 minute commute because my kids are enrolled in some of the best schools in my state. Millions of parents make that same decision all over the country.

Edited by cajun
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No suburbians point to cities and write articles about how cities are disgusting dumps of failure. Yet Urbanists (some) want to blog, or even funnier, link to other blog articles about how the suburbs suck and how all those people who left are going to come flooding back to the cities. It's sad because those types are delusional. It's almost as if their pride is hurt as time goes on and the working class flees and is replaced by crime and undesirables.

You do realize EBR public schools are atrocious. Right?

I consider the anti-suburbanite arguments an admission of failure. People like that would rather blame and complain than even consider why those people left in the first place.

Or....it could be that they know how hopeless their cause has become and have grown apathetic.

Detroit made that hopeless appeal for decades. They kept telling themselves that GM will move their plants back to town and fix everything. People will move back and the schools and city won't suck so badly anymore. They even got a few studies and editorials published to validate their beliefs. All of them were wrong.

They spent more time complaining about those traitors that left and never bothered to address the reasons behind the exodus. You had people in BR actively fighting KIPP academy from opening in town. Pathetic.

Public schools may have less of an effect on how places like downtown develops, but it does determine the viability of the rest of the city to middle class people. Let's face it- Baton Rouge is far from a wealthy town, and tuition is a huge burden on so many people. The fact that private schools are so popular there is a testament to how bad the public schools are.

Parents will go to great lengths to improve their child's education and ensure their safety.

Edited by cajun
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ROTFLOL! yes, by having the middle class move back with their money that would...

1) make drug addicts stop doing drugs

2) make piss poor parents want to be better parents and therefore make schools instantly better.

3) make inner city inhabitants want to respect their (and their neighbors) property

4) would make cities safer

Yes. If only the cities inhabitants and wishful dreamers like yourself could just get your hands on the money that lives out in those evil suburbs.

You must understand that the relationship will become inversed. Vagrants will never stop doing those things, however where they do it will change. They will be relocated to the suburbs while the wealthy and middle class inhabit the the city. You do know that in most countries the world, the successful people live in the city center and the poor people live in the out skirts? So its not like it's a far fetched idea, its actually the norm.

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No suburbians point to cities and write articles about how cities are disgusting dumps of failure. Yet Urbanists (some) want to blog, or even funnier, link to other blog articles about how the suburbs suck and how all those people who left are going to come flooding back to the cities. It's sad because those types are delusional. It's almost as if their pride is hurt as time goes on and the working class flees and is replaced by crime and undesirables.

Have you read the advocate lately? Of course suburbanites write articles trash talking cities. I read one today in fact.

There are articles and editorials written by people who believe urban centers are "disgusting dumps of failure," I have read several. Those articles are often written by libertarians and Agenda 21 conspiracy theorist. However they are in the minority because the majority of industry leaders and professionals have agreed we've been designing our cities poorly for the last 50 years, despite the social causes that drove the change. The facts and data are also on their side, which makes their case much easier to make. Their ideas are based on numbers and not simply an emotional response.

Regardless, change is coming, the market has already begun to respond, as noted by the recent residential developments completed, under construction, or planned for downtown.

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You must understand that the relationship will become inversed. Vagrants will never stop doing those things, however where they do it will change. They will be relocated to the suburbs while the wealthy and middle class inhabit the the city. You do know that in most countries the world, the successful people live in the city center and the poor people live in the out skirts? So its not like it's a far fetched idea, its actually the norm.

Ah...the gentrification process. The politicians who need those scum bag's votes will and do complain about gentrification. I also suspect race is a factor here as well.

Most of the land grab in one key area in baton Rouge has been done individually at a snails pace and through proxies to avoid the backlash of "the community".

Can't always assume the neighborhood wants to improve itself.....but anyone who denies that gentrification does occur is kidding themselves.

I'd like to see a positive cultural shift in the inner city, but aggressively pricing out the current inhabitants of a neighborhood works as well. It happens all the time actually in larger cities.

I see it a little with the north gates at LSU and in mid city. Capitol Heights looked doomed in the 1980s. It's a pretty cool area now.

Edited by cajun
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You must understand that the relationship will become inversed. Vagrants will never stop doing those things, however where they do it will change. They will be relocated to the suburbs while the wealthy and middle class inhabit the the city. You do know that in most countries the world, the successful people live in the city center and the poor people live in the out skirts? So its not like it's a far fetched idea, its actually the norm.

America was primarily built and developed in the industrial revolution. With a few exceptions, our demographic trends don't reflect that of European cities. The dynamics of the developments here are different.

In Baton Rouge's case....there are some areas that are well established and will always be desirable high-dollar areas. In fact, there really aren't many wealthy people in the suburbs of town.

Unfortunately, most of the city is geared toward being a refinery town of the early 20th century.

Those thrown together shacks that make up north Baton Rouge was the original suburban sprawl neighborhood. The housing stock is completely obsolete now.

If Baton Rouge was a financial or trade center around 100 years ago like New Orleans, I think your argument would be much more valid here. The early settlers would have been more wealthy and would have built a white collar city from the start.

Bringing the wealthy and middle class back to the city (that aren't already here....the city is far from dead) would require a complete redevelopment. That is happening right now in Houston- which is today a legitimately wealthy city. It's possible, but unlikely that we'll see that as a nationwide trend outside the wealthy urban centers.

NOLA, Atlanta, Chicago, and the northeast....absolutely. The mid west and the south....unlikely.

Edited by cajun
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I assure you that DC public schools are an abject failure on every level. Charters there face a stronger teacher union than what exists in Louisiana. New Orleans is far ahead of DC on charters. There is more money in DC, but Charters are very difficult to start there though some do exist.

I support the Woodlawn district, but I'm afraid it will come at the expense of the magnet programs...I hope those folks realize that the same issues hurting the inner city schools play out in suburban districts as well. The difference is that you have more high performing students bringing up the average. You won't completely avoid the kids or teachers who do not care in suburban districts like that.....which highlights the importance of parental involvement.

EBR magnets are very, very impressive schools. Their setup attracts high performing students and great teachers. The curriculum is far ahead of even most private schools in town. Unfortunately, they have many enemys in the school board for political and race reasons. Not sure how much longer they will be around, but if you can get your kids in there....do it. Most perform better than anything in Ascension or Livingston.

What's your take on Scotlandville Magnet versus Baton Rouge High, Dutchtown, and McKinley?

No suburbians point to cities and write articles about how cities are disgusting dumps of failure. Yet Urbanists (some) want to blog, or even funnier, link to other blog articles about how the suburbs suck and how all those people who left are going to come flooding back to the cities. It's sad because those types are delusional.

I must have lost my delusional medicine.

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What's your take on Scotlandville Magnet versus Baton Rouge High, Dutchtown, and McKinley?

I must have lost my delusional medicine.

Scotlandville magnet isn't a magnet school in its entirety anymore...and doesn't perform as well as Baton Rouge high for that reason. I know that 5 or 6 years ago, it was considered pretty competitive....but I'm not read up on what has happened since then. I have a friend who used to teach there. I'll have to ask him about it next time I see him. Wouldn't surprise me at all if it was still a very solid performer.

I don't know much about McKinley magnet other than a few people I know that went there. They seemed like very well rounded people. I have heard good things but haven't read any facts on it.

Baton Rouge Magnet High is pretty impressive. I wouldn't hesitate to send my child there. I am shocked at what classes my friends who attended that school were able to take. It is essentially a college prep school operating within the public school system.

Dutchtown in AP is nothing special. Not worth the move to AP unless your kid can't get into magnet school. Not a bad performer by any means, just not all that great either. Probably better than the other AP high schools....but that isn't worthy of bragging unless your yardstick for success is EBR public schools.

Edited by cajun
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  • 1 month later...

Saw them working on this a few weeks ago...the rural stretch of Barringer Foreman Rd is about to undergo big transformation

Construction on The Long Farm under way

More than two years after plans were unveiled for The Long Farm—a TND being developed by Russell Mosely on the property that belonged to his grandfather, U.S. Sen. Russell Long—construction is under way on the first filing of the development, a neighborhood that will be known as the Highland District. A three-acre lake that will sit at the center of the district is expected to be finished by the end of next week, and infrastructure work will follow, with construction on the 65 homes in the filing scheduled for early fall. "It's really coming along," says Mosely, adding that more than half of the lots are pre-sold. The Highland District will be the first of several filings on The Long Farm, which, if completed as originally planned, will be the largest, full-scale TND in the Capital Region, with 237 acres of office, retail and residential. The development is bordered by Airline and Old Jefferson highways, Antioch Road and the old Briarwood Golf Club. Sen. Russell Long, son of the famed governor Huey Long, began acquiring the property in the early 1960s and lived there when he was visiting his home state. For the complete story of The Long Farm, click here.

http://www.businessreport.com/section/daily-reportPM

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This is suburbia with lipstick.

Suburbia becomes much more attractive after you have kids.

Most larger cities offer next to nothing for families with children....it is far beyond the point where good quality suburbs help attract professionals to the region.

Best thing for Baton Rouge is to setup ISDs, improve infrastructure, and increase police protection. The younger people will gravitate towards the city center and eventually move to the suburbs and be replaced with new young people.

Baton Rouge suburbs are awful. Nothing like paying $300K for a cookie cutter house that is next door to a trailer park, a car wash, and a foundry.

Edited by cajun
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Suburbia becomes much more attractive after you have kids.

Most larger cities offer next to nothing for families with children....it is far beyond the point where good quality suburbs help attract professionals to the region.

Thats highly debatable. Most sunbelt cities offer next to nothing for families with children in urban areas. Keep in mind, 50% of American's still live in urban areas, meaning 50% of Americans are doing just fine raising families in cities. But there is research in both respects promoting the benefits or cons of either way of living.

Baton Rouge suburbs are awful. Nothing like paying $300K for a cookie cutter house that is next door to a trailer park, a car wash, and a foundry.

Agreed.

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Thats highly debatable. Most sunbelt cities offer next to nothing for families with children in urban areas. Keep in mind, 50% of American's still live in urban areas, meaning 50% of Americans are doing just fine raising families in cities. But there is research in both respects promoting the benefits or cons of either way of living.

In this case, doesn't urban mean urban and suburban? Counting out those who live in only rural areas.

Suburban areas are attractive when the city looks like majority of Baton Rouge and safe decent areas can't be had easily in the city. People raise families fine in New Orleans and on the northshore and westbank. I can assure you there is no way I'd raise my kids in suburbia.

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In this case, doesn't urban mean urban and suburban? Counting out those who live in only rural areas.

Suburban areas are attractive when the city looks like majority of Baton Rouge and safe decent areas can't be had easily in the city. People raise families fine in New Orleans and on the northshore and westbank. I can assure you there is no way I'd raise my kids in suburbia.

The numbers I am citing were based on a Urban vs. Suburban/rural study. However I do agree that in many cases in sunbelt cities, people confuse suburbia with being "the city" aka "urban"

A girl I went to school with during a class discussion was confused because her whole life, she thought she had lived in the city. She grew up off of Perkins Road and assumed she lived in an urban area because she lived in the city limits. I had to explain to her that if it requires a car to run any errand, she lived in suburbia. She continued to be confused at first, but eventually caught on. I think its a problem many people have because they have never been exposed to true walkable urbanism and assume any area with lots of suburban development is therefore urban.

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Thats highly debatable. Most sunbelt cities offer next to nothing for families with children in urban areas. Keep in mind, 50% of American's still live in urban areas, meaning 50% of Americans are doing just fine raising families in cities. But there is research in both respects promoting the benefits or cons of either way of living.

Do you have a link to a stat that indicates that anywhere near 50% of families with kids live in an urban environment and they are doing, as you say, "just fine".

That wouldn't be debatable in any of the dozen cities that I've lived. Even the functional urban areas are priced out of the reach of most families. Those that are affordable have sky high incarceration rates, too much crime, horrible public schools, and obsolete infrastructure if they don't completely mimic a small town feel within a large city.

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