Urban Triage

7 thoughts on “Urban Triage”

  1. I think that an issue we have is space. We have so much land in the Antelope Valley that it’s much easier to say.. “build outward” than it is to convince anyone to revitalize existing infrastructure. Considering there are plans in place to continue this process with additional big box retailers further from the city center it will only increase the problems.
    Neither city here is any better either, they both love sprawl and are addicted to the quick money from big box retail.. all the while the mom-and-pop businesses are closing one after the other leaving the city core empty and heartless.

    1. Adam, Having an endless amount of cheap land does encourage endless growth. But there are other constraints. Water? Fuel? Easy access to zero interest credit? These things will not last forever. Downtown Lancaster near the Metrolink station and some of the adjacent neighborhoods have a fair chance of surviving the next century. Just about everything else is probably toast in the long haul. “Mom and pop” will be the savior of the local economy when the last Big Box covers its doors with plywood a generation or two from now. The AV will be a lot smaller, but probably better once the dust settles.

    1. Ooooh. That explains why we have a better dynamic where I live.

      With population decline in the Rust Belt, the remaining rich people living in upstate NY. have decisively moved closer to town, where they can buy “heritage” 100-year-old buildings, fix them up, and have private mansions.

      Heck, in most cities around here you can even buy a 100-year-old *church* for your private home, which is pretty grandiose.

      Actually, there are enough burned-out lots that rich people who want new mansions can clear an entire block for a really serious mansion, too.

      This means that the richest people are *not* living on the outskirts of town. The dynamic changes.

    1. Eric, I don’t see the situation as depressing. It’s just how things are at the moment. But things change. They always do. Remember the Rodney King riots in 1992? Some of the hardest hit neighborhoods in South Central LA – areas that were completely written off by the middle class as unsalvageable – are currently the most rapidly gentrifying. No one saw that coming twenty years ago. The pendulum swings… The clever thing to do is understand the underlying forces at work and use them to your advantage. In my opinion the Antelope Valley is going to decline economically and contract physically. I don’t think there’s anything that can be done to stop that process in the short term. However, once things bottom out in about twenty or thirty years the new smaller more manageable bits that survive may come back stronger. Time will tell.

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