Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

Actually I'd say cities don't scale, at least not beyond the ~5 million people mark.

So fucking false. Ever been to a city in Asia, like Tokyo? The fact that the city exists means that there is demand for things like retail stores and public transportation. There's pretty much a train line between any two points in the city. You can actually go to a retail store and buy something useful. (Never happened to me in the US, except IKEA.)

Cities like London and New York (well, Manhattan) do pretty well too. Once you hit a certain number of people, infrastructure becomes possible. Everything gets closer together, and everyone benefits from that.

Perhaps, but pedestrian-friendliness, bicycle-friendliness and mass transit friendliness are directly opposed to another kind of human-friendliness: the kind that allows people, especially families, to live at a comfortable density. The only way to make a city navigable by non-car means is to cram people in at high density: okay for some (heck, I live in a thirty-storey building myself) but not for others.

Ok, whatever, but why should I subsidize that lifestyle? The OP is about paying for parking. If you want to drive your car into the city from the suburbs, you should build the road and pay market price for the real estate that your car sits on while you're here. Too expensive? Now you know why cities exist -- infrastructure costs less because more people can share the same infrastructure. When we build a superhighway to from the city to your house in the middle of nowhere, the cost is high but the benefit is minimal. When we build a transit line from the city along a high-density corridor, the cost is high but the benefit is also high. That's the point of cities -- more for less.

As I said, car-unfriendliness is incompatible with quarter-acre blocks and giving your children a yard to play in. Besides, there's no reason why mixed-use neighbourhoods can't be car-friendly.

Not true. It's incompatible with pretending that there's nobody else in the world but you, however.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact