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Dense urban living also requires most of your surroundings to be pavement.



Have you never been to old European cities? They’re beautiful and dense. Hell, even London has many parts that are dense compared to US cities yet are beautifully old and green (like Hampstead and Highgate!).

At the end of it, we live in a world where every bit of profit matters more than earning slightly less and having something better looking.

I mean let’s compare Los Angeles County vs Greater London: 4,058 sq mi vs 606 sq mi Density 2,100/sq m vs 14,550/sq mi.

I mean the difference is insane! And ignoring the towers springing up all over London because of greedy developers, London doesn’t feel all that cramped or as if there’s concrete everywhere.

US cities need better public transport and more dense areas. Leave the rest to nature!


What business _isn't_ greedy? Do we complain about "greedy greengrocers"?

You need to build systems where people trying to maximize profit isn't a problem. It's not something we've completely figured out (see: externalities)

Ironically if greedy developers got their way in the US we'd have more low or no-parking buildings, as evidenced by the fact that they weren't build "enough" (whatever that means) parking until the law forced them to.


> greedy developers

What's wrong with people building things that others want to buy?


Here (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/29/skyscr...) is a good article that explains it well.

Plus, I don’t think housing should really be left to the free market. This is the UK after all, social housing is one of the best things we’ve ever done (IMO).


The article is full of bombastic statements like "They are loved by virility-obsessed mayors."

I.e. the article isn't credible.


The author is previous deputy chairman of the National Trust and English Heritage.

A quick search would’ve shown you who the author of the column is.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Jenkins


Doesn't matter who he is. If he wants his article to be taken seriously, he shouldn't fill it with unsupportable bombast.


People buy things without accounting for externalities (which were not forcefully included in the price by govt regulation). Some buildings that people want to buy have negative effects on the rest of the people living in the city. Hence, there is an argument to be made that there is something wrong with certain kinds of buildings. These might be super high rises or it might be a polluting factory in the middle of the city.


What's wrong is that there is no profit in selling real estate and housing at below market value, by definition. And in places like the bay, market rents are not affordable to an increasingly large population. Hence, the greedy perception. Developers are acting in self interest and the old system of financing predicated continuous wage growth.


Sorry I’m talking in relation to the UK. It’s a much different reason for high prices here than somewhere such as SFO.


Not building towers will result in even higher prices for housing.


At least in the UK the price per square foot greatly increases after each new build that replaces an older one. Surely prices would go down? You can even verify yourself. Go on a property portal such as Zoopla or Rightmove and compare the cost of a new build and old build in the same area. I have yet to find one where the new build is cheaper per square foot.


Prices will still rise if demand is increasing faster than supply. If supply remained constant, the prices would rise even faster.


Of course, people like newer things. But how was the cost of surrounding old builds affected?


> But how was the cost of surrounding old builds affected?

Not sure I understand?

Edit: Anyway, the poster I was replying to was making the point that these towers are alleviating demand and subsequently pushing prices down, which is not happening.


I meant "people who might have bought an old home instead went to the new one".

If I have a market of 10 dumpy old cars, people will pay X for it. If I destroy 1 dumpy old car and add 2 brand new cars, people will pay more for the new cars (like your new building) but the dumpy old ones will be slightly cheaper.


That is not what I wrote. I said the prices with the tower would be lower than prices without the tower, which is not the same as saying prices would decline.

I.e. relative vs absolute.


https://content.knightfrank.com/research/478/documents/en/20...

This research shows that there’s an average of 1.5% price increase per floor. Care to share a counter-claim source?


Increasing the supply of something simply does not cause price increases. If the price increases, it's because demand is increasing even faster than supply.


At this point there’s no way you aren’t pulling my leg. The research paper showed that increasing the amount of floors increases the price per floor. Are you saying that these towers control demand? So if they lower the amount of floors then suddenly demand is going down because they are cheaper?

Also I do hope you know the context of my posts relate to the UK market?


People like living high above traffic. There's a reason penthouse apartments are at the top.


Bar the main roads, there’s not a lot of traffic down residential streets in London.


Compare a picture of Kansas City to one of Manhattan. In Kansas City, there are entire city blocks in the middle of downtown solely dedicated to parking, and more blocks that are given to massive highways to move people downtown. In Manhattan, there is virtually no given space given to such endeavors.


Manhattan's landscape is concrete and (steel and glass). It's hardly pastoral.


Sure, but literally everyone in Manhattan is only a short subway ride away from Central Park.


NYC has a surprising number of parks.


Not Manhattan. Outside of Central Park there's not much green space at all. Midtown south, Flatiron, Downtown, etc have nothing! They may have paved urban parks but there's simply not enough green space per person, and that's a choice they've made historically based on greed. People need accessible green space for use on a daily basis near their homes, not requiring long subway rides back uptown to Central Park.


There are many small parks in Manhattan in addition to Central Park.


The Battery Conservancy has 25 acres of parkland downtown at the tip of lower Manhattan; most of which is green.


Midtown had a bunch of small parks nestled between roads in lots of places near Columbia U.


Columbia U is pretty far uptown, not midtown. Small pocket parks don't really cut it, people need to be able to go for walks under trees and maybe a sporting field or two.


The Flatiron building is literally one block away from Madison Square Park...


I am well familiar with my old stomping ground Madison Square Park. Not what I'd call a proper park by any means. It's a series of benches around a lawn. Nice to sit and people watch, but that's about it.


It absolutely doesn't. It does if you mandate the only transport option to be low density, but pretty much every European city begs to differ


Paris is one of the highest-density cities in the world... and even then, the city by area is more than half parkland.


Go to tokyo, it's less paved than LA in many places!




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