I had a realization while going through the process that this is the thing that causes our cities to be so drastically inferior to european cities which were designed before zoning laws were in vogue.
I get that I don't want a power plant or steel forge next to my house, but that's not what we are talking about here. I can't put a cafe (literally an espresso machine and a few tables and chairs) in a structure in residential neighborhood without a huge investment in lawyers and architects and likely installing 70k worth of elevators and a 30k sprinkler system in a two story 3k sqft building and even then, if a single person on the review board dislikes the project on a whim, it's out.
And then surprise surprise, all of the things open in the city are chain restaurants which everyone complains about backed by large corporation who have huge budgets for construction, and architects, and lawyers and palm greasing so our cities slowly morph into this.
It really sucks.
Zoning laws are in fact an American invention, and they were originally designed to limit where Chinese immigrants could live and work. Their actual impact on the quality of a city was kind of besides the point; the only goal was to hurt racial out groups. Viewed from this lens, it isn't terribly surprising that zoning laws haven't done a great job at making American cities good places to work & live; that's not what those tools were designed for.
0 - https://fee.org/articles/the-racist-history-of-zoning-laws/
You need to also include racist bank and financial policies in order to get the whole picture. While poor whites are indeed excluded from rich neighborhoods, they’re also been the recipients of federal welfare designed to make them rich enough for “respectable” neighborhoods; blacks have not received the same treatment.
See: racial disparities in how GI bill worked.
Black Americans were on an upward trajectory until the 60s despite living in a society with systemic racism.
That was until the government decided to pay cash to destroy family structure.
Welfare actually could have played a different role you from what you may imagine:
I wouldn't call a 50 year old neighborhood with 1,600 Irish and Black residents "not a large group of people". Calling that "not a neighborhood" is also an eyebrow raising population, especially given that Seneca Village had a large chunk of the (extremely rare) Black property owners in New York State.
You have to be careful repeating historical claims of an area being a "shantytown", as sometimes that is less a statement of fact and more of a way to justify a negative or prejudiced opinion. Given that the same people who called Seneca Village a "shantytown" also used slurs to described the area and called the residents "debased" and "wretched", there is reason to doubt the impartiality of those calling it a "shantytown".
>Hirt deliberately spends little time on racism, partly because it's too easy a target and too obvious.
As a bit of an aside, I find it disturbing how political debate is becoming pure sophistry, where winning the day is dependent on proving that the other side is racist. Zoning is bad, whether or not it's racist.
Such an odd reply to my comment of
>No one is saying every zoning law was racist, or that racism is the sole reason they are bad
>The start of many US zoning laws was based on racism though. No one is saying every zoning law was racist, or that racism is the sole reason they are bad, but their origin is undoubtedly tied to racism.
Here, there's the pretty explicit connotation of "racism created zoning laws", and that's only a mental step or two removed from "zoning laws are racist because racism created them". I do think that nickff's comment was pulling from the current argumentative zeitgeist as well though.
Mental steps I did not make as I don't know they are adequately supported by historical data. I mentioned this in the post.
Right, its was also Black people: https://www.asu.edu/courses/aph294/total-readings/silver%20-...
It's part of the one-size-fits-all regulation that states and cities adopt to 'streamline' their rules.
I have a hard time believing that a trailer parked outside on a gravel pad is safer than the domestic kitchen of one of the tidiest people I know. Things like this gives "rules are rules" a flavor similar to "boys will be boys" for me.
Not having rules is also how we wound up with exploding food trucks.
The main problem is inflexible bureaucrats--and I don't have a good solution to that. Their continued employment depends on not fucking up enough to get bad press--not on getting anything accomplished.
And, to be fair, a lot of people are trying to pull a fast one on inspectors. So, default "no" is not automatically a bad starting position.
The law in many places, especially the US, has become a contemptible thing.
And, yet, I have a friend who is an HVAC inspector for institutions (office building, care facilities, etc.).
The stories he has of everybody trying to cheat the system are appalling. Nobody seals the HVAC properly until he shows up and fails them. Nobody isolates the rooms (these are CARE FACILITIES with contagious diseases) until he fails them. And then the times he has just basic stupidity (intake in a closet, intake next to garage or other combustion/carbon monoxide source, etc.) are beyond numerous.
He has had only one case where he didn't immediately fail the building for absolutely gross violations of code.
So, you can complain about the building codes, but the norm is that most of the people building are bad actors and the law is only thing keeping them even remotely in check.
Its the 'one size fits all' that's the entire issue.
For this reason I think it makes sense to have a cutoff (or maybe several) for businesses under a certain size to operate in a lazies-faire environment with only the essential regulations to be accountable to. Regulation of business is important in a lot of cases, but if you really want to encourage innovation you need to carve out a space where people can grow up to the point where they can really contend with all that complexity.
You have a place that has obvious hygiene issues, e.g. only one sink and everything is done there. Then some people got sick because that place was just careless.
Now you have people clamouring "how could this happen?" "something must be done!" and a new regulation is put in place, and in isolation, it's not necessarily stupid.
Repeat this many times, and you have the situation s people are talking about here.
Some requirements, that protect the commons, are necessary. Things like "you can't dump gasoline in a river".
Requirements necessitate enforcement which costs the citizens money and compliance which costs businesses money. Money that could be put back into the economy instead of evaporating in the government machine.
Anyway, its simple if have regulations step up with growth over many small steps, as they already do today.
Licensing, permits, insurance, and complex tax codes are also often used for this purpose. I hope we find a better balance between protecting the consumer, and creating an environment where new and unique businesses can flourish.
Obviously this is just one narrow example, but it just goes to show things still work this way in some parts of the US.
I hate to say it but you probably should have just bribed them.
That’s how it works on the East and west coast in my experience. You have to make the right “donations” to the right “campaigns” or police associations, etc etc.
There's a long dead Greek guy who had a famous quip about laws and corruption that's relevant to this kind of thing.
"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws."
It's absurd to expect a local cafe to spend $70k to become accessible for a tiny fraction of the population. That investment, and the maintenance fees it generates, will likely never balance out. On the other side of the coin, if the disabled community will never spend enough money to justify the cost of installing accessibility features in a cafe, do we as a community just accept that? It seems like something that ought to be handled with tax incentives to those opting to provide accessibility. People smarter than me have thought about this, and it's no accident that they landed on the option that makes it possible for Starbucks to have less competition.
Obviously every town/city's zoning is different but you may want to try to see if they're willing to discuss the process they went through.
So, it's not something good to link to.
No experience with the Motorcycle shop, but the coffee is excellent.
Brother Moto - https://brothermoto.com/
Your complaint is that your new business has to not be a fire hazard or completely inaccessible to the mobility-disabled?
I get you on the fact that zoning laws can get pretty wonky, but these requirements here seem pretty reasonable to me.
One of my favorite coffee shops is a little hole in the wall in the basement or an old brick building.
Despite the fact that to get to the shop, you need to go down a narrow set of exterior stairs, the owner was required to put in a wheel-chair accessible bathroom. It's a small space and the bathroom is nearly as big as the seating area.
It's an asinine requirement.
The owner looked into moving to a different spot a block away, which would have been on the main level. He backed out of that when the city told him he needed to install a grease trap to meet code. This despite the fact that nothing he sold contained any sort of grease or oil that would make it down the drain.
Zoning laws and HOAs are great in concept. But they tend to get taken over by the Delores Umbridge  types who love nothing more than punishing people for violating stupid rules.
I'm not sure what possibly could make more sense and be more fair than "if you change it, the changes you meet have to be up to current law" Would it make more sense if we made people raze their entire pre-ADA buildings to renovate anything at all?
> He backed out of that when the city told him he needed to install a grease trap to meet code. This despite the fact that nothing he sold contained any sort of grease or oil that would make it down the drain.
Also, building codes aren't necessarily for the way you plan to use a building, but for the way a building can be used.
"can be" means "isn't"
There are ways for laws and regulations to be thoughtfully applied, and there are ways for them to be abused by people who enjoy causing other people pain.
When the regulatory burden is so heavy that only people who have already "made it" can even play, then government has gone too far.
And as someone with young children, I think it's a great bathroom. But the truth is it could easily be half the size that it is and still be a perfectly nice bathroom.
Completely inaccessible to a mobility-disabled person without help.
However, I live in one of those European cities that has kind of quirky small places, sometimes inaccessible to a mobility-disabled person. I also got a good friend who is heavily disabled. Two weeks ago we set up to meet up in one of those places, and when I arrived, a few minutes too late, he was already sitting inside. How? one of the people there helped him get in.
Almost all places are normally accessible mobility-disabled persons, if you only dare to violate the impersonal principle upon which many cities are designed.
>>Completely inaccessible to a mobility-disabled person without help.
In other words, you got slightly confused. I didn't say that all places should be not accessible to disabled people. If I make a place I'd definitely try to make it accessible. However, I did say that if someone can't make such a place, they'll have to take into account that the human thing to do is to personally help disabled people get in it.
If they won't do it I'm sure socially media would know how to handle them.
Sorry but that does not hold up under scrutiny.
But construction or renovation of that building done in 2020 has to meet the laws of 2020.
This “building in a residential neighborhood” is already configured for use in commercial foodservice?
Or is it a residence now?
I can see both sides. On one hand if no one was forced to do anything many people may never be able to leave their house. On the other, Hardvard was sued and took down a bunch of freely provided lectures because they had no tractable way to caption them.
As far as I'm concerned none of this is "build out" more like furnishing.
This probably sucks.
and secondly, why do you need an elevator for a 2 story building which will basically be used for a cafe? It's not a freaking life saving emergency service where you need people to provide access to every part of building.
I agree that the disabled need access to everything, I don't have a solution to the problem.
You can't be doing welding, metalworking, spray painting, and dealing with gasoline, oil, and other industrial solvents in the same space as food preparation.
Reflecting for a bit, I don't know what you're talking about here.
Either you could get the permit to start a garage, or you couldn't. I don't understand why it's relevant that you'd have a cafe next door.
If on the other hand you're describing some kind of hybrid shared space where food, drink, and combustible engines come together then that is way beyond "doesn't fit a cookie cutter mold." Just off the top of my head safety and noise come to mind.
That arm's length separation may help you with the health dept too.
Nothing takes the past away like the future. What is currently is not what has to be tomorrow.
I wish people like you got your wish and had to live in a world of your own design (free of gentrifiers and capitalism and cafes) and suffer the consequences of the hellscape you'd create out of good intentions and ignorance.
> Others evolved over the centuries: Islamic architecture encompasses both Moorish horseshoe arches and the turquoise domes of Uzbekistan, but the unified features such as minarets and geometric ornaments tell you these are lands conquered and converted by Muslim empires.
This architectural homogenisation has always happened to some extent except that, in the past, its sphere of influence was limited to the area of a certain empire, nation state, or religion. Nowadays the actors are powerful corporations with global reach, and hence the homogenisation is global in scope rather than more localised.
There may be a solution to this but I don't think calling for a preservation of local architectural style and culture is it, because it's not dealing with the root cause of the problem.
That may go back to valuing function over form and getting the most value for money out of buildings, although neither do I think this is a complete explanation.
The remaining 80% all look good on paper (or they wouldn't be there) but do things like require bathrooms to be wheelchair accessible, even if there's an accessible bathroom two doors down, at a business which would be happy to extend its use to any wheelchair-using customers. Or dictate ceiling heights so that the occasional 2 meter tall customer won't hit his head on exposed pipe.
But these regulations aren't optional "best practices", they have the same weight as ones which prevent building collapse, fire, and cancer. And the sum total is a landscape which is prohibitively hostile, in many cases, to starting a small business.
This is not a scalable solution. Now does the business have to have the same hours as your business? If not, what does the handicapped person do when they have to use the restroom and it's not available? If we want disabled people to be full members of our society, we just need to pay the costs of reasonable accommodations to their needs.
2) I did point out that each regulation, taken in isolation, looks like a good idea: you're illustrating that with your objection
3) There will always be a gap between reasonable accommodation and perfect accommodation, and what's reasonable is always subject to some debate: the effect of this is to push the reasonable further out into the realm of the unreasonable, in pursuit of the perfect
After all, no one wants to strand a wheelchair user with nowhere to pee. Certainly I don't.
But no one, wheelchair or no, can enjoy a coffeeshop which never existed because the starting costs were too high.
But the main call to action seems to be to preserve local culture, architecture, and design, rather than letting the world become a homogenized corporate sameness enforced by hegemonic powers.
A noble goal, but not one that's really actionable. The architectural sameness spreads for the reason most architecture spreads, which is practicality. Ultimately the people with deep pockets build and buy, and those people are influenced by current trends and what is most practical (affordable and featureful).
You can show me the most beautiful architecture in the world, and I'll show you a builder creating a bastardized version of it with 30% more square feet.
The mcmansion with 30% more square feet makes the sale.
It's a great place to live, but it's not without its cost. Surely it would be more efficient to print out a bunch of template homes, but if you want distinctive architecture you have to prioritize it.
From the OP:
"Historically, political and economic dominance have dictated building styles."
Well, ya. But what of the material and technical?
I'm very interested in differences. Yayaya, everything's the same. Hegemony, "kids these days", and other old saws.
But things are also different. If you look long enough, close enough.
Even in the small, differences are really very interesting, can have far reaching impacts.
I've been slowly remodeling my house, built in the 50s. The 30 years I've owned this house, the available materials, technologies, and products have greatly changed. Frankly, it's hard for a noob casual like me to keep up.
But even with my limited awareness, I can see how each new innovation impacts new construction. For better or worse, depending on one's esthetics.
These differences percolate out.
One of the few perks of getting older is the opportunity to see the changes on a longer time scale.
Changing how we evaluate the quality of a house changes how they're built.
I've started considering it a "smell", if you will, when a recently-constructed single family home is in the range of 2800-3500 square feet. Almost inevitably, I look at more detailed pictures on the floor plan and layout and see all sorts of weird choices - a little "half office" right at the top of the stairs not even in its own room (just like, an empty space). Questionably shaped rooms that interact strangely with the roof. And so on.
Additionally, my personal preference is not even to have that much space - I'm nearly content with 1000sqft for a family of 3, what could I do with 3 times that much? - but I must confess that I do play the value-per-sqft game without meaning to when I'm comparing a 1500 sqft against a 2000 sqft home.
When we had 2 toddlers and an infant and went apartment searching, we kept getting shoehorned into 3 bedroom apartments because of the size of our family, but half the time, the apartments just traded space in the living room for an extra bedroom, which we didn't really need because the kids spent all of their time with us in the living room.
We often felt like we were being judged for not wanting more space for the kids, when in reality we were trying to find the biggest common space we could.
I would personally love a half-sized well-designed home with character and a unique architecture that uses its area well. But, you have to pay an arm an a leg for it. Unfortunately the budget market caters to buyers who limit their home criteria to "price per square foot". So instead we get giant borg cube houses built right up to the lot line.
At the same time, materials are more homogenous because more of them are engineered and shipped across the country, so that contributes to some homogeniety, as does the media environment.
Shaped like a spaceship, it also suggests to the local community, which grants Apple huge tax breaks, that the company could take off and relocate anywhere in the world, whenever it wants.
This seems precisely backwards. A massive, stylish new headquarters in Cupertino makes it harder for Apple to relocate anywhere else in the world, and ties it more to the local community. Indeed, the fact that Apple HQ is in Cupertino seems to define the essence of Cupertino more than anything else. I feel like the author is distacted by appearances and ignoring the substance.
"It was supposed to be temporary.
The Pentagon was the brainchild of Army Brig. Gen. Brehon B. Sommervell, who, in the early 1940s, pitched it as a temporary solution to the then-War Department's critical shortage of space as the threat of joining World War II became imminent.
The plan was approved, and on Sept. 11, 1941, construction began. About 296 acres of land were designated for the building, which was supposed to be turned into a hospital, office or warehouse once World War II was over."
Isn't this just the result of globalization? As people travel more, won't tastes naturally converge? And while I'll miss cities having their own distinct flavor, I'm also not sure it's inherently bad that things look more similar. What is bad is that the style and culture we're landing on is driven by the class of people who bounce between world-class cities.
My other thought is that bouncing between cities is the unusual activity here. Maybe after sleeping in so many hotels or airbnbs, the brain no longer has a sense of place and gets confused. I'm sure universal IKEA-decor helps, but why do we expect to jet around and visit so many different places and feel connected to them. In most cases people are busy and stressed, moving around without getting to know the place, just to hop in a car, go to a meeting, then back to the hotel or airport. Maybe that's what the brain is having trouble with.
Websites, they all look like they used Bootstrap.
Smartphones, well they basically are the same as everybody has the latest iPhone.
Fashion. Everybody wears jeans.
Variety and diversity on the other hand need to be able to discard cost/ROI focused optimization. They need to be inefficient/"wasteful", they need to take time and more resources because they're new or their fundamental variance that makes them appealing are defined by their very state of being sub-optimal. They need to be able to fail and iterate, not fail and die.
I'm a proponent of optimizing on certain factors like cost, time, space and so forth under certain conditions, but I think we need to stand back as humans and be mindful of processes we seek to optimize and ask if some of them are factors we really want to optimize on. Do we want more square footage so we can cram another person or piece of furniture in or do we want to change our target optimization to include aesthetic appeal, variety, mental health... and so forth. We have our priorities way off as a society, I'd argue, and those priorities are being less of a choice and more of a mandate for many.
Right now we're on a runaway freight train across society to optimize on cost and ignore everything else. This pandemic is sure to expedite that problem with the economic toll its taken. That cost saving/ROI optimization strategy, in our economic system, will "win" most times over other choices. If we are able to relax the financial constraints of many, then we can use that slack to focus on other factors that aren't always cost and profit driven.
Shopping at boutique stores certainly offer a more memorable shopping experience, better dining, or more engaging products than Amazon or Walmart, but at substantially greater cost/risk. When efficiency/safety becomes primary among your desiderata, variety and diversity will suffer.
This is the exact conundrum covered well in Kunstler's "The Geography of Nowhere" which bemoaned the social cost arising from city/village design that was optimized to serve too narrow a set of priorities, thereby eliminating opportunity to experience and share common spaces in more than one way.
But is this what's happening? As far as I know, and particularly in the US, square footage is increase despite the reduction in the number of people per household. And are people really cramming stuff with furniture nowadays?
It feels really strange to hear the complaint that the US is optimizing on cost, when from my side of the pond, US lifestyle feels if anything extremely wasteful.
I was trying to explain to one particular such Christian friend that the problem with religion is that "The fish is the last to know that it lives in water". That is: it seems obvious that "Our religion is the one true religion" only if you hadn't travelled and realised that everyone thinks that, but doesn't agree with you. In a context of a Christian country, a Christian upbringing, and a Christian government, this is not so obvious.
She disagreed, and said very firmly that she does notice such consistent trends. "I would know if I lived in water."
We were in a packed lecture hall. In reply, I said simply:
"Everyone single person in this room is wearing jeans, except me."
As a field we've gotten a lot of mileage out of deciding that something simply must be true due to the aesthetics of a set of equations, and our heroes (Dirac and his positron, Higgs and his Boson) are people whose faith in their aesthetic judgment was retroactively rewarded by experiment.
For what it's worth, I don't think this is true. There are a good number of places in the world were people of different religous faiths live alongside each other. Sometimes they try and kill each other, but often they can live fairly peacibly. India's a good example (including both the killing and the peacibly part).
Or to put it another way: they all think their shit don't stink. It's even crazier when you break it down into denominations (see: Iran vs Saudi Arabia).
The entire dichotomy is a fraud. The problem is centralization, not whether the centralized power is a state or a corporation.
I hope old Europe doesn't fully go this way because it's my favorite place to go. It's oldness is very soothing which is a sensibility or modality I got from my father.
What they don't tell you in movies about the American roadtrip in a convertible is that it's really long no matte where you go and really boring for the most part.
Avoiding motorways was necessary, but it turned out to be an amazing improvement. I now actively try to travel using just back roads and I try not to be in a hurry to reach a destination. I now find travel is best done slowly, unoptimally, via the less usual routes, and that the journey is often the best part (especially when travelling with a good travel buddy).
He has a Honda CB500X and Husqvarna 701 (I don't know much about motorcycles, but I do know that's not the same as sibling comment's 50cc) and he rides all over the US on the backroads and dirt roads. It's full of local cafés, covered bridges, ghost towns, remote mountain roads, and the like. He takes photos and videos and documents the whole thing on an old-fashioned website. It really made me want to ride a motorcycle.
How can anyone expect to see the real "soul" of a place just... by driving by?
I don't see European cities going this way, people care about architecture there. Just look south of the border how Mexico has a lot of beautiful cities.
To me my home country feels all very regular and the US has strong styles to where I could pick out an American town from most other countries. But to you the opposite is probably true, USA towns seem all very normal and regular to you.
Homogenization begins at the people level, and America is increasingly homogenized at the surface level.
Why those languages? I'd imagine that kind of dispair would be the specialty of German or some East European language.
It's easiest to look at new places, or rapid growth places since 1960. You need to look regional vs. "the city". The areas around Atlanta are a great example. The area around the Atlanta Braves stadium exemplifies modern development -- a shopping mall posing as a city, with Comcast, a theatre and the baseball stadium as anchor tenants. The assembly square area just north of Boston is a similar thing.
Philosophically, on one extreme you have a real "organic" city like NYC, Chicago, Seattle, etc. On the other you have a corporate campus or malls that started popping up in the 1950s and 1960s. Modern development requires much more capital, so you end up with bland campus/mall environments controlled by one big entity. Once developers scale out, you end up with more vacancies, etc as it makes business sense to leave storefronts vacant due to tax law and other factors.
Even outside of big developments, modern buildings turn out to be a hybrid. End users don't own the buildings, so the REIT/leaseholder/developer wants it to look as prestigious as the market demand as cheap as possible. So lots of cheap glass and stucco to quack like a nice building. Usually the fittings, doors, etc are garbage. Best example of this is a medical arts building. The nicer ones will have a weird sculpture, but everything else in public areas are the cheapest available materials from the carpet tile to the elevators. CFOs managing a portfolio of 2,000 buildings see value in saving $0.08/square foot on carpet tile.
“5 over 1” or “one-plus-five”: wood-framed construction, which contain apartments and is known as Type 5 in the International Building Code, over a concrete base, which usually contains retail or commercial space, or parking structures, known as Type 1.
I also hate them because of the construction quality. No matter which city I visited, they all seemed to have the same cheap countertops, ovens, microwaves, carpet, and doors that never quite shut right.
London, Paris, NYC, Tokyo, Seoul, KL, Singapore, Cape Town, Shanghai, Buenos Aires... Same same but different.
(NY's subway was the least intuitive and took the longest to get used to -- it's complicated by inconsistencies like express trains, lack of electronic signage on multiuse platforms, doors not opening in certain cars for certain stops in lower Manhattan, etc. -- but even so there was a method behind the madness.)
However, once you venture outside the central business districts/downtowns and into the neighborhoods, things start looking very different. It's in the neighborhoods that one finds unique cultures.
Chicago for instance: the Loop is nice and all, but the character of Chicago is really in the 77 neighborhoods around the city. NYC's cultural hotspots are in boroughs like Queens.
I would say most cities retain their culture in their neighborhoods, not in their CBDs/downtowns.
What feels right is that things are not manicured down to fakeness. Everything is dirty because it gets used, some kind of yucky thing covering the whole city, noise, things that are compromise because "well you know, it's an old big city", and most importantly, people WALKING.
The people walking component is to be what changes everything. Sidewalks, store locations, transportation, the vibe of the city seems to be related to how many people are actually walking around you to go somewhere, and not because they drove there to do something.
I've spent sizable chunks of my life in DC, NYC, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Barcelona, and Bangkok. These cities all feel wildly different to me.
Back in the 1980s, DC especially used to sport a warren of one-off ma and pa hole-in-the-wall shops packed into low rent enclaves found all round the city. But a couple decades back those neighborhoods were bought up by ambitious well-heeled developers and turned into chic malls of boutique shoppes that attract only yuppies. Now only homogeneous gentrification survives.
I often don't feel like I'm in an actual city when I walk around in DC. when I'm not right next to a monument or government building, it feels more like a particularly dense suburb. if someone else is driving, I might not notice that we've left silver spring and entered the city proper.
I hate it.
edit: I forgot the KFC and BurgerKing. WTF is Kentucky Fried Chicken doing in the most northern city of NL?
Post-COVID is going to look like a cyberpunk dystopia.
Chains come and go too. Kmart used to be bigger than Walmart, now gone.
What goes around, comes around.
Do you really think this is something I deserve because I am Dutch?
Do you mean Nordic Classicism or Funkis?
but if you compare European, African and East Asian city you can clearly see differences
Just to talk of a single country: Rome has its kind of old buildings and churches, which is different from Florence, which is different from Venice, which is different from Milan or Trieste.
Even the cobblestones are different!
and I write this as European
sure some white buildings next to sea would help me to guess I am somewhere in southern Europe maybe, but I was talking about regular buildings you see somewhere in city center from street, if you take away letters it looks pretty much same everywhere in Europe
Do some Google Maps tourism and you will see.
If you limit yourself to churches, the difference between San Paolo in Rome, Milan's Duomo and Venice' San Marco is pretty obvious, since they come from 3 cultures which were pretty different.
Do you need a book/guide to understand why they look like that? Sure, but I bet you can tell they are different.
while if I would look at regular street in India with their temple, then look at temple in Thailand and then at some European church I could see the difference
nobody is saying you won't notice difference, but it's pointless because it won't help you placing you in specific country unless you have interest in old architecture styles
Though I do agree that the International Style is a bit overdone.
Get a disgruntled real estate developer with a few drinks in them to lower inhibitions and demand make less homogenous housing. Prepare for an earsplitting rant about every last detail they need to go through from economies of scale, cost of getting it, to building codes to zoning approval processes and meetings as they lack and the utter presumptious cluelessness of the demand from someone practically irrelevant to the whole process.
TL;DR: architecture is another means of control and we shouldn’t let corporate architecture (headquarters) or current hegemonic / imperial designs take over the local uniqueness because it is acceptable but instead embrace local architecture. The article highlights some places under threat, and some good examples and ends with a plea to avoid blotting our our current desirable places that are unique with hegemonic buildings. [many many examples included]
But the internet also allows one to go deeper into cities.
So at the moment we are still breaking even.
In part poverty helps keep things different, this to is disappearing. The destruction of culture is an important part of progress.
This is seen as unfortunate for the viewers on the outside but swapping a ramshackle house that floods for a brick box that works and access to McDonald's is a godsend for the occupants. Pre internet it might have been a local burger joint.
Now the (physical) Irish pub delivered in a shipping container has gone to a (designed) shipping container Irish pub.
You lost me here.
> This is seen as unfortunate for the viewers on the outside but swapping a ramshackle house that floods for a brick box that works and access to McDonald's is a godsend for the occupants.
Do some reading about all of the terrible things large fast food conglomerates have done to our food supply. Cheap food is easy to get in places like India -- rice and dahl for what would be pennies in USD -- and eradicating their culture via McDicks benefits no one.
> Now the (physical) Irish pub delivered in a shipping container has gone to a (designed) shipping container Irish pub.
This sounds like all of the worst parts of Irish drinking culture, inside a metal container, and without any of the things that make Irish pubs appealing, such as old crackpot sods who've sat at the same stool for ~20+ years.
It's up to you, but when I stopped calling Microsoft M$ it allowed me to mature a little in the software world and be able to critically look at things. It sounds silly, but for me it worked.
Building up a tourism sector to generate jobs is trivial in comparison and it's a idea everyone can wrap their heads around without any specific domain knowledge.
There are counterexamples to this, but mainly as a result of national and not local policy (Shenzhen, Wolfsburg).
Another interesting example of an industry that local governments can influence is filmmaking. Georgia and Vancouver both have huge amounts of film and TV production due to local policies.
I will rather have less frequent public transport to save money the whole city (center) occupied by tourists
edit: changed 20% to 8%. Removed "IIRC."
According to the article you linked:
> The rise is largely driven by an increased demand for goods and services – rather than air travel, the research finds.
But yes, as far as local job-creation goes, tourism is much more palatable than heavy industry. Would you rather live near charming shops and restaurants or a big factory?