Conservatives Should Live in the City

 

Matt Lewis has a thoughtful piece in The Week, arguing that conservatives ought to embrace urban living. He wonders whether traditional conservative values, especially family values, are undermined by the tolls of maintaining the suburban lifestyle, and, furthermore, whether the conservative’s instinct to remain anchored in history is undermined by the artlessness of most suburban architecture.

Conservatism has somehow become associated in the popular imagination with sterile suburbia, obnoxiously large McMansions, and gas-guzzling SUVs, while liberalism evokes images of city living in close quarters, with public transportation or bicycle commutes from high-rise lofts to open-floor workspaces.

Further:

Never mind the fact that conservative icon William F. Buckley rode a scooter, or that conservative icon Russell Kirk refused to drive a car, warning that automobiles would increase rootlessness in America. No, these days America seems to assume that conservatives, if they must live near a city, will seek to buy the biggest house with the longest commute they can possibly afford and endure, and buy the biggest, least fuel-efficient car to take them there. And you know what? Based on our choices, it’s pretty clear that we conservatives believe this, too…

Well, there’s a better way for conservatives (and all Americans), and it’s called New Urbanism. Essentially, New Urbanism promotes walkable (a side benefit: exercise!) mixed-use neighborhoods and homes of all shapes and sizes with narrow streets and retail on the sidewalk level, and apartments above. And it’s not just about high-density, high-rise buildings. New Urbanism lets you live within safe walking distance of your church, baker, stores, bars, restaurants, and more…

There’s no telling how many marriages were broken up over the stress of suburb-to-city commutes — or how many hours of the day children were deprived of their parents who, after all, were in the car making a big sacrifice so that little Johnny could have a huge yard, live in suburbia, go to a supposedly nice school, and have “rugged individualists” as parents. It’s also hard to quantify the spiritual and psychic cost associated with endlessly frustrating commutes, disconnection from a community, and ugly buildings. And there is certainly an economic cost of taxpayers maintaining low-density areas and infrastructure that yield relatively little revenue.

Lewis is right to point out the inefficiencies and unjustified costs of suburban life, as well as its lack of beauty. As he puts it, it is not the city or the country that disturb him, but the “ugly in-between.”

There’s one big missing piece to his criticism though: kids. I believe the liberal/conservative divide that we see between cities and suburbs is partly a reflection of the willingness of conservatives to raise more children.

Do you know how difficult it is to find an affordable three bedroom apartment in most leading American cities?

I lived for a short time in New York City. My wife gave birth to our first child at Roosevelt hospital in Midtown. We brought our new girl home in a yellow cab, and rode the elevator up to our 300 sq ft apartment on the 16th floor. Her nursery was a closet just big enough to fit the crib inside.

Since then, we’ve been busy making more kids—one every couple of years. We traded the subway for a Honda Odyssey. We now have four tiny faces running around, and man, did that happen fast. 

We long since moved out of our little New York apartment, where we could walk to the grocery store, to restaurants, to work, to the doctor’s office, to our church, to Central Park. The real estate in our new hometown, Nashville, is a bit easier on the wallet than it is in Manhattan, but walkable, family-friendly housing is scarce here, and getting scarcer all the time as younger well-to-dos move back in to the city core.

What remains for most middle class families is miles and miles of tract house subdivisions—far removed from where most of them work, far removed, even, from many of the public parks, libraries, museums, and restaurants that make up the city’s vibrant culture. Unlike many older, east-coast cities, public transportation here is severely limited.

Cheap land makes for affordable housing, and conservatives with average incomes are only partly to blame for not choosing to embrace new urbanism, even if they do fail, oftentimes, to calculate the emotional cost of a long daily commute, and a life spent trapped somewhere in the soulless space between “the Chuck E. Cheese and the Target store.”

The problem of suburbia may be partly a failure of conservatives themselves, but it also represents an epic and nationally pervasive failure of city planning. Then again, not all cities are equal. And being a “new urbanist” in Detroit is a heck of a lot cheaper than doing it in San Francisco.

Here in a semi-pricey city like Nashville, you don’t have to be a hedge fund manager to afford three bedrooms. If you are part of the upper-middle class, or among the wealthy, it is possible to be a conservative with van full of kids and still participate in the “new-urbanist” movement. For the middle class, it’s much more difficult. And that’s the story almost everywhere. America’s best and most desirable cities—its centers of influence and commerce and culture and power—remain firmly in the hands of millions of childless liberals who flock to these areas, and rent the one-bedroom apartments that they offer in abundance.

But Lewis is right: the city needs more conservatives, and conservatives need the city.

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  1. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    Frank Soto:

    Casey:

    Aaron Miller:

    Casey:

    Both inside and outside of cities, people tend to move where they are most comfortable, which often means where their preferred subcultures gather. Ghettos, barrios, wards… self-segregation is common everywhere.

    Go into the Target in suburban Monroeville, PA and you’ll find a pretty homogenous group. Go into the Target in the urban East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh and you’ll find a very diverse group. The wealthy old white couple doesn’t live near the poor young black men or the Asian college students but this Target sits in the middle of each of their neighborhoods and here they encounter each other. This is typical of cities and suburbs across the country.

    The result is that city dwellers tend to have more experience with the “other” than suburbanites.

    I don’t think this is accurate. My friends who live in the city confine themselves to specific blocks 

    Do you have a random sample of friends?

    • #61
  2. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    ugh…  this sort of thing really gets on my nerves.  :)  I added the smiley, because it’s more of an intellectual “pissed off.”  I love my moronic city-dwelling friends.

    I just called Terry for an impromptu “Flyover Country” to discuss this very topic.  Watch out for it later tonight.

    • #62
  3. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Let’s see…  The nearest big city to us has:  Garbage Police who check that you are correctly recycling or composting your food remains; public streets that are full of bad repairs and potholes, even in the fanciest neighborhoods; sky-high real estate values and rents (want a $1 million home in the center of the city? Contains about 600 square feet); a new $15 minimum wage in the city, regardless of the type of business; an attitude that discourages even light-manufacturing businesses (our company moved in 2009 when the landlord said they were going to triple our rent; our old building has already been replaced by condos).  Nope, I’ll take our small city (and my and hubby’s 15-minute commute).

    • #63
  4. Sabrdance Member
    Sabrdance
    @Sabrdance

    Dan Hanson:

    One of the arguments of the ‘new urbanists’ is that the suburbs are taking advantage of all the services of the city, without paying the taxes. They argue that the suburbanites drive into the city to attend the concerts, go to the libraries, eat in the restaurants, and then they go home to the suburbs, taking their property tax revenue with them – property taxes needed to pay for those services they use.

    Or, you know, switch to a sales tax.  (Though some states don’t let local governments use a sales tax).

    Frank Soto:Suburbs are increasingly incorporating as cities to break away from the insanity of Atlanta.

     
    The Coalition for Atlanta Progress (CAP) spent 50 years ruthlessly driving out every interest group that didn’t follow their program.  They are now shocked to discover those interests don’t want to pay for Atlanta.  And Gwinnett County is an order of magnitude more diverse than Atlanta (largest Korean market and Hindu Temple in America)

    Houston has managed to gobble up many areas which, for a variety of reasons, failed to incorporate.

    Houston is special, Texas gave them a 5 mile Extraterritorial border.  No incorporation allowed inside it.

    • #64
  5. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    RushBabe49:

    Let’s see… The nearest big city to us has: Garbage Police who check that you are correctly recycling or composting your food remains; public streets that are full of bad repairs and potholes, even in the fanciest neighborhoods; sky-high real estate values and rents (want a $1 million home in the center of the city? Contains about 600 square feet); a new $15 minimum wage in the city, regardless of the type of business; an attitude that discourages even light-manufacturing businesses (our company moved in 2009 when the landlord said they were going to triple our rent; our old building has already been replaced by condos). Nope, I’ll take our small city (and my and hubby’s 15-minute commute).

    Vote Conservative!  We’ll fix the world by complaining about it from afar!

    • #65
  6. Palaeologus Inactive
    Palaeologus
    @Palaeologus

    Casey, “the world” extends to the ‘burbs.

    • #66
  7. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    Palaeologus:

    Casey, “the world” extends to the ‘burbs.

     That makes me feel much better about losing our country to the liberals.  Thank you.

    • #67
  8. Palaeologus Inactive
    Palaeologus
    @Palaeologus

    I don’t wanna lose either. Did you read what Dan wrote about the diversity in his neighborhood?

    I could make a similar list: Arab Muslims on one side, Liberal retired teacher and nurse on the other, mixed-race couple two doors down, young Mormon family with six little ones across the street… homogeneity of architecture doesn’t imply homogeneity of the dwellers to the degree you might suppose.

    There’s some similarity with regard to income, sure. But even there we have renters and owners. People who bought as much house as possible, and those interested in paying it off quickly, etc.

    • #68
  9. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Palaeologus:

    Casey, “the world” extends to the ‘burbs.

     Actually, I’d generally argue that “the world” ends when you step foot into a big city.  They live in their own alternate realities.

    • #69
  10. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    Palaeologus:

    I don’t wanna lose either. Did you read what Dan wrote about the diversity in his neighborhood?

     I’m not interested in arguing a neighborhood by neighborhood account of US suburbs.   Iowa neighborhoods are less diverse than California neighborhoods.  Plenty of examples for each side.

    The point here is that conservatives always lose.  We haven’t had a conservative victory in this country in 30 years.  And we dismiss every non-conservative from the inner-city single mom to the Pope as low-information.

    We talk to each other in our suburbs and on Ricochet and on talk radio and we’re all very happy with ourselves for being right.

    But as of the 2010 census, about 70% of Americans live in urbanized areas.  And the top 48 urbanized areas contain over half of the US population.  And urbanized areas are growing. Like it or not, that’s where the votes are.  That’s where the country is.

    And they’re voting Democrat.

    • #70
  11. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    Ryan M:

    Palaeologus:

    Casey, “the world” extends to the ‘burbs.

    Actually, I’d generally argue that “the world” ends when you step foot into a big city. They live in their own alternate realities.

     Or perhaps the other way around?

    According to WHO:

    One hundred years ago, 2 out of every 10 people lived in an urban area. By 1990, less than 40% of the global population lived in a city, but as of 2010, more than half of all people live in an urban area. By 2030, 6 out of every 10 people will live in a city, and by 2050, this proportion will increase to 7 out of 10 people.

    • #71
  12. Palaeologus Inactive
    Palaeologus
    @Palaeologus

    Casey, I agree with some of your characterizations that we can tend to be a bit insular on the Right.

    Still, I think New Urbanism as a solution amounts to a housing version of the Fairness Doctrine for radio.

    • #72
  13. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    Casey:

    Frank Soto:

    Casey:

    Aaron Miller:

    Casey:

    Both inside and outside of cities, people tend to move where they are most comfortable, which often means where their preferred subcultures gather. Ghettos, barrios, wards… self-segregation is common everywhere.

    Go into the Target in suburban Monroeville, PA and you’ll find a pretty homogenous group. Go into the Target in the urban East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh and you’ll find a very diverse group. The wealthy old white couple doesn’t live near the poor young black men or the Asian college students but this Target sits in the middle of each of their neighborhoods and here they encounter each other. This is typical of cities and suburbs across the country.

    The result is that city dwellers tend to have more experience with the “other” than suburbanites.

    I don’t think this is accurate. My friends who live in the city confine themselves to specific blocks

    Do you have a random sample of friends?

     Have you not seen the way rich liberals self congregate?  Am I seriously describing a controversial look of modern cities?  Are not the rich and poor very segregated?  Do your friends in a new city you’ve never been to not warn you about specific blocks to avoid?

    • #73
  14. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    Palaeologus:

    Casey, I agree with some of your characterizations that we can tend to be a bit insular on the Right.

    Still, I think New Urbanism as a solution amounts to a housing version of the Fairness Doctrine for radio.

     The left is no less insular.  

    • #74
  15. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    I will give up my cars (yeah, that’s right, cars with an “s”) when Obama or someone like him pries the steering wheel from my cold, dead hands.  I have houses in two cities.  Both are very suburban, and neither is more than 5 miles from downtown.  You don’t have to live in a cookie-cutter development 50 miles from the city to avoid the New York/European lifestyle.  

    Oh, and by the way, most people in New York, Paris or London have long subway or rail commutes.  Living in the “city” does not mean you can walk to work.

    • #75
  16. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    Frank Soto:

    Palaeologus:

    Casey, I agree with some of your characterizations that we can tend to be a bit insular on the Right.

    Still, I think New Urbanism as a solution amounts to a housing version of the Fairness Doctrine for radio.

    The left is no less insular.

     If you had 52%, wouldn’t you be insular? 

    • #76
  17. user_18586 Thatcher
    user_18586
    @DanHanson

    Frank Soto:

    Palaeologus:

    Casey, I agree with some of your characterizations that we can tend to be a bit insular on the Right.

    Still, I think New Urbanism as a solution amounts to a housing version of the Fairness Doctrine for radio.

    The left is no less insular.

     The left is far more insular.  The media, higher education, and popular culture are generally owned by the left, and as a result conservatives cannot avoid constant exposure to the left-wing point of view.  If you are on the left however,  you can spend your entire life in happy re-affirmation of everything you believe without ever once being subjected to a serious argument that conflicts with your worldview.

    Many of my left-wing friends have incredibly stereotypical views of the right – mainly because their only exposure to them come from The Daily Show,  MSNBC, or the Huffington Post.  When they do hear words directly from a conservative’s mouth, it’s usually the inane uttering of some idiot we’re all ashamed of but who gets air and print time precisely because he or she reinforces the left-wing caricature of what we believe.

    • #77
  18. user_18586 Thatcher
    user_18586
    @DanHanson

    Casey:

    Palaeologus:

    Casey, “the world” extends to the ‘burbs.

    That makes me feel much better about losing our country to the liberals. Thank you.

     I think you need to expand your thesis a bit, which to me reads a bit like this:

    1. Liberals live in the city.
    2. Cities vote liberal.
    3. Conservatives should move to the city too.
    4.  ???
    5. We win.

    Just what are you saying?  That if conservatives moved to the city, they would understand liberals better, and therefore what?  They would be better able to convince liberals to be conservative?  Or that they would adopt liberal policies?   Just what are you expecting will happen?

    You seem to be making a plea for ‘understanding’.  That if we lived in their shoes, we’d see things from their point of view, or understand the issues motivating them.   Do you not consider the possibility that we understand what they want perfectly well, and just disagree with it?   Or are you making an argument for sheer numbers?  That we should flood Democratic strongholds with conservatives and out-vote them?  Please elaborate.

    • #78
  19. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    Casey:

    Frank Soto:

    Palaeologus:

    Casey, I agree with some of your characterizations that we can tend to be a bit insular on the Right.

    Still, I think New Urbanism as a solution amounts to a housing version of the Fairness Doctrine for radio.

    The left is no less insular.

    If you had 52%, wouldn’t you be insular?

     They don’t have 52%.   Check the vote demographics and you find that the first black president has drawn out historic percentages of the black vote.  Hardly surprising.  If they run Hillary or Biden or Warren or any number of other white candidates they will quickly discover they have no majority of the voting public.

    • #79
  20. Nathan Harden Contributor
    Nathan Harden
    @NathanHarden

    Much of this debate over suburban vs. urban could be rephrased as a debate over single-family vs. multi-family housing. In simple economic terms, the sprawl of single-family housing in the U.S. is very inefficient. I say that as an owner of a single-family home. On the other hand, rows of condos, however efficient they may be, do nothing if the commercial and cultural life of a town and city is not incorporated into the the design. New Urbanism is not merely “urbanism,” it concerns a certain type of city planning that could actually be emulated, in party, by many “Suburuban” locales. Where shops, merchants, and green spaces, are laid out in a manner accessible to a dense residential community. Unfortunately, very few suburban neighborhoods are laid out this way. (Here’s one exception near Nashville.) Even if you like the suburbs, there is a lot to fault in the way suburbs are typically laid out, which is to say, without much planning and without much attention to beauty or community.

    • #80
  21. user_18586 Thatcher
    user_18586
    @DanHanson

    One more thing that bugs me about the ‘new urban’ argument is that the people who make it generally say the following things:

     – It’s great to live within walking distance of museums, libraries, and concert halls
     – It’s great to live in a diverse area where you are exposed to many different ways of living.
     – There are many different restaurants within walking distance.
     – It’s better for the environment to walk everywhere and to live in small, energy efficient spaces.

    When I hear this, I always wonder whether such statements are a form of humble-bragging; of  essentially saying, “I am a person who likes museums and libraries.  I am cosmopolitan and embrace diversity and mother earth, unlike you knuckle dragging heathens out in your McMansions.” 

    In reality, just how often do you go to a local museum?  How many times in the last year?   How about the library?  I could accept this argument in the pre-internet and Amazon era, but I’m a voracious reader and haven’t been in a library in years.   Concerts are fine, but very expensive.  Not a lot of people from the ‘hood in the gallery at the Met.

    (cont’d)

    • #81
  22. Palaeologus Inactive
    Palaeologus
    @Palaeologus

    I disagree with Dan and Frank regarding insularity. Look, the Left is easily as parochial, or provincial as the Right.*

    But guys, they evangelize through the institutions they control: schools and universities, civil service, private sector unions, news and entertainment media, the arts, etc. They interact with and shape the perceptions of normal people (i.e. people who don’t enjoy discussing political theory, science, tactics, and strategies).

    *I’m not trying to nit pick the language. I’m attempting to explain what I meant when I used the term.

    • #82
  23. user_18586 Thatcher
    user_18586
    @DanHanson

    As for ‘diversity’, having a poor family on the next block does nothing to help you understand them, but it may help assuage the liberal guilt that comes with a college degree and $100K/yr job.

    Restaurants? I’m not a foodie. Restaurants are about 112th on my list of priorities.  And driving to them is really not a problem.

    Better for the environment? I’m not so sure. Cities create a lot of pollution and trash. Detroit and LA are not exactly models of environmental utopia.

    There is this  implicit assumption that the ‘right’ things to care about are museums and libraries and other city culture.  This is also infuriating. What if my love of history manifests itself in my desire to restore antique furniture? Am I going to do that in an apartment? What if my love of the earth manifests itself through a love of gardening? Or maintaining my old car so it lasts longer and uses fewer resources? Is there any room for other lifestyles in this diversity utopia, or do we all march in lockstep to the museum after a nice Chianti at the ‘authentic’ old world restaurant down the street?

    • #83
  24. user_18586 Thatcher
    user_18586
    @DanHanson

    Palaeologus:

    I disagree with Dan and Frank regarding insularity. Look, the Left is easily as parochial, or provincial as the Right.*

    But guys, they evangelize through the institutions they control: schools and universities, civil service, private sector unions, news and entertainment media, the arts, etc. They interact with and shape the perceptions of normal people (i.e. people who don’t enjoy discussing political theory, science, tactics, and strategies).

    *I’m not trying to nit pick the language. I’m attempting to explain what I meant when I used the term.

     I’m not sure I get your point.  Do you mean the right doesn’t do enough evangelizing?  If so, I heartily agree.   The right is annoyingly defensive, as if its own ideas are not worth defending.   Republican ‘strategists’ seem to think the way forward is to figure out how much of the left’s agenda needs to be adopted to win a few more percentage points at the polls, rather than to figure out how to convince people that the left’s agenda is a very bad way to go.  

    However, that has little to do with the merits of living in the city.

    • #84
  25. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    Casey:

    Palaeologus:

    I don’t wanna lose either. Did you read what Dan wrote about the diversity in his neighborhood?

    I’m not interested in arguing a neighborhood by neighborhood account of US suburbs. Iowa neighborhoods are less diverse than California neighborhoods. Plenty of examples for each side.

    The point here is that conservatives always lose. We haven’t had a conservative victory in this country in 30 years. And we dismiss every non-conservative from the inner-city single mom to the Pope as low-information.

    We talk to each other in our suburbs and on Ricochet and on talk radio and we’re all very happy with ourselves for being right.

    But as of the 2010 census, about 70% of Americans live in urbanized areas. And the top 48 urbanized areas contain over half of the US population. And urbanized areas are growing. Like it or not, that’s where the votes are. That’s where the country is.

    And they’re voting Democrat.

     No where have you successfully made the case that conservatives moving to cities changes this dynamic.   If urban citizens so dramatically outnumber rural and suburban areas, then all of the latter could move to the former without tipping the balance.

    So clearly what you have in mind is that conservatives moving to cities will alter the electorate somehow.  Can you explain the mechanism?  Is conservatism like a virus?  Will it spread from contact?  Do you really think being a conservative neighbor has any impact on liberal neighbors compared to the nightly news, John Stewart and government schools?

    I’m going to have to address the idea that liberals are gaining some kind of permanent majority in a post.  It’s not congruent with reality.

    • #85
  26. Whiskey Sam Inactive
    Whiskey Sam
    @WhiskeySam

    Here’s a conservative idea: let people choose the living conditions that bring them the greatest joy that they can afford.  Then we can drop the passive-aggressive lecturing about how a certain lifestyle (which magically happens to be the one we chose) is superior to the one all the uneducated rubes chose.

    • #86
  27. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    Nathan Harden:

    Much of this debate over suburban vs. urban could be rephrased as a debate over single-family vs. multi-family housing. In simple economic terms, the sprawl of single-family housing in the U.S. is very inefficient. I say that as an owner of a single-family home. On the other hand, rows of condos, however efficient they may be, do nothing if the commercial and cultural life of a town and city is not incorporated into the the design. New Urbanism is not merely “urbanism,” it concerns a certain type of city planning that could actually be emulated, in party, by many “Suburuban” locales. Where shops, merchants, and green spaces, are laid out in a manner accessible to a dense residential community. Unfortunately, very few suburban neighborhoods are laid out this way. (Here’s one exception near Nashville.) Even if you like the suburbs, there is a lot to fault in the way suburbs are typically laid out, which is to say, without much planning and without much attention to beauty or community.

     Single family versus multifamily may be less efficient in terms of space, but this is minor concern once you realize just how big the country really is.  And if ever the sprawl becomes to great, the market automatically will create more efficient use of space in the form of more multi-family dwellings.

    I don’t like it when conservatives start to play the social engineering game.  Let the market work, don’t assume you can create a better world than the invisible hand.  That route leads to all forms of incompetence and soft tyranny.

    • #87
  28. Palaeologus Inactive
    Palaeologus
    @Palaeologus

    Nathan Harden: New Urbanism is not merely “urbanism,” it concerns a certain type of city planning that could actually be emulated, in party, by many “Suburuban” locales. Where shops, merchants, and green spaces, are laid out in a manner accessible to a dense residential community.

     Nathan, I fully understand this and I want nothing to do with it. My business partner’s wife is a New Urbanist architect.

    If you dig the retail/residential mix, more power to you. I don’t want to live next door to a pay-day advance business. I’d much prefer that it is in an ugly strip-mall (strip malls aren’t the harbinger of the apocalypse, people) 5 minutes away by car. I lived in a (small) city for 11 years, which was about six years longer than I wanted to… thanks housing bubble!

    Here’s the thing about New Urbanism, it will require top-down pressures to actually build broad-based support.
    It will require:

    Traffic calming (intentionally making people’s commutes more onerous)
    Aggressive limitations to new construction
    Expensive regional transportation projects (fix the frickin’ roads before you waste my money on a Bus Rapid Transit program, please)

    • #88
  29. Palaeologus Inactive
    Palaeologus
    @Palaeologus

    Dan, my point is that while I disagree with Casey (and Nathan, and Matt Lewis) about the importance of living in cities, I agree with Casey that the Right would benefit from a more significant public presence.

    I don’t think it has much to do (one way or another) with GOP operatives, and I don’t have a solution. I wish I did.

    New Urbanism definitely isn’t the solution, though.

    • #89
  30. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Nathan Harden: Even if you like the suburbs, there is a lot to fault in the way suburbs are typically laid out, which is to say, without much planning and without much attention to beauty or community.

    Even if you like the city, there is a lot to fault in the way cities are typically laid out, which is to say, without much planning and without much attention to beauty or community. 

    Sorry, cities tend to be as badly planned as suburbs, so that is a distinction without a difference.  Can’t see where leaving a badly designed suburb for a badly designed city buys me anything.  

    So far, you seem to be saying because some people like cities better than I do, we should all live in cities. Seems . . .  insular.  Or we should live in cities because moral superiority.  Seems silly. Or conservatives should live in cities because liberals like cities.  Seems like a non sequitur.

    Surely you can come up with a better arguments than the ones you have advanced.  

    If you want to live a city, knock yourself out.  If you want me to live in a city give me a real reason why.

    Seawriter

    • #90
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