Thursday, June 13All That Matters

The Houses that Can’t be Built in America – The Missing Middle

The Houses that Can’t be Built in America – The Missing Middle

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  • VVannabe_Sadboi

    Not Just Bikes- great channel! Love the video on stroads. Always think of strudels when I see a stroad now. Yummy in my tummy!

  • TheCopyPasteLife

    I remember how upvoted this guys videos used to be before everyone collectively realized how condescending and arrogant this guy is.

    Do you really think [talking like this]( is going to convince anyone that you’re right? No, you’re just gonna find people who already agree with you and create an echo chamber.

    It took me a really long time to understand the issues with urban planning in North America, and it wasn’t because of this manchild but because of convincing, level headed, respectful people like [City Beautiful]( and [Alan Fisher.](

    Those guys rock and I thank them for treating people trying to learn with respect instead of condescension like this guy.

    Edit: Did I just get botted? I went from +15 to +2 in like 10 minutes. Other comments are around the same # of upvotes so I don’t think it’s new people

    Edit 2: Definitely botted. /u/VVannabe_Sadboi comment is still +15 and /u/NUMBERS2357
    is still +14. /u/AuelDole is still around +32. Somebody sent 10 downvotes to this comment. There is some variance in numbers due to vote fuzzing.

    Edit 3: I forwarded this to Admins. If I’m wrong, I apologize and I’ll update this comment based on their investigation. But I think after being on Reddit for ~9 years I can tell when something fishy is going on with the vote counts.

  • OldCarWorshipper

    I live in a single-family home that I inherited from my folks, in a neighborhood of all single homes. The only apartment blocks are three small ones at the very end of the street, next to an alley.

    Fortunately, it’s surrounded by major urban centers on all sides. Multiple major retail stores, chain restaurants, gas stations, and even SoFi Stadium and The Forum are only a 5 minute drive, 10 minute bus ride, or 20-30 minute walk from me.

    I’m so glad that I never had to deal with being stuck in an isolated suburb.

  • dream234

    The zoning laws in the US seem crazy to me (a brit) and make me feel really sorry for residents of these places.

    The city I live in is around 2000 years old, but there’s still new construction going on, both in the centre and at the edges. Everything is walkable, but there’s still places to park cars all over (underground, or overground car parks that aren’t attached to a specific business etc).

    The “suburban sprawl” isn’t isolated from the city by a highway, you can easily get from the centre to the edge on residential roads.

    Residential areas are a mix of single, 2 and multi family buildings.

    Dotted here and there in the suburbs are schools, rows of shops, parks, pubs, restaurants, mechanics etc.

    That planners in the US would purposely block this type of development is mind boggling to me.

  • NUMBERS2357

    Although anti-density NIMBY types often portray themselves as promoting a traditional form of housing and way of life, the modern style of development – exurban housing tracts connected by so-called “stroads” with commercial activity happening in strip malls embedded in big parking lots – is absolutely *not* traditional. It’s a creature of the last few decades.

    YIMBYism is often talked about in the context of high-rises, but if you picture a charming small town, it probably has some degree of missing middle housing and a walkable main street with buildings close together, not separated by parking lots, and (gasp) 3+ story buildings.

    The “missing middle” talked about here is very often the sort of neighborhoods that people *say* are great and they wish there was more of. Popular parts of big cities, core areas of small towns, college campuses, summer beach towns.

    Even traditional suburbia – like where The Simpsons live – is often too dense for modern development, with its closely packed houses on rectangular street grids.

  • icyflakes

    My biggest takeaway from this is that you can’t build townhouses in these zones. In my mind I didn’t even consider that a denser housing, yet it’s banned in these zones.

  • fish_slap_republic

    Was that Portland Maine or Portland Oregon in the bar graph? Cause in 2020 Portland OR passed a middle housing bill that allow multi family in all lot as long as at least half of them were low income. also eliminating parking requirements for 75% of the city among some other changes.

    Either way the prescriptions of the video are solid, keep voting for positive change everyone.

  • philmarcracken

    this guy clued me in to why I felt so much dread watching the new multi story carpark being constructed at my local train station here in australia. ‘car dependent transport’ isn’t solving much..why couldnt they just increase access for bike paths and build some slightly more storage options for those? my area isn’t even that hilly

  • philfix

    Who voiced this?

    It sounds like the “Lockpicking Lawyer”

    I was waiting for the orator to start talking about how to “bypass” the small lots and allow a “tool” to come in there and build something that “just fits”.

  • i_am_here_again

    This problem is heavily impacted by developer greed as well. I’m currently sitting in a single family home that is next door to a development of three single family lots that have 16 units being built on them and right up to the property line with zero green space. This theoretically is a good idea because it provides much needed housing, but the price of each unit is going to be still so high that it just brings in more higher wealth people that basically don’t want or care about yards. This doesn’t address home affordability and the neighbors that have complained about these types of development largely are upset about the removal of large older trees that have been in the neighborhood for decades.

    Not all nimbyism is about the changing faces in a neighborhood, but the development of a different kind of McMansion in it.

  • odinsyrup

    “Now, you might just dismiss this person as being an ignorant idiot – and to be fair, they probably are”

    And it’s comments like this why I cannot stand NotJustBikes or any of his videos. Regardless of his viewpoints, people are not just idiots or wrong because they enjoy living in a suburb.

  • NozzelJockey

    I fucking checked out when he mentioned the wrong skin color people moving in nextdoor. Fuck this guy. People don’t want to live next to multiple unit housing, because it invites crime and lower home values. Regardless of race. Fuck this guy for making everyone out who doesn’t wanna live next to this shit a racist.

    He’s a loser that can’t form an argument so he goes to the tried and true. Everyone who doesn’t agree with me is hitler.

  • Summebride

    The narrator isn’t just annoying, he’s unaware of many of the other more significant reasons, and then makes weird, false racism accusations.

    One of the bigger reasons for the phenomena is due to building materials and safety.

    In modern jurisdictions, the 1 to 3 story construction of typical homes can be done with cheap, wood stick structure.

    But above 3 stories, concrete and masonry (or steel) construction is mandatory, and in the last 50-75 years, has exploded in cost versus timber.

    Also, when a planned structure shifts from single family occupancy to more-than-single, a huge array of expensive costs are added. These building codes are almost fully driven by safety requirements, effectively trying to protect all the units in the event there’s a problem in any one unit.

    This reason is probably a hundred times more significant than the narrator’s pearl clutching about racism.

    It’s also why this middle sized construction exists in cities that were developed centuries ahead of North America, back when stone, concrete and masonry were the most viable construction method per capita.

    This video is a great example of someone taking the tiniest figment of knowledge and assuming he knows it all. He doesn’t even know what he doesn’t know.

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