Humanity Calamity, Why Is Every Desirable Location to Live Ruined?

Huntn

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…by development?

I can’t say this is happening in Europe. In the UK, France, and Germany you can still find small charming towns, beautiful. In the US, it’s a freaking mess where paradise-like locations, every good location close to any existing development are overwhelmed and utterly ruined by development.

Washington DC is the perfect example. In the early 60s, DC was a smallish beautiful city surrounded by farmland, beautiful Maryland, and incredible Northern Virginia. Outside of DC was Winchester, Va a beautiful area, Now, the place is completely and utterly trashed from a development perspective, Winchester has been absorbed into the Sprawl (a term from Cyberpunk) the Megolopolis where the entire East Cost of the US turns into one developed mass of humanity. It makes me sick. And it‘s just not happening here. Every wonderful small city in the US is being transformed for the worst. Some examples? Austin, Boise, Richmond, Nashville, etc, etc. San Diego was incredible in the 1940-50s (before my time) what a freaking mess now.
 

SuperMatt

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…by development?

I can’t say this is happening in Europe. In the UK, France, and Germany you can still find small charming towns, beautiful. In the US, it’s a freaking mess where paradise-like locations, every good location close to any existing development are overwhelmed and utterly ruined by development.

Washington DC is the perfect example. In the early 60s, DC was a smallish beautiful city surrounded by farmland, beautiful Maryland, and incredible Northern Virginia. Outside of DC was Winchester, Va a beautiful area, Now, the place is completely and utterly trashed from a development perspective, Winchester has been absorbed into the Sprawl (a term from Cyberpunk) the Megolopolis where the entire East Cost of the US turns into one developed mass of humanity. It makes me sick. And it‘s just not happening here. Every wonderful small city in the US is being transformed for the worst. Some examples? Austin, Boise, Richmond, Nashville, etc, etc. San Diego was incredible in the 1940-50s (before my time) what a freaking mess now.
I have noticed a pattern of development that seems somewhat problematic to me.

1. Build an area that is residences only, 20 miles or more away from the city.
2. Realize these people need to eat and buy things for their families… build shopping centers 10-20 miles away but in a different direction.
3. Don’t want to pay city rent for your business, so start an “industrial park” 20 miles away in yet another direction for people to work at, totally separate from the city,

Over time, we are seeing that people prefer to live in the city, walk or ride transit to work, and have most necessities available at shops near their residence. But most places are not setup like that.
 

dukebound85

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I drove though Pagosa Springs, Colo. and what used to be a quaint little town with hot springs, and it has transformed into a tourist trap rife with Texans.
as a Coloradan, i am not a fan of any out of state cars clogging up our roads and making all the trails/parks/etc areas that have lines like amusement parks
 

hulugu

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as a Coloradan, i am not a fan of any out of state cars clogging up our roads and making all the trails/parks/etc areas that have lines like amusement parks

Most of our trip was quiet, especially in Durango. But, in Pagosa Springs, there was just this heaving mass of people. We thought about hanging out at one of the spas for the day, but noped out of that once we realized the situation. And, nearly every car had a Texas plate.
 

Herdfan

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I have noticed a pattern of development that seems somewhat problematic to me.

1. Build an area that is residences only, 20 miles or more away from the city.
2. Realize these people need to eat and buy things for their families… build shopping centers 10-20 miles away but in a different direction.
3. Don’t want to pay city rent for your business, so start an “industrial park” 20 miles away in yet another direction for people to work at, totally separate from the city,

Over time, we are seeing that people prefer to live in the city, walk or ride transit to work, and have most necessities available at shops near their residence. But most places are not setup like that.

This nails it.

My wife grew up in Indianapolis. When we met, her mom had just moved into a new home in a cookie cutter neighborhood about 5 miles north of the "loop". It was all farmland around her and she did it because her job moved from a downtown office building to an office park building in Carmel. So she wanted to lessen her commute.

Everywhere around her now is sprawl. The little 2 lane we used to take became a 4 lane. Then it got so much traffic they redid a few intersections and adopted the NJ jug handle method to make left turns. She is now moving back into Marion county into an older neighborhood away from the mess.

What I don't understand is the proliferation of "outdoor malls" in the snowbelt.
 
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Huntn

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This nails it.

My wife grew up in Indianapolis. When we met, her mom had just moved into a new home in a cookie cutter neighborhood about 5 miles north of the "loop". It was all farmland around her and she did it because her job moved from a downtown office building to an office park building in Carmel. So she wanted to lessen her commute.

Everywhere around her now is sprawl. The little 2 lane we used to take became a 4 lane. Then it got so much traffic they redid a few intersections and adopted the NJ jug handle method to make left turns. She is now moving back into Marion county into an older neighborhood away from the mess.

What I don't understand is the proliferation of "outdoor malls" in the snowbelt.
This is parallel to Northern Virginia, ie Paradise Lost, (mentioned n post 1) where people retired to Centreville a quaint small town to get away from the city Washington DC (1980ish timeframe) and then watched the farmland bulldozed for miles and miles of subdivisions. For those familiar with the area, there was a time same timeframe when you drove south on Route 66 and when you hit Route 50 West to Winchester, you were officially in the country. This was also before all the development started around Dulles International Airport which was also ”out in the country”. Now that area is part of the Sprawl.
 
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Herdfan

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This is parallel to Northern Virginia, ie Paradise Lost, (mentioned n post 1) where people retired to Centreville a quaint small town to get away from the city Washington DC (1980ish timeframe) and then watched the farmland bulldozed for miles and miles of subdivisions. For this familiar with the area, there was a time same timeframe when you drove south on Route 66 and when you hit Route 50 West to Winchester, you were officially in the country. This was also before all the development started around Dulles International Airport which was also ”out in the country”. Now that area is part of the Sprawl.

I wonder what effect the pandemic and the rise of telecommuting will have on sprawl.

I know I hate traffic (which is one reason I live where I do) and sprawl. But sometimes people have to live in the mess to be close to work. But what if they only needed to come to the office 2 days a week vs 5? An extra hour of drive time 2 days a week might not seem so bad to get away from the congestion.

I still find it a bit odd that people live in the eastern panhandle of WV and commute to DC.
 

B S Magnet

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…by development?

I can’t say this is happening in Europe. In the UK, France, and Germany you can still find small charming towns, beautiful. In the US, it’s a freaking mess where paradise-like locations, every good location close to any existing development are overwhelmed and utterly ruined by development.

Washington DC is the perfect example. In the early 60s, DC was a smallish beautiful city surrounded by farmland, beautiful Maryland, and incredible Northern Virginia. Outside of DC was Winchester, Va a beautiful area, Now, the place is completely and utterly trashed from a development perspective, Winchester has been absorbed into the Sprawl (a term from Cyberpunk) the Megolopolis where the entire East Cost of the US turns into one developed mass of humanity. It makes me sick. And it‘s just not happening here. Every wonderful small city in the US is being transformed for the worst. Some examples? Austin, Boise, Richmond, Nashville, etc, etc. San Diego was incredible in the 1940-50s (before my time) what a freaking mess now.

Welcome to the unsustainable and inequitable culture of overconsumption now killing our planet — and also, say hello to the geographic cleansing of structural plurality better known as gentrification.

The idyllic places you remember as a kid were idyllic because they were built atop a commonwealth which was expropriated from the First peoples, then settled by the white forebears of today who profited immensely from the forced labour of servitude to extract the resources from that former commonwealth. Those places were idyllic because the policies, deed covenants, and even laws of institutionally-embedded segregation (see: redlining and also blockbusting) limited who could live where. And these places you remember were idyllic because of an aggravated intent of impoverishment for people who were excluded by the systemic methods of segregation which kept them out.

Even as you saw the idyll then, so many folks were struggling to maintain core city communities whose property tax bases were being depleted — starved — by postwar white flight (this was, at its root, a flight of incumbent wealth) and saddled with the un-remediated toxic infrastructures of leaded water pipes, future Superfund sites, and asbestos-laden structures left vacant and uninhabitable for decades, as a culture of neoliberal policy from 1982 forward further aided to excise and deplete regional and local tax revenue bases (which otherwise would have paid for capital remediation in the places left behind by that white flight).

Some regions, such as the state of Minnesota in 1971, sought and secured legislation to help curtail that deprivation of city core wealth to the municipal fringes by developing the legalization of neighbourhood improvement plans (giving neighbourhood councils the direct oversight and budgetary mandate to receive a more equitable share of state-mandated distributed property tax revenue from regionally-governed economies, such as the seven-county cluster in and around the Twin Cities called the Metropolitan Council) somewhat more evenly than with other American cities.

The generational move away from under-regulated development (sprawl) since the later 1990s (as the development of online interconnectivity infrastructure favoured pre-existing and nearby rights-of-way corridors already laid in place decades, even centuries earlier) pressed poorer folk still in these centres to the margins of now-older, monoculture-designed postwar development — as those un-remediated city cores became economically desirable by those disposed with the incumbent means to amass even more wealth as they prized premiums on qualities like proximity and the socially ineffable quality of clustering which ushered inward that cleansing of gentrification.

And now?

Pricing for housing in those cleansed city cores remain extremely high as centralized properties have emerged to become bulk investment vehicles (principally, to park money out of sight from wealth and capital gains taxes in the investors’ home localities), as a new generation of white flight, this time a “creative” class of flight in the wake of the pandemic (still an overwhelmingly white-centric — though less so than post-1960s — and well-educated class), has priced out existing properties in those areas of previously under-regulated, low-density and monocultural housing developments, worsening a housing crisis pretty much everywhere for lower-income and “middle”-income people.

Many of these people living with an going lack of security to housing and other core human services remain highly racialized (“beneficiaries” of the chronic policies, deed covenants, laws, and wealth-deprivation measures of the ancestral past) and, increasingly, non-racialized but chronically under-educated people (a direct intergenerational consequence of the neoliberal policies which strove to underfund — starve — social institutions like an uninterrupted and equitable access to public education at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels). They are kept to margins of poorly executed or maintained physical infrastructure where access to any meaningful social support all but requires the ownership of a privately-owned vehicle (which consumes a carbon-rich liquid and which also must be insured by underwriters which already have a lot of incumbent wealth).

What’s monoculture? Monoculture is when under-regulated developers set up and build all the lower-density housing to occur in one place (like subdivisions); all the white-collar/creative-class/whatever workplaces to a discretely distal second place (like business parks and central business districts); and most of the retail goods and services to a distal third place (like shopping malls and big-box centres). A by-product of World War II innovation and social design, monoculture supercharged the postwar economy and the intergenerational culture of overconsumption that persists with every moment of our lives.

And that brings us to here on this particular evening, having a chat about it.
 
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Clix Pix

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This is parallel to Northern Virginia, ie Paradise Lost, (mentioned n post 1) where people retired to Centreville a quaint small town to get away from the city Washington DC (1980ish timeframe) and then watched the farmland bulldozed for miles and miles of subdivisions. For this familiar with the area, there was a time same timeframe when you drove south on Route 66 and when you hit Route 50 West to Winchester, you were officially in the country. This was also before all the development started around Dulles International Airport which was also ”out in the country”. Now that area is part of the Sprawl.
I absolutely agree! Back in the early 1970's when I was working at the Library of Congress there were a couple of colleagues who lived to an area many of us thought of as being "out in the country" -- ie., Centreville. It just sounded so distant and far away to me, as at the time I was living in Crystal City, which then was a few apartment buildings and a hotel or two and some office buildings along Rte 1 heading to National Airport..... The Pentagon wasn't far away, nor was the 14th St Bridge into DC.

Eventually I switched jobs and began working for Fairfax County's library system, and during those years it was in a pattern of growth, with new branches springing up here-and-there. One was in Burke, and again, that was still considered "the country," and when the library first opened, one could stand in the parking lot or from inside the building look out the windows and see horses grazing in a nearby pasture....... There was some residential development as the community named "Kings Park" began sprouting up and near the library there was a gas station and a shopping center with a restaurant, a bank and a grocery store, but that was about it.

Now??? I hardly recognize the place when I drive around that area! The library has been enlarged, the shopping center has been enlarged, every possible inch of land between the two has been filled up with something....Kings Park has sprawled way, way beyond a mere subdivision, and as one drives on into the rest of Burke, there are signs everywhere of more and more growth, even now with new building going on in places one wouldn't have thought would ever be filled in. It's sad, and the natural beauty of the entire Northern Virginia area adjacent to DC has definitely been altered beyond belief.....and not for the better.
 

MEJHarrison

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What I don't understand is the proliferation of "outdoor malls" in the snowbelt.

It doesn't seem hard to understand to me. You don't need to heat them in the winter or cool them in the summer. You don't have nice floors that need regular polishing and waxing. There's a ton less upkeep I suspect. I could do this for minutes.

That might suck if you're a customer there. But if you're the property owner, you're probably too busy stuffing the extra dollars in your pocket to care about the shoppers.
 

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It doesn't seem hard to understand to me. You don't need to heat them in the winter or cool them in the summer. You don't have nice floors that need regular polishing and waxing. There's a ton less upkeep I suspect. I could do this for minutes.

That might suck if you're a customer there. But if you're the property owner, you're probably too busy stuffing the extra dollars in your pocket to care about the shoppers.

The culture of overconsumption lives another day.
 

lizkat

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An extra hour of drive time 2 days a week might not seem so bad to get away from the congestion.

That's what I was angling for and finally got up here... 3 hours from NYC... when telcommuting became enough of a thing that I could often manage to skip all but a couple in-office meetings a week.

It was a great way to keep a toehold in the city but to work mostly from up here, and so be able to have a vegetable garden that didn't get fried or drowned any more by my previous absentee-owner attentions, when my time up here had been constrained to (at best) three-day weekends via taking my vacation time in days.

Of course there was the temptation I finally succumbed to, which was that if I actually ditched the apartment and the parking garage and the takeout meals in the city yada yada, the drain of my expenses would be cut enough so that I could consider taking retirement early and stop burning myself out supporting both Los Angeles and New York components of our group remotely, which did lead to burning candles at both ends of the workday. I did the arithmetic one holiday weekend and then went for it. No regrets except for missing really good Szechuan and Indian food..
 

SuperMatt

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Welcome to the unsustainable and inequitable culture of overconsumption now killing our planet — and also, say hello to the geographic cleansing of structural plurality better known as gentrification.

The idyllic places you remember as a kid were idyllic because they were built atop a commonwealth which was expropriated from the First peoples, then settled by the white forebears of today who profited immensely from the forced labour to extract the resources from that former commonwealth. Those places were idyllic because the policies, deed covenants, and even laws of institutionally-embedded segregation (see: redlining and also blockbusting) limited who could live where. And these places you remember were idyllic because of an aggravated intent of impoverishment for people who were excluded by the systemic methods of segregation which kept them out.

Even as you saw the idyll then, so many folks were struggling to maintain core city communities whose property tax bases were being depleted — starved — by postwar white flight (this was, at its root, a flight of incumbent wealth) and saddled with the un-remediated toxic infrastructures of leaded water pipes, future Superfund sites, and asbestos-laden structures left vacant and uninhabitable for decades, as a culture of neoliberal policy from 1982 forward further aided to excise and deplete regional and local tax revenue bases (which otherwise would have paid for capital remediation in the places left behind by that white flight).

Some regions, such as the state of Minnesota in 1971, sought and secured legislation to help curtail that deprivation of city core wealth to the municipal fringes by developing the legalization of neighbourhood improvement plans (giving neighbourhood councils the direct oversight and budgets to receive a more equitable share of state-mandated distributed property tax revenue from regionally-governed economies, such as the seven-county cluster of counties in and around the Twin Cities called the Metropolitan Council) somewhat more evenly than with other American cities.

The generational move away from under-regulated development (sprawl) since the later 1990s (as the development of online interconnectivity infrastructure favoured pre-existing and nearby rights-of-way corridors already laid in place decades, even centuries earlier) pressed poorer folk still in these centres to the outer margins of now-older, monoculture-designed postwar development — as those un-remediated city cores became economically desirable by those disposed with the incumbent means to amass even more wealth as they prized premiums on qualities like proximity and the socially ineffable quality of clustering which ushered inward that cleansing of gentrification.

And now?

Pricing for housing in those cleansed city cores remain extremely high as centralized properties have emerged to become bulk investment vehicles (principally, to park money out of sight from wealth and capital gains taxes in the investors’ home localities), as a new generation of white flight, this time a “creative” class of flight in the wake of the pandemic (still an overwhelmingly white-centric — though less so than post-1960s — and well-educated class), has priced out existing properties in those areas of previously under-regulated, low-density and monocultural housing developments, worsening a housing crisis pretty much everywhere for lower-income and “middle”-income people.

Many of these people living with an going lack of security to housing and other core human services remain highly racialized (“beneficiaries” of the chronic policies, deed covenants, laws, and wealth-deprivation measures of the ancestral past) and, increasingly, non-racialized but chronically under-educated people (a direct intergenerational consequence of the neoliberal policies which strove to underfund — starve — social institutions like an uninterrupted and equitable access to public education at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels). They are kept to margins of poorly executed or maintained physical infrastructure where access to any meaningful social support all but requires the ownership of a privately-owned vehicle (which consumes a carbon-rich liquid and which also must be insured by underwriters which already have a lot of incumbent wealth).

What’s monoculture? Monoculture is when under-regulated developers set up and build all the lower-density housing to occur in one place (like subdivisions); all the white-collar/creative-class/whatever workplaces to a discretely distal second place (like business parks and central business districts); and most of the retail goods and services to a distal third place (like shopping malls and big-box centres). A by-product of World War II innovation and social design, monoculture supercharged the postwar economy and the intergenerational culture of overconsumption that persists with every moment of our lives.

And that brings us to here on this particular evening, having a chat about it.
What I like about living in the city is that work, home, and shopping for necessities are all nearby.
 

lizkat

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What I like about living in the city is that work, home, and shopping for necessities are all nearby.

True... plus in NY at least they don't roll up the sidewalks at 8pm, everything's open late or around the clock. I totally loved the expess subway lines in Manhattan... could get from Wall Street to 145th St and walk back to 137th for CCNY classes all in like half an hour. Meanwhile in the daytime if stupid enough to grab a taxi to travel across midtown, it could eat up an entire lunch hour and you never did it again, just learned to hoof it. Most valuable possession was a "tote"-sized umbrella since anyway when it rains in NYC the taxis all just vanish.
 
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Huntn

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Welcome to the unsustainable and inequitable culture of overconsumption now killing our planet — and also, say hello to the geographic cleansing of structural plurality better known as gentrification.

The idyllic places you remember as a kid were idyllic because they were built atop a commonwealth which was expropriated from the First peoples, then settled by the white forebears of today who profited immensely from the forced labour of servitude to extract the resources from that former commonwealth. Those places were idyllic because the policies, deed covenants, and even laws of institutionally-embedded segregation (see: redlining and also blockbusting) limited who could live where. And these places you remember were idyllic because of an aggravated intent of impoverishment for people who were excluded by the systemic methods of segregation which kept them out.

Even as you saw the idyll then, so many folks were struggling to maintain core city communities whose property tax bases were being depleted — starved — by postwar white flight (this was, at its root, a flight of incumbent wealth) and saddled with the un-remediated toxic infrastructures of leaded water pipes, future Superfund sites, and asbestos-laden structures left vacant and uninhabitable for decades, as a culture of neoliberal policy from 1982 forward further aided to excise and deplete regional and local tax revenue bases (which otherwise would have paid for capital remediation in the places left behind by that white flight).

Some regions, such as the state of Minnesota in 1971, sought and secured legislation to help curtail that deprivation of city core wealth to the municipal fringes by developing the legalization of neighbourhood improvement plans (giving neighbourhood councils the direct oversight and budgetary mandate to receive a more equitable share of state-mandated distributed property tax revenue from regionally-governed economies, such as the seven-county cluster in and around the Twin Cities called the Metropolitan Council) somewhat more evenly than with other American cities.

The generational move away from under-regulated development (sprawl) since the later 1990s (as the development of online interconnectivity infrastructure favoured pre-existing and nearby rights-of-way corridors already laid in place decades, even centuries earlier) pressed poorer folk still in these centres to the margins of now-older, monoculture-designed postwar development — as those un-remediated city cores became economically desirable by those disposed with the incumbent means to amass even more wealth as they prized premiums on qualities like proximity and the socially ineffable quality of clustering which ushered inward that cleansing of gentrification.

And now?

Pricing for housing in those cleansed city cores remain extremely high as centralized properties have emerged to become bulk investment vehicles (principally, to park money out of sight from wealth and capital gains taxes in the investors’ home localities), as a new generation of white flight, this time a “creative” class of flight in the wake of the pandemic (still an overwhelmingly white-centric — though less so than post-1960s — and well-educated class), has priced out existing properties in those areas of previously under-regulated, low-density and monocultural housing developments, worsening a housing crisis pretty much everywhere for lower-income and “middle”-income people.

Many of these people living with an going lack of security to housing and other core human services remain highly racialized (“beneficiaries” of the chronic policies, deed covenants, laws, and wealth-deprivation measures of the ancestral past) and, increasingly, non-racialized but chronically under-educated people (a direct intergenerational consequence of the neoliberal policies which strove to underfund — starve — social institutions like an uninterrupted and equitable access to public education at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels). They are kept to margins of poorly executed or maintained physical infrastructure where access to any meaningful social support all but requires the ownership of a privately-owned vehicle (which consumes a carbon-rich liquid and which also must be insured by underwriters which already have a lot of incumbent wealth).

What’s monoculture? Monoculture is when under-regulated developers set up and build all the lower-density housing to occur in one place (like subdivisions); all the white-collar/creative-class/whatever workplaces to a discretely distal second place (like business parks and central business districts); and most of the retail goods and services to a distal third place (like shopping malls and big-box centres). A by-product of World War II innovation and social design, monoculture supercharged the postwar economy and the intergenerational culture of overconsumption that persists with every moment of our lives.

And that brings us to here on this particular evening, having a chat about it.
Right on sister. The history of this country as probsbly most places around the world is a sad story of one group of humand kicking the shit out of the locals to seize their space, landmass. Not an excuse, but that is is us as a species.

I lived in the Twin Cities longer than anywhere in my life, and I tremember the Council and controls placed on development to try to control sprawl, vs Texas where as far as development, the sky’s the limit sure build a thousand homes, we’ll worry about all the infrastructure details later. If you ever visit the Northern suburbs of Ft Worth Texas, you’ll see subdivisions to the horizon supported by nothing but farm roads and four way stop signs, a frick’n nightmare (at least in 2019 it was that way).

And I’m also familiar with Middleburg Virginia who tried to arrest development in their County by decreeing nothing smaller than 5 acres, but that ultimately failed and Middleburg an idyllic part of Northern Virgina was consumed by developers. 😖
 
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Chew Toy McCoy

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I'd say this is one of the few development problems that the Bay Area doesn't really suffer from. Other than SF there is still plenty of undeveloped land that is mostly empty fields while at the same time most people live within a 10-20 minute drive to low population nature that really isn't under threat of being developed, be it because of hilly terrain or a lot of the coastal areas are strongly opposed to development. Currently our biggest battle with the housing crisis is neighborhoods of mostly single-family homes don't want apartment or condo structures built in their neighborhood bringing their property value down.
 
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