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Why is UK mostly low rise and US not

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jonbvn

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Re: Why is UK mostly low rise and US not

PostSun Mar 19, 2017 10:52 am

Frank wrote:As for urban living, well it all sounds wonderfully practical except last time I checked we were still a liberal country (maybe not forever!). If people don't want urban living what are you to do? Force them to live in city centre high-rise when they want to bring up their family in a suburban semi?


You have a very valid point. People are happy to live the "executive apartment" dream until the first child arrives. This is what has driven the oversupply of residential flats across Central Cardiff & the Bay, and likely led to the student apartment phenomenon.
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penarth bloke

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Re: Why is UK mostly low rise and US not

PostSun Mar 19, 2017 11:46 am

jonbvn wrote:
Frank wrote:As for urban living, well it all sounds wonderfully practical except last time I checked we were still a liberal country (maybe not forever!). If people don't want urban living what are you to do? Force them to live in city centre high-rise when they want to bring up their family in a suburban semi?


I understand what you are saying, but I would argue that it's also a cultural thing, many families on the mainland and elsewhere are very happy to raise families on the 10th, 20th or 30th floor of a block of flats.

You have a very valid point. People are happy to live the "executive apartment" dream until the first child arrives. This is what has driven the oversupply of residential flats across Central Cardiff & the Bay, and likely led to the student apartment phenomenon.
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Frank

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Re: Why is UK mostly low rise and US not

PostSun Mar 19, 2017 12:31 pm

The mainland?

Where would that be?
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Cardiff

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Re: Why is UK mostly low rise and US not

PostSun Mar 19, 2017 12:32 pm

Is there an oversupply Jonbvn? From what i can see all developments are fully sold, the price of rentals has gone up quite a lot in the past couple of years as no new large developments have been constructed. If we take Cardiff Pointe then all the apartments sold pretty quickly, it was teh town houses that took an age to sell. Penarth heights have all sold and are predominantly apartments, i cant think of any scheme where the supply has outstripped demand in regards apartments.
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Peiriannydd

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Re: Why is UK mostly low rise and US not

PostSun Mar 19, 2017 2:04 pm

Frank wrote:I'm going to be quite blunt here - it is slightly odd to be comparing us to new world countries when we are very much part of the old world. There's a reason why cities like Edinburgh don't have lots of tall buldings, Bristol too, they have a very old cityscape that they don't want being ruined. I think Liverpool will be quite careful not to build upwards in a way that crowds out its historic buildings. As for urban living, well it all sounds wonderfully practical except last time I checked we were still a liberal country (maybe not forever!). If people don't want urban living what are you to do? Force them to live in city centre high-rise when they want to bring up their family in a suburban semi? As for urban sprawl, that's an issue for mega cities like London or perhaps even Birmingham or Manchester. Cardiff? Don't be silly. Being a smaller city does have its advantages. Let's not waste them!

The current policy of student flats and bringing old housing back into use for families seems sensible so long as it isn't overdone.


I'm in an odd place because I'm equally passionate about historic buildings and tall buildings. I think both add to a city and it's possible for them to be in the same city and compliment one another. Go to places like Paris and Vienna for examples of appropriate zoning in old cities.

In New-World cities you see the mix a bit more like Britain, with economic developments driving things more than civic planning. Melbourne for example, has one of the best collections of Gothic Revival buildings anywhere in the world.
Melbourne is an interesting comparison with Cardiff, because (ignoring the castle) Cardiff and Melbourne grew up around the same time. Regardless of the differences in economic fortunes, the age and nature of the buildings are very similar which makes comparisons on how we deal with that existing building stock rather interesting.

The trouble is with Cardiff, is that so many of our historic buildings have been damaged or demolished. The same can be said of Melbourne and many other cities, but the reality is with Cardiff is that we don't really have a very old cityscape to protect, as you have with say Edinburgh. Within the city centre we have pretty much the castle, the civic centre and a few streets. The remaining grand buildings are in Butetown.

We are in a unique position, where we can go down two routes:
1) The Continental option, zoning tall buildings outside of the historic area;
2) The New-World option, adapting our old buildings (facade retentions) and building amongsts old buildings.

I think Cardiff will do something in between, but I hope that the days of Altolusso are well and trully over! We do have an opportunity to clear the industrial area between the railway and Butetown and create a new zone of the city and I think that the developments around Dumballs Road, Trade St, Brains site, Callaghan Square and Capital Quarter, all point in that direction.

Regarding Urban Sprawl, I do think that this is an issue for Cardiff and given that we're not making any more land, we shouldn't be building upon our green belt lightly.

There are something like 70,000 students in Cardiff and that number is likely to grow with various plans of different universities. For a city population of around 350,000 that's a massive proportion! It is riduculous to have these people crammed into makeshift conversions of inner-suburban family homes, to then go and build new homes, schools etc. on our green belt. I know some people roll their eyese everytime they hear of a new student development, but I think they are essential for Cardiff. If and when they're no longer need, they can either be demolished or converted to private residential.

No-one is suggesting that we force people to live somewhere against their will and ultimately, it'll be market conditions that will dictate. But if Cardiff is serious about attracting and retaining a younger population of students and professionals then we'll need to see more medium to high-rise developments. We need to be ever mindful of supply to ensure affordable living. On this note, we have a massive edge over Bristol, our nearest rivals! Property prices and rent in Bristol takes the piss, which is forcing a lot of people out of the city.
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penarth bloke

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Re: Why is UK mostly low rise and US not

PostSun Mar 19, 2017 2:40 pm

Frank wrote:The mainland?

Where would that be?


It that bit East of the UK!
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