Date: 2014-04-01 01:02 am (UTC)
frith: Yellow pony with yellow mane, stunned look. (FIM Applejack stunned)
From: [personal profile] frith
Hunh. Just today the ponycon in LA announced it was throwing in the towel. The one in the SF Bay area seems to be going strong.

Date: 2014-03-31 03:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"fueling population growth" suggests that city people are having more babies per capita than other regions. Which would be odd considering the other Red/Blue state contrasts.

If it just means that more babies are born in cities (absolute numbers), well, that's where most adults live, so....

If it means that many immigrants locate in cities, that suggests ... that I should go and read the article. Still, 'fueling' suggests 'being one cause of population growth.' Which might make sense if one strong motivation for immigrating were to live in one of those cities, and nowhere else.

Edited Date: 2014-03-31 03:21 am (UTC)

Date: 2014-03-31 03:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The immigration idea makes sense. Historically cities don't replace their own populations as a rule, but are replenished from outside.

Date: 2014-03-31 03:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
According to NYC gov, in 2007 NYC had a birth rate of 15.6/1000 and a death rate of 6.7/1000. I picked 2007 because for some reason that was the most recent year for birth rate data.

Cities used to be net sinks back in the days when the big killers were infections. Olden times.

Date: 2014-03-31 03:56 pm (UTC)
ext_5149: (Mocks You)
From: [identity profile]
Well if you mean "modern" to post date about 1700... sure. I am far from an expert, but I will cite Rural and Small Town America by Glenn V. Fuguitt, David L. Brown, Calvin L. Beale as a source for knowing that the only period in which American cities had sub-replacement fertility was 1930-1940.

Date: 2014-03-31 04:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There's a joke about Oxford getting a sizable bequest. During the discussion of what to do with the money, someone proposed putting it into real estate, because real estate had done well over the last thousand (?) years, at which point someone objected on the grounds the last thousand years had been highly atypical.

Date: 2014-03-31 06:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
First LOL of the day.

Still laughing.

Date: 2014-04-01 10:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's a historian for you...

Date: 2014-03-31 06:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
...I guess I do. It's the period I think of as "modern", anyway.

JN's comment on this has given me some startling perspective on what I think of as "history". The Seven Years' War feels "recent", and 1648 is "a while back".

I must think on this.

Date: 2014-03-31 11:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Someone (Krugman?) pointed out that the trope of "expanding out into space due to population pressure" belies the reality that we're gradually abandoning low population density areas here on Earth. Economic forces are pulling people closer together, not driving them apart.

Thought exercise: what will be the impact of driverless cars on city population and structure?
Edited Date: 2014-03-31 12:12 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-03-31 12:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
To answer this question, keep in mind that after several development cycles, a driverless car will not look like a modern car, particularly inside. Modern driver seat is designed for driving. It is not particularly good for sleeping, reading, or anything else. Other seats are situated the way they are because they have to accomodate the driver seat. True driverless car will have no steering wheel and no reason for seats to face forward. I think the interior will eventually end up resembling a train compartment, with seats surrounding a small table which could be used for all usual table purposes, including work via Internet. I would also design this table so it could fold away, and the seats could unfold into a comfortable bed.

A car like this would have a very different effect on city population and structure than merely "car in which you can let go of the wheel and read."

Date: 2014-03-31 12:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I see two contrary impulses:

(1) Driverless cars rented on demand would let people live closer together, since they have less reason to own a car. Think robotic taxis.

(2) The cars would let people commute longer distances more easily, since they don't need to focus on the drive, but could sleep or work during the trip. This would let people stay spread out. An extreme variant of this would be if automated flying cars ever became practical.

Making the robot cars electric would tend to favor (1), due to range limitations.

I also wonder if driverless carpooling would become a thing.

Date: 2014-03-31 03:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Even ordinary cars with automatic drivers could turn a city, almost literally, into a parking lot -- driving round the block over and over, while the owner shops. (I wonder if that happens with human chauffeurs?)

Date: 2014-03-31 05:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I doubt it happens with human chauffeurs. If you are rich enough to pay your chauffeur to drive aimlessly for hours, you can always find a place to park. Probably with a valet.

Date: 2014-03-31 02:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I suspect driverless cars based on current car design will be a hard enough sell, at least in North America. The advanced concept you describe will probably be ever harder.

Date: 2014-03-31 02:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's why I wrote "after several development cycles". As in, 15 years or so.

Date: 2014-03-31 03:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
But current motorhomes might get automatic drivers sooner.

Date: 2014-03-31 03:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Robotic Winnebagos cruising the Super Highways of North America! They really should be nuclear powered.

Date: 2014-03-31 03:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah...maybe on paper.

In the real world, driverless cars will have the same issues modern cars have. In a train, the compartment and such can be arranged the way they are because a train's motion is generally one-dimensional to the passengers with slow acceleration and deceleration and (usually) no worries about sudden stops along the way. That's why they don't need seatbelts.

Date: 2014-03-31 05:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nathan helfinstine (from
In trains, cars, and even fast-accelerating ships, most seats face forward or backwards. That's because acceleration is much less comfortable when it's not aligned through the body's front-to-back axis. I would expect driverless cars to maintain the same alignment, with seats facing forwards and backwards. There would be a preference for forwards because people also prefer looking at the direction of motion.

Date: 2014-04-01 08:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Driverless cars won't have accidents. I don't make that claim because I think it is easy to engineer; I make that claim because the first fatal accident in a driverless car will ruin them for ten years. People will be terrified of them unless their safety record is spotless.

Date: 2014-04-01 10:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Also, in trains a particular car may well be oriented either way; there's not necessarily any way to tell in advance which end of the car will be the 'front' on any particular trip. There's a human preference for the front-facing seats, though of course looking forward doesn't provide any advantage to the passengers. The 'two benches and a table' configuration is a good one for trains where the passengers are likely to be in place for an hour or more, though.

City buses also have side-facing seats, which are handy for using awkward space over the wheels, but they're not as desirable as the front-facing seats. Has anyone seen a city bus with back-facing seats? I haven't...

Date: 2014-04-03 02:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Side-facing seats also allow for more standing passengers on high-volume routes, which is why they are common on MBTA subway cars.

Date: 2014-03-31 03:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
the trope of "expanding out into space due to population pressure" belies the reality that we're gradually abandoning low population density areas here on Earth. Economic forces are pulling people closer together, not driving them apart.

Living closer together does not mean using less real estate on the planet. City people eat from farms and oceans, get furniture from forests and mines, use energy from strip mining and from oil wells, etc.

Moving some industries into orbit might help.

Date: 2014-03-31 05:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
But it's living more efficiently.

For a given level of climate control and tech, it's more efficient to maintain an apartment building than an equivalent number of houses, which means less energy use. Water usage and waste disposal similarly benefit from economies of scale. Cities with good public transit are more fuel efficient and produce less waste for fuel than populations spread over greater areas.

For a large enough population (or even a small population with a sufficient tech level), living together is far easier on the environment than living spread out.

Date: 2014-04-02 12:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Even on the best assumptions, eventually the planet will run out of real estate to produce the food and materials that an ever-growing population will need. It may not manifest as shooting rampages, but prices will get higher as demand increases beyond supply.

Grow food in hydroponic skyscrapers? By the time you've covered every inch of ground with those, you'll have so much tech that it will be cheaper to just build in orbit in the first place.

Date: 2014-04-01 12:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Very little, actually. Cars will remain immensely inefficient means of transport whether driven or not, and thus ill-suited for densely-populated environments.

Date: 2014-04-03 02:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
They might eliminate the perceived (and legal) need to build enormous parking lots around offices and commercial establishments. Even a driverless car that belongs to a single owner, rather than a robo-taxi, can go park itself at a central location some distance from the destination, and high-density structures like automated stacking devices and paternosters might be easier to deal with as well. That encourages building at higher density and making more use of city centers.

The same effect would make it that much easier to build in suburban public transport, since commuter rail and subway termini wouldn't have to have gigantic dedicated lots built in right at the station. If the station's close enough to home, your car can just drop you off and go home.

Date: 2014-04-03 02:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
...Now, a contrary effect would be that some people might choose to have their private cars drive them long distances to work and drive all the way home empty, then come back for the evening commute. Which would double fuel consumption and traffic.


james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

September 2017

      1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 252627282930

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 26th, 2017 09:15 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios