Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Humanity from Above

Last week, my brother sent me a link to a feature that's actually not about Boston at all, but instead is about Florida. It's no secret that Florida real estate is a little bit crazy - since the '60s, it's been the home of massive planned development efforts, many of which never actually made it to completion.

As a result, Florida looks pretty crazy from above. If you can manage to forget about all of the waste and the sheer weirdness of living in an overly-planned environment, it even looks sort of beautiful, in a graphic sort of way:

All of the maps above come from Google maps, so for a bit of perspective, I Google mapped the neighborhood where I grew up, along with the neighborhood next door. I think it's from approximately the same height:

There's planning there, obviously, but there's a major difference: my neighborhood, which was built in the 1940s and '50s, was developed over time and built to suit the geography of the land, instead of flattening the land to accommodate the building. Both Ben Oaks, where I grew up, and Pointfield Landing (next door) are built on hills, with streets circling the top of the hill. They're also both built to make the most of the waterfront, with streets following the shore. And they were obviously not built in an effort to cram in as many houses as possible.

I'm partial to the Ben Oaks version of planning, of course, and it's making it hard for me to see any benefits to the Florida-style approach. Are there any?


Anonymous said...

so many people love the weather,golf and the beaches. need to make spaces for many older adults

Kit Pollard said...

That's true, except that in Florida, supply has exceeded demand. The article mentions that many of the subdivisions were never completed because even back in the 60s, there were more houses than people who wanted them...

Anonymous said...

Supply has exceeded demand as in many places. Where were those sub divisions that you were talking about?
At least there are homes for all the northern snow birds to have a place to stay or live. Love those second homes that are prices so good.
Also There are not many hills or hardwood trees in Florida like your great neighborhood. Some people like palm trees and orange trees. Just my opinion.
Hate your congestion and small homes and streets. There are some nice wide spaces and lovely neighborhoods. Maybe you need to come and visit Florida.


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