Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Conceptual food for thought

For those of you that actually enjoy when I start going into planning jargon, or who can at least follow it a little bit, here's some food for thought. I was thinking about what makes great city centers and how you build such a neighborhood and other typical chicken-or-egg kinds of questions. Well really, you need both the chicken or egg simultaneously, but ironically if you chose one, someone accuses you of not doing enough to be proactive, if you chose the other, you're accused of putting the cart before the horse. That's true with a lot of things, especially planning and the transit debate where streetcar came out victorious, despite detractors saying OKC isn't dense enough and blah blah (streetcar builds density).

But here's the food for thought, what I want to hear thoughts and opinions on: Do people live where they work, or do people live where they play? Think about it. Now in context, look at the people moving downtown. We've been surprised by all of the studies that have actually shown most of them to not work in downtown, despite downtown having the metro's highest concentration of workers. But then again, we expect downtown workers to live downtown. So which is it, do people tend to live where they play, or do people tend to live where they work?

First I would argue that OKC itself is a horrible example to use to figure this out because we don't have a healthy, full-blown alternative to suburban markets of all price points. But imagine we did, unless you spend a lot of time in a different city that does have viable alternatives at each price point. If the downtown residential market was viable, would people live there because they play in downtown or because they work in downtown... of course you could say both, but that's a cop-out!

1 comment:

Max said...

I live where I play.

I work for a large company in far SW OKC, and there's no way I'd consider living in that area. No offense to anyone who is, but I'm a city guy at heart and at this point in my life, suburban life bores me to death. It's just not my cup of tea.

I live near 36th and Western, giving me access to my favorite play area of town. Most of my play is Western Avenue, Paseo, 23rd, and Midtown. Generally stay out of Bricktown as its not really my crowd. Outside of commuting, I only leave what I consider the city core for the occasional necessary big box excursion to North May and whatnot.

I would love to live, work, and play in the same area, were that possible. But given the choice, where I play wins out hands down.