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Topic: The Department of Urban Affairs (Read 13906 times)

  • jax
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The Department of Urban Affairs
This thread is about cities and civilised life; the centralised conglomeration of constructions and the people who live in or under them, as well as the people passing by; their planners, shapers, and runners; their light, their shade and activities; their impact on the world around them and on each other; citizen getting along or across with citizen; their tools, trade, and technology; their growth and decay; and whatever else it takes to finish this sentence.

Be urbane.

  • jax
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Re: The Department of Urban Affairs
Reply #25
Prague is, according to a Huffing post, "Europe's Prettiest City" (though I don't think the pictures "proved" that case, and they asked if we wouldn't want to drink beer in one of the few restaurants in Prague I wouldn't want to drink beer in). It might be, there are competitors, but what makes a city pretty?



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Re: The Department of Urban Affairs
Reply #26
The mood of the beholder.

  • rjhowie
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Re: The Department of Urban Affairs
Reply #27
A kindly picture that and looks like something out of a fairy tale book. An attractive place I have overlooked so far.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • Macallan
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Re: The Department of Urban Affairs
Reply #28

A kindly picture that and looks like something out of a fairy tale book. An attractive place I have overlooked so far.

That's the middle of the old city. Much of it looks kinda like that. Looks like the picture was taken across the Vltava, the castle should be ~90 degrees to the left. Very nice gothic cathedral they've got there, with suitably grotesque grotesques all over it.

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Department of Urban Affairs
Reply #29
I might add that Prague looks absolutely amazing with a light layer of snow (much better than the one in the Huffing -- I like that -- Post shows). A few pictures illustrating the concept can be found here. Also, -15°C felt significantly warmer than -3 to -5ish °C at home, due to the lack of wind.

  • jax
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Re: The Department of Urban Affairs
Reply #30
You  were lucky. There has been some really cold winters, but mostly it hovers around freezing. It's not the lack of wind that makes cold more endurable, but the lack of humidity. A cold spell, with frozen rivers and open water, freeze-dries the air. Dry cold air is much more pleasant than wet cold air, even when the former is colder.

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Department of Urban Affairs
Reply #31
It's not the lack of wind that makes cold more endurable, but the lack of humidity.

So when there was moderate wind at the same temperature the day before, it was just more humid? ;)

What you're saying is that at the same wind speed, less humidity feels warmer. I have no opinion about that. I'm saying is that I grew up within 5 minutes of the sea, and even a city like Utrecht barely has any wind at all.

  • Macallan
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Re: The Department of Urban Affairs
Reply #32

I might add that Prague looks absolutely amazing with a light layer of snow (much better than the one in the Huffing -- I like that -- Post shows). A few pictures illustrating the concept can be found here. Also, -15°C felt significantly warmer than -3 to -5ish °C at home, due to the lack of wind.

I'm sure the hot, spiced ( and possibly spiked ) wine they sell at pretty much every corner had nothing to do with it :right:

  • mjmsprt40
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Re: The Department of Urban Affairs
Reply #33
Wind or humidity? Around here in the Winter, when they want to tell you the "real feel" temperatures they always figure the actual temps and the wind speed. I've never heard of them figuring in the humidity.

In the Summer, the misery index always figures the actual temps and the humidity-- wind speed is never mentioned. The more humid the air, the hotter you feel in the Summer.

The only thing I see much of about humidity in Winter concerns indoor air. You have to heat air, the air you're heating is already pretty dry (cold air holds less moisture than warm air) so it's not hard to get desert conditions inside your home. Running a humidifier helps you to feel a bit warmer by putting needed moisture into the air.
What would happen if a large asteroid slammed into the Earth?
According to several tests involving a watermelon and a large hammer, it would be really bad!

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Department of Urban Affairs
Reply #34
I'm sure the hot, spiced ( and possibly spiked ) wine they sell at pretty much every corner had nothing to do with it

I'm not a big fan. There was also lots of cheap (but decent) beer though. :P

Wind or humidity? Around here in the Winter, when they want to tell you the "real feel" temperatures they always figure the actual temps and the wind speed. I've never heard of them figuring in the humidity.

It might make sense that more humidity (even though at low temperatures that means practically nothing) at least could feel colder. After all, the layer of warm air around your body that has to be heated before you feel warm(ish) would take longer to heat due to the water contents. But wind often successfully tries to get rid of that warmed up air regardless of the humidity.

On the other hand, the effect of sea mist blowing in in large quantities (which happens frequently in winter) feels more like a warm blanket even if the humidity is 100% and you're getting as wet as if it were raining. I suspect that has more to do with the relative lack of wind (otherwise the mist'd be blown away pretty quickly) than with the humidity, though.

  • Belfrager
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Re: The Department of Urban Affairs
Reply #35
This, this is an Urban Affair.

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The ticket machines come as the latest step in Bonn's drive to increase tax revenue from prostitution as it wrestles with financial problems. Earlier this year the city introduced a "sex tax", and it expects the levy to raise annual revenue of £265,000 for the city's coffers.

Sex tax??? Sex park meters??? and people accepts such Nazi impositions...
Germans... that's what they want to do to the entire world. It's Krake's fault.

I'll shoot the first sex tax collector that appears in front of me.
A matter of attitude.

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Department of Urban Affairs
Reply #36
Sex tax??? Sex park meters??? and people accepts such Nazi impositions...
Germans... that's what they want to do to the entire world. It's Krake's fault.

The means of taxation sounds a bit odd, but why should the prostitution business have a tax exempt status?

  • Belfrager
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Re: The Department of Urban Affairs
Reply #37
why should the prostitution business have a tax exempt status?

By the very simple reason that what happens between a man and a woman at their privacy is not a government matter.
A matter of attitude.

  • jax
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Re: The Department of Urban Affairs
Reply #38
Between a customer and a service provider in this case, the genders involved are kind of immaterial, except possibly to the parties in question, the financial transaction is not.

  • Belfrager
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Re: The Department of Urban Affairs
Reply #39
Between a customer and a service provider in this case,

There's no customer nor service provider, you are reducing them to that (as it is also the current trend at the servant media). You, me or anyone else have nothing to do with two people making sex and their private arrangements for it, even less the financial or economical authorities.

Financial transaction? where? are you there to proof it? If any, it will be probably a small gift, basically a gesture of courtesy...
If there were any relationship client/customer, then, at the light of any customer's law and protection system, people could complain if not satisfied and have their money back, which per itself demonstrates the absurd of considering prostitution an object of taxes as any other economical activity.

This is one more matter of fundamental rights being violated by the State.
A matter of attitude.

  • jax
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Re: Urban infrastructure and traffic management
Reply #40

A few European cities are doing it the right way, low car's velocity to 20km/h inside the city. I's better for everyone, much safer for walking people, children and cyclists and has no costs. A sane convivial amongst all the different types of street users is the right way for civilized cities.
Besides, much more automobilists will use bicycles - less pollution, less oil dependence.


That is generally a good idea, and also one way to limit through traffic as opposed to to (and from) traffic. Where people live and act, cars have to move at people speed. It's a good principle.



Total car speed limiting to such a low as 20 won't be good for the air conditions.
On the contrary.
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Research in Germany has shown that the greater the speed of vehicles in built-up areas, the higher is the incidence of acceleration, deceleration, and braking, all of which increase air pollution. German research indicates that traffic calming reduces idle times by 15 percent, gear changing by 12 percent, brake use by 14 percent, and gasoline use by 12 percent (Newman and Kenworthy 1992, 39-40).

NB 20 miles per hour = 30 km per hour.


Yes, lower speed means less pollution and better fuel economy, but obviously also longer travel time and poorer vehicle utilisation (measured in the value increase of the people or products moved per time unit).

One good approach is the growth of [img=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-emission_zone]http://low-emission zones[/img], where (too) polluting vehicles are banned.

Higher population densities (i.e. dense cities) means that more goods can be transported in fewer vehicles over shorter distances, an environmental and economic benefit. However this has been counteracted by the growth of internet shopping. Traditionally goods have been store-bought, leading to a network of stores and warehouses. Home delivery leads to an increase in individual home transport of smaller units and an increase in total transport, putting a strain on even high-density areas.

It is performed quite simply and smoothly in Beijing. Goods arrive the city into large debarking areas, sometimes with attached warehouses and wholesale markets, from there and internally goods are transported by vans into and between logistics centres scattered around cities. The last mile (or half mile) is done by transport bicycles or scooters. They are much more efficient than vans, but is based on the easy availability of cheap migrant labour.

A city inhabited by ascetics and rich minimalists (having few but insanely expensive things) would have less need of a transport network, but any reasonably affluent city, or even poor ones for that matter, move a lot of stuff around. The city will have to accommodate for that somehow.

Alternatively we have Venice, Italy (Venezia), where everything is transported by handcart or by boat.

  • Belfrager
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Re: The Department of Urban Affairs
Reply #41
However this has been counteracted by the growth of internet shopping. Traditionally goods have been store-bought, leading to a network of stores and warehouses. Home delivery leads to an increase in individual home transport of smaller units and an increase in total transport, putting a strain on even high-density areas.

Electric vehicles are the solution alongside with physical distributed logistic models, not concentrated.
A matter of attitude.

  • Frenzie
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Re: The Department of Urban Affairs
Reply #42
Most Dutch and Belgian online shops allow for pick-up at a store or post office. I tend to prefer that over delivery at some hour when you're quite probably not at home.

That being said, I'm not entirely sure what jax means by a strain. It's not like the roads are clogged by delivery vehicles. Also, bicycle (or scooter) couriers tend to have better travel times regardless of the speed limit, for the simple reason of congestion.

  • jax
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Re: The Department of Urban Affairs
Reply #43
I prefer to have somebody else to take delivery of my stuff as well. An exception is that my  :beer: delivery, a Beijing perk, goes straight home. I don't do grocery deliveries, but if these, like internet shopping in general, happen within the hour and not like today next day or next week, home delivery would get the edge.

Calling goods transport a strain may be an exaggeration, but a slight one, and some places it is no exaggeration at all, like here in China. Internet shopping is clogging the arteries, though in this case it is a part of the general transition from nothing to buy → local stores → shopping malls → internet shopping within a couple decades.

The problem is particularly large upstream. You can't pack and ship internet shop packages as efficient as you can stack homogeneous products. Internet packages are essentially packages of packages, and you wouldn't want to use lossy compression techniques to make them smaller either.

However, goods transport is very significant in the cities as well, particularly the city cores. Counted in vehicles the vast majority consists of private vehicles. However, most of these are used for the five times daily commute. A private car spends almost all of its working life unused, parked somewhere. Not so the van or the heavy truck. Not only do they travel much more, they have a much higher payload. The commuter payload is the driver and maybe a cup of :coffee:, while delivery vans and trucks are typically filled up. This makes them heavier, with disproportionate damage to the roads and pollution to the environment.

A Norwegian study showed that while private cars comprise 70% of the traffic in major urban areas, they only cause 30% of the NO2 pollution (I couldn't see any data for other pollutants), 60% are caused by vans and (especially) heavy transports, 10% by buses. The city cores tend to have much less private car traffic than the city in general.

  • Belfrager
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Re: The Department of Urban Affairs
Reply #44
A most important Urban Affair is for how too long doggie owners will keep letting their animals to poo all over the place.
A matter of attitude.

  • rjhowie
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Re: The Department of Urban Affairs
Reply #45
Spot on with that onee about damn dogs, In some places here i have seen the City Council with cards on lampposts asking people to notify them of such. Recently, I chased a dashed dog owner who was going to let his mutt keech (good Scots word) at the start of my driveway. Bleeding arrogant nerve! When you get two or more dog owners passing they often end up in a group having a forum like some secret society.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • tt92
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Re: The Department of Urban Affairs
Reply #46
I slipped on a dog turd and while I was cleaning my shoe someone else slipped on the same turd .
I smiled sympathetically at him and said "I did that a couple of minutes ago" and he punched me.

  • Belfrager
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Re: The Department of Urban Affairs
Reply #47
I slipped on a dog turd and while I was cleaning my shoe someone else slipped on the same turd .
I smiled sympathetically at him and said "I did that a couple of minutes ago" and he punched me.

What a barbarism.
It must have been in the land of kangaroos.

Just imagine kangaroos pooping all over the place and then jumping and jumping and jumping.
Thankfully, It seems that Australians uses to kill them with automobiles. Kind of national sport.
Second to drinking beer of course.
A matter of attitude.

  • rjhowie
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Re: The Department of Urban Affairs
Reply #48
That's ridiculous tt92 just because you beat him to it. Damnable envy.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • jax
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Re: The Department of Urban Affairs
Reply #49
From the above urbane musings from westernmost Europe to grand, but ultimately failed, urban plans in Incheon, westernmost South Korea:

Build it and they will come? Korea's whopping US$275 billion tourism city plan