I generally enjoy readingAtrios’s take on better urban planning. I’m a big fan of urban mass transit, especially now that I’m in a place where it is available only minimally. (We only just got bus service that connects the town where I live to the one where I work, and between the transfers from one system to another and the normal vagaries of bus schedules, it’d take me almost an hour and a half to get to work every morning. Given my post-work schedule, that just doesn’t work for me.) I got to experience just about the best version of urban living I can imagine–I lived in London for the better part of a year. I loved the Tube, even after commuting a half an hour to and from work every day for six months. I got to where I really enjoyed the commute time as a chance to separate my work and private lives. (And no, driving commutes don’t have the same effect–they’re just annoying and stressful.)
I find it amazing that so many people seem to take it for granted that Americans want the picket-fence suburbia version of the American Dream. I’ve had that for the last six years, and frankly, I’d much rather be living in a high-rise condo or above a storefront or something. The fact is, I hate yardwork. Hate it. Having experienced both, I much prefer the idea of urbia to suburbia. If I could get out of the house we’re in without losing an arm and a leg (and if I could overcome my own natural inertia), I’d be in a condo right now.
So all that leads me to conduct this very unscientific survey (sort of a follow-on to the country mouse/city mouse post A did a few Saturday’s back): If you could choose, free from constraints such as job availability/commuting issues/family issues/pet issues, would you prefer the house with yard, or the urban condo/loft/whatever? What are the things about either option that lead you to that choice? How would mass transit factor into your thinking?
p.s. One of the wierd factors I consider is the fact that an upstairs apartment means far fewer bug encounters. I’m not phobic or anything, but I do see that as a plus.