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Old 11-03-2013, 05:07 PM
 
Location: south central
606 posts, read 908,997 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rranger View Post
It's not at all surprising to someone who has lived in the area for awhile. Since 1970, the number of towns that have instituted 2 - 2.5 acre "snob" zoning in the vicinity of I-495 has increased greatly. Hopkinton comes to mind. I remember reading an article a few years ago about how metro-Boston had instituted unsustainable land use patterns mimicking Atlanta, and how that would have deleterious impacts for mass transit and energy consumption that would be difficult to reverse.
I'm not surprised by the statistics at all, either. I was hoping they would generate conversation. And you're right about zoning. Massachusetts cities and towns exercise an incredible amount of control over local zoning and development. Autonomy is good, but it also adds to congestion, makes mass transit less widely accessible, drives up costs of living, and contributes to the housing shortage. I don't know how many other US metro areas have places like Sherborn. That's 3-acre zoning, I believe, within 17 miles of Copley Square. Hopkinton is a good example. Dover, etc. But not even the affluent towns. It's a matter overall sprawl.
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:27 PM
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Location: Western Massachusetts
45,740 posts, read 39,610,543 times
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here's a density map of the Boston area:

http://bostonography.com/wp-content/...1/density2.jpg

The inner part of the metro is mostly dense, maybe MA 128/ I-95 is a good boundary, most of the rest isn't, some of it very low density.
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Old 11-08-2013, 08:12 AM
 
1,690 posts, read 3,210,291 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BitofEndearment View Post
I'm not surprised by the statistics at all, either. I was hoping they would generate conversation. And you're right about zoning. Massachusetts cities and towns exercise an incredible amount of control over local zoning and development. Autonomy is good, but it also adds to congestion, makes mass transit less widely accessible, drives up costs of living, and contributes to the housing shortage. I don't know how many other US metro areas have places like Sherborn. That's 3-acre zoning, I believe, within 17 miles of Copley Square. Hopkinton is a good example. Dover, etc. But not even the affluent towns. It's a matter overall sprawl.
Absolutely right. The older affluent suburbs like Newton, Wellesley, and Winchester, are much more dense and walkable. They developed mostly in the early 20th C when people still walked to the trolley and the train. But the towns a little farther out that were farm and country estate towns before WWII, like Sherborn, have developed since then in sprawling, car-dependent fashion. And they use zoning, wetland regulations, and any other means at their disposal to keep it that way. Very nice for those who can afford to live there but reserving so much land in Greater Boston for the very affluent adds to the challenges of increasing the housing supply enough to bring costs more in line with other metropolitan areas.
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:32 AM
 
1,030 posts, read 2,011,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
here's a density map of the Boston area:

http://bostonography.com/wp-content/...1/density2.jpg

The inner part of the metro is mostly dense, maybe MA 128/ I-95 is a good boundary, most of the rest isn't, some of it very low density.
Now that's an interesting map. And it shows precisely how unusually densely developed Commonwealth Ave is out to Cleveland Circle and BC. Too bad a number of other major thoroughfares, like Blue Hill Avenue, didn't receive that kind of treatment in the first half of the 20th Century. It would certainly have given them a lot more street presence. Not a lot of other surprises ... Just driving around, you get a real sense of how much more dense the metro area is to the north than to the west or south, though I'm somewhat surprised at how dense the area around Moody Street in Waltham is (I shouldn't be, I guess).

Thanks for posting this.
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Dallas
4,625 posts, read 8,528,280 times
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Looks like a typical California-centric view. SF and LA are basically isolated areas. Once you leave the metro, there is nothing. The northeast is pretty much nonstop from Boston to the Mississippi. You can plainly see that on any density map.

To suggest LA is denser the NY is ridiculous. And I thought they only told such tall tales in Texas.

http://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images...n_2005_lrg.jpg
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:56 AM
 
152 posts, read 316,872 times
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Population-weighted Density by Distances from City Hall
That link is showing that at 25 miles out from city hall Boston has a higher density than NYC and only second to LA somehow
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:30 PM
 
Location: New Hampshire
2,257 posts, read 6,758,146 times
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I've never quite understood why MSAs are delineated the way they are. Boston's MSA includes tons of exurban and even rural areas, extending to counties of New Hampshire where only a small percentage of residents even commute across state lines.

In terms of geographic area, Boston's MSA is virtually the same size as Los Angeles' MSA, but the latter includes almost exclusively urban and dense suburban areas. If you compare the two, LA is obviously going to have a higher density, even though the urbanized area of Boston is denser than that of Los Angeles. It almost makes the comparisons useless.
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:21 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Western Massachusetts
45,740 posts, read 39,610,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verseau View Post
I've never quite understood why MSAs are delineated the way they are. Boston's MSA includes tons of exurban and even rural areas, extending to counties of New Hampshire where only a small percentage of residents even commute across state lines.
Still, a lot of those outer suburbs aren't very dense. Here's the census' "urbanized area" boundaries which includes any contiguously built up areas, low or high density but excludes rural areas. Only a small part of New Hampshire is included.



Urbanized area boundaries are better for density comparisons than MSAs, as MSAs follow county lines rather development limits.

Suburbs full of 1/2+ acre lots are common in the outer suburbs of Boston, rare to nonexistent in the Los Angeles metro.

Quote:
In terms of geographic area, Boston's MSA is virtually the same size as Los Angeles' MSA, but the latter includes almost exclusively urban and dense suburban areas. If you compare the two, LA is obviously going to have a higher density, even though the urbanized area of Boston is denser than that of Los Angeles. It almost makes the comparisons useless.
Los Angeles is somewhat denser.
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:00 PM
 
68 posts, read 30,948 times
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I remember reading somewhere that Boston and Atlanta are the two least dense urban areas with populations over 2 mil in the world. I can't find the article I read it in right now, though...but will update if I do.

Purely anecdotally, my parents are from an outer London borough (considered suburban-ish and low density by most Londoners) which seems to have a density on par with inner Boston neighborhoods to me. This is a low rise city for the most part, with a fairly astonishing number of single family home neighborhoods very close to the inner core (astonishing to me at least, as a Londoner!).
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Everett, Massachusetts
315 posts, read 506,657 times
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Yes, that article was interesting to me too. It was in New Geography. That said, the differing structure and organization of urban areas in the US, particularly after the suburban and highway boom of the 1950s, really redefined what we consider urban areas to be. If you were to count only the inner suburbs of Boston, say inside 128, I would imagine the results of the survey in that article would be quite different. Here is the article for those who are interested:

World Urban Areas Population and Density: A 2012 Update | Newgeography.com
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