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View Poll Results: Which is the bigger city and CSA?
San Francisco 23 82.14%
Atlanta 5 17.86%
Voters: 28. You may not vote on this poll

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Unread 02-14-2011, 09:39 PM
 
Location: ITP - City of Atlanta Proper
6,254 posts, read 5,829,410 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC6ZLV View Post
I posted this information because, well, Atlanta is bigger. The 49sq mile figure is all of the City of SF. I see some people discussing other parts of the Bay Area, but those points outside the city limits are not SF, but part of a metro area in which each city has their own distinct urban development.

Just taking a bird's eye view on Google Earth, it looks like both cities have roughly the same geographic area Downtown, although that is unreliable. I'm fully aware Atlanta has a lot of trees, which makes part of the central city there look suburban from the sky. The opposite of true of SF where there are very few trees, making the entire city look like it is a downtown area.

So, with an educated guess, I would say SF has a much denser downtown than Atlanta, given Atlanta probably has somewhat of a steroetypical development patter of cities which have a lot of flat land. Geographically, Atlanta's downtown is probably a little larger than San Francisco's.

The big difference is the way commercial development expanded out of these tow downtowns. Atlanta's looks like it grew along several transportation corridors then leapfrogged across the suburbs. San Francisco doesn't have the geographic area for leapfrog development. Developers looking for cheaper land initially did it in parts of Alameda and Contra Costa counties, both commercial and residential development. San Mateo County to the south is primarily residential with just about all commercial activity being in the service and retail sectors. By the late 70s land was so expensive that new companies set up shop way down in Santa Clara County. This is one of several reasons the computer industry settled in that area. Cheap land for homes and cheap leases in new industrial parks.
I agree with everything you said except for the "lots of flat land" part. Atlanta is actually extremely hilly, which drove some of the early development patterns that lead to our several dense nodes around the metro and our oddly shaped streets (many of the main roads were created by the Cherokee and Creek as trade routes). We do have lots of land though.
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Unread 02-14-2011, 11:41 PM
 
Location: ITP - City of Atlanta Proper
6,254 posts, read 5,829,410 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
War - outside of a relatively small urban area in DT and MT most of the more urban areas of Atlanta and the metro have far more in common with Evanston or White Plains - this I agree. That does not mean that Atlanta is not a large metro/urban area but it does not have large swaths of inter connected urban space, nor does Houston or Dallas - it is just the makeup and time of the growth and development

Have you been to Evanston or White Plains, they are quite developed and would look and feel like a major business center in any metro, their development is much more similar to a place like Atlanta in all honesty

White Plains, New York - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Evanston, Illinois - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Evanston is ~80K people with a density of 10K ppsm - from that perspective is has more connected density in a population of that scale than any area of Atlanta, this is not to be harsh but these are very good examples of the comparative Development to Atlanta overall. Remeber these places are both DWARFED by direct huge urban neighbors and anyplace else would be described with much greater fanfair
For the record, I concede that Atlanta is only minimally like San Francisco/Philadelphia/Boston/NYC/Chicago but I still am not getting the Evaston or White Plains reference for the WHOLE city particularly the core of the city proper.

Yes, Atlanta is not built up in the central area in a very dense core and there are several nodes around the city proper, but they are far from being disconnected. You can get to all of them by train and (GASP) by highway and grand avenuese. Many of the districts run concurrently with each other, you just have to look past their superficial differences.

However, I can totally see Buckhead by itself being like either of them. In reality it did develop more like a edge city as the two above and functions mostly as such. But given Buckhead only holds 1/5 of the cities population it far from cancel outs the rest of the city. Particularly when you consider that:

Atlanta as a whole: 131 square miles and ~560,000 residents

"Buckhead" (the actual Buckhead it self along with surrounding areas that were annexed as a whole in 1952 that covers the area from just north of I-20 in the west and arcing to about I-85 and going north from Midtown) - 80 square miles ~150,000 residents

The rest of Atlanta proper (the old city plus surrounding communities on the south and east side) - 51 square miles and ~410,000 residents

Basically what I am saying is that the urban center of Atlanta shouldn't be just ignored in favor of the much larger area just because it's bigger. The vast majority of the city's residents don't reside there nor are subject to it's peculiarities.
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Unread 02-17-2011, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Frisco, Tx
383 posts, read 916,960 times
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Atlanta and San Fransisco are very different types of cities. The comparison is strange at best, Atlanta is better compared to Houston, Dallas, or Phoenix than SF Bay area. Downtown SF is comparable to someof the big cities in the east so for urbanity, I would have to say San Fransisco. The whole bay area should be counted as one metro I believe though, making it slightly larger than DFW, and much larger than Atlanta's metro population.
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Unread 02-17-2011, 10:39 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
1,773 posts, read 2,379,890 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waronxmas View Post
Urban Atlanta may not look like NYC/Philly/Boston/SF/Chicago but Evaston? White Plains? That's a big, big stretch.
Evanston has a higher population density than Atlanta (9,584.1/ sq mi vs 4,019.7/sq mi), and aside from the Downtown/Midtown corridor it feels more urban than a typical Atlanta neighborhood. Evanston is pretty much like an urban Chicago neighborhood that did not get incorporated into the city. That is what people are getting at.
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Unread 02-18-2011, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Western Massachusetts
22,731 posts, read 9,821,529 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5Lakes View Post
Evanston has a higher population density than Atlanta (9,584.1/ sq mi vs 4,019.7/sq mi), and aside from the Downtown/Midtown corridor it feels more urban than a typical Atlanta neighborhood. Evanston is pretty much like an urban Chicago neighborhood that did not get incorporated into the city. That is what people are getting at.
Evanston is about 8 square miles. Could you find 8 contiguous square miles in Midtown and Downtown Atlanta with a similar population density to Evanston?
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Unread 02-18-2011, 10:20 AM
 
Location: The City
18,067 posts, read 13,367,741 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Evanston is about 8 square miles. Could you find 8 contiguous square miles in Midtown and Downtown Atlanta with a similar population density to Evanston?
Likely but I think the point is an area like Evanston is much more similar in composition than are some other cities referenced earlier
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