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View Poll Results: Which is the bigger city and CSA?
San Francisco 27 84.38%
Atlanta 5 15.63%
Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-14-2011, 12:35 PM
 
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Which do you think is the bigger city and has the bigger urbanized area (CSA)?

Since in a previous thread, people were talking about how much bigger Atlanta is than San Francisco, I was curious about what a poll might say
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:36 PM
 
Location: roaming gnome
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what is there to think about SF CSA is bigger... Fact.
Does SF the city itself feel like a bigger city than Atlanta? I would say most definitely. It probably has the 2nd best urban fabric in the U.S. within it's confined borders. Chicago and Philly certainly have a "bigger city" vibe but there are more gaps, and more undesireable places, manufacturing, obviously taller buildings etc.
At no point does Atlanta feel "urban" to me, in the sense that it is a brother of cities like NYC/Philly/Boston/SF/Chicago... It feels like Chicago suburbs such as Evanston or White Plains, NY.
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Western Massachusetts
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No, if you go by MSA, Atlanta comes out larger, 5 million people. SF is only larger if you include San Jose. But the Atlanta is an incredibly sprawling metro (it's the area of Massachusetts), maybe one of the most sprawling while San Francisco is one of the least sprawling.

Also, a much larger fraction of the SF MSA lives in the core cities (dense places like SF, Oakland and Berkeley) compared to Atlanta, making SF feel bigger.
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
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bigger CSA- bay Area

Bigger city- San Jose- lmao
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:18 PM
 
Location: ITP - City of Atlanta Proper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grapico View Post
what is there to think about SF CSA is bigger... Fact.
Does SF the city itself feel like a bigger city than Atlanta? I would say most definitely. It probably has the 2nd best urban fabric in the U.S. within it's confined borders. Chicago and Philly certainly have a "bigger city" vibe but there are more gaps, and more undesireable places, manufacturing, obviously taller buildings etc.
At no point does Atlanta feel "urban" to me, in the sense that it is a brother of cities like NYC/Philly/Boston/SF/Chicago... It feels like Chicago suburbs such as Evanston or White Plains, NY.
Urban Atlanta may not look like NYC/Philly/Boston/SF/Chicago but Evaston? White Plains? That's a big, big stretch.
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:32 PM
 
Location: The City
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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.

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
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
No, if you go by MSA, Atlanta comes out larger, 5 million people. SF is only larger if you include San Jose. But the Atlanta is an incredibly sprawling metro (it's the area of Massachusetts), maybe one of the most sprawling while San Francisco is one of the least sprawling.

Also, a much larger fraction of the SF MSA lives in the core cities (dense places like SF, Oakland and Berkeley) compared to Atlanta, making SF feel bigger.
The separation of the SF and San Jose MSAs is ridiculous and based on a wierd technicality. There is continuous dense urban development between the two cities and they are 45-50 minutes apart.

Anyone who has been to both places can tell you the SF bay area is much bigger than Atlanta's metro.
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Sacramento, Placerville
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I wouldn't call the development dense. Development followed the original route of US-101 between SF and San Jose. There are a lot of single family homes built anywhere from the late 20s through the 60s. Most of Daly City and Pacific is made up of neighbourhoods with the typical suburban frontyard/backyard homes. Many lots are very large around Menlo Park. The development since then along I-280 is dominated by 70s and 80s rancho type homes you will find anywhere in the West.

San Francisco itself is close to 49 sq miles. It isn't all dense inner-city either. Lots in SF aren't as small as people think. They are narrow and deep, thus the tall two-story homes with little space between them which give the illusion of being denser than it really is.

Part of San Francisco's higher population density is due to homes that were converted to multi-unit apartments and that many people have two, three, sometimes four roommates throwing money into a pot so they have enough to pay the extraordinary rents.
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Western Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC6ZLV View Post
San Francisco itself is close to 49 sq miles. It isn't all dense inner-city either. Lots in SF aren't as small as people think. They are narrow and deep, thus the tall two-story homes with little space between them which give the illusion of being denser than it really is.
But that's true of all American cities. Even the densest of cities have some relatively low densities portions made of single-family homes on smallish but not tiny lots. Most of San Franisco is not as dense as the dense neighborhoods that most tourist see, for example Nob Hill, etc. Similarly, most of NYC is not as dense as Manhattan.
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:30 PM
 
Location: Sacramento, Placerville
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
But that's true of all American cities. Even the densest of cities have some relatively low densities portions made of single-family homes on smallish but not tiny lots. Most of San Franisco is not as dense as the dense neighborhoods that most tourist see, for example Nob Hill, etc. Similarly, most of NYC is not as dense as Manhattan.
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.
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