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View Poll Results: Is Boston as urban as Chicago
Yes, as urban or more so 65 53.28%
No, not as urban 57 46.72%
Voters: 122. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 08-10-2013, 10:55 AM
 
Location: roaming gnome
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
The north side plus some of the west side and NW is more urban than Boston (and San Fran). Chicago in area is a lot bigger though so it really depends on where you're talking about. The above statement of mine is true, but there are definitely neighborhoods on the south side that are much less urban (they used to be a lot more urban back in the day though).

I see a lot of people talking about the "wide roads of Chicago" and this is mainly untrue. The areas where it is wider than Boston are the main roads. If you actually get into the real residential sections of Chicago say in Lincoln Park or Lakeview, the roads are not very wide. We are not talking about European style here, but we aren't talking about wide avenues either. They are usually one land with available parking on the side (tightish slow driving). From my experiences with most of Boston..it's really not terribly different. There are plenty of wide avenues in Boston too and there are plenty of half way narrow residential streets.

Here is what the real Chicago looks like in the residential areas of the north side neighborhoods:
http://goo.gl/maps/UxfEI
http://goo.gl/maps/CkDMg(7.5 miles from the "Urban Core")

Just for people unfamiliar with Chicago, I am going to list a bunch of community areas (basically neighborhoods) of Chicago that form one continuous geographical area just to show you the density of the north/part of west/NW sides of town. Keep in mind that Boston has 625,087 people for an area of 48.43 sq miles.

* Loop - Population: 29,283 | Area: 1.58 sq miles
* Near North Side - Population: 80,484 | Area: 2.72 sq miles
* Lincoln Park - Population: 64,116 | Area: 3.19 sq miles
* Lake View - Population: 94,368 | Area: 3.16 sq miles
* Avondale - Population: 39,262 | Area: 2 sq miles
* North Center - Population: 31,867 | Area: 2.07 sq miles
* Uptown - Population: 56,326 | Area: 2.35 sq miles
* Lincoln Square - Population: 39,493 | Area: 2.57 sq miles
* Edgewater - Population: 56,521 | Area: 1.71 sq miles
* Rogers Park - Population: 54,911 | Area: 1.85 sq miles
* West Ridge - Population: 71,942 | Area: 3.53 sq miles

Total Population: 618,573
Total Area: 26.72

Basically, around the same population of the entire Boston city is located within these 11 community areas (neighborhoods) of Chicago, but in 21.71 fewer square miles. Since it's 6500 less people in the area above, it might be closer to say 21 sq miles, not 21.71 sq miles fewer.

.
This is a bit cherrypicked and misleading though of how the city is set up. You are ignoring closer in neighborhoods to downtown and basically picking a developed cherry pick strip of areas down the lake then random dense areas like Avondale and West Ridge that you threw in there. Rogers Park and Edgewater for instance while are some of the densest areas in the city is on the north border and 40-50+ minute El ride into downtown on a good day.
https://www.google.com/maps?saddr=72...dirflg=r&hl=en

and
https://www.google.com/maps?saddr=72...dirflg=r&hl=en

Avondale, Lincoln Square, North Center are also 40+ minutes into the loop on the Brown and Blue lines respectively. West Ridge doesn't even have a subway stop and would put you over an hour commute.

but then you don't include the Near West Side or Near South Side where you could just walk to downtown...but of course bring your numbers down by a good margin.

It is better to go in a radius when comparing something like this b/c you are comparing areas that while it is true are dense would be a good distance out into the suburbs of Boston. And Boston is setup different... dense, then space, then dense again. While Chicago is dense and radiates slowly outward on a grid system. Rogers Park and West Ridge for instance are like being the same distance from Boston DT to Waltham or Quincy. It would be similar to commuting in from Quincy on the Red Line as being in Rogers Park, Edgewater, West Ridge...

Last edited by grapico; 08-10-2013 at 11:40 AM..
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:43 PM
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Location: Western Massachusetts
45,737 posts, read 39,610,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grapico View Post
This is a bit cherrypicked and misleading though of how the city is set up. You are ignoring closer in neighborhoods to downtown and basically picking a developed cherry pick strip of areas down the lake then random dense areas like Avondale and West Ridge that you threw in there. Rogers Park and Edgewater for instance while are some of the densest areas in the city is on the north border and 40-50+ minute El ride into downtown on a good day.
https://www.google.com/maps?saddr=72...dirflg=r&hl=en

and
https://www.google.com/maps?saddr=72...dirflg=r&hl=en

Avondale, Lincoln Square, North Center are also 40+ minutes into the loop on the Brown and Blue lines respectively. West Ridge doesn't even have a subway stop and would put you over an hour commute.

but then you don't include the Near West Side or Near South Side where you could just walk to downtown...but of course bring your numbers down by a good margin.
True, but you could argue Boston's boundaries are arbitarily drawn in a way lower its density numbers; some neighborhoods outside the city proper are denser than many Boston outer neighborhoods, particularly Cambridge and Somerville. Boston isn't densely even in every direction, either. A fair comparison would be the densest X contigous of both regions.
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:17 PM
 
Location: roaming gnome
12,391 posts, read 23,761,585 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
True, but you could argue Boston's boundaries are arbitarily drawn in a way lower its density numbers; some neighborhoods outside the city proper are denser than many Boston outer neighborhoods, particularly Cambridge and Somerville. Boston isn't densely even in every direction, either. A fair comparison would be the densest X contigous of both regions.
Maybe, but some parameters should be set, b/c then you'll have a few cities basically claiming a singular commercial street... Not that Chicago does this, but Rogers Park/West Ridge are indeed fairly far out, and indeed there are more choice and desirable and more aesthetically urban even if lower pop density areas farther in.

I guess I'm not sure why these more aesthetically urban and closer in neighborhoods wouldn't be included...

Basically this whole picture outside of the skyscrapers is not included in his #'s...


yochicago

Nor is any of this...


bubblews
but he's including far flung areas on the edge of the city that don't even have a subway line like West Ridge and sketchy Uptown for instance. Sure they are dense population wise but if you are wanting an urban lifestyle you would pick the areas in my pic first, they are more aesthetically urban, more connected, more desirable, and more expensive even if they don't fit the "pop threshold"...

Does this mean Boston is more urban than Chicago? No... but I'd at least like a fair fight b/c I like both cities. And to just try to connect pop density, you are going to lose out on aesthetically urban built up areas that might be a tad lower pop density as well as push you even further from the core... I think almost everybody on the site would rather live in Wicker Park/Bucktown/Little Italy/Greektown/Uk Village/West Loop than West Ridge, at least those wanting a more "urban" experience...I mean yeah, there is some urban industrial stuff and working shops still mixed in with these areas, but they are easily more "urban" as a whole to me than some areas he is suggesting even if the ones he is suggesting has some tracts of highrises with low income that boost these families that boost these #'s up in the vicinity...

Last edited by grapico; 08-14-2013 at 05:39 PM..
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