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Old 04-28-2014, 08:23 PM
 
Location: The City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red John View Post
I forgot Philadelphia, thank you for the addition, to all of the above posters.

Puebla is geographically contained by mountains on all of it's sides. This has led to it having a higher consistent density over a much greater area than anything that can be conjured up by Greater Boston, frankly speaking. In terms of both structural density and population density.

Puebla on streetlevel, when you don't cherry pick bottom of the run neighborhoods (like you did):

One.

Two. (Bandera Angelopolitina)

Three. (La Gitena)

Four. (Reforma - Juan de Palafox)

Five. (Portal Hidalgo)

Six. (Poniente)

I could keep going on with pictures from legit historical neighborhoods (that are older than some of those in Boston's generally speaking) but this should be your job. You took the burden to question it's urbanity, burden is on you to do the proper research, in my opinion.

Puebla, a dense metropolis of 2.7 million people, that lives in the shadows of Mexico City. Has greater consistent structural and population density than all of Greater Boston, in addition to having more walkable and urban neighborhoods than Greater Boston (outside of Boston's small core), because well, it's not in the sprawlerific United States, for better or worse not everyone has the socioeconomics to afford the luxuries of a six or eight cylinder personal vehicle. So pedestrian life, mopeds, scooters, and bikes have to do en masse (urban friendly personal transportation / for narrower streets / more cost efficient).

When you say "most Central American cities cant hold a handle to Boston", speak for yourself. I've been to Boston several times in the last two years, and love going there, as it's a great city for the United States but a large AND urban one it is not (by global standards). It has a pretty fine core (for America, anyways) but just when you think things are getting good, the city ends, abruptly, in the most small town manner there is. The drop off of density in Greater Boston, when I drove there from Washington (through the suicidal traffic corridor that is Connecticut) is stark drop off. It never ceases to leave me with the impression "what the (expletive), where the heck did the city go? Am I on the set of Amityville Horror in the woods!?".

Philadelphia is a big city, it's urban expanse shadows for a longer length/diameter in every direction. Easily noticeable and outside of the 4-5 mile core, it feels a great bit denser and larger than Boston.

None of this makes Boston a lesser city by the way, but you're confusing being one of the top ten most urban in sprawling United States to being one of the top ten most urban in North America. I simply disagree, only my opinion, if you think Boston is like third or fourth place in ALL of North America, have at that opinion. Wont be changing mine though.

I dont know these Central American cities at all but do agree that Philly is larger in urban expanse That does not make it better or worse by any means and believe you are not the biggest fan of Philly to begin with

regardless it does have a large urban expanse but Logan (nabe in Philly) is not all that desirable
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:23 PM
 
Location: London, UK
3,385 posts, read 3,789,598 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red John View Post
When you say "most Central American cities cant hold a handle to Boston", speak for yourself. I've been to Boston several times in the last two years, and love going there, as it's a great city for the United States but a large AND urban one it is not (by global standards). It has a pretty fine core (for America, anyways) but just when you think things are getting good, the city ends, abruptly, in the most small town manner there is. The drop off of density in Greater Boston, when I drove there from Washington (through the suicidal traffic corridor that is Connecticut) is stark drop off. It never ceases to leave me with the impression "what the (expletive), where the heck did the city go? Am I on the set of Amityville Horror in the woods!?".

Philadelphia is a big city, it's urban expanse shadows for a longer length/diameter in every direction. Easily noticeable and outside of the 4-5 mile core, it feels a great bit denser and larger than Boston.

None of this makes Boston a lesser city by the way, but you're confusing being one of the top ten most urban in sprawling United States to being one of the top ten most urban in North America. I simply disagree, only my opinion, if you think Boston is like third or fourth place in ALL of North America, have at that opinion. Wont be changing mine though.
Good post Red John, exactly the type of conversation that this thread should have.

Funny thing is what you described about Boston, is exactly what I love about how it is laid out. Super dense, urban core and quaint New England style towns surrounding it. I figure, if you want to live in the burbs, it should feel like a small town, if you want to live in the city it should feel like a city. But I suppose that is a matter of preference.

With that said, I think Boston is below many of these Central American cities and if we are factoring in vibrancy in addition to built environment, they most likely blow away even the largest US and Canadian contenders.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,484 posts, read 7,749,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tocoto View Post
Guatemala City (Gautemala), San Jose (Costa Rica), Panama City (Panama), Havana (Cuba), Montreal (Quebec, Canada), San Francisco (United States), Chicago (United States), Los Angeles (United States),Toronto (Canada), Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), Puebla (Mexico), Managua (Nicaragua), San Salvador (El Salvador), Santiago (Dominican Republic), Leon (Mexico), San Juan (Puerto Rico).

The mere fact that you have to add the country where these cities are located says a lot about their (un)importance to the world.
I put the names of the countries not because cities are insignificant but with autists like Ice Cream Man and the like on this forum, I figured putting the countries trailing the cities in parenthesis would ward off the special people from saying "oh Panama City, Florida?! Really? San Jose, California? Really?" type of nonsense.

Clearly doing such still warrants the most random responses.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,484 posts, read 7,749,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardsyzzurphands View Post
Good post Red John, exactly the type of conversation that this thread should have.

Funny thing is what you described about Boston, is exactly what I love about how it is laid out. Super dense, urban core and quaint New England style towns surrounding it. I figure, if you want to live in the burbs, it should feel like a small town, if you want to live in the city it should feel like a city. But I suppose that is a matter of preference.

With that said, I think Boston is below many of these Central American cities and if we are factoring in vibrancy in addition to built environment, they most likely blow away even the largest US and Canadian contenders.
I like it too, you ask me which city I would rather visit Izmir or Boston. I would say Izmir (because I want to see it all; well as much of the world as I can before I am done), which one I want to actually live in (more important than visiting to me), and I would say Boston (or Philadelphia) in a landslide.

The healthcare, medicine, educational institutions, benefits, career opportunities, cosmopolitan mix (culture, cuisine, opportunities, festivities) and the luxury of a first world environment (without the heavy taxation of imported cars, cellular phones, gasoline, so on) outweighs it all.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,484 posts, read 7,749,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
I dont know these Central American cities at all but do agree that Philly is larger in urban expanse That does not make it better or worse by any means and believe you are not the biggest fan of Philly to begin with

regardless it does have a large urban expanse but Logan (nabe in Philly) is not all that desirable
Philadelphia is continuously urbanized from Wilmington to Trenton, no breaks and there isn't a massive scale drop off in density either, going off simply my memory. It's a straight line of unshatterable density, that only can be rivaled by / exceeded by New York and Northern New Jersey in my personal opinion, in how close-knit and tight spaced it is. You simply pass through the city and never realize the city is over and the suburbs are started, it's more so uniform, no aesthetical breaks.

Even my former home Chicago, while has the looks, the size, and the continuity of a grand and large city, fails to feel as catastrophically dense as central Philadelphia, in a structural way (outside of the Loop and going West and South). Chicago's advantage is over a larger area.

From the air (Philadelphia), you can easily see the outline of the city's shape, then the suburbs continue on-wards with similar structural density before that area where Princeton is when it finally drops off.

The closest urban peer to Philadelphia, in my opinion, is more than likely Montreal. Different styles but very similar results. People who generally like Montreal, it is my belief that they will naturally like the urban environment of Philadelphia too.

I haven't had the pleasure of seeing anywhere in Latin America yet; going to my hometown Singapore and Kuala Lumpur in Southeast Asia, the Gulf States in the Middle East (Qatar and United Arab Emirates), Toronto, Canada, and the United Kingdom this year; Seoul, South Korea next year and I want to fit Santiago, Chile and Panama City, Panama into the itinerary for next year.

Last edited by Facts Kill Rhetoric; 04-28-2014 at 09:00 PM..
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:21 PM
 
Location: New London
1,710 posts, read 1,754,527 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red John View Post
Like I mentioned, I don't discriminate against cities because of it's country's socioeconomics. A place is either urban or it is not. Period. I'm sorry it doesn't fit your definition of urban, perhaps you were thinking urbanity is something exclusive to only the high-income world?
Wow. So the fact that I hold Boston to be more urban than Peublo Mexico must mean that I am discriminating against low-income cities. Lord, what an annoying and ignorant thing to say.

I amost decided that this post of yours was not worth responding to because of that, but obviously I decided otherwise.

Quote:
Puebla is geographically contained by mountains on all of it's sides.

This has led to it having a higher consistent density over a much greater area than anything that can be conjured up by Greater Boston, frankly speaking. In terms of both structural density and population density.
Perhaps we have two different definitions of urban.

Is Puebla large? Sure. Does it have few detatched homes over a large area? Sure.

Is it more urban than Boston? No.

When talking about a single place, "urban" means the level of claustrophobia felt. Tight streets, tall buildings, crowds, etc.

When talking about large areas, "urban" means the approximate distance you go before finding yourself near no claustrophobic place.

Here is a picture from about 10 miles from the church of Santo Domingo(pic). I am sorry if it looks like I'm cherry picking, but I honestly don't know where to look for areas that aren't "bottom of the rung" neighborhoods outside of the historic center.

Here's a picture from about 11 miles north of Boston City Hall (pic)

Boston much more human infrastructure over a much larger area (You could go even further north from Lynn and you'd be in Gloucester, Salem, Lowell, all urban centers). Puebla is smaller and it has fewer high-density areas, and its urban areas have shorter buildings. There is no place (that I can find) as far from Puebla as Lowell or Salem that look as built up as those two places.

Quote:
Puebla on streetlevel, when you don't cherry pick bottom of the rung neighborhoods (like you did):

One.
Two. (Bandera Angelopolitina)
Three. (La Gitena)
Four. (Reforma - Juan de Palafox)
Five. (Portal Hidalgo)
Six. (Poniente)

I could keep going on with pictures from legit historical neighborhoods (that are older than some of those in Boston's generally speaking) but this should be your job. You took the burden to question it's urbanity, burden is on you to do the proper research, in my opinion.
These are nice pictures. Historic Puebla looks a lot like New Orleans or Quebec City, Quebec.

I promise you, however, that I could find picture of Boston that show the city be much more urban. Sorry.

Quote:
Puebla, a dense metropolis of 2.7 million people, that lives in the shadows of Mexico City. Has greater consistent structural and population density than all of Greater Boston, in addition to having more walkable and urban neighborhoods than Greater Boston (outside of Boston's small core), because well, it's not in the sprawlerific United States, for better or worse not everyone has the socioeconomics to afford the luxuries of a six or eight cylinder personal vehicle. So pedestrian life, mopeds, scooters, and bikes have to do en masse (urban friendly personal transportation / for narrower streets / more cost efficient).
Boston was built before the automobile. If I wanted to, I could walk from my house in Roslindale to Lexington, about 14 miles away. Furthermore, every town in the Boston area has its own walkable town-center area. Just because a place has single-family homes or triple-deckers does not mean that it is not urban and walkable.

You may have visited the Back Bay a couple times, but you obviously don't know much about the city or the area.

Quote:
if you think Boston is like third or fourth place in ALL of North America, have at that opinion.
When did I say this?

If your going to argue with me and disagree with me, at least do it respectfully.

Last edited by iAMtheVVALRUS; 04-28-2014 at 09:33 PM..
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:38 PM
BMI
 
Location: Ontario
6,532 posts, read 3,828,095 times
Reputation: 4803
Lets see...

Toronto
Vancouver
Montreal
Chicago
Calgary
...I can only think of five...
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:00 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,484 posts, read 7,749,801 times
Reputation: 7299
Quote:
Originally Posted by iAMtheVVALRUS View Post
Wow. So the fact that I hold Boston to be more urban than Peublo Mexico must mean that I am discriminating against low-income cities. Lord, what an annoying and ignorant argument to make.

I amost decided that this post of yours was not worth responding to because of that, but obviously I decided otherwise.



Perhaps we have two different definitions of urban.

Is Puebla large? Sure. Does it have few detatched homes over a large area? Sure.

Is it more urban than Boston? No.

When talking about a single place, "urban" means the level of claustrophobia felt. Tight streets, tall buildings, crowds, etc.

When talking about large areas, "urban" means the approximate distance you go before finding yourself near no claustrophobic place.

Here is a picture from about 10 miles from the church of Santo Domingo(pic). I am sorry if it looks like I'm cherry picking, but I honestly don't know where to look for areas that aren't "bottom of the rung" neighborhoods outside of the historic center.

Here's a picture from about 11 miles north of Boston City Hall (pic)

Boston much more human infrastructure over a much larger area (You could go even further north from Lynn and you'd be in Gloucester, Salem, Lowell, all urban centers). Puebla is smaller and it has fewer high-density areas, and its urban areas have shorter buildings. There is no place (that I can find) as far from Puebla as Lowell or Salem that look as built up as those two places.



These are nice pictures. Historic Puebla looks a lot like New Orleans or Charleston, South Carolina.

I promise you, however, that I could find picture of Boston that show the city be much more urban. Sorry.



Boston was built before the automobile. If I wanted to, I could walk from my house in Roslindale to Lexington, about 14 miles away. Furthermore, every town in the Boston area has its own walkable town-center area. Just because a place has single-family homes or triple-deckers does not mean that it is not urban and walkable.

You may have visited the Back Bay a couple times, but you obviously don't know much about the city or the area.



When did I say this?

If your going to argue with me and disagree with me, at least do it respectfully.
First thing is first though, Puebla was built and established well before the age of the automobile (and it shows) and it's never had the "white flight" prognosis that affected and plagued America post 1950's (at least no suburbanization to the same extent, naturally, given how awful America handled it compared to anywhere on the planet, Boston included). The city of Puebla has, on average, tighter and narrower streets all over it's metropolis more so than Boston, I actually feel the need of saying it's not close. Even that original Google Streetview you linked me too, the one that showed some disadvantaged area of Puebla (socioeconomically speaking), had pretty narrow streets. This is true and remains the case even on it's fringes. In that territory.

Yes, my idea of urban goes well beyond the core. See in the United States, you leave the core, you're in some bedroom community of some sort whether it's dense or not, remains to be seen and wholly depends on the city. While this is also true in other countries too, the functions of neighborhoods, the ones with consistently high density is more mixed use and FAR more pedestrian oriented, ala fill in for an entertainment center / shopping center / livable center / whatever. At times, while the city has a central business district, each neighborhood will feel like it has a mix of office, retail, and residential (flats) and the majority of the people will be walking from point A to point B. Due to this, an assumption that core Boston is probably more lively than anywhere in Puebla is probably true as more neighborhoods cut into the potential vibrancy that could have been had in the central business district. However, over the larger geographic area (which is undoubtedly denser both structurally and in human life than Boston) will have ample foot traffic and in sporadic yet consistent hours (day-by-day). This is a larger level of urbanity, one that I actually like a lot, imagine a city, stacked, block-by-block of uninterrupted, walled, crammed, claustrophic, tightly-knot, incredible human civilization around it, typically radiating out from every single establishment within it's confines, over miles and miles (kilometers and milometers) and miles and miles until your eyes have the sunset fading to the west in the evening. A thick structural density that'll make the pie you cut up in Thanksgiving look like it was thin, again, for miles and miles and miles. Foot traffic in the core, go out 15 miles, the same level of foot traffic is still there, the density is consistent, you don't even feel like you left any sort of immediate area.

The streets are narrow, they aren't at American standards, and bigger vehicles that use a six cylinder engine or eight cylinder engine aren't the normal, there is a lot of scooters and mopeds, vehicles that for some reason haven't caught on in the United States, probably because you cant drive them at minimum speed limits on most regulated roads in this country (too slow, rate of acceleration too slow for impending American vehicular traffic), aside from the immediate core areas.

Also, I don't think of Puebla as a large city. It's only 2.7 million people, metropolitan area, at the end of the day. That's a nothing size, good enough to be enjoyed, it's no monster sized city though. Cute and manageable, for Mexico, anyway.

Look, Boston probably does have a better core but it probably ends there, I think cities in Central America and Mexico definitely are more consistently urban over the larger area than Greater Boston. Which, like I said, in my very first post, is exactly what I was thinking when I listed the places. I somehow forgot Philadelphia though, which I agree, Philadelphia is the only place I would add on to my original list. Apologies in advance for omitting it wrongly.

Last edited by Facts Kill Rhetoric; 04-28-2014 at 10:30 PM..
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:09 PM
 
409 posts, read 438,919 times
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Cities like Monterey, Puebla and Guadalajara are generally less urban than Boston, IMO. Really only Guadalajara would be debatable, but Monterey, no way in hell. Puebla also no.

You're talking relatively small city centers, limited rail (and only light rail), and few areas of high density (though basically everywhere is medium density, because that's how the developing world rolls).
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,484 posts, read 7,749,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Standard111 View Post
Cities like Monterey, Puebla and Guadalajara are generally less urban than Boston, IMO. Really only Guadalajara would be debatable, but Monterey, no way in hell. Puebla also no.

You're talking relatively small city centers, limited rail (and only light rail), and few areas of high density (though basically everywhere is medium density, because that's how the developing world rolls).
Yeah but what is more urban model? More pedestrian oriented or more transit oriented?

The medium density and the lack of transit, if anything, is the reason why individual neighborhoods in these cities are more lively than further out places in Boston because people in Boston would be transiting into the central core (Bay Bay, Financial District, so on). An area like South Boston is sucked out of life, as people transit or commute into the central core for things like work and entertainment, not to mention this area actually has pretty large holes (surface parking) detracting it's consistency.

Like I mentioned, Boston wins in the core but Greater Boston's level of density drop off is pretty extreme. The actual city of Boston is urban by any standard but it's smaller in area and it ends pretty quickly, even when you add in Cambridge, that too ends pretty quickly.

With Philadelphia, yeah, I could see it going well above all three Mexican cities, given it has the expanse factor to it too and generally the outer areas of Philadelphia don't seem sleepy like those of Boston and the density drop off isn't so stark going from the city into the immediate suburbs and eventually the next ring of suburbs.
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