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Old 04-30-2014, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
11,902 posts, read 10,990,024 times
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On this forum, the "second cities" in major metros don't tend to get much love. By this I mean the second-largest city in an metropolitan area. Some examples would be Cambridge, MA; Saint Paul, MN; and Arlington, VA (technically not a city, but works for these purposes).

So I have the following questions for people.

1. Which secondary city in an MSA has an identity which is most distinctive from that of the core city, and does not merely come across as a random stretch of suburbia which happens to be incorporated?

2. Are there any secondary cities which actually outshine the core city in the MSA?

3. Although general, feel free to suggest which secondary city is the "best" overall as well.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Boston
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Cambridge has a different feel than Boston; but at 6sq miles and sitting directly across the river within walking distance of downtown Boston, Cambridge looks, feels and functions more like a neighborhood or small borough within Boston. It also doesn't get a lack of love. Lowell, Worcester, Brockton, and closer places like Lynn and Quincy are more like separate cities with their own cbd and some separation from Boston that fit the bill a little better.

Oakland is sort of the ultimate second city that doesn't get as much love. It's a great city. Fort Worth belongs on the list too.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Northeast Suburbs of PITTSBURGH
3,480 posts, read 3,298,735 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
On this forum, the "second cities" in major metros don't tend to get much love. By this I mean the second-largest city in an metropolitan area. Some examples would be Cambridge, MA; Saint Paul, MN; and Arlington, VA (technically not a city, but works for these purposes).

So I have the following questions for people.

1. Which secondary city in an MSA has an identity which is most distinctive from that of the core city, and does not merely come across as a random stretch of suburbia which happens to be incorporated?

2. Are there any secondary cities which actually outshine the core city in the MSA?

3. Although general, feel free to suggest which secondary city is the "best" overall as well.
I'm not even sure what Pittsburgh's would be. What would you pick? McKeesport, Washington, Greensburg, Cranberry, Monroeville? None would be big enough to be a major city by itself.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Cleveland
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Technically Akron is part of Cleveland's CSA, not MSA, but there is a lot of commuter traffic and interaction between the two, and they are both definitive separate cities. Lorain-Elyria is part of the Cleveland MSA, and they together do comprise a separate entity, with their own industry, history, etc.
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:08 AM
 
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Norfolk, VA fits the bill here. Technically VA Beach is the largest city in the metro, but Norfolk is the traditional, historic primary urban center of the Hampton Roads metro.
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:46 AM
 
Location: 304
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In some smaller cities in WV you have examples like

South Charleston/Charleston
Vienna/Parkersburg
Bridgeport/Clarksburg
Barboursville/Huntington
Princeton/Bluefield
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
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Long Beach to Los Angeles
Pasadena to Los Angeles
Santa Monica to Los Angeles

(plus a host of smaller little fiefdoms in LA County)
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speagles84 View Post
I'm not even sure what Pittsburgh's would be. What would you pick? McKeesport, Washington, Greensburg, Cranberry, Monroeville? None would be big enough to be a major city by itself.
Pittsburgh annexed its second city when it absorbed Allegheny City. McKeesport probably is closest historically, although it has gone through steep decline. I think Penn Hills is actually the second-largest municipality in the County, but at 42,000 it ain't big.
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Old 04-30-2014, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Northeast Suburbs of PITTSBURGH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Pittsburgh annexed its second city when it absorbed Allegheny City. McKeesport probably is closest historically, although it has gone through steep decline. I think Penn Hills is actually the second-largest municipality in the County, but at 42,000 it ain't big.
That was so long ago, Allegheny never got the opportunity to grow that much before it was absorbed. Penn Hills is the 2nd largest, but the largest in the metro is Hempfield Township in Westmoreland which has ~45,000 I believe. Combined with Greensburg, it would be ~60,000 which still isn't a St. Paul, Oakland, or Fort Worth.
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:50 PM
 
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Ann Arbor comes to mind.
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