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View Poll Results: Which downtown is the most urban and walkable?
Savannah 24 21.62%
DC 16 14.41%
Baltimore 5 4.50%
Philadelphia 66 59.46%
Voters: 111. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-05-2014, 10:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Frank Bones View Post
IMO, Philadelphia is more walkable than DC because the latter lacks a true urban core and is more nodally structured. DC has a lot of walkable areas but they arent seamlessly connected as they are in Philly.

Next time you're in Philly, you should walk along Walnut from Front Street to 40th. There really isn't any walk like that in DC.

Nah, DT DC's urban core is larger than DT Philly. You can basically walk from Bethesda to GTown thru DT DC to Capitol Hill to Columbia Hghts to Silver Spring.
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Old 05-05-2014, 08:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DC's Finest View Post
Nah, DT DC's urban core is larger than DT Philly. You can basically walk from Bethesda to GTown thru DT DC to Capitol Hill to Columbia Hghts to Silver Spring.
It may be larger but those walks aren't that exciting in parts. For an area to be an enjoyable walk IMO, you need high population densities and architecture that interacts with the street. DC only has pockets of that which are spread out: Columbia Heights, Adams Morgan, Capitol Hill, Georgetown, DuPont. In between walking to those locales, you have to go through areas that are pretty desolate, especially at night.
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Frank Bones View Post
It may be larger but those walks aren't that exciting in parts. For an area to be an enjoyable walk IMO, you need high population densities and architecture that interacts with the street. DC only has pockets of that which are spread out: Columbia Heights, Adams Morgan, Capitol Hill, Georgetown, DuPont. In between walking to those locales, you have to go through areas that are pretty desolate, especially at night.

So what desolate areas are in between Georgetown & Bethesda? Georgetown & Dupont Circle? Columbia Heights & Adams Morgan? Dupont Circle & Adams Morgan? Capitol Hill and Georgetown? Stop posting comments that make yourself look completely lost. In fact, I would put the architecture of these areas up against anything in Philly. Throw DT DC in the mix and you have a huge urban core.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by DC's Finest View Post
So what desolate areas are in between Georgetown & Bethesda? Georgetown & Dupont Circle? Columbia Heights & Adams Morgan? Dupont Circle & Adams Morgan? Capitol Hill and Georgetown? Stop posting comments that make yourself look completely lost. In fact, I would put the architecture of these areas up against anything in Philly. Throw DT DC in the mix and you have a huge urban core.
I've done a lot of those walks, there aren't many people walking on the sidewalks in between commercial areas in DC. And downtown DC empties out after the workday at night and on the weekends. Center City, on the other hand, is basically one large, contiguous commercial area. There are always people around because everything is so crammed together.

Regardless of your preferences, you have to admit that they are very different cities from the grid up. I would even venture to say that in terms of urban design, Savannah has more in common with Philadelphia than DC does.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
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Originally Posted by Frank Bones View Post
I've done a lot of those walks, there aren't many people walking on the sidewalks in between commercial areas in DC. And downtown DC empties out after the workday at night and on the weekends. Center City, on the other hand, is basically one large, contiguous commercial area. There are always people around because everything is so crammed together.

Regardless of your preferences, you have to admit that they are very different cities from the grid up. I would even venture to say that in terms of urban design, Savannah has more in common with Philadelphia than DC does.
The DT Philly v. DC comparison has been done before pretty extensively, but I'll comment again.

In short, you're exactly right. DC's downtown footprint is impressively large. However, in terms of peak urbanism, walkability, and pedestrian-level interaction, Philadelphia has the clear edge. Compared to Philly, DC's streets are much wider, the blocks are much bigger, and street walls are much more monotonous/less active -- making for a less intimate and inviting pedestrian experience.

I'm surprised no one has brought up walk score, either. This is the most empirical measure of walkability that exists, and while DC and Philly both have top-notch walkability, Philadelphia's score is a bit higher (#4 nationally in terms of big cities): Most Walkable Cities in the United States, Canada, and Australia on Walk Score
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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DC is more walkable insofar as the transition from downtown to adjacent areas is seamless. It's more similar to European cities with fully intact cores (not divided by highways and such) in this regard. Walkscore can't tell you that.

But Center City absolutely blows DTDC away. This has been covered, as Duderino said, many times before.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
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Originally Posted by DC's Finest View Post
. In fact, I would put the architecture of these areas up against anything in Philly. Throw DT DC in the mix and you have a huge urban core.
I will say that the architecture of DC's neighorhoods is stellar, and its rowhouse neighborhoods are much farther along in the revitalization/restoration stage than Philly. However, as I noted above, downtown DC can, at too many times, feel like an office ghetto that's way too focused on the 9-5 crowd.

Philly's strong point is that its downtown is much more seamlessly integrated with the rest of the city, and it just feels much more mixed-use and "lived-in."
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Duderino View Post
The DT Philly v. DC comparison has been done before pretty extensively, but I'll comment again.

In short, you're exactly right. DC's downtown footprint is impressively large. However, in terms of peak urbanism, walkability, and pedestrian-level interaction, Philadelphia has the clear edge. Compared to Philly, DC's streets are much wider, the blocks are much bigger, and street walls are much more monotonous/less active -- making for a less intimate and inviting pedestrian experience.

I'm surprised no one has brought up walk score, either. This is the most empirical measure of walkability that exists, and while DC and Philly both have top-notch walkability, Philadelphia's score is a bit higher (#4 nationally in terms of big cities): Most Walkable Cities in the United States, Canada, and Australia on Walk Score
I'm not disputing anything that you are stating. both Philly and DC are very walkable. Philly may be more walkable for all i know, however, you cannot tell me that there isn't any pedestrain level activity in the areas I mentioned. I would put Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan against anything that Philly has to offer for intimacy, architecture, nightlife, vibrancy and urbanism. What wide blocks are running through these areas? Duderino, i thought you knew DC but apparently you don't. Frank Bones should be disqualified for posting that desolate comment.
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,277 posts, read 7,210,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DC's Finest View Post
I'm not disputing anything that you are stating. both Philly and DC are very walkable. Philly may be more walkable for all i know, however, you cannot tell me that there isn't any pedestrain level activity in the areas I mentioned. I would put Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan against anything that Philly has to offer for intimacy, architecture, nightlife, vibrancy and urbanism. What wide blocks are running through these areas? Duderino, i thought you knew DC but apparently you don't. Frank Bones should be disqualified for posting that desolate comment.
For the "neighborhoods" of DC, you're right. Georgetown, Dupont, Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan are super vibrant and are much more comparable to areas you'd find in Center City. However, the "large blocks" comment refers to the office district of the city -- areas with block long office buildings tend to dominate much of the downtown. Do you think that is off-base?
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Duderino View Post
For the "neighborhoods" of DC, you're right. Georgetown, Dupont, Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan are super vibrant and are much more comparable to areas you'd find in Center City. However, the "large blocks" comment refers to the office district of the city -- areas with block long office buildings tend to dominate much of the downtown. Do you think that is off-base?
Yes and no. DT is huge so the parts that most people stereotype about are only along the mall. Areas like 14th street, 7th & H (Gallery Place) are just as vibrant day and night as anything in CC. I went to a Cinco de Mayo bar crawl during the day on Saturday. It was packed all along Connecticut avenue, south of Dupont Circle and along M street.
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