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Old 03-21-2015, 05:51 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
29,629 posts, read 65,711,627 times
Reputation: 15101

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
Then honestly, their complaints are pretty worthless and they seem to be complaining just for the sake of doing so. They can't offer something better and they're certainly not willing to stick their own necks out and post something different.

My point is that the water/geography issue did not show up in the results as far as I can tell, at least not to the degree people are assuming. It may adjust population numbers a bit, but again, that is offset by the increased density of those geographically limited areas. The cities that were most "punished" by the ranking were those with larger than average city boundaries or lower densities, not those by water, mountains or any other landscape. So yeah, not getting worked up, but I do find it really annoying that people keep claiming something that really isn't supported by the results.
In any event I just wanted to let you know I really truly appreciated the time and effort you expended into bringing us this wonderful analysis! Don't let the critics dissuade you from future endeavors, either.

Pretty much every city has some sort of geographical handicap to a certain extent. On paper my own city of Pittsburgh, for example, looks landlocked, and, therefore, capable of easy growth in all directions from our dense CBD. With that being said our terrain is very mountainous (there's a reason for that much-lauded skyline view from Mt. Washington) and a lot of land very near to the CBD is unable to be developed because of how steeply it is graded topographically. Look up Canton Avenue, for example, to see just how steep certain parts of this city are. San Francisco is certainly hilly as well, but their hills tend to be more gently rolling, and, therefore, conducive to development, unlike Pittsburgh's cliffs and mountains.

I, for one, appreciated this insight. I look forward to the counter-analyses from the butt-hurt residents on here from Seattle and San Francisco. I'm inclined to agree that geographical limitations can actually increase density, as the CBD becomes smaller, and, therefore, has higher property values that encourage more high-rise development. Pittsburgh, if I'm not mistaken, has around 100,000 jobs in an ultra-dense area of around 0.5 square miles that is tightly-constrained between two large rivers and a major freeway in a tiny pizza wedge. If the rivers and freeway were not there to "tighten" development within the CBD, then high-rise development, and, therefore, density, would probably be penalized as there would be little incentive to build upwards.
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Old 03-21-2015, 10:36 AM
 
Location: The big blue yonder...
1,993 posts, read 2,928,617 times
Reputation: 1003
This is an AWESOME study you've done. GREAT list. Kudos
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Old 03-21-2015, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Baghdad by the Bay (San Francisco, California)
3,530 posts, read 4,096,597 times
Reputation: 3145
It is an interesting exercise and I appreciate the effort put into it as well. Unfortunately it doesn't correct for what is still the biggest outlier in the relative population/urban structure discussion we have on CD: San Francisco and the Bay Area in general.

It has nothing to do with being "butt-hurt". It's about geography. If you plot a point in the center of SF and draw an 8-mile radius, you hit water at about 3.5-4 miles in virtually every direction, with no change in how the effective city limits are understood, except for a thin strip of developed area toward South City and Daly City (which accounts for your noted 150,000 or so increase in population) next to a ridge that cannot be developed.

True, there are several instances where a big swath of a city's 200 square miles would be water. But in the case of SF, about 2/3 of the circle is water and mountains and there is almost no correction for the condition the exercise set out to study.

So, great exercise, well done. But it still doesn't correct for the core Bay Area, which has well over 7,000,000 in a sprawling contiguous urbanized area that, absent a huge uninhabitable geographic feature, would fit in the footprint of a typical city of about 3-4 million.
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Old 03-21-2015, 04:47 PM
 
1,024 posts, read 1,138,208 times
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I think it is cool that DC would be #5 in the country. It really shows how so many people underestimate the importance of DC & its influence just because people think it isn't that big population wise, but forget it is also geographically tiny.
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Old 03-22-2015, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Mexico City, formerly Columbus, Ohio
12,793 posts, read 12,771,684 times
Reputation: 5461
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalparadise View Post
It is an interesting exercise and I appreciate the effort put into it as well. Unfortunately it doesn't correct for what is still the biggest outlier in the relative population/urban structure discussion we have on CD: San Francisco and the Bay Area in general.

It has nothing to do with being "butt-hurt". It's about geography. If you plot a point in the center of SF and draw an 8-mile radius, you hit water at about 3.5-4 miles in virtually every direction, with no change in how the effective city limits are understood, except for a thin strip of developed area toward South City and Daly City (which accounts for your noted 150,000 or so increase in population) next to a ridge that cannot be developed.

True, there are several instances where a big swath of a city's 200 square miles would be water. But in the case of SF, about 2/3 of the circle is water and mountains and there is almost no correction for the condition the exercise set out to study.

So, great exercise, well done. But it still doesn't correct for the core Bay Area, which has well over 7,000,000 in a sprawling contiguous urbanized area that, absent a huge uninhabitable geographic feature, would fit in the footprint of a typical city of about 3-4 million.
80% of the current city boundary is water now, which is a bit over 185 square miles. I assume you have the same issue with it.

The only way I can see at least attempting to solve this entire issue is looking at census tracts (or even blocks) for land only, adding up their square mileage and trying to find a similar size for every city working out from the downtown areas. That would take a ton of work, and even after all that, no one would be happy with the results, for whatever reason. Who would be dumb enough to do all that just to get a similar reaction?
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Old 03-22-2015, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
2,945 posts, read 3,605,390 times
Reputation: 3248
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
In any event I just wanted to let you know I really truly appreciated the time and effort you expended into bringing us this wonderful analysis! Don't let the critics dissuade you from future endeavors, either.

Pretty much every city has some sort of geographical handicap to a certain extent. On paper my own city of Pittsburgh, for example, looks landlocked, and, therefore, capable of easy growth in all directions from our dense CBD. With that being said our terrain is very mountainous (there's a reason for that much-lauded skyline view from Mt. Washington) and a lot of land very near to the CBD is unable to be developed because of how steeply it is graded topographically. Look up Canton Avenue, for example, to see just how steep certain parts of this city are. San Francisco is certainly hilly as well, but their hills tend to be more gently rolling, and, therefore, conducive to development, unlike Pittsburgh's cliffs and mountains.

I, for one, appreciated this insight. I look forward to the counter-analyses from the butt-hurt residents on here from Seattle and San Francisco. I'm inclined to agree that geographical limitations can actually increase density, as the CBD becomes smaller, and, therefore, has higher property values that encourage more high-rise development. Pittsburgh, if I'm not mistaken, has around 100,000 jobs in an ultra-dense area of around 0.5 square miles that is tightly-constrained between two large rivers and a major freeway in a tiny pizza wedge. If the rivers and freeway were not there to "tighten" development within the CBD, then high-rise development, and, therefore, density, would probably be penalized as there would be little incentive to build upwards.
Feel free to read the first few pages of this thread. I already mathematically demonstrated how inaccurate OP's calculations are. It's arbitrary to use a radial calculation to measure population because such a calculation ONLY works for a city with its population at the center of the circle and for cities that aren't placed beside water.

The fact is that OP's calculations entirely miscalculate both Seattle and San Francisco.
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Old 03-22-2015, 04:55 PM
 
4,989 posts, read 4,494,886 times
Reputation: 4569
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
It seems to me that many people really want to use the whole geographic/water thing as an excuse and don't even bother to look at the before and after ranking. Notice that of all but one of the cities that fell in the ranking have no significant water or other geographic issue nearby. Every other city with water moved up. Miami went up, not down. The people who see water as a problem with the ranking are wrong, period.

And you're also missing another point. The ranking wasn't meant to reproduce the total population of any city within its current boundary, but within the same standardized area. NY didn't lose 2 million because of water. It lost it because, even if you leave out the water, the land area within the city is still 100 square miles over the average and still 100 square miles over the standard size used for this ranking. NY, however, is still easily the biggest city with this ranking and likely would be at any square mileage.

The bold is not true. Almost the entire NW quadrant of Nashville is pretty much undevelopable due to the terrain. It doesn't pop on a map like an ocean, but it still keeps that area from being developed.

So one of the fastest growing cities in the country falls off the list because of arbitrary qualifications, which to me, makes this useless.

Nashville, Tenn. - 10 fastest growing cities - CNNMoney
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:50 PM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
11,550 posts, read 17,918,021 times
Reputation: 10691
City Population Rank If All The Same Size-screen-shot-2015-03-22-9.46.29This is what Miami's 8 mile radius looks like.
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Old 03-22-2015, 11:10 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
2,945 posts, read 3,605,390 times
Reputation: 3248
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnc2mbfl View Post
Attachment 146697This is what Miami's 8 mile radius looks like.
Funny how just looking at an image of the radius shows how ridiculous it is to use a radial measurement to calculate actual city population sizes.
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Old 03-22-2015, 11:17 PM
 
Location: Center City, Philadelphia
4,561 posts, read 2,529,141 times
Reputation: 2862
Quote:
Originally Posted by GatsbyGatz View Post
Funny how just looking at an image of the radius shows how ridiculous it is to use a radial measurement to calculate actual city population sizes.
OP already stated it isn't perfect and he used a big enough radius that it did give a little better of a picture compared to the actual arbitrary city boundaries. As others have stated if someone really wants to put in the time, go through all the census tracks and add the populations up for a certain standard size.
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