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View Poll Results: Is Philadelphia more urban than Chicago?
More urban 46 24.60%
Less urban 100 53.48%
About the same/don't know/don't care 41 21.93%
Voters: 187. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-09-2015, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
183 posts, read 166,762 times
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Based on news and Census estimates it seems that Philly is rapidly growing in population while Chicago is stagnant or still shrinking (city limits only). Also, the urban fabric of Philly looks denser and more seamless than Chicago's messed up layout with freeways and empty space separating downtown from the rest of the city. But a lot of people on this forum seem to believe that Chicago is denser and more urban than Philadelphia even if Google Earth images show the contrary.
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:35 PM
 
2,601 posts, read 3,898,303 times
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According to City Data information, density for each city:

Philadelphia - 11,497
Chicago - 11,970
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Center City, Philadelphia
4,559 posts, read 2,518,803 times
Reputation: 2857
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_curious_urbanist View Post
Based on news and Census estimates it seems that Philly is rapidly growing in population while Chicago is stagnant or still shrinking (city limits only). Also, the urban fabric of Philly looks denser and more seamless than Chicago's messed up layout with freeways and empty space separating downtown from the rest of the city. But a lot of people on this forum seem to believe that Chicago is denser and more urban than Philadelphia even if Google Earth images show the contrary.
I love philly about as much as the other philly posters on this forum, but I am confused on where you are getting this idea that it is "rapidly growing". That just isn't true.. In terms of urban. Yeah probably would give the edge to philly for the miles of row houses making up a majority of the city even though Chicago has a much bigger core of skyscrapers and highrises. It isnt like Philly didn't try to build freeways with the vine street expressway. I think Philly could learn something from Chicago in terms of making those types of areas look nice.
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
183 posts, read 166,762 times
Reputation: 107
Actually Chicago should learn from Philly on how to reduce crime and not letting neighborhoods on the south and west sides turn into urban prairie. Philly hardly has any urban prairies even though there are some abandoned rowhouses and industrial buildings here and there.
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:48 PM
 
2,601 posts, read 3,898,303 times
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Oh good, another Chicago basher. But, you did notice Chicago has a little more density, right?
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Center City, Philadelphia
4,559 posts, read 2,518,803 times
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PlanPhilly | DVRPC authorizes study for capping I-95, gets funding for bike trails from William Penn

This would be my dream project for Philly. You got admit it looks somewhat similar to Chicagos waterfront. Also all the towers going up along the other River is somewhat similar to the Chicago design. Outside of the Downtowns though, I am pretty sure Philly will always be more urban just because of the building style. Idk what Urban Praries are, but I do know that Urban Farming is definitely growing in popularity around here.
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Old 04-09-2015, 09:45 PM
 
Location: New York City
4,864 posts, read 4,504,217 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtypirate View Post
PlanPhilly | DVRPC authorizes study for capping I-95, gets funding for bike trails from William Penn

This would be my dream project for Philly. You got admit it looks somewhat similar to Chicagos waterfront. Also all the towers going up along the other River is somewhat similar to the Chicago design. Outside of the Downtowns though, I am pretty sure Philly will always be more urban just because of the building style. Idk what Urban Praries are, but I do know that Urban Farming is definitely growing in popularity around here.
Lol, an urban prairie is when a lot of buildings have been demolished and green space takes over, like a ghost town feel. Very common in the badlands of Detroit, St. Louis and Chicago.

Philly does not have. There are plenty of abandoned rowhomes, but there are hardly any areas void of structures that aren't designated parks.
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Old 04-10-2015, 06:13 AM
 
1,709 posts, read 1,565,124 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_curious_urbanist View Post
Actually Chicago should learn from Philly on how to reduce crime and not letting neighborhoods on the south and west sides turn into urban prairie. Philly hardly has any urban prairies even though there are some abandoned rowhouses and industrial buildings here and there.
Well Philly has let a lot of its northern neighborhoods rot, so I don't thibk Philly has much to "teach" Chicago on that
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Old 04-10-2015, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
11,899 posts, read 10,985,220 times
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Last time we had a thread like this, it went on for dozens of pages.

I think the bottom line is that Philadelphia is overall (discounting blight) more uniformly densely built across its entire city limits.

Still, Chicago is 70% larger by land area. So an argument can be made that if you took out the much more suburban fringes of Chicago, Chicago would be more urban. Certainly Chicago has a more intensely developed core in and around the Loop than Center City is in Philadelphia.
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Old 04-10-2015, 07:48 AM
 
919 posts, read 833,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_curious_urbanist View Post
Based on news and Census estimates it seems that Philly is rapidly growing in population while Chicago is stagnant or still shrinking (city limits only). Also, the urban fabric of Philly looks denser and more seamless than Chicago's messed up layout with freeways and empty space separating downtown from the rest of the city. But a lot of people on this forum seem to believe that Chicago is denser and more urban than Philadelphia even if Google Earth images show the contrary.
Chicago grew in the 90s, while Philly declined. In the 2000s the population trends were reversed.

From 2010 to 2013, Chicago grew 0.9%. Philly grew 1.8% in that time period. So both cities have been seeing fairly slow population growth with much faster growth in their cores.
Chicago (city) QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau
Philadelphia (city) QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau


As to the idea that Philly is more urban, I will grant you that Philly has a more consistent density with lots of tightly packed row houses. However, Chicago is built differently. It has more spaced out flats with small yards and then lots of peak density in their apartment buildings. Overall Chicago's density is a little higher than Philly and the city has over 1 million more people. So I'm inclined to argue that Chicago is more urban, despite maybe having a less urban looking vernacular. Chicago's commercial corridors are where the size difference really stands out. Chicago has a lot more commercial activity in its neighborhoods than Philly does. (Not saying that Philly has no activity, just that Chicago has more).
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