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Old 04-21-2015, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
11,899 posts, read 10,985,220 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
Okay, but it's still part of the downtown area. Can't really go off feelings.
It's not going off feelings.

In most of the country "Downtown" means the Central Business District, which is an area with office towers, civic structures, sports stadiums, hotels, and a peppering of historic smaller scale buildings like midrises and old Victorian storefronts. Dedicated residential was almost totally expunged, except for a few buildings, in the mid 20th century, although in recent years it has come back in many CBDs in the form of conversions of older commercial buildings and residential towers. Downtowns are often ringed by highways which block off pedestrian connections to nearby neighborhoods. Even when these are lacking, typically a no-man's land of warehouses and parking lots separates it from the nearest intact ring of residential neighborhoods.

Philly, as I said, was quite different because there is no division between the "CBD" and the remainder of the city. Philadelphia used to have height restrictions similar to DC. Until 1968, there were only four buildings in the city which were over 400 feet tall. Although highrises eventually began to be built in increasing numbers, the suburbs gained a large proportion of office jobs which have never been clawed back. Philly increased the number of jobs in the city proper for the first time in 30 years in 2014, but it still only had 667,000 jobs in 2014. Philly only has one job for every 2.34 people. Over here on the other side of the state, Pittsburgh has typically had around one job per resident - plenty of people still commute into the city from the suburbs for work, and relatively few need to reverse commute outside of the city for employment.

The bottom line is, up until the last few decades, there was not a strong demand for office space in Downtown Philly compared to other metros. Therefore Center City remained to a significant degree a residential area - much more similar to the cores of many historic European cities than anything in the U.S. This is to Philly's credit - I wish America had more cities like Philadelphia. But still, due to unique historical circumstances, Philly had a huge headstart in terms of "downtown" residential population. Other cities cannot match this because they destroyed their downtown residential neighborhoods, and residential conversions a highrises cannot drown out the commercial demand unless a city goes crazy with incentives like Vancouver did.

The bottom line is comparing Philly to Chicago is an apples to oranges comparison. Chicago couldn't build a neighborhood like Rittenhouse Square next to Downtown now even if it wanted to.

Last edited by eschaton; 04-21-2015 at 10:15 AM..
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:16 AM
 
2,253 posts, read 2,560,496 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_curious_urbanist View Post
The difference is Center City transitions seamlessly to other neighborhoods, where in other cities there would be a freeway or water separating things.
That's certainly true in Chicago. But I'd still say it has a bigger downtown. The definition for downtown Philadelphia is quite a large area of 7 square miles.
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Chicago
589 posts, read 583,206 times
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Well the loop is mostly comercial so.
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:50 AM
 
Location: River North, Chicago, Illinois
4,365 posts, read 6,243,492 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
Having a larger skyline doesn't automatically mean it has a larger downtown. Skylines can go far beyond downtown areas(as Chicago is a great example of that). Chicago's downtown is great but it's smaller than Philly's downtown area. It doesn't make Chicago any less of a city but it is what it is.
Comparing downtown daytime population as opposed to residential population would be interesting. I'm guessing Chicago would be double Philly in that measure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
...
Downtown/Center City Philadelphia population: 183,000
Downtown Chicago population (Loop, Near North Side, Near South Side): 131,673
Loop-29,283
Near North Side- 80,484
Near South Side- 21,390
...
As you can see, downtown Philadelphia is clearly more populated than downtown Chicago.
I'm not disagreeing, but I will point out that you left off any part of the Near West side, parts of which would be considered downtown. Philly can have its central area population - there's no way it would ever catch up to Chicago in terms of hotels, retail space and office space in that same area. Residential population is just one prong of (at least) four prongs relevant to a downtown area.
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Windsor Ontario
1,454 posts, read 1,207,962 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_curious_urbanist View Post
Center City Philly is more vibrant than Lower Manhattan and a lot more vibrant than Downtown Chicago. It still needs to catch up to Midtown, though.
Please just stop!!!
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:12 AM
 
Location: River North, Chicago, Illinois
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So "Greater Center City" is 7.7 square miles, which is roughly analogous to what Chicago calls it's "Central Area," which I think is a little over 8 square miles.

In 2007, the Central Area in Chicago had 165,000 people and has been rapidly growing since then. As of 2010, the projections for Central Area population in 2020 were between 215,000 and 230,000 and I think it's likely to hit those numbers. I would be surprised if the Central Area population in Chicago was below 180,000 today - in other words, comparable to Philly's Greater Center City. The biggest difference seems to be that Philly just released an up-to-date report on the area, whereas Chicago's "Central Area Action Plan" was last updated in 2010, after initially being created in 2003.

If you'd like to see Chicago's 2010 Central Area Action Plan, the summary is here, and you can see the full report here. Compared to Philly's report on the Greater Center City, the populations of the areas are comparable both in numbers and economic demographics, but Chicago has far more employment, hotels, and retail in its Central Area.
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
8,385 posts, read 9,945,414 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
The bottom line is, up until the last few decades, there was not a strong demand for office space in Downtown Philly compared to other metros. Therefore Center City remained to a significant degree a residential area - much more similar to the cores of many historic European cities than anything in the U.S. This is to Philly's credit - I wish America had more cities like Philadelphia. But still, due to unique historical circumstances, Philly had a huge headstart in terms of "downtown" residential population. Other cities cannot match this because they destroyed their downtown residential neighborhoods, and residential conversions a highrises cannot drown out the commercial demand unless a city goes crazy with incentives like Vancouver did.

The bottom line is comparing Philly to Chicago is an apples to oranges comparison. Chicago couldn't build a neighborhood like Ritttenhouse Square next to Downtown now even if it wanted to.
You can't hold that against Philly because that's just how the city is built. Downtown is downtown. Just because both cities downtown areas aren't exactly the same, doesn't mean they can't be compared at all.
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
8,385 posts, read 9,945,414 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emathias View Post
So "Greater Center City" is 7.7 square miles, which is roughly analogous to what Chicago calls it's "Central Area," which I think is a little over 8 square miles.

In 2007, the Central Area in Chicago had 165,000 people and has been rapidly growing since then. As of 2010, the projections for Central Area population in 2020 were between 215,000 and 230,000 and I think it's likely to hit those numbers. I would be surprised if the Central Area population in Chicago was below 180,000 today - in other words, comparable to Philly's Greater Center City. The biggest difference seems to be that Philly just released an up-to-date report on the area, whereas Chicago's "Central Area Action Plan" was last updated in 2010, after initially being created in 2003.

If you'd like to see Chicago's 2010 Central Area Action Plan, the summary is here, and you can see the full report here. Compared to Philly's report on the Greater Center City, the populations of the areas are comparable both in numbers and economic demographics, but Chicago has far more employment, hotels, and retail in its Central Area.
"Greater Center City" vs "The Loop, Near North side, Near South Side" seems pretty fair to me.
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:16 AM
 
Location: East Central Pennsylvania/ Chicago for 6yrs.
2,539 posts, read 2,309,582 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
Just to clear up any speculation involving the population statistics.

Downtown/Center City Philadelphia population: 183,000
Downtown Chicago population (Loop, Near North Side, Near South Side): 131,673
Loop-29,283
Near North Side- 80,484
Near South Side- 21,390
Map of the different sections in Chicago.
West Side, Chicago - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
As you can see, downtown Philadelphia is clearly more populated than downtown Chicago.
You created a NEW thread on Philly downtown passing Chicago. But I will start here.
Chicago as the metro area with the largest numeric increase in “downtown” population between 2000 and 2010.
For purposes of the report, the Census Bureau defined “downtown” as the area within a 2-mile radius of the location of the city hall in the principal city in a metropolitan area.

FIRST - Chicago’s downtown population grew from 133,426 to 181,714, an increase of 48,288 or 36.2%. New York came in second with a population increase of 37,422, followed by Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, DC. Chicago had largest downtown population growth from 2000 to 2010

So it was already over 181,000 in 2010 here AND IT IS USING THE CITIES CITY HALL AS ITS CENTRAL POINT. NOT DOWNTOWNS INCLUDING NEIGHBORHOODS THAT LOOK NOTHING LIKE A DOWNTOWN. THEREFORE IT KEEPS CITIES STANDARDIZED. THIS IS ALSO THE GOVERNMENT

SECOND- this is Chicago CITY official sight declaring its downtown boundaries.
http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/doit/dataset/boundaries_-_centralbusinessdistrict.html

PHILLY HAS TOTALLY ROW HOME NEIGHBORHOODS AS PART OF ITS DOWNTOWN???? BECAUSE IT WAS FOR A COUPLE HUNDRED YEARS. BUT IT SURELY DOES NOT LOOK LIKE A DOWNTOWN?

Chicago use to have JUST THE LOOP AS DOWNTOWN. IT ADDED THE NEAR NORTH AS WARRENTED AND NEAR EAST. BECAUSE IT EVOLVED TO SKYSCRAPERS HOTELS AND SHOPPING AS A DOWNTOWN.

THEN IT ADDED RIVER NORTH... HAVING LOFTS AND SKYSCRAPERS ALONG WITH MANY HOTELS TOO. IT BECAME WARRENTED TO BE PART IF A OFFICAL ..."LOOKING TOO"... PART OF DOWNTOWN.

I SAY... IT'S TIME TO ADD THE GOLD COAST AND LINCOLN PARK NEIGHBORHOOD TO LINCOLN PARK? TO DOWNTOWN CHICAGO OFFICIALLY????

THAT WOULD THEN INCLUDE... MY FOURTH PICTURE AND 1/2 OF THE FIFTH PICTURE
PHILLY HAS TOTALLY COLONIAL HOME AREAS AND ROW HOME NEIGHBORHOODS AS PART OF ITS DOWNTOWN? SO CHICAGO NEEDS TO ADD THE GOLD COAST.

.................................................. ........................The REALITY IS THE GOLD
.. This area added ... Chicago's .... New Near East .. COAST IS NOT ADDED TO IT??
.. to downtown it ... Near North ... Side surely was . 1/2 HERE'S ((NOT) ..NONE HERE OR
.. surely has a lot ...Area added ... warranted to be . INCLUDED AS IN .....((ALL)) THIS IS NOT
.. of warrant to it... to downtown . be in downtown ..�� the downtown ... �� DOWNTOWN
Attached Thumbnails
Philadelphia surpasses Chicago as the 2nd largest downtown in the US!-chicago-river-north.-high-rise-loft   Philadelphia surpasses Chicago as the 2nd largest downtown in the US!-chicago-near-north-gold-coast-distance_.jpg   Philadelphia surpasses Chicago as the 2nd largest downtown in the US!-millennium-park-chicago-.jpg   Philadelphia surpasses Chicago as the 2nd largest downtown in the US!-chicago-gold-coast-downtown.jpg   Philadelphia surpasses Chicago as the 2nd largest downtown in the US!-lakeshore-drive-chicagos-gold-coast.jpg  

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Old 04-21-2015, 10:23 AM
 
Location: River North, Chicago, Illinois
4,365 posts, read 6,243,492 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
...
The bottom line is comparing Philly to Chicago is an apples to oranges comparison. Chicago couldn't build a neighborhood like Rittenhouse Square next to Downtown now even if it wanted to.
I'll admit I haven't been to Philly, but I have nothing against it. My mother really loves Philly and always wanted me to at least visit it, I just haven't gotten around to it. But looking on the maps and StreetView, Rittenhouse Square neighborhood seems quite similar to the southwest part of the Gold Coast area of Chicago, especially between between Clark St, Chicago Ave, Michigan Avenue and just north of Division Street.
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