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Old 05-10-2015, 03:21 PM
Status: "Ready for Fall" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Atlanta
4,645 posts, read 3,017,092 times
Reputation: 3862

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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Looking through all of those on the streetview level, none of them look like what I would call an urban neighborhood. Fairlie-Popular clearly has old buildings, but it looks to be mainly commercial (which would make sense as an old CBD). Castleberry Hill also looks urban, but doesn't appear to have residential housing stock which isn't modern infill - only the commercial storefronts seem old.
The proof that your definition of urban is 'out there.'

ALL of the above street level space of 99% of the buildings in Fairlie-Poplar and Castleberry Hill is residential.

Anyone that claims Fairlie-Poplar isn't urban is either extremely biased against Atlanta for some reason, or totally clueless as to what 'urban' means.

http://www.castleberryhill.org/

http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/atlanta/fai.htm
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
5,789 posts, read 6,345,713 times
Reputation: 3123
No doubt Atlanta has urban areas and you're either very prejudiced or ignorant if you think otherwise. I certainly understand an argument for considering overall urbanity of a city or metro as a whole (for which Atlanta is also improving but would fall very far down the list), but to think there are no urban areas in Atlanta is silly.
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:55 PM
 
98 posts, read 93,319 times
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Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:20 AM
 
11,015 posts, read 21,576,918 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivory Lee Spurlock View Post
How did you decide Houston is not urban? There's over 2,000,000 people in Houston and close to 7,000,000 in the metro area and closing in on Chi-town. Now, if that ain't urban, then what is it ? Rural? Country?
Suburban sprawl for the most part. Chicago has a ton of suburban sprawl, it has more people in the suburbs alone than the entire Houston metro area has people - but Chicago also has millions in the very dense built up sections of the city. That dense area of the city is where the two metro areas differ. Then it all just comes down to personal taste. To each their own.
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
11,907 posts, read 10,999,570 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMatl View Post
Then your definition of urban is extremely narrow. Atlanta is loaded with wonderful streetcar hoods that are extremely popular, and many are experiencing unprecedented infill. There are rowhomes, old & LOTS of new apartment buildings, and a ton of single family homes - many of the craftsman/Victorian/Georgian variety.

I have a feeling your sense of urban leans more towards Brooklyn & parts of Philly. Sorry, but that is not the norm Nationally for 'urban.' And we like it that way here. We have a mixture of all of it.
I realize urban is a subjective thing. I also realize that it is a spectrum, not a yes/no. Things do not instantly translate from urban to suburban.

That said, I am sorry, but I simply do not think that neighborhoods, even if close in to a city core, which are mainly detached single-family housing, set back 10-15 feet back from the street, with wide gaps between the houses which allows for driveways (even if they weren't there originally) are urban. Most older neighborhoods like this nationwide were constructed as streetcar suburbs - with emphasis on the latter. I consider streetcar suburbs preferable to the modern form, but they still are functionally suburbs. They were built out as largely residential areas - in some cases with a commercial main street, but often without. They were not true mixed-use areas, because residents were expected to commute via streetcar elsewhere (often to the CBD) to work. Thus they lack a lot of the eclectic elements of earlier, urban neighborhoods - the free interspersing of houses and storefronts, of institutional buildings and factories.

Out of all of the areas of Atlanta I saw, I found Cabbagetown the most interesting. It was not incredibly urban feeling, but I liked that it was obviously built as a self-contained neighborhood for mill workers. It was very clearly designed first and foremost with pedestrians in mind.

Regardless, once again, the OP was asking for urban big cities. Atlanta may indeed have some urban-ish areas (more than many southern cities), but it's not, on the whole, a city someone looking for a "big city urban feel" would enjoy - at least IMHO.
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:11 AM
 
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I mean, Atlanta isn't an old urban city like that so it's not going to have blocks and blocks of old brick rowhouses like NYC , Philly, Chicago, Boston,D.C. or SF. Simple as that.

If they mean urban in it's most purest form, I'd have to go with Chicago or Philadelphia.
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Old 05-11-2015, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Michigan
4,571 posts, read 6,741,916 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMatl View Post
The proof that your definition of urban is 'out there.'

ALL of the above street level space of 99% of the buildings in Fairlie-Poplar and Castleberry Hill is residential.

Anyone that claims Fairlie-Poplar isn't urban is either extremely biased against Atlanta for some reason, or totally clueless as to what 'urban' means.

Castleberry Hill | Atlanta's Historic Creative District

Fairlie--Poplar Historic District--Atlanta: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary
To me, the issue isn't that it's urban, but that for such a large metropolitan area, this is a pretty small and unsubstantial neighborhood.

In what are typically considered big cities, neighborhoods that are that small could have upwards of 50,000-100,000 residents. Big cities have a sense of people literally crowded into small areas and practically living on top of each other.

That neighborhood in Pittsburgh is what I would call light-urban or a transition urban area that is usually a good distance from the downtown area and nearer to more suburban areas. But it doesn't seem like it's really crowded enough to get a sense of it being an area with high population.
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Old 05-12-2015, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Sandy Springs (ATL)
1,871 posts, read 2,209,629 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivory Lee Spurlock View Post
How did you decide Houston is not urban? There's over 2,000,000 people in Houston and close to 7,000,000 in the metro area and closing in on Chi-town. Now, if that ain't urban, then what is it ? Rural? Country?
I see that your question to me has been addressed by a few other posters, but to reiterate their comments and to be clear, I wasn't referring to city population but rather urban core and walkability. Yes, Houston has 2.2 million residents...but the great majority of that population is stretched out over 600 miles of land area. Its a tremendous sprawl of a city.
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Old 05-12-2015, 02:41 PM
 
27,752 posts, read 24,774,360 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Regardless, once again, the OP was asking for urban big cities. Atlanta may indeed have some urban-ish areas (more than many southern cities), but it's not, on the whole, a city someone looking for a "big city urban feel" would enjoy - at least IMHO.
More specifically, the OP was asking about affordable urban big cities. This is why Atlanta got a few mentions, as the most urban cities tend to not be as affordable. As has been mentioned, Chicago and Philadelphia have the best bang for your buck in that regard, but after them, it's not so farfetched to consider Atlanta especially considering how it is currently urbanizing.
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Old 05-12-2015, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
327 posts, read 238,356 times
Reputation: 276
Great points by all, and good debate. The three in question are my top 3 choices. Transit in Chicago and Philly are top-notch and I wish Atlanta would get more, but that doesn't seem it's going to happen soon rather than later.

It would be Chicago by a mile but it's too close to my hometown (Milwaukee)!!!
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