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Old 07-18-2017, 03:40 AM
 
Location: California x North Carolina (soon)...
3,309 posts, read 2,238,620 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sav858 View Post
Density isn't necessarily the best way to judge "urbanity". Just because a city is denser doesn't mean it's more walkable or urban.
Quote:
Originally Posted by annie_himself View Post
Density doesn't necessarily have anything to do with urbanity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhays25 View Post
Agreed that density doesn't automatically mean urbanity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward234 View Post
My answer would be yes, they do get passes that probably aren't warranted, but there's a reason for that.

Structural density, old school architecture, and road width go a long way towards making a place feel more urban and more pedestrian friendly.
@btown

This is what I've continually said to you in other threads regarding Buffalo's urbanity versus other cities. It is behind some, but not all, peer cities, in regards to urbanity precisely because density does not equal urbanity...
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Old 07-18-2017, 05:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
@btown

This is what I've continually said to you in other threads regarding Buffalo's urbanity versus other cities. It is behind some, but not all, peer cities, in regards to urbanity precisely because density does not equal urbanity...
What I think those posts are saying is that while those cities may have lost people within cities limits, they still have an urban built environment that gives those cities a more urban feel in comparison.

Again, this all goes back to what I said about where(key word) the density goes within these legacy cities. It isn't necessarily "even" density around the Downtown area due to land feature and neighborhood decline aspects. However, if you go from say Downtown Buffalo to anywhere west of Main Street to about east of/along Richmond Avenue or so even into adjacent first ring suburbs, you will notice an area of more consistent population density and development.

People forget that some of the first ring(think older) suburbs of legacy cities can be continuations of the density of the core city based upon the direction of higher density in that area. That is why legacy city suburbs like Kenmore(Buffalo), Dormont(Pittsburgh), Hamtramck(Detroit) and Lakewood(Cleveland) are in or are very close to being the top 100 for population density for incorporated municipalities in the United States. That could indicate the direction of highest density in legacy city areas.

Some more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...lation_density

Mapping the Nation

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 07-18-2017 at 06:02 AM..
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Old 07-18-2017, 05:40 AM
 
8,637 posts, read 8,771,906 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
@btown

This is what I've continually said to you in other threads regarding Buffalo's urbanity versus other cities. It is behind some, but not all, peer cities, in regards to urbanity precisely because density does not equal urbanity...
But if you look at google maps both areas are densish SFH on a street grid, they are the same kind of area with similar density, it's not like it's towers in a park vs rowhomes.
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Old 07-18-2017, 07:37 AM
_OT
 
Location: Miami
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Quote:
But the perceptions are kind of opposite, Austin is seen as a sprawl heavy city, while Cleveland is lauded for its urbanity and density.

Midwest cities like Cleveland, Detroit, Cincinnati or Kansas City are closer to Austin or Charlotte in core density than Providence or Baltimore.
Um, have you've been to Charlotte or Austin? They both have more Population Density because of the vertical growth. When it comes to Urbanity and Overall Density period, they both severely lack in those areas.
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gladhands View Post
A lot of rust bell cities have density of built form, but lack population density. You can pack a pot of people into suburban-style apartment complexes without creating any real urbanity.
Indeed, built density and population density don't have much in common.

For example, out of Midwestern cities, I would say that the remaining 19th century core of Cincinnati (mostly Over-The-Rhine) is probably structurally denser than anywhere outside of Chicago. On the other hand, although it's growing in population, it's still not very dense, with the census block with the highest density only around 16,000 PPSM.

In contrast, Milwaukee has more high-density census blocks than any other city in the Midwest bar Chicago. But much of that density is in the mostly Hispanic South Side, and due to large household sizes. The South Side of Milwaukee looks like this. The census block with that streetview - 27,000 PPSM.
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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In terms of overall urbanity in the rust belt, I would rank it like this personally:

Chicago (if it counts - I think of it as recovered rust belt).
Pittsburgh
St. Louis
Cincinnati (would be #2 if it wasn't for urban renewal)
Milwaukee (much less of the core is ruined, but it was never built as densely, recent highrises along the lake nothwithstanding)
Buffalo
Cleveland
Detroit
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Old 07-18-2017, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Tampa - St. Louis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
Some legacy cities more than others seem to get a ridiculous pass as being greater than they actually are...

I think Detroit is an example of a legacy city that gets derided far more than it should. For as hard as it fell, it's still a Top 15 city, and exceeds or is equal to cities in the Top 13-20 range in most categories. It's density is now below 5000 I believe, but Detroit is a city's city and deserves far more respect than it receives....

St. Louis is an example of a city that gets due respect, however, is perilously in danger of falling behind it's "new" peer cities in Charlotte and Portland, and maybe others. So for St. Louis especially, it has a very strong urban fabric but in all other measures of city comparison, Charlotte and Portland have largely caught up to it...

Cleveland and Buffalo, twin cities of different size if there ever were, get WAAAYYY too much credit on here for what they actually are...
I don't think St. Louis gets much respect on city-data or real life, hell many people in the region don't even respect St. Louis.

What other measures of city comparison have Charlotte and Portland caught up? Not saying they haven't, just wanting to know your criteria for comparison.

Something Interesting: According to the GaWC world cities ranking St. Louis as a region is still a Beta-, same level as Minneapolis (which I know most people on and off this forum would disagree with). Chicago is the only alpha city in the Midwest, Minneapolis and St. Louis are the only 2 beta cities in the Midwest. Detroit is classified as Gamma+ with Cleveland. Charlotte is a Gamma- and Portland is listed as having high sufficiency (meaning it's not technically a world city yet).

GaWC - The World According to GaWC 2012

I will say in many respects St. Louis is an underachiever and a lot of it's problems as a region are self inflicted. St. Louis' archaic 19th century government structure is definitely holding the city back more than any other competitive advantages other regions have. I mean St. Louis is a top 5 inland port, a top 5 rail hub, located in the middle of the country at the convergence of North America's two largest rivers, only inept leadership (which is exactly what's happening there) could not grow a major city in that geographic location. Even if the American Empire collapses there will likely always be a rather large settlement where St. Louis is for purely logistical reasons.
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Old 07-18-2017, 07:24 PM
 
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Please not that GAWC BS again. All they do is measure the presence of certain companies in a few certain industries. At most, it's one of many "indicators" of urbanity.
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Old 07-18-2017, 10:47 PM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
11,543 posts, read 17,880,077 times
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I think that some people like to use the term urbanity because it's nebulous, a moving target, and it can't be measured with data in the same way that density can. This way all, "non-deserving" cities can be dismissed, ridiculed, or shamed in a highly subjective manner.
Even "walkable" has become subjective and measurements of it are met with suspicion when cities that aren't deemed "walkable", by a particular narrative, are mentioned as such.
To the OP's question. My answer is, in a way, yes they do often receive a pass. Their starting line is often halfway down the track and their legacy built environment, whether leveraged or not, is always deemed better than a newer model. This completes the circular narrative that everything older is always better than anything newer, regardless of the data.
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Old 07-18-2017, 11:24 PM
 
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Cities can't be judged by statistics alone. Subjective criteria are necessary for analysis deeper than pure accounting. Statistics tell part of the story. A concept like urbanity can be measured in some ways we have easy access to -- residential density, job density, commute mode splits, building heights, etc., -- but it's also about stuff we don't have easy access to statistically, like street widths, building setbacks, whether hotels have driveways to the front door, how close retail is and whether sidewalks go all the way there, etc.

It's possible to bash cities based on unfair criteria. But cities aren't all the same, and some cities do worse than others by these criteria.
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