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View Poll Results: Most urban
Seattle 38 22.75%
Baltimore 76 45.51%
Pittsburgh 15 8.98%
Cincinati 7 4.19%
New Orleans 8 4.79%
Miami 23 13.77%
Voters: 167. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-01-2017, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,510 posts, read 2,952,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
You *do* know that many desirable urban neighborhoods today weren't always that way, right? If good bones are in place, it's only a matter of time.
But it depends on how far gone the city is. Many Rust Belt cities will never recover their former glory, barring some major catastrophe (though climate change could do it). Baltimore's in a good spot, thanks to its wealthy suburbs, proximity to D.C. and good bones. But by the time it tears down many of those structures and recovers its desirability (still not a guarantee), Miami and Seattle will have shored up their infrastructure weaknesses that preclude them from being truly urban to many here. If Baltimore is an 80 on the urban bones scale, Miami is at least a 75 and Seattle at least a 70.
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:46 PM
 
7,645 posts, read 4,499,306 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CityGuyForLife View Post
But it depends on how far gone the city is. Many Rust Belt cities will never recover their former glory, barring some major catastrophe (though climate change could do it). Baltimore's in a good spot, thanks to its wealthy suburbs, proximity to D.C. and good bones. But by the time it tears down many of those structures and recovers its desirability (still not a guarantee), Miami and Seattle will have shored up their infrastructure weaknesses that preclude them from being truly urban to many here. If Baltimore is an 80 on the urban bones scale, Miami is at least a 75 and Seattle at least a 70.
Baltimore is like a 95 on the urban bones scale and Miami and Seattle in the 60s. It's really not close.
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:48 PM
 
36 posts, read 22,827 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BPt111 View Post
Bet no one considering Baltimore to live
I would, Baltimore is beautiful.
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Old 08-01-2017, 07:13 PM
 
116 posts, read 82,075 times
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idk why New Orleans and Cincy are on this list at all...
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Old 08-01-2017, 07:39 PM
 
4,423 posts, read 2,613,966 times
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Baltimore's "typical" urbanity is the highest, but Seattle's peak urbanity is the highest.

Someone said Seattle's infill tends to be set back from the street...that's not true. New townhouses are generally set back, but apartments are typically up to the street in urban format, also with more units than parking spaces and sometimes no parking at all.
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,351 posts, read 11,839,750 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CityGuyForLife View Post
Blight is a huge issue for Baltimore. Urbanity is more than just bones; there are ghost towns in Asia that have the bones. Street activity is a large part of it, and there are entire blocks that are vacant and boarded up in Baltimore. The CBD is definitely not the biggest priority, imo.
Philly has blight, and it's still plenty urban. DC had significant amounts of blight up until recently.

As I said, I think Baltimore's biggest issue is it has a relatively cruddy downtown area. With the exception of to the west, there are nice, largely intact, walkable urban areas bordering the CBD in every direction. But the CBD itself isn't very pedestrian friendly, both due to the construction of a lot of the office towers, along with the conversion of virtually every downtown street into a multi-lane one way road (which basically guarantees speeding whenever there isn't traffic).

Quote:
Originally Posted by CityGuyForLife View Post
I just think urbanity can't be distilled solely to just the "look", if it isn't a thriving area. Thriving in the sense of professional/creative hustle and bustle, of looking refined and being a healthy community, with a mix of residential and business. Also thriving in the sense of being comprised of different social and racial classes living together, or in close proximity. Perhaps I'm harping more on desirability than urbanity, I admit, but the two are linked, imo. What good is looking more urban if no one lives or wants to live there?
Poor people of color like walkable neighborhoods too.

When I was in Baltimore a few years back, I walked past Lexington Market. The area was absolutely packed (as in, I had a hard time getting past people on the sidewalk), and 95% of the people on the street were black people.

I can think of lots of places in Philly which are very walkable but not gentrified in the slightest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BPt111 View Post
Miami have Wynwood, Brickwell/Downtown, Little Havana, Miami Beach, Edgewater, Design District, Bal Habour, Coral Gables, Midtown
Care to share street views of these "impressive" areas?
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:22 PM
 
36 posts, read 22,827 times
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That makes no sense, Baltimore is "peak" urbanity, so is New Orleans. Seattle is mostly new built stuff that isn't nearly as urban as those older cities. Seattle's urban efforts are constantly overstated, there is still plenty of parking garages, large block developments and parking lots all over the city. No matter how good it is by modern standards it's still nowhere near as good as an 18th-century urban core.

I wouldn't even consider Seattle third on this list since it's not better than Miami, and Cincy still has good pre-war bones that don't exist in Seattle. But Cincy's horrible highway network would put it below Seattle. But then Pittsburgh's urban fabric is better than Seattle too.
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Old 08-01-2017, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Northeast states
10,674 posts, read 8,129,042 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Philly has blight, and it's still plenty urban. DC had significant amounts of blight up until recently.

As I said, I think Baltimore's biggest issue is it has a relatively cruddy downtown area. With the exception of to the west, there are nice, largely intact, walkable urban areas bordering the CBD in every direction. But the CBD itself isn't very pedestrian friendly, both due to the construction of a lot of the office towers, along with the conversion of virtually every downtown street into a multi-lane one way road (which basically guarantees speeding whenever there isn't traffic).



Poor people of color like walkable neighborhoods too.

When I was in Baltimore a few years back, I walked past Lexington Market. The area was absolutely packed (as in, I had a hard time getting past people on the sidewalk), and 95% of the people on the street were black people.

I can think of lots of places in Philly which are very walkable but not gentrified in the slightest.



Care to share street views of these "impressive" areas?

Brickwell, Miami

https://www.google.com/maps/@25.7644...7i13312!8i6656

Miami Beach area Collis Ave

https://www.google.com/maps/@25.7789...7i13312!8i6656

Buena Vista Blvd
https://www.google.com/maps/@25.8083...7i13312!8i6656

Last edited by BPt111; 08-01-2017 at 09:38 PM..
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Old 08-01-2017, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Denver
14,149 posts, read 19,674,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HelterSkelter View Post
That makes no sense, Baltimore is "peak" urbanity, so is New Orleans. Seattle is mostly new built stuff that isn't nearly as urban as those older cities. Seattle's urban efforts are constantly overstated, there is still plenty of parking garages, large block developments and parking lots all over the city. No matter how good it is by modern standards it's still nowhere near as good as an 18th-century urban core.

I wouldn't even consider Seattle third on this list since it's not better than Miami, and Cincy still has good pre-war bones that don't exist in Seattle. But Cincy's horrible highway network would put it below Seattle. But then Pittsburgh's urban fabric is better than Seattle too.
I would agree with this. But I would rank Seattle above Miami (no Miami Beach).
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Old 08-01-2017, 10:34 PM
 
4,423 posts, read 2,613,966 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HelterSkelter View Post
That makes no sense, Baltimore is "peak" urbanity, so is New Orleans. Seattle is mostly new built stuff that isn't nearly as urban as those older cities. Seattle's urban efforts are constantly overstated, there is still plenty of parking garages, large block developments and parking lots all over the city. No matter how good it is by modern standards it's still nowhere near as good as an 18th-century urban core.

I wouldn't even consider Seattle third on this list since it's not better than Miami, and Cincy still has good pre-war bones that don't exist in Seattle. But Cincy's horrible highway network would put it below Seattle. But then Pittsburgh's urban fabric is better than Seattle too.
I didn't say one "was" peak urbanity. I said Seattle's peak urbanity was higher than Baltimore's peak urbanity. This is pretty clear on the ground. One is more about townhouses with a few highrises, and the other is hundreds of six-story buildings in many neighborhoods and a lot more and taller highrises in the core.

Nearly all new multifamily and office parking in Seattle goes underground. According to a Seattle Times article last year, new apartments were averaging 0.6 spaces per unit, with 30% of buildings in core districts (mostly smaller buildings) having no parking at all. Or something to that effect. On office buildings, anything new in the highrise CBD is basically one space per five or six workers, and sometimes much less.

There aren't a ton of parking lots around town anymore. A decade ago there were.

Seattle's in-city commute mode shares are easily better than Baltimore's per the Census 2015 FactFinder. Baltimore was 60.2% drive alone, 18.6% transit, 6.7% walk, 0.8% bike. Seattle was 50.1, 20.1, 9.6, and 3.8.

And obviously Seattle has a larger overall density within city limits, despite being a larger population, based on the most recent Census and Washington State estimates.
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