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View Poll Results: Which is the more urban city?
Minneapolis 33 33.33%
Pittsburgh 66 66.67%
Voters: 99. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 08-08-2017, 11:08 PM
 
429 posts, read 277,101 times
Reputation: 275

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Compare on these categories:

Overall Urban Form/Fabric
Walkability
Urban feeling Downtown
Urbanity of inner and outer neighborhoods
Nightlife districts
Urban fabric in commercial districts
Urban fabric in residential areas
Vibrancy/foot traffic
Public Transit
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:43 PM
 
Location: Northern United States
187 posts, read 140,672 times
Reputation: 256
Are we just comparing city propers?
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:13 AM
 
429 posts, read 277,101 times
Reputation: 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northeasterner1970 View Post
Are we just comparing city propers?
Yes
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Old 08-09-2017, 05:38 AM
 
1,333 posts, read 1,153,738 times
Reputation: 1149
Pittsburgh is aesthetically your typical NE city, while Minneapolis is sort of a combo of Midwestern plus a bit of the PacNW. It's a bit difficult to compare the two as St. Paul is a lot closer in style and size to Pittsburgh.

Perhaps just from an aesthetic point of view a good way to think about it is NYC compared to Seattle.

The main difference is in the Twin Cities metro you have a lot more people and things to do overall (as would be expected from being that much larger having about 1.2 million more people).

An odd way to sum it up is with a boxing analogy: Pittsburgh for its weight class (say middleweight) is probably the best you're going to get, while Minneapolis is a top contender in a higher weight class.

Or as people:

Minneapolis is like that kid who's mother tells them to be polite to people who talk to you, but don't talk to strangers, help the less fortunate, and so on. Sort of like Seattle & Columbus, OH had a kid where the parents told them to be neither as cold or aggressive as the other.

Pittsburgh is your blunt, loyal, and friendly buddy who is standoffish around strangers and was born in the NE, but raised in the Midwest. Maybe a younger, distant cousin of Baltimore?

Walkability: Pittsburgh is more compressed & easier to walk.

Urban feeling Downtown: Pittsburgh

Urbanity of inner/outer: Didn't spend a whole lot of time in the outer, but I'd give a slight nod again to Pittsburgh on both.

Nightlife: Minneapolis offers more variety, while Pittsburgh gives you more bars at a better price. I don't really care that much for the lounges, or the fancy rooftop bars, or nightclubs and the higher prices that come with this, but I know some do. Minneapolis again has more of the high culture options, but Pittsburgh isn't lacking in this area either. TIE.

Commercial Districts: Minneapolis

Residential Areas: Do you want traditionally urban NE (Pittsburgh) or primarily high density suburban homes (Midwestern plus Minneapolis)?

Vibrancy/Foot Traffic: In Pittsburgh you'll find more vibrant areas with people milling around whereas in Minneapolis they are confined to a few select areas. Plus the walkways in Minneapolis effectively cuts the foot traffic in half (negating the higher density numbers). It also gives the city a bit of an odd, empty feeling as there are fewer storefronts at street level since many of them are accessed primarily by the skyway. For a Midwestern city Minneapolis does have a high amount of vibrancy though.

Public Transit: Minneapolis. At one point I'd say this was a tie, but Minneapolis has continued to expand on their's, while Pittsburgh has stagnated. That said you can do either without a car if you pick your area to live carefully. However, the one area Pittsburgh has over Minneapolis here is taking a bus to the outer neighborhoods & beyond.

Bottom Line: Having lived for many years in Pittsburgh & scouted Minneapolis as a place to live for a fair amount of time objectively speaking Minneapolis is half a step above Pittsburgh just in the sheer amount of opportunities and offerings.

But you really didn't ask about the areas where you'll notice the biggest differences between the two (culture, personality, weather, Integration Levels) or the areas where Minneapolis clearly has advantages (Nature, Music, Jobs, Food, Healthy People, Bikes).

EDIT: In the end I didn't move to Minneapolis due to the winters.

Last edited by Port Pitt Ash; 08-09-2017 at 05:49 AM..
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Old 08-09-2017, 11:16 AM
 
429 posts, read 277,101 times
Reputation: 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Port Pitt Ash View Post
Pittsburgh is aesthetically your typical NE city, while Minneapolis is sort of a combo of Midwestern plus a bit of the PacNW. It's a bit difficult to compare the two as St. Paul is a lot closer in style and size to Pittsburgh.

Perhaps just from an aesthetic point of view a good way to think about it is NYC compared to Seattle.

The main difference is in the Twin Cities metro you have a lot more people and things to do overall (as would be expected from being that much larger having about 1.2 million more people).

An odd way to sum it up is with a boxing analogy: Pittsburgh for its weight class (say middleweight) is probably the best you're going to get, while Minneapolis is a top contender in a higher weight class.

Or as people:

Minneapolis is like that kid who's mother tells them to be polite to people who talk to you, but don't talk to strangers, help the less fortunate, and so on. Sort of like Seattle & Columbus, OH had a kid where the parents told them to be neither as cold or aggressive as the other.

Pittsburgh is your blunt, loyal, and friendly buddy who is standoffish around strangers and was born in the NE, but raised in the Midwest. Maybe a younger, distant cousin of Baltimore?

Walkability: Pittsburgh is more compressed & easier to walk.

Urban feeling Downtown: Pittsburgh

Urbanity of inner/outer: Didn't spend a whole lot of time in the outer, but I'd give a slight nod again to Pittsburgh on both.

Nightlife: Minneapolis offers more variety, while Pittsburgh gives you more bars at a better price. I don't really care that much for the lounges, or the fancy rooftop bars, or nightclubs and the higher prices that come with this, but I know some do. Minneapolis again has more of the high culture options, but Pittsburgh isn't lacking in this area either. TIE.

Commercial Districts: Minneapolis

Residential Areas: Do you want traditionally urban NE (Pittsburgh) or primarily high density suburban homes (Midwestern plus Minneapolis)?

Vibrancy/Foot Traffic: In Pittsburgh you'll find more vibrant areas with people milling around whereas in Minneapolis they are confined to a few select areas. Plus the walkways in Minneapolis effectively cuts the foot traffic in half (negating the higher density numbers). It also gives the city a bit of an odd, empty feeling as there are fewer storefronts at street level since many of them are accessed primarily by the skyway. For a Midwestern city Minneapolis does have a high amount of vibrancy though.

Public Transit: Minneapolis. At one point I'd say this was a tie, but Minneapolis has continued to expand on their's, while Pittsburgh has stagnated. That said you can do either without a car if you pick your area to live carefully. However, the one area Pittsburgh has over Minneapolis here is taking a bus to the outer neighborhoods & beyond.

Bottom Line: Having lived for many years in Pittsburgh & scouted Minneapolis as a place to live for a fair amount of time objectively speaking Minneapolis is half a step above Pittsburgh just in the sheer amount of opportunities and offerings.

But you really didn't ask about the areas where you'll notice the biggest differences between the two (culture, personality, weather, Integration Levels) or the areas where Minneapolis clearly has advantages (Nature, Music, Jobs, Food, Healthy People, Bikes).

EDIT: In the end I didn't move to Minneapolis due to the winters.
Is St. Paul really closer in style to Pittsburgh in terms of urban form? If so, that's a surprise to me.
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:07 PM
 
1,333 posts, read 1,153,738 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward234 View Post
Is St. Paul really closer in style to Pittsburgh in terms of urban form? If so, that's a surprise to me.
Yes. At least more so than Minneapolis. A lot of it is in the structures themselves as St. Paul is an older feeling city with more brick/stone, while Minneapolis largely replaced these type of structures with steel and glass. Minneapolis also has a more spread out feeling, St. Paul is more compacted, what you see is what you get feel.

St. Paul & Pittsburgh are both a hair over 300,000 people it's just St. Paul is probably what you'd expect from that population & Pittsburgh punches well above its weight. Minneapolis has about 115,000 more people.

Politically & religiously it is closer to what you find in Pittsburgh than Minneapolis as well.

It's a weird situation with that area where a lot of people seem to prefer living in St. Paul, but most everything to do is over in Minneapolis. For most it's probably less of an issue now that the train connects the cities whereas before you almost had to drive it even being so close together.

If you can deal with the Twin Cities winter you really can't go wrong with either of these cities.
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
7,852 posts, read 6,805,356 times
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I prefer St Paul over Minneapolis. Minneapolis is a bit soulless.
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Cleveland
2,192 posts, read 3,332,937 times
Reputation: 2955
Similarity to Pittsburgh, from most to least similar:

Northeast Minneapolis
Saint Paul
the rest of Minneapolis

Minneapolis, the city that produced Prince, is not "soulless." Come harder than that.
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:02 AM
 
679 posts, read 290,299 times
Reputation: 820
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjimmy24 View Post
I prefer St Paul over Minneapolis. Minneapolis is a bit soulless.
While I really did like Minneapolis, I did find it to be somewhat sterile.
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:45 AM
 
429 posts, read 277,101 times
Reputation: 275
So what makes Pittsburgh that much more urban than Minneapolis?
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