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Old 10-18-2018, 11:38 AM
 
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Mt. Lebanon, PA is a "true" urban suburb (of Pittsburgh), meaning it was built as a bedroom community and the vast majority of its residents do not work there. It's also a township, not a city, which was built as a streetcar suburb. to me it has a lot of similarities to parts of Arlington, VA but just an older, smaller version. Its business district is mostly centered around Rt 19 and begins to get urban starting around here
https://www.google.com/maps/@40.3779...7i13312!8i6656


At the other end of the township, it blends seamlessly into neighboring Dormont, which is Pittsburgh's most dense suburb population-wise.
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Buster View Post
Mt. Lebanon, PA is a "true" urban suburb (of Pittsburgh), meaning it was built as a bedroom community and the vast majority of its residents do not work there. It's also a township, not a city, which was built as a streetcar suburb. to me it has a lot of similarities to parts of Arlington, VA but just an older, smaller version. Its business district is mostly centered around Rt 19 and begins to get urban starting around here
https://www.google.com/maps/@40.3779...7i13312!8i6656


At the other end of the township, it blends seamlessly into neighboring Dormont, which is Pittsburgh's most dense suburb population-wise.
Mount Lebanon has a pretty intensive central business district, along with light rail access. But I wouldn't even call it the most urban suburb of Pittsburgh, let alone in the country. Outside of the Uptown area there's relatively little in the way of dense housing, mixed use, or walkability. It's single-family homes with yards. I'd rank Dormont higher (which as you noted, was denser) along with the old mill towns like Millvale and Sharpsburg which are right outside of the city of Pittsburgh. Though admittedly, the latter weren't built out as suburbs.

I think that the most "urban" place in the U.S. which was unquestionably set up as a "suburb" (e.g., as a largely residential area with limited industry) yet was not annexed into its core city is Brookline, MA. Kinda like an older Mt. Lebanon on steroids. Not only is the Coolidge Corner negihborhood intense commercially, but a lot of the residential areas are block after block of apartment buildings. Of course there are wealthy SFH-dominated areas as well, but it's a very unique typology for a wealthy suburban community with top-ranked schools.

There are other places even more intensely built than Brookline - like Cambridge or Hoboken - but these are really just old mixed-use urban cities which happened to not be consolidated into the core city of the metro area.
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:57 PM
 
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Maplewood NJ comes to mind: https://www.google.com/maps/@40.7206...2!9m2!1b1!2i38

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.7307...2!9m2!1b1!2i38

In the same solid/good and quite culturally diverse SD is adjacent South Orange: https://www.google.com/maps/@40.7461...2!9m2!1b1!2i38

Maplewood is a township and South Orange is a village.

Perhaps Kenmore NY, which is a village as well and one of the most population dense incorporated municipalities in the country(ok/solid schools): https://www.google.com/maps/@42.9633...7i13312!8i6656
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by projectmaximus View Post
Is there a clear and universal definition of a suburb? I'm struggling because of this.

Why not Cambridge? Fort Worth? St Paul? At what point does a "suburb's" downtown grow to the point that it's no longer a suburb itself...like Bellevue and Evanston from the above suggestions, which have fully functioning downtown environments (Bellevue obviously much larger than Evanston) I know Ft Worth posters on here who dislike the "suburb" term immensely. So are we talking about anything outside the primary CBD of an MSA?

And then how far out from the CBD to be considered a suburb? Arlington used to be part of Washington DC. It is essentially built as an extension from DC and although not adjacent to downtown, pretty much is. If it counts as a suburb then what about Uptown in Dallas? Many seem to agree that Midtown and Downtown Atlanta are not all that well connected...so is Midtown acceptable? Seems absurd. How about NYC...where does it transition to suburb exactly?

Personally, I just don't know. I wouldn't ever consider Uptown Dallas or Midtown Atlanta as suburbs, but I also don't really see Arlington that way either. At least not the downtown parts of Arlington (Rosslyn/Courthouse).

As for twin-like separate cities, I guess it depends on the context. For this question, I wouldn't really consider DT Ft Worth, St Paul, Cambridge, etc to be suburbs, and so I am not sure where the scale ends or where I would put Bellevue.
The difference between St. Paul and Cambridge and Fort Worth is that a metropolitan area grew because of it. It was the primary city - the state capital, the economic hub, the gateway for settlers, etc... before Minneapolis took the lead. St. Paul and Minneapolis are the primary or core cities of the Twin Cities metro area and they have grown to a point where they pretty much function as one. They don't have the typical city - suburban relationship.
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Old 10-18-2018, 01:12 PM
 
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Are we talking downtowns or entire municipalities?

What's a suburb vs. being in the inner city but under separate management (Cambridge)?
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Old 10-18-2018, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Chibostoncaliseattle
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MetroWest Boston, North Shore Chicago, Main Line Philadelphia, Westchester NY all come to mind. Some great suburbs in SF, Seattle, Detroit, DC, Cleveland areas too.

A few that come to mind right away:
Winchester, MA
Wellesley, MA
Marblehead, MA
La Grange, IL
Winnetka, IL
Scarsdale, NY
Chevy Chase, MD
East Grand Rapids, MI
Grosse Point, MI
Penn Wynne, PA
Kirkland, WA
Pasadena, CA
Sausalito, CA
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Old 10-18-2018, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivo View Post
For the purposes of this thread an urban "suburb" is a town/city outside of the central city. not too far outside. it could even be a a very urban city outside the central city like Hoboken, NJ.
This helps as you've defined one aspect of the ambiguity...that the "suburb" must not be within the city limits. Still not sure about the twin city aspect and how close is too close. Ie, cambridge, MA? Ft Worth? St Paul? Is everything fair game as long as it's outside the "city?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by qworldorder View Post
In order to keep this a fair discussion, I think an urban "suburb" of a neighboring major city should have no more than 25% of the adjacent major city's population. This will get rid of cities like St Paul, Fort Worth, etc which rightfully have enough pull on their own.

Upper Darby, PA; Towson, MD; Miami Beach, FL; Alexandria, VA or Silver Spring, MD; Hoboken, NJ (Jersey City technically qualifies, if we want to scale it because of how massive NYC is--Newark is too established); Cambridge, MA; Bellevue, WA; Evanston, IL; Santa Monica, CA (or Long Beach, given LA's size); Arlington, TX
Interesting...I agree that that offers a bit more specificity. Not a bad idea but at the same time I think I'll pass on creating my own list since it will take more time to check population ratios lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YIMBY View Post
The difference between St. Paul and Cambridge and Fort Worth is that a metropolitan area grew because of it. It was the primary city - the state capital, the economic hub, the gateway for settlers, etc... before Minneapolis took the lead. St. Paul and Minneapolis are the primary or core cities of the Twin Cities metro area and they have grown to a point where they pretty much function as one. They don't have the typical city - suburban relationship.
Cool, thanks for sharing the history. For functionality I would probably put them all into the same, non-suburb, category at this point in time, but I can see how historically that offers a different perspective.
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Old 10-18-2018, 01:36 PM
 
Location: STL area
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Just adding based on where I have lived...Clayton, MO and to a lesser degree University City, MO and Maplewood, MO. Id also say Oak Park, IL as well as Evanston.
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Old 10-18-2018, 01:50 PM
 
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I agree with Oak Park IL. It shares its eastern and northern borders with the city of Chicago. There are 2 "L" lines operating in Oak Park (Blue and Green), a Metra train (commuter railroad), as well as Eisenhower Expwy. (I-290). So, there are many options to commute to downtown Chicago. Oak Park is actually closer to downtown than some neighborhoods within Chicago. Its streets follow a grid pattern and the residential neighborhoods have alleys for trash collection. The downtown area of Oak Park was an important suburban shopping district until some time in the 1980s. It even had a branch of Marshall Field's. Both Ernest Hemingway and Frank Lloyd Wright resided in Oak Park.
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Old 10-18-2018, 02:01 PM
 
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Bethesda, MD
Silver Spring, MD
Arlington, VA
Yonkers, NY
Long Beach, CA
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