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Old 08-08-2008, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Near L.A.
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Both cities are the largest in their own states, serving as the preeminent cultural, social, and economic incubators.

Both cities are neglected in terms of allotments (especially transportation) by their rural-serving state legislatures. (Kentucky is the worst about it now, but Alabama didn't even complete I-65 through B'ham until 1986 as I understand it.)

Both cities--the Louisville urban service area and city limits of Birmingham--have about the same population. (Remember, Louisville-Jefferson Co. is one entity, so it technically is the 17th largest city in America, but it doesn't really feel like it.) Also, both cities are in Jefferson County; both counties have about the same population. So do the metro areas.

Both cities are surrounded by looming foothills--the knobs around Louisville and the Appalachian foothills around Birmingham.

Both cities have well-respected healthcare institutions. University of Louisville Healthcare provided Jewish Hospital with many of the doctors to complete the nation's first hand transplants and some of the world's first artificial heart transplants. UAB is the premier hospital of the deep South (save for maybe Gracy in Atlanta.)

Both cities are, for a lack of better terms, old manufacturing towns. Louisville for things automotive, electrical, and petrochemicals, and Birmingham for steel. Louisville is still strongly blue-collar industrial, but Birmingham since the fall of its steel industry in the 1970s has done a better job of diversifying its workforce.

Both metro areas have terrible suburban sprawl respective to the size of their urban cores. (Most Southern and Midwestern cities do, however.)

Both metros have very affluent suburbs with nationally-renowned school systems--Louisville has Oldham County and Birmingham has Mountain Brook, Hoover, and Vestavia Hills.

Both metros have small, semi-quaint, yet vibrant Bohemian neighborhoods with struggling artists, college professors, college students, and musicians alike all mingling. Louisville has its Highlands, Birmingham has Five Points South.

So, which city do you like better?

Last edited by EclecticEars; 08-08-2008 at 10:45 PM..
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Old 08-08-2008, 10:38 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
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You mentioned population several times (FYI).

I would pick Louisville.Four, more distinct seasons as opposed to the longer hot and humid climate in Birmingham, where Springtime seems to be a three month long thunder/lightning/tornado storm.

While still a "gritty" city, Louisville overall to me, is a more attractive town sitting on a river, with active river activities.* The people are a bit more mixed as well, while Birmingham is still landlocked (so to speak), and in a bit of a deep South "yeehaw" stigma stage that it's slowly getting out of, but still in.

Louisville has easy and quick access to Lexington, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati, while Birmingham is a 3 hour drive to Atlanta which now is too hard to navigate or really enjoy due to the traffic and congestion. In other words, more areas and other midsized cities to enjoy in the Louisville region.Just my opinion.
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Old 08-08-2008, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Near L.A.
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You gave me a good idea, Greg: I consolidated the pop. lines.

By the way, much of Birmingham has a rather gritty feeling, too.

Last edited by EclecticEars; 08-08-2008 at 10:58 PM..
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:12 PM
 
Location: Middleton, Wisconsin
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I'd say Louisville... Historic river town with an awesome park system. Louisville also seems like a two region city, with two cultures within city limits. I've been to Louisville only a few times but from experience it was nice.
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atlantagreg30127 View Post
Louisville has easy and quick access to Lexington, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati, while Birmingham is a 3 hour drive to Atlanta which now is too hard to navigate or really enjoy due to the traffic and congestion. In other words, more areas and other midsized cities to enjoy in the Louisville region.Just my opinion.
Holy cow, how slowly do you drive? From downtown Birmingham to downtown Atlanta it's less than 150 miles. And there's not THAT much traffic west of Atlanta, particularly considering the Atlanta MSA goes all the way to the Alabama state line.

At any rate, I'd probably pick Louisville, too. Birmingham is ok and has some nice neighborhoods, but I just like Louisville better for pretty much the same reasons atlantagreg30127 described.

But I do like Alabama's tax structure better than Kentucky's, and I like the fact that Birmingham is closer to the coast and is a true Southern city. Still, I prefer Louisville.
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Near L.A.
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So far:

3 votes Louisville

0 votes Birmingham

Speak up Birminghamers.
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Atlanta and St Simons Island, GA
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I'll say that IMO both of the cities are either underrated or ignored when it comes to considering a town with good QOL. I have much more experience with Birmingham than Louisville, but I have found them both to be attractive cities for a host of reasons.
I would live in the Birmingham suburb of Mountain Brook in a minute, as well as many other southside neighborhoods. I adore the Five Points area and would happily drive the 2 hrs 15 min from Atlanta to dine at the Highland Grill or Bottega Cafe.
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Northern VA (for now)
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Louisville, KY (the city i plan to move to) wins the nod in the post. My favorite thing about the ville is Old Louisville.

Birmingham just seems too gritty and has way too much crime. I do really like the mayor in B-ham but he faces a daunting task.
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Old 08-09-2008, 02:24 PM
 
Location: still in exile......
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Louisville, it has more of a solid 4-season climate, and there's less crime
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Old 08-09-2008, 05:10 PM
 
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I have only visited Louisville on business. I moved to Birmingham from Chicago. Now you couldn't get us to leave if you put a pistol to our heads.

Overall, I think it's a tie between the two cities. Birmingham is only gritty when you view it from the interstate. We live in Mountain Brook, and the entire southern part of the city is like a slice of heaven.

Businesswise, the automotive, banking and healthcare have really brought this city a long way. Interesting thing to note is that Birmingham has had the biggest increase in personal income over the past 25 years than any American city.
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