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View Poll Results: Philly vs Bos
Philadelphia 221 50.92%
Boston 213 49.08%
Voters: 434. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-09-2017, 04:23 PM
 
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I get what your saying. Boston is no slouth. But when it comes to big city excitement, Philly at least equals Boston for less money. Philly just feels bigger and had more of a mixed use core that can easily support new development. Lots of areas to add highrises between Vine and Walnut. Bostons development pattern just dosent seem to support it. In the last couple years, Philly has had a steady stream of 20+ developments. With Boston its kinda steady as she goes goes every once in awhile. Five years ago, people were predicting Boston would have 7 or 8 new 500fters completed or well UC by now. Instead we have 1 done, 1uc and 2 projects in site prep.

IMO, Philly just feels like its pulling away from Boston when it comes to big city action.
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Old 05-10-2017, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Portland, Maine
443 posts, read 399,651 times
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I think part of what has kept Boston from building as many high rises as Philly or at least 500 foot plus buildings aside from zoning and issues with NIMBY's is that the Seaport district has worked as a relief valve for downtown development so instead of building really tall Boston has been building a ton of 100- 300 foot buildings in the seaport district, Assembly Square development, Boston Landing Development, Greater Kendall Square/Northpoint, Fenway/Longwood areas and the New York Streets district in the South End which has absorbed a fair amount of the demand for tall buildings downtown. All of these developments/neighborhoods have experienced large amounts of development with most buildings being relatively large therefore filling the demand that otherwise would have required taller downtown towers to meet.

Here is a screenshot and link to a map I made of these areas.


Map Link
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Old 05-10-2017, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citylover94 View Post
I think part of what has kept Boston from building as many high rises as Philly or at least 500 foot plus buildings aside from zoning and issues with NIMBY's is that the Seaport district has worked as a relief valve for downtown development so instead of building really tall Boston has been building a ton of 100- 300 foot buildings in the seaport district, Assembly Square development, Boston Landing Development, Greater Kendall Square/Northpoint, Fenway/Longwood areas and the New York Streets district in the South End which has absorbed a fair amount of the demand for tall buildings downtown. All of these developments/neighborhoods have experienced large amounts of development with most buildings being relatively large therefore filling the demand that otherwise would have required taller downtown towers to meet.

Here is a screenshot and link to a map I made of these areas.


Map Link
I think this is certainly plausible.
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Old 05-10-2017, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,479 posts, read 7,717,281 times
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I've gone ahead and added Boston to my short list.

Now it becomes only the third PCSA with 5 million or more people that I have high regard for in the United States after Miami and New York (Seattle hasn't crossed 5 million yet, otherwise it would be there too, just right in front of Boston).

While I view Boston as a small feeling city (even though on paper it is a big city) and it could do much to improve its night scene activity level, I will say that Boston has my favorite residential architecture in the United States. Beyond the two issues that I have with the city that I noted one or two sentences ago, everything else about the city works for me. Pretty well rounded city and has a little bit of everything to keep people entertained. It is also located on the bay, which has done much to enhance its already pristine aesthetic appeal.

Boston. Boston it is for me in this comparison.
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Old 05-10-2017, 02:11 PM
 
15,688 posts, read 3,118,864 times
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I prefer Boston
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Old 05-10-2017, 02:24 PM
 
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Delete

Last edited by jpdivola; 05-10-2017 at 02:37 PM..
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Old 05-10-2017, 02:36 PM
 
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I agree Seaport has taken up much of the demand. On paper Boston is probably building more than Philly. But I just prefer Phillys boom your in a big city feel to Bostons modrise infill. There is just a peak intensity to Center City Philly that Boston is missing IMO.
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Old 05-10-2017, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l1995 View Post
I liked Boston, but there was something that it lacked that I just can't put my finger on. Maybe it's a little too polished?
Boston only lacks one of the three main gears that global cities have, it does to its credit, have the other two gears though.

Cities are primarily composed of three major traits; 1) being a place to live; 2) being a place to work; 3) being a place to play.

Boston has the first two factors on lock. It is an excellent city to live in at this point in time. Not very rough on the eyes, well polished, looks like the type of city where if you have family visiting from overseas or friends from elsewhere in the country, even if they don't love the city, they'd be able to respect it. It isn't filthy, it isn't seemingly like a rathole like you see in other countries, it's just not a rough city on the eyes. Well taken care of, well planned.

It's even better as a place to work. Your general competition level there is fierce but you're competing for an open position in one of the most highly productive metropolitan regions of the world and it comes with all the benefits for that. The city also has a great balance between the public and private sector, not something that all American cities share in common with Boston. It's probably just as great a private sector city as it is a public sector one, which diversifies its employment base and job opportunities even further. General Electric identified that a year ago when it decided to move its headquarters from its legacy location in Connecticut into Beantown. They're not the only ones. Aviation network links show that Boston is intrinsically linking itself to more of the world at a faster clip than practically all American cities, save for Miami. The metropolitan region has welcomed in 13 new airline carriers for several new overseas destinations. Logan's quietly been becoming a beast in its own right.

Boston just lacks that third gear, not entirely but at a definable extent, the "being a place to play". Yes, technically you have the outdoors, you have the bars, you have Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod, and Nantucket all in your backyard, the places to go outing and stuff like that. However, those things are more for those that live in Boston (or the general New England area) to enjoy and not for people from across the planet to come and experience. No one actually flies from Paraguay or Morocco to experience the Boston nightlife scene the way they do with Las Vegas Boulevard in Las Vegas, or French Quarter/Bourbon Street in New Orleans, or South Beach in Miami, or Ibiza in Spain, or Bali in Indonesia, or the like. No one goes to Boston solely to go shopping the way they do for Hong Kong or Dubai. No one comes to Boston to see engineering marvels that redefined different aspects of the modern day world like the Colosseum in Rome, the Pantheon in Athens, or much of what Czar Peter had built in Saint Petersburg. Boston doesn't have that eye catching icon like the Statue of Liberty in New York, the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Big Ben in London, the Pyramids of Giza just outside of the Cairo area, and the like. Its performing arts and cultural institutions don't carry the same recognizable brand as the Louvre in Paris, the MET in New York, the Smithsonian in Washington, the British Museum in London. Or the cachet of the Philharmonic in Berlin, the ballet company in Moscow, or Improv in Chicago. Boston has cultural institutions and performing arts and they are stellar in their own right, even if they aren't noticeable global brands like the examples listed above. They're great for the locals in the city to take advantage of but not stand-out enough to get people from across the globe to fly there just to experience that one thing.

Boston is a destination, to be sure, that's how it ends up with over 1 million overseas visitors a year which is in the Top 10 in the United States. However, much of that leisure can be attributed to people visiting friends and family in that area or attending a business conference, meeting, or event. To a lesser extent, potential college kids checking out the area because they have an interest there. Not a leisurely type of leisure in the manner people are drawn to a Barcelona, an Amsterdam, a Sydney, a Berlin, or the like.

I think Boston's an excellent city and no changes need to be made to the city. It is fine as it is right now. Being a great place to live and work takes precedence to being a top tier tourist destination, always. So I don't dog Boston on its weaknesses there but the "missing something" that you speak of, what I detailed above is what it is. I think it is great that Boston never succumbed to becoming a major tourist hub like an Orlando, where they built theme parks for Universal, Seaworld, and Disney. It allows Boston to maximize its quality of life, again, that takes precedence over everything else and in that area, Boston is commendable. Crime is now lower than it has been in decades with regard to murders and rapes. Pollution, which wasn't ever a major problem for Boston in the first place, is now lower than ever before. The wages are more competitive than ever, the housing market is more stable than decades of the past, the educational attainment level in the region is higher than it has ever been, and the city's a legitimate and bonafide destination location for immigrants from literally every continent on Earth and increasingly even more so by the day. All excellent things going in favor of Boston today compared to decades of the past.

Last edited by Facts Kill Rhetoric; 05-10-2017 at 03:12 PM..
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Old 05-10-2017, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Center City, Philadelphia
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I went to Boston last fall for the first time. Got to stay at the Taj. It was a good experience.



Massachusetts and Boston were planning the big dig and massive reinvestment into the city when officials in the Philadelphia area were pondering the question of "Do suburbs need a central city to thrive?". That obviously has been answered with a resounding yes and how Philly can land on a list like this now: http://europaproperty.com/assets/ima...17/01/24-5.png However, the point remains Boston is firing on all cylinders right now and Philly is kind of just moving along.

There is a bill on the floor of the state house right now that many of us feel will help enable Philadelphia and Pennsylvania to right the ship by shifting around some taxes to lessen the burden on businesses and workers. The powers that be have laid out a very clear agenda to make our city be able to contiune to compete in the future

Economy League – Driving Regional Change





Philadelphia has all the right ingredients to make major comeback imo. As one of the other posters noted, Philadelphia has so much room to grow and build dynamic "big city" type developments while Boston is basically the opposite.
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Old 05-10-2017, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,265 posts, read 7,192,396 times
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Originally Posted by thedirtypirate View Post

Philadelphia has all the right ingredients to make major comeback imo. As one of the other posters noted, Philadelphia has so much room to grow and build dynamic "big city" type developments while Boston is basically the opposite.
Precisely. For half a century Philadelphia was severely under-valued and in many respects neglected and scorned by economic and demographic misfortune. After 20 years of recovery that gains more and more traction, it's on a transformative path as the national and global economy has again shifted to favor classic urban centers with robust knowledge/service economies.

Boston has definitely had an edge on Philly economically in this regard, and no doubt the city will remain a knowledge economy powerhouse with a extremely attractive and competitive top tier metro area that will continue to grow and modernize, but it's hard to argue against the momentum and passion/excitement for change and revitalization being on Philly's side.

Combined with the tangible aspects of residing in a critical location (even moreso than Boston) in the ever-posperous Northeast Corridor, a dynamic and underrated academic and business community, underrated concentration of wealth, fewer land constraints, less fervent development opposition, a far more balanced housing market, comprehensive public transit infrastructure, and an objectively better climate, it's not hard to imagine how Philly maintains a "sweet spot" that few cities have.
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