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View Poll Results: Feels Bigger.
Memphis 63 29.44%
Nashville 151 70.56%
Voters: 214. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-27-2010, 08:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMT View Post
Yes, we're familiar with the density stats (they were posted earlier). No one is arguing that Memphis has a larger population density. But that doesn't mean Memphis feels bigger, which is the subject of this thread.

If Memphis didn't have so many empty, boarded-up buildings downtown and so many blocks and blocks of abandoned houses in its urban core, Memphis would likely have a completely different feel.
Density has a lot to do with how big a city feels. Obviously Nashville has a lot more open space if it only has a population density of 1300. I don't claim that Memphis is a very urban & dense city (not even close) but compared to Nashville it is.
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smtchll View Post
Density has a lot to do with how big a city feels. Obviously Nashville has a lot of open space if it only has a population density of 1300. I don't claim that Memphis is a very urban & dense city (not even close) but compared to Nashville it is.
Yes, Nashville has a lot of open space. A lot of it is because of topography. Just look at a map of the two cities, you'll note there are very few straight roads in Nashville. Memphis, being flat as a pancake, developed along a grid pattern which lends itself to being much denser. Even newer Memphis suburbs have continued the denser, grid pattern of development.

But that still doesn't mean Memphis feels bigger. To many people, it comes down to other things such as which city has more skyscrapers, more malls, more high profile concerts, more sporting events, more freeways. And that's probably why Nashville seems bigger to most people who've voted so far in this poll.

Last edited by JMT; 05-27-2010 at 09:18 AM..
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Nashville, TN (USA)
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People on both side of this debate are correct. It depends on how one defines a "city" and what one feels makes a city "feel bigger." Memphis undoubtedly has an older, denser core as the city was much, much larger 50 years ago before the auto-centric era in which Nashville experienced the bulk of its growth. Nashville has the flashier skyline, newer construction, sprawling large suburbs, upscale shopping, and a generally more progressive feel. Memphis has the denser and more walkable core and historic architecture, grit and flavor. Both cities have some of what the other city has more but, in some regards, its a comparison of old regional big city vs. new regional big city.

This comparison sort of reminds me of comparing Atlanta and Detroit (although the latter in on the unfortunately on the serious wane). The architecture and old density of Detroit simply obliterates anything in American Southeast but Atlanta has the big, new skyline, transplants, crazy sprawl, economic growth, etc.
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Old 05-27-2010, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Boston
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Yeah, I won't disagree that Memphis is denser than Nashville and has more or a grid city feel due to it's rise in 50s and 60s.

But, personally, Nashville still feels larger due to its amenities.

Nashville also has a lot of populous suburbs that are just on the edge of the city....certainly as close or closer than many of the Shelby county areas that boost Memphis' home county population.
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Old 05-27-2010, 02:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivelafrance View Post
Yeah, I won't disagree that Memphis is denser than Nashville and has more or a grid city feel due to it's rise in 50s and 60s.

But, personally, Nashville still feels larger due to its amenities.

Nashville also has a lot of populous suburbs that are just on the edge of the city....certainly as close or closer than many of the Shelby county areas that boost Memphis' home county population.
That doesn't make sense. Memphis doesn't need the suburbs to boost its population because the county is separate. Nashville has suburbs that are within its city limits, so if anything, Nashville's population is being boosted by its surrounding areas like Brentwood, Hermitage, etc. These are all being counted in the population of Nashville. Memphis' suburbs like Germantown & Bartlett are not counted in the population of Memphis.

I wonder what the actual population of Nashville would really be if it wasn't consolidated with Davidson County. Maybe 300,000-400,000? It's not a big city, neither is Memphis though.
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Boston
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smtchll View Post
That doesn't make sense. Memphis doesn't need the suburbs to boost its population because the county is separate. Nashville has suburbs that are within its city limits, so if anything, Nashville's population is being boosted by its surrounding areas like Brentwood, Hermitage, etc. These are all being counted in the population of Nashville. Memphis' suburbs like Germantown & Bartlett are not counted in the population of Memphis.

I wonder what the actual population of Nashville would really be if it wasn't consolidated with Davidson County. Maybe 300,000-400,000? It's not a big city, neither is Memphis though.
Memphis also annexes suburban parts of Shelby county like Cordova to boost its population...

Hermitage is not a city. It's a community within Nashville just like Memphis has communities within its city limits. Brentwood is a separate city...its population is not being counted as Nashville.

Nashville didn't consolidate with the county to boost its population. It did it to smooth out the cooperation of Police, Fire, and Educational services...a very smart move on the city's part. It's also important to note here that all of Davidson County is not consolidated with Nashville...there are still a few independent cities.

However, cities around Nashville although with separate governments are absolutely a part of Nashville and work together with the city. Hendersonville, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Brentwood, etc. are all fairly close if not bordering Nashville and contribute to Nashville via commuters, sales tax dollars, etc. That's why Nashville feels like a bigger city and has a few more bigger city amenities. It's not "cheating" it's just the way Nashville grew.
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivelafrance View Post
Memphis also annexes suburban parts of Shelby county like Cordova to boost its population...

Hermitage is not a city. It's a community within Nashville just like Memphis has communities within its city limits. Brentwood is a separate city...its population is not being counted as Nashville.

Nashville didn't consolidate with the county to boost its population. It did it to smooth out the cooperation of Police, Fire, and Educational services...a very smart move on the city's part. It's also important to note here that all of Davidson County is not consolidated with Nashville...there are still a few independent cities.

However, cities around Nashville although with separate governments are absolutely a part of Nashville and work together with the city. Hendersonville, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Brentwood, etc. are all fairly close if not bordering Nashville and contribute to Nashville via commuters, sales tax dollars, etc. That's why Nashville feels like a bigger city and has a few more bigger city amenities. It's not "cheating" it's just the way Nashville grew.
I'm well aware that Memphis annexes, but it still hasn't caused the city to end up with a really low population density like Nashville. Hermitage may be within the city limits, but to me it feels like its own town. It would be like if Memphis annexed my hometown Millington.

But I do see what you mean, Nashville does have big towns/small cities around it. Memphis doesn't because the metro area is really compact, mostly confined to Shelby County.
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:16 PM
 
Location: St Louis
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Memphis all the way. More dense, more character, more history, and just a lot more interesting.
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN (USA)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smtchll View Post
Hermitage may be within the city limits, but to me it feels like its own town.
Aesthetically, Nashville area does indeed feel like a city comprised of a compacted urbanized core that is surrounded by a seemingly endless string of small towns. That's why it's difficult to distinguish the city and its suburbs. The urbanized center (265 loop around downtown, Midtown/West End, East Nashville, etc.) are reasonably dense for a southeastern city but it's simply not a big area.

Although not well-gridded like Memphis, Nashville is fairly densely populated in each direction for 3-4 miles save for the northwest direction which has a very hilly, limestone-rich terrain. One does start to immediately get a more "suburban," low-density feel in almost each direction after that 3-4 miles even though one is still well within Davidson County and the population is pretty contiguous. This is a result of the consolidation, the terrain, and, again, the time period when Nashville's growth took place. There are a number of population centers in the Nashville metro that appear to stand alone and seem on their own when driving by on the highway. In other areas, like the increasingly populated I-24 corridor, it seems like what would be the city's outer neighborhoods go on forever when, in actuality, you're not even in the city anymore.

Last edited by ariesjow; 05-27-2010 at 04:17 PM..
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Fishers, IN
6,495 posts, read 10,809,104 times
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Who cares which one is bigger? Nashville is just nicer, period.
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