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Old 04-09-2009, 11:57 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
1,372 posts, read 2,588,087 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfox View Post
I see the "west" as actually two separate regions. There's the Pacific Coast and the Mountain West. Denver is clearly in the mountain west along with the rest of our timezone and the inland portions of the pacific states.

Likewise, I see the "midwest" also as two separate regions: the Great Lakes and the Great Plains. Rapid City, for example, is clearly the latter and Cleveland, say, is the former. Places like Omaha, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, and Des Moines fall uncomfortably in-between. Once you get to the Mississippi (for example, the twin cities), I'd say you're safely in the "Great Lakes" region.

Denver probably fits best in the "Mountain West" region, but a strong case could be made for making it at the western end of the "Great Plains" region.

In reality, I see it as both. I see Denver is the capital of two regions: the Mountain West and the Great Plains. As we say we're "The Rocky Mountain Empire" and also the "Queen City of the Plains." I don't see any competitors for the title on either side. In the mountain west, the only competitor could be Phoenix, but IMO it's far less of a "capital city" than Denver is, despite its greater size. We'll call Phoenix the regional capital of the "Interior Southwest," a sub-division of the Mountain West. The great plains region is also empty of competitors for the title of capital. A case could be made for Omaha, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, or Dallas -- but all four are more on the outer edge of the great plains or outside it altogether. Denver seems a better geographical fit for the great plains that Dallas, and much higher stature than Omaha, Kansas City, and OKC combined.

Being the unofficial capital of two major subregions is one reason why Denver's national stature is higher than you would expect for a city of 550k with 2.5M metro population. If we were located in, say, Texas, we'd be the sixth largest city, third largest metro, and probably would be little known nationally.

Could you place the western half of SoDak in the Mountain West too? It observes Mountain Time and has the very Western Black Hills.

 
Old 04-10-2009, 12:02 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,608 posts, read 20,674,043 times
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Excellent post, tfox! I always enjoy having philosophical discussions about regional geography.

I don't think Denver is the capital of anything... except for the capital of Colorado. At one point in time Denver may have been a true regional urban center with a well defined hinterland spreading over the western United States. Today though, Denver is no longer the only game in town. Other interior west cities like Salt Lake City, Boise, Spokane, Albuquerque, Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso, Las Vegas, are all full service cities in their own right with their own hinterlands. The only areas that Denver really can "claim" as its own backcountry are the whole state of Colorado, the eastern half of Wyoming and Montana, and possibly western South Dakota (and btw, Rapid City/ the black hills-- that's pure western in my book, nothing midwestern about those parts). And what all these areas have in common is outside of the Front Range and a handful of really small cities, there's hardly anybody living there.

I think it's interesting to see how national and international corporations and firms divide up their regional offices. More often than not, the Denver office tends to be placed in the same region as Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, part of what companies call their "Central" or "South-Central" region. I personally think this is a pile of crap as I do believe that Denver really fits in with the western states more. However it's an unfortunate fact of life.

In terms of architecture, Denver is 100% midwestern. Denver does not resemble the desert southwest (Arizona, New Mexico, southern Nevada) or California whatsoever when it comes to architecture-- whether we're talking new or old.

I think Denver is a western city, but it's literally at the easternmost edge of the West. The great plains east of Denver I think of as a true undefined wasteland, neither part of the true west nor the real midwest/east. It's a city that serves as the gateway to a vast kingdom of mountains and basins on one side, but on the edge of nowhere on the other.
 
Old 04-10-2009, 08:47 AM
 
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Colorado ain't a mid-western state or a western state. It's a state of confusion.
 
Old 11-15-2010, 02:27 PM
 
66 posts, read 282,050 times
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Denver is not part of the midwest!!!! The state you are in defines you as what you are. Some states fall into more than one region. the census only recognizes the west, midwest, south, and northeast. the west (california, arizona, new mexico, colorado, utah, nevada, washington, oregon, idaho, montana, and wyoming) is split into different regions as well. the mountain west states are colorado, utah, nevada, montana, idaho, wyoming, new mexico, and arizona.

those can be split as well. for instance montana, wyoming, and idaho are usually considered to be part of the northwestern united states, along with oregon and washington. but, oregon and washington also fall under the pacific northwest title. california is just west and west coast.

colorado, utah, nevada, arizona, and new mexico are part of the southwest/west/mountain west all together. also, texas and oklahoma are also sometimes considered part of the southwest as well, even though they are techinically the south.

Southwestern United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
mao of what is considered southwest in the USA.

The American Southwest - Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Wyoming; Slot Canyons & Travelogue
a travel guide for people who want to vacation the american southwest. it lists wyoming on there, but i dont think anyone would ever really consider wyoming to be the southwest.

i would also have to disgree about all the housing styles in denver. on the east side of denver, the housing is very much like the midwest and east coast. however, the housing in north denver can look very much like a mixture of the midwest and the west. in west denver and southwest denver the housing does resemble the housing found in the southwest/west. go to all parts of denver before making that assumption.

also geographically, colorado is not the center of the country. the actual center of the country is the kansas/missouri border in the midwest. the midwest is north dakota, south dakota, kansas, iowa, missouri, minnesota, wisconsin, michigan, indiana, ohio, illinois, and nebraska. not colorado. event hough colorado borders kansas and nebraska, it is not midwest. even though colorado borders wyoming, it is not the northwest. i also hate when people mention colorado in the same sentence as montana, and wyoming and stuff. its two different worlds. sure if you go in a rural part of colorado, there might be some farmers and hicks. ive seen hicks in the rural areas of california. hicks are in every rural part of every state. the demogrpahics of denver are also much like all its southwest states. high populations of mexicans and mexican americas. denver does have a larger african american population than ABQ or PHX or SLC though. denver also lies in the semi-arid to arid slimate, not the humid climate like everything not in the west.

also, the terrain in colorado is much like the terrain in new mexico. the eastern portion of the state has the high plains. the middle of the state has the mountains which recieve larger amounts of snow. the mountains have desert canyons and mesas in them as well. then the western portion of the state has desert mesas, plateaus, desert land, basins, etc. new mexico and colorado have very diverse terrain across there states. colorado is also very rich in there spanish culture. over 20% of the state is hispanic, and over 35% of denver is hispanic. over 49% of pueblo is hispanic. 34% of greeley is hispanic. and 15% of c-springs is hispanic and growing. plenty of the rural towns have high hispanic populations as well. such as, trinidad, la junta, lamar, rocky ford, walsenburg, las animas, monte vista, alamosa, fort morgan, etc. the food is similar to new mexico as well, seeing as both have the new mexican cuisine, not the tex mex found in texas and arizona. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuisine_of_the_Southwestern_United_States

colorado has a high number of illegal immigrants as well. they have the same problem as califnornia, arizona, new mexico, utah, texas, and nevada.

in conclusion, colorado is part fo the western united states, mountain west, and southwest. same as arizona, new mexico, utah, and nevada.
 
Old 11-15-2010, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,608 posts, read 20,674,043 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inskeep303 View Post
i would also have to disgree about all the housing styles in denver. on the east side of denver, the housing is very much like the midwest and east coast. however, the housing in north denver can look very much like a mixture of the midwest and the west. in west denver and southwest denver the housing does resemble the housing found in the southwest/west. go to all parts of denver before making that assumption.
Show me pictures please, name some specific neighborhoods/cross streets, etc, that might clue me in as to what you're talking about.

I do wish Denver looked like a "southwestern" or "west coast" city architecturally, (Denver vs. desert Southwest cities), but fact of the matter is, it is not.
 
Old 02-18-2011, 10:06 PM
 
66 posts, read 282,050 times
Reputation: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegaspilgrim View Post
Show me pictures please, name some specific neighborhoods/cross streets, etc, that might clue me in as to what you're talking about.

I do wish Denver looked like a "southwestern" or "west coast" city architecturally, (Denver vs. desert Southwest cities), but fact of the matter is, it is not.
Anywhere in southwest denver or west denver. Are you saying Denver is midwest???? having been to KC, STL, OMAHA, CHI, it is definitely not midwest.we have some of the same two story housing in east denver and parts of north denver but we are not like those cities what so ever. In neighborhoods like Valverde, Villa park, barnum, barnum west, mar lee, ruby hil, athmar park, etc. the housing looks just like houses i have seen in areas in Phoenix, Albuquerque, Salt lake city, etc. yes, some areas in those cities have total southwestern style of built housing but generally the housing looks like normal styles of housing that you see here in denver and all over the western united states too. i was mostly just trying to say that in no way shape or form should denver be considered a midwestern city. we dont even have the climate for it. we have a semi arid to arid climate.
 
Old 02-19-2011, 09:13 AM
 
20,845 posts, read 39,064,756 times
Reputation: 19080
As a mod, it gets a bit weary to see people trying to put ONE label on a city, which is just as illogical and doomed to failure as trying to put ONE political label on most people.

It's safe to say that Denver has people and architectural elements of many regions; eastern, midwestern, southwestern, etc. Arguably, Denver sits midway between the great midwest cities on the Mississippi River and lots of western influences, not to mention eastern skyscrapers too, all of which combine to make Denver a diverse place; be it food, music, people, housing styles, etc.

There's no point to continue discussing; there is no such thing as ONE single correct answer to the OP's question. Thread closed.
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Last edited by Mike from back east; 02-21-2011 at 11:13 AM..
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