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View Poll Results: The ten most sprawling U.S. cities
Atlanta 194 54.96%
Dallas 142 40.23%
Houston 178 50.42%
Oklahoma City 58 16.43%
Charlotte, NC 71 20.11%
Jacksonville, FL 75 21.25%
Tampa, FL 29 8.22%
Los Angeles 166 47.03%
San Diego 43 12.18%
San Jose, CA 47 13.31%
Sacramento, CA 32 9.07%
Indianapolis 35 9.92%
Columbus, OH 26 7.37%
Nashville, TN 35 9.92%
Memphis, TN 17 4.82%
Lexington, KY 8 2.27%
Phoenix 176 49.86%
Tucson 37 10.48%
Las Vegas 108 30.59%
other (please specify) 42 11.90%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 353. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-19-2012, 08:08 AM
Location: Carrboro and Concord, NC
964 posts, read 2,050,669 times
Reputation: 1230


Originally Posted by bryson662001 View Post
How did so many people get so confused about urban sprawl? Los Angeles is one of the densest cities in the US. It is the opposite of sprawl. Neither Houston nor Dallas sprawl. In both those cities development goes from the center out to the edge and then stops. Same story with Las Vegas and Phoenix. The cities that sprawl are Boston, NY, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, Atlanta, St Louis, Detroit and to a lesser extent Chicago. Sprawl means that development leapfrogs itself and extends out into the countryside with undeveloped patches in between.
The first cities that sprang to mind are consolidated city/counties: Jacksonville, Augusta, Nashville, along with cities like OKC and KC which - during the 1960s annexed hundreds of square miles, in anticipation of development that never happened. With some of these, you're talking about cities that encompass 600-800 square miles, much of which is undeveloped rural land, but also speckled with long-distance suburbs surrounded by countryside.

Suffolk and Chesapeake, VA would also fit the description in the above paragraph. They are both "independent cities" (like Baltimore, Carson City and St Louis, along with all "cities" (not towns) in Virginia. suffolk was created when the town of Nansemond merged with Nasemond County (which no longer exists), and the newly consolidated county then merged with the city of Suffolk, which was the center of population. at 700+ square miles, Suffolk is starting to become speckled with widely scattered exurb-development, though at least 80% of the city of Suffolk remains rural.

Likewise next door in Chesapeake, which was created ~1970 via a merger between the city of South Norfolk and the remainder of Norfolk County. as is as the case with Suffolk, both cities were then declared independent cities, and the "counties" became extinct. And in both of those cities, far less than half of their land area is urban. There a fair bit of suburban cookie-cutter stuff, especially in Chesapeake. But the majority of both is rural land, speckled with small, exurb commuter neighborhoods.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:54 PM
Location: Phoenix Arizona
2,032 posts, read 4,045,301 times
Reputation: 2699
Wow, we're gonna have to sprawl harder if we're gonna beat Atlanta.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:59 PM
Location: The City
22,345 posts, read 32,231,632 times
Reputation: 7749
Among large cities Atlanta has the lowest percentage of MSA population living within its UA; think Houston is second. Though this is also imperfect but somewhat interesting. Miami on the other hand has 100% of the MSA population contained within the US; only large citiy in the US to have this.

Phoenix is also very high on the UA to MSA ratio
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Old 03-21-2012, 04:42 AM
2,402 posts, read 3,585,447 times
Reputation: 1266
No New York City metro or Chicago land on the list? Huge sprawlers.

I'd say it goes like this, in terms of urbanized/suburban built-up area, in terms of shear area covered:

1) New York City
2) Los Angeles
3) Chicago
4) Atlanta
5) Dallas-Fort Worth
6) Philadelphia
7) Houston
8) Detroit
9) Phoenix
10) Washington D.C.

Next: San Francisco Bay, Seattle, Boston, Minneapolis-St.Paul, Miami
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