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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 07-13-2007, 08:14 AM
 
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I'm surprised to see Los Angeles up there. I haven't spent much time there, but I always thought it was fairly dense. It is extremely large, no question.

Houston, Atlanta and DC are the worst I've ever seen. Even though it's not as big as some of these cities, I think Charlotte has a huge amount of suburbs in relation to its urban grid. Raleigh-Durham-Cary is the same way, that place is mostly low-density sprawl. I've heard bad things about Phoenix's sprawl, but I haven't been there in a very long time.
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Old 07-13-2007, 10:58 AM
 
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Chicago? Disagree here. Chicago has 2 million people in the city, and more in its suburbs. ....then you have people who live WAY far out in what should be unincorporated areas desperately trying to hold on to the Chicago name. They don't live in Chicago, but want to tag that Chicagoland name on it. Those people would have higher quality of life in Milwaukee or St.Louis. When it takes you longer to get to the city of Chicago than it does Milwaukee, the neighboring city to the North, (in some of them) ...well...

The difference is a lot of people live in the city of Chicago, and close in to it vs some of those other true sprawl suburban cities like Atlanta etc...

Atlanta
Houston
Dallas
Phoenix

are some true sprawl cities, that could have much greater population in its city and close in to the city, but doesn't. Houston does, but Houston considers are pretty far out area to still be called Houston. If say St. Louis called anything East of 270 St. Louis, which they don't...it would have a very large city population. Instead they only consider about 60 miles worth of land, the city. It is a sprawl city though of smaller size.
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Old 07-13-2007, 07:36 PM
 
609 posts, read 2,722,513 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymous View Post
I'm surprised to see Los Angeles up there. I haven't spent much time there, but I always thought it was fairly dense. It is extremely large, no question.

Houston, Atlanta and DC are the worst I've ever seen. Even though it's not as big as some of these cities, I think Charlotte has a huge amount of suburbs in relation to its urban grid. Raleigh-Durham-Cary is the same way, that place is mostly low-density sprawl. I've heard bad things about Phoenix's sprawl, but I haven't been there in a very long time.
I think there might be some confusion on what we're defining as "sprawl".
You can have a dense principle city and still be very sprawled out. At the same token, you can have a minimally dense principle city and still be sprawled out.

Believe it or not, LA is relatively dense, though may not appear so on the surface when in LA proper. CHicago is also dense in the principle city, especially in the urban core. WHen I refer to LA and Chicago, I am referring to their metro areas unless I talk specifically a/b the principle city. But then again, Phoenix is sprawled out, yet its principle city/core city is not dense.

So just b/c you have a dense principle city does not necessarily rule out sprawl. LA area is very sprawled out. THere is no denying that. So is Chicagoland. Basically, lots of American cities outside of the traditional northeast cities are pretty sprawled out. So which one is the most sprawled?
Looking at the poll, I generally agree with the numbers that people are voting on...both Houston and Dallas areas cover lots of square mileage. LA obviously has always been talked a/b with regards to sprawl. Atlanta, yes, at 28 counties in its MSA (though the area/county is not overly large), one can argue for Atlanta's case also.

For those talking a/b St. Louis, yes I agree that the city core is relatively dense, and that the MSA continues to expand beyond Wentzville even!

On a smaller scale, Omaha, NE is expanding westward at a rapid pace to the point where it might meet up with Lincoln, NE's MSA in the future.

Cincinatti is showing evidence of moving beyond Morrow, OH, and I agree for a city its size, it does have sprawl.

I guess the other issue we must consider is thinking a/b sprawl as relative to its principle city. Which I believe someone did allude to earlier in the thread.
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Old 07-13-2007, 07:39 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Not on the list, but Pittsburgh has a high suburban:city population ratio; approx. 7:1. That is partially b/c the city is shrinking, but so are some of the burbs.
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Old 07-13-2007, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Midwest
1,903 posts, read 7,283,783 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vasinger View Post
You seriously need to add WASHINGTON, DC to your list. Gosh, that place has swallowed up half the east coast. Its probably the most transient and most commuter city of any- rivaling L.A. Because most people who work in DC would rather live in the 'burbs. Half of Virginia belongs to the DC area and it keeps spreading southward. In 10 years, I won't be surprised if Raleigh-Durham is part of the DC metro area.
You just love to hate on DC, and after those nice Northerers "gave" the national capital to the ingrateful South.

Fredericksburg, Richmond, etc are NOT DC suburbs. DC suburbs are actually quite compact, explaining why the traffic is so horrendous. Yes, people do try to 'power commute' from places like Baltimore and Richmond into DC.
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Old 07-14-2007, 07:57 AM
 
Location: In God
3,073 posts, read 10,770,360 times
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I'm having a hard time seeing how this can be an opinion poll (?). Does anybody know what the ten most sprawled cities are?
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Old 07-14-2007, 10:42 AM
 
5,859 posts, read 14,055,227 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpope409 View Post
I'm having a hard time seeing how this can be an opinion poll (?). Does anybody know what the ten most sprawled cities are?
Part of the issue seems to be a common thread here in these forums, and that's lack of agreement of the definition of "city". It's obvious from his posts that the OP considers the city to be an entire metro area (central city plus all suburbs), not what he calls the "principle city" (central city?). To further complicate matters, many central cities (especially in the Sunbelt) have large areas that are suburban in character, and relatively few suburban municipalities.

When considering where I live, the Twin Cities, I'd judge our "city" as defined by the OP as extremely sprawling, but our "principle cities" as not very sprawled.

mpope, I agree it should be pretty easy to do a little research to see which are the 10 most sprawling "cities", whether we are talking metro areas or central cities.
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Old 07-14-2007, 01:00 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,015 posts, read 102,634,943 times
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I agree with mpope409 as well. Of course, then we'd have to come up with a definition of "sprawl". My definition would be the ratio of city dweller to suburbanites in an MSA. Someone else may have a different idea.
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Old 07-14-2007, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Raleigh,NC
351 posts, read 975,411 times
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I realize this info is almost 10 years old but it's the latest I could find. It still applies today about the same.

1998 Sprawl Report- Sprawl - Sierra Club

Clickable Sprawl Map

Last edited by carolinadreamin'; 07-14-2007 at 02:42 PM..
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Old 07-14-2007, 03:59 PM
 
Location: In God
3,073 posts, read 10,770,360 times
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For large cities, I think you would have to factor in the density per sq. mi. in relation to the total population.
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