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Old 03-07-2012, 07:40 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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By 'downtown' I don't mean any official boundaries, but basically what 'feels' like the city centre. Where most of the administrative, political and civic institutions are based, skyscrapers, city parks, street-level shopping - just the inner city feel. What is generally agreed as being part of the city's centre or core.

1. Obviously NYC - Manhattan, most of which I consider the downtown of GREATER NY, is probably the largest 'downtown' in the world
2. Chicago
3. Philadelphia
4. San Francisco
5. Washington D.C.
6-10: ?

Actually not too definitive about 3-5. D.C's downtown, while it lacks skyscrapers, actually seemed really big to me. SF's 'downtown feel' also extends well outside of the area designated as downtown. Philly probably has the most 'concrete jungle' feel of any city outside the big 2.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:47 AM
 
Location: The Springs
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According to this link:

Denver Colorado Demographics and Population Statistics

Denver has the 10th largest downtown in the country. Like all statistics, I'm certain it has holes and exceptions. I question it because it used to state such on Wikipedia, and I cannot find such entry at present.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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1) NYC
2) Chicago
3) Philadelphia
4) Boston
5) San Francisco
6) Los Angeles
7) Houston
8) Washington, D.C.
9) Denver
10) Dallas/Miami
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
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largest in terms of what? Area? number of buildings? workforce? resident population???
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
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First, I determined what I believe to be the general boundaries are for each city's downtown area, then used the Distance Measurement Tool on Google to determine the distance within that area. They are ranked in order by the largest area within the boundaries (totally subjective, it is my opinion of what their downtowns are). This does not speak to the quality of the downtowns, just how big I think they are:

1.) NYC - two large downtown areas, Midtown and Upper Manhattan - it could be argued that the entire island of Manhattan is the downtown, but there are certainly areas in between Midtown and UM that are not very "downtown-y". I didn't actually measure NY, I just assume it is the biggest.

2.) Chicago - I'd say this is all of the Loop, up north to Chicago St. and west to the river, south to the Soldier's Field area.

3.) Philadelphia - Center City, north to about Fairmount Ave and south to about Lombard St., bounded on the east/west by the rivers (though maybe you could count the Universities as well on the West)

4.) Washington DC - Not very familiar with DC, but have heard that it seems very large despite the lack of highrises (which are extremely overrated IMO anyways). I took my best stab at what DT looks like from google maps.

5.) Los Angeles - Bounded by the Los Angeles River on the east, Alpine Street at the north, various roads just west of the 110 freeway, and the 10 freeway on the south.

6.) Seattle - Bounded on the north by Denny Way, on the east by Broadway and on the south by the Seahawks' stadium.

7.) San Francisco - Bounded on the west by Van Ness, on the south by the 101 freeway and 16th Street, and on the north by Broadway.

8.) Atlanta (I count Midtown as Downtown and Midtown appear to be pretty seamless) - Along I-75 on the west through Midtown with Piedmont Ave on the East, then in downtown it is Northside Dr on the west and I-75 / I-20 on the South/Southeast.

9.) Boston - Bounded by Arlington St on the west, Stuart St. and the Mass Pike on the south.

10.) Miami - Bounded on the north by Dolphin Expressway, the west by I-95, and then along Brickell until it meets the ocean.

Honorable mentions would be Dallas, Portland, Houston, Baltimore, Detroit, Minneapolis, Denver, Pittsburgh, and probably a few others I cannot think of.

This is not what I think are the 'best' 'most urban' 'liveliest' or any of that stuff, if it was the list would definitely look different.

Oh and these pics are not to scale. I didn't do NY, it seems unnecessary.
Attached Thumbnails
What are the 10 biggest downtowns in the nation?-atlanta.jpg   What are the 10 biggest downtowns in the nation?-boston.jpg   What are the 10 biggest downtowns in the nation?-chicago.jpg   What are the 10 biggest downtowns in the nation?-dc.jpg   What are the 10 biggest downtowns in the nation?-la.jpg  

What are the 10 biggest downtowns in the nation?-miami.jpg   What are the 10 biggest downtowns in the nation?-philly.jpg   What are the 10 biggest downtowns in the nation?-seattle.jpg   What are the 10 biggest downtowns in the nation?-sf.jpg  
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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I would include the Mag Mile for Chicago and the Back Bay for Boston since they are connected to the CBD and provide continuous skyscrapers and urbanity.

Center City Philadelphia technically only runs from Spring Garden Street to the North and South Street to the South.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summersm343 View Post
I would include the Mag Mile for Chicago and the Back Bay for Boston since they are connected to the CBD and provide continuous skyscrapers and urbanity.
I didn't include the Back Bay in my list but it definitely could be argued as part of DT Boston.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
First, I determined what I believe to be the general boundaries are for each city's downtown area, then used the Distance Measurement Tool on Google to determine the distance within that area. They are ranked in order by the largest area within the boundaries (totally subjective, it is my opinion of what their downtowns are). This does not speak to the quality of the downtowns, just how big I think they are:
what are the boundaries you used for Houston's?
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HtownLove View Post
what are the boundaries you used for Houston's?
Basically everything bounded by the expressways and the bayou except for on the southern end it seems like it could extend down to McGowin or Elgin.

If you counted Midtown it would probably bump one of the top 10 out. Really everyone from 7-17 or so has a decent argument to be in the top 10, depending on how you manipulate the boundaries.
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
Basically everything bounded by the expressways and the bayou except for on the southern end it seems like it could extend down to McGowin or Elgin.

If you counted Midtown it would probably bump one of the top 10 out. Really everyone from 7-17 or so has a decent argument to be in the top 10, depending on how you manipulate the boundaries.
Without Including Midtown, The area is already bigger than the areas you chose for Boston, LA, SF and Seattle

Anyway. Danny once posted this. It is the areas considered DT for each city:

Keep in mind for Metropolitan Areas that are Poly-Nodal like Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Bay Area, & Dallas-Fort Worth, this information is Downtown Minneapolis + Downtown Saint Paul, Downtown Dallas + Downtown Fort Worth, Downtown Oakland + Downtown San Jose + Downtown San Francisco.

Top 20 Largest Central Business Districts by Land Area:
01. New York City: 7.82 Square Miles
02. Chicago: 3.36 Square Miles
03. Miami: 2.91 Square Miles
04. Columbus: 2.47 Square Miles
05. Bay Area: 2.34 Square Miles
06. Washington DC: 2.30 Square Miles
07. Atlanta: 2.17 Square Miles
08. Philadelphia: 1.71 Square Miles
09. Austin: 1.59 Square Miles
10. Cleveland: 1.54 Square Miles
11. Houston: 1.53 Square Miles (Tie with Denver)
12. Denver: 1.53 Square Miles (Tie with Houston)
13. Seattle: 1.48 Square Miles
14. Los Angeles: 1.25 Square Miles
15. Boston: 1.23 Square Miles
16. Baltimore: 1.09 Square Miles
17. New Orleans: 1.06 Square Miles
18. Minneapolis-Saint Paul: 0.72 Square Miles
19. Dallas-Fort Worth: 0.67 Square Miles
20. Pittsburgh: 0.66 Square Miles


Top 20 Largest Central Business Districts by Employment Population:
01. New York City: 1,736,900
02. Chicago: 541,500
03. Washington DC: 382,400
04. Bay Area: 305,600
05. Boston: 257,000
06. Philadelphia: 220,100
07. Seattle: 155,100
08. Houston: 153,400
09. Los Angeles: 143,700
10. Atlanta: 129,800
11. Denver: 126,000
12. Minneapolis-Saint Paul: 105,400
13. Cleveland: 100,300
14. Baltimore: 98,500
15. Miami: 98,000
16. Pittsburgh: 95,600
17. Columbus: 88,800
18. Austin: 86,000
19. New Orleans: 81,400
20. Dallas-Fort Worth: 79,900


The listings change dramatically when you start adding in Midtowns and other areas. For Houston I would Add midtown, China Town and Allen Parkway to the mix making the area about 4 sq miles.


The Employment numbers are also from 2000, so the data is really really old.


I think Columbus and other places would drop down the list once office space and other buildings are taken into account. According to Grubb Ellis this is the top CBD's:

1. Midtown Manhattan- 213,818,31
2. CBD Chicago- 130,317,15
3. CBD DC- 107,337,31
4. DT Manhattan- 76,000,76
5. MT S Manhattan- 74,577,47
6. CBD Boston- 64,407,32
7. CBD SF- 45,176,67
8. CBD Philadelphia- 44,261,375
9. CBD Houston- 43,214,941
10. CBD LA- 32,159,55
11. Minneapolis- 28,299,243 (The report lists St P separately and then combines them in the end as one district)
12. Pittsburgh- 27,841,801 (they included fringe areas)
13. CBD Dallas- 26,890,00 (The report lists FW separately and then combines them in the end as one district)
14. Denver- 26,493,570
15. Cleveland- 21,969,702
16. Portland- 19,779,070
17. CBD Atlanta- 17,288,368
18. Phoenix- 15,779,714
19. Indianapolis- 14,709,070
20. Detroit- 13,187,372
21. Miami- 13,133,897
22. Milwaukee- 12,439,588
23. Columbus- 12,289,442
24. Cincinnati- 11,919,525
25. San Diego- 11,393,918
26. St Paul- 10,059,518
27. Fort Worth- 9,956,82
28. Austin- 8,490,93
29. San Jose- 8,355,347

So taking in Land area, business space and workers into consideration I would rank the top ten like this

1. NY
2. Chicago
3. DC
4. Boston
5. Philadelphia
6. Houston
7. San Francisco
8. Los Angeles
9. Atlanta
10. Miami

Last edited by HtownLove; 03-07-2012 at 01:51 PM..
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