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Old 07-16-2012, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
18,509 posts, read 28,169,813 times
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Consolidation is fun.

Those smaller NE towns should consolidate. Cities like Boston, Cambridge and the other nearby towns should all be one

Crap, all urban areas should consolidate into cities.
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Shaw.
2,226 posts, read 3,144,045 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HtownLove View Post
Crap, all urban areas should consolidate into cities.
I don't know about that, but I do find it silly that Virginia rules prevent Arlington from having any cities.
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:43 PM
 
26 posts, read 91,788 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post

By Total Area Growth**

40. Denver: +86.2

By % Growth

45. Denver: +129.0%
Denver annexed 53 square miles of unpopulated land in 1989 when building Denver International Airport (DIA). This land's population currently is roughly 8,500 people (keep in mind this is within 53 sq. mi.) and is virtually desolate, no-mans land today. Take away 53 square miles of annexation from Denver and it doesn't make the 1st list.

So, although these lists makes for interesting debate, it has to be taken with a grain of salt. The Denver example shows that correlating the two figures from both lists is in no way representative to how the city grew in population over that 60 year period. More figures, such as how much population the annexed land had prior to annexation, need to be supplied before you can properly make comparisons. Denver shows that huge swaths of land can be annexed onto a city proper without adding any significant population.

Denver is indeed a city that has had generous population gains through migration rather than annexation and I'm sure that it isn't the only city on these lists that has.

Last edited by Back-up; 07-16-2012 at 10:59 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:57 PM
 
144 posts, read 223,824 times
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Birmingham, AL annexed a lot of undeveloped land in the 1980's-1990's. A lot of it was large tracts of retail development. The city limits of Birmingham looks like a j-saw puzzle.

Before Montgomery, AL annexed the eastern side of the city in the 1970's, it had about 133,000 residents on 34 square miles. After the annexation, it shot up to 178,000 on 98 square miles. Since then, the city has annexed more land, but it was mainly industrial parks and such.
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:18 AM
 
Location: Weymouth, The South
786 posts, read 1,603,024 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Back-up View Post
Denver annexed 53 square miles of unpopulated land in 1989 when building Denver International Airport (DIA). This land's population currently is roughly 8,500 people (keep in mind this is within 53 sq. mi.) and is virtually desolate, no-mans land today. Take away 53 square miles of annexation from Denver and it doesn't make the 1st list.

So, although these lists makes for interesting debate, it has to be taken with a grain of salt. The Denver example shows that correlating the two figures from both lists is in no way representative to how the city grew in population over that 60 year period. More figures, such as how much population the annexed land had prior to annexation, need to be supplied before you can properly make comparisons. Denver shows that huge swaths of land can be annexed onto a city proper without adding any significant population.

Denver is indeed a city that has had generous population gains through migration rather than annexation and I'm sure that it isn't the only city on these lists that has.
Population data for the cities before and after each annexation would be really great, but does that data exist?

I don't think this information is supposed to be in any way taken as complete. This thread's point seems to have been just to remind people about annexation and it's part in the Sun Belt's city's growth, but not to wholly illustrate this impact.

Could the OP maybe give us where he found this data please? Is there an area figure associated with every census? That'd be brilliant.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Carrboro and Concord, NC
964 posts, read 2,046,793 times
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It's definitely a factor, but even in the Sunbelt, annexation laws vary wildly from state to state - in Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia they are nearly impossible, which is (for example) how Greenville SC has ended up with a city population of around 60,000, but an unincorporated urban area immediately surrounding the city which has a population of around 350,000, which is more reflective of the "actual" size of the city.

There are other states where annexation has been easy, with North Carolina likely heading the list.

In some Sunbelt states, cities do not have zoning authority beyond their city limits, and are not obligated to extend any services beyond the city limits. In many of the same states, counties have limited governmental powers (a lack of home rule) and can't provide those services, so - much like California between the 1890s and at least the 1950s - cities have the ability to strong-arm developers into "voluntary" annexations - if you want water, sewer, police, fire, etc in an area proposed for development, you must be willing to be annexed into the city before those services are provided - two other fast-growing South Carolina cities (which would NOT be able to involuntarily annex anything) - Rock Hill and Charleston - fall into this category.

In many Northern, and especially Northeastern states, cities could and did annex very aggressively until states curtailed their ability to do so. I have in a collection a street map of Detroit published in 1923, and another published in 1951, and the city limits area doubled in that time; I am unsure of how much of Detroit's growth (it was a rapidly growing city at the time) came via in-migration, versus the large annexations it undertook over a roughly 15-year period of time. Philadelphia doubled in it's land area in the late 19th century, and Detroit and Chicago did so well into the 20th. We are actually now seeing in the Sunbelt states the same phenomena seen in Northern states a century earlier - state legislatures rewriting, abolishing, or severely restricting the ability to annex. It has been traditionally easy in North Carolina, for example, but that seems to be undergoing some major changes.

In many of the Sunbelt states where you have seen consolidations - Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and also Kentucky and Indiana - those were essentially a voter-approved method of side-stepping restrictive annexation laws. In those states annexation is extremely difficult, but consolidation can pass with a simple vote, sometimes with a legislative rubber stamp after the vote is in. With varying degrees of ease, all of the states excepting the New England states still have provisions on the books to allow for consolidation between cities and counties, and though it hasn't been done in many Northeastern cities (NYC and Philadelphia are consolidated cities), there are several which have undertaken cost/benefit analyses of consolidations: Buffalo, Syracuse, Cleveland, Pittsburgh have all - at some point over the last 30 or 40 years - looked into the merits of pushing for a consolidation.

It should also be noted that in some of the cities that have undertaken large annexations between 1950 and 1990 (Memphis springs to mind), the population is now dropping or holding steady, but not increasing.

And yet another point: the cities that have annexed most aggressively in North Carolina have wildly different patterns of in-migration. Fayetteville grew, over 20 years, from around 70,000 to more than 200,000, while the county (Cumberland) has only grown at about 5% at best. So what looks like the fastest growing city in NC gained virtually all of it's growth through annexation. After the annexation was complete, Fayetteville's growth flattened out again.

The North Carolina state demographer's office tracks and generates population estimates for all incorporated cities within the state, and in reporting growth, it divides the estimates (in raw numbers and in percentages) into growth by in-migration, versus growth through annexation. In Charlotte and Greensboro, the balance has been around 50/50 for the last few decades. In Raleigh, Cary and Greenville (both of which stopped involuntary annexations years ago), in-migration outpaced annexation by more than 10%; in Raleigh, nearly all of it's growth has been via in-migration or voluntary annexations. The opposite is true in Asheville, Durham, Winston-Salem and Wilmington. The extremes are basically Fayetteville, where 100% of it's growth came through annexation (it would have actually lost population otherwise), whereas Raleigh and Cary in particular gained at least 60%-70% of their growth through in-migration.

I think a close examination of in-state demographic trends in other states would reveal something similar.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Weymouth, The South
786 posts, read 1,603,024 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidals View Post

In many Northern, and especially Northeastern states, cities could and did annex very aggressively until states curtailed their ability to do so. I have in a collection a street map of Detroit published in 1923, and another published in 1951, and the city limits area doubled in that time; I am unsure of how much of Detroit's growth (it was a rapidly growing city at the time) came via in-migration, versus the large annexations it undertook over a roughly 15-year period of time. Philadelphia doubled in it's land area in the late 19th century, and Detroit and Chicago did so well into the 20th. We are actually now seeing in the Sunbelt states the same phenomena seen in Northern states a century earlier - state legislatures rewriting, abolishing, or severely restricting the ability to annex. It has been traditionally easy in North Carolina, for example, but that seems to be undergoing some major changes.
Nobody's saying that the Northeast didn't do this as well just earlier. The point is that there's been lots of growth in Southern and Western cities in the last 50 years and that annexation is played just as big a part in that as migration, if not bigger.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Mexico City, formerly Columbus, Ohio
13,103 posts, read 13,487,812 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceTenmile View Post
Population data for the cities before and after each annexation would be really great, but does that data exist?

I don't think this information is supposed to be in any way taken as complete. This thread's point seems to have been just to remind people about annexation and it's part in the Sun Belt's city's growth, but not to wholly illustrate this impact.

Could the OP maybe give us where he found this data please? Is there an area figure associated with every census? That'd be brilliant.
It exists for the entire city, but if you mean just for the annexed areas, I haven't seen that or would've posted that data. However, people suggesting that the annexed lands didn't add much population may or may not be true, but the land annexed has likely grown in population since the annexation. The more land a city adds, the more of a catch-all it becomes. Someone mentioned Denver and how it's large annexation didn't add that many people. But in 1989, that 8,500 people became a 2% population growth for the population at that time. For any city, a yearly growth of 2% is significant. The fastest growing city right now is less than 4% a year. However, Denver is not a high-annexation city.

Where I got the data was from individual census reports that listed city size. Just look up city size by area and the census year. There's usually a PDF.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
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What about Toronto and Montreal? Their populations were around 600,000-700,000 back in the late 70s. Now they're 1.8-2.5 million.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:31 AM
 
9,967 posts, read 14,616,838 times
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Portland used to annex entire independent cities back around the turn of the last century--1900-1910--when it annexed neighboring towns like St. Johns, Sellwood, East Portland/Albina, Multnomah, Kents, and so on. In the last 50 years though the annexation have mostly been developed neighborhoods that fell into unincorporated land between two or several cities. There's still huge chunks of unincorporated land in both Multnomah County and Washington County. Much of the debate is often whether it's worth it for these areas to get more in terms of city services, yet have to pay higher city taxes and regulations.
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