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View Poll Results: What is the minimum population a city can have to be considered a "real city"?
500,000 38 36.89%
1 million 24 23.30%
2 million 15 14.56%
3 million 4 3.88%
Other 22 21.36%
Voters: 103. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-29-2013, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Denver
14,157 posts, read 19,801,033 times
Reputation: 8810

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahatma X View Post
Layout and feel. Jacksonville has over 700K people but its not a real city, its flat out country.. meanwhile Baltimore has 621K people and is a real city.
This has to be a joke. Jacksonville is very much a city.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
Probably between 2-3 million. Think Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Denver, Vegas,...

I think that's the minimum required for a real city feel. Although New Orleans does it with somewhat less.
That's too big for me. Are Charlotte or Austin not real cities? Baton Rouge is very much a real city with 800k, we draw people from southern MS, have large urban districts, large suburban districts, have multiple suburban parishes, metro area of 8 parishes, have a distinct culture, etc.

How are you guys judging this? By a typical interstate drive through the city or being on the surface roads? Both can be very misleading.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:20 AM
 
1,069 posts, read 857,450 times
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I would say Village 1-20,000, town 20,000-50,000, small city 50,000-150,000, city 150,000-500,000 big city 500,000 +
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:22 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,329 posts, read 19,603,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annie_himself View Post
That's too big for me. Are Charlotte or Austin not real cities? Baton Rouge is very much a real city with 800k, we draw people from southern MS, have large urban districts, large suburban districts, have multiple suburban parishes, metro area of 8 parishes, have a distinct culture, etc.

How are you guys judging this? By a typical interstate drive through the city or being on the surface roads? Both can be very misleading.
I haven't been to Charlotte, Austin or Baton Rouge, so can't really comment on those. But I suppose you're right that around 1 million can feel like a real city if done properly.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:23 AM
 
1,069 posts, read 857,450 times
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Oh, and I was referring to cities themselves, not the metro area. Metro area would be a different story.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:30 AM
 
6,420 posts, read 10,882,025 times
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It depends on how it functions, IMO.

Cheyenne and Casper, Wyoming are in the 50-60,000 range, and I would certainly call them cities. There are numerous suburbs in the same population range that aren't as independent, aren't as important, and do not provide the same level of services.

Size is *a* factor, but I don't think there is any certain requirement.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC (in my mind)
7,946 posts, read 15,063,020 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2e1m5a View Post
That's not true. You think everything is about hipsters .

Most people on the East Coast have been saying Phoenix and the like aren't "real cities" for a while now. Obviously a lot of people don't agree with that but in many ways I do.
The idea that a city has to be walkable to be a "real" city is a recent development that co-incides with the current backlash against suburbs and car culture. The hipster fad is a huge part of that but it isn't limited to that. Nonetheless, I don't see how a place like Phoenix could be considered a real city in 1998 but now its all of a sudden not a real city because the trends have changed. It's still a real city its just different from those that were built prior to World War II.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC (in my mind)
7,946 posts, read 15,063,020 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nashvols View Post
It depends on how it functions, IMO.

Cheyenne and Casper, Wyoming are in the 50-60,000 range, and I would certainly call them cities. There are numerous suburbs in the same population range that aren't as independent, aren't as important, and do not provide the same level of services.

Size is *a* factor, but I don't think there is any certain requirement.
Cheyenne and Casper are unique cases because of how isolated they are. That said I would still consider them large towns even though they are the most important municipalities for hundreds of miles. Amarillo, TX is another similar town.

I do agree urban feel plays a part as well as population. Memphis and New Orleans for example are around 1.4 million in their metros, significantly smaller than most major metro areas, but I would definitely consider them real cities.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,455 posts, read 11,963,283 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bchris02 View Post
Cheyenne and Casper are unique cases because of how isolated they are. That said I would still consider them large towns even though they are the most important municipalities for hundreds of miles. Amarillo, TX is another similar town.
The same could be argued for Burlington, Vermont, or Portland, Maine. In the grand scheme of things they are tiny, but given they are the biggest cities in their states, they have a much better downtown and "urban feel" than you would expect at the same size.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Baltimore / Montgomery County, MD
1,196 posts, read 2,125,013 times
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When I think of real cities I think of the NE+Mid Atlantic and the midwest. SF Bay Area and LA are real too. Most cities in the south are so spread out that they seem to look country to me. Charlotte and Jacksonville look country except downtown. Atlanta seems real but again, only 400K something people living in 132 sq miles. Most major cites in the south are like large towns not cities. I wouldn't call Houston a city just a very large town/suburb.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Where Else...?
740 posts, read 1,021,740 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahatma X View Post
When I think of real cities I think of the NE+Mid Atlantic and the midwest. SF Bay Area and LA are real too. Most cities in the south are so spread out that they seem to look country to me. Charlotte and Jacksonville look country except downtown. Atlanta seems real but again, only 400K something people living in 132 sq miles. Most major cites in the south are like large towns not cities. I wouldn't call Houston a city just a very large town/suburb.
Houston is a large city.....
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