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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 04-28-2013, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC (in my mind)
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When it comes to small cities, there is sometimes a debate over what is a "real city" or simply a large town. What is your definition and what is the smallest a place can be (metro population) to be considered a real city?

Last edited by bchris02; 04-28-2013 at 07:06 PM..
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
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are you talking about city limits or the entire metro?
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC (in my mind)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajjam View Post
are you talking about city limits or the entire metro?
I should have clarified. Metro area is the only way to measure it. If we went on city size alone, Tulsa is pretty much the size of Atlanta, and as we know there is absolutely no comparison. If Atlanta is the standard of a real city, Tulsa would be a small village.
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
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I figured that's what you meant..and I was going to use that as a case. I REALLY want to say 3 million but I would say 2 million just because that is more fair and realistic. I don't think (IMHO) a city of 1 million really feels like a city. But then you have places like Birmingham and Savannah which of course are cities but around 1 million. Birmingham is about 1.1 million and Savannah is about 500,000...so it's hard to say because they both respectively offer a lot. But I think "REAL" cities that can offer something and be competitive is 2 million.

Last edited by ajjam; 04-28-2013 at 08:30 PM..
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:10 PM
 
Location: SoCal
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To me it's about size:

Small city 50,000 - 300,000.
Medium City 300,001 - 999,999
Big City 1,000,000 +
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Denver
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One does not simply base "real cities" on population alone.

On average I would say anything above 250,000. A city should have it's own feel, it's own downtown, distinct and varying neighborhoods, it's own industries and economy, etc.
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:30 AM
 
Location: The Bay
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Being a real city doesn't have that much to do with the population count IMO, it has more to do with its layout and feel. If it's densely built with pedestrians in mind (not cars) and it has a well-defined city center that draws people from other parts of the city as well as people from other surrounding towns for work/entertainment then it's a real city IMO. Per my definition I'd consider Berkeley just as much of a real city as San Francisco or Oakland even though it's only 114,000 people; it's densely built and draws people from the surrounding region.

EDIT: I also agree with annie_himself that real cities have self-contained economies.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:19 AM
 
Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
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US Cities (Metro's)

***** = 10+ million
**** = 5-10 million
*** = 3-5 million
** = 1-3 million
* = 0.5-1 million

Under 0.5 million = TOWN
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:56 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bchris02 View Post
When it comes to small cities, there is sometimes a debate over what is a "real city" or simply a large town. What is your definition and what is the smallest a place can be (metro population) to be considered a real city?
I live in a city of 29,000. We have our own police, fire, utilities, city council, city charter and schools separate from the county. We have a City Manager. I refer to it as a town because it is suburbanish (we are 25 miles west of Knoxville) but it is a city on paper. It was incorporated in 1959. It is 85.5 square miles however the population density is only 343 people per square mile. City Data says that's very low.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:58 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bchris02 View Post
When it comes to small cities, there is sometimes a debate over what is a "real city" or simply a large town. What is your definition and what is the smallest a place can be (metro population) to be considered a real city?
An article of incorporation distinguishes a city from a town.
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