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Old 05-02-2013, 02:17 PM
 
Location: New Orleans
797 posts, read 1,161,496 times
Reputation: 631

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I for the most part agree with the OP. Many Southerners do seem to base urbanity off of skylines, CBDs, tall buildings, new urbanism designs, etc. While most Northerners will base it off of the historic residential neighborhoods. Of course most of the reasoning of this is based off of things like history/age, development patterns, historical populations, and urban renewal. That’s why the oldest cities in the South that had decent historical populations have the best examples of urban historic residential neighborhoods. But there are only a few cities in the South that have decent sized intact historic urban residential neighborhoods that could match a typical Northern city and for the most part this does not include the South's largest cities.

The whole "real" and "fake" city thing on City-Data is pretty stupid, though.

 
Old 05-02-2013, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Crosstown *****
1,050 posts, read 1,675,394 times
Reputation: 552
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Of course I'm aware of New Orleans. Charleston and Savanna also famously have urban cores, and Richmond has the Fan District, which is of course classicly urban.

As for the other cities, I don't think the older neighborhoods, where they are intact, fit the classic mold. The historic districts I've seen which were built for the wealthy tend to have larger houses sitting fairly far back on the property. They look old, but seem "soft urban" at most. The worker housing tends to be shotgun houses, which to a northerner simply does not feel "urban."

Part of the issue regarding popular perceptions too is these are largely not the sunbelt southern megopolises most people go to. I'm aware cities like Houston used to have many historic neighborhoods, but they obliterated them when constructing their CBD and highways.

If you ever come to Midtown Memphis you wouldn't think this. BUt yes, too many southern cities are about suburban sprawl and only care about what a city looks like rather than culture, which equals boring to me. Memphis and New Orleans aren't like this. I am not familiar with Richmond, so it could be. But Memphis and New Orleans are different than the rest of the south, maybe that's the reason other southerners dislike them.
 
Old 05-02-2013, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
18,656 posts, read 27,102,729 times
Reputation: 9591
I see what the OP is talking about. Basically it's like this. To Southerners, any city that is built up with large skyscrapers with plentiful amenities is a big city or real city. But to Northerners, any city that is dense, walkable, has public transit system, to go along with their large skyscrapers with plentiful amenities is a real city. To Northerners, cities in the South are large suburbs to them because the density levels rivals their suburbs such as Houston having the density levels equal to that of Schaumburg, Illinois and their public transit system is next to woeful (to be fair, most Northern cities outside NY, Chicago, Philly, Boston, and if you want to count it, DC, public transit systems are woeful). To Northerners, there's more to being a city than just having skyscrapers.

I for one think it's crap but I understand what the OP is saying.
 
Old 05-02-2013, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
18,656 posts, read 27,102,729 times
Reputation: 9591
Quote:
Originally Posted by knucklehead_vol View Post
If you ever come to Midtown Memphis you wouldn't think this. BUt yes, too many southern cities are about suburban sprawl and only care about what a city looks like rather than culture, which equals boring to me. Memphis and New Orleans aren't like this. I am not familiar with Richmond, so it could be. But Memphis and New Orleans are different than the rest of the south, maybe that's the reason other southerners dislike them.
Every major city in the South has urban and historic neighborhoods whether they be urban or pre-WW2 streetcar suburbs. I also don't know why you think other Southerners dislike those two cities because of that reason. In fact, Memphis is just as suburban looking if not more than the rest of them.
 
Old 05-02-2013, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
8,483 posts, read 10,483,907 times
Reputation: 5401
I do agree with somethings the OP said but things like moderate density, walkability, good mass transit, and efficient infrastructure are all important factors that make a world-class city. Having a great skyline is not one of them.
 
Old 05-02-2013, 07:24 PM
 
6,420 posts, read 10,880,165 times
Reputation: 6702
I'm glad you put it in pictures, because my feeble Southern mind has a hard time with big words.
 
Old 05-02-2013, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
18,509 posts, read 28,201,873 times
Reputation: 7599
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I basically said southerners tend to associate "city" with the Central Business District. In contrast, northerners tend to associate it just as much with the old non-suburban residential neighborhoods ringing the CBD.
If that is so then Southerners are the ones with brains then.
The definition of a city is: a center of commerce.

Don't think any of the respectable dictionaries saying anything about old housing stock.
 
Old 05-02-2013, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
8,483 posts, read 10,483,907 times
Reputation: 5401
Quote:
Originally Posted by nashvols View Post
I'm glad you put it in pictures, because my feeble Southern mind has a hard time with big words.
lmao. I know your just being sarcastic but I don't think the OP was trying to be malicious towards Southern viewpoints when he created this thread.
 
Old 05-02-2013, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,448 posts, read 11,955,665 times
Reputation: 10561
I honestly still don't understand why people (particularly Southerners) are getting so defensive, even after I explained better. I was generalizing, but I was generalizing about a notable number of posters from northern cities who claim that southern cities aren't "real" (note the use of quotes) and trying to explain why that was.

If I made the statement "some people do not like heavy metal, I think it is because of X" would people assume that I did not like metal?
 
Old 05-02-2013, 11:07 PM
 
Location: Where Else...?
740 posts, read 1,021,559 times
Reputation: 657
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I don't understand why, when I was trying to summarize why people lived in the North and the South seem to disagree so frequently on the urbanity of the south, so many people jumped to the conclusion that I was saying that southern cities were not real cities.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I basically said southerners tend to associate "city" with the Central Business District. In contrast, northerners tend to associate it just as much with the old non-suburban residential neighborhoods ringing the CBD. I didn't put "southerners are wrong, and northerners are right" anywhere. Cultural perceptions are by their nature subjective.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I honestly still don't understand why people (particularly Southerners) are getting so defensive, even after I explained better. I was generalizing, but I was generalizing about a notable number of posters from northern cities who claim that southern cities aren't "real" (note the use of quotes) and trying to explain why that was.

If I made the statement "some people do not like heavy metal, I think it is because of X" would people assume that I did not like metal?
I understand what you are saying. Frankly, on C-D, I've seen more northerners criticize southern cities and their not being "real cities", as well as making claims that said southern cities lack "relevance"... whatever that means.....
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