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Old 05-04-2013, 01:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knucklehead_vol View Post
Yes. Every southern city has urban and historic districts. But they also leave a lot to be desired culturally, which is what I stated. And Memphis is not as suburban as most southern cities. As a matter of fact, I would say it's not as southern as most southern cities.
Memphis is arguably the most Southern sizable city in the South. Its nickname is the capital of the Mississippi Delta for crying out loud.

 
Old 05-04-2013, 02:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
Memphis is arguably the most Southern sizable city in the South. Its nickname is the capital of the Mississippi Delta for crying out loud.
Perhaps what he means more has to do with the built environment than the culture. Still, I would say it's not exceptionally different from somewhere like Birmingham (minus the large river).



It has been said many times here, but the biggest difference between Southern and Northern cities have to do with when they developed and when they came of age. There's no such thing as a real city or a not real city. I would argue that Northern cities would likely look similar to Southern or Western cities if the majority of their development had taken place during the auto age. There are other factors, such as the destructive nature of urban renewal, which I think hurt Southern cities more since in general, there was a lot less classic urban architecture to begin with.

The best preserved and most urban gritty Southern cities are those that didn't boom as much in the last 60 or so years.
 
Old 05-04-2013, 03:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nashvols View Post
Perhaps what he means more has to do with the built environment than the culture. Still, I would say it's not exceptionally different from somewhere like Birmingham (minus the large river).



It has been said many times here, but the biggest difference between Southern and Northern cities have to do with when they developed and when they came of age. There's no such thing as a real city or a not real city. I would argue that Northern cities would likely look similar to Southern or Western cities if the majority of their development had taken place during the auto age. There are other factors, such as the destructive nature of urban renewal, which I think hurt Southern cities more since in general, there was a lot less classic urban architecture to begin with.

The best preserved and most urban gritty Southern cities are those that didn't boom as much in the last 60 or so years.
Agreed.
 
Old 05-04-2013, 06:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nashvols View Post
Perhaps what he means more has to do with the built environment than the culture. Still, I would say it's not exceptionally different from somewhere like Birmingham (minus the large river).



It has been said many times here, but the biggest difference between Southern and Northern cities have to do with when they developed and when they came of age. There's no such thing as a real city or a not real city. I would argue that Northern cities would likely look similar to Southern or Western cities if the majority of their development had taken place during the auto age. There are other factors, such as the destructive nature of urban renewal, which I think hurt Southern cities more since in general, there was a lot less classic urban architecture to begin with.

The best preserved and most urban gritty Southern cities are those that didn't boom as much in the last 60 or so years.
Even the cities that have boomed over the past few decades have preserved a lot of their historic environment. It becomes harder to see and I think you have to look past a lot of the new and shiny, but it's there. The grit exists in all of the boom cities but they don't usually put it on display.
 
Old 05-04-2013, 06:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonofaque86 View Post
I understand what the OP is saying about southern cities being huge suburbs.....basically you can fit 86% of charlotte NC population in 58 square miles from over 300 square miles in DC proper....while southern cities do have large CBD my family from up north consider the rest of the city "country or suburban" because they aren't as dense
The problem I have with this statement is that you lump all southern cities into one basket. They are not all the same!
 
Old 05-04-2013, 07:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeTarheel View Post
Even the cities that have boomed over the past few decades have preserved a lot of their historic environment. It becomes harder to see and I think you have to look past a lot of the new and shiny, but it's there. The grit exists in all of the boom cities but they don't usually put it on display.
I don't think all of the boomtowns have grit, nor have all of them preserved a lot of their historic urban fabric. For instance, Charlotte has relatively little grit and didn't do as good of a job as preserving the historic urban fabric within its core, although it did a better job of that in the surrounding neighborhoods/historic streetcar suburbs. I know the same can be said of a few other cities.

Quote:
The problem I have with this statement is that you lump all southern cities into one basket. They are not all the same!
But it's true that the South doesn't have any large, classically urban cities like NYC, Boston, Philly, Chicago, etc. NOLA is as large as it gets for us, and then you have cities like Richmond, Louisville, Memphis, Charleston, Savannah, etc. For historic reasons, the South industrialized and developed later than the North and it shows. It doesn't mean we don't have "real cities" though.
 
Old 05-04-2013, 07:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
I don't think all of the boomtowns have grit, nor have all of them preserved a lot of their historic urban fabric. For instance, Charlotte has relatively little grit and didn't do as good of a job as preserving the historic urban fabric within its core, although it did a better job of that in the surrounding neighborhoods/historic streetcar suburbs. I know the same can be said of a few other cities.



But it's true that the South doesn't have any large, classically urban cities like NYC, Boston, Philly, Chicago, etc. NOLA is as large as it gets for us, and then you have cities like Richmond, Louisville, Memphis, Charleston, Savannah, etc. For historic reasons, the South industrialized and developed later than the North and it shows. It doesn't mean we don't have "real cities" though.
Okay, I should have said "most".

Of course we don't have cities like NYC etc...but I think people sell Atlanta short for urbanization because of it's large suburban area. You could fit each of those cities' downtowns in a small corner of downtown Atlanta, but people don't seem to know about historic/urban Atlanta - they know about the suburbs and the shiny towers.
 
Old 05-04-2013, 07:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeTarheel View Post
Okay, I should have said "most".

Of course we don't have cities like NYC etc...but I think people sell Atlanta short for urbanization because of it's large suburban area. You could fit each of those cities' downtowns in a small corner of downtown Atlanta, but people don't seem to know about historic/urban Atlanta - they know about the suburbs and the shiny towers.
I agree that the historic urban core of Atlanta is underrated, but even in absolute terms its not all that big or dense. I think Atlanta's strengths are in the multiple commercial districts scattered throughout the area. They aren't individually large and not all of them are connected, but there's a good bit of them. I think those commercial districts, along with the good bones of downtown, serve as a great foundation for the city's continued urbanization.
 
Old 05-04-2013, 07:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
I agree that the historic urban core of Atlanta is underrated, but even in absolute terms its not all that big or dense. I think Atlanta's strengths are in the multiple commercial districts scattered throughout the area. They aren't individually large and not all of them are connected, but there's a good bit of them. I think those commercial districts, along with the good bones of downtown, serve as a great foundation for the city's continued urbanization.
I can see your point, but are downtown Memphis and Richmond etc. all that big or dense? I don't think so, not in comparison after having visited all the cities you mentioned. I guess we just disagree about downtown Atlanta's size and density.

Last edited by JoeTarheel; 05-04-2013 at 08:09 PM..
 
Old 05-04-2013, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,439 posts, read 11,941,006 times
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To people with knowledge of the south - can you post me some pictures of classic southern urban neighborhoods? I don't mean things like business districts, but residential areas. I'm familiar with a few (like Cabbagetown), but I don't know how indicative they are of the southern urban residential fabric.

I'm not saying this because I want people to "prove" anything to me. But some posters have indicated there's more out there than shotgun houses and near estates, so I'd like to see what people are talking about.
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