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Old 05-12-2013, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
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Hey all,

What are some cities and metropolitan areas similar to DC and the DC area? One of the things I love about DC is the architecture, how there aren't tons of high rises, lots of wide avenues, and very tranquil neighborhoods in the city proper. For example, here's a street view of the main drag of an urban neighborhood (ignore the link titles, only the first one is the Dupont Circle neighborhood):

dupont circle - Google Maps

And then here's my mother's neighborhood, still in the city limits, still near a major roadway and a Metro station:

dupont circle - Google Maps

Another example of a calm, almost suburban-like neighborhood in DC:

dupont circle - Google Maps

And then it's surrounded by great suburbs like Arlington, Bethesda, and Silver Spring. All of them have great urban cores with quiet subdivisions full of beautiful housing, not cookie-cutter McMansion tracts. Yes, the farther-out suburbs have that, but that's largely due to the fact that they only started seeing tons of development in the past few decades. For example, here's the neighborhood I grew up in

http://goo.gl/maps/H7yqS

So what cities in the US are like DC? Not so much culturally but in terms of how they're laid out and what their metro areas look like? I've heard Seattle is pretty similar; you can be surrounded by a dense urban neighborhood, drive two minutes and be in a quiet neighborhood, then drive two more and be in a big wooded area... all within the city proper.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Baltimore / Montgomery County, MD
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The DC metro area is mix of west coast (California type demographics in a lot of the suburbs and the car club culture, esp amongst Asians), the south (Atlanta suburbs = PG county MD), areas like Takoma Park and older parts of the MD suburbs look like Philly suburbs, parts of DC could pass for Baltimore and Philly, Back Bay in Boston looks like a DC neighborhood, some parts of DC look country, like small town Mayberry.... The DC area is unigue it has aspects of the entire country.
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:02 AM
 
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I think there are other areas with similar options within city limits and have a variety of suburbs, but it may be a matter of what you consider "urban" for certain suburbs.

I was thinking of the Albany NY area because it is one of the oldest cities in the US, but has newer neighborhoods within city limits and has some smaller urban like communities(Cohoes, Watervliet and Rensselaer) in the area as well. There's also Schenectady and Troy, but they are city centers as well. With this said, these places aren't necessarily as continuous like the DC area places mentioned.

Here's some areas of Albany that may fit: Google Maps Street View

Google Maps Street View

Google Maps Street View

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 05-13-2013 at 10:15 AM..
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:22 AM
 
21,185 posts, read 30,343,833 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneDC View Post
So what cities in the US are like DC? Not so much culturally but in terms of how they're laid out and what their metro areas look like? I've heard Seattle is pretty similar; you can be surrounded by a dense urban neighborhood, drive two minutes and be in a quiet neighborhood, then drive two more and be in a big wooded area... all within the city proper.
As a long time DC resident I would say the only other major city that seems similar is Boston. The scale of the buildings, intermittent green space, style of neighborhoods and interspersed commercial districts closely resembles DC. Seattle has a bit of similarity but no where near Boston.
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
I think there are other areas with similar options within city limits and have a variety of suburbs, but it may be a matter of what you consider "urban" for certain suburbs.

I was thinking of the Albany NY area because it is one of the oldest cities in the US, but has newer neighborhoods within city limits and has some smaller urban like communities(Cohoes, Watervliet and Rensselaer) in the area as well. There's also Schenectady and Troy, but they are city centers as well. With this said, these places aren't necessarily as continuous like the DC area places mentioned.

Here's some areas of Albany that may fit: Google Maps Street View

Google Maps Street View

Google Maps Street View
Oops, I ment to post this neighborhood too: Delaware avenue albany, ny - Google Maps

Here are streetviews of the smaller urban communities near Albany: Cohoes, NY - Google Maps

Watervliet, NY - Google Maps

Rensselaer, NY - Google Maps

These suburbs that may fit in terms of walkability: Delmar, NY - Google Maps

Scotia, NY - Google Maps
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
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The last three links are pretty much wide spread.
I see then all across the country.

There are many here in Houston
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
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Of course, you'll never find an exact replica of DC. It is definitely a very uniquely designed city and definitely has some of the most attractive urban neighborhoods in the US, particularly for its very nicely preserved/restored rowhouse neighborhoods. For one, it seems very "bucolic" compared to other rowhouse-dominated cities.

I don't necessarily understand the comparisons to Seattle, however. That city has much more of a modernist, suburban and natural bent for its built environment to be compared to DC. It's the quintessential West Coast city, whereas DC is very much East Coast.

To me DC is very much defined by its rowhouse architecture. To this end, it definitely has comparability to Boston, but I actually think moreso to cities like Baltimore, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Brooklyn. Even Chicago's neighborhoods seem to have some comparability in terms of architecture and wider avenues.

In terms of Philadelphia, I've always gotten very similar vibes between the more suburban portions of the Northwest Quadrant of DC, Chevy Chase and Bethesda compared to Philadelphia's Main Line, Chestnut Hill and Mount Airy. Philly and Baltimore's more gentrified rowhouse neighborhoods also provide a vibe that can be similar to DC.

In terms of the new urbanist "edge cities" in the DC area (e.g., Ballston, Rosslyn, Bethesda, Silver Spring), you're going to be hard pressed to find those on a similar scale in other East Coast/Midwest metros.

Last edited by Duderino; 05-13-2013 at 02:59 PM..
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:17 PM
 
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D.C. is like a mixture of Boston and Richmond va.
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Philadelphia metro is very similar to D.C. metro
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:06 PM
 
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Madison, Wisconsin is kinda close. Of course everything is on a much much smaller scale.

Wisconsin State Capital based off of the capital in Washington DC:

Google Maps

Height restrictions on buildings downtown:

Google Maps

Established Nieghborhoods within city proper:

Google Maps
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