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Old 11-02-2013, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
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Weird b/c as I was reading down the list I skipped some over but then found myself saying yes, big city further down. For example, Detroit, Phoenix, Tampa I do not consider big cities but everything from #1 to Tampa I do. Why? Big city to me means culture, beauty, great food, diversity, awesome architecture, very walkable, and world class entertainment.
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Old 11-02-2013, 04:19 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
14,800 posts, read 17,718,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claud605 View Post
Weird b/c as I was reading down the list I skipped some over but then found myself saying yes, big city further down. For example, Detroit, Phoenix, Tampa I do not consider big cities but everything from #1 to Tampa I do. Why? Big city to me means culture, beauty, great food, diversity, awesome architecture, very walkable, and world class entertainment.
I find that strange i thought it was simply size and or population.... i dont understand how food and walkablity makes a city big
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Old 11-02-2013, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Mobile,Al(the city by the bay)
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Birmingham's metro is a little over 1.3 million and the New Orleans metro is about the same. Where did your figures come from?
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Old 11-02-2013, 07:45 PM
 
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...es_urban_areas
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Old 11-02-2013, 08:20 PM
 
462 posts, read 582,857 times
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My general rule is 1 million. 700-999K is "almost-major", and 400-699K "mid-major". 150-399K is "medium", and the 50-150K is "cow town", "college town" or "mill town", depending on its economy. The rest falls into small town and village classification.

Of course population isn't everything. Even among really big cities, I think density has a lot to do with what I consider a "ultra urban". It's hard to really consider towns like Houston "ultra urban" when they look like a large span of small towns and suburbs put together side by side, with a few towers in the middle. New York, Vancouver, SF, Chicago, and others, with large land areas of dense buildings hugging the street look like "urban" cities to me. The rest are a little too sprawled for that elite level of consideration. I know this has more to do with real estate and being hemmed off by large bodies of water, but it still gives the city a different look. A claustrophobic collection of buildings.

Last edited by Hamtonfordbury; 11-02-2013 at 08:25 PM.. Reason: forgot "college town"
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
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Okay, Seems like a lot of people don’t understand what “urbanized area” means.

It’s not MSA or CSA or city limits. It’s what the census defines as the “continuous” urbananized population of a metro.

So what that means is that regardless of tiny/sprawling city limits or far flung suburbs, the population is only defined by continuous urban/suburban development.

I used these numbers, because I think they are the best way to actually compared the sizes of cities using population stats. Comparing city limits stats only is completely a waste of time. StL is smaller than Wichita? I don’t think so, but if you look at city stats only, that’s what they say. Then you have some MSA populations that are bloated with far flung and disconnected counties and suburbs.

So what is the best way to compare cities? The central urban city + the most immediate suburban areas that continue urban fabric from the central city outword. Once areas become undeveloped, you are no longer being counted as part of the urbanized area.

Hope that helps!
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
It’s not MSA or CSA or city limits. It’s what the census defines as the “continuous” urbananized population of a metro.
I do think that it is a better metric than city population, and at least somewhat better than metro population (because of metros using entire counties, which can be huge in some places)...but I think the Census Bureau has some pretty crazy ideas of what "continuously urbanized" is...I've seen on quite a few maps where the urban area will follow along a narrow highway corridor, sometimes for miles, just to connect to another developed area. And there is now also the issue of the Census not absorbing already established urbanized areas into larger areas as they grow together.
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Old 11-03-2013, 12:09 AM
 
Location: Where Else...?
740 posts, read 1,020,295 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
I think the issue with that is that some cities have boundaries that are fixed, while others can annex unincorporated communities or land. So, that may be the reason for using the urbanized area.
aren't the areas that get annexed, such as unincorporated areas, typically adjacent to the city limits? or no? It's not like cities annexing rural areas that tend to be many miles outside or away from the city limits? Or does that happen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingImport View Post
But then there are those odd balls like Atlanta with 420K people and it clearly seems much larger (and most definitely is as a metro) than just it's city limits.
but there are municipalities separate from the city limits. They're their own entities... they wouldn't necessarily be counted according to the Census as "within city limits"....
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:55 PM
 
Location: That star on your map in the middle of the East Coast, DMV
3,978 posts, read 3,461,419 times
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Urban area is still very tricky and not exact, only at times is it better than MSA/CSA... Detroit is not "bigger" than SF bay area... Miami in actuality is not "bigger" than DC.
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:54 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
7,823 posts, read 12,330,814 times
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On this list, I would consider El Paso the smallest area that's still a big city. I'm surprised that the Honolulu area has less than 1 million people.

Then there are cities that really aren't that big but because they are in such sparsely populated states or regoins they are a big deal. Examples include Anchorage, Fairbanks, Billings MT, Charleston WV, Amarillo TX and Fargo ND.
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