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Old 12-04-2013, 11:21 AM
21,232 posts, read 30,469,580 times
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Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
I don't get the love for Raleigh being so "big". The place just not feel big city at all to me. Des Moines feels like a larger city than Raleigh does. I know the Raleigh area has a lot of people now, but it sure doesn't act or feel like its population stats. Just by visiting, I would peg the metro at 500-800k if I didn't know any better.

New Orleans on the other hand feels like a city of 2-3 million. So just the opposite. And why NO is smaller than Raleigh, I would consider it a big city long before Raleigh.
Most of the Sunbelt cities don't have the dense urban core of "true big cities" which is why the numbers are a bit off in terms of perception. That and the fact so much real estate is designated as part of the MSA which in most circumstances has no business being the case when they're many areas within the MSA that have little interaction with the primary core of the MSA on a daily basis.
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Old 12-04-2013, 03:25 PM
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
11,810 posts, read 18,841,400 times
Reputation: 11141
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
Most bizarre MSA situation ever. The two cities have areas where their city limits adjoin and residents live in one and commute to the other. How is that two distinct MSAs???
The two cities' limits touch each other and each extends into the other's county (and therefore MSA). So, it's totally possible to live in the city limits of Raleigh but be in Durham's MSA and vice versa. I know that there are Raleigh addresses in Durham County.

The two cities and metros have a series of physical barriers between them that run primarily from SW to NE that currently prevent/challenge the sort of continuous population density that is required for them to be considered a singular urban area. From SW to NE, the barriers are:
  1. Jordan Lake (and watershed)
  2. Research Triangle Park
  3. RDU International Airport/Umstead State Park
  4. Falls Lake (and watershed)
Ironically these are resources that, in reality, connect the Triangle more than they separate it.

Despite these challenges, the Triangle continues to develop inward. The North/South Triangle Expressway has connected Durham to the Raleigh suburbs of Morrisville, Cary and Apex to its south and has opened up more development into Chatham County (west of Cary and in Durham's MSA). This development is beginning to link with Durham development that is pushing southward into the north end of Chatham County.

The Brier Creek development in NW Raleigh and straddling the Durham County line is incubating more development on both sides of the county line between Wake and Durham Counties.

Research Triangle Park is re-doing their master plan to include housing in its future. This is a major departure from the strategy of yesteryear when the research park was devoid of housing on purpose.

In the end and over the past 50 years, the Triangle more than elsewhere has had a very unique development pattern that pushed formerly independent cities toward each other and towards a unifying jobs center in RTP. While that model still drives much development today, the cities of the Triangle are also experiencing more urban development in their cores: namely in Raleigh and Durham. In time, the Triangle will meet requirements of being expressed as one metro/urban area. When that happens, I expect the Triangle to be nearing or exceeding 2.4 million and people will wonder how it has seemingly come out of nowhere. Those of us who know it well won't be surprised. Right now the Triangle is unified only by its CSA which, by 2102 estimates, was just a breath under 2 million.

Last edited by rnc2mbfl; 12-04-2013 at 04:22 PM..
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:34 AM
501 posts, read 681,627 times
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[quote=Queen Palm;32069494]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?

The answer is yes and no. I live in San Antonio, city planners are debating about annexing fairly large tracts of land on the far southside. Which is completely rural, but is adjacent to current city limits, their reasoning for annexing is the city has more stringent building codes then in the unincorporated areas of the county and can better control future growth. While adjacent to the city limits its several miles from downtown. I know some sunbelt cities receive criticism for their huge city limits, SA is over 400 square miles. City planners have stated more than once they donít what to anticipate a situation where the urban core is starving for tax dollars and the suburban areas arenít paying their fair share of property taxes. Large subdivisions just outside the city limits will realize annexation at some point. There are about 30 incorporated cities around metro SA some completely surrounded by SA city limits but all are relatively small in population.
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Old 12-15-2013, 06:20 PM
Location: VB
421 posts, read 365,768 times
Reputation: 263
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
There seems to be confusion over the use of the term "big city" and "MSA" (Metropolitan Statistical Area). The OP's list is of MSAs and doesn't reflect actual city population size. A shining example is Orlando which gets credit for a population of 1.5 million people. The City of Orlando has a mere population of 240,000 and the extra 1.25 million or so is cobbled together from the 6000 square miles of suburban sprawl surrounding Orlando which by definition doesn't equate to "big city".
The list is of urban areas, not MSAs. The 1.5 million in Orlando's UA are in (just under) 600 square miles of land, not 6000.
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