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View Poll Results: Are small metro areas a good compromise between living in a big city and a small town?
Yes, it's the best of both worlds 24 61.54%
No, it doesn't offer the benefits of either 15 38.46%
Voters: 39. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-25-2016, 12:44 PM
 
Location: The middle of nowhere
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Metros such as Mobile, Little Rock, Knoxville, Oklahoma City, Wichita, Bakersfield, and others in that size range are too large to be considered "small towns" but aren't usually considered to be "big cities." Do you find these places offer the best or worst of both worlds (between big city and small town) or do they offer the worst of both worlds? Usually the selling points of these places is they offer just enough entertainment and amenities to not be totally boring and offer shopping and restaurant choices that are a notch above the basics, yet retain a cost of living much lower than living in a big city. While career opportunities in these types of cities is generally more limited, so is competition so they can be great places for a new college graduate to start out if they don't need the excitement and glamour of living in a big city.

On the flipside, small metros are no substitute for actually living in a major city. Many times they have many of the problems of major metros, like traffic, crime, poverty, etc while the amenities offered are at a level far below a major city. They also generally lack the peaceful serenity and the sense of community you get in a small town. Small metro areas also tend to be sprawling and cookie cutter for their size and are heavily auto-dependent with less than adequate public transpiration (there are a few exceptions).

So what do you think. Are small metro areas a good compromise between the big city and a small town or are they the worst of both worlds?

Last edited by bawac34618; 10-25-2016 at 01:02 PM..
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Old 10-25-2016, 01:02 PM
 
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Who says that these places aren't "real cities"?

Also, are those metros small or are they mid sized, considering that there are about 400 metro areas?

Anyway, I think they are a mixed bag and it depends on the metro area. Such metros can still have small town communities within them. So, can still have small, close knit communities within them, with easier access to the city center.
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Old 10-25-2016, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
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I don't think there is anything better then a well-run, small and orderly small metropolitan area.

Especially a smaller metropolitan with a large university and teaching hospital or a smaller metropolitan area with a good amount of retirees and great scenery.

Smaller, metropolitan areas with large universities tend to be the best in my opinion. They tend to have all the vibrancy of a major city, excellent health care in many instances, they tend to be tourist mecca's which means much more resources for city coffers.

Unless someone is into going to performing arts and major league sports events I don't really see what these large metropolitan areas offer.

Large cities are certainly not for me anymore. Many of them in my opinion had a good-run in the late 1990s but every big city I go to lately is all in a economic bubble where almost everyone is hustling and pretentious.

Another issue is all the huge pension liabilities that will come home to roost for the core cities of these massive metropolitan areas. Many huge cities are already strained for resources and I can't imagine what it will be like in a decade or two.

My choice would certainly be a smaller metropolitan area that is well-run, with extremely low unemployment rates, a decent cost of housing.
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Old 10-25-2016, 01:03 PM
 
Location: The middle of nowhere
9,089 posts, read 4,143,193 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Who says that these places aren't "real cities"?

Also, are those metros small or are they mid sized, considering that there are about 400 metro areas?

Anyway, I think they are a mixed bag and it depends on the metro area. Such metros can still have small town communities within them. So, can still have small, close knit communities within them, with easier access to the city center.
I edited the post to say "big cities" instead of "real cities". "Real city" is many times subjective and dependent on what environment you are used to and what tier of city you prefer.
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Old 10-25-2016, 01:27 PM
 
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Small cities, yes. Small metros, no. I get the appeal of living in a city like Charlottesville Virginia or Portland Maine, but if you're going to live in the suburbs, why wouldn't you want to live in the suburbs of a city with more amenities and opportunities?
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Old 10-25-2016, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Downtown Phoenix, AZ
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I voted no, and for one important reason, taxes.

If your smaller metro is in a state with a big metro, you are going to pay more tax dollars than your community gets back, while the big metro will take more than it pays.

Case in point, my hometown, Rochester, NY. It charges exorbitant property taxes, but gets almost nothing back from Albany thanks to New York City.
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Old 10-25-2016, 01:59 PM
 
Location: The middle of nowhere
9,089 posts, read 4,143,193 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovecrowds View Post

Smaller, metropolitan areas with large universities tend to be the best in my opinion. They tend to have all the vibrancy of a major city, excellent health care in many instances, they tend to be tourist mecca's which means much more resources for city coffers.

Unless someone is into going to performing arts and major league sports events I don't really see what these large metropolitan areas offer.
I agree that smaller metropolitan areas near universities tend to offer more than your average small metro. They tend to be more walkable in general and offer more to do, especially for young people.

However, there are more benefits to living in a major metro than simply performing arts and major league sports. For one, walkability is usually hit or miss in small metros and usually public transportation is less than adequate. There is also the factor of having a wide variety of ethnic cuisines to choose from or nightlife catering to any musical taste. In small metros, cuisine choices are more limited and nightlife tends to be more generic or heavily oriented towards a specific taste that appeals to the majority i.e. country music. Diversity is another factor. This isn't as much of an issue in small metros centered around a university, but in many, it can be difficult to find your niche if you identify with a non-majority subculture.
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Old 10-25-2016, 04:23 PM
 
56,737 posts, read 81,061,259 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FirebirdCamaro1220 View Post
I voted no, and for one important reason, taxes.

If your smaller metro is in a state with a big metro, you are going to pay more tax dollars than your community gets back, while the big metro will take more than it pays.

Case in point, my hometown, Rochester, NY. It charges exorbitant property taxes, but gets almost nothing back from Albany thanks to New York City.
I don't know if this is actually true and it may actually be the opposite. Observation: Downstate Pays More, Upstate Gets More: Does It Matter?

Then you have this: Report: New York gives more to federal government than it gets back

With this said, I think Rochester is an underrated metro that still has a major corporation presence and highly "educated" populace, that still has an average/if not slightly below average overall COL. Being that it is the 51st biggest metro in the US, would it be viewed as a small metro though?
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Old 10-25-2016, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Downtown Phoenix, AZ
18,927 posts, read 6,893,625 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
I don't know if this is actually true and it may actually be the opposite. Observation: Downstate Pays More, Upstate Gets More: Does It Matter?

Then you have this: Report: New York gives more to federal government than it gets back

With this said, I think Rochester is an underrated metro that still has a major corporation presence and highly "educated" populace, that still has an average/if not slightly below average overall COL. Being that it is the 51st biggest metro in the US, would it be viewed as a small metro though?
Let's put it this way, my aunts home in Phoenix and my mothers home in Rochester are both 3k sq ft, moms house is on more land, my aunts Phoenix home is worth over $300k, while my moms house in Rochester is worth $150k, BUT my mom's property tax bill each year is 4x as much as my aunts, and when you factor in property value, it is an 8x discrepancy
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Old 10-25-2016, 04:35 PM
 
56,737 posts, read 81,061,259 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bawac34618 View Post
I agree that smaller metropolitan areas near universities tend to offer more than your average small metro. They tend to be more walkable in general and offer more to do, especially for young people.

However, there are more benefits to living in a major metro than simply performing arts and major league sports. For one, walkability is usually hit or miss in small metros and usually public transportation is less than adequate. There is also the factor of having a wide variety of ethnic cuisines to choose from or nightlife catering to any musical taste. In small metros, cuisine choices are more limited and nightlife tends to be more generic or heavily oriented towards a specific taste that appeals to the majority i.e. country music. Diversity is another factor. This isn't as much of an issue in small metros centered around a university, but in many, it can be difficult to find your niche if you identify with a non-majority subculture.
Small metros with a college tend to have at least decent public transportation due to the college presence. A metro I've had experience with that comes to mind is the Lansing/East Lansing area. This also applies to having some variety of ethnic cuisine as well. Just to use Lansing/EL again, you have a Mexican community on Lansing's North Side where you can get Mexican food and Old Town Lansing is right there. You could also go to Downtown East a Lansing and go to a range of restaurants. Given that it is also a capital city, that also plays a factor in terms of amenities.

Company towns/cities may also have some amenities that are more likely to be found in bigger cities. Corning NY, which is home to Corning Inc., has an orchestra, a couple of good museums and a pretty highly regarded Main Street that is very walkable.


Also, depending on the region, you may have small villages/boroughs in the suburbs or suburban cities that offers walkability. That is the case with many metros in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest.
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