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Old 12-27-2016, 04:05 AM
 
Location: Chicago
5,853 posts, read 6,526,459 times
Reputation: 5336

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The suburban areas that surround our major cities usually represent a sprawling mass of communities, one abutting the next with little (if any) open space between them. Such is a setting where it is difficult to create a special feel, a sense of place, of being apart.

Yet some places manage to do so.

What suburbs in your metro area (or any other metro area you are familiar with) actually have that elusive quality of identity, "sense of place", of a character of its own. Places that conjure up images in your mind.

I'm thinking of communities that when you're there, you know you're there, that have defining attributes that contribute to their uniqueness and different from the sprawl of suburbia that surrounds them. Nothing generic about them. Certainly college towns can accomplish this as can a master plan that created a special type of environment, as well as suburbs that have developed their own, special, urban qualities.

What are these stand out communities, the ones that separate themselves from being "just another suburb" into places when you're there, you know you are there.

And what is about each that makes them so special, so identifiable?
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Old 12-27-2016, 05:46 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
3,144 posts, read 2,825,934 times
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Sprawl is not a bad word. The Eastern Midwest is the prime example of the declining relevance of the downtown center. NE OH and Western NY have amazing suburbs which offer a better quality of life than the city cores. The exurbs of Pittsburgh are also switching over. People don't need to live downtown anymore. They get all the perks without the big city hassles in the exurbs. If you look at the recent growth in Buffalo, the high demand areas are all in the newer generic suburbs.

https://buffalonews.com/2016/10/13/o...uffalo-market/
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Old 12-27-2016, 06:11 AM
 
Location: Chicago
5,853 posts, read 6,526,459 times
Reputation: 5336
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluecarebear View Post
Sprawl is not a bad word. The Eastern Midwest is the prime example of the declining relevance of the downtown center. NE OH and Western NY have amazing suburbs which offer a better quality of life than the city cores. The exurbs of Pittsburgh are also switching over. People don't need to live downtown anymore. They get all the perks without the big city hassles in the exurbs. If you look at the recent growth in Buffalo, the high demand areas are all in the newer generic suburbs.

https://buffalonews.com/2016/10/13/o...uffalo-market/
bleucarebear, as the OP, I need to ask (in total confusion): WHERE EXACTLY DID I SUGGEST THAT SPRAWL WAS BAD? NAME ONE THING I SAID THAT WOULD SUGGEST THAT.

I reread every word in my post and didn't find one that attacked the notion that sprawl is bad.

Did you even read what I wrote? My post is about suburbs with a sense of character, a sense of place. Nothing else.

Now, if you ask me: what do I think of sprawl? I hate it. It is car-centric, wasteful of land and resources, and usually creates the most depressing of environments and unworkable, dreary locales. But that's just my opinion and had absolutely nothing to do with my post.
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Old 12-27-2016, 06:30 AM
 
28,905 posts, read 46,717,705 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluecarebear View Post
Sprawl is not a bad word. The Eastern Midwest is the prime example of the declining relevance of the downtown center. NE OH and Western NY have amazing suburbs which offer a better quality of life than the city cores. The exurbs of Pittsburgh are also switching over. People don't need to live downtown anymore. They get all the perks without the big city hassles in the exurbs. If you look at the recent growth in Buffalo, the high demand areas are all in the newer generic suburbs.

https://buffalonews.com/2016/10/13/o...uffalo-market/
The problem with your post is the exact opposite is happening in the downtown areas. City centers are revitalizing and people are moving back in a trend known as infill.
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Old 12-27-2016, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Chicago
5,853 posts, read 6,526,459 times
Reputation: 5336
bleucarebear, when I start a thread here on C/D, I put some time in thinking what I want to say and what I'm hoping to have discussed. when on the very first post reply, you take what I said and carry it to a completely different direction, one in which I didn't even remotely suggest.

OK, I probably said pretty much before when I addressed you. But please notice the post that followed yours and addressed yours and did indeed take this in a completely different direction.

So let add again (as a plea): THIS THREAD IS ABOUT SUBURBAN COMMUNITIES THAT HAVE DEVELOPED A SENSE OF CHARACTER, A SENSE OF PLACE, UNIQUE AND SET APART.

Could we please follow that guideline here and if someone (bleucarebear, for example) wants to start a thread titled "Suburban Sprawl: The gift from the gods or the road to hell, he can be my guest.
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Old 12-27-2016, 07:16 AM
 
56,562 posts, read 80,847,919 times
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I think this depends on where you live, but you also have suburbs that were villages, boroughs or hamlets with a defined center that were just engulfed by suburban development. This is common in the Northeast and you have defined suburban communities that were already established before the post WW2 suburban development.

So, villages in NY like Fayetteville, Manlius, Liverpool, Baldwinsville, North Syracuse and even Minoa, East Syracuse, Camillus and Solvay are area suburbs with a degree of walkabilty, a defined village center/Downtown and homes with various styles. They may vary in terms of economic levels/feel or in terms of ethnic makeup as well.

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 12-27-2016 at 07:28 AM..
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Old 12-27-2016, 07:46 AM
 
1,290 posts, read 1,124,311 times
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Chicago has a bunch. Naperville, Evanston, Highland Park, Arlington Heights etc etc. Small towns that grew on their own then connected to the central city via rail and eventually highway.

Minneapolis/St Paul has a couple. Wayzata, Excelsior, Stillwater.
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Old 12-27-2016, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
3,493 posts, read 1,596,603 times
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I'm putting in a vote for Naperville, IL.

It has a downtown to rival that of some big cities: compact, quirky (not entirely consisting of chains), vibrant, and rich in history, although the parking garages take away from the old vibe. There even a preserved historic village with buildings dating back to 1831. Outside of downtown, there is a sizable residential area with a street grid, narrow streets, sidewalks, and well-maintained old houses. There is even a swimming pool built inside an empty quarry (Centennial Beach), which once provided material for constructing most of downtown Naperville.

Unfortunately, the above is true for only the older part of Naperville. Once you go past the grid portion of the town, you get the usual suburban [rhymes with "crawl"] that doesn't get much love here on City Data.
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Old 12-27-2016, 08:16 AM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,148,414 times
Reputation: 7738
Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
The suburban areas that surround our major cities usually represent a sprawling mass of communities, one abutting the next with little (if any) open space between them. Such is a setting where it is difficult to create a special feel, a sense of place, of being apart.

Yet some places manage to do so.

What suburbs in your metro area (or any other metro area you are familiar with) actually have that elusive quality of identity, "sense of place", of a character of its own. Places that conjure up images in your mind.

I'm thinking of communities that when you're there, you know you're there, that have defining attributes that contribute to their uniqueness and different from the sprawl of suburbia that surrounds them. Nothing generic about them. Certainly college towns can accomplish this as can a master plan that created a special type of environment, as well as suburbs that have developed their own, special, urban qualities.

What are these stand out communities, the ones that separate themselves from being "just another suburb" into places when you're there, you know you are there.

And what is about each that makes them so special, so identifiable?


This would be a decent list from the Philly area and also throw in the Main Line towns


Explore - Classic Towns of Greater Philadelphia


Here these were generally older towns with a distinct DT that has remained and are the centers for these respective communities and give them a very real sense of place and character


Also see that Doylestown and Newtown are missing and should be on there as well
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Old 12-27-2016, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Midwest
126 posts, read 134,138 times
Reputation: 163
Is Manitou Springs considered a suburb of Colorado Springs? I lived in CO Springs 6 years ago and thought Manitou was definitely different than the city. I applied for a job at a little cafe and instead of giving me an application, they gave me a pamphlet about joining their cult. If that doesn't scream character, I don't know what does
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