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Old 07-04-2017, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Seattle
565 posts, read 564,399 times
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What are some of the highlights, districts, urban nodes of cities that are consistently disliked or.. not looked as highly upon on cd?

They might not be as renowned as some other cities for urban activity and stimulation, but I'm sure there are some qualities that are overlooked.

Houston
Dallas
Charlotte
Jacksonville
Phoenix
Sacramento (might get some flack, more a curiosity of mine since I've never spent time there)
Indianapolis
Cleveland
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Denver
14,151 posts, read 19,767,031 times
Reputation: 8803
I've never been to Cleveland but it doesn't seem to fit with the other cities on this list. It has a large urban fabric that most people here are aware of.

As far as the topic of the thread, Houston is always bashed about it's downtown but it's deserved. Same with it's Uptown. I can't think of anything that's over looked about either neighborhoods.
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Old 07-06-2017, 11:09 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,316 posts, read 6,972,968 times
Reputation: 3504
My thoughts:

Houston - Haven't been here often...visited twice in the past decade and only spent a small amount of time in the urban core neighborhoods. It seems to have experienced some decent revitalization and the light rail, though not amazing, has seen steady improvement over the years and is a worthwhile legacy from the Super Bowl there.

Dallas - I realize that we all form impressions based on a limited perspective, and for me it so happens that I find Dallas to be quite strong from an urban perspective. I have been twice in the past 5 years and explored quite a bit via light rail. I'm sure it helps that my cousin-in-law who was my host and tour guide both times was a young urban professional who took me around to about a dozen different historic/walkable/gentrifying areas, including the one where we stayed. I also got to participate in some awesome startup events to catch a glimpse of the growing startup community and tour several accelerators and coworking offices.

Charlotte - I personally don't have much experience here (one visit mostly in the suburbs) but I don't think it has an overall negative urban reputation. Much of the flack it takes is for a lack of history, character and grit. But from a transit and urban standpoint, it does pretty well.

Jacksonville - Jax has a half dozen decent walkable areas, mostly in the urban core and beaches. But its negative reputation is deserved as its downtown is lacking and 90% of the region as a whole is very suburban sprawly. But yes, for the majority of folks who are passing through, the nice "urbanish" areas are usually overlooked.

Phoenix - Don't know much, have never visited since I was old enough to really explore.

Sacramento - I liked Sacramento. I liked it a lot on paper and I liked it a lot when I visited. Downtown and surrounding areas (I think Midtown and Old Sac but can't remember for sure) offer decent walkability, decent vibrancy and charm. Ultimately if it came down to it I'd rather stretch my budget and live in a less nice area of the Bay Area than out in Sac, but it's not a bad option.

Indianapolis - Indy has an excellent downtown. Somewhat lacking in character but definitely vibrant and walkable. I have gotten to know Indy very well recently as a real estate investor, and as such I probably see a lot of "potential" and "hidden gems" in the urban neighborhoods near downtown. This may happen to a degree with Jax. Anyway, overall I think Indy has improved substantially and will continue to improve a lot, but the fact that they have no plans for rail and are really going all in on BRT-lite is a slight concern to me for the future. But the bones are there for lots of great walkable neighborhoods.

Cleveland - Only been once in the last decade. Definitely got a favorable impression but my knowledge is limited. Based on research I think it has excellent urban fabric and the only thing holding it back is its economic and population struggles. Once things get turned around it won't take long for more of the urban nodes to transform.
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