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Old 07-07-2017, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Chicago
5,877 posts, read 6,535,124 times
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Are major cities' downtowns that have no waterfront irrepressibly harmed by this....because a real waterfront is virtually essential to have the vibrant, exciting, visually stimulating downtowns that people desire?

By real waterfront setting, I'm suggesting a lake, bay, ocean, navigable river, etc., a body of world with a real presence. So I would not be including waterways like the LA River, Denver's Cherry Creek, Dallas's Trinity River, Houston's Buffalo Bayou, or Indy's canal. I do realize that San Antonio has maximized its narrow river by creating its unique riverwalk....but I would hardly consider downtown SA to be a major downtown.

I realize that a number of the cities I mentioned have real, substantial, and very important downtowns....with Downtown LA having been dramatically redeveloped in recent years.

I'm just asking if these cities have limitations because of the lack of real waterfront and the draw they create and that a downtown without said waterfront could never really be among the best downtowns?

Do the downtowns of New York, Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco, Seattle, etc., have a built in advantage over the downtowns of Los Angeles, Denver, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Indianapolis, etc. ??
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Old 07-07-2017, 01:30 PM
 
21,189 posts, read 30,372,337 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
Are major cities' downtowns that have no waterfront irrepressibly harmed by this....because a real waterfront is virtually essential to have the vibrant, exciting, visually stimulating downtowns that people desire?
Judging by the vibrancy, revitalization and population growth in cities like Columbus, Indianapolis, Charlotte, Raleigh, Dallas, Houston, Denver and Phoenix it would probably not be seen as "essential".
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Old 07-07-2017, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
Judging by the vibrancy, revitalization and population growth in cities like Columbus, Indianapolis, Charlotte, Raleigh, Dallas, Houston, Denver and Phoenix it would probably not be seen as "essential".
I don't disagree with your description here, kyle.....I'm just wondering if that lack of waterfront prevents them from rising to a different level. Of course I realize downtowns without waterfronts can and do do very well. I'm just wondering if the waterfront is essential to reach real, blockbuster downtown status with the type of draw that, IMHO, seems like an essential.
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Old 07-07-2017, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Texas
3,964 posts, read 3,275,875 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
I don't disagree with your description here, kyle.....I'm just wondering if that lack of waterfront prevents them from rising to a different level. Of course I realize downtowns without waterfronts can and do do very well. I'm just wondering if the waterfront is essential to reach real, blockbuster downtown status with the type of draw that, IMHO, seems like an essential.
Rising to a different level as what? An employment center? Residential hub? Nightlife draw?

I've lived in 2 of the cities you described as having downtowns with no waterfront- Denver and Houston, and those 2 cities are night and day in terms of their downtown's desirability as a destination. Houston's downtown remains primarily an employment center, and pretty uninspired and boring for nightlife, even with most of the sports venues now being downtown. It's not at all seen as a desirable place to live. The exciting parts of Houston are near downtown, but most certainly not in downtown.

Conversely, downtown is the center of activity in Denver. It's full of bars, restaurants and lot of millennials live in LoDo, though, like Houston, Denver also has a lot of desirable areas in close proximity to downtown that are not downtown per se (Highlands, Capital Hill etc).

OTOH, I've lived in Jacksonville, a city that did have a large, navigable waterway that had a very boring and sterile downtown. We used to take our boat to downtown Jax via the St. Johns river and tie up at the landing. Only did it 3-4 times, and each time, there was almost nothing going on at all downtown (admittedly, I never tried it when there was a Jaguars or other football game going on, it might have been packed).
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Old 07-07-2017, 03:54 PM
JJG
 
Location: Fort Worth
13,247 posts, read 19,179,706 times
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Dallas





Fort Worth




Give it time . . .

As a matter of fact, I think ALL the major cities in Texas (and Corpus Christi... even Waco) have a waterfront project on the boards and/or under construction.
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Old 07-07-2017, 04:15 PM
 
Location: San Diego
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The biggest cities/downtowns were built on large bodies of water due to commerce. Coastal cities were never limited in trade the way landlocked cities were; which allowed for significant growth and opportunity.
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Old 07-07-2017, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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I think it's a slight drawback but if a city has enough to offer, people look past it. I will say Dallas in front of the flooded Trinity River looks beautiful.
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Old 07-07-2017, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
6,060 posts, read 3,384,906 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJG View Post
Dallas





Fort Worth




Give it time . . .

As a matter of fact, I think ALL the major cities in Texas (and Corpus Christi... even Waco) have a waterfront project on the boards and/or under construction.

That's too artificial, I don't like it. Dallas and Fort Worth should take advantage of their natural surroundings in an organic way, not try to become something weird and outta place.
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Old 07-07-2017, 06:15 PM
 
Location: South Padre Island, TX
2,452 posts, read 1,280,275 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
By real waterfront setting, I'm suggesting a lake, bay, ocean, navigable river, etc., a body of world with a real presence. So I would not be including waterways like the LA River, Denver's Cherry Creek, Dallas's Trinity River, Houston's Buffalo Bayou, or Indy's canal. I do realize that San Antonio has maximized its narrow river by creating its unique riverwalk....but I would hardly consider downtown SA to be a major downtown.
Incorrect, Houston's Buffalo Bayou is navigable from the Gulf of Mexico:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allen%27s_Landing
TPWD: Buffalo Bayou | | Texas Paddling Trails

The lack of presence is more about the lack of utilization by the city. From downtown on east, the bayou is comparable to size to the Spree River in Berlin:
http://i.imgur.com/F0WFjWj.png
http://i.imgur.com/NXcQJAg.png
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Old 07-07-2017, 06:31 PM
 
3,220 posts, read 1,551,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texyn View Post
Incorrect, Houston's Buffalo Bayou is navigable from the Gulf of Mexico:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allen%27s_Landing
TPWD: Buffalo Bayou | | Texas Paddling Trails

The lack of presence is more about the lack of utilization by the city. From downtown on east, the bayou is comparable to size to the Spree River in Berlin:
http://i.imgur.com/F0WFjWj.png
http://i.imgur.com/NXcQJAg.png
The difference is Houston's Bayou's are for flood drainage. Not any typical river. Houston's bayous flood virtually yearly. Just on YouTube are years of videos of flooding there. So its very limited for what you can build there. Jogging/bike paths, picnic areas , basketball courts etc. But you are not going to build a great permanent park with physical attractions. They provide some green-space at best.

Though Houston is getting more use of them and developments making the most of their green-space. Things that recover quickly after flooding to clean-up and the waters generally stay murky brown to rust color.
You could NEVER do a San Antonio river-walk there as flooding is far too common.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXWC6cHVXtw
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