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Old 10-02-2017, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,633 posts, read 8,336,262 times
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North America's Forgotten Cities

To me a forgotten city is one that has had little in the way of change in decades. A city that used to have a large profile back in its heyday but has seemingly been pushed to the side and rarely, if ever, brought up in national or international discussions for topics that are both good or bad. To me, a forgotten city is a place that has suffered from a period of stasis -- which is a prolonged period of time of inactivity. Essentially a place that has stayed trapped as what it was at its peak and has since been passed up by numerous other places, a place where its profile has shrank even though the attributes that got it there are still present.

Think of it this way. We create threads and involve ourselves into discussions, that's a human trait, we do this regardless of whether it is on the Internet or not, we do this in actual life too. You know how some cities have some characteristics that are perfect for a topic or discussion but those cities are still neglected or rarely brought up. For instance, it would be like asking which cities are the most musically influential but it takes 39 pages of discussion for someone to mention a city like Memphis and once someone does that then it makes others wonder why they didn't do it first. It is because of the sedated nature of Memphis' profile, how hidden and out of view the city is from the public conscience and that in and of itself lends to it being a forgotten city.

Memphis but also Buffalo, and Rochester would be my personal picks for this topic. In all three cases you have strong fundamental bones to all three cities, if you visit them, you understand what got them to where they once were but over the decades they have all been passed over by numerous other places. To the point where their profile and recognition has diminished either some or significantly. Sometimes it takes a person saying "Memphis" or "Rochester" to remind myself that yes, this city actually does in fact still exist. That it is, in fact, still relatively populous.

A while back ago, I read an article about how some in Montreal feel that it may be one of the world's forgotten cities, a place people forgot about. I don't agree with the article because Montreal, while not super famous, is hardly forgotten about at all. Its attributes speak for themselves and the city once hosted the most popular sporting event on the planet (the Summer Olympics). That being said, that is not the case with every city, some cities truly are forgotten about.

Lets keep this to Canada, Mexico, and United States.

Could you think of examples that fit the notion of a "Forgotten City" in North America? Which ones and why?

Last edited by Trafalgar Law; 10-02-2017 at 05:13 PM.. Reason: Took out Grand Rapids on the basis of OyCrumbler's correction.
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Old 10-02-2017, 05:06 PM
 
Location: In the heights
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Grand Rapids doesn’t really fit the profile as it and its metro have been growing and the city is nearing its peak population and will probably pass it by the 2020 census. It was also just never that big of a city.

A lot of cities that are considered the Rust Belt in the Midwest and the Northeast would meet this definition. The good thing is that the last several years many of these cities have stabilized their population loss especially the mid-sized ones. However, most of them are still quite far from their peak populations.
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Old 10-02-2017, 05:30 PM
 
Location: The City
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Parkersburg WV
Johnstown PA

Many old Appalachian towns basically frozen in time
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Old 10-02-2017, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Montreal/Miami/Toronto
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Yeah, that article about MTL being forgotten is full of crap. We're a famous city known for our worlds largest festivals, world-class art and food scene and high QOL.

I agree with you, Buffalo is a good contender. You hardly ever hear anything about that city honestly. I'd even mention Detroit, and I do know it's mentioned often, but people don't know about how the city is making a comeback and slowly cleaning up. Detroit would be "forgotten" due to ignorance.
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Old 10-02-2017, 05:56 PM
 
Location: In the heights
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
Parkersburg WV
Johnstown PA

Many old Appalachian towns basically frozen in time
I agree that these places have been stagnant, though it's not so much frozen in time as in the years haven't been kind to them. Time has definitely passed and they're a bit worse for wear without growth and upkeep. I think they might not fit the topic in terms of them never having a very large profile even at their peak.
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Old 10-02-2017, 06:05 PM
 
Location: In the heights
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djesus007 View Post
Yeah, that article about MTL being forgotten is full of crap. We're a famous city known for our worlds largest festivals, world-class art and food scene and high QOL.

I agree with you, Buffalo is a good contender. You hardly ever hear anything about that city honestly. I'd even mention Detroit, and I do know it's mentioned often, but people don't know about how the city is making a comeback and slowly cleaning up. Detroit would be "forgotten" due to ignorance.
Detroit by sheer size (and headquarters of a key industry) as well as its whipping boy status of the last decades keep it from being forgotten. Detroit's more of a case of perception having lingered when the reality has somewhat changed.

Totally agreed on Montreal--that's some bull.

I think since I'm at it, I might as well list a few former big wigs that have fallen on harder times.

Hartford is one city that used to have a very large national profile and somewhat outsized international profile because of its history as an innovative city that brought about insurance (revolutionary at the time as a large social welfare project) and industriousness. It was even given special consideration by Mark Twain a long while back as the most beautiful city he's ever seen. Unfortunately, many Connecticut cities had a large degree of urban blight as people fled to the suburbs, and as the people left, the beating heart of their metropolitan area became blighted. Now most Connecticut cities are in rough shape and without a healthy core, the suburbs are now also suffering save for the part of Connecticut that is part of New York City's metro (which is obviously a growing city).
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Old 10-02-2017, 06:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
Grand Rapids doesnít really fit the profile as it and its metro have been growing and the city is nearing its peak population and will probably pass it by the 2020 census. It was also just never that big of a city.
It's metro area has more than doubled in the last 50 years. Its core is also almost unrecognizable from even 20 years ago because of new construction and renovations.
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Old 10-02-2017, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Tampa - St. Louis
1,090 posts, read 1,629,485 times
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Detroit, St. Louis, Baltimore, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Buffalo, New Orleans, Birmingham all used to have larger profiles, but relatively slow economic growth has definitely hurt their national profiles. Cities like Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Miami, Denver, Portland, Nashville, Charlotte have really gained from the new economy and have really emerged as shining stars.
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Old 10-02-2017, 06:53 PM
 
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Perhaps a city like Toledo would fit, as it is 72nd biggest city in the country and is a top 100 metro. It hardly ever gets mentioned on here as well.
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Savannah GA
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Macon
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