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Old 12-03-2017, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Greenville SC 'Waterfall City'
7,589 posts, read 4,011,810 times
Reputation: 2926

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Quote:
Originally Posted by grega94 View Post
I think what people are referring to is urbanity, not necessarily walkability in the strictest form. Of course you can walk in Charlotte, but is it really that Urban, particularly just outside of its CBD? For instance lets compare Charlotte to Portland, both have metro areas between 2 and 2.5 million.

Here is Charlotte from space
https://www.google.com/maps/@35.2262.../data=!3m1!1e3

and here is Portland from a similar height (notice the ruler in the bottom right corner)
https://www.google.com/maps/@45.5214.../data=!3m1!1e3

As you can see Portland has a much larger area of dense buildings, maybe not as tall, but more of them, and the city blocks are much smaller too.

And then on top of that lets compare Vienna which also has a similar sized metro area.
https://www.google.com/maps/@48.2084.../data=!3m1!1e3

see the difference?
Ok, I tend to interpret things in a literal sense unless it is an obvious figure of speech.

Walkability to me sounds like it referring to ability to walk from place to place in a reasonable amount of time and it is reasonably safe for an urban area. Things like wide sidewalks and not having to cross commuter highways would factor in.

One of the great things about downtown Greenville SC is you can easily walk between the restaurants, bars, store, parks, zoo, library, museums, performing arts center, baseball stadium, arena, and other things. It is a lot like a campus in a college town setup.

I have never been to Portland. It looks like nice place to live but it doesn't look as compact as southern cities that I'm familiar with.

Another thing that I would associate with walkability is weather. I think most people tend to not want to walk in cold and/or rainy weather. The southern cities have an advantage in this aspect.

Last edited by ClemVegas; 12-03-2017 at 02:59 PM..
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Old 12-03-2017, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
6,061 posts, read 3,393,954 times
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Because the oldest cities tend to be in the Northeast.

Personally, I'd rather walk while bundled up in 20 degrees than wearing anything at 90 degrees, that's just me. Colder climate cities have a shorter window of "harsh weather." Anything above 80 and I start sweating a lot, once we're past 90 its just really uncomfortable, much more so than in cold weather.
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Old 12-03-2017, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Downtown & Brooklyn!
2,123 posts, read 1,310,977 times
Reputation: 1831
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simpsonvilllian View Post
That's still only 1 out of 3.

Previously a person said northern cities are more compact, but Charlotte is more compact than NYC. All of the sports venues are near the main street, Tryon. No need to get on a subway.
Charlotte more compact than NYC? Iíve heard it all...
And yeah of course thereís no need to get on a subway in Charlotte. There are no subways in Charlotte, so that would only make sense.

Walkability is not about distance alone between any 2 random given points. Obviously NYC is a very big place and things will be far apart sometimes. Itís about the built environment and urban form of the city overall, and not just the CBD. And walkability has nothing to do with having stadiums close together. Thatís a very oddly specific criteria. NY has 8 major league sports teams, they are not all going to play in the same area. Philly OTOH has all of its stadiums in one complex right next to each other. Does that make Philly the most compact city in the entire world?

True that walkability and transit arenít exactly the same thing, but the 2 do go together. For car-free living you will need both. One does not work very well without the other. And one difference between transit and driving a car is that with a car you typically drive directly to your destination. With subways more often than not, itís not going to go directly to the front door of your destination. You use the subways to take you to any area or neighborhood farther away, and then once you get off the subway you continue do more walking. The subway typically isnít used to take you to each individual destination, it takes you to a general area where you will walk to all the places you need to go.
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Old 12-03-2017, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Greenville SC 'Waterfall City'
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Not sure how NYC Is more compact if the football stadium is in another state and the baseball stadium is in another borough.
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Old 12-03-2017, 03:02 PM
 
Location: In the heights
22,158 posts, read 23,691,169 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simpsonvilllian View Post
Not sure how NYC Is more compact if the football stadium is in another state and the baseball stadium is in another borough.
Because people's daily routine typically do not revolve around shuttling themselves between stadiums.

In a fifteen minute walk radius, I have the choice of about a half dozen different grocery stores at different price points, a couple of farmer's markets, a few eateries that I actually want to walk to encompassing many different kinds of food and several dozen that I'm ambivalent about (honestly, my preference is incredibly rundown diners, but when I eat out, it's usually with other people and there aren't that many people I know willing to go to the same diners over and over), a half dozen bars I'd actually go to and a dozen or so I won't really, endless coffee shops/cafes which I don't really go to, two bike shops, several pharmacies, three theaters, a few museums, three performing arts centers, several big box store, numerous hardware stores, several liquor stores, a few wine shops, a few bakeries, two fishmongers, a couple butchers, some laundromats and drycleaners, a really great cobbler, a DMV office (ugh), a boutique-y clothes shopping strip with a lot more chain clothing retailers and shoe shops, a hospital, several parks, barbershops/hair salons, a selection of gyms which I will never go to, hardware stores, and a stadium. That's hella walkable.

I get what you're saying about a smaller, but very compact downtown though. Walkability isn't that common and small, compact downtowns, especially in college towns, do offer an alternative as nicely walkable areas to dense urban cores of major cities.

Last edited by OyCrumbler; 12-03-2017 at 03:19 PM..
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Old 12-03-2017, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Greenville SC 'Waterfall City'
7,589 posts, read 4,011,810 times
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Walkability isn't just about downtown residents, in my view. A lot of people in the suburbs go downtown after work and on weekends, and there are out of town visitors as well.

In Charlotte and Atlanta, you can go to NFL game and then walk to restaurants and bars in the downtown area. In Atlanta, the college football hall of fame, aquarium, large city park and other tourist attractions are near the football stadium.
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Old 12-03-2017, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Seattle WA, USA
3,952 posts, read 2,224,167 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simpsonvilllian View Post
Ok, I tend to interpret things in a literal sense unless it is an obvious figure of speech.

Walkability to me sounds like it referring to ability to walk from place to place in a reasonable amount of time and it is reasonably safe for an urban area. Things like wide sidewalks and not having to cross commuter highways would factor in.

One of the great things about downtown Greenville SC is you can easily walk between the restaurants, bars, store, parks, zoo, library, museums, performing arts center, baseball stadium, arena, and other things. It is a lot like a campus in a college town setup.

I have never been to Portland. It looks like nice place to live but it doesn't look as compact as southern cities that I'm familiar with.

Another thing that I would associate with walkability is weather. I think most people tend to not want to walk in cold and/or rainy weather. The southern cities have an advantage in this aspect.
I'd beg to differ on Charlotte being more compact than Portland, unless you are confusing compact with small.

If you zoom out a little bit more you will see that Charlotte's industry/stores/apartments/condos/anything that is not detached single family houses is quite spread apart, whereas Portland it's all contained around the downtown area.

Charlotte
https://www.google.com/maps/@35.2200.../data=!3m1!1e3

Portland (5,000ft is approximately 1 mile)
https://www.google.com/maps/@45.5153.../data=!3m1!1e3

Also some streetviews

Portland
https://www.google.com/maps/@45.5194...7i13312!8i6656
https://www.google.com/maps/@45.5211...7i13312!8i6656

Charlotte has a nice downtown/urban center too, it just doesn't take up a lot of area. And maybe that has to do with the taller buildings idk?
https://www.google.com/maps/@35.2260...7i13312!8i6656
https://www.google.com/maps/@35.2280...7i13312!8i6656
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Old 12-03-2017, 03:23 PM
 
Location: In the heights
22,158 posts, read 23,691,169 times
Reputation: 11626
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simpsonvilllian View Post
Walkability isn't just about downtown residents, in my view. A lot of people in the suburbs go downtown after work and on weekends, and there are out of town visitors as well.

In Charlotte and Atlanta, you can go to NFL game and then walk to restaurants and bars in the downtown area. In Atlanta, the college football hall of fame, aquarium, large city park and other tourist attractions are near the football stadium.
I think that's really different from how I view walkability, but no one owns the definition. Walkability is a neighborhood thing to me--basically, you can live in a neighborhood and get everything you want done by walking out your doorstep save for maybe a few things (like going to a consulate and getting a visa or finding a specialist for that odd rash on your bum). To me, what you're talking about is basically local tourism, even if you live in the same metropolitan area. You're going elsewhere to visit and it's good entertainment. It's not the same, but again, people's definitions vary.
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Old 12-03-2017, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Greenville SC 'Waterfall City'
7,589 posts, read 4,011,810 times
Reputation: 2926
Can you live in a nice house with a yard up north and still walk to stuff in a downtown area? Seems like the only grass you are going to see in Manhattan is in Central Park. I think in general you would have to live in an apartment/ condo in a high rise, and that kind of housing doesn't suit most people especially 30 plus.

Looking at Portland on google maps, it has a nice riverside park but it is kind of offset from the CBD and on the other side of what looks like a busy commuter highway.

The NBA arena and what looks like a hockey arena are on the other side of the river. The convention center is on the other side of the river as well. Greenville's convention center isn't downtown either though, although the arena downtown is often used as a convention center.

Last edited by ClemVegas; 12-03-2017 at 04:07 PM..
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Old 12-03-2017, 03:42 PM
 
Location: In the heights
22,158 posts, read 23,691,169 times
Reputation: 11626
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simpsonvilllian View Post
Can you live in a nice house with a yard up north and still walk to stuff? I think in general you would have to live in an apartment/ condo in a high rise, and that kind of housing doesn't suit most people especially 30 plus.
It's certainly less common these days to have a whole house with yard and live in a very walkable neighborhood. It does exist though you're right that it's much more commonly a multi-resident dwelling such as an apartment or condo (though not necessarily a high rise). I wouldn't say that kind of housing is especially ill-suited to people in the 30 plus category though since I know a lot of people in that range living in such and they seem pretty content. It's really about what you value.

As a simple geometry issue, if you're spacing things for everyone to have a house with a yard, then you're going to run into an issue where the space allocation for that puts relatively few people within walking distance of any non-residential establishment which means that establishment can't be built geared towards people walking there. Instead, it will need to be geared towards people getting there by other means, but generally that means cars and parking lots in the US. That's fine if it's your preference, but it doesn't tie in so well with a topic that's supposedly about a place being walkable.

A very walkable city in the south is New Orleans and there's a pretty good amount of multi-resident units there and the single family homes there are generally on very small lots. It makes sense as New Orleans was a major city in the pre-automobile period. I think it's a particular standout, because it was an economically booming city at the time at the mouth of the Mississippi where a lot of the goods from upriver into the vast interior could be traded and it was a massive slave market, also traded as a commodity, but was not the site of vast plantations which also required a lot of land. As the south was more agrarian and a large part of the total economy emphasized such while having relatively small populations that were free to make their own living, it makes sense that relatively few walkable cities developed. There are still quite a few though that did absorb the sort of urban build out of the old cities, though most of them were port cities that did not go through the same booms as northern cities.

As for grass in Manhattan only in Central Park, that's not quite true. There are a lot of parks in Manhattan and they are well-used. No one individual owns the grass, but many people make good use of it. The only major thing I somewhat miss about having my own private yard was fooling around it, but it's not the biggest loss.

Last edited by OyCrumbler; 12-03-2017 at 04:01 PM..
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