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Old 12-24-2018, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, Commonwealth of Virginia
1,609 posts, read 1,107,747 times
Reputation: 1903

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We've all been there before, we visit a beautiful city and think to ourselves, "I could definitely see myself living here if it wasn't so small."

So which cities are they?

Name 10 Cities that you would double in size, for any reason: currently too small, fill a geographic gap, has good bones and you want to see all the abandoned buildings re-settled.

The only restriction is the city has to have under 250k within its city prosper as of now.

For the purposes of this exercise, also assume half the population growth comes from densification, and the remaining 50 percent comes from suburban-style sprawl.

I also added a linear projection if the city added the same population each year until 2050 that it has averaged per year from April 1, 2010-July 1, 2017.

Boise, Idaho. This part of the country is very empty, and Boise is one of the best growth poles in the region. It has a booming tech-scene, a growing arts scene and beautiful nearby scenery.

Old Population: 226,570
New Population: 453,140
Linear Projection 2050: 309,530

Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston feels like a grand European city, with old historic buildings, palm-fringed alleys and stately mansions. But its population has never matched up with the city's stature. Doubling its population would make it the undisputed largest city in South Carolina, and would increase its importance in the Carolina Coast, which is shockingly devoid of any major cities.

Old Population: 134,875
New Population: 269,750
Linear Projection 2050: 202,596

Des Moines, Iowa. Des Moines feels way bigger than it actually is. It has one of the lowest unemployment centers in the U.S., is the key city in a state that's an agricultural powerhouse and it has surprisingly good bones, not to mention a gold-domed state capitol that puts nearly all others to shame. At double the population, it would compete with Omaha and would actually have more people than Minneapolis to its north.

Old Population: 217,521
New Population: 435,042
Linear Projection 2050: 278,218

Fargo, North Dakota. Most people think of the Cohen Brothers when they hear Fargo, but the city actually has a pretty city center and is rapidly growing. That said, it will take decades for this city to develop a critical mass in population and the entire Dakotas are vastly underpopulated. At nearly 250k, Fargo would feel more thriving.

Old Population: 122,359
New Population: 244,718
Linear Projection 2050: 198,619

Hartford, Connecticut. Plagued by a tiny city boundary, Hartford feels much bigger than its population figures would suggest. It has world-class museums, a large insurance sector and, when coupled with Springfield, anchor a region of over 2 million people. But the city itself is struggling and an infusion of another 123,400 people would make it one of the densest and most vibrant cities in the U.S.

Old Population: 123,400
New Population: 246,800
Linear Projection 2050: 117,141

Providence, Rhode Island. Another struggling New England town with great bones. Nearby attractions include Newport, Block Island, Rhode Island's Beaches, Nantucket, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Mystic/New London, not to mention Boston. The city has struggled due to the decline in industry, but with a doubling of its population would be a mini-Boston. It already has the Ivy League cachet with Brown.

Old Population: 180,393
New Population: 360,786
Linear Projection 2050: 191,299

Reno, Nevada. The city has a lot of growth potential nearby: Las Vegas-style gambling - as we all know from the rainbow neon sign "The Biggest Little City in the World", Lake Tahoe and its emerald waters, tons of forests, Carson City and the Nevada State Government. It just needs a little push.

At 497,706, it would actually be a thriving city well into the Top 50.

Old Population: 248,853
New Population: 497,706
Linear Projection 2050: 355,568

Richmond, Virginia. Another historic pre-Civil War powerhouse. Richmond was the Capital of the Confederacy and while its streets are full of grandiose monuments and antebellum mansions, the city itself still feels cozy. Long under the shadow of Washington, D.C., Richmond has all of the tools to replicate Raleigh and become a city of nearly 500,000: close access to the Northeast Corridor, beaches nearby, mountains, tons of universities, tourist attractions like Charlottesville, and Williamsburg and Wine Country a few hours away. With double the population, I suspect Richmond would also lead to a massive population boom in Hampton Roads as well.

Old Population: 227,032
New Population: 454,034
Linear Projection 2050: 330,634

Salt Lake City, Utah. This city feels way bigger than its city proper would suggest and, though the metro is booming, the city proper isn't leading the charge. But the city has gorgeous scenery with the mountains and Great Salt Lake and it anchors a region of 2.5 million. At double the population, it would give Denver a run for its money.

Old Population: 200,544
New Population: 401,088
Linear Projection 2050: 264,727

Savannah, Georgia. As you can tell, I'm a sucker for old cities with historic cores but vibrant, bustling native street life. Savannah is another city that would be even more radiant and busy with double the population. Everything above for Charleston applies here as well.

Old Population: 146,444
New Population: 292,888
Linear Projection 2050: 189,421
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Old 12-25-2018, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Reno, NV
1,535 posts, read 708,496 times
Reputation: 1973
I would definitely enjoy living in Reno more if it were twice the size. But please, no more sprawling subdivisions off of isolated mountain roads a mile away from anything else. (That low-density development does make the city feel bigger visually when you're driving through, but it has the opposite effect when you're actually walking around in the core.)

I'd rather get to that 450k by developing more apartments in the Midtown, Wells, and West Reno areas - tearing down a lot of the crummy crack-den-looking houses and buying up all the empty lots. Reno would feel like a much more exciting city with a solid mass of 10-20k ppsm census tracts in its core, and that would especially help bring about the critical mass of creative types to give us the "creative" mystique people here seem to crave.
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Old 12-25-2018, 04:45 PM
 
56,604 posts, read 80,890,793 times
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Many Interior Northeastern and Midwestern cities within the criteria could hold twice as many people as they are constructed now. In turn, it would increase the density and vibrancy of said cities.
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Old 12-26-2018, 06:57 PM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
9,427 posts, read 18,327,828 times
Reputation: 11902
Quote:
Originally Posted by manitopiaaa View Post
Providence, Rhode Island. Another struggling New England town with great bones. Nearby attractions include Newport, Block Island, Rhode Island's Beaches, Nantucket, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Mystic/New London, not to mention Boston. The city has struggled due to the decline in industry, but with a doubling of its population would be a mini-Boston. It already has the Ivy League cachet with Brown.
Providence is similar to Boston in that the adjacent cities aren't suburban or sprawly, they have urban neighborhoods similar to the ones in Providence. Providence could absorb Pawtucket, Cranston, Warwick, North Providence and East Providence, and it would be a city of 450K with a similar land area as Raleigh, NC.
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Floribama
15,002 posts, read 31,375,582 times
Reputation: 13797
Quote:
We've all been there before, we visit a beautiful city and think to ourselves, "I could definitely see myself living here if it wasn't so small."
Nope, canít say Iíve ever been there.
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Washington DC
3,806 posts, read 3,304,730 times
Reputation: 2696
Charleston, Wilmington NC. Any beach city in Florida, GA, SC, NC or CA
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:50 PM
 
Location: Prescott Valley, AZ
2,696 posts, read 2,347,809 times
Reputation: 2714
Grand Junction, CO

old population: 62,475
new population: 124,950

St George, UT

old population: 84,405
new population: 168,810

Flagstaff, AZ

old population: 71,975
new population: 143,950

Prescott Valley, AZ

old population: 44,466
new population: 88,932

Prescott, AZ

old population: 42,731
new population: 85,462

Kingman, AZ

old population: 29,472
new population: 58,944

I could easily see all these small cities grow twice the size, its just a matter of attracting more talent and jobs to the area.
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Old 12-27-2018, 08:21 AM
 
56,604 posts, read 80,890,793 times
Reputation: 12505
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert_SW_77 View Post
Providence is similar to Boston in that the adjacent cities aren't suburban or sprawly, they have urban neighborhoods similar to the ones in Providence. Providence could absorb Pawtucket, Cranston, Warwick, North Providence and East Providence, and it would be a city of 450K with a similar land area as Raleigh, NC.
Actually, those 6 RI municipalities combined are about 15 square miles smaller than the city land area of Raleigh. You could throw in Central Falls with just under 20,000 people within 1.3 square miles as well and it would have a smaller land area, with more people than Raleigh. So, it would be about roughly 475-500,000 people in about 129 square miles between those 7 continuous RI municipalities. This isn’t considering West Warwick either(8 square miles and 29000 people).

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 12-27-2018 at 08:38 AM..
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:10 AM
 
9,382 posts, read 9,539,690 times
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New Bedford, MA would be quite the city with 192,000 people, and same with Portkand ME with 124,000
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Old 12-27-2018, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Mars City
5,091 posts, read 2,142,356 times
Reputation: 7505
I'd double my worthless current town, but sadly, increasing the population wouldn't rescue it. It needs more of an injection of culture and zest, than sheer numbers.

Oftentimes it's a matter of improving quality, not quantity, in smaller cities.
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