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Old 11-16-2008, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
5,520 posts, read 11,970,918 times
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Also worth keeping in mind is the obvious fact that within cities population density varies greatly. Manhattan has a density of 66k/sq mile. The Lakeview neighborhood in Chicago has a population density of 30k/sq mile. Obviously areas which are industrial, parkland, or abandoned/depopulated will have relatively low density.

Since the densest parts of Chicago contain the majority of the Chicago population (not surprisingly), the "typical" Chicagoan lives in a neighborhood with much greater density than the overall average of 12k/sq mile.
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Old 11-16-2008, 09:36 PM
 
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
2,498 posts, read 10,074,761 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsMeBitches View Post
Chicago is the densest city not on an island. Chicago should be renowned for density more than NY and SF who gets too much credit. Its not even like New York or Frisco has a choice. So, Chicago city planning is obviously superior.
San Francisco is on a peninsula, not an island. It is never separated from land by water, although it can feel like an island with water on all three sides and bridges connecting to other sides of the Bay. Just clearing things up, but SF still can't really sprawl due to the city concentrating on the point.

Chicago is still very dense for not having the limitations of geography, although we have seen in recent years the suburbs sprawl like crazy as the region embraced a car culture.
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:33 PM
 
Location: NYC
190 posts, read 819,960 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsMeBitches View Post
Chicago is the densest city not on an island. Chicago should be renowned for density more than NY and SF who gets too much credit. Its not even like New York or Frisco has a choice. So, Chicago city planning is obviously superior.
NYC has 5 boros and it has more land than Chicago yet it is more dense with 27000 people per sq mi on average but manhattan is the most dense boro with 70000 people per sq mi Chicago is not even dense compared to brooklyn and queens yeah they are on an island but they are on a HUGE island that has a lot of space so your comment sounds off. The Bronx is the only boro not on an island and that boro is as dense as the average density for the whole city and it's the fourth largest boro by land
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:49 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
8 posts, read 40,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Go Ne View Post
You should do another one with metros instead.
I will! It would be useful to view the two side by side. I'll post a link after I have time to do it.
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:52 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
135 posts, read 717,856 times
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Here is the image for those too lazy to click on the link.....



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Old 11-16-2008, 11:42 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
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It will be interesting to watch over the next few decades which cities increase in density. Over the last several years I've watched Seattle grow immensely, partly because legislation passed increasing building heights to promote density and reinvigorate the downtown area.

I've just moved to Portland, which has always promoted density, keeping a strict urban growth boundary. It's not the most dense city obviously but the smart planning over the years has created a very livable and well-functioning city in an area that could have sprawled like crazy.
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:08 AM
 
Location: Tijuana Exurbs
3,861 posts, read 10,091,894 times
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Question:

Do your land area totals subtract water and the larger parks from the total? If a city has substantial amounts of park land or mountain ranges within its boundaries it could expand the land area, while the people are actually living rather densely.
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:16 AM
 
Location: Georgia native in McKinney, TX
6,892 posts, read 9,586,933 times
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Agree that a metro map would be much more telling than this. Too many discrepancies due to size of city limits vs. actual population. Take Atlanta, only 10% of the metro area is in the actual city. Compare that to a San Antonio for example, a city poplulation over 1.3 million, but a metro area still shy of 2 million.
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Old 11-17-2008, 01:06 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
8 posts, read 40,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kettlepot View Post
Question:

Do your land area totals subtract water and the larger parks from the total? If a city has substantial amounts of park land or mountain ranges within its boundaries it could expand the land area, while the people are actually living rather densely.
The totals DO NOT include water but they DO include all the land, so yes, park land and mountain ranges within city limits are not factored out. An example: the city where I reside (Portland, OR) includes Forest Park, the largest urban park in the country (mostly forest reserve), which is about 8 square miles. If Forest Park was factored out of Portland, the city's average population density would rise from 4,199 to 4,465 (an increase of 266).

I wonder, though, how significant the changes in numbers would be if such situations were accounted for in all the cities. In my example, Portland stays in the exact same spot in the list after removing Forest Park.

It's a good point, however, that general data can be deceiving. I based my graph solely off the raw data of only these two factors (density & area). One of the questions I had in making this graph is how useful such data really can be in comparing cities. This forum is bringing up some of the complexities beneath the surface.
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Old 11-17-2008, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
5,520 posts, read 11,970,918 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kettlepot View Post
Question:

Do your land area totals subtract water and the larger parks from the total? If a city has substantial amounts of park land or mountain ranges within its boundaries it could expand the land area, while the people are actually living rather densely.

If you're going to exclude parkland from land area, shouldn't you also exclude industrial areas, landfills, airports, docks, schools, malls, etc. The list of exceptions could be endless.

The average is simply that, an average. Take Chicago, which is flat as a pancake. Some areas near the lakefront have densities around 30k/sq mile. Near the western city limits, you have low population densities due to suburban-like residential patterns. In some dilapidated and run-down inner city neighborhoods, population density is very low due to outmigration. If you measure population density on the northside within a quarter mile of the lakefront, you'd probably get something >50k/sq mile due to the large number of high rises.

It all depends on the geographic boundaries you use as your denominator. All of these geographic boundaries are somewhat arbitrary (including municipal boundaries.) If you're looking at a macroeconomic level, the best boundary is probably metro area. If you're looking at a political level, then you should use municipal boundaries. If you're looking at an individual day to day level, you should examine neighborhood boundaries.
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