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Old 12-24-2008, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Seattle
11 posts, read 30,521 times
Reputation: 20

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I would appreciate input on why some towns became great cities. What does a city possess that causes it to gain regional and even national influence?

Does it start out with LOCATION? (the intersection of rivers, a pleasant stopping point along a cattle trail or railroad)

Must it maintain INDUSTRY over the long haul? (able to adapt with time as resources and markets change, i.e. logging, fishing, manufacturing, etc.)

Do most cities develop an IDENTITY that distinguishes it from other/all cities? (NYC=culture/business; LA=entertainment; Miami=leisure/diversity; etc.)

Can you help me out?
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Old 12-24-2008, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Chicago
3,340 posts, read 8,703,212 times
Reputation: 1215
Most Major cities have access to water, I can't think of many cities that don't have a major river or body of water near it(Except Vegas but thats a different story), from there they branch out to limitless possibilities, They can create beaches to make themselves a leisure capital, like Miami and LA or they can utilize it for shipping and become an Industrial/Business capital, like former Detroit, Chicago and New York, or keep some land nearby pristine and use it for eco-tourism, such as Salt Lake city.
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Old 12-24-2008, 04:10 PM
 
Location: from houstoner to bostoner to new yorker to new jerseyite ;)
4,085 posts, read 11,450,469 times
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It's a combination of factors. Great architecture; a diverse economy offering a variety of jobs in a variety of industries; distinct neighborhoods; entertainment districts and great leisure opportunities; a sense of place, of its history; embraces arts and culture; parks, greenspace, and other public space for people to come together; at least one great college; plans with aesthetics in mind; public transit; welcomes racial/ethnic diversity, which leads to great cuisine, increased exchange of ideas, etc. and just makes life more interesting. A great city offers something for everyone. However, to more directly answer your question, I think that most of all it takes vision and a willingness to take risks on the part of residents and city leaders to get to the level of the cities you mention. Planning for tomorrow rather than today. I see this lack of vision in my own city and it distresses me greatly.
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Old 12-24-2008, 05:25 PM
hsw
 
2,144 posts, read 6,348,691 times
Reputation: 1517
Prob more complex analysis in an increasingly IQ-dependent, virtual, globalized, outsourced economy....and need for QOL that attracts/keeps highly-paid, smart workers

In many ways, cities are far less important than ever before....arguably world's three greatest concentrations of wealth and IQ are in SiliconValley, Greenwich and Midtown Manhattan....two of which are suburban areas composed of nondescript office parks and a car-based culture, w/weak local restaurants/bars....and two of which have no leading university within 100mis (and Wharton is closest relevant univ to NYC but Phila's economy sucks)

Bos has MIT but a feeble tech economy....and has Harvard but only has a weak group of hedge funds in region

Dallas is one of most business-friendly regions in world....but most of industry is in suburban Richardson/Plano, not in Downtown or even in City of Dallas....TelecomCorridor and Exxon....lots of cost-efficient middle-manager and back-office stuff, but not much in way of leading, innovative tech or financial industries that attract smart, ambitious young workers and entrepreneurs
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Old 12-24-2008, 07:59 PM
 
Location: yeah
5,716 posts, read 14,567,378 times
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It's certainly not location. Just look at New York and Chicago. They had to make the urban environment into the attractive location.
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Old 12-25-2008, 07:49 AM
 
Location: metro ATL
8,190 posts, read 12,322,731 times
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Mature urban fabrics, outstanding cultural facilities, extensive transportation networks, hubs of business and culture, usually on or near a body of water
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Old 12-25-2008, 07:53 AM
 
Location: metro ATL
8,190 posts, read 12,322,731 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krudmonk View Post
It's certainly not location. Just look at New York and Chicago. They had to make the urban environment into the attractive location.
I strongly disagree for NYC. The natural deepwater port, and the subsequent construction of the Erie Canal, was probably the most significant factor early on in NYC's growth.
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Old 12-25-2008, 09:37 AM
 
Location: yeah
5,716 posts, read 14,567,378 times
Reputation: 2829
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akhenaton06 View Post
I strongly disagree for NYC. The natural deepwater port, and the subsequent construction of the Erie Canal, was probably the most significant factor early on in NYC's growth.
Okay, water navigation was necessary. However, the setting is not what draws people these days.
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