U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Thread summary:

Metro area: traffic, downtown, democratic, republican, neighborhoods, taxes.

Reply Start New Thread
Old 01-26-2009, 02:15 PM
Location: Englewood, Near Eastside Indy
8,344 posts, read 14,108,709 times
Reputation: 5964


Originally Posted by atlantagreg30127 View Post
A prominent developer made an interesting observation regarding metro Atlantans the other day on TV...

He said he had noticed that when people from metro Atlanta traveled anywhere else in the U.S. or abroad, when asked they would generically say they were "from Atlanta". However, if they were traveling within Georgia (state wide) they would specify the name of the suburb such as "Roswell" or "Smyrna" and not say they were from Atlanta.

He wasn't sure if it had something to do with the hate-hate relationship the city has with the rest of the State and it makes metro residents paranoid, or some other reason, but it does seem to happen that way as the norm here.
My friends in the burbs say "Indianapolis" when outside of Indiana because very few people outside Indiana have heard of Brownsburg or Carmel. When speaking within Indiana, they tend to refer to their suburb. It is more a matter of simplicity when speaking to those not familiar with the area.

And; towns such as Brownsburg are NOT part of Indianapolis; it is a suburb and nothing more.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 01-26-2009, 02:27 PM
Location: Somerville, MA
8,017 posts, read 16,075,189 times
Reputation: 9377
Originally Posted by dem3456 View Post
I'm going to say yes, at least in the Boston area. I feel like the suburbs all look to Boston and we all feel like we are a part of it, whether or not we live directly within the city limits.
I agree and disagree. I would say that anything within the 128 belt is certainly "one city." Actually, to take it further, one could even argue that places like Cambridge and Somerville are even more a party of the urbanized Boston area than parts of Boston are (like Hyde Park or West Roxbury).

However, different measurements of the metropolitan area include different things. One measurement includes Providence and Boston as one metro area. I have a hard time saying Providence is REALLY a Boston suburb that's PART of Boston. I mean sure, many people commute from Prov. to Boston, but most consider Providence its own unique area. Same with some other communities included in the Boston area (Lowell, Haverhill, etc).

The inner suburbs of Boston are very much a part of the urbanized Boston area, the fringe suburbs and exurbs really aren't. Growing up on the southern fringes of the metro-Boston area (right along I-495), Boston was just as foreign to many of the people there as New York or Chicago. They identified with the smaller cities in the area (i.e. Fall River, Brockton, New Bedford and Taunton) more than they did with Boston... even though TECHNICALLY, they lived in the metro Boston area.

Boston is weird that way. the inner suburbs are more a part of Boston than inner suburbs of most other cities, but if you drive 20 miles out of the city, people will have a harder time identifying with Boston.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-26-2009, 03:04 PM
11,177 posts, read 22,388,331 times
Reputation: 10924
Originally Posted by CarolinaBredChicagoan View Post
I'd say that, at least as far as Chicago is concerned, there's a pretty big divide between the city and the suburbs. While I totally understand someone from Naperville, while out of state or out of country, telling people they live in Chicago, it's certainly not the same. That's why people use terms like "Chicagoland" for the metro. Similar, but not the same.

Where this gets foggy is with "inner ring" suburbs that feel very similar to the city, but technically aren't. In Chicago, places like Evanston and Oak Park come to mind.

Still, at the end of the day, the city is the city and the burbs are the burbs. The twain SHALL meet under the umbrella we call the metro area. That's why the term "metropolitan area" exists.
True. I know when you talk to people who are all from the burbs, and someone says that they grew up in Oak Park or Evanston, you get the traditional "Oh, well yeah, that's basically just the city" as opposed to Schaumburg or wherever the hell else 40 mile away sprawlburg.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-26-2009, 03:16 PM
5,772 posts, read 13,735,409 times
Reputation: 4583
Some good thoughts here. I should remind people that there is another thread about the question of whether you tell people you’re from a certain city if you live in one of its suburbs. The topic I’m after on this thread is the actual relationship between cities and suburbs, and whether they function as really all one city, and seem like such to the people who live in an area. That’s just a reminder, because most of you have offered some good thoughts about the central question of the thread.

Rainrock, it’s interesting that you point out the social differences between sections of the greater Philadelphia area, including differences between the city and many of the suburbs. A question I would throw out about that is whether in a big city like Philly there might not be just as much variation within the city. Would there be as much difference between the attitudes, economic status, and social customs of Center City residents and people who live in many of the city’s blue-collar sections or black neighborhoods as there would be between city residents and people living out in the Main Line? Might not the converse be true as well? For example, there may be more similarity between residents of many city neighborhoods and those living in Camden than between a black neighborhood in the city and Center City, even though both are in the city. Similarly, even though Camden and the Main Line are both outside the city, they are quite different from each other, while Camden will be similar to many neighborhoods officially located inside the city. Just some food for thought.

Awesomo’s post also pointed out social differences, even a social clash between residents of the city and suburbanites. I don’t want to get too far off topic with a debate about who pays which taxes, but the issue Awesomo brings up about suburbanites who make money in the city but pay no city taxes does give a clue to the integrated nature of a metropolitan area. True, those suburbanites don’t pay city property taxes, but their employers do, and the employers need people working for them, whether suburbanites or city residents, in order to stay in business. So the suburbanites actually do add to the city’s economy, just as they do when they spend money while shopping and finding entertainment in the city. I realize that this issue can be a sore point, and again, I don’t want a debate to get going which would take the thread off topic, but the realities I’ve pointed out do reveal something of the economic integration between city and suburbs.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-26-2009, 03:50 PM
Location: ITL (Houston)
9,223 posts, read 13,841,215 times
Reputation: 3545
It depends. Some cases yes, and in others no. We have an example of each in Texas (major metropolitan areas only). For Houston, I would say is all "one city". It just feels massive and all collective. For Dallas-Fort Worth, it's massive, but feels divided into many little to medium sized cities and does not feel all collective. You can tell when you leave one city and enter the next for the most part.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-26-2009, 05:49 PM
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,464 posts, read 7,529,757 times
Reputation: 4363
Interesting topic, ogre. As others have noted, I think it completely depends not only on the metropolitan area but also the location within the metropolitan area. Essentially, the discussion relates to how reliant or connected a given area outside of the city limits is on the city itself. Some related questions may be -- outside of media/cultural influence:

What percentage of suburban workers actually work in the city?
How much public transit accessibility is there in suburban areas to the city?
On average, how often do suburbanites frequent the city?

Of course there would be many other factors, but I think with more recent focus on city cores; what seemed to be a decreasing emphasis on cities and less interdependence with suburban areas during the past half-century is reversing its course.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-26-2009, 06:04 PM
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,464 posts, read 7,529,757 times
Reputation: 4363
Originally Posted by rainrock View Post
IMO Id have to say NO at least in our case.

In the case of Philadlephia you aren't talking just about city vs suburbs you are also talking about competition amongst 3 different states(PA NJ DEL). IMO each state tries to keep its own identity. In the case of Delaware they have their own progressive successful city in Wilmington that they gravitate to. The highly republican Phila suburbs dont have much in common with democratic Philly. In fact imo South jersey has a closer bond with Philly than the Pa suburbs do. Its all very discombobulated here.
As someone who grew up at the "fringe" of the Philly metro area (Northwestern Montgomery County), I don't necessarily disagree with you -- but I think there is a decent amount of interconnectedness with many inner-suburban areas (also, not to get too tangential, the Philly 'burbs have become much more Democratic over the past decade, due in no small part to urban transplants). At least that should intuitively be the case for any suburb with commuter rail access.

I completely understand that many suburbs are now completely independent. No longer do people have to even set foot in the city for employment, shopping, or entertainment. Still, there is an argument to be made for urban suburbs that aren't discernibly different from the outskirts of city cores. In the case of Philadelphia, I don't think many non-natives would be able to tell much of a difference from Conshohocken and Manayunk, or West Philadelphia and Upper Darby. It has to do with urban continuity, and not until you hit Valley Forge do you really feel like you hit the 'burbs -- at least from the perspective of someone from low-density exurbs.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-27-2009, 08:54 AM
Location: Hell's Kitchen, NYC
2,271 posts, read 4,531,826 times
Reputation: 1594
Well in Houston, given the lack of public transportation, and the sprawl even the inner ring suburbs seem light-years away.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-27-2009, 09:16 AM
Location: Summerville, SC
403 posts, read 1,044,042 times
Reputation: 265
If you live in a town that has it's own functioning government outside of the parent city then there's no way you can be considered all in one.

North Jersey is apart of the NYC metro area and while the influence is there each of those towns function independent of the city.

To put it plainly..........no one from Newark would ever say they were from New York although technically the former is a suburb of the latter.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-27-2009, 09:32 AM
Location: Concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
8,900 posts, read 13,249,175 times
Reputation: 1819
When I was on Long Island, I would say I live on LI since many people know of it. Lots of people think I mean NYC since technically Queens and Brooklyn are on LI. But if I'm out of the country, I'll just say NYC to make it easier. I wasn't even that that far outside the city line anyway.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top