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Thread summary:

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

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Old 01-27-2009, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
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Originally Posted by Rachael84 View Post
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.
I try to explain to people here that Queens and Brooklyn are on Long Island and some of them look at me like I have two heads because their image of Long Island is beach communities and wealthy suburban neighborhoods. I know both of those things exist in force on LI, it's just funny that people have a problem comprehending that two of NYC's Boroughs are a good chunk of the Southwestern edge of Long Island.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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If the answer is YES, then Miami is bigger than Fresno. If the answer is NO, then Fresno is bigger than Miami. You decide.
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
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Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
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.
I definitely agree with you about 128 and the areas north like Cambridge and Somerville. These areas are surely incorporated into Boston's framework.

I also have a hard time seeing Providence as a part of Boston. I tend to think of Providence as a city connected with Boston by proximity and by commuting patterns but it is definitely independent. I would call it a satellite city.

Just out of curiosity, what towns or cities would you consider fringe suburbs and exurbs?
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:55 AM
 
Location: NJ
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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.

Other major cities within 1 state may have a different opinion eg Houston,Atl Pho etc but it would be hard to get everybody in the Philly metro on board together. Other than the sports teams and TV stations there isnt much comraderie here.
I agree with this, as it relates to the NYC metro. I could (and DID) WALK to NYC from my urban NJ city, but never considered myself a "NY'er". In my mind, only those who actually live in the 5 boroughs could claim that status. I highly doubt people who live in Fairfield County CT consider themselves NY'ers as well.

I wonder if ppl who live in Overland Park, KS, for instance, consider themselves "Kansas City'ers" (or however you want to express it) ?
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:58 AM
 
Location: NJ
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Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
I try to explain to people here that Queens and Brooklyn are on Long Island and some of them look at me like I have two heads because their image of Long Island is beach communities and wealthy suburban neighborhoods. I know both of those things exist in force on LI, it's just funny that people have a problem comprehending that two of NYC's Boroughs are a good chunk of the Southwestern edge of Long Island.
I have a friend who grew up in Queens and would rather cut his right arm off than admit that Queens is part of LI. He obviously realizes physically it is, but his mindset is LI as being Nassau and Suffolk county, and Queens being part of the 5 boroughs, geography aside. We have fun making fun of him.
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
8,900 posts, read 13,264,139 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
I try to explain to people here that Queens and Brooklyn are on Long Island and some of them look at me like I have two heads because their image of Long Island is beach communities and wealthy suburban neighborhoods. I know both of those things exist in force on LI, it's just funny that people have a problem comprehending that two of NYC's Boroughs are a good chunk of the Southwestern edge of Long Island.
Haha yeah, the NYC metro area can be really difficult to explain. You need to show people a visual of a map for them to truly understand it all
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
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Originally Posted by dem3456 View Post
I definitely agree with you about 128 and the areas north like Cambridge and Somerville. These areas are surely incorporated into Boston's framework.

I also have a hard time seeing Providence as a part of Boston. I tend to think of Providence as a city connected with Boston by proximity and by commuting patterns but it is definitely independent. I would call it a satellite city.

Just out of curiosity, what towns or cities would you consider fringe suburbs and exurbs?
I agree with Providence as a Satellite city. Your description is very accurate.

I think that fringe suburbs and exurbs change over time... many factors go into making a town an exurb/ fringe suburb. Currently, I think 495 makes a general boundary for "fringe Suburbs." The majority of the towns inside the 495 belt could be considered Boston suburbs while many on the OUTSIDE could be considered exurbs or not a part of the Boston area... there are, of course exceptions to this (Particularly West of Boston).

Defining an "Exurb" is tough. Some places define it as an area outside a city or its suburbs with mainly well-to-do residents, while some define it as simply an area outside a cities suburbs with a large commuter population. Since much of what I personally would consider exurbs in MA are not necessarily "wealthy" (by Boston area standards anyway), I'm going with the latter definition of an town with a large commuter population outside of a city and its suburbs.

For specific examples, right now, Lakeville is what I would consider a "Fringe Suburb" seeing as it's on the commuter rail line and is made up of mostly white-collar commuters to Boston. However, it's really on the fringe of Boston's suburbs... It's nearly a 50 minute drive (with no traffic) from Lakeville to Boston. However, before the commuter rail was in place, Lakeville had many characterstics of an exurb... relatively rural with a good chunk of the population commuting to Boston (and vicinity).

Assonet, Berkely and Parts of Middleborough are still what I'd call "exurban" today. Assonet is rural in set up (with some suburban development, but very little) and many residents commute to Boston for work. It's not on any mass transit lines but it does lie along route 24 (exits 9 and 10). Assonet also has some relatively wealthy residents who work and commute to the city. I feel it very much fits the description of exurb.

now a list: (certainly doesn't include all of the towns that make up fring suburbs and exurbs).
other Fringe Suburbs:
Taunton, Norton, Plympton, Kingston, Plainville, Mendon, Bellingham, Hudson, Acton, Littleton, Westford, Topsfield and Manchester.

other exurbs:
Boxford, Ayer, Bolton, Upton, Dighton, Carver and PERHAPS Rochester, Marion and Mattapoisett- though those three are pushing it.

That's what I would consider to be a few of the Fringe Suburbs and Exurbs but I don't really have much data to back that up. Would you agree?
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
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Originally Posted by tahiti View Post
I have a friend who grew up in Queens and would rather cut his right arm off than admit that Queens is part of LI. He obviously realizes physically it is, but his mindset is LI as being Nassau and Suffolk county, and Queens being part of the 5 boroughs, geography aside. We have fun making fun of him.
That's funny. I have a friend who lives in Queens but works for the NY Islanders NHL team (Nassau County). He tells gloats to EVERYONE that he lives on Long Island. I guess it's a matter of what community each person wants to associate with. We give him a hard time also.
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
I agree with Providence as a Satellite city. Your description is very accurate.

I think that fringe suburbs and exurbs change over time... many factors go into making a town an exurb/ fringe suburb. Currently, I think 495 makes a general boundary for "fringe Suburbs." The majority of the towns inside the 495 belt could be considered Boston suburbs while many on the OUTSIDE could be considered exurbs or not a part of the Boston area... there are, of course exceptions to this (Particularly West of Boston).

Defining an "Exurb" is tough. Some places define it as an area outside a city or its suburbs with mainly well-to-do residents, while some define it as simply an area outside a cities suburbs with a large commuter population. Since much of what I personally would consider exurbs in MA are not necessarily "wealthy" (by Boston area standards anyway), I'm going with the latter definition of an town with a large commuter population outside of a city and its suburbs.

For specific examples, right now, Lakeville is what I would consider a "Fringe Suburb" seeing as it's on the commuter rail line and is made up of mostly white-collar commuters to Boston. However, it's really on the fringe of Boston's suburbs... It's nearly a 50 minute drive (with no traffic) from Lakeville to Boston. However, before the commuter rail was in place, Lakeville had many characterstics of an exurb... relatively rural with a good chunk of the population commuting to Boston (and vicinity).

Assonet, Berkely and Parts of Middleborough are still what I'd call "exurban" today. Assonet is rural in set up (with some suburban development, but very little) and many residents commute to Boston for work. It's not on any mass transit lines but it does lie along route 24 (exits 9 and 10). Assonet also has some relatively wealthy residents who work and commute to the city. I feel it very much fits the description of exurb.

now a list: (certainly doesn't include all of the towns that make up fring suburbs and exurbs).
other Fringe Suburbs:
Taunton, Norton, Plympton, Kingston, Plainville, Mendon, Bellingham, Hudson, Acton, Littleton, Westford, Topsfield and Manchester.

other exurbs:
Boxford, Ayer, Bolton, Upton, Dighton, Carver and PERHAPS Rochester, Marion and Mattapoisett- though those three are pushing it.

That's what I would consider to be a few of the Fringe Suburbs and Exurbs but I don't really have much data to back that up. Would you agree?
I do agree for the most part. I think that your assessment about 495 is largely correct, except for a few towns west, as you have said. I would also add that in my opinion, although 495 goes through towns such as Wrentham, Foxboro, and Mansfield, I still consider these towns to be suburbs and not really "fringe" unless we are using the word fringe as meaning only a kind of border to where suburbs may end and exurbs begin. I also think Plainville is hard to define, because I think it has some ties to Boston but some to Pawtucket/Providence.

I like your definition of an exurb as an area with commuters further away from the city than the suburbs, and it surely seems to me that these communities around Boston are not as "wealthy" as the suburbs. Your example of Lakeville is a good one. I think the whole area to the south, encompassing the towns around Buzzards Bay, Plymouth, and Taunton, is less tied to Boston than the suburbs and could therefore be called exurb because they still have commuters.
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:05 PM
 
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Thanks to all who've added their two cents to this thread. I still owe some of you rep as appreciation for posting here. I've got another thread going on another forum, and between the two I've reached my 24-hour limit on giving out rep.

By the way, the opinion that Providence does not seem like a suburb of Boston reminds me to point out that I think MSA is a better version of "metropolitan area" than CSA for the question I'm posing with this thread. MSA clearly involves much more of a local area which is closely tied together, much as one city would be, while CSA is local only in a much broader sense, with looser ties between the cities and towns involved.

As for some of the thoughts expressed here, the examples of inner suburbs of Boston, Philly, and Chicago point up the idea that a concentration of population density is what really makes a city, in practical terms. Those who have raised the question of whether outer suburbs and exurbs would in effect be all part of the wider city represented by a metro area have also dealt with that idea that a city involves an unbroken spread of fairly high population density.

Where do we draw the line? Well, given the fairly low density withing the city limits of many newer cities, I'd be inclined to say that in a physical sense the unofficial "city" would include suburbs of moderate density. For those familiar with the Boston area, we can use that metro as an example, since several people have offered the thought that the area inside rt. 128 seems like physically part of the city. For those unfamiliar with the area, I'll explain that much of the area inside 128 is occupied by that collection of very densely populated, urban small cities that are found adjacent to most older American cities, which seem physically very much like part of the city itself.

I myself would include more than the suburbs inside 128, again given the frequency of moderate-density suburban areas within the city limits of newer cities. In our auto-driven age, we might need to adjust our idea of how much population density is needed to constitute a "city." I would not include low-density outer-fringe suburbs, or exurbs, in the physical sense of the "city." There are other factors to consider, such as economic inter-connections, but in a physical sense I'd say that the areas the Census Bureau would classify as the core urban areas of metropolitan areas would make a good approximation for the physical boundaries of a de facto city that goes beyond the official city limits.
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