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Old 04-06-2009, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
7,988 posts, read 16,045,518 times
Reputation: 9330

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackOut View Post
^ Using your criteria, either Seattle should be considered medium sized or Minneapolis should be considered in the same tier as Seattle. For example, Seattle's urban area is 2,712,205 whereas Minneapolis has an urban population of 2,388,593. Kansas City (1,361,744), Charlotte (758,927), Omaha (626,623), Albuquerque (598,591), etc... have far less than both. Seattle has a MSA population of 3,344,813 and Minneapolis has an MSA population of 3,229,878. All the cities you listed are smaller than both. The city of Seattle has a population density of 7,085 whereas Minneapolis has a population density of 6,875. Again, all the cities you listed as medium sized are smaller.

Another factor could be Gross Metropolitan Product (GMP). Seattle is ranked 12th and Minneapolis is ranked 14th. None of the other cities you listed as being medium size made the top 20.
Good Catch, I meant to put Minnie in the Large category... I don't know how it ended up in the Medium one. Minneapolis certainly feels like a large city and is absolutely comparable to Seattle in size.
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Northern California
935 posts, read 1,714,241 times
Reputation: 644
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
I think defining the size of a city depends on a multitude of factors. City Limit populations should NOT be relevant at all! Here are my opinions on the combination of factors that should define a city's size...

1) population of contiguous urbanized area: The population of the contiguous urbanized area has two primary factors that define it. First, it has to have a relatively high population density (1,000 people per sq. mi is a good minimum) and a high concentration of mostly wall to wall (or close to it as not all cities buildings are QUITE wall to wall) buildings. In many cases, the urban area extends well beyond the city limits of the core city (like Boston, New York, Providence, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.) and in other cities, the urban area turns to suburban and rural while still within the city limits (i.e. Jacksonville) which is why the city limits are a nearly useless tool in measuring a city's size (every city's borders are different sizes and shapes).

It's worth noting that Contiguous Urbanized Area is NOT the same as metropolitan area. Most metropolitan areas consist of large chunks of rural and suburban area which is why they're less significant factors than urban area when measuring the size of a city.

2) Metropolitan Statistical Area. (NOT CSA). Metropolitan Areas depend heavily on the size and vitality of the core of the MSA. While large chunks of the MSA are not urban (or even suburban), the people in the MSA tend to rely on the amenities (cultural, educational, economic, entertainment, etc) of the core city in the MSA and therefore play a role in the size of the city, particularly growth in the portions of the city (i.e. hospital districts, CBDs, etc) that are vital to the people living outside the city as well. A larger MSA is going to be part of a larger city in most (but NOT ALL!) cases.

The problem with MSAs as a measurement are as follows. First, it does include rural and suburban areas which really aren't urban or large. Second, if the core cities is closer to other cities, the MSA will form "gray areas" where it's really difficult to tell where one city's metro area ends and another begins. Philadelphia and New York is a good example of this... though it's obvious where one city's urban area ends and the others ends, it's tough to tell which cities and towns belong in each's metro area (some could probably belong to both).

3) General "Feel" of the city- I know this sounds a bit weird, but it's a pretty accurate way to get an idea of how large a city is (sort of like a real-life "go with your gut" situation). This isn't the primary (or even secondary) way to tell the size of a city, but it helps when the first two ways produce a similar result. For an example of this, I'll use Philadelphia and Boston. Both cities have a similarly sized urban area and a similarly sized metro area, but when it comes down to it, Philadelphia just FEELS larger. Philadelphia is the larger city without a doubt , but numbers could lead one to think that this isn't true depending on what numbers you use to compare the two (I personally think it's partly because Philly's suburbs are still suburban but generally higher density than Boston's). In short, many times numbers just can't show the truth and the "feeling" is what you have to go on.

All that being said, my general categorization of Large, Medium and Small is as follows:

Giant:
NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles

Large:
Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Detroit, Seattle, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco, etc

Medium:
Minneapolis, Portland OR, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Jacksonville, San Antonio, Omaha, Kansas City MO, Albuquerque, Buffalo, etc

Small: Providence, Sacramento, Rochester, Madison, Worscester, Springfield, Syracuse, Boise, Baton Rouge, Columbia SC, Savannah, Charleston, Dayon, etc

Then you have a collection of "cities" that are really too small to be considered real urban areas and look and feel more like towns than cities. There are hundreds of these. to name a few,
Portland ME, Burlington VT, Newport RI, Portsmouth NH, Taunton MA, Harrisburg PA, Annapolis MD, Roanoke VA, etc.

Sacramento is small? Are you kidding me. There are close to 500,000 people in the city limits and over 2 million in the metro.
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Bayou City
2,991 posts, read 4,600,624 times
Reputation: 2502
Quote:
Originally Posted by pistola916 View Post
Sacramento is small? Are you kidding me. There are close to 500,000 people in the city limits and over 2 million in the metro.
Precisely. And I'm sure the "city planners" here on CD would be fain to give you a nice complicated almost-convincing reason for their conclusion.
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
7,988 posts, read 16,045,518 times
Reputation: 9330
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSykes View Post
Precisely. And I'm sure the "city planners" here on CD would be fain to give you a nice complicated almost-convincing reason for their conclusion.

No, not really. I categorized it as small without really putting much thought into it. It's been forever since Ive been to Sacramento (too long, actually, I have family there) and I badly misjudged the size in that last post. It's a solid medium sized city... Certainly larger than the others I listed in the "small" category. It was a mistake on my part, so don't look for a convincing argument as to why it's small; I can't give you one.
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:25 PM
 
2,560 posts, read 5,268,449 times
Reputation: 764
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTownNative View Post
Large Cities-Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, Miami, Boston, Pittsburgh, Denver, Cleveland, Baltimore, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Tampa, Orlando, Seattle, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Minneapolis.

Medium cities-Indianapolis, Milwaukee, San Antonio,Kansas City,Columbus, Toledo, Austin, Charlotte, Memphis, Nashville, Honolulu, Newark, Jersey City, Albuquerque, Colorado Springs, Fresno, Bakersfield, Wichita, Akron, Jacksonville, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Raliegh, El Paso, Salt Lake City ect.

Small cities-Pueblo, Springfield Illinois, Springfield Massachusetts, Worcester, Manchester, Cheyenne, Topeka, Dayton, Wichita Falls, Santa Fe, Harrisburg, Scranton, Charleston, Tacoma, Boise, Chattanooga, Clarksville, Columbia Missouri, Columbia South Carolina, ect.


Now going by actual population figures.
Buffalo slips as other Upstate metros gain - Tampa Bay Business Journal:

Ex-Large metro's
3,500,000 over
NYC, Los Angeles,Chicago, Dallas-Ft.Worth, Boston, Philadephia, Houston, San Francisco Bay, Atlanta, Miami-Ft.lauderdale, Phoenix-Scottsdale, Detroit, Washington D.C.

Large 2,000,000-3,500,000

Seattle-Tacoma, Denver-Boulder, Tampa St.Petersburgh, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, Orlando, Baltimore, Kansas City, Cincinatti, San Diego, St. Louis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Sacramento, Portland, Newark.

Medium 1,000,000 - 2,000,000

Las Vegas,Indianapolis, Charlotte, Austin, Nashville, Columbus, Buffalo, Memphis, Milwaukee, Jacksonville, Oklahoma City, Salt lake City, Raleigh-Durham, Louisville, Rochester, Tucson, New Orleans, Virginia Beach-Norfolk, Providence, Birmingham, Richmond, Hartford.

Small
500,000 to 1,000,000 and less.

Omaha, Albuquerque, El Paso, Tulsa, Baton Rouge, Honolulu, Fresno, Grand Rapids, McAllen-Edinburg, TX, Dayton, Greensboro, Little Rock, Akron, Toledo, Knoxville, Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, Boise, Wichita.

Last edited by SweethomeSanAntonio; 04-06-2009 at 10:34 PM..
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Old 04-07-2009, 01:16 AM
 
105 posts, read 333,450 times
Reputation: 63
Two best examples are San Francisco and Boston. Both are under a million, but both have metro areas of over 7 million, so they FEEL much larger, since they essentially serve as the downtown areas of very large "cities".

Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
I think defining the size of a city depends on a multitude of factors. City Limit populations should NOT be relevant at all! Here are my opinions on the combination of factors that should define a city's size...

1) population of contiguous urbanized area: The population of the contiguous urbanized area has two primary factors that define it. First, it has to have a relatively high population density (1,000 people per sq. mi is a good minimum) and a high concentration of mostly wall to wall (or close to it as not all cities buildings are QUITE wall to wall) buildings. In many cases, the urban area extends well beyond the city limits of the core city (like Boston, New York, Providence, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.) and in other cities, the urban area turns to suburban and rural while still within the city limits (i.e. Jacksonville) which is why the city limits are a nearly useless tool in measuring a city's size (every city's borders are different sizes and shapes).

It's worth noting that Contiguous Urbanized Area is NOT the same as metropolitan area. Most metropolitan areas consist of large chunks of rural and suburban area which is why they're less significant factors than urban area when measuring the size of a city.

2) Metropolitan Statistical Area. (NOT CSA). Metropolitan Areas depend heavily on the size and vitality of the core of the MSA. While large chunks of the MSA are not urban (or even suburban), the people in the MSA tend to rely on the amenities (cultural, educational, economic, entertainment, etc) of the core city in the MSA and therefore play a role in the size of the city, particularly growth in the portions of the city (i.e. hospital districts, CBDs, etc) that are vital to the people living outside the city as well. A larger MSA is going to be part of a larger city in most (but NOT ALL!) cases.

The problem with MSAs as a measurement are as follows. First, it does include rural and suburban areas which really aren't urban or large. Second, if the core cities is closer to other cities, the MSA will form "gray areas" where it's really difficult to tell where one city's metro area ends and another begins. Philadelphia and New York is a good example of this... though it's obvious where one city's urban area ends and the others ends, it's tough to tell which cities and towns belong in each's metro area (some could probably belong to both).

3) General "Feel" of the city- I know this sounds a bit weird, but it's a pretty accurate way to get an idea of how large a city is (sort of like a real-life "go with your gut" situation). This isn't the primary (or even secondary) way to tell the size of a city, but it helps when the first two ways produce a similar result. For an example of this, I'll use Philadelphia and Boston. Both cities have a similarly sized urban area and a similarly sized metro area, but when it comes down to it, Philadelphia just FEELS larger. Philadelphia is the larger city without a doubt , but numbers could lead one to think that this isn't true depending on what numbers you use to compare the two (I personally think it's partly because Philly's suburbs are still suburban but generally higher density than Boston's). In short, many times numbers just can't show the truth and the "feeling" is what you have to go on.

All that being said, my general categorization of Large, Medium and Small is as follows:

Giant:
NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles

Large:
Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Detroit, Seattle, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco, etc

Medium:
Minneapolis, Portland OR, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Jacksonville, San Antonio, Omaha, Kansas City MO, Albuquerque, Buffalo, etc

Small: Providence, Sacramento, Rochester, Madison, Worscester, Springfield, Syracuse, Boise, Baton Rouge, Columbia SC, Savannah, Charleston, Dayon, etc

Then you have a collection of "cities" that are really too small to be considered real urban areas and look and feel more like towns than cities. There are hundreds of these. to name a few,
Portland ME, Burlington VT, Newport RI, Portsmouth NH, Taunton MA, Harrisburg PA, Annapolis MD, Roanoke VA, etc.
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Old 04-07-2009, 02:15 AM
 
Location: Lower East Side, Milwaukee, WI
2,945 posts, read 4,146,254 times
Reputation: 1113
Small: Madison

Medium: Milwaukee

Large: Chicago
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:33 PM
 
1,201 posts, read 1,987,235 times
Reputation: 717
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTownNative View Post
Large Cities-Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, Miami, Boston, Pittsburgh, Denver, Cleveland, Baltimore, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Tampa, Orlando, Seattle, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Minneapolis.

Medium cities-Indianapolis, Milwaukee, San Antonio,Kansas City,Columbus, Toledo, Austin, Charlotte, Memphis, Nashville, Honolulu, Newark, Jersey City, Albuquerque, Colorado Springs, Fresno, Bakersfield, Wichita, Akron, Jacksonville, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Raliegh, El Paso, Salt Lake City ect.

Small cities-Pueblo, Springfield Illinois, Springfield Massachusetts, Worcester, Manchester, Cheyenne, Topeka, Dayton, Wichita Falls, Santa Fe, Harrisburg, Scranton, Charleston, Tacoma, Boise, Chattanooga, Clarksville, Columbia Missouri, Columbia South Carolina, ect.
if you check your city populations, several could not be listed in your large city category. memphis proper (no metro) far exceeds atlanta proper, baltimore proper, on and on. you will find several cities misclassified in your current groupings.
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Old 04-11-2009, 01:49 AM
 
1,201 posts, read 1,987,235 times
Reputation: 717
sweethomehomesanantonio...imo, it is now virtually impossible to accurately assess some, if not most, city population counts, if you follow the current statistics and forecasts. cities that once listed their individual census counts are now reporting population counts for 2, 3, or more cities in a particular region. it seems to me, that many cities are losing their individuality and important political influence, as they are "massed"" in this way. i understand that cities of the northeast---even on the west coast, have long been known for their seemingly infinite urban collisions; however, i believe it is misleading to characterize, in particular, much of the south, southwest, and midwest in this fashion. massive rural territory and rural populations are now being included in metropolitan census numbers. i strongly disagree with this current practice.
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Old 10-24-2010, 06:46 AM
 
4,677 posts, read 8,046,080 times
Reputation: 1236
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
I think defining the size of a city depends on a multitude of factors. City Limit populations should NOT be relevant at all! Here are my opinions on the combination of factors that should define a city's size...

1) population of contiguous urbanized area: The population of the contiguous urbanized area has two primary factors that define it. First, it has to have a relatively high population density (1,000 people per sq. mi is a good minimum) and a high concentration of mostly wall to wall (or close to it as not all cities buildings are QUITE wall to wall) buildings. In many cases, the urban area extends well beyond the city limits of the core city (like Boston, New York, Providence, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.) and in other cities, the urban area turns to suburban and rural while still within the city limits (i.e. Jacksonville) which is why the city limits are a nearly useless tool in measuring a city's size (every city's borders are different sizes and shapes).

It's worth noting that Contiguous Urbanized Area is NOT the same as metropolitan area. Most metropolitan areas consist of large chunks of rural and suburban area which is why they're less significant factors than urban area when measuring the size of a city.

2) Metropolitan Statistical Area. (NOT CSA). Metropolitan Areas depend heavily on the size and vitality of the core of the MSA. While large chunks of the MSA are not urban (or even suburban), the people in the MSA tend to rely on the amenities (cultural, educational, economic, entertainment, etc) of the core city in the MSA and therefore play a role in the size of the city, particularly growth in the portions of the city (i.e. hospital districts, CBDs, etc) that are vital to the people living outside the city as well. A larger MSA is going to be part of a larger city in most (but NOT ALL!) cases.

The problem with MSAs as a measurement are as follows. First, it does include rural and suburban areas which really aren't urban or large. Second, if the core cities is closer to other cities, the MSA will form "gray areas" where it's really difficult to tell where one city's metro area ends and another begins. Philadelphia and New York is a good example of this... though it's obvious where one city's urban area ends and the others ends, it's tough to tell which cities and towns belong in each's metro area (some could probably belong to both).

3) General "Feel" of the city- I know this sounds a bit weird, but it's a pretty accurate way to get an idea of how large a city is (sort of like a real-life "go with your gut" situation). This isn't the primary (or even secondary) way to tell the size of a city, but it helps when the first two ways produce a similar result. For an example of this, I'll use Philadelphia and Boston. Both cities have a similarly sized urban area and a similarly sized metro area, but when it comes down to it, Philadelphia just FEELS larger. Philadelphia is the larger city without a doubt , but numbers could lead one to think that this isn't true depending on what numbers you use to compare the two (I personally think it's partly because Philly's suburbs are still suburban but generally higher density than Boston's). In short, many times numbers just can't show the truth and the "feeling" is what you have to go on.

All that being said, my general categorization of Large, Medium and Small is as follows:

Giant:
NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles

Large:
Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Detroit, Seattle, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco, etc

Medium:
Minneapolis, Portland OR, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Jacksonville, San Antonio, Omaha, Kansas City MO, Albuquerque, Buffalo, etc

Small: Providence, Sacramento, Rochester, Madison, Worscester, Springfield, Syracuse, Boise, Baton Rouge, Columbia SC, Savannah, Charleston, Dayon, etc

Then you have a collection of "cities" that are really too small to be considered real urban areas and look and feel more like towns than cities. There are hundreds of these. to name a few,
Portland ME, Burlington VT, Newport RI, Portsmouth NH, Taunton MA, Harrisburg PA, Annapolis MD, Roanoke VA, etc.
I think this is the best classification of cities and probably the best way to determine the size of a city.
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