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)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 06-20-2007, 09:33 AM
Location: Southern California native, last 20 yrs in Milwaukee Wisc.
1,218 posts, read 3,417,212 times
Reputation: 1915


So the solution for all these decrepit, crime-ridden cities is just to annex all the surrounding prosperous, safe white suburbs? Good grief! Not only would this be totally unfair to those suburbs, but it would just be an artificial way of improving all the stats (crime, poverty, school performance) for the dysfunctional cities. This annexation idea is lunacy, and here in the Milwaukee area if the city tried to annex any of us burbs, or the whole county, they would have a revolution on their hands. There are valid reasons folks have moved from the major cities into the surrounding areas/burbs. These cities need to get their acts together, and not seek a solution by gobbling up the surrounding safe and prosperous areas.

Originally Posted by MattDen View Post
Cleveland, Ohio could go from being one of the most crime-ridden, poverty-ridden cities in the country to being in the middle of the pack if it annexed all of Cuyahoga county and became a city of 1.3 million people. Pittsburgh, PA would go from being a rather violent, poor city to being one of the most affluent and safest if it could just magically annex Allegheny County
I am sure Louisville, Kentucky looks good now since it annexed all of Jefferson County its gone from being a violent, declining city to being a middle-class, low-crime city for its size..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 06-20-2007, 12:39 PM
Location: Metro Milwaukee, WI
3,198 posts, read 11,329,680 times
Reputation: 2167
Default Milwaukee

First, a six-paragraph preface -

For reasons that MattDen alluded to well - especially for northern / "rust belt" cities, I think that one considers a "city"...they truly, really, have to consider the whole Metro area (MSA) than jus the city itself.

For example, Atlanta on its own right is actually a relatively smallish-big city...not even 500,000 residents. However, in actuality, Atlanta is a major U.S. city / market because of its huge suburban area - the whole metro Atlanta area makes it one of the important markets in the U.S.

Similar with Denver, CO - Denver itself isn't necessarily that large, however, with huge suburbs like Aurora (300,000+ residents just itself), it makes the Denver metro area quite large and vital.

So when people are describing "Denver" or "Atlanta"...they are often describing the whole metro area, not just the city itself. And...in most of these cities, when traveling nationally, folks in the suburbs will describe themselves as from "Denver" or "Atlanta" even if they are truly from a surrounding suburb.

Sports exemplify this well: The MLB baseball team Angels play in the city of Anaheim, and yet they are now known as the Los Angeles Angels. The NY Giants and Jets have played in a different state - much less city - than they represent for a long time. The Detroit Pistons don't play in Detroit, they play in Auburn Hills, MI.

When you think of Minneapolis, you don't think of Minneapolis (or St. Paul or a suburb) individually...you think of the entire Twin Cities package. This is why folks commonly don't think of an El Paso, TX as being a major U.S. city - it is actually the 21st biggest city in the entire U.S., however, there is very little of a suburban area, so the size of the entire city's area isn't all that huge comparatively.

Thus, having prefaced all of this, EASILY in my opinion the city with the most turn-around upside ability is the Milwaukee, WI area. While Milwaukee itself has a declining population [down to about 575,000 after a few decades ago being the 10th biggest city in the U.S.] with many very bad pockets and very high crime (unfortunately) with suspect local (Milwaukee City) leadership, the entire metro area with its booming suburbs - many of which are 10-to-20 minutes from downtown Milwaukee - AND booming downtown / lakefront / east side - make the population a steady 1.5+ million.

I am a longtime Milwaukee resident who moved away 3.5 years ago largely due to climate, and am now eagerly looking into getting back. I spent two days in downtown Milwaukee early this week and was AMAZED at the renissance and boom that the area is experiencing. It was pretty nice down there 3.5 years ago...now it is amazingly nice.

I defy someone to stay like I did in a decent downtown Milwaukee hotel (try the Hilton around 5th street or something like that), take a walk from say 3rd and Wisconsin Ave. all the way down to the beautiful Lake Michigan lakefront. Then, walk up the beautiful lakefront through to the East Side - streets like Prospect, Brady, etc., and tell me you are not just enamoured.

In this time, you will pass:

*Eclectic, beautiful, diverse, new restaurants
*The amazingly beautiful Riverwalk, which is just about the prettiest thing you can imagine for an urban area in June when the weather is nice
*Beautiful, historic old large office / government buildings with their unique and - well, beautiful - architecture
*A live and happening Water Street filled with fun bars (and when the weather is nice, patios)

*Just a gorgeous, lush, green area filled with beaches, a marina, coffee shop, miles of lakeshore including boating (and endless views of a huge, vast Great Lake), some amazing lakeside restaurants, hills, historic and beautiful homes on hills, new hip and beautiful condos EVERYWHERE
*The pristine Milwaukee Art Museum / Calatrava
*Great festivals constantly in the warmer months

-East Side:
*I could go on and on, but just amazing old beautiful houses with lush green vegetation, hip and urban restaurants / bars, new and funky condos, etc.

I bet people unfamiliar with Milwaukee just knowing of Milwaukee's "rust belt, blue collar, beer drinking" rep could take this walk and think they are in a city they never imagined could be Milwaukee. It is BOOMING but it is doing so in a rather unique, seemingly unforced and not-overly-pretentious way.

Then go up to beautiful, affluent, flourishing Milwaukee suburbs like Shorewood, Whitefish Bay, Cedarburg, Glendale, Menomonee Falls, Elm Grove, Brookfield, Franklin, New Berlin, Muskego, Wauwatosa, etc., and tell me you won't love at least many of these 'burbs.

Milwaukee still has some identity issues to work out, and it would help greatly if the city itself started electing quality leaders that are pro-business, anti-taxes, and anti-crime (in this respect Milwaukee often has been its own worst enemy), but in spite of this, the greater Milwaukee area - despite the weather (although even that is GORGEOUS in summer, fall, and early winter) - is one of the underrated cities in the U.S. ALREADY.

Surely, it is easily a rust belt city on the upswing.

Just a few fun links for pictures:

A look at milwaukee in july

MKE Album: images of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Milwaukee, Wisconsin Travel Photos | Pictures

Last edited by EnjoyEP; 06-20-2007 at 01:24 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-20-2007, 03:36 PM
5,102 posts, read 5,978,131 times
Reputation: 3116
I was just in Pittsburgh last week. Parts look prosperous, parts look like heck! My hometown of Beaver Falls looks like a ghost town with people living in it. The library is in such bad shape Andrew Carnegie would roll over in his grave if he saw it. The Pittsburgh area lost more population since 2000 than any city except New Orleans. It was one of only a few cities to lose population in those years. There are simply very few jobs there.
Let me put some context here, Beaver Falls is part of the fringe of the metro of a county that was heavily industrial (yes even for Pittsburgh).

The economic and demographic hit that Pittsburgh took in the 70s and especially the 80s has a ripple effect on demographics, which in turn affects the economy.

Domestic migration is on par (or better) than many metros. Of course there are many that are performing better, but the Net population loss figure alone can't show details.

The loss in the past created a gap - an instantly olde population with less child bearing families. Now deaths top births annually.

Other cities with domestic migration losses have births to help them out and also have decent to strong foreign migration of which Pittsburgh also lacks.

Having a flow of people obviously spurs its own growth of jobs and services.

If your growth is slow, it's a challenge to overcome that.

Pittsburgh has job opportunities and is creating job opportunities, but misguided net population stat is always tossed around without context.

The region has had one of the biggest gains in venture capital funds/investments over the past decade. The percentage increase is higher than most well recognized tech centers.

However, this takes time and it will be a while before the trends and economy converge to faster growth and the all important net population gains....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-20-2007, 04:08 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,981 posts, read 102,540,351 times
Reputation: 33045
People in Pittsburgh have been saying "it takes time" for the past 25 years. I'll believe it when I see it. In the meantime, a lot of people had to earn a living, so they left. The birth deficit speaks of a deficit of women of childbearing age, so this alleged "recovery" is going to take a very long time at the rate it's going.

Yes, I know Beaver Falls was highly industrialized, even for Pittsburgh. That's why I said,
Parts look prosperous, parts look like heck!
Also, no matter how you "spin" it:
The Pittsburgh area lost more population since 2000 than any city except New Orleans. It was one of only a few cities to lose population in those years. There are simply very few jobs there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-20-2007, 04:25 PM
89 posts, read 528,832 times
Reputation: 42
Like unknown stuntman said, Elmira, Binghamton, and Utica are rustbelt cities. I think ELmira and Binghamton have the best chances of coming back.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-20-2007, 06:12 PM
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,178 posts, read 67,320,481 times
Reputation: 15825
Originally Posted by MovingBack2PA View Post
I see hope for Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton (all in PA) in the future !
Those cities populations are growing, as well as real estate, job markets and outside company/ employers making those areas their new homes....all a very good sign of growth.
It might take a little time, overall, but, you can't rush progress and Rome wasn't built in one day either.
If we are laying the stepping stones now, it will undoubtly come to fruitation.

Here I am! I agree wholeheartedly. The following upcoming projects should most certainly put Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton, PA back on the map:

Commuter Rail Link to NYC
Wall Street West
Downtown Scranton Medical School
Hazleton Cargo Airport
Downtown Wilkes-Barre Law School

The population of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton grew from 2005-2006 for the first time in many decades since the collapse of the mining industry, indicating that we're starting to round a corner. Judging by the popularity of the NEPA sub-forum, I'd also guess that this residential growth will be continuing onwards into the future as more NYC/NJ transplants discover the "secret" of a great quality of life in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton at a more affordable price while still only being 2 hours from the "big cities."
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-21-2007, 03:36 AM
Location: Henderson NV
1,134 posts, read 913,389 times
Reputation: 82
Wall St. West would be..San Francisco? San Francisco.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-21-2007, 08:29 AM
5,102 posts, read 5,978,131 times
Reputation: 3116
People in Pittsburgh have been saying "it takes time" for the past 25 years.
I don't think you understand the impact of what happened then or the time it takes to make up for such an economic hit.

Also, no matter how you "spin" it:
No spin involved from me. Sorry that you don't like details to give a better more accurate picture and would prefer to be satisified with an ambiguous statistic.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-21-2007, 09:03 AM
Location: St. Louis, MO
3,742 posts, read 6,900,535 times
Reputation: 660
Look people. All the rustbelt cities are slowly turning around. Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland, Cincy, Milwaukee, Buffalo, Syracuse,and the other cities which were hit hard by the decline in industry are slowly coming back. Slowly but surely their downtowns are getting new buildings added to them. In St. Louis, for example, lofts are being built everywhere all over the city. Abandoned buildings are being converted to lofts as we speak and the lofts are sold out on demand. And in fact new companies are relocating themselves to St. Louis and Cleveland every year. These cities never truly shut down. THey just lost a lot of the big punch they used to pack. But they're still hanging in there. St. Louis is gaining in population again finally in both the city and the metro area.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-21-2007, 04:35 PM
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,178 posts, read 67,320,481 times
Reputation: 15825
Originally Posted by milquetoast View Post
Wall St. West would be..San Francisco? San Francisco.
Nope. The "new" Wall Street West is Northeastern PA. NYC financial firms are being encouraged to develop "back-offices" in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, The Poconos, and the Lehigh Valley so that operations can continue to run smoothly and undisturbed in the likely event NYC should endure yet another power blackout or even a terrorist attack. This is expected to bring several thousand white-collar jobs to Eastern PA in the upcoming years, right when I'll be graduating from college with a degree in Accounting!
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