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View Poll Results: Which city is more urban? Chattanooga or Memphis?
Chattanooga is more urban 5 20.83%
Memphis is more urban 19 79.17%
Other, explain 0 0%
Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-15-2016, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Idaho
2,480 posts, read 2,023,110 times
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I used to live south of Nashville for seven years. I visited Memphis ONCE and vowed to never go back unless to travel through it on I40! Quite often I spend a weekend in Chattanooga and just loved it. When I moved to another state, I came back to visit Chattanooga a few times.
If I had not retired out to UT (and eventually ID), I would have retired to Chattanooga or the immediate area.
And Sticky Fingers was a dinner stop....
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Old 01-15-2016, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Seattle
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It's really too bad you had such a bad time in Memphis. It's a town full of great experiences, but you really have to understand the city a little bit to get there. The interstate highways through town takes you to some of the worst spots: boring, ugly, and even dangerous in certain areas. And downtown can be hit or miss, especially Beale Street.
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Old 01-15-2016, 11:13 PM
 
6,385 posts, read 10,381,162 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakeesha View Post
What are your thoughts on each city's downtown area?
Chattanooga kind of got a head start on everybody (in Tennessee) with renovating its downtown. In what was once proclaimed as the "dirtiest city in America", Chattanooga managed to completely rebrand itself and really utilize all of its assets. And while Chattanooga doesn't have as much development in terms of highrises, it's been on a tear recently with urban infill development. However, it still feels like a small city (which it is).

Memphis has a more built up downtown, but also feels more urban well beyond downtown. It has a much, much larger area of street grid and pre-WWII neighborhoods (much larger than anywhere else in TN, and most of the South). The city's layout, the wide boulevards, and the large industrial and commercial just lend to a feel of a larger place. Memphis has a TON of infill opportunities, and probably a lot more happening under the surface than most people realize, but the recent growth stagnation has hampered the urban development potential.
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Old 01-15-2016, 11:15 PM
 
6,385 posts, read 10,381,162 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f5fstop View Post
I used to live south of Nashville for seven years. I visited Memphis ONCE and vowed to never go back unless to travel through it on I40! Quite often I spend a weekend in Chattanooga and just loved it. When I moved to another state, I came back to visit Chattanooga a few times.
If I had not retired out to UT (and eventually ID), I would have retired to Chattanooga or the immediate area.
And Sticky Fingers was a dinner stop....
What does this have to do with how urban either city is? Seriously. This isn't a "my favorite city is...." thread. If you don't have an answer for the question, then don't respond.
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Old 01-16-2016, 11:44 AM
 
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Memphis may be more "urban" than Chattanooga, but it still feels like a big small town to me. We have trees and big lawns everywhere and not much of a skyline. Not a value judgement. Just an observation.
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Old 01-16-2016, 08:50 PM
 
6,385 posts, read 10,381,162 times
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Originally Posted by eastmemphisguy View Post
Memphis may be more "urban" than Chattanooga, but it still feels like a big small town to me. We have trees and big lawns everywhere and not much of a skyline. Not a value judgement. Just an observation.
Memphis has a pretty decent skyline of older buildings....the problem is it hasn't added much in the last 40 years.

As for trees and big lawns, I think that's just a characteristic of being a Southern city. Most of what would qualify as "urban" or "inner city" in the South (development-wise) would be considered solidly suburban in the Northeast and even parts of the Midwest. Not as many blocks of rowhouses. What were once "streetcar suburbs" have been absorbed into the cities....and urban renewal crushed a lot of the old city urbanity that there once was.
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Crosstown *****
1,050 posts, read 1,610,423 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nashvols View Post
Memphis has a pretty decent skyline of older buildings....the problem is it hasn't added much in the last 40 years.

As for trees and big lawns, I think that's just a characteristic of being a Southern city. Most of what would qualify as "urban" or "inner city" in the South (development-wise) would be considered solidly suburban in the Northeast and even parts of the Midwest. Not as many blocks of rowhouses. What were once "streetcar suburbs" have been absorbed into the cities....and urban renewal crushed a lot of the old city urbanity that there once was.
Nashvols as always enjoy your posts.

I agree with you about that being a characteristic of most southern cities, the large lawns, lots of tress. But I think he was saying most people think of Memphis as Detroit, this just isn't the case. We do have trees and yards, although my house at the moment has a tiny yard. But Memphis has kept majority of it's old stock. We haven't torn down a whole lot, although the old church at Cooper and Union still annoy me for being torn down. The Chisca is a great example. The Tennessee Brewery and others as well. We are rebuilding those rather than tear down which is what a lot of southern cities have done and called it being progressive, which I suppose it is. Yesterday there was a huge turnout at Overton Park to save a few tress. Most cities wouldn't care about those trees. This is the same park back in the 70's that so many people fought and ultimately won, from I-40 going through it. Even back then Memphis fought for it's history and would not let the government shove its ajenda down our throats. I think Memphis has a more Midwestern feel in a southern state than being a southern city. Just my opinion. That being said, Chattanooga is one of my favorite places in the state.

OP, compare Murfreesboro to Nashville's downtown. Then think about that for a minute. Or few.

Last edited by knucklehead_vol; 01-17-2016 at 08:52 AM..
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Old 01-17-2016, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Seattle
6,486 posts, read 13,795,140 times
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Memphis did save much of its original stock except in a ring around downtown. The Medical District wiped out most of the existing neighborhoods. And Victorian Village is a ghost of its former self. The Pinch is the same story, and the entire Uptown neighborhood is gone and has been rebuilt in a different style.

Also, Union Ave was originally one of the premier residential streets in town. That's pretty much all gone except for 1 or 2 that have been turned into businesses, and the 19th Century Club.
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Old 01-17-2016, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Crosstown *****
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabogitlu View Post
Memphis did save much of its original stock except in a ring around downtown. The Medical District wiped out most of the existing neighborhoods. And Victorian Village is a ghost of its former self. The Pinch is the same story, and the entire Uptown neighborhood is gone and has been rebuilt in a different style.

Also, Union Ave was originally one of the premier residential streets in town. That's pretty much all gone except for 1 or 2 that have been turned into businesses, and the 19th Century Club.
The Pinch and Uptown are pretty much what used to be Greenlaw.
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Old 01-17-2016, 11:43 PM
 
6,385 posts, read 10,381,162 times
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Yeah, for the most part the urban renewal part was talking about general characteristics of cities (especially Southern). A lot of cities had their historic hoods ripped apart by interstates, which, for the most part, Memphis managed to avoid. The area inside the 240/40 loop is something that many cities should envy from a development standpoint.

But as jobogitlu points out, there are some areas that did get ripped up. Unfortunately, a lot of urbanity has been lost in the name of surface parking.
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