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Old 03-14-2013, 12:04 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
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A thread about reasons that you love American cities from a Urban Planning point of view

I love the grid street pattern, very simple and easy to navigate,
the efficient freeway systems,
and the large skyscrapers.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Monmouth County, NJ & Staten Island, NY
407 posts, read 407,601 times
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Several reasons, in my opinion...

I love the giant freeways that go through cities, especially the huge stack interchanges in Texas..

Houston - Google Maps

Houston - Google Maps

Houston - Google Maps

Expansive grid-layout downtown areas for offices and fun places hang out, or for some, even live...

Houston - Google Maps

Houston - Google Maps

Nice and evenly spread out, so that you can walk around or drive around pretty easily (I don't understand how it's not "walkable" because things are a little further apart...OOH oh no there's a lot of lanes to cross...be vigilant when walking... and I thought walking longer distances is good for people? hmm). I like this MUCH better than the cramped, super dense style of many cities outside of the US. Even on some of the most narrow and dense blocks in Manhattan, it still doesn't feel too crowded in my opinion.

Google Maps

Everything is just on a massive scale, the roads, the buildings, the bridges, the highways, the sidewalks....I love how it's set up.

And you're usually only a few miles away from nice, calm, quiet suburban neighborhoods...when you're tired of the bustle of urban areas after being at work all day or going out to the city for some fun, you can return to your own "castle" on relatively large plots of land (all depending on the neighborhood of course) and be able to unwind and relax, my ideal living style.

Houston - Google Maps

It also helps me that I'm not a huge fan of riding transit at all, or living in dense urban areas. I don't drink often, and when I do, I plan accordingly. I get some people's desires to live in smaller scale "human" environments, but I love the American city and it's definitely my idea lifestyle....downtown, suburbia, freeways, strip malls, drive thrus, huge parking garages, giant glass facade skyscrapers...definitely awesome.
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:24 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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The idea of the city as an amusement park, to dazzle and impress, that is easily accessed from suburbia via highways that slash through neighborhoods, with great big parking garages downtown, is an idea that has proved remarkably detrimental, financially and otherwise, to cities and their residents.

I am pleased some are waking up to this reality.

That doesn't mean I don't get a bit of pleasure from driving the BQE late at night, skyline at my left, music blasting. Or blasting thru Philadelphia on 95.

I love American cities because many of them were abandoned en masse years ago in an era when the architecture and aesthetics were pleasing to me; the decline left things in state, and the new renovation that is taking place includes these characteristics, which pleases me to no end.

I also love American cities because each has their own style, their own manner of speaking, accent, etc.

I love my American city because of my centuries-long family connection to it.
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:26 PM
 
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I love American cities because the work and influence of dreamers and visionaries is readily apparent.
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Old 03-14-2013, 05:27 PM
 
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I don't... this would be one of the major reasons if I ever leave the country. Any town in Europe/Asia/SA is much more people friendly than most cities in US...
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Old 03-14-2013, 05:39 PM
 
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What they once were. . .and what they can be again.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Monmouth County, NJ & Staten Island, NY
407 posts, read 407,601 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
That doesn't mean I don't get a bit of pleasure from driving the BQE late at night, skyline at my left, music blasting. Or blasting thru Philadelphia on 95.
FDR Drive late night runs to get Halal with the SiriusXM blasting are one of my favorite things about being in New York lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
I love American cities because many of them were abandoned en masse years ago in an era when the architecture and aesthetics were pleasing to me; the decline left things in state, and the new renovation that is taking place includes these characteristics, which pleases me to no end.

I also love American cities because each has their own style, their own manner of speaking, accent, etc.
Definitely agreed on both points. I noticed this trend with a lot of the newer development along the HBLR in Jersey City, it sort of mimics the old industrial and urban style of the area with modern amenities and conveniences.

Google Maps
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Monmouth County, NJ & Staten Island, NY
407 posts, read 407,601 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by im_a_lawyer View Post
I don't... this would be one of the major reasons if I ever leave the country. Any town in Europe/Asia/SA is much more people friendly than most cities in US...
Nothing wrong with that, at least you admit it. I think a lot of people on here would be much happier people if they moved to a European or Asian city.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
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I only like a few American cities. Most are too spread-out and car-dependent. As much as I love mass transit, it rarely makes financial sense to ride the trains or buses if you are in a carpool of more than one person. I much prefer denser cities in Asia with more modern, faster, cheaper, and cleaner mass transit. Or cities in Europe, with less sprawl and more character.

One major exception is San Francisco. I love that city, because it is small, dense, and picturesque. There are amazing views and scenery all over town. There's lots of stuff to do, making a walk around the peninsula great fun at any time of day or night. The night owl buses and BART overall really connect the city well.

NYC is okay too. There's quite a bit to do in Manhattan year-round. The subway might be ancient, filthy, and astronomically expensive, but it goes pretty much everywhere.

I like living in or near LA because of the economic opportunities, the great clubs, and entertainment options. The beaches, weather, and nearby scenery are great too. The city itself could use a lot of improvement, but it'll do for a place to make some money and have some fun.

Chicago isn't so bad when it's not frozen. There's some fun things to do on the loop. The lakefront green space is great, and the battleship-esque steel plating of the EL is very distinctive.

The rest of the American cities I've lived in or visited are meh, or worse. Indianapolis, Omaha, St. Louis, San Diego, Orlando are all ho-hum. I loathe Boston, Houston, and dislike D.C.

If I had my druthers, though, I'd rather live in a more vibrant city like Taipei or Hong Kong.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:26 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
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I think American cities are on the rebound, growing fast, and more public transportation. seems like the freeways are here to stay though. In St Paul we have a lot of residential development in our Downtown, kids are moving in from there parents homes in the suburbs, we have a light rail under construction and crime rates are slightly going down.
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