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View Poll Results: Which city is more Urban
Chicago 114 79.17%
Los Angeles 30 20.83%
Voters: 144. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 03-18-2013, 11:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA Born View Post
You can't be serious. It would be easy to find FAR more urban cities than Chicago right here in the U.S. NYC, anyone?

And globally? I would say almost all cities Chicago's size (9 million+) feel more urban than Chicago. Chicago is actually very non-urban compared to most major cities of its size.

The vast majority of Chicagoland residents live in single family homes on spacious lots, while in most major global cities people live in apartment buildings or extremely tiny single family home lots.

Chicago only feels dense downtown, but 95% of the metro area doesn't feel dense by huge city standards.
I should have specified. When I refer to urban Chicago, I really am only referring to the downtown area and outlaying areas heavily filled with multi-resident housing (government subsidized, apartments, condos, etc).

I stand by my comment, though. After having been to many large cities in various countries, Chicago puts of a vibe of being much more of a metropolis, or a robust urban area with skyscrapers, dense public transit, etc, than the others I've seen.

Many of the foreign urban centers look much more unplanned, less high-rises, less infrastructure, with just as whole bunch of people on the streets.

(and I am not willing to speak of the Soviet-style block housing as an example of urbanity)
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,107,696 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdAilment View Post
Chicago = The quintessential old city that shows what urban density is.

Los Angeles = The new city that brings sprawl to a whole new level.


These cities have almost nothing in common in terms of urbanity. That much is obvious, or so I thought.
This doesn't seem like a very accurate characterization of Los Angeles. When I think of bringing sprawl to a whole new level, I think Houston, Atlanta, Oklahoma City - cities that are incredibly low density, as well as ones that are still building out. Los Angeles has been building up / infilling for decades now to the point where it has nearly the same density peaks that Chicago has (and in some cases besting it).

It's been repeated ad nauseum but the Los Angeles metro area is very dense and actually quite compact - and it has very high peaks of density, not just a consistent 8k-15k ppsm layout as many assume when seeing it is the densest metro area. However (and particularly on this forum) the car-accommodating design of much of Los Angeles is a huge strike against how urban it is perceived, which earns it the ill-fitting "suburban" label you see so often applied.

What I don't get is why does Chicago get so praised for being an urban mecca, when in fact a large percentage of the city is similarly car-accommodating. In my opinion these are very different cities but certainly not night-and-day.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:17 PM
 
465 posts, read 737,333 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Some_Random_Guy View Post
I should have specified. When I refer to urban Chicago, I really am only referring to the downtown area and outlaying areas heavily filled with multi-resident housing (government subsidized, apartments, condos, etc).
Ok, I guess we all have our opinions, but I definitely disagree.

I don't know why you would compare cities by only looking at downtown areas, and ignoring the remaining 95% of the area, and even comparing downtowns, I don't know how you would reach your conclusions.

And I don't see why highrises are relevant. No way does Downtown Chicago feel denser than some city center like Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Naples, etc. and these places have almost no highrises.

Downtown Chicago has many highrises, but it isn't dense by international standards and tends to be much more auto-oriented than most similarly-sized cities around the globe. There are big parking garages at the bases of most of those downtown highrises, and I think parking garages are pretty anti-urban.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:27 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Some_Random_Guy View Post
I should have specified. When I refer to urban Chicago, I really am only referring to the downtown area and outlaying areas heavily filled with multi-resident housing (government subsidized, apartments, condos, etc).

I stand by my comment, though. After having been to many large cities in various countries, Chicago puts of a vibe of being much more of a metropolis, or a robust urban area with skyscrapers, dense public transit, etc, than the others I've seen.

Many of the foreign urban centers look much more unplanned, less high-rises, less infrastructure, with just as whole bunch of people on the streets.
The city center of London feels much more urban to me than Chicago. The skyscraper district is impressive and does feel obviously big city, but its area is nowhere as big, and the amount of shops smaller. Right by the loop, the job density of Chicago is higher, but overall the number and percent of people working in the center city is higher for London. Chicago in some directions from downtown isn't that built up.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:55 PM
 
Location: IL
2,992 posts, read 4,418,425 times
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City of Chicago more urban than city of LA
Metro LA more urban than Metro Chicago
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Hollywood, CA
1,576 posts, read 2,536,238 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
This doesn't seem like a very accurate characterization of Los Angeles. When I think of bringing sprawl to a whole new level, I think Houston, Atlanta, Oklahoma City - cities that are incredibly low density, as well as ones that are still building out. Los Angeles has been building up / infilling for decades now to the point where it has nearly the same density peaks that Chicago has (and in some cases besting it).

It's been repeated ad nauseum but the Los Angeles metro area is very dense and actually quite compact - and it has very high peaks of density, not just a consistent 8k-15k ppsm layout as many assume when seeing it is the densest metro area. However (and particularly on this forum) the car-accommodating design of much of Los Angeles is a huge strike against how urban it is perceived, which earns it the ill-fitting "suburban" label you see so often applied.

What I don't get is why does Chicago get so praised for being an urban mecca, when in fact a large percentage of the city is similarly car-accommodating. In my opinion these are very different cities but certainly not night-and-day.
LA is very far from compact. It's densely built, but it's a dense sprawl because of the annexation of towns into the city of LA because of water rights. You could actually spend an hour driving through the LA city limits.

From the Northern end of Sylmar in the San Fernando Valley to San Pedro in the Harbor Area is 47 miles.

Los Angeles, CA to Echo Park, Los Angeles, CA - Google Maps


This is sprawl by any sense of the definition.

Now compare to Chicago.

Chicago, IL to Aurora, IL - Google Maps

It basically becomes farmland a hour away to the West and South of Chicago. It's clear that Metro LA is more sprawled than Chicagoland. As the Sprawl in Metro LA is basically from the San Fernando Valley to Camp Pendleton if you just count the Los Angeles/Long Beach/Santa Ana MSA, instead of adding the Inland Empire which would make the sprawl even larger.

Now compare the density from the Loop to Wrigleyville.
Loop, Chicago, IL to Wrigleyville, Chicago, IL - Google Maps

To Downtown LA to Silver Lake.

Los Angeles, CA to Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA - Google Maps

Silver Lake looks almost Suburban compared to Wrigleyville. There's no contest that Chicago has a denser core than Los Angeles.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:54 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hipcat View Post

Silver Lake looks almost Suburban compared to Wrigleyville. There's no contest that Chicago has a denser core than Los Angeles.
You picked one of the least dense areas near LA's downtown. I could also do something similar with Los Angeles and arge the opposite: that since Los Angeles transitions to undeveloped quickly, at least relative to its population size, its unsprawly:


Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Los Angeles must have one of the biggest contrast because high density and uninhibited land in a short distance in the country. This

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Los+A...,113.1,,0,1.65

is 17 miles from

https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=C...14.19,,0,-0.88

and only 9 miles from

https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=C...107.1,,0,-0.66

Mt. Baldy is as high above Los Angeles as Colorado 14ers are above Denver.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,107,696 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hipcat View Post
LA is very far from compact. It's densely built, but it's a dense sprawl because of the annexation of towns into the city of LA because of water rights. You could actually spend an hour driving through the LA city limits.
What I meant by compact was that the Los Angeles urban area is physically small. I wasn't referring to arbitrary (and LA's are the definition of arbitrary) city limits. Los Angeles is definitely a huge city, and probably could benefit from being broken up a little bit.

Besides, I got about 44 miles from San Pedro to Sylmar, and it is 32 miles from tip to tip of Chicago. If you don't include the tack-on that is the Harbor Gateway and San Pedro / Wilmington the core city of Los Angeles is about 30 miles from Sylmar to to 105 freeway.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:09 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hipcat View Post
LA is very far from compact. It's densely built, but it's a dense sprawl because of the annexation of towns into the city of LA because of water rights. You could actually spend an hour driving through the LA city limits.
You can drive for an hour within the city limits for New York City as well that doesn't mean it's sprawly:

Bay Pkwy to 755 Co-Op City Boulevard - Google Maps

(56 minutes with traffic, maybe a little less at times, but the 44 minutes is unrealistic) Including Staten Island would be easily over an hour. 46 miles is about the longest driving distance possible.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Hollywood, CA
1,576 posts, read 2,536,238 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
You can drive for an hour within the city limits for New York City as well that doesn't mean it's sprawly:

Bay Pkwy to 755 Co-Op City Boulevard - Google Maps

(56 minutes with traffic, maybe a little less at times, but the 44 minutes is unrealistic) Including Staten Island would be easily over an hour. 46 miles is about the longest driving distance possible.
Hollywood and Westlake are the exceptions to the rule in the immediate Los Angeles area. The average Los Angeles resident, lives in an area like this.

Los Angeles, CA to Westlake, Los Angeles, CA - Google Maps

or this
San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, CA - Google Maps

Is it as urban as San Francisco or a Northeastern, or Rustbelt city? No. It looks like any suburban area in a sunbelt like city in the US.
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