U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
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 05-08-2013, 08:56 PM
 
6,611 posts, read 6,935,979 times
Reputation: 4077

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
Preferably a major league (MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL) team. A DAILY newspaper (an amenity that few will have in ten years). An airport with 24 hour staffed tower. Art museums. Several live theater companies.
I don't disagree...but you're talking about places like Raleigh, Green Bay, Buffalo, Ottawa, Memphis, etc. Some of them are just not all that big.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-08-2013, 10:29 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC (in my mind)
7,946 posts, read 15,055,318 times
Reputation: 4482
I would say it depends on where you live and what your standards are. I would say to be comfortably considered "the big city" you need at least 2 million in your metro. However, people from small towns may consider a 1 million metro a "big city" while people from real cities consider it a large town. The way I look at it is there any everyday goods or services you need to leave your city to find, be it shopping, dining, or nightlife. Being a big city is all about having a variety of amenities for different lifestyles. If you find yourself consistently needing to leave your city for somewhere larger, then you don't live in a big city.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-08-2013, 11:26 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,958,188 times
Reputation: 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by fltonc12 View Post
Metro population, economic output, infrastructure.
pretty much.

I think the 25 largest metros in the US would qualify as "big cities."

I think density has something to do with perception as well. Baltimore feels like a bigger city than Tampa even though it isn't.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-09-2013, 08:01 AM
 
Location: The City
22,341 posts, read 32,192,195 times
Reputation: 7744
At this point to me it seems there are about 11 "Big" cities (metros) and few getting close

The Big ones to me are NYC, LA, Chicago, DFW, Houston, Philly, DC, SF, Boston, Atlanta, and Miami

In another 10-20 years places like Seattle or Denver may push through
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-09-2013, 08:47 AM
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
45,992 posts, read 42,026,386 times
Reputation: 14811
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
At this point to me it seems there are about 11 "Big" cities (metros) and few getting close

The Big ones to me are NYC, LA, Chicago, DFW, Houston, Philly, DC, SF, Boston, Atlanta, and Miami

In another 10-20 years places like Seattle or Denver may push through
Vancouver is the same size as Portland, city limit and metro size, but most would say Vancouver feels bigger. Victoria and Halifax feel like bigger cities than any similar size American cities (Albany, Halifax?). In an extreme case, Barcelona and Houston are similar in metro/urban area population. I'd guess Barcelona gives much more of an impression of "big city" than Houston.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-09-2013, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
18,509 posts, read 28,190,591 times
Reputation: 7598
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
At this point to me it seems there are about 11 "Big" cities (metros) and few getting close

The Big ones to me are NYC, LA, Chicago, DFW, Houston, Philly, DC, SF, Boston, Atlanta, and Miami

In another 10-20 years places like Seattle or Denver may push through
With Seattle and Denver I would add MSP

I think in that period Phoenix, Tampa, And San Diego would come next.

To me Milwaukee, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, St Louis and a handful of others were big cities back in the day but somehow don't get mentioned in todays conversations.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-09-2013, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Laurentia
5,593 posts, read 6,384,610 times
Reputation: 2388
My rule of thumb is that a city graduates to big city status when it acquires a skyline, acquires a suburban fringe, and acts as a hub for its region. To qualify most cities require a population of around 1 million, but isolated cities can qualify with populations as low as 200 000.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-09-2013, 11:31 PM
 
Location: Both coasts
1,582 posts, read 4,293,485 times
Reputation: 1447
I'd consider NYC, LA, Chicago, SF Bay Area, DC, Philadelphia, Boston, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami "big" cities..so over 5-6 million metro

Seattle, Minneapolis, Denver, Phoenix, San Diego on the next tier- "big" but not Big cities- over 3 million metro

Anything smaller than 3 million metro is NOT a big city, at least in US context
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-10-2013, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Southern California
15,087 posts, read 17,578,558 times
Reputation: 10299
Quote:
Originally Posted by A2DAC1985 View Post
How big does a city have to be before it becomes "big"?
It depends.

[and it is relative]
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-10-2013, 04:20 PM
 
7,608 posts, read 9,463,659 times
Reputation: 8973
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
To be big, a city needs a pro sports team.

For example, no one even knows Minneapolis exists. But they know about that city called Minnesota.
But what about St. Paul? What would Garrison Keillor say?

Oh Yaaaah, you betcha....not too bad a deal, eh?

Memories of Jerry Lundegaard...
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.


Reply
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
Message:

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 > General Forums > Urban Planning
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