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Old 12-04-2013, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Vs a very centralised, radial city?

Take Chicago vs LA...or maybe LA ain't a good example. What are some good examples from the US/around the world?

I don't think they need be auto-dominated, either. I think their main advantage is they don't funnel everything into one place, so there's less congestion - at least at peak hour (but more general traffic). Many transit networks in Australia are radial because we still have strong cores...while there are benefits in that, more hustle and bustle, entertainment.etc in one place, traffic jams in and out of the city are getting intolerable. Plus people often drive an hour or something. Is it really necessary for 40% of the workforce to be heading into one place?

I think maintaining the downtowns while creating stronger sub-regional cities/centres but also improving inter-suburban connections, as in London or Tokyo, is the way to go.
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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I think most cities in Asian and South America will tend towards this after reaching a certain size. They're typically denser than LA which is similarly large. They are fairly dense, however you can only increase density so much before it gets too expensive or impractical, so the core spreads out across a large area until it's so large it doesn't really make sense to think of it as a single core. Or maybe in some cases it just grew so fast that no core was really able to establish itself in a dominant position? But yeah, cities like Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Istanbul, Guangzhou, Seoul, Tokyo, Bangkok, Cairo, Athens, Mexico City or Tokyo don't really have a single downtown. The built up area might be say 1000 square miles, and then there would be 100-200 square miles that's more dense with most of the major nodes, none of which are really dominant, with the remaining areas being more ancilliary but still dense and often walkable by American standards.

For smaller cities the core is often small enough to function as a single downtown/greater downtown, as with smaller cities in Europe that I've visited like Budapest and Prague.

Sao Paulo doesn't even seem to have a single very substantial node though. Kind of like Los Angeles but 2x as dense everywhere and with a smaller #1 node (yes, smaller than LA's downtown, at least from the looks of it). Mexico City and Bangkok seem to be fairly similar.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:00 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
I think most cities in Asian and South America will tend towards this after reaching a certain size. They're typically denser than LA which is similarly large. They are fairly dense, however you can only increase density so much before it gets too expensive or impractical, so the core spreads out across a large area until it's so large it doesn't really make sense to think of it as a single core. Or maybe in some cases it just grew so fast that no core was really able to establish itself in a dominant position? But yeah, cities like Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Istanbul, Guangzhou, Seoul, Tokyo, Bangkok, Cairo, Athens, Mexico City or Tokyo don't really have a single downtown. The built up area might be say 1000 square miles, and then there would be 100-200 square miles that's more dense with most of the major nodes, none of which are really dominant, with the remaining areas being more ancilliary but still dense and often walkable by American standards.

For smaller cities the core is often small enough to function as a single downtown/greater downtown, as with smaller cities in Europe that I've visited like Budapest and Prague.

Sao Paulo doesn't even seem to have a single very substantial node though. Kind of like Los Angeles but 2x as dense everywhere and with a smaller #1 node (yes, smaller than LA's downtown, at least from the looks of it). Mexico City and Bangkok seem to be fairly similar.
Yes American cities are like skyscrapers huddled together in the small downtown surrounded by a sea of low density that starts fairly near the downtown limits. European, Asian, Latin American cities are denser throughout, often as dense in the middle and outer ring as the inner ring. Many still have pretty focused and dominant downtowns, but just many more nodes and satellite cities. Bangkok's centre is quite strong, but it's skyscrapers and high-rise sort of spill throughout the city. Definitely less of an urban/suburban division, the 'suburbs' are really as dense as the inner city.

SP seems like a sea of condos to me (along with favelas) with no head or tail. For such a megacity I don't know much about 'downtown SP.' Singapore has a few areas one could call 'downtown': the old city on the Singapore River where Fort Canning Park is, Raffles Hotel, the colonial buildings on the Esplanade: Orchard Road area, known for it's shopping and big malls, Little India, just north of the city centre proper, and the new Marina Bay area.
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:09 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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The Rhine-Ruhr area of Germany is polycentric, but it may be just a number of centralized cities very close together. Not quite sure. Its regional/commuter rail network is almost net-like, but you can tell there are center where each city is.

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Old 12-05-2013, 04:13 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
I think maintaining the downtowns while creating stronger sub-regional cities/centres but also improving inter-suburban connections, as in London or Tokyo, is the way to go.
London is centralized, just not quite as spiky as some centralized as some centralized. An area of 10 square miles covers a "downtown". The congestion zone region roughly coincides:

London Congestion Charge's Boundary Zone - CChargeLondon.co.uk - Information, Payment, Technology, Effect on Traffic, Businesses & Environment

Mostly zoned commercial, and the majority of buildings are non-residential. NYC isn't that different, just has greater spikes in jobs/activity concentration because of skyscrapers. Rail network of London is very radial, though there is now an orbital line (current circle line doesn't count as it's mostly an orbital within the city center).
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Old 12-05-2013, 05:45 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Decentralized and polycentric aren't the same thing. You can have a city/region with multiple large, centers and be polycentric while a decentralized may have few if any centers.

The cities mentioned previously as being decentralized have a center but no real downtown:


Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
The built up area might be say 1000 square miles, and then there would be 100-200 square miles that's more dense with most of the major nodes, none of which are really dominant, with the remaining areas being more ancilliary but still dense and often walkable by American standards.
A completely decentralized would have a nearly flat density profile and few if any job centers. Some sunbelt and rest belt cities may approach this, though they still have an older denser area and some downtown.
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Old 12-06-2013, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Paris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
The Rhine-Ruhr area of Germany is polycentric, but it may be just a number of centralized cities very close together. Not quite sure. Its regional/commuter rail network is almost net-like, but you can tell there are center where each city is.
It's more like the bolded. It's a conurbation more than a polycentric city. Even the Duisburg-Dortmund stretch has numerous small patches of rural land left. If the Ruhr urban area (Duisburg-Dortmund) had a center, it would be Essen. Düsseldorf isn't part of it and feels more like a city in its own right compared to those included in the Ruhr LUZ. Though, together with Cologne-Bonn, it's part of the larger Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region. Though there's no feeling of continuity between the Rurh area and Düsseldorf and, even more so, between Düsseldorf and Cologne. I think that if one told someone from Bonn that they live in the same city as someone from Dortmund, they would laugh.
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Leeds, UK
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I prefer cities that have a clear and dominant 'downtown' but also a number of smaller local districts, similar to London.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Vancouver isn't decentralized, but it's certainly polycentric. It has a large downtown that is clearly dominant, but then it has a dozen subordinate centres scattered throughout its metro.
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Old 12-06-2013, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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I think the polycentric (or multiple nuclei) model was based on LA, so to me that is the prime example. I mean beyond downtown there's Century City, Long Beach, and Burbank off the top of my head. I think, though I'm not too sure, that DC is rather polycentric as well.
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