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Old 03-13-2014, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Chicago - Logan Square
3,396 posts, read 6,180,191 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
nei posted some average suburban lot sizes one time when this came up before, and someone didn't believe me. The Phoenix area has some of the smallest lots I've seen. You may do a search. Since you are making claims about densities, how about YOU posting some numbers to back up YOUR claim. "Cities" are more than just their incorporated areas.
We're talking about density, not city lot sizes. Besides, I have serious questions about your claims about lot sizes. Please post some data regarding lot sizes if you have it. Here are some numbers with links on density:


Phoenix population density
- 2797
Vegas population density - 4298
Denver population density - 3922

And here are some suburbs of the cities I mentioned:

Cicero - 14,303
Evanston - 9575
Alexandria - 9314
Brookline - 8701

Now remember, for whatever reason you choose to change the discussion and compare the suburbs of the areas I mentioned to the the city centers of the areas you mentioned. Here are the numbers for the areas I was actually talking about:

NYC - 27,012
Boston - 12,792
SF - 17,179
Chicago- 11, 841



You've asked me to post numbers - there they are.
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Old 03-13-2014, 07:24 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,988 posts, read 102,554,590 times
Reputation: 33051
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attrill View Post
We're talking about density, not city lot sizes. Besides, I have serious questions about your claims about lot sizes. Please post some data regarding lot sizes if you have it. Here are some numbers with links on density:


Phoenix population density
- 2797
Vegas population density - 4298
Denver population density - 3922

And here are some suburbs of the cities I mentioned:

Cicero - 14,303
Evanston - 9575
Alexandria - 9314
Brookline - 8701

Now remember, for whatever reason you choose to change the discussion and compare the suburbs of the areas I mentioned to the the city centers of the areas you mentioned. Here are the numbers for the areas I was actually talking about:

NYC - 27,012
Boston - 12,792
SF - 17,179
Chicago- 11, 841



You've asked me to post numbers - there they are.
I will note that you certainly did NOT prove that any of these cities/burbs are 10X as dense as as Denver, Vegas, and Phoenix, not even NYC?

Last edited by nei; 03-13-2014 at 08:55 AM.. Reason: rude
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Old 03-13-2014, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
5,311 posts, read 5,328,925 times
Reputation: 3562
Aren't zoning and planning practices a huge factor? Geography has impacts and so do some of the other factors. However, based on what I've read/seen, a place is built based on economics and regulations more often than not.
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,759,792 times
Reputation: 1616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attrill View Post
We're talking about density, not city lot sizes. Besides, I have serious questions about your claims about lot sizes. Please post some data regarding lot sizes if you have it. Here are some numbers with links on density:


Phoenix population density
- 2797
Vegas population density - 4298
Denver population density - 3922

And here are some suburbs of the cities I mentioned:

Cicero - 14,303
Evanston - 9575
Alexandria - 9314
Brookline - 8701

Now remember, for whatever reason you choose to change the discussion and compare the suburbs of the areas I mentioned to the the city centers of the areas you mentioned. Here are the numbers for the areas I was actually talking about:

NYC - 27,012
Boston - 12,792
SF - 17,179
Chicago- 11, 841



You've asked me to post numbers - there they are.
ok but you're comparing areas that mostly developed pre-WWII to areas that developed largely post-WWII ... at least for Vegas and Phoenix, Denver's city limits are probably pre-WWII.

Densities of sample suburbs
Boston, Wellesley, MA: 2,700
New York, Nesconset, NY: 3,500
Chicago, Tinley Park: 3,539
Denver, Centennial: 3,695
Phoenix, Tempe: 4,068
Washington DC, Dale City, VA: 4,398
San Francisco/Bay Area, Pleasant Hill: 4,700
Las Vegas, Whitney, NV: 5,700

Finding a typical suburb was pretty easy in Chicago and Washington, by which I mean mostly curving streets (non-gridded) with little undeveloped land. In Boston and New York, most suburbs will have gridded portions, that could be early post-WWII development (1945-1955 or so), or pre-WWII, and in Boston especially, there's likely to be undeveloped land in the mostly post-WWII suburbs. Denver, and especially Las Vegas and Phoenix are likely to have suburbs with boundaries stretching outwards to include undeveloped land. Also, I find that DC suburbs are likely to have most of the land area as residential, while suburbs in the SW will more likely have significant industrial and commercial areas.
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Chicago - Logan Square
3,396 posts, read 6,180,191 times
Reputation: 3717
Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
ok but you're comparing areas that mostly developed pre-WWII to areas that developed largely post-WWII ... at least for Vegas and Phoenix, Denver's city limits are probably pre-WWII.
Exactly - my original point was that when a city grew is the most important factor in determining it's density, the densest cities in the US were all well established by WWII. Other than geographical boundaries I don't think the other points in the OP play a significant role.

In terms of suburbs, older cities have a mix of older streetcar suburbs (that are fairly dense) and newer auto oriented suburbs (which aren't as dense). Cities that grew post WWII pretty much only have auto oriented suburbs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post

I will note that you certainly did NOT prove that any of these cities/burbs are 10X as dense as as Denver, Vegas, and Phoenix, not even NYC?
I'm not being snarky, I disagree with your original point and I posted data to back it up. And no, NYC is not 10X as dense as Phoenix, just 9.6X as dense.

Last edited by nei; 03-13-2014 at 08:55 AM..
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,759,792 times
Reputation: 1616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attrill View Post
Exactly - my original point was that when a city grew is the most important factor in determining it's density, the densest cities in the US were all well established by WWII. Other than geographical boundaries I don't think the other points in the OP play a significant role.

In terms of suburbs, older cities have a mix of older streetcar suburbs (that are fairly dense) and newer auto oriented suburbs (which aren't as dense). Cities that grew post WWII pretty much only have auto oriented suburbs.
I agree that age is important, although I will say two things:

One is that Las Vegas and Phoenix are less dense within their city limits than the urban area average, which means suggests they include a fair bit of undeveloped land or that their suburbs are built denser than the city.

Two is that many of the urban areas of the southwest are denser than the northeastern ones (New York its the main exception). Even though the urban areas of the Northeast were older, there's enough newer development that is sufficiently lower density compared to post-WWII development in the southwest to counter that.

San Francisco: 6,266.4
New York: 5,318.9
Las Vegas: 4,524.5
Denver: 3,554.4
Chicago: 3,524.0
Washington: 3,470.3
Phoenix: 3,165.2
Boston: 2,231.7

Mainly though, it's most of California+Las Vegas+Miami+Honolulu that are dense among the newer urban areas. 21 of the 25 densest urban areas are in California (this includes some small ones like Delano and Lodi), with the other 4 being Las Vegas, Miami, Honolulu and New York. Looking at the rest of the top 100, a lot of the urban areas are in the Southwest, California, Mountain West, even Texas.
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Old 03-13-2014, 12:00 PM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,143,293 times
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Use weighted density - takes out Farmland, preserved and undeveloped space mostly

50 densest US MSAs

The 50 densest American metropolitan areas, by weighted density - Austin Contrarian
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Old 03-13-2014, 03:06 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
45,985 posts, read 41,929,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Attrill View Post
We're talking about density, not city lot sizes. Besides, I have serious questions about your claims about lot sizes. Please post some data regarding lot sizes if you have it. Here are some numbers with links on density:
The original argumenet appeared to from this comment:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Attrill View Post
I don't think that the scarcity of water does anything to increase a city's density. While there may be a difference between Phoenix and Las Vegas, it's a minor difference when you compare them to cities like NYC, Boston, Chicago, SF, DC, etc - all cities that grew in the 1800's, and most also have geographical restrictions. Their high cost of land, public transit, and concentrated employment centers were built as they grew. Once the automobile came along, and trucking replaced trains and shipping, both population and employment spread out drastically - regardless of the climate.
I think he's saying the difference between older, denser US city cores compared to the cores of other cities is large compared to contrasts in suburban density. Let's take the density of Boston, which has one of the denser cores among American cities but not the densest as well especially low density outer suburbs and compare with Denver. Pittsburgh is also on the graph, but it's hard to compare as it's had drastic population decline.



from a longer post here: Urban Density Comparisons which has more details

The graph shows the % of people living in each urban area living in a census tract above a certain density on a log scale. At roughly the 50% mark, the two cities intersect, the median resident of both places lives in a census tract at the same density. But the gap is a bit wider for the lower, denser part. So maybe not minor, but in this case, the density difference at both ends is significant.

As for metro-wide lot sizes, I posted them here:

Should suburban cities encourage development of apartments and townhouses?



Note that it's not specifically suburban lot sizes, it's all single-family detached homes regardless of location or age. For Chicago, the bungalow belt would get added in. Boston and especially NYC didn't build proportionatelly quite as many detached homes in that period, when most lots were rather small, so they affect the median somewhat. The comparisons get confusing because single-family detached homes are less of the norm in some metros.also,

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
For Seattle, from the same link, the median lot size is 0.25 acre (for Denver, 0.20 acre) and 15% have lots > 1+ acre. So, not as extreme as many east coast metros, but somewhat larger than Denver.
Note the median lot size of the NYC metro (though NY state only) is barely higher than Denver. The spread of the NYC metro ones are also higher, with more on very small lots and more on very big lots. I grew up in the NYC suburbs and don't consider say, 1/8 acre unusually small.But the bulk of the smaller lots in the Northeast aren't recent construction, while in the West they are. The median lot sizes of the Northeast are much higher than elsewhere:

http://www.census.gov/const/C25Ann/malotsizesold.pdf

but the Northeast hasn't had much recent suburban construction, so those numbers aren't reflective of the region as a whole.
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Old 03-13-2014, 05:44 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,988 posts, read 102,554,590 times
Reputation: 33051
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attrill View Post
Exactly - my original point was that when a city grew is the most important factor in determining it's density, the densest cities in the US were all well established by WWII. Other than geographical boundaries I don't think the other points in the OP play a significant role.

In terms of suburbs, older cities have a mix of older streetcar suburbs (that are fairly dense) and newer auto oriented suburbs (which aren't as dense). Cities that grew post WWII pretty much only have auto oriented suburbs.



I'm not being snarky, I disagree with your original point and I posted data to back it up. And no, NYC is not 10X as dense as Phoenix, just 9.6X as dense.
And Phoenix is the only city that comes close to being 1/10 the density of NYC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
Use weighted density - takes out Farmland, preserved and undeveloped space mostly

50 densest US MSAs

The 50 densest American metropolitan areas, by weighted density - Austin Contrarian
Yes, I believe Phoenix has a lot of open land (not even farmland) within its city limits; possibly Vegas as well. Denver is 1/3 airport.
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Old 03-13-2014, 05:50 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,988 posts, read 102,554,590 times
Reputation: 33051
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attrill View Post
I don't think that's true at all - do you have any numbers to back that up? I know the density of suburbs of the cities I mentioned (like Cicero, Evanston, Oak Park, Berwyn, Brookline, Silver Springs, etc.) have densities that are 2 to 10 times higher than the densities in the city proper of the ones you mentioned. Phoenix, Vegas, Denver don't have density levels anywhere near NYC, Boston, Chicago, DC or SF. Besides, if your comparing suburbs to cities it's a different thing altogether (unless the city is question is just a big suburb).
Here is the data nei posted a while back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Some stats:

For the NYC metro (includes city and suburbs within NY state) median lot size is 0.23 acres; 15% of housing units had one acre or more, 29% less than 1/8 acre. This only includes housing units that are not in multi-unit buildings (not sure if attached), which is 37% of all housing units.

For the Boston metro, median lot size is 0.40 acres; 26% of housing units had one acre or more, 15% less than 1/8 acre. This only includes housing units that are not in multi-unit buildings (not sure if attached), which is 52% of housing units.

For the Pittsburgh metro, median lot size is 0.34 acres; 23% of housing units had one acre or more, 20% less than 1/8 acre. This only includes housing units that are not in multi-unit buildings (not sure if attached), which is 81% of housing units.

For the Denver metro, median lot size is 0.20 acres; 7% of housing units had one acre or more, 20% less than 1/8 acre. This only includes housing units that are not in multi-unit buildings (not sure if attached), which is 71% of housing units.

For the DC metro, median lot size is 0.32 acres; 17% of housing units had one acre or more, 18% less than 1/8 acre. This only includes housing units that are not in multi-unit buildings (not sure if attached), which is 68% of housing units.

So yes, Pittsburgh has a slightly larger lot size than DC. The likely reason you may have thought Pittsburgh feels like it has smaller lots is the smaller lots are more common among older homes, when you lived there. Boston "wins" in having the biggest lots, though at the other extreme it has a relatively high amount of multi-family + small lot single-unit homes.

from

American Housing Survey (AHS) - Metropolitan Area Summary Data - People and Households - U.S. Census Bureau
As you see, the Boston area has 5.7 X as many homes on >1 acre as Denver; Pittsburgh has 3.2X as many; DC 2.4 X as many. Boston and DC metros also have slightly fewer homes on <1/8 acre as either Pittsburgh or Denver.
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