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Old 04-22-2014, 08:13 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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It is apparently hard for smaller cities to fund such amenities as museums, performing arts centers, large research libraries, etc, as few of them do. College towns sometimes have some of the above, but usually not on the level found in a large city. Also, few have ML sports teams unless they are suburbs of a close-in larger city, e.g. the Colorado Rapids stadium is in Commerce City, which is suburban Denver. These are the kinds of amenities that many want in their city. College teams are not quite the same, though some prefer them.
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Old 04-23-2014, 12:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
After the 9/11 attacks on NYC and DC in 2001, it seemed likely that cities would decentralize. Between internet access and telecommuting, the "knowledge economy", staggering real-estate prices and high taxes in cities, terrorist threats in cities, urban congestion, questionable schools and burdensome traffic, one would have thought that companies would relocate to the smaller cities. Instead, the opposite happened. Big and prosperous cities became bigger and more prosperous, while smaller cities (who were not satellites of the major cities) declined further into obscurity and economic malaise.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, cities grew because it was necessary to centralize manufacturing. As the 20th century unfolded, manufacturing and associated industries diffused outwards, enabled by the automobile and highways. Smaller cities prospered. Now I think we're seeing the exact opposite trend from that suggested by the OP: NYC, LA, Chicago and the like will continue to propel further, towards more and more economic prosperity and global significance. Meanwhile, the second-tier cities such as Indianapolis, Baltimore and Cleveland will stagnate, and third-tier cities such as Dayton (Ohio) or Peoria (Illinois) will keep declining. Amongst the towns (too small to properly be cities), university-towns and tourist magnets will prosper, while the rest will decline. In sum, I would expect the opposite to happen, from what was supposed by the OP.
I'm mostly agreeing with you here but I think the issue is more about what's driving those local economies as opposed to how big they are or where they are. 70 years ago being near a major waterway was still important (for shipping) and being near the raw material you were processing. Auto parts manufacturing set up in Ohio but close to Detroit. The telecom industry got its start in NJ (Bell Labs) because the Army's Communications and Electronics Command was at Ft. Monmouth. Food processing set up in the midwest because it was close to the food (and to water). Not a lot of that matters anymore. What the new industries need is a highly educated/specialized workforce or an attractive enough city that business can draw the necessary talent from elsewhere. A location with already existing support industries and a good airport are also important.

The only cities that are really immune to this are those riding the resource boom.

OTOH, places like Indy, Baltimore, Columbus, etc are growing and will continue to grow because they're filling a niche that can't be filled by Chicago or NYC. You still need local goods and services and that's never going to change. Unfortunately for Cleveland I think it's too close to Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Columbus and Detroit to ever be what it once was. I think it'll right-size around 1.8-2 million.
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Old 04-23-2014, 12:59 AM
 
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I was trying to find a way to articulate this yesterday but I think this does a much better job - a few maps of domestic and international migration.

If you look at the "net domestic migration" map you'll see that quite a few smaller cities are picking up relatively large numbers of domestic migrants while NYC, LA and Chicago are net losers of domestic migrants (keep in mind that this is metro population not city)

In other words, plenty of people are leaving those large, expensive metros and moving to cheaper, smaller towns/cities but most of the people doing the moving are moving from, for instance, the suburbs of NYC to the suburbs of Raleigh or the suburbs of LA to the suburbs of Denver.

Two Very Different Types of Migrations Are Driving Growth in U.S. Cities - Richard Florida - The Atlantic Cities
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Old 04-23-2014, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
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I don't know if it's a trend, but I've seen some posts here from people wanting to move away from large, expensive metros, to places like Cleveland, that still have many of the amenities they want, (even if not to the same extent) but with a far lower COL, and slower pace of life.
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Old 04-23-2014, 06:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
I was trying to find a way to articulate this yesterday but I think this does a much better job - a few maps of domestic and international migration.

If you look at the "net domestic migration" map you'll see that quite a few smaller cities are picking up relatively large numbers of domestic migrants while NYC, LA and Chicago are net losers of domestic migrants (keep in mind that this is metro population not city)
I suspect you'll find a lot of that "net domestic migration" out of some of the larger areas is simply retirement. The Baby Boom is retiring.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:44 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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I suspect you'll find a lot of that "net domestic migration" out of some of the larger areas is simply retirement. The Baby Boom is retiring.
For high immigrant metros, some of it be immigrants who decide they want to live elsewhere. Come to say, NYC, as a first stop, get more comfortable with the country and find someplace else suits them better. Though it could be the other way around: immigrants have less of a desire to leave big immigrant-heavy metros since there's a large immigrant community there and not as much elsewhere. A Bangladeshi immigrant in NYC will have trouble finding another Bangladeshi community in most other cities.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
I suspect you'll find a lot of that "net domestic migration" out of some of the larger areas is simply retirement. The Baby Boom is retiring.
Yes, that's what I was thinking as well as far as the largest cohort driving those numbers. I have a few aunts/uncles/in-laws who have cashed out of their places in NY/NJ/PA and retired into something smaller and cheaper in NC, FL and even southern DE. If you're retiring it just doesn't make sense to sit on all of that equity, pay so much in property taxes, and live in a house that's too big when you could be enjoying better weather down south.

I also think once a metro area tops about 3 million the quality of life changes noticeably for a lot of people, especially if there is rapid growth to the point that local govts can't keep up with the infrastructure. Once you hit 5 or 6 million, especially with rapid growth, it's just crowded, congested and expensive and you get people who have lived there most of their lives looking for a lower cost location that reminds them of what life used to be like in their town before the traffic got so bad.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:49 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
I suspect you'll find a lot of that "net domestic migration" out of some of the larger areas is simply retirement. The Baby Boom is retiring.
In addition, as I said, I don't think you can really (except using NYC, LA, and Chicago as a reference) call places like Raleigh or Denver small. They have far more in common with the top 10 U.S. metros than places like Evansville, IN, Erie, PA, or Bangor, ME. If places like that started becoming "hip" I might see it being a new trend, but mid-sized Sun Belt cities growing through domestic migration has been the case for over 60 years now.
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
For high immigrant metros, some of it be immigrants who decide they want to live elsewhere. Come to say, NYC, as a first stop, get more comfortable with the country and find someplace else suits them better. Though it could be the other way around: immigrants have less of a desire to leave big immigrant-heavy metros since there's a large immigrant community there and not as much elsewhere. A Bangladeshi immigrant in NYC will have trouble finding another Bangladeshi community in most other cities.
^ most of the Cambodian families in my neighborhood moved to NYC first then to Philly. Same with the Indonesians. I know it's also true of a lot of the Chinese in Northeast Philly.

The Vietnamese are dwindling as they all move to Cherry Hill or Delaware County.

I would suspect that moving from a suburb of New York to the suburbs of, say, Nashville is more likely for Indians, Arabs, West Africans, etc - people who are middle class in their home countries and come to the US for entrepreneurial endeavors.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
In addition, as I said, I don't think you can really (except using NYC, LA, and Chicago as a reference) call places like Raleigh or Denver small. They have far more in common with the top 10 U.S. metros than places like Evansville, IN, Erie, PA, or Bangor, ME. If places like that started becoming "hip" I might see it being a new trend, but mid-sized Sun Belt cities growing through domestic migration has been the case for over 60 years now.
I agree that Denver isn't small but having lived in the Triangle (and it's certainly grown since then) I wouldn't call Raleigh a big city. Wake County is pushing 1 million people but it's mostly sprawl and not the dense, SoCal version either. It's a large-ish metro but Chapel Hill is still pretty far from Raleigh. Carrboro is kinda hip but that's a small town in the metro. I wouldn't call Raleigh hip at all (but it's trying to be).

Asheville and Wilmington and even Durham probably have more pull in the "cool" department and none of those places are big cities.

Just saying that I don't think size matters when it comes to being "cool" It's about what's there. It might be a university, it might be some physical or cultural amenities. Asheville is cool because of its culture, because of the mountains, and because a lot of rich people invested heavily in the town 90 years ago.

The only thing stopping Erie from being more like Asheville is an institution or an industry that attracts young people/keeps young people from leaving. With the weather there, the proximity to expanding hops production in upstate NY, it's geographic location (between the Midwest, Northeast, Toronto/Hamiton/Windsor, etc) I could see it being a center of beer brewing and distribution. It could just as easily be the center of a large wine region. Alas, it isn't, but it could be and that's the sort of thing that makes the difference between a stagnant town like Erie and a growing one like Asheville.
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