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Old 07-17-2014, 09:42 AM
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
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In Albuquerque there are two divides. The Rio Grande River which separates the larger, older part of the city from the smaller, newer, sprawlier 'Westside', and Central Ave. (Rt.66) which, while tantalizing to many who live north of it, many are wary of crossing to the perceived hell-hole on the other side.
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:19 AM
Location: New York City
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Originally Posted by ogre View Post
I think you're onto something here.

I wonder whether, within Manhattan, Central Park might be seen as a marker between areas of different character. East Midtown is generally more upscale than West Midtown. South of Central Park you find much of NYC's most significant commercial and business activity. North of the park's northern edge, there's a lot more residential character.

Of course in a place like Manhattan, which is the central part of an old-style densely built, centralized kind of city, even residential neighborhoods have quite a bit of commercial activity, but this is generally more small-scale and local than you find in districts more oriented toward large-scale business. That distinction seems to hold when comparing upper Manhattan to lower and lower-mid Manhattan.
Well, Manhattan isn't an island of skyscrapers. Parts of lower Manhattan are much lower density than, say, Midtown or the Financial District. You can actually see the sky in Tribeca and Chelsea, haha. There's a lot more mid-rise buildings and townhouses in those areas. Same goes with upper Manhattan. Really, most of the urban activity is concentrated in Midtown; there's offices, retail, and residential and it's very dense. The Financial District is mostly offices and some retail to serve the workers, but the residential part is definitely growing. The rest of Manhattan is mid-rise residential with ground floor retail for the most part.
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:29 PM
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Here's an article that seems to be relevant to this thread: Why Would You Have a Highway Run Through a City?
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Old 07-18-2014, 02:17 PM
Location: Atlanta, GA
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To the OP, I know nothing about the layout of Nashville, as I've never been, but it's interesting to me that you can claim that a city of that size is essentially divided in half. Surely there are other more minor barriers within either of the halves that would act to create further "intra-half" divisions?
Oh, most definietly. I just thought that was the most pronounced, but there are many, many more. Just wanted to get the ball rolling and think about different cities that have this sort of phenomenon.

Excellent post about Buffalo.
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Old 07-19-2014, 04:39 PM
Location: Pasadena, CA
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In Los Angeles it is definitely the 10 Freeway. This massive wall/trench through the middle of the city famously kept the Watts riots at bay, preventing any damage to the wealthier neighborhoods to the north. Not so much with the Rodney King Riots which happened everywhere in the city and didn't have a single flashpoint ala the Watts riots.

For the pickier folks Wilshire Blvd is considered a dividing line between places that are acceptable to live and those that you never venture into. This is changing as Mid-City and Koreatown rapidly gentrify as well as South LA slowly improving in places.

On a smaller level, the 101 separates the gentrified hipster neighborhood of Echo Park from immigrant-heavy neighborhoods of Westlake and Rampart Village. This is quickly changing as well, and technically Echo Park is cut in half by the 101.
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by ccdscott View Post
Where is your city's Iron Curtain, or "wall" of separation between different parts of the city (either industrial or rural or economic) at?

This question got me thinking when I drive around Nashville every day. To me, it's clear that this "line" is I-65 where it splits half of the city between large lots and more forested and higher elevation land (Green Hills, Belle Meade) and east where there is smaller lots, industrial zoning, and more commercial retail.

I'm sure some of these lines you can see on a topographic map or a regular map, but maybe you can't. Maybe this is more of a "feel" thing in some place.

As a Nashvillian, I have to somewhat disagree with I-65 being the "clear" line that splits the city. I think you could make a decent argument for I-65 south of downtown. I think part of this is coincidence, as I-65 south of 440 happens to run along the municipal border of Oak Hill. I would also point out that a lot of the older development (60s-70s) east of 65 (Crieve Hall, and parts of Granbery and Cloverland areas) have large lots and roughly resemble some of the development from the same era on the west side of 65 (Check out some of the older ranch style houses in Forest Hills and Oak Hill). A large chunk of West Meade is also from that era, and Bellevue pretty much resembles anywhere in Nashville developed in the 80s-90s. There is also plenty of commercial development along West End and in Green Hills, but I'm guessing you are referring to the long commercial corridors that exist along major highways such as Nolensville and Murfreesboro Rds in comparison to Franklin Rd and Hillsboro Rd (with the exception of Green Hills).

North of town, I-65 simply runs near the edge of the Highland Rim and separates development from non-development. That's more a product of proximity to a natural barrier than anything the interstate does.

Now I do think that interstates/freeways can be big dividers, both physically and psychologically. It creates a barrier with a limited number of access points, and if those access points are crowded (like exits) or hard to get to (random non major streets), then it can make the other side of the highway seem much farther away than it really is. It can also, of course, separate good parts of town from bad (sometimes from the cause of choking off an area).

I think that if you are going to point to a clear barrier that exists in the Nashville region, it has to be the Cumberland River. It roughly divides the city in half (area-wise), and only has 10 road crossings (+2 pedestrian and 3 railroad crossings). Donelson and East Nashville, which are adjacent to each other, require a several mile detour to drive between. In fact, all of the sharp bends on the east side of town have drastically affected development (Pennington, Neely's and Hadley Bends)...and the west side is somewhat similar with Cockrill (primarily industrial/prison) and Bells (completely rural). *Interesting side note - only 25% of Davidson County residents live north of the river, even though that accounts for about 40% of the land area.

Based on personal experience, I can remember plenty of times where friends or family members that lived on the "other" side of the river made a big deal about having to come all the way to my side of town (despite regularly traveling the same distances to get to places on their side of the river).
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:31 AM
Location: Atlanta, GA
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Unbelievable post nashvols, as usual. Thanks for the addition. I'm no Nashville expert since I've only been here a couple years, so I appreciate you adding your (correct) thoughts to the discussion.

A city's layout determines so much!
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:26 AM
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In Charlotte, its I-77 and Highway 74. The Southern wedge is by far the most affluent area of the City and is not diverse. To the East, there is a very diverse community which includes most of the immigrant communities and hipster areas. The North is also affluent and has the greatest portion of the Yankee transplants. The last wedge is by far the poorest and has the highest concentration of African Americans. Except for the North East line (which I-85 might be a better divider), the divide is very apparent when you cross.
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:45 PM
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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As others have said, Philadelphia doesn't have a super well defined social dividing line in the city proper at this point. However, the parts of City Ave that aren't St. Joe's campus feel like a fairly sharp divider between Overbrook/Wynnefield and Lower Merion in my experience.

In terms of physical iron curtains, Roosevelt Blvd is one of the most intimidatingly wide and busy streets i've ever seen.
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Old 08-10-2014, 01:58 AM
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Is there any "iron curtain" separating hip, gentrified Brooklyn from more standard outer-borough Brooklyn?
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