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Old 07-21-2014, 12:20 PM
 
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^^There are many city neighborhoods that don't have all these amenities, either. Not everyone is interested in "nightlife", e.g. bars and dance clubs.
We are talking cities, not neighborhoods. Unless you are comparing your neighborhood to a city, then it probably lacks many other things as well.

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They're not of the same profile as the Royal Ontario Museum or Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, or the Museum of Civilization (technically across from Ottawa in Gatineau, Quebec)
We are not rating cities on their 'awesomeness', just as to whether or not they are a city. Abilene TX (population just over 100k) is not an awesome city, but it has regional employment, multiple housing options, some nightlife, an airport, a symphony and a zoo.

IMO, the distinction between a 'suburb' and a city is that a suburb will rely on the city for most of the things mentioned, plus the majority of skilled workers will leave the suburb and work in the main city.

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personally consider Vaughan a suburb of Toronto
I have personally never heard of Vaughan (pop 288k), but according to wikipedia, it lacks a hospital within its city boundaries, so I guess having a hospital should be considered a major criteria as well. But yeah, if they add a hospital, then otherwise it is a city.

Last edited by TheOverdog; 07-21-2014 at 12:31 PM..
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Old 07-21-2014, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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But don't think the main difference between Vaughan and Abilene is that Vaughan lacks a hospital. I think it's that Vaughan owes its existence to another city (Toronto) while Abilene not really.

If not for Toronto, Vaughan would still be a collection of 2-3 small rural towns with a total population 20-30 times less than today.
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:06 AM
 
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Would villages count? I ask, because you can have a town of a different name having suburban development built around a village of a different name, but they are a part of the same school district. You see this in NY State and the village can act as a de facto center. These villages may not have everything, but some have quite a bit or close to having a little bit of everything like this village: Brockport, NY Community Videos - Welcome
Village of Brockport NY - Home Page
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Old 07-22-2014, 01:28 PM
 
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Toronto, Vaughan would still be a collection of 2-3 small rural towns with a total population 20-30 times less than today.
Yeah, and if a frog had wings it wouldn't bump it butt when it hops. I don't think historical 'smallness' nor 'proximity' should be an endlessly limiting factor. Sure it probably started as a suburb, but that doesn't mean it will always be one, and if it won't always be one, then what is the factor that means it can grow to become a city?

Do you consider the only 'cities' in Southern CA to be Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Diego? That seems like an insanely limiting and arbitrary definition of the word 'city'.
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TheOverdog View Post
Yeah, and if a frog had wings it wouldn't bump it butt when it hops. I don't think historical 'smallness' nor 'proximity' should be an endlessly limiting factor. Sure it probably started as a suburb, but that doesn't mean it will always be one, and if it won't always be one, then what is the factor that means it can grow to become a city?

Do you consider the only 'cities' in Southern CA to be Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Diego? That seems like an insanely limiting and arbitrary definition of the word 'city'.
Of course suburbs shouldn't be restricted by their historical status. But I don't think a suburb should be considered a city if it is overly dependent on the core of its metro. I think a key (hypothetical) question to ask would be: Would the municipality survive in its current form if the core city were to disappear, or more realistically, sink into decline? If said municipality were to be disproportionately affected by sudden changes to the core, then no, it can not be considered a city. So perhaps a suburb can be a city, but only if it is capable of operating independently from the core city. Cities must be independent entities, and commuter suburbs are not what you'd call "independent." Likewise, a company town full of nothing but office parks and/or factories is not what you could consider an independent entity.

Of course, dependence makes a clearer case for this than an interdependent region. It's harder to call when two municipalities rely on each other equally. But usually this is rare-one depends on the other more, and the more independent of the two is usually the city.
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:39 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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I think it's ridiculous to come up with specific criteria such as a zoo or a symphony as measurements of a "city". Here in Colorado, the main symphony is called the COLORADO Symphony, rather than the Denver Symphony (its former name), b/c it gets support from outside the city of Denver. Ditto the COLORADO Ballet. Ditto the zoo, although it retains its old name.
Scientific and Cultural Facilities District
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
Of course suburbs shouldn't be restricted by their historical status. But I don't think a suburb should be considered a city if it is overly dependent on the core of its metro. I think a key (hypothetical) question to ask would be: Would the municipality survive in its current form if the core city were to disappear, or more realistically, sink into decline? If said municipality were to be disproportionately affected by sudden changes to the core, then no, it can not be considered a city. So perhaps a suburb can be a city, but only if it is capable of operating independently from the core city.
This measure fails to match intuition. For example, Hoboken, NJ, about as urban a place as you can find, would be ruled "not a city", whereas King of Prussia, PA (which has no "downtown" and isn't even incorporated) would be ruled a city. It also fails in the "uneven twin city" case (e.g. Philadelphia/Camden)

Quote:
Cities must be independent entities, and commuter suburbs are not what you'd call "independent." Likewise, a company town full of nothing but office parks and/or factories is not what you could consider an independent entity.
Why not? Such a town might include a residential area, or might depend on other nearby suburbs to house employees, but not be dependent on the central city of the area.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
This measure fails to match intuition. For example, Hoboken, NJ, about as urban a place as you can find, would be ruled "not a city", whereas King of Prussia, PA (which has no "downtown" and isn't even incorporated) would be ruled a city. It also fails in the "uneven twin city" case (e.g. Philadelphia/Camden)
I fail to see your logic here. Hoboken had been founded independently from NYC and for a long time functioned economically alongside NYC rather than because of It used the same harbor as NYC, but was a different port and a different city. Hoboken is certainly a city according to this definition. Likewise, King of Prussia existed only because of Philadelphia, and without Philly would lose reason for existence as it would have nothing to offer due to its dependence on Philly (its core city) to generate the wealth that is then gathered via institutions like the King of Prussia Mall. Therefore, KoP is in fact not a city.

Also, Camden rose partially independent of Philadelphia, as its own industrial and shipbuilding center. Its port location existed regardless of Philadelphia's existence. Philadelphia being there affected Camden's existence significantly, sure, but Camden was founded for its location (remember-location, location, location!), which existed independent of Philadelphia.

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Why not? Such a town might include a residential area, or might depend on other nearby suburbs to house employees, but not be dependent on the central city of the area.
If the municipality houses its own residents which participate in jobs in that municipality, it is a city. If it's all office space and depends on surrounding areas for workers, then regardless of the urbanity of that region, it is not a city (in this case it would be a commercial district instead, or maybe a company town).

Perhaps one more requirement for somewhere to be a city would be-does it generate the most wealth within its region? Is it the economic heart and the main driver behind the regional economy? If yes, then it is a city. If not, then no. For example, KoP generates wealth due to its mall; however, it does not generate the wealth that is spent at its mall, which means it is dependent on a higher source of wealth to be sustained, and is therefore not a city. Cities must be at the top of the regional hierarchy of productivity. This definition is just an idea though-I wouldn't consider it set in stone as there's probably a lot of flaws.
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
I fail to see your logic here. Hoboken had been founded independently from NYC and for a long time functioned economically alongside NYC rather than because of It used the same harbor as NYC, but was a different port and a different city. Hoboken is certainly a city according to this definition.
Except that's all history. Hoboken went into decline, and is now completely dependent on NYC commuters.

Quote:
Likewise, King of Prussia existed only because of Philadelphia, and without Philly would lose reason for existence as it would have nothing to offer due to its dependence on Philly (its core city) to generate the wealth that is then gathered via institutions like the King of Prussia Mall. Therefore, KoP is in fact not a city.
King of Prussia exists because it was a good place to put an inn. But it has its own employment centers (not just the mall), it's not dependent on Philadelphia.

Quote:
Perhaps one more requirement for somewhere to be a city would be-does it generate the most wealth within its region? Is it the economic heart and the main driver behind the regional economy? If yes, then it is a city. If not, then no.
At which point you're simply saying that only the central city of a region counts as a city.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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I would argue that Dearborn is a city, even though it started out as a suburb of Detroit. It has a relatively large population, industry, shopping, and the Ford HQs. If Ford's HQs were in Detroit, then maybe I'd still consider it a suburb. Dearborn Heights and Allen Park could be considered suburbs of Dearborn.

I might consider Auburn Hills a city, but the population seems too small.

Southfield is a major job centre with many HQs, but the companies HQ'd there are mostly there to serve to Big 3 which are HQ'd elsewhere in metro Detroit.
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