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Old 10-05-2014, 07:58 PM
 
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Jersey City and Arlington VA are technically suburbs of larger, more important cities. Yet JC and Arlington are themselves growing rapidly and becoming true cities in their own right. Could you see these cities becoming legit, full fledged cities, outdoing other places in the US such as Cleveland, Buffalo and Detroit? or will they always remain suburbs
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Old 10-05-2014, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
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The two suburban cities you mention have really small city limits. If its gonna happen, it will be a temporary phenomenon.
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Old 10-06-2014, 04:19 PM
 
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I would say its mostly not possible because of the area that the suburbs have to cover. So, Jersey City would not work, as most other suburbs in NE. However, I would say that this phenomenon could be true for suburbs of cities, such as Houston, with plenty of space to cover and really high growth rates. For example, Sugarland, which already has 85 000- 100 000 people, and is located in the second fastest growing county in the US- Fort Bend Co.
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Old 10-06-2014, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Jersey City and Arlington are two very different animals.

Jersey City is old-line independent city which was mostly built out by the very early 20th century. The neighborhoods around downtown look like this. The outlying neighborhoods are less attractive, but still urban. It's a "sister city" to New York, and in basically the same category as Oakland, Cambridge, and Saint Paul.

In contrast, Alexandria is a suburban city. Yes, Old Town is cute (and very expensive) but most of the rest of the city was undeveloped during the classic urban era. In 1920, it had only 18,000 people. By 1950, 62,000. Today, nearly 150,000. So you see a small urban core around Old Town, a scattering of early 20th century neighborhoods, and a lot of suburbs.
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:24 PM
 
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It's unlikely inner suburbs will become cities in their own right unless something happens to the inner city (e.g. as with Detroit).

Jersey City, as noted, has historically been a city in its own right; its downtown's status as a slightly cheaper bedroom suburb of NYC is relatively recent.
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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There is one example of what you cited which has already happened however - the Tidewater area of Virginia. Virginia Beach started out more or less as a suburb of Norfolk, and is now over twice the size of Norfolk in terms of population. Admittedly this is mostly due to larger landmass - Norfolk at least has some old urban neighborhoods, and I don't think there's anything in Virginia Beach even resembling a CBD. But it still has outgrown the original core city.
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Old 10-06-2014, 08:44 PM
 
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In Colorado we have Aurora (325k) right next door to Denver (650k).
Denver is completely landlocked and 90% of any future growth will be increase density.
Aurora borders the eastern plains and could expand in three directions indefinitely.
So in theory this could happen in Colorado.

But in reality, Aurora has no CBD and will never be more than a suburb of Denver.
People and corporations locate there for the cheap real estate and that is all.

The Virginia Beach example is interesting. My brother-in-law was a general at Ft Monroe and in my visits there I was always very confused by the whole Hampton Roads area. Seemed like a few medium cities with interconnecting suburbs that went on for ever. Was never sure where I was or which city was the main city.

The Houston/Sugarland example is almost laughable from an outsiders perspective. At 85-100k in a metro
of 6m, it would seem Sugarland is no more than a rounding error in metro population.

I could see Oakland or St Paul or Ft Worth outshining their "big brothers" at some future time.
But because these are not suburbs of the primary city, it does not fix the OP's question.
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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How about the big Phoenix suburbs like Tempe, Glendale and Mesa? They have large populations (in some cases bigger than Cleveland and Buffalo) and Downtown Phoenix is not as strong as the downtowns of most of cities. I guess the only thing is that Phoenix also has an ever larger population thanks to annexations.
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
How about the big Phoenix suburbs like Tempe, Glendale and Mesa? They have large populations (in some cases bigger than Cleveland and Buffalo) and Downtown Phoenix is not as strong as the downtowns of most of cities. I guess the only thing is that Phoenix also has an ever larger population thanks to annexations.

Interesting bit of trivia: 5 of the biggest 100 cities in the USA are suburbs of Phoenix.
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Old 10-07-2014, 02:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
Interesting bit of trivia: 5 of the biggest 100 cities in the USA are suburbs of Phoenix.
How many of them are DFW suburbs or LA suburbs ect. There are more than a few of the 100 largest that are suburbs.
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