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Old 03-30-2015, 12:30 PM
 
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First, I am not talking about strict city boundaries, as you know, some cities are larger and some are small, so to say one is denser than the other just because the latter includes more suburbs is not fair. So I will include cities and central/dense parts of some larger cities to be more comparable.

Second, that's not to say I am gonna pick 2 sq mi of city A to compare with the entire city of city B of 50 sq mi. That's not fair either. For this purpose I am listing cities/districts of cities between roughly 40 and 50 square miles (about 100-120 sq km).

The reason for this analysis is to compare the actual density of cities without biased toward cities with smaller political boundaries. This is not perfect but IMO is more accurate than to say SF is 5X denser than Los Angeles, when central LA, if one choose to live there, is almost as dense.

Here is a list I have compiled so far (land size in sq miles, and population in 1000)

Small cities:
Boston, 48; 646k
San Francisco, 47; 837 k
Vancouver, 44; 603k
Paris, 41; 2,273k
Barcelona, 40; 1,620k
Naples: 45; 960k

Part of cities
Central Toronto (old Toronto & east York): 46; 852k
Bronx: 42, 1,419k
Central Los Angeles: 55; 837k
Kowloon and Hong Kong Island: 48; 3,410k
Central Shanghai (Inner Ring): 46; 3,610k
Central Beijing (old city within 2nd ring): 36; 2,230k

Benchmark (about half of land size)
Manhattan: 23; 1,626k

As you can see, although Manhattan is considered very dense, it actually is less dense than central Shanghai or Hong Kong. San Francisco's density is not that impressive by world standards either (please don't argue that it is not fair because I only include part of some cities - by including roughly 45 square miles, it is more of an apple to apple comparison).

Feel free to add to the list as long as it makes sense, as I am not familiar with other parts of the world.
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Old 03-30-2015, 09:34 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
45,991 posts, read 42,018,377 times
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There was a very similar thread on city vs city. The problem with picking 45 square miles, is what to choose? The densest contigious 45 square miles? In some cities, you'd get a very strange blob. A rectangle?

What density would your cities density be if it was the size of San Francisco?

Quote:
Originally Posted by foadi View Post
i already calculated manila in this thread. the list of completed foreign cities:

shanghai: 3.86 million
metro manila: 3.85 million
HCMC: 3.65 million
hong kong: 3.28 million
tokyo: 2.14 million
bangkok: 1.80 million
london: 1.45 million
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Old 03-31-2015, 07:21 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,276,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
There was a very similar thread on city vs city. The problem with picking 45 square miles, is what to choose? The densest contigious 45 square miles? In some cities, you'd get a very strange blob. A rectangle?

What density would your cities density be if it was the size of San Francisco?
didn't know a similar thread already exists!

As to how to pick the 45 square miles, I think it is reasonable to only pick continuous large official sub-divisions, not cherry-picking small and dense neighbourhoods to inflate the number.

In my examples, central Los Angeles is clearly defined by the city. You can't randomly remove and add neighbourhoods to suit your needs; Old Toronto as well as East York are former cities and the two remain an entity for urban planning purposes

Toronto and East York District - Community Planning - City Planning | City of Toronto

Bronx is a borough of NYC, and it has clear boundaries.

Inner Ring Shanghai is not a strict political division, but it is most frequently used in real estate, and the Ring expressways are there physically.

Dongcheng and Xicheng districts of Beijing are also clearly defined as two of the old Beijing districts, with well defined boundary and population statistics.

Kowloon and HK island are the same.

The old thread is interesting and has a lot of information, but most posts seem to be more restricted to American cities, although some of my examples are mentioned as well. There is also a lot of arbitrary maneuvering of tracts (adding some small neighbourhoods, but excluding ones just nearby) as well as number guessing which I don't like.
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