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View Poll Results: Your choice?
Randstad 9 36.00%
Bay Area 13 52.00%
Combined option for "none", "confused at the moment", "I don't really know where to begin", "huh" 3 12.00%
Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-13-2013, 04:02 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
2,942 posts, read 4,225,549 times
Reputation: 3401

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitzrovian View Post
Linda, I agree with most of your points but I don't get this statement (in bold) at all. Anyone who has ever driven around the Randstand or looked at a map knows that the triangle area between the Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht conurbations is predominantly empty space.

This is the view from E19 about halfway between Amsterdam and Rotterdam:

netherlands - Google Maps

This is the view from the E25 between Utrecht and Rotterdam:

netherlands - Google Maps

The 5 million you refer to is concentrated overwhelmingly in the vicinity of the 4 big cities and along the coast. Towns like Dordrecht, Delft, Haarlem, Leiden, Almere etc etc.

That said, I would much prefer the development pattern of the Randstad, featuring many beautiful historic towns each possessing its own individual character and identity surrounded by open land to the endless bland suburban sprawl that you see in most of the Bay Area. Then again, we are comparing a region with 800+ years of history to one with about 150 (most of which grew in the car age).
The areas around highways will be mostly empty space (artificially created agriculture) anywhere you go in the Netherlands, that's just the way our infrastructure is constructed. Nobody wants to live next to a busy road.

If you take the four major cities, their vicinities and the coastline, there's not much empty space left The Randstad isn't that big in size. I'm not saying you won't find any green or sparsely populated areas but the Randstad overwhelmingly consists of densely populated cities and towns.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,479 posts, read 7,732,352 times
Reputation: 7299
Those are very lovely pictures Linda.

Just wish it didn't get so cold in Randstad.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:40 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
2,942 posts, read 4,225,549 times
Reputation: 3401
The Hague





Utrecht (my personal favourite of the four major cities )




^ This is the Domtoren, built in the early 14th century.
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:28 PM
 
Location: NYC
2,252 posts, read 2,456,536 times
Reputation: 1554
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindavG View Post
The areas around highways will be mostly empty space (artificially created agriculture) anywhere you go in the Netherlands, that's just the way our infrastructure is constructed. Nobody wants to live next to a busy road.

If you take the four major cities, their vicinities and the coastline, there's not much empty space left The Randstad isn't that big in size. I'm not saying you won't find any green or sparsely populated areas but the Randstad overwhelmingly consists of densely populated cities and towns.
Well what's left is basically the entire area between Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Utrecht. This area is quite large and as the schematics posted by Scrantix plainly show it is mostly empty.

Here is a satellite view of this area:

netherlands - Google Maps

As anyone can see, it is mostly open fields with a sprinkling of urban development.

Here is what it looks like from street-level:

netherlands - Google Maps

There is no motorway within miles.

I am not saying that the areas represented by the big 4 cities and their neighboring towns are insignificant but to say that they represent the overwhelming majority of the territory of Randstad is simply inaccurate.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:42 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
2,942 posts, read 4,225,549 times
Reputation: 3401
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitzrovian View Post
Well what's left is basically the entire area between Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Utrecht. This area is quite large and as the schematics posted by Scrantix plainly show it is mostly empty.

Here is a satellite view of this area:

netherlands - Google Maps

As anyone can see, it is mostly open fields with a sprinkling of urban development.

Here is what it looks like from street-level:

netherlands - Google Maps

There is no motorway within miles.

I am not saying that the areas represented by the big 4 cities and their neighboring towns are insignificant but to say that they represent the overwhelming majority of the territory of Randstad is simply inaccurate.
I looked it up and you're right that I overestimated the urbanization of the Randstad, the "Green Heart" at its centre is actually bigger than I thought. Still, it's simply not true that the Randstad outside of the four major cities and their vicinities is mostly empty land. Even if you take the highest population estimates and most inclusive definitions of the four major cities and their agglomerations, you only get 4.5 million people out of 7.6 million (the highest estimate for the total Randstad population). There are 13 cities in the Randstad with more than 100,000 inhabitants (plus Delft and Alkmaar which are close to 100,000). There are plenty of smaller and mid-sized cities in the Green Heart, including Zoetermeer (122,000), Alphen aan den Rijn (73,000), Gouda (71,000), Woerden (50,000), Gorinchem (35,000), Nieuwkoop (27,000) and Waddinxveen (25,000), plus a number of towns with 15,000 -20,000 inhabitants. Much of the Green Heart is not really empty land, the cities and towns are just much smaller.

I knew that the Randstad had a green centre (that's actually what its name refers to, it translates as "edge city") but I will admit that I was wrong about the size of this green centre. That's actually a pleasant surprise to me since the main reason I would never want to live in the Randstad is because I always associate it with massive urbanization and hardly any nature (and growing up in the rural eastern countryside, the transition is just too big for me). But I could actually picture myself living in one of those mid-sized cities in the Green Heart
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:05 PM
 
Location: London, U.K.
886 posts, read 1,293,148 times
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SF > Amsterdam
Oakland < The Hague
San Jose < Rotterdam
Fremont < Utrecht

I have never liked the bay area outside of SF and Sonoma.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:16 PM
 
520 posts, read 483,148 times
Reputation: 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLAXTOR View Post
SF > Amsterdam
Oakland < The Hague
San Jose < Rotterdam
Fremont < Utrecht

I have never liked the bay area outside of SF and Sonoma.
Don't you like Berkeley and Albany - what about Sausalito? Unless you consider them to be part of SF...I guess some people do.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:20 PM
 
Location: London, U.K.
886 posts, read 1,293,148 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Fingers View Post
Don't you like Berkeley and Albany?
I don't have experience in Albany but I am not a fan of Berkeley. It's too liberal for my tastes, I'm center left. Berkeley is also overrun with bums.

The 7x7 SF is the only place in California that interests me. I'm a California native, from the OC in the LA area.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:28 PM
 
520 posts, read 483,148 times
Reputation: 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLAXTOR View Post
I don't have experience in Albany but I am not a fan of Berkeley. It's too liberal for my tastes, I'm center left. Berkeley is also overrun with bums.

The 7x7 SF is the only place in California that interests me. I'm a California native, from the OC in the LA area.
I had to laugh - in a good way - at your Berkeley comments. I actually like Berkeley for the very reason you don't, except for the bums.

OK...I'll bite...whats 7X7?

By the way, I know people like to criticize LA, but I actually love LA, except for the traffic. But, hey, every place has to have one bad feature, right? I haven't really spent all that much time in the OC, though.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:35 PM
 
Location: London, U.K.
886 posts, read 1,293,148 times
Reputation: 811
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Fingers View Post
I had to laugh - in a good way - at your Berkeley comments. I actually like Berkeley for the very reason you don't, except for the bums.

OK...I'll bite...whats 7X7?

By the way, I know people like to criticize LA, but I actually love LA, except for the traffic. But, hey, every place has to have one bad feature, right? I haven't really spent all that much time in the OC, though.
The OC is nice for families or middle aged people but it's as boring and bland as suburbia gets. I like LA but its a far cry from what I prefer. The city has a lot of work to do, walking around there is difficult, lots of warehouse looking buildings, surface lots, and strip malls. Not everywhere but it's overrun with those in a lot of areas even some of its denser areas. It's not a urban environment I'm to fond of but I like the vibe of the city. LA has a lot to offer no other city in the US can.

7x7 is the geography of SF. It's a 7 mile wide and 7 mile long city, total 49 square miles.
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