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View Poll Results: ?
Barcelona 36 78.26%
Philly 10 21.74%
Voters: 46. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-26-2013, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,496 posts, read 7,777,221 times
Reputation: 7316

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitzrovian View Post
@ valentro -

I didn't mean to suggest that we have 10-12 cities that can compete on all fronts. There aren't that many cities in the World that can "compete on all fronts" - maybe 10-12 total!

What I meant was that if you look at our top 10-12 it's a great collection of cities ... probably a better one than any other country can muster up. What other country has cities of the caliber of Boston, Philly or Miami that are not even among the top 5 of that country?

And yes, ALL of our cities have a lot of work to do - including NYC - but let's not forget that we do have plenty of fine, exciting urban destinations (warts and all) and we should be thankful for it.
Bold: Haha, too competitive of a world for that.

I agree, in different aspects the United States 12-14 largest cities are power hitters (especially when put together). I mean don't get me wrong, I love America-- but I'm cynical towards it, especially more so these days. We were once leaders in education, now rank towards the middle on composite Math & Literature scores. We were once innovators, now decentralizing.

Our cities will get better, the non-urban ones will become more urban, the dangerous ones will become safer, so on.

Red: I agree with you, not many countries have cities like Miami or Boston, within America I consider them along with New York, Chicago, Washington, Los Angeles, & San Francisco to be the best. Miami & Boston are two cities on my short list of where I could live in the United States, others being New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Beyond that, I could be happy in 10 others I suppose but wouldn't be as excited about it.

No offense meant, I love America-- it's my favorite country in the world. Now if we could work on those crime situations and transit, we'll be even better off.

 
Old 01-26-2013, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA
2,346 posts, read 3,221,949 times
Reputation: 1077
Quote:
Originally Posted by valentro View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitzrovian View Post
@ valentro -

I didn't mean to suggest that we have 10-12 cities that can compete on all fronts. There aren't that many cities in the World that can "compete on all fronts" - maybe 10-12 total!

What I meant was that if you look at our top 10-12 it's a great collection of cities ... probably a better one than any other country can muster up. What other country has cities of the caliber of Boston, Philly or Miami that are not even among the top 5 of that country?

And yes, ALL of our cities have a lot of work to do - including NYC - but let's not forget that we do have plenty of fine, exciting urban destinations (warts and all) and we should be thankful for it.
Bold: Haha, too competitive of a world for that.

I agree, in different aspects the United States 12-14 largest cities are power hitters (especially when put together). I mean don't get me wrong, I love America-- but I'm cynical towards it, especially more so these days. We were once leaders in education, now rank towards the middle on composite Math & Literature scores. We were once innovators, now decentralizing.

Our cities will get better, the non-urban ones will become more urban, the dangerous ones will become safer, so on.

Red: I agree with you, not many countries have cities like Miami or Boston, within America I consider them along with New York, Chicago, Washington, Los Angeles, & San Francisco to be the best. Miami & Boston are two cities on my short list of where I could live in the United States, others being New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Beyond that, I could be happy in 10 others I suppose but wouldn't be as excited about it.

No offense meant, I love America-- it's my favorite country in the world. Now if we could work on those crime situations and transit, we'll be even better off.
LOL, what about Philly? You wouldn't live there?
 
Old 01-26-2013, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,496 posts, read 7,777,221 times
Reputation: 7316
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrantiX View Post
LOL, what about Philly? You wouldn't live there?
Lived in some dramatically different cities all my life: Singapore, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Austin, Ann Arbor, Mumbai. Would like to try Seoul, London, Melbourne, Osaka, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, New York at some point in my life (not all but as many as I can).

Philadelphia offers me absolutely nothing I want out of a city (except the walkability) and overall it's an average American city, albeit more urban than 95% of them. There are probably 87 cities in the world (21 just in the United States) that I would take over it.

Here's a list of my preferences, as you can see-- it's not hard to tell why it fell short: http://www.city-data.com/forum/27844261-post17.html

I have no one there, no family, no friends, no one. So that just makes it less attractive than Los Angeles/Dallas/Houston where I have life long friends or family and a sense of familiarity with each of those cities. It's not as scenic (or safe) as Seattle/Tucson/Denver/San Diego/Austin/Portland so retirement there is out of the question. It's not a good back up for me to keep my resume held off on like Atlanta for journalism/broadcasting/media/publishing/editorials/professional writing. Nor is it one of my favorite cities like New York/Chicago/Washington/Boston/Miami/San Francisco.

I don't have anything against it but I don't have anything for it either-- definitely not enough reason for me to bash or praise it/glamorize it. For example if I wanted to live in a historic, dense, urban city in the United States-- I'd rather go with Boston as I appreciate it's storied yet modern look, polished & clean nature, safe, cosmopolitan, robust job market, and setting on the coastal New England shoreline where hills come crashing down into the ocean where historical sites stand and lighthouses can be seen marking the night (cool) sky of a New England summer on an island right near the coast and when you look back you see the charming, cultured, vertically built up city along the harbor. Boston is much more expensive, in my frank opinion-- it's so worth it. I love that city to death.

We all have different preferences I suppose you could say and mine have trimmed Philadelphia off indefinitely. So to summarize: no, I wouldn't ever freely choose to live in Philadelphia. At least not until the other 87 options in the world have been exhausted.

Last edited by Facts Kill Rhetoric; 01-26-2013 at 07:12 PM..
 
Old 01-26-2013, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA
2,346 posts, read 3,221,949 times
Reputation: 1077
Quote:
Originally Posted by valentro View Post
I don't have anything against it but I don't have anything for it either-- definitely not enough reason for me to bash or praise it/glamorize it. For example if I wanted to live in a historic, dense, urban city in the United States-- I'd rather go with Boston as I appreciate it's storied yet modern look, polished & clean nature, safe, cosmopolitan, robust job market, and setting on the coastal New England shoreline where hills come crashing down into the ocean where historical sites stand and lighthouses can be seen marking the night (cool) sky of a New England summer on an island right near the coast and when you look back you see the charming, cultured, vertically built up city along the harbor. Boston is much more expensive, in my frank opinion-- it's so worth it. I love that city to death.
I am not a Philly booster, the opposite actually, and I don't hate Philly but unlike you I don't think it's a great city either. You could not pay me enough to live there IMO.

I like the Philly boosters on this forum, guaranteed, they will hop on you faster than a large kid on a twinkie if you dont like their city. LOL

Last edited by scrantiX; 01-26-2013 at 07:56 PM..
 
Old 01-26-2013, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
8,390 posts, read 10,002,952 times
Reputation: 5230
Quote:
Originally Posted by valentro View Post
Yeahhh I usually take important cities and ones with a quality urban environment in two separate categories. They're not synonymous. Fitzrovian pointed that out indirectly, there are several very important American cities that in terms of importance would stack up greatly within the top 50 of the world and many of them being the same top 12 largest he referenced. However they would not stack up in that same barometer (top 50 in the world) in terms of urbanity, except for a FAR and few select ones.

What I disagree with him on is that I feel the US only has a handful (plus one or two more indefinitely) of competitive cities on an international urban scale. To me the clear cut cities of the United States are New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Washington DC, or Miami (not for quality of urban environment though). Beyond that it sort of turns average where "good for the United States but lacking to global standards apply" class.

Even in our top cities (those seven referenced) only one of them has a world class transit network-- New York. We have two others in the world's top 50 and I'll give a special nod to Boston as well on that but they're only great by American standards, they are either adequate or inadequate by global standards in which case several cities in the first world and many in the second have caught up or surpassed them on both quality of transit, usage, or extensiveness.

In the top cities, New York has an acceptable crime rate, it's a very cosmopolitan city, it's a powerful business & economic center, it's one of the most renown destination cities in the world, and it has things in place albeit it too could use some improvements too.

Chicago has a lot of world class level things, it has museums and cultural institutions that rank favorably among those of the world, the architecture, cosmopolitanism, urban environment, globally competitive economic engine, and so on. What it lacks is more safety and less blight (in west & south sides) and that's something it could use improvement on.

Los Angeles has the world class museums and cultural institutions, the interesting sites to see, cosmopolitanism, the climate, and is a prominent business center as well. It needs more help with infrastructure though and more catching up to do on the urban environment, it's dense (by US standards) but it needs to create more high density quality urban environments and get it's transit network on par with the rest of the US, and aim to be up there with the world.

Washington DC has the cultural institutions, the famed government destinations, cosmopolitanism, affluence, is a prominent city amongst the world, so on. It can use less crime (which is aggressively been addressed) and it could use more urbanity-- on a larger scale.

Boston & San Francisco for their sizes have a well rounded package, not much left to not like about them as they're downward trending crime cities and have the economic clout and cosmopolitanism with some of the world's most renown technology, innovation, medical research, and so on. San Francisco could more so use more world class cultural institutions than it has, that's one area to which I feel it falls a bit short in while Boston could use more of a global link. San Francisco could use a better and more suitable transit network for it's area, in this case I feel Boston is quite a good bit ahead on that front.

All of these cities have only one of two things keeping them from being as globally competitive and high on the food chain. Just one or two things they must address but they have the backbone in place. I suppose my only disagreement with Fitzrovian was that I cant find 10 or 12 suitable American cities that can internationally compete on all fronts, possibly 6 and maybe give a pass to Miami-- which is arguable.

Now then there's the Houston, Dallas, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Seattle, Miami, Minneapolis, Denver, Detroit, Phoenix crowd. These cities have much more work ahead of them and much more than just one or two things they need to immediately address. Houston/Atlanta/Dallas could use more quality urban environments, better transit network, more depth in culture, while they're all reducing crime (Houston & Dallas far more so aggressively) that also needs to be addressed to first world standards but they are not the worst in the US-- more middle of the pack and in Atlanta & Dallas' case more cultural institutions, Atlanta also needs to start better pulling it's weight in terms of economics & cosmopolitanism. These cities have a decades long road ahead as they plan and address these issues-- problem is, there wont be much help from the feds in terms of transit (for anyone actually). Philadelphia needs to address cosmopolitanism, it has good cultural institutions for the US but not stellar ones for any global standard, it needs to lower crime and blight, needs to work on becoming more of an international icon for business or even as a leisure destination the airport of the city speaks for itself, as well as become more globally competitive economically. It has a good transit system for the US but it needs to address modernization and extensions. Cities like Seattle and Denver punch above their weight (for the US) and are economically relevant and becoming more so but they have transit, cultural institutions, cosmopolitanism (not just Asia but they need better rounded package-- especially Denver), and more urbanity (again they pull above their weight but only for the US). Detroit needs to revamp everything but has a solid backbone in international business. Phoenix, well apply everything I said about Houston/Dallas/Atlanta as well as Seattle/Denver/Minneapolis to it.

Miami to me needs to attract more brain power, by far it's the least impressive of them all (well maybe Phoenix & Detroit are a bit worse off). It needs to address crime issues and living conditions and become more globally competitive in terms of business and economics and also get more in the way of cultural institutions. The city has the potential to be up there as it already has the leisure part to it and is seen as a destination.

All of these American cities have to address their dysfunctionality (as Fitzrovian said) in terms of crime, blight, economics, urban environment, infrastructure, culture, transit, so on.

Ehhh, when you look at Europe's second, third, or fourth tier cities like Lisbon, Stockholm, Brussels, Hamburg, Munich, Zurich, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, Valencia, The Hague, Manchester, so on-- true these cities don't exactly have the business & economic advantage of the US cities (well not all of them, some do) and not all of them are are deep into cosmopolitanism but they all have stellar transit, infrastructure, cultural institutions, safety, progression, architecture, and an urban environment that puts larger American cities to shame.

As a country, we have A LOT of work to do. It shouldn't just be about economics and business, it should also be about infrastructure, safety, urban environments, transit, cultural institutions, so on.

Importance/economics/business Global Talent Strategy =/= quality urban environment (with culture, safety, density, transit, infrastructure, so on). American cities on average slant towards one and the other goes largely ignored.
Great post! You explained it pretty well.
 
Old 01-26-2013, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,496 posts, read 7,777,221 times
Reputation: 7316
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrantiX View Post
I am not a Philly booster, the opposite actually, and I don't hate Philly but unlike you I don't think it's a great city either. You could not pay me enough to live there IMO.

I like the Philly boosters on this forum, guaranteed, they will hop on you faster than a large kid on a twinkie if you dont like their city. LOL
I absolutely think it's a fine city.

My only gripe with the place is that for it's situation-- I'm the complete opposite of the type it attracts. The biggest thing is, because my interests don't align with it then I have to look at who I know there-- people make an environment enjoyable. I have no one there for me. Not a friend, family member, no one.

I wouldn't mind seeing the city as a visit but to actually live in, we go our own different ways there.
 
Old 01-26-2013, 08:23 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,383,219 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitzrovian View Post
The US has plenty of fine cities -- arguably more than any other country -- though one can legitimately argue that, given the size of our country, we should have more or that even our best cities leave much to be desired. The bigger problem, as I see it, is that once you go beyond our top 10-12 cities, most of our urban areas are not just underwhelming but totally dysfunctional. The Houstons, Clevelands, Baltimores and Detroits of this country punch way below their weight by international urban standards. And once you go below 1m -- think Toledo or Youngstown or Hartford -- it's an absolute horror show. Tremendous amount of urban blight, poor or nonexistent public transportation, crime, and almost a total lack of functional urban life, with most of the money concentrated in bland suburbs. When you compare them to similar size cities in Europe - Antwerp, Bilbao, the Hague, etc. -- you realize the abyss that separates our cities.
I think it's simply because the States just has SO MANY big cities. Go to China and India, with their countless large cities, and you'll see the same. Not every Japanese city is as fascinating as Tokyo, either, most German cities, if they lack history, can be boring too, especially the lower-tier ones that nobody has heard of. It's a bit hard for every city in the US to be amazing and unique, remember a lot of these cities were built to be FUNCTIONAL first (although one can argue how sustainable they are). Houston was built as a functional place where people live and work, not a showpiece like Vegas. Not that most cities are built as 'showpieces', but 'functionalism' seems more the thing in the US than aesthetics.
 
Old 01-26-2013, 08:37 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,383,219 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitzrovian View Post
@ valentro -

I didn't mean to suggest that we have 10-12 cities that can compete on all fronts. There aren't that many cities in the World that can "compete on all fronts" - maybe 10-12 total!

What I meant was that if you look at our top 10-12 it's a great collection of cities ... probably a better one than any other country can muster up. What other country has cities of the caliber of Boston, Philly or Miami that are not even among the top 5 of that country?

And yes, ALL of our cities have a lot of work to do - including NYC - but let's not forget that we do have plenty of fine, exciting urban destinations (warts and all) and we should be thankful for it.
Well America is a big country. What other countries have so many metros with over a million? Only recently has China exceeded the US. As a comparison:

For a country of 300 million, the United States boasts 51 metropolitan statistical areas (MSA's) with over a million people! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...#United_States) Think about that, that's one million+ metro for every 6 million residents.

I know size isn't everything, but most 'world class' cities are million+. Europe has tons of GREAT cities in the 100,000 - 1 million range, but it's internationally famous cities, London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Madrid, tend to be at least a million if not millions.

So let's look at some European countries to compare, shall we?

The UK has a mere 4 MSA's with over 1 million people: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow. One for every 12 million people.

France, a mere 3: Paris, Lyon and Marseille, one for every 20 million.

Spain, a mere 2: Madrid and Barcelona, one for every 20 million.

Germany has more. Italy has a few. But still less than the US.

Japan, South Africa, Australia, Canada and Japan compare rather well with the US, but they simply do not have AS MANY big cities as the States.
 
Old 01-26-2013, 08:40 PM
 
1,257 posts, read 3,010,452 times
Reputation: 1304
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrantiX View Post
I like the Philly boosters on this forum, guaranteed, they will hop on you faster than a large kid on a twinkie if you dont like their city. LOL
So true, scrantiX

Barcelona all the way.
 
Old 01-26-2013, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
8,390 posts, read 10,002,952 times
Reputation: 5230
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrantiX View Post
I didn't even hint that San Francisco is in Barcelona's league. Philly is not in the same league as San Francisco, ok maybe for urban and walkable but thats it.
You forget to mention GDP, transportation, architecture, location, scenery, weather, and food.

Last edited by gwillyfromphilly; 01-26-2013 at 09:25 PM..
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