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Old 03-03-2021, 04:21 AM
 
Location: Seattle WA, USA
4,780 posts, read 3,061,327 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easthome View Post
It's not a 'slight' against American cities, it's just a fact! No US city is older than about 250 years! Cities in Europe and other parts of the world can be thousands of years old! London has everything from Roman buildings, Norman buildings, Tudor buildings etc through to 21st century glass office buildings, that's just a fact, it's not just the UK though (obviously), I mean look at Rome itself, or the Greek cities, what about Chinese cities that have been around for thousands of years!? What about Cairo? How old are the pyramids exactly!? There is nothing wrong with US cities but they ARE lacking in historical architecture just because they're simply not very old!
Most of those buildings didn’t survive, there aren’t really any districts that are entirely composed of original Roman buildings (or other ancient period) that are still functioning. A few buildings here and there but ultimately all that is left are ruins and ruble. Most buildings in Europe only date back to the 1800s or 1700s at most except for the most oldest districts, which besides the cathedrals and monumental buildings probably don’t date much further back than 1500 anyway. Also just the fact that today’s populations are vastly larger than centuries past further proves that that these ancient buildings only make up a small fraction of the housing stock. For Example London didn’t reach 100k people until around 1300, 500k in 1700 and 1 million in 1800. Currently London has nearly 9 million people.

And this thread is about the diversity of the cities in a given country, not the diversity of the architecture within a given city anyway. This historical context is only valid if you have cities that grew at vastly different time periods in a given country or more likely if a city stopped growing at certain time period, but again buildings typically don’t last much longer than a few hundred years, especially if the city has experienced multiple fires, sieges, sackings, wars, natural disasters, etc.

One thing I will concede to is that European cities have done a much better job of preserving the older buildings and districts (and by old I mean past few hundred years) for instance St. Petersburg Russia was only founded in 1703 compared to say NYC which was settled in 1624, yet St. Petersburg looks much “older” than NYC even though it’s actually younger, just that NYC demolished much of its older districts and replaced them with skyscrapers, whereas St. Petersburg has built it’s newer buildings on the periphery.
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Old 03-03-2021, 07:50 AM
 
Location: SE UK
9,419 posts, read 8,032,579 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grega94 View Post
Most of those buildings didn’t survive, there aren’t really any districts that are entirely composed of original Roman buildings (or other ancient period) that are still functioning. A few buildings here and there but ultimately all that is left are ruins and ruble. Most buildings in Europe only date back to the 1800s or 1700s at most except for the most oldest districts, which besides the cathedrals and monumental buildings probably don’t date much further back than 1500 anyway. Also just the fact that today’s populations are vastly larger than centuries past further proves that that these ancient buildings only make up a small fraction of the housing stock. For Example London didn’t reach 100k people until around 1300, 500k in 1700 and 1 million in 1800. Currently London has nearly 9 million people.

And this thread is about the diversity of the cities in a given country, not the diversity of the architecture within a given city anyway. This historical context is only valid if you have cities that grew at vastly different time periods in a given country or more likely if a city stopped growing at certain time period, but again buildings typically don’t last much longer than a few hundred years, especially if the city has experienced multiple fires, sieges, sackings, wars, natural disasters, etc.

One thing I will concede to is that European cities have done a much better job of preserving the older buildings and districts (and by old I mean past few hundred years) for instance St. Petersburg Russia was only founded in 1703 compared to say NYC which was settled in 1624, yet St. Petersburg looks much “older” than NYC even though it’s actually younger, just that NYC demolished much of its older districts and replaced them with skyscrapers, whereas St. Petersburg has built it’s newer buildings on the periphery.
There are thousands of buildings in London older than the USA, in Rome I'm guessing even more so, there again the differences in architecture between say Canterbury, Oxford, Milton Keynes, Edinburgh and London are huge, all of which, with the exception of Milton Keynes all have many buildings older than the US. Milton Keynes however is the exception, it's a 'new town' developed in the 20th century.
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Old 03-07-2021, 10:14 AM
 
31 posts, read 6,806 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joakim3 View Post
US by far has the most varied cities in terms of architectural differences.
oh please come on dude.

The architecture in the US is vastly homogeneous from coast to coast.


I live in SD, if it weren't for the semi arid landscape you would not be able to tell San Diego from Milwaukee.

This is how 99% of any urban landscape in the US looks like. (Three US cities in complete opposite sides of the country).









Images: Courtesy of Tripadvisor

Last edited by inbred-anglo; 03-07-2021 at 10:34 AM..
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Old 03-07-2021, 10:38 AM
 
31 posts, read 6,806 times
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From North America, Mexico wins this category.

Northern Mexican city


Central Mexican city


Southern Mexican city
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Old 03-14-2021, 05:42 AM
 
Location: EU
117 posts, read 39,413 times
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I've been to many parts of Eastern & Western & Northern Europe and the Mediterranean. I've been to 16 states in the United States. I live in Central Europe.

The most unique city I have visited and found to be the most interesting and diverse in both architecture and vibe is...

NEW ORLEANS

New Orleans is magic. It has a vibe that's nowhere to be found. A melting pot of tribal African, old Spanish and French and quintessential American qualities. It also has a strange mystical feel for some reason. Maybe because of those hundred years old oak trees with the Spanish moss and colorful beaded necklaces hanging down from their branches. Maybe the Haitian voodoo elements in its history. New Orleans has also preserved its classic Americannes: the neon signs, the old-school movie theaters, live blues and jazz music everywhere. The old streetcars!

That city is indeed magic!
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Old 03-17-2021, 03:17 AM
 
880 posts, read 300,499 times
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Maybe Kazakhstan, with the explosive modernity of NurSultan (was Astana} replacing the old caravan capital of Almaty. For good measure, throw in the far western corner, which is actually in Europe.


Foe nearby pairings, it's only a short bus ride from the charming old colonial univ4sity city of Sucre, Bolivia, to the mining center of Potosi. undoubredly the mos depressing inhabited place on earth.

For cities that actually border each other, both nice in their own way, there are Valparaisu and Vina del Mar, Chile.

Last edited by arr430; 03-17-2021 at 03:33 AM..
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Old 03-17-2021, 11:27 PM
 
Location: Katy,Texas
4,946 posts, read 2,412,937 times
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I definitely don't see how many first world countries are in this discussion. Developed countries due to being well-connected have all of their cities emulate each other. This means that cities are designed to be very similar to each other. Under-developed countries especially ones with various historic ethnic groups have cities emulate how each ethnic group lived. So a city which was the center of trade of a nomadic ethnic group evolved from a Sea of Tents/Temporary Housing. A city which was part of a pseudo-democratic (lead by a groups of cooperating village leaders, rather than a single king), will have cities sprung up were multiple villages were in close proximity and not have a defined central business district, but will be more polycentric. A city with a single king ruling over the land, will have the city likely focus around an old castle.

Depending on the social structure of each ethnic group, the types of streets, and buildings might be really different from each other.

Age is irrelevant unless a city completely stopped growing in the 15th century, then a city completely stopped growing in the 17th century, and a city completely stopped growing in the 19th century, while a city has seen most of it's growth in the 21st century.

No countries has several cities like that. While their is historical centers form different ages, 90% of countries have seen their population increase by a factor of 5+ between 1900 and 2000. Thus most people live in places that represent what was dominant in 1950-2000. Sure you can find old city centers, but it doesn't matter if 90% of your city looks exactly the same as 90% of the country.

The most unique looking city from other cities in Britain is probably London. Even York the majority of it looks like this...
https://www.google.com/maps/@53.9474...7i16384!8i8192
https://www.google.com/maps/@53.9616...7i16384!8i8192

If the argument was, does Europe have more diverse looking city-centres, I could see it.

America most people live in suburbia, but suburbia has more regional variations than the regional variation of Architecture in most British cities. I won't say America is special for this, because as an America these regional variations are far more obvious.

A place that actually seems to have multiple cities having completely different styles of Architecture is Morocco. But even then, this is largely due to city-centers looking very distinct rather than the entire city.

Theirs's also the spatial argument that hasn't been brought up. While their is different styles of Architecture. If everything is on a 4 x 4 grid with a park in the middle, and all the buildings are roughly the same height with the same interior design then spatially, the architecture isn't that radically different from city to city.

Nigeria is spatially very unique from city to city, which is partially due to Geography and partially due to culture. But all the buildings generally look similar, as it's the same stereotypical square building with a sloping aluminum roof design is what you see in every city.

Onitsha has nearly every building being 4-5 stories like a middle eastern city, with the suburbs being villages that grew together rather than directly due to the growth of Onitsha, making some of the sprawliest suburbs in Nigeria, as large estates can be found almost immediately outside the much denser city-limits, much more similar to acreage lots in Atlanta than the outskirts of other Nigerian cities.

Lagos has midrises, skyscrapers, a slum on water, gated estates, and is a mix of everything. Some parts look like a typical Nigerian city, other parts especially the core (Not the city center, but the city center plus all of the neighborhoods that existed pre-1990) are unmistakably Lagos spatially. I'm talking 100,000+ people per square mile sometimes kilometer. While Lagos is somewhat oriented around markets their is a well defined city-center made up of about 3-5 neighborhoods, that seems like you will see a million people just driving a mile.

A supermajority of Abuja is Midrise/Skyscrapers, wide avenues/roads and gated estates. Since nearly every neighborhood here is large gated estates with compounds, on really wide streets the Walkability here is near zero. Their's also so much space between Everything in this city.

Port Harcourt is basically a collection of houses with a few midrises scattered about, and this is because oil businesses would rather have their own estate and did not choose to make some sort of Downtown/Skyscraper district, so it doesn't feel like it has a coherent center. It's also nowhere as physically dense as your stereotyped African city, and is more aligned with the South African cities in terms of density.

Ibadan has main roads lined with midrises, an Oldtown that is so dense most of the houses aren't accessible by car. Like literally to get anywhere there that isn't on the main road you have to walk. This is also true for the outer areas high up on hills. The grade is so high and infrastructure so poor, that you park lower down the hill and walk the rest of the way up to people's houses which have no roads attached.

Generally Southern cities have more gentle transition into rural. Northern cities nearly all feature an abrupt stop. Suddenly your going from dense city to empty rural area, with little transition.

The issue here is while Northern cities can look very different architecturally from the Southern ones, Nigerian cities generally look the same, as culture effects spatial arrangements of the cities, but the actual materials available is pretty much the same for all Southern Nigerians. We have a Concrete magnate, and as a result most nice houses use concrete, and look like British colonial architecture. Poorer house also use Concrete to build and the poorest people might use Earthen materials to make their houses.

The North where concrete cinder blocks are much rarer you might see more Rammed Earth/Adobe/Earthen Walls design rather than concrete colonial houses.
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Old 03-19-2021, 03:08 PM
 
Location: NW Seattle
3,417 posts, read 1,751,692 times
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It's not US-level, but I think Russia has more diversity than the OP gave it credit for.

Tried to pick representative shots of the cores of each city:
Moscow
St. Petersburg
Novosibirsk
Krasnoyarsk
Sochi
Estosadok
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Old 03-20-2021, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Northern United States
393 posts, read 252,312 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easthome View Post
It's not a 'slight' against American cities, it's just a fact! No US city is older than about 250 years! Cities in Europe and other parts of the world can be thousands of years old! London has everything from Roman buildings, Norman buildings, Tudor buildings etc through to 21st century glass office buildings, that's just a fact, it's not just the UK though (obviously), I mean look at Rome itself, or the Greek cities, what about Chinese cities that have been around for thousands of years!? What about Cairo? How old are the pyramids exactly!? There is nothing wrong with US cities but they ARE lacking in historical architecture just because they're simply not very old!
Ok, first of all, plenty of American cities are older than 250 years ago, I think this is a basic thing most people know. Boston, New York, Philly, and Baltimore were all founded before the 1750s, many of them are from the early 1600s. Places like St Augustine Florida, and San Juan are even earlier. Also, going beyond the major cities, places like St Louis have been urbanized consistently since the 1100s(Cahokia) and many pueblos in the SW have been continuously inhabited since the early 1000s. Honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if the same amount of people in the US live in structures from the 1000s-1200s as people in the UK do.

But going beyond that, most European cities, have like 1 or 2 examples of medieval architecture, most often in the form of churches, does London even have a single Roman building that is preserved? That is not to say that it doesn’t have medieval or Roman buildings, but it’s similar to Cahokia in the USA where the remains still exist but they aren’t interacted very much outside a museum/archaeological setting.

I think people are being unfair to European cities in a lot of ways though, places like Spain have great architectural diversity, with Madrid look far different from Granada. But also, some people have pointed out that American skylines all look the same(they really don’t) but you can really tell the difference on a street level, especially in residential areas, where the differences are the most stark. Even St Louis and Kansas City, despite being of relatively the same size and in the same state, are far different from each other from an architectural perspective. Also, people are acting like European cities don’t have highrises and skyscrapers, which is ridiculous to say at this point. Sure back in the 50s, no European city had them in any large number besides maybe Milan and Madrid? But nowadays, think about the city of London, La Defense, Donau City, etc.
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Old 03-20-2021, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Seattle WA, USA
4,780 posts, read 3,061,327 times
Reputation: 3388
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTimidBlueBars View Post
It's not US-level, but I think Russia has more diversity than the OP gave it credit for.

Tried to pick representative shots of the cores of each city:
Moscow
St. Petersburg
Novosibirsk
Krasnoyarsk
Sochi
Estosadok
Russia is actually a pretty good example of a country that gets its diversity from a historical point of view as it has a large selection of cities that were founded at completely different time periods. However the vast majority of Russian cities have a definite "Russian" aesthetic and there aren't really any regional differences outside of historical perspective.

There are Medieval cities such as Smolensk which was founded in 863, although it's hard to believe anything actually survived since then, for instance the partially surviving kremlin city walls were completed in 1602. Russian medieval architecture primarily used wood so besides a few well maintained wooden churches in the arctic where decomposition is slow, nothing survives from that time.
https://www.google.com/maps/@54.7829...7i13312!8i6656

Then there are the cities that were built during the early modern period such as Samara which was founded in 1586, but again I doubt much has survived from that time period since it's main cathedral in the city center was only built in 1847.
https://www.google.com/maps/@53.1871...7i13312!8i6656

Then there are cities that were built during the late modern period such as Rostov-on-Don which was founded in 1749
https://www.google.com/maps/@47.2199...7i13312!8i6656

Then there are cities that were built during Soviet times such as Murmansk which was founded in 1916.
https://www.google.com/maps/@68.9685...7i13312!8i6656

And then finally you have the post soviet cities such as Tyumen, and although it was founded in 1586 the city has grown by 66% since 1990 so huge swaths of the city are covered in modern apartments.
https://www.google.com/maps/@57.1103...7i13312!8i6656

However most Russian cities follow the same format, an old city center that dates back to the 1800s and around that with a bunch of soviet commi blocks with some modern building dispersed through out the city, it's hard to find a city that sticks to one historical style except for the young cities that don't have only soviet architecture or cities that were very large during imperial times and thus have huge districts with imperial architecture such as St. Petersburg and Moscow.
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