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Old 09-10-2012, 11:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waronxmas View Post
I'm not sure why people are saying Detroit is the "most urban" out of these cities. Sure it is certainly urban and was once the blue collar manufacturing capital of the country/world, but it was not at all built like other industrial cities of the Northeast or Midwest (except Cleveland). Before it's demise Detroit city saw the majority of it's growth in the early to the mid-20th century and it was all fueled by one thing: the automobile.

It shaped the way the city was developed (around the automobile, not mass transit) and provided those worked there a salary large enough for pretty much everyone to own a car and a single family home (albeit on a smaller lot size than you'll find in most of the cities in this thread). It never had a subway and dismantled it's streetcar system far earlier than every other city on this list. There are no brownstones and very few row houses to speak of, nor are there many high density apartment blocks or high rise towers. Essentially, Detroit is the blue print for the layout of all of the sunbelt cities people love to hate on in this forum.

Also, while I won't get in to a back and forth with any of the poster's before this post, the reason for Atlanta's seemingly low metropolitan density can all be explained by looking at a map. Essentially the city is laid out with the old city core in the center that was built in the middle of the 19th century onward and surrounded by the suburban areas the exploded in the late 20th century. What everyone is overlooking here is that the suburban area is massed pretty much along the interstates. Due to this, the metro developed with a bulbous center, then strings emanating out. This creates pockets in between where the development levels swing widely. In the southern half of the metro, there is barely any development whereas on the North and East sides it is fairly well developed.

Since population density is literally just a computation of how many people in a given width and height of an area, this cause Atlanta to look like on paper a barely developed metropolitan area. Obviously, with a metro population nearing 6 million that isn't true. It's just developed different given there are no natural boundaries or resource constraints to hem in how long the development could flow out along the interstates. Given that this is a exceptionally hard idea for people to understand on this forum, please do not be surprised when I do not reply to anyone who argues that Atlanta clearly isn't large or urban. That is an idiotic position based on an incorrect look at the data.

While we're on the subject of density, it is also important to remember that while the residential population of the city of Atlanta seems oddly small, the city itself is a huge employment and trade center. Every single day, and additional 300,000 workers stream in to Downtown (150,000), Midtown (100,000), and Buckhead (50,000) and another 70,000 to the Airport. This alone pushes the daytime population well above 700,000, however that is not all. Atlanta hosts quite frequently trade shows and major events and it is not uncommon for another 200,000 people to be in the city for such an event. It home to 6 universities (Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Emory, Morehouse, Clark-Atlanta, Spelman) and a bunch of other smaller schools with a combined enrollment of 100,000 plus. When you add it all up, Atlanta during the day has well over 1 million inhabitants on a regular basis. I'm not even going to add the added presences from people shopping in the major retail districts or in town for an entertainment or sporting event (all of Atlanta's professional sports venues are in Downtown) as it is immeasurable.

While I understand that this is by no mean permanent, does it really matter? The city functions the majority of the day with a much higher population which drives it's vibrancy. Stick only to population density if you want, but there is much more at play when determining how vibrant and urban a city is. Especially in the 21st century.
Excellent post!
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanologist View Post
Detroit has more older established skyscrapers/smaller buildings where as Atlanta has more newer ones. The two downtowns boomed from two different eras.
I think the main difference is that the two cities had their major booms in two different eras. Atlanta has been booming since reconstruction, therefore has a lot of early 20th century high and low rise buildings - though not as many as Detroit, they do exist in healthy numbers. Atlanta's biggest boom has been since the late 80s, so a lot of what is visible on the skyline is newer. You have to look a little closer to find the historic buildings, but they are there.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeTarheel View Post
I think the main difference is that the two cities had their major booms in two different eras. Atlanta has been booming since reconstruction, therefore has a lot of early 20th century high and low rise buildings - though not as many as Detroit, they do exist in healthy numbers. Atlanta's biggest boom has been since the late 80s, so a lot of what is visible on the skyline is newer. You have to look a little closer to find the historic buildings, but they are there.
Yes, like the flatiron building in Atlanta.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanologist View Post
Yes, like the flatiron building in Atlanta.
That's one...there are dozens of others within that same area of downtown and in Midtown as well, like:

Rhodes-Havery
Healy
William-Oliver
Hurt Plaza
Candler
C&S Bank Building
Ellis Hotel
Georgian Terrace
Biltmore
etc.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:41 PM
 
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So which one is the most urban?
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polo89 View Post
So which one is the most urban?
My order would go:

Seattle
Miami / Minneapolis
Detroit
Atlanta
Phoenix
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA
2,346 posts, read 3,551,548 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
My order would go:

Seattle
Miami / Minneapolis
Detroit
Atlanta
Phoenix
I think Minneapolis should be towards the bottom. They don't have the density or heavy rail or size or anything for that matter to really stick out and be up there IMO.

I haven't been to Atlanta before but I still think for a city of its size its being underrated both here and this forum.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrantiX View Post
I think Minneapolis should be towards the bottom. They don't have the density or heavy rail or size or anything for that matter to really stick out and be up there IMO.

I haven't been to Atlanta before but I still think for a city of its size its being underrated both here and this forum.
Good point, I probably overrated Minneapolis.
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrantiX View Post
I think Minneapolis should be towards the bottom. They don't have the density or heavy rail or size or anything for that matter to really stick out and be up there IMO.

I haven't been to Atlanta before but I still think for a city of its size its being underrated both here and this forum.
Miami 12,139.5/sq mi
Seattle 7,361/sq mi
Minneapolis 7,019.6/sq mi
Detroit 5,142/sq mi
Atlanta 4,020/sq mi
Phoenix 2,797.8/sq mi
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA
2,346 posts, read 3,551,548 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewcifer View Post
Miami 12,139.5/sq mi
Seattle 7,361/sq mi
Minneapolis 7,019.6/sq mi
Detroit 5,142/sq mi
Atlanta 4,020/sq mi
Phoenix 2,797.8/sq mi
Yes and look at the land size and population of Minneapolis. What I mean by density is the entire urban area, or as the tool 'Rovian posted, that density that accumulates more than just the city.
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