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Old 09-22-2017, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Chicago
6,359 posts, read 7,692,413 times
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There are locations based on geography/topography that literally demand a great city be located there.

There are other locations that leave one scratching his head and wondering WTF is a city doing here? It makes no sense.

Your challenge, should you opt to accept it, is to make two lists, each with five major cities. The first list would be your five most strategically placed major US cities in order. Your second list obviously will be your five least strategically placed major US cities, also in order.

Commentary why you chose these ten is,of course, desirable

And feel free to copy and paste this template

Five most strategically placed major cities
1
2
3
4
5

Five least strategically placed major US cities
1
2
3
4
5

Last edited by edsg25; 09-22-2017 at 12:35 PM..
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Old 09-22-2017, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
7,601 posts, read 8,599,505 times
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First of all, I am not very knowledgeable about topography and the physical geography of many cities, so this is a layman's observation looking at a map.

Most:

Miami - It was created for northerners (New Yorkers mostly) to winter in warm weather. You pretty much can't go any farther south. It has since become a Latin and South American gateway. Again, can't get much closer for that either. And obviously it's got beautiful beaches.

Chicago - Just looks like it is well-situated logistically, centrally located to the more populated eastern half of the continent, while on the shores of a Great Lake.

San Diego/Los Angeles - For the purposes of my reasoning, these two go together. The climate is mildest, you're on the ocean, close to the Mexican border.

New York City - Looks pretty centrally located amongst the original colonies and to this day is very central for the Bos-Wash corridor. Also well positioned for travel to Europe, by air and perhaps more importantly, by sea.

Honorable Mentions
Houston/Galveston - pretty accessible from Mexico, South/Central America.
Pittsburgh - Bridge between the midwest and Northeast, interesting landscape/topography, three major rivers.
St Louis - Similar reasons to Chicago...gateway to the west.

Least

Charlotte - no natural advantages
Atlanta - no natural advantages
Orlando - no natural advantages...luckily was very cheap for Disney to buy land
Las Vegas - no natural resources and pretty uninhabitable climate
New Orleans - actually pretty good location but dangerously below sea level
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Old 09-22-2017, 06:05 PM
 
Location: Watching half my country turn into Gilead
3,529 posts, read 3,546,646 times
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1. Hampton Roads
2. Denver
3. Chicago
4. New York
5. San Diego

1. Phoenix
2. Las Vegas
3. Atlanta
4. Dallas
5. Oklahoma City

Orlando actually has one of the best locations in Florida. Shielded from most major hurricanes and relatively better off when it comes to rising sea levels for the state.
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Old 09-22-2017, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
15,322 posts, read 21,421,872 times
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Not that it's a city city but what always stuck with me is a place called Hurricane, UT as I drove from the Grand Canyon and it just kind of seemingly appeared upon descending like 4000 feet. Not bad though if you come at it from St. George, UT - then it makes sense
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:03 PM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,118 posts, read 38,971,488 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by projectmaximus View Post

Least

Charlotte - no natural advantages
Atlanta - no natural advantages
Orlando - no natural advantages...luckily was very cheap for Disney to buy land
Las Vegas - no natural resources and pretty uninhabitable climate
New Orleans - actually pretty good location but dangerously below sea level
From an historical perspective, a couple of these had very strategic locations.

Atlanta - In 1836, the Georgia General Assembly voted to build the Western and Atlantic Railroad in order to provide a link between the port of Savannah and the Midwest.[29] The initial route was to run southward from Chattanooga to a terminus east of the Chattahoochee River, which would then be linked to Savannah. After engineers surveyed various possible locations for the terminus, the "zero milepost" was driven into the ground in what is now Five Points.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlant...antic_Railroad

New Orleans - Called the "Crescent City" because of its' location on a bend in the Mississippi River, which afforded it the highest elevation in the area (Hence, the 'crescent'), and a wide vista that gave early notice of approaching ships.

Charlotte was located at the junction of two major Native American trade routes.
Orlando began its' life as a fort on an isthmus of land between three large lakes. The position was chosen for protection against hostile Seminoles.
Las Vegas was chosen for its' relative proximity to the Southern California coast while still being subject to the liberal gaming laws of Nevada.

So really, every city's location was chosen for some strategic advantage.
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,988 posts, read 9,434,277 times
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Love this thread idea!

I'm so confused as to why Phoenix and Las Vegas even exist. I mean, I'm glad they do, but it's kinda strange. Countries like China/Australia go out of their way not to build big cities in the desert, but in the US you have one of the largest metros and one of the largest tourist destinations in desert settings.
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:10 PM
 
6,461 posts, read 4,295,899 times
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Every city on earth seems to have a marketing line about being "ideally located between x, y, and z." Of course they have to try.

It's hard to say what's strategic without mixing old and new. Some of the current winners don't necessarily need to be exactly where they are, but since they're there and nobody else is close by, they win. In Seattle we happen to be the closest big US city to Asia, but if a twin existed a little north and/or west, they'd have that title. Likewise, Denver just happens to be the one major city on the edge of the plains near the Rockies, then its position was iced by the railroads and freeways. Now it's the one big central airport in the left-middle of the country.

Past aspects like being the only tropical climate in the continental US (south Florida) or being on a river that still has a major role in shipping (Mississippi cities) has advantages. But there again, sometimes it's about being there first and getting the railroads and freeways, setting that advantage in stone.

Some
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Norteh Bajo Americano
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I think San Francisco/Bay area is the only natural place in California that demands a great city. Beautiful hilly areas, coastal, protected harbor, grand bridges to connect the areas. Great source of fresh water. So much fertile land for agriculture.

Los Angeles and San Diego have some advantages (mild coastal weather and warm beaches) but mostly disadvantages naturally. Water being the #1 main issue. Mountains/hills that are meant to burn every few years because the flora is meant to burn. Local water sources can only support a small population most of the year. San Diego had the harbor that LA didnt have. But today it is different for these two areas. Bringing water from Colorado River and rivers from northern and central california made it possible to make the cities and dry places in central and southern california fertile and support huge populations (if there were no droughts). Even the massive ports of LA/Long Beach wouldnt be that big if it werent for manmade machines to make them deep enough plus a big breakwater to keep large waves from hitting the marshlands.

With San Francisco, I would have built a tower cities on the hills with highest peaks with massive towers like that one in Lord of the Rings movies. Reminds me of those italian towns built on.
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Seoul
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Most Strategical

1) Philadelphia - Midpoint between other very important American cities

2) New York City - Same as Philly, and also the idea to build the downtown area on the island of Manhattan was genius. The unique shape of Manhattan created New York into what it is today. Because Manhattan is an island, it meant that developers couldn't just keep building low density housing into the countryside, rather they had to be build in and up

3) Miami - Midpoint between the US and South America

4) Los Angeles - Built in what is probably the nicest location for climate in the US

5) Chicago - Built in the mildest part of the Great Lakes, away from the lake effect snow. Also a very nice bridge between the east and the west

Least Strategical

1) Syracuse - Tucked away from the Great Lakes but in a location that is very cold and conductive to snowfall. It's stuck in no-man's land where it's far from NYC, far from Montreal, and far from Toronto. Not a good location at all

2) Atlanta - Very isolated from other big cities

3) New Orleans - Prone to devastating hurricanes

4) El Paso - Middle of nowhere, ugly landscape, awful climate

5) Las Vegas - Same as above
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Old 09-23-2017, 12:44 AM
 
Location: Rochester
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^I have to defend Syracuse. I'll concede it may have one of the less desirable locations among major upstate cities, but no way it's anywhere near the least strategic nationwide!

Five most strategically placed major cities:
1. New York City - An important port city that has acted as a gateway to the Americas in just about every way imaginable since its founding. It is perfectly anchors the northeast, allowing not only the city itself to thrive, but for the surrounding areas to build off of that success. Perfectly connected to the nation by road, rail and sea, as well as to Europe via the Atlantic and air. The center of the universe is a deserving nickname for a reason.

2. Philadelphia - Centrally located amongst the BosWash cities and another well connected metropolitan area.

3. Chicago - A wonderful setting on the Great Lakes allows the city to act as a keystone, wrapping an arc of influence across the Midwest.

4. Los Angeles - While it may not have the perfect climate, it enjoys a very good one as well as an even better setting with the Pacific Ocean, California's diverse geographic regions, other population centers on the West Coast and Mexico's close proximity, building a bridge to Latin America.

5. Miami - A beautiful climate and gateway to Latin America, especially the Caribbean. Tons of renewable energy resources.

Some other cities I feel you could consider depending on the criteria include Boston, Providence, St. Louis and Seattle.

Five least strategically placed major US cities:
1. Phoenix - A big, unappealing city in the desert with an unbearable climate and isolation from any other major population center in North America. Arguably the worst air quality in the nation with few natural resources to compensate. They have fake lawns. 'Nuff said.

2. Las Vegas - See above, but with a slightly more appealing setting and closer to SoCal.

3. Juneau - I know I'm stretching the definition of a major city, but as a state capital and important metro of its region, the location, while visibly stunning, is insanely isolated, subject to natural disasters (avalanches and earthquakes) and counter productive to modern civilization. No roads to the outside world!

4. Atlanta - Isolated from other population centers. No navigable water within city limits.

5. Salt Lake City - I understand the economic upside, but it's another isolated city incredibly far removed from any other major area. Big enough to stand on its own, but not big enough to make up for its lack of neighbors. SLC just feels lonely.
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