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Old 02-27-2017, 01:37 PM
Location: the future
2,593 posts, read 4,655,643 times
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So is Baltimore still more populated than DC at this point?
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Old 02-27-2017, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by boreatwork View Post
So is Baltimore still more populated than DC at this point?
The 2010 official Census numbers has Baltimore as the more populous city; however, the latest annual estimates have DC as the more populous city.
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Old 02-27-2017, 02:56 PM
Location: Live:Downtown Phoenix, AZ/Work:Greater Los Angeles, CA
27,606 posts, read 14,596,838 times
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Originally Posted by BubbyBu View Post


San Francisco-Oakland

Dallas-Ft. Worth

what else?
Phoenix-Tempe or Scottsdale

Los Angeles-Long Beach or Irvine
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Old 02-27-2017, 06:07 PM
Location: (six-cent-dix-sept)
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Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
And that means....? Montreal is also in another country and has a different history and culture altogether than Boston.

Which means Brooklyn wouldn't count.
cambridge split from boston in the late 1800's so it makes as much sense as new york city and brooklyn.
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Old 02-28-2017, 04:45 PM
6,843 posts, read 10,961,697 times
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Originally Posted by citylover94 View Post
Maybe cousins would be a better way to describe the Boston- Montreal dynamic. As much as you dispute that any meaningful similarities exist I would dispute that. I don't deny there are major differences but they are not as dissimilar as you state. Even the superficial shared historical context you mention means that although they did have some major differences those shared historical similarities would have caused much of their development culturally, socially, politically, and physically to have some important similarities.

Yes they do feel very different when experienced in person, but some of your points are almost comical... for example Montreal feels bigger because you can see the skyline from further away. Oh no I guess NYC isn't that big either because it's skyline is blocked by trees and hills from many areas close to the city as well. Yes that can make it seem smaller, but that is maybe the most superficial unimportant difference you could have brought up when there are much more important differences in the built form of each city.

As far as culture yes there are major differences because they are in different countries and one city is in a french speaking area which does have a lot of cultural impacts they are not entirely different. Both cities and their surrounding regions are considered centers of liberal politics and while the exact form of liberalism is slightly different in each region there are many similarities. Another point of similarity is their literary and academic history both of those aspects have had major effects on each cities regional area and have led to some similarities in the culture and history of each city.
I don't really know who you are and haven't ever seen you post before, although that could probably be attributed to how much less time I spend on this forum these days. However, if I had to guess with the way your response is worded that you are a resident of Greater Boston or were previously a resident of Greater Boston, likely somewhere in there. If that's the case, then obviously you're much more inclined to a perspective on Boston than I am since you live there and I never have. You also probably have an interest in Boston, which I do not.

I haven't ever lived in Montreal either but I do have some level of interest in Montreal, enough to where I do feel like I can speak on it given a recent personal experience there. When I was in Montreal, which I drove to right after visiting Boston, by the way, pretty much everything seemed different. Not just the language or the culture but also how people act, the architectural styles, in general how the city looks, what they like to do for fun, their hours of operation, so on and so forth. I never really got the impression that the place was anything like Boston.

So with that said, I'll leave the social, political, cultural, economical and other differences between Boston and Montreal alone. Again, you live there, I do not, so I'm not in a position to tell you about your own city and am not lacking in class to the point where I would. I'll stick to the size discussion though because that's something I'm not going to take back at all.
Originally Posted by citylover94 View Post

I do agree they are not siblings, but to state they have nothing except superficial similarities with no real substance is disingenuous and inaccurate. That is why I would consider them cousin cities.

Also since you mention Boston being small I do want to point out that Montreal and Boston have essentially comparable metro and urban areas.
Montreal Metro Population: 4,098,927
Boston Metro Population: 4,628,910
This is a pretty moot point and I'm not looking for an "on paper" justification or response. Metropolitan areas with 4 million people aren't always created equal. The way cities and their surrounding metropolises are built play the biggest hand in how large these cities and/or metropolises feel in a real life experience.

For example;

- Guadalajara Metro Area: 4,796,603
- Boston MSA: 4,774,321
- Phoenix MSA: 4,574,531
- Monterrey Metro Area: 4,475,949
- Porto Alegre Metro Area: 4,258,926
- Athens Metro Area: 4,173,542
- Montreal CMA: 4,060,692

Case Study #1: This is how a "4 million person metropolis (Athens)" is built in Greece:

1. https://c8.staticflickr.com/6/5828/3...d3a58dc5_h.jpg

2. https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5518/2...9e7b752b_b.jpg

3. https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8673/3...4aae75a1_b.jpg

4. https://c5.staticflickr.com/6/5459/3...14cf2fa1_b.jpg

Notice the intensity level with the structural density. Look at how close apart all of the residential buildings are and how condensed and narrow each block is. On top of that, notice how high the population density is in the design of this city compared to what you see in comparably sized places in America (Boston or Phoenix). This is how 4 million people live in a metropolis in Greece. The intensity level of how the city is built makes it feel overwhelming for in comparison to similar sized places in America, thus making it feel like a larger city and metropolis than a place in America of the same size range.

Case Study #2: This is how a "4 million person metropolis (Porto Alegre)" is built in Brazil:

1. https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5534/...5e2526cb_b.jpg

2. https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1706/...7c49b646_b.jpg

3. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8193/8...f7651a91_b.jpg

4. http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2207/2...c3c5f579_b.jpg

Again, notice the intensity level with the structural density and notice how far the structural density goes without any gaps or without stopping at all. Forgive me if I'm wrong, as I've been to 47 American states (many of which multiple times) and the lionshare of American cities, but I haven't ever seen a place in America that is a metropolitan area in the 4 million person range built as intensely as this with regard to structural density and urban form. This is how 4 million people live in a metropolis in Brazil.

Case Study #3: This is how a "4 million person metropolis (Monterrey)" is built in Mexico:

1. https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8274/2...f98bc6cd_k.jpg

2. https://c6.staticflickr.com/2/1659/2...8aba5a86_b.jpg

3. https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8034/8...4dce11b2_b.jpg

4. https://c2.staticflickr.com/1/642/20...6c206ec4_b.jpg

Monterrey is a relative weakling with regard to structural density and intensity level of which it is built compared to the cities I alluded to in Case Study #1 and Case Study #2, one could even argue that it is downright pitiful compared to those two places (Athens and Porto Alegre). However, despite being noticeably softer than those two, it still is built far more intensely and with far more consistency in its structural density than any American metropolis in the same size range (the 4 million people range). You'll notice that there are no gaps in development and that the density level stays high (compared to America) even very far out, tens of miles away from the core of the city, and that it is all stitched together with cohesively high structural density.

Case Study #4: This is how another "4 million person metropolis (Guadalajara)" is built in Mexico:

1. http://www.dronestagr.am/wp-content/...o-1024x581.jpg

2. https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...065ba2fb24.jpg

3. http://www.meetingofstyles.com/wp-co...alajara-28.jpg

Everything mentioned under Monterrey also applies here for Guadalajara.

Case Study #5: This is how a "4 million person metropolis (Montreal)" is built in Canada:

1. https://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/me...f-the-city.jpg

2. http://medias.photodeck.com/43b74cc6...03_xgaplus.jpg

3. http://www.tourisme-montreal.org/mee..._Mtl_705px.jpg

4. https://i.ytimg.com/vi/TTqQYG6dIWU/maxresdefault.jpg

Montreal's structural density and intensity level is much weaker than all of the international cities mentioned before it but its urban expanse is still 2-3X denser than Boston's. Greater Boston outside of its core Boston/Cambridge/Somervell/Brookline/Chelsea/Revere/Quincy feels very underwhelming. Most residential density drops to 1,500 - 2,000 people per square mile range and the proliferation of forestation takes over. Very pillow soft and light density. Even the core of Greater Boston (Boston/Cambridge/Somervell/Brookline/Chelsea/Revere/Quincy) feels underwhelming. By global standards I would peg it as below average density levels and rather underwhelming. Montreal, like I mentioned, is by no means a world-beater in terms of structural density or density levels or even an intense feel, not at all, but it extends further than Boston does with a higher consistent density out further than Greater Boston. The development style is much more cohesive and dense both structurally and by population when you start going further and further away from the core in Montreal than compared to doing the same in Boston. Once you leave the core of Greater Boston, no offense, but it feels like you've reached the sticks and that tends to happen rather fast.

Like I mentioned, yes, "on paper" all of these places are over 4 million people and under 5 million people, so essentially they are peers with regards to size on paper at least. In real life? Well real life shows that not all 4 million people metropolises are created equal, some just are built up far more so with cohesive high density in structural design and resonate far more with their intensity than others. Certainly all of the places I mentioned would feel like much larger and more intense cities than Boston even though "on paper" these areas are all in the same population range.

Boston versus Phoenix is more interesting. They are polar opposites, Boston puts all of its density and intensity eggs into one basket, in the core of the Greater Boston region and then it dissipates into very low residential density (ultra low) with lots of breaks and gaps and such. Whereas, in contrast, Greater Phoenix doesn't have anywhere near the same built up core that Greater Boston has with regard to structural density and intensity level, but its sprawl is more of a "chain-link" as in you can keep go further and further away from the core but the development is still all running along cohesively, even if it is at moderate American density like 3,000 people per square mile (that would be pillow-soft to basically non-existent density globally). There aren't really any breaks in development in Greater Phoenix going further out from the core, all of it is contiguous, unlike how it is in Greater Boston. However Greater Boston has a significantly more built up and structurally dense and intense core to work with which Greater Phoenix does not.

In any event, neither Boston nor Phoenix feel as large as Montreal, despite being in the same population range as Montreal. Montreal, in contrast, doesn't feel as large or as intense as the two Mexican cities despite being in the same population range, and the two Mexican cities, in contrast, do not feel as large or as intense as the other cities I used as an example. So despite all of them "on paper" being in the same population range, they aren't cut of the same cloth. Some just frankly feel larger, more intense, more structurally sound than others, giving them the feel of a much larger city and/or metropolis.

The development pattern of Greater Boston CSA, notice the core being condensed and built up and then it dissipating to nearly non-existent pillowsoft density levels before picking up again when reaching Providence, Manchester, or Worcester:

Boston has always just felt like a small city to me, cute as hell for sure (such a cutie pie), but small nonetheless and the exact opposite of "intense" and "overwhelming". It feels so pillow-soft. Don't take it to heart though, I feel that way about all American cities, they all feel smaller than comparatively similar sized peers from elsewhere in the world. It's just what America is. For example, Greater New York MSA and CSA have between 20 million to 23 million people, depending on which measure you use then look at Shanghai with 23 million people and which one feels significantly larger and more intense? The answer is Shanghai, LOLOLOL, by so much. Boston, though, especially feels smaller in real life than its population on paper would indicate, both the MSA and the CSA population. Just my take though, not looking for anyone to change my opinion, I felt what I felt based off personal experience. Just how it is.

Last edited by Trafalgar Law; 02-28-2017 at 05:15 PM..
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:30 AM
Location: (six-cent-dix-sept)
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^ good analysis as always fkr (but i need to wait to rep you again).

a bit of an exaggeration i think. when i was younger visiting my cousins in montreal i was always surprised their city had much more grass around the houses than we did (cant remember what city they lived in -- sainte-catherine maybe).

i always thought of boston area being trés denser compared to a place like somerville.

Last edited by stanley-88888888; 03-01-2017 at 08:47 AM..
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Old 03-01-2017, 11:42 AM
Location: Portland, Maine
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I used to post on here more but I am not on as often anymore so I don't post as much which is why you wouldn't see posts from me. I am not actually from Greater Boston but I live relatively close. I am a two hour drive from Boston and a three hour drive from Montreal just to give some context to my perspective.

As far as the size/density issue I think it is a very complex and nuanced difference. For example the suburban density of Montreal breaks down almost as quickly as Boston in most directions. Both cities seem to maintain greater suburban density heading north/west of the city and heading south both cities seem to open up much faster. For example seven miles southeast and nine miles east of Montreal there is already large areas of open farmland interspersed with small and mid sized towns. Similarly heading southwest (towards Dover), northwest (towards Lexington), southeast (towards Hingham), and north (towards Lynnfield) you reach similar levels of development anywhere from 8 to 10 miles from downtown. Montreal does maintain greater suburban development and density than Boston does in any direction heading north of downtown through Laval as there is continuous development for about 24 miles whereas similar development in Boston only extends 17 miles north to Beverly. Below are screenshots of both cities on google maps at the same zoom level. Based on these images it appears to me that Montreal's suburbs are denser and more compact with a long thing strip of cohesive development north of the city; whereas, Boston's suburbs are slightly less dense on average and the developed areas mostly follow rail lines and tend to break down about 10 miles from downtown. Montreal also has much less large lot suburban development and Boston has a lot more. In all honesty though having slightly denser, but still unwalkable suburbs does not at least for me personally make Montreal feel bigger to me. They both essentially have a 10 mile radius around the city filled with mid density unwalkable suburbia with walkable nodes in old town centers. After that Montreal has a few areas that sustain denser development past that and so does Boston although Boston has less, but overall they appear very similar in how they function and feel from my perspective.



As a more directed response to your view that there is very little in common between the cities I wasn't really disputing that entirely. There are more differences than similarities, but some of the similarities seem important enough to classify the cities as cousins. My justification for that is that they have the same historical heritage in many ways as you pointed out, but to continue with the family metaphor they lived in different houses and their parents had slightly different priorities and perspective as well as one of them having a dominant French cultural heritage and the other having a dominant English cultural heritage. I hope that helps to explain my perspective a little better.

*I am also fully aware that both US and Canadian cities are very low density compared to cities in the rest of the world. I am aware that much smaller cities in other countries have built and population densities that match those of much larger cities in the US and Canada. Also based on that the difference for example between suburban Montreal and suburban Boston seems much closer to me than the difference between either of those cities suburbs and Rome, Milan, or even Florence which is closer in size in population to Providence, RI than Boston.
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Old 03-01-2017, 11:58 AM
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Boston is a unique case, well Greater Boston I mean. New England has special regulations in place that limit growth and development around its historically preserved towns on the outskirts of Boston proper and away from the core. This can be beneficial in the sense that it preserves these towns and their character from sprawltastic development trends but it also has downsides as well, as it makes it more difficult for the region to withhold cohesion and higher density levels. Hence the dramatic drop off in density levels from the core of Greater Boston as you move further out into the suburbs and exurbs and satellite cities. I judge cities on size based off how intense they feel and how long the city feels like it can keep going until it wanes. For example, to me Phoenix is a weakling in the core, doesn't feel intense at all, but the development in Phoenix is cohesive going out from the core, you never feel like you've left the city until you officially have left the city 20-30 miles out of the core. Boston doesn't feel like that, it does have a very dense and built up core by American standards but the gaps, the break in development, the forestation, and the ultra-low density residential areas outside the core aid in making it feel like a smaller metropolis than what it says it is on paper. Just my take on it.

Look, don't get me wrong. I respect Boston and all it has to offer and contributes to the world. I think it is an excellent model city, a place you can take aspects of and model another city after, especially with regard to its economic profile and innovation. I also think the city is very clean and pristine, a great city with regard to standard of living and quality of life and the type of place other cities in America should aspire to follow in the footsteps of.

That being said, my only knock on Boston (other than high priced foods) has always been size. For me personally, I've never been able to view it as a big city, especially by global standards but even by American standards, it feels much smaller than its population profile on paper would indicate. I'm not here to tell you those 4-8 million people aren't living there, they are, but the manner in which Greater Boston is built lends itself to a smaller feel than I personally would have expected before experiencing the city. That's pretty much it.

As for Boston-Montreal. Yeah, they probably do have similarities, I outlined several that they have on paper that can sometimes translate into real life ones, but with all things considered, Boston's siblings are places like Portland (ME), New York, and Philadelphia. Montreal could be like a distant relative or a family friend or something, as it is geographically close but it is in another country and more than just in another country, it is a completely different culture. Even something like "liberal politics" isn't enough as a similarity, since the political parties, regulations, and the way and things people vote for can be entirely different between the two cities. That's pretty much all I have to say on that.
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Old 03-01-2017, 01:14 PM
Location: Portland, Maine
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I see what you are saying I think part of the perspective difference is that because I grew up in New England and have spent the vast majority of my time living and traveling in the Northeastern US my perception is based mostly on cities like Boston, NYC, and Philly that have very dense cores and small dense cities scattered throughout a very low density metro so for me that is what feels like being in a metro area is. Whereas cities that are more consistent in density throughout without any very urban areas are not as familiar to me and I often underestimate how large they are because they don't feel like what I think of as a city. Admittedly that reaction is mostly from a lack of familiarity.

I can see how Boston would feel smaller and another factor aside from the density drop when you leave the city is also that unlike other cities like Montreal and Philly that have similar densities over similar sized areas that can make Boston seem smaller is that outside of the most central neighborhoods most of the buildings in Boston and the surrounding cities like Cambridge are wood framed and free standing apartment buildings instead of row houses in the case of Philly or attached and freestanding masonry apartment buildings in Montreal. I think for a lot of people the presence of wood framed buildings that resemble large houses can also make the city seem like it is smaller especially for people who aren't from New England.
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Old 03-02-2017, 10:43 PM
Location: The State Of California
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Originally Posted by Billiam View Post
Nope. Baltimore is larger than DC
San Jose California is larger than San Francisco California.
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