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Old 01-15-2014, 11:25 AM
 
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Minneapolis and St. Paul are so different they could never and would never have combined. It would be like mixing oil and water. Even though they do share a border on the south side, they are miles apart. Being raised in Minneapolis my family and friends never even ventured into St. Paul except for the State Fair and that just reinforced the decision to never go there. And vice versa. As an adult I explored and eventually moved and worked all over the metro but not so for my friends and family. There is such a different attitude to each city and always has been. I doubt it will ever change.

It's been said that the downtowns of St. Paul and Minneapolis are 13 miles and 20 years apart.
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:32 AM
 
1,971 posts, read 3,042,765 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosh01 View Post
The two cities should not only combine, they should annex the suburbs. This is how most southern cities grow, like Dallas, and it makes them a lot more efficient and competitive. We have something like 120 municipalities in the Twin Cities which means a lot of duplication. We're going to have trouble competing with places like Dallas.
What this really means is the suburbs ending up calling the shots for the city. In MN this would cause even more dysfunction. It would be more like the situation in Toronto, where the rednecks in the suburbs elect mayors like Rob Ford because he gave them a sixty dollar credit to use their cars more. Downtown would just be parking lots, office buildings and sports stadiums. Oh, waitaminute...
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AfternoonThunder View Post

Could the area have had one large kickass city that may have been up there with Chicago, Houston, or somewhere in the top 10?

This is just meant as a "for fun" discussion.
Imo, no. Most of the largest cities have specific causes for why they've grown so large and part of that is geography. Chicago became large because of the rail yards and access to the lakes for shipping and industry. Houston has both the oil fields of Texas and access to the Gulf, thus it boomed as a refinery/industry city.

The bay area boomed in no small part because it has nice weather, but coastal access to the Pacific doesn't hurt. While the TC have a variety of industries and things they do well, it's not really clear what would specifically cause the cities to balloon relative to the top 10 U.S. cities which all have big advantages in terms of transportation, politics, etc.
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bler144 View Post
Imo, no. Most of the largest cities have specific causes for why they've grown so large and part of that is geography. Chicago became large because of the rail yards and access to the lakes for shipping and industry. Houston has both the oil fields of Texas and access to the Gulf, thus it boomed as a refinery/industry city.

The bay area boomed in no small part because it has nice weather, but coastal access to the Pacific doesn't hurt. While the TC have a variety of industries and things they do well, it's not really clear what would specifically cause the cities to balloon relative to the top 10 U.S. cities which all have big advantages in terms of transportation, politics, etc.

I agree that The MSP metro area wouldn't be any larger if the land occupied by Minneapolis and St Paul had grown as one city. In fact, the point could be made that the intense competition between the two cities that took place in the late 19th/early 20th centuries, served as an economic catalyst that would have been missing in one larger unified city. To some extent, both cities benefited by that competition.

I'm not entirely sure what's meant by "big advantages" in regards to politics. As for transportation; it's hard to envision that Dallas, Houston, Miami, or Atlanta have any significant advantage over MSP.

I suspect that in coming decades, one growing advantage of Northern-tier cities will be the availability of water. The intense rate of growth of large Sunbelt cities, combined with water usage patterns and the relative dearth of water resources, are looming crises for many Southern and Western cities. Even DC has been identified as one of the ten most at risk metros for a water shortage.
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:54 AM
 
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Minneapolis and St. Paul grew for different reasons/industries and the 13 miles that separated the cities back in the mid 1800's was a full day of travel by horse. Given the unique proximity to the river in both cities, they continued to develop, for different reasons. When MN became a state, Stillwater, St. Paul and Minneapolis were given the choice which "state" facility they wanted. Stillwater chose the prison, St. Paul the Capital and Minneapolis the Land Grand University--U of MN. Geography allowed the two cities to grow, basically into one city-meaning there is no land division between the two. It's really not any different than what happened in places like Baltimore and Washington DC or Raleigh/Durham, etc.
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rogead View Post

I'm not entirely sure what's meant by "big advantages" in regards to politics. As for transportation; it's hard to envision that Dallas, Houston, Miami, or Atlanta have any significant advantage over MSP.
By politics I meant that DC/NoVA benefits significantly from being the seat of the national government. Direct employment aside, it supports a broad array of industries designed to serve/petition/leach or otherwise interact with the federal gov't.

You're talking lawyers, lobbying firms, contractors, federal employees, companies serving embassies, etc. etc. Likewise, some other east coast cities benefit - NYC offers easy transportation to DC (and Wall St. and the UN) so there's some political competitive advantage to locating your business there. Likewise it's a short hop across the pond if your industry relies on interacting with governments in Europe or Africa.

From the west coast you have shorter travel to Asian govts, which adds (time, $$) up if you do a lot of travel.

MSP doesn't really have any competitive advantage in terms of access to political seats of power, and it doesn't even really have low COL.

Houston and Miami are port cities. That's a big transportation advantage. Atlanta is a central hub for the 78mil strong region of the southeast for goods moving by road or rail - that serves about 1/4 of the U.S. pop. MSP is a road/rail hub for its region, sure, but to a lesser extent and serving a much less populated area. Most of the real 'hub' function takes place in Chicago or St. Louis.

Dallas is a bit more complex, but worth noting that Texas has 4x the population (and GDP) of MN/SD/ND combined. [Most of WI is served by Chi/Mil rather than MSP]
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Old 01-16-2014, 02:47 PM
 
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I think the Twin Cities area as a whole is actually more prominent because it has two cities. Say that the site for a fort and head of navigation (St. Paul) was the same as the waterfall to power mills (Minneapolis). Then Minnesota ends up with one Kansas City. Instead, suppose those sites are farther apart. Say they're closer to Red Wing and Anoka. Then Minnesota ends up with something more like Lincoln and Omaha or Madison and Milwaukee. Spaced as they are, the metropolitan area eventually attains a critical mass to support more people, business, and entertainment than either alternative. I'm sure other factors contributed, but I think much of the distinct flavor originates from having fraternal twins as the core cities.

Here's the bigger question: What would have happened had Saint Paul kept the name Pig's Eye? I contend that only Fort Raccoon, Iowa could rival it among Midwestern cities.
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Old 01-16-2014, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
2,526 posts, read 3,049,410 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bler144 View Post
By politics I meant that DC/NoVA benefits significantly from being the seat of the national government. Direct employment aside, it supports a broad array of industries designed to serve/petition/leach or otherwise interact with the federal gov't.

You're talking lawyers, lobbying firms, contractors, federal employees, companies serving embassies, etc. etc. Likewise, some other east coast cities benefit - NYC offers easy transportation to DC (and Wall St. and the UN) so there's some political competitive advantage to locating your business there. Likewise it's a short hop across the pond if your industry relies on interacting with governments in Europe or Africa.

From the west coast you have shorter travel to Asian govts, which adds (time, $$) up if you do a lot of travel.

MSP doesn't really have any competitive advantage in terms of access to political seats of power, and it doesn't even really have low COL.

Houston and Miami are port cities. That's a big transportation advantage. Atlanta is a central hub for the 78mil strong region of the southeast for goods moving by road or rail - that serves about 1/4 of the U.S. pop. MSP is a road/rail hub for its region, sure, but to a lesser extent and serving a much less populated area. Most of the real 'hub' function takes place in Chicago or St. Louis.

Dallas is a bit more complex, but worth noting that Texas has 4x the population (and GDP) of MN/SD/ND combined. [Most of WI is served by Chi/Mil rather than MSP]
My interpretation of "transportation" in your prior post was looking at the intracity transportation infrastructure. I certainly don't disagree with your assessment of commerce activity. Coastal cities will always have an obvious advantage in that arena, and Chicago easily dominates the non-coastal region of the nation.

As far as a comparison to Texas goes, the population and economic influence is obviously greater at the regional level; however, Texas has ten metro areas over 300,000 population and five metros over 1,000,000. MN, SD, ND combined have exactly one (Minneapolis) at each level. So the economic spheres of those large Texas cities overlap significantly.

Wisconsin is pretty evenly divided in regards to economic and cultural (other than The NFL) influence--With Chicago covering the South, Milwaukee the Northeast, and Minneapolis the Northwest. The two fastest-growing counties in the state of Wisconsin are both part of The MSP metro area.

Interestingly, Minneapolis (along with Denver) has also experienced some residual economic impact from the North Dakota oil boom.

I do think the population growth rate for Minneapolis is ideal--about two percent at the MSA level, and seven percent at the CSA level--for maintaining infrastructure and public services in proportion to population growth.
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Old 01-16-2014, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
2,526 posts, read 3,049,410 times
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Originally Posted by r_shackleford View Post
I think the Twin Cities area as a whole is actually more prominent because it has two cities. Say that the site for a fort and head of navigation (St. Paul) was the same as the waterfall to power mills (Minneapolis). Then Minnesota ends up with one Kansas City. Instead, suppose those sites are farther apart. Say they're closer to Red Wing and Anoka. Then Minnesota ends up with something more like Lincoln and Omaha or Madison and Milwaukee. Spaced as they are, the metropolitan area eventually attains a critical mass to support more people, business, and entertainment than either alternative. I'm sure other factors contributed, but I think much of the distinct flavor originates from having fraternal twins as the core cities.

Here's the bigger question: What would have happened had Saint Paul kept the name Pig's Eye? I contend that only Fort Raccoon, Iowa could rival it among Midwestern cities.
I think "Pig's Eye" would have been a great name for the capital city. We do still have a large suburb called Coon Rapids.

When the community across the river from St Paul first talked about becoming a city, many in St Paul urged it to adopt a "saintly" name to go with St. Paul and St. Anthony (a third city, which later became part of Minneapolis). A naming contest was held, and a school teacher came up with the name "Minnehapolis" (city of laughing waters, a reference to St. Anthony Falls). The "h" was dropped from the name for aesthetic reasons.
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Old 01-16-2014, 05:40 PM
 
Location: MN
3,971 posts, read 9,672,881 times
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I've always like the old saying of....

"Minneapolis was the first city of the West, while St. Paul was the last city of the East..."
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