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Old 02-01-2013, 04:00 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, California
1,953 posts, read 5,633,325 times
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it's a major city, nothing else like it in northern Ca
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:02 PM
 
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I'd say it's a medium sized city. A small city would be Oakland. But Oakland is more spread out.
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:09 PM
 
10,926 posts, read 5,758,722 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04kL4nD View Post
47 square miles isn't very big for a city. When people say it's small, they mean that the city limits don't stretch very far. Compare them with a city like LA or Houston, etc and SF is downright tiny.
Agreed, it is small geographically, but so are a lot of older cities. But, I also think sometimes people mean it's small, as in it "feels small" at times (I've personally heard this a few times in person). Fact is, ~800,000 people in 49 square miles = a pretty dense and big city. Boston, another city most would agree is a big, has 625,000 people in 48 square miles.

I think the people that argue this are strictly looking at population and using city limits as the cutoff. It's the same argument people have when they act confused when they discover SJ has more people than SF (SJ's city limits are enormous). This is generally not a very good method as what makes a city feel big/small is really more of a regional thing. I wouldn't necessarily say that 7 million people live in the SF area (this does start to include some exurban regions that are on the fringes), and the Bay Area is an oddity with 3 major cities in the region, but SF definitely represents a big region, and is definitely in the top 5/10 cities in terns of size/importance the country.

If your point of comparison is NYC...then, basically every city in the country (and almost all of the world) is a "small" city. But, in reality, anyone arguing that SF is a "small" city really hasn't traveled much. Toledo, OH (where I grew up) is a small city; Rochester, NY (where I used to live) is a small city. SF is not.
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:23 PM
 
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Compared to the sprawl of other major U.S. cities, SF is small. And, no, SF does not equal the Bay Area. SF is unto itself.
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Piedmont, CA
34,141 posts, read 58,675,293 times
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SF is part of the urban hub of the much larger and definitely connected Bay Area, which is why I laugh when some say that SF 'feels small' because the only places that have a larger and more widespread area of high population density than the Bay Area are Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.

Drive outside of any other city besides the ones mentioned and possibly Miami and the place gets really suburban to exurban to rural really quick, but the drive btwn Richmond and Hayward is extremely dense by US standards, so is the drive between SF and San Jose.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:04 PM
 
Location: The Outer Limits
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clongirl View Post
No...San Francisco IS a small city.
Agree. . .
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:10 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
622 posts, read 1,021,785 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clongirl View Post
No...San Francisco IS a small city.
I agree.

San Francisco IS a small city and that's part of its appeal. I lived in NYC. It's different and it's LARGER. I've also lived in L.A. proper (not some outlying area) and the same with Seoul (and that city is HUGE).

The city of San Francisco, NOT the San Francisco region, is small in size and population compared to other major cities.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:20 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
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I wouldn't say the people have a small city mentality though. Yes it's physically small but very urban, worldly and cosmopolitan despite it's small size.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
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Once I walked from North Beach to my house in the Inner Richmond/Laurel Heights one night after the bars closed (I can't seem to recall why though ...made it home in just over an hour. Land-wise, it is small.

Population isn't really that big from my experience either (and yes, I've been to London, Paris, and NYC). Very bustling and full of humans! Quite overwhelming from my perspective as a native San Franciscan! I actually used to run into people that I knew just about every time I stepped out the door no matter what neighborhood or time of day...so to me, it's still fairly small. I guess I see the City as a separate entity--not inclusive of all the other smaller cities on the Peninsula or East Bay.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:00 PM
 
940 posts, read 1,167,947 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by destroycreate View Post
When will people get it through their head that SF is a huge metropolis of 7,000,0000 in the greater area? Our city limits are tiny, yes, 7 x 7 square miles, but other cities have giant boundaries making them appear more populated. SF is like a NY part 2. Kind of annoying, anyone else feel the same way? The Bay Area = SF.
It depends what one is comparing it with. 7 million is a lot of people compared with most places in the US, but in the world it's only medium sized. New York, which you tried to compare it to, actually has around 17 million people in its metro area, so it's more than double the size.

Here's an idea of what some really big cities are like. These are all approximations of the metro area population, but are the best I could find quickly.

Jakarta -- 14 million
Osaka -- 16 million
Mexico City -- 17 million
Sao Paulo -- 17 million
Tokyo -- 33 million
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