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Old 02-01-2013, 06:03 PM
 
10,926 posts, read 5,791,779 times
Reputation: 4917

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkwalton View Post
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.
I'll give you small major city, particularly in geographic size, bit it still isn't a small city. I think most people are being too literal and thinking the VERY arbitrary (and somewhat meaningless) city limits are the end-all-be-all determination of city size.

I get what some people are saying. It is smaller than NYC, Chicago, LA...but these are ENORMOUS cities that are larger than anything else in the country (and most of the world). These places are almost their own category (mega-cities, if you will). And when people say things like "SF is a small city" (and from the discussions I've had with people, they're not just talking about geographic size), it just strikes me as a bit of an elitist/ignorant comment that's coming from someone that really hasn't been to a lot of places and seen a lot of cities. And, in fact, a lot of the times I've had this discussion with people I know, these comments have generally mainly only come from people that have only lived in major cities their entire life (NYC, LA, Chicago, DC mainly).

This is what a small city is and looks like (Toledo, OH):

Taken from here: Toledo, Ohio - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is also what a small city looks like (Omaha, NB):

Taken from here: Omaha, Nebraska - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is what an arguably-medium sized city looks like (Sacramento, CA):

Taken from here: Sacramento, California - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

But this just isn't what a small city looks like:

Taken from here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco

Or this:

Taken from here: San Francisco From Above


If that's what a small city looks like...what are basically 95% of the other cities in the country? Take it from someone that's lived in all kinds of cities in the US. SF is not a small city.

The only argument I can understand is that SF is a small city by its (arbitrarily-defined) city limits. But even that is a kind of weak argument because it dismisses the reality that cities are regional things defined by far more than their city limits, and if you can't see that you're just not paying attention to the reality of what cities are and what binds them together.

Montclair said it best, it really is an urban environment thing. If you walk down Mission St. or Geneva on the border of SF and Daly City, you'll have no idea really that you left SF and entered Daly City. SF has a really cohesive and densely-packed urban environment around it, and if it wasn't for the 19th century archaic and arbitrarily-defined city limits, people might realize how big SF really is. Also, it wouldn't (wrongly) lead people to believe that Jacksonville, FL is a "bigger city" than SF...which it technically is...although anyone arguing that either hasn't been to both places or is a fool.

Last edited by HockeyMac18; 02-01-2013 at 07:27 PM..
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:22 PM
 
6,802 posts, read 5,504,967 times
Reputation: 1911
Well, SF isn't a whole lot bigger itself than Fresno/Clovis. So if you are big we are.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Piedmont, CA
34,139 posts, read 58,820,964 times
Reputation: 17450
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdJS View Post
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.
No, 7 million is very big by world standards.

The other cities you list happen to be megacities.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Boulder Creek, CA
9,197 posts, read 14,958,972 times
Reputation: 6346
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senno View Post
Well, SF isn't a whole lot bigger itself than Fresno/Clovis. So if you are big we are.
Stretching the term "big" here.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:55 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
622 posts, read 1,024,351 times
Reputation: 392
Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyMac18 View Post
I'll give you small major city, particularly in geographic size, bit it still isn't a small city. I think most people are being too literal and thinking the VERY arbitrary (and somewhat meaningless) city limits are the end-all-be-all determination of city size.

I get what some people are saying. It is smaller than NYC, Chicago, LA...but these are ENORMOUS cities that are larger than anything else in the country (and most of the world). These places are almost their own category (mega-cities, if you will). And when people say things like "SF is a small city" (and from the discussions I've had with people, they're not just talking about geographic size), it just strikes me as a bit of an elitist/ignorant comment that's coming from someone that really hasn't been to a lot of places and seen a lot of cities. And, in fact, a lot of the times I've had this discussion with people I know, these comments have generally mainly only come from people that have only lived in major cities their entire life (NYC, LA, Chicago, DC mainly).

This is what a small city is and looks like (Toledo, OH):

Taken from here: Toledo, Ohio - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is also what a small city looks like (Omaha, NB):

Taken from here: Omaha, Nebraska - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is what an arguably-medium sized city looks like (Sacramento, CA):

Taken from here: Sacramento, California - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

But this just isn't what a small city looks like:

Taken from here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco

Or this:

Taken from here: San Francisco From Above


If that's what a small city looks like...what are basically 95% of the other cities in the country? Take it from someone that's lived in all kinds of cities in the US. SF is not a small city.

The only argument I can understand is that SF is a small city by its (arbitrarily-defined) city limits. But even that is a kind of weak argument because it dismisses the reality that cities are regional things defined by far more than their city limits, and if you can't see that you're just not paying attention to the reality of what cities are and what binds them together.

Montclair said it best, it really is an urban environment thing. If you walk down Mission St. or Geneva on the border of SF and Daly City, you'll have no idea really that you left SF and entered Daly City. SF has a really cohesive and densely-packed urban environment around it, and if it wasn't for the 19th century archaic and arbitrarily-defined city limits, people might realize how big SF really is. Also, it wouldn't (wrongly) lead people to believe that Jacksonville, FL is a "bigger city" than SF...which it technically is...although anyone arguing that either hasn't been to both places or is a fool.
Yawn.

No disrespect, but we're talking as normal people and not civic planners.

San Francisco is physically a small city as I've been to and lived in larger ones. Because it's a peninsula it's also just limited. There is no sprawl here. People just move out to the Peninsula, the East Bay, or Marin.

Maybe it's more accurate to say it's a mid-sized city but, professor, my point is that the OP is really making a big deal out of nothing. San Francisco when compared to other influential cities is smaller.

Now I'm exiting this thread because a back and forth over small vs. medium is just tedious. Thanks for the info.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:12 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
1,472 posts, read 3,198,643 times
Reputation: 1569
San Francisco is a major city. I won't say "big" because that's too easy to twist and misconstrue. 813,000 residents and the financial, cultural and retail center of the greater Bay Area isn't insignificant. Size is measured by more than square miles in a city limits. Washington DC is smaller than San Francisco in population and only slight larger physically. I don't think anyone would say its a "small city". Its federal activity and being the center of a metro area of 5.7 million give it a lot more weight than its physical size and population ordinarily would warrant. San Francisco is a major city by virtue of similar factors, if not identical ones. I'd go so far to say that San Francisco is more important to the rest of the Bay Area and NorCal than it was 10 or 20 years ago.
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:44 AM
 
11 posts, read 23,715 times
Reputation: 27
Paris is 34 sqm (easily walkable end-to-end like SF) and it's not generally considered a small city. Density, vibrancy, sphere of influence, and cultural/economic output carry a lot more weight than land area.
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:24 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,813 posts, read 91,547,540 times
Reputation: 48828
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.
As a metro area the bay area is anything but small, as a city it is mid sized compared to others throughout the nation. How many cities in Ca are larger than San Francisco? I don't really understand though, why this would bother anyone. It isn't an insult, or a put down, it just isn't considered a big city. This doesn't mean it isn't an important or vibrant city: it certainly is. I am guessing you have never been to NY...The only similarities might be a huge bridge and some neat row houses. Otherwise the cities are very different...
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:26 AM
 
Location: East Bay
179 posts, read 383,604 times
Reputation: 135
In terms of land area alone. San Francisco is just slightly over half the size of my old home town. Iowa city Iowa. Which is about twelve miles across. Which has a population of about thirty thousand or so. But in terms of Population? San Francisco is almost the size of Des Moins Iowa. And the bay area in general. With seven million people. Is equal to about two and a half times the population of the entire state of Iowa. Which is about two and a half million or so. Note these figures are approximate.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:48 AM
 
306 posts, read 399,150 times
Reputation: 633
It Is small in land measurements. It's a quality I really enjoy. It makes it easy to bike, walk and explore. It also makes for good density and affords the benefits that come with it. But there is no mistaking that it's the epicenter on a 7m region, not a 700k region. 7x7 works for me and many people who live in the city. It is small. Calling it small, in reference to land size, is accurate.
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