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View Poll Results: Would you consider those areas downtown?
No, those are definitely not what I consider downtown 29 85.29%
Yes that is definitely what I would consider downtown. 0 0%
Maybe, if it was a town of smaller than 50,000 people 4 11.76%
Never though of it before, I need to phone a friend. Toss me a life line 1 2.94%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-28-2012, 06:57 PM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
18,509 posts, read 29,676,209 times
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Would you consider these areas to be part of a downtown? A downtown of a major city I may add?:

78201 - Google Maps

Hotels - Google Maps

78201 - Google Maps

78201 - Google Maps

78201 - Google Maps

have gotten in a debate with someone about San Antonio's downtown multiple times and was just wondering if I am way off because he holds on to it so strongly.

Correct me if I am wrong but here is my definition of a downtown:

1. It is a center for economic activity for a city so its primary goal is commerce. People often live there so amenities geared at improving the lives of residents are also included. These maybe bars, clubs, sporting venues, fine art venues, restaurants, etc.

2. A Downtown cannot be primarily residential (even if it has a few businesses interspersed) That is a Suburb.

Am I way off on this? To me this is the Downtown area:
78201 - Google Maps


I am using SA as an example but this applies to every city. Which areas would you consider Downtown? In SA they use the boundaries made by the highways I10, I35 and I37 and then say they have a large downtown residential population, but in fact that area is 5 percent commerce and 95 percent residential single family homes like the links above.

Thoughts?
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:02 PM
 
Location: The City
22,402 posts, read 34,181,553 times
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Honestly even the last pic doesnt look like a DT to me; more reminiscent of an edge city on developed composition. Could be Crystal City or Tysons or Bethesda in many senses


San Antonio to me (very limited experience) like a small city with some quaint appeal. There was nothing to me that screamed large city while there quite honestly. The DT seem interesting but more quaint than large based on my limited experience
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:24 PM
 
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Western cities are very different than eastern cities--there are plenty of cities like San Antonio that were relatively small until the mid-20th century and grew primarily outward rather than upward. Population-wise, San Antonio is pretty huge--over a million people, bigger than San Francisco or San Diego, but it doesn't look that way from the street because it is so geographically spread out.

If the houses in the residential parts of the central city are close enough that a significant chunk can walk, ride bikes or take transit to work, I'd count it as the central city, if not "downtown" proper. Where I live, a similar circle of highways (and railroads) defines what most people think of as "downtown," although it is mostly residential neighborhoods interspersed with commercial corridors. The rest of the urban region is low-density suburbs very much like San Antonio. Often folks who live here split them into "downtown" and "midtown" but they really function as two halves of the same neighborhood.

Are most of the buildings in that residential area single-family, or are they interspersed with multi-unit duplexes, fourplexes and apartment buildings? Are there neighborhood markets and restaurants on the major streets within a short walk of the residential buildings? It's surprising how quickly density ramps up even in a neighborhood that looks relatively low-rise, if the buildings are multi-unit and small.

The San Antonio Riverwalk gets bandied about a lot where I live, compared to our relatively "underutilized" riverfront--of course, our river is 700 feet wide and seasonally floods.
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:11 PM
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Location: Western Massachusetts
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Those views look close to the center city but don't seem like it could be in downtown. From playing with Google Maps, my guess is Cesar Chavez Blvd is roughly the southern border of downtown.

Maybe a good definition of "downtown" (at least of a large city) is a district in the center city that may have lots of residents but is primarily geared to supporting day (or night) trippers from outside the neighborhood in the rest of the city and metro. For shopping, entertainment and as a job center.
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:21 PM
 
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The first and third pictures seem close, but I wouldn't consider any of them "downtown."
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:54 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Not the first batch. Downtown is all relative, and I wouldn't call San Antonio a major city... more of a regional mid-sized city similar to Sacramento. I also wouldn't say they can't be predominantly residential. South downtown Austin has some massive condo high-rises. They might have retail/office on the first 5 stories, but the next 30-40 are all residential. So, predominantly residential but still downtown. Perhaps the best example of a residential downtown is Miami. Many parts of what I would consider DT Miami are predominantly condos.
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:26 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Western Massachusetts
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Technically for Boston these are considered "downtown":

Boston, MA - Google Maps

Boston, MA - Google Maps

Officially this might not be downtown; but I think most unfamiliar with the official boundaries would think it is:

Boston, MA - Google Maps

This area's a bit separate from downtown (it's Back Bay):

Boston, MA - Google Maps

Shopping and two of the tallest office buildings in the city are here.

Last edited by nei; 04-29-2012 at 08:40 AM..
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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If those are generally accepted as "downtown" by most of the people in San Antonio, then I would also consider them to be part of downtown San Antonio. If not, then I wouldn't. And if they don't, the only reason that someone would claim those to be part of downtown is to inflate the residential population of downtown.
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