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Old 02-07-2017, 10:46 AM
 
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I lived in Vladivostok, which has a population just over a half-million people.
If an American visited, and had no idea of the population of Vladivostok, they would probably guess it was much smaller; after all, a comparable American city, in terms of population, would be Atlanta or Milwaukee. Much of that feeling has to do with the different construction of the cities: Most American cities have very large business centers, with skyscrapers etc., while Russian cities of the same size may only have a few. Moreover, the geographic area of cities would feel quite a bit smaller, as apartment blocks take up less space (with more people) than do blocks of houses. Finally, many American cities were built for car traffic, so people tend to live farther out, therefore the suburbs and exburbs make the cities feel a lot larger.
I've been to Novosibirsk, and it does not *feel* like a city with the same population as Philadelphia for the same reasons mentioned above. I am from Minneapolis, and Novosibirsk doesn't really feel bigger than the Twin Cities, either.
I remember visiting Ekaterinburg for business, and feeling excited that they had a few skyscrapers, which just aren't as common.
From my experience, the only Russia city which might feel like a large American city is Moscow, in parts. (I somehow never got to St Petersburg, but perhaps it, too, could feel that way.)
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Old 02-07-2017, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Seattle WA, USA
5,699 posts, read 4,921,829 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffpv View Post
I lived in Vladivostok, which has a population just over a half-million people.
If an American visited, and had no idea of the population of Vladivostok, they would probably guess it was much smaller; after all, a comparable American city, in terms of population, would be Atlanta or Milwaukee. Much of that feeling has to do with the different construction of the cities: Most American cities have very large business centers, with skyscrapers etc., while Russian cities of the same size may only have a few. Moreover, the geographic area of cities would feel quite a bit smaller, as apartment blocks take up less space (with more people) than do blocks of houses. Finally, many American cities were built for car traffic, so people tend to live farther out, therefore the suburbs and exburbs make the cities feel a lot larger.
I've been to Novosibirsk, and it does not *feel* like a city with the same population as Philadelphia for the same reasons mentioned above. I am from Minneapolis, and Novosibirsk doesn't really feel bigger than the Twin Cities, either.
I remember visiting Ekaterinburg for business, and feeling excited that they had a few skyscrapers, which just aren't as common.
From my experience, the only Russia city which might feel like a large American city is Moscow, in parts. (I somehow never got to St Petersburg, but perhaps it, too, could feel that way.)
Thank you, that is what I was speculating but wasn't quite sure.
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Old 02-07-2017, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Seattle WA, USA
5,699 posts, read 4,921,829 times
Reputation: 4942
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffpv View Post
I lived in Vladivostok, which has a population just over a half-million people.
If an American visited, and had no idea of the population of Vladivostok, they would probably guess it was much smaller; after all, a comparable American city, in terms of population, would be Atlanta or Milwaukee. Much of that feeling has to do with the different construction of the cities: Most American cities have very large business centers, with skyscrapers etc., while Russian cities of the same size may only have a few. Moreover, the geographic area of cities would feel quite a bit smaller, as apartment blocks take up less space (with more people) than do blocks of houses. Finally, many American cities were built for car traffic, so people tend to live farther out, therefore the suburbs and exburbs make the cities feel a lot larger.
I've been to Novosibirsk, and it does not *feel* like a city with the same population as Philadelphia for the same reasons mentioned above. I am from Minneapolis, and Novosibirsk doesn't really feel bigger than the Twin Cities, either.
I remember visiting Ekaterinburg for business, and feeling excited that they had a few skyscrapers, which just aren't as common.
From my experience, the only Russia city which might feel like a large American city is Moscow, in parts. (I somehow never got to St Petersburg, but perhaps it, too, could feel that way.)
Also would you Say that Vladivostok is about the size of Tacoma or Oakland then?

Vladivostok: 606,653
https://www.google.com/maps/@43.1150...X2MSnfEzAQ!2e0
https://www.google.com/maps/@43.1139...-iEe4pk5GQ!2e0
https://www.google.com/maps/@43.1179...Apn7fncfpw!2e0
https://www.google.com/maps/@43.1171...tvO6AjOk6g!2e0

Tacoma: 207,948
https://www.google.com/maps/@47.2436...Uwr11gG19A!2e0
https://www.google.com/maps/@47.2450...yS0pNDqPhA!2e0
https://www.google.com/maps/@47.2511...7sGqnUTIVQ!2e0
https://www.google.com/maps/@47.2564...XwRw6LkffA!2e0

Oakland: 419,267
https://www.google.com/maps/@37.8012...cMecbv6l0w!2e0
https://www.google.com/maps/@37.8043...PHnvVQlbQw!2e0
https://www.google.com/maps/@37.8054...mj9pzfLw5Q!2e0
https://www.google.com/maps/@37.8040...KmTQgr7c9g!2e0

Also just because a city doesn't have skyscrapers doesn't mean it's not large and doesn't feel large. Washington DC has no skyscrapers and yet is still a very large city and feels as such.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington,_D.C.: 681,170 (Urban area: 4,586,770)
https://www.google.com/maps/@38.8993...9TLK4UTSRw!2e0
https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9037..._bU9dqZyrw!2e0
https://www.google.com/maps/@38.8967...9l3u2ll1PQ!2e0
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Old 02-08-2017, 06:26 AM
 
2,869 posts, read 5,134,808 times
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Grega94 -- I think you are too fixated on city proper populations for comparisons to make sense, the way municipalities are organized differs across countries so city proper stats are meaningless. Also, Oakland and to a lesser extent Tacoma are part of a larger metropolitan area, how big they 'feel' like cannot really be distinguished from adjacent cities.

As jeffpv alluded to, the fundamental difference between Russian and American cities is density. The Vladivostok urban area has less people than the Bakersfield or Colorado Springs urban areas, but it is packed into a much smaller area so population density is higher than any North American metro. So how big Russian cities feel like depend on your gauge: when you are walking at street level within the city and you look around, then the density will make it seem like you are in a much bigger American city. However, if your gauge is the footprint (e.g. the distance from one end to the other, number of freeway exits, etc) then your conclusion will be the opposite.

Pushkin is a St. Petersburg suburb that hosts a bunch of great imperial castles. The distance from downtown is less than the distance from Seattle to Kent, yet it feels in the countryside because you pass a bunch of fields to get there, yet St. Petersburg has over 5 million people in the urban area. Fairly large apartment buildings were built up until almost the end of the city.
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Old 02-08-2017, 08:26 AM
 
2,042 posts, read 2,903,339 times
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One thing I would add is that Russian cities feel a lot different in another way: Foot traffic. (This is not unique to Russia, but it's the country being discussed.)
For the most part, US cities outside of the eastern seaboard were built for cars, so you don't see many people walking around. The first time I brought my (Russian) wife to Seattle, her first question was "Where are all the people?" And this was Seattle, where you'd probably see more foot traffic than in, say, Minneapolis or Denver. This is even more pronounced in smaller cities in middle America, where foot traffic tends to be rarer.
I suspect this would be a rather common observation for many Russians.
In that sense, though Russian cities might "feel" smaller, there can be a greater sense of vibrancy. You simply see more people around you. So, Vladivostok (and other Russian cities), if judged by that measure, might actually feel more like parts of NYC or San Fran. Just a thought.
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Old 02-08-2017, 08:30 AM
 
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And, yes, not having skyscrapers does not necessarily mean that a city isn't large, but to this American mind it is one hallmark of a "big city." DC is rather unique in that respect for the USA, however, considering it is the capital and has all those historic government buildings. (Also, I'm not sure there's even room in DC for skyscrapers, since its so small and getting rid of the historical buildings would be probably be a non-starter.)
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Old 02-08-2017, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Seattle WA, USA
5,699 posts, read 4,921,829 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barneyg View Post
Grega94 -- I think you are too fixated on city proper populations for comparisons to make sense, the way municipalities are organized differs across countries so city proper stats are meaningless. Also, Oakland and to a lesser extent Tacoma are part of a larger metropolitan area, how big they 'feel' like cannot really be distinguished from adjacent cities.

As jeffpv alluded to, the fundamental difference between Russian and American cities is density. The Vladivostok urban area has less people than the Bakersfield or Colorado Springs urban areas, but it is packed into a much smaller area so population density is higher than any North American metro. So how big Russian cities feel like depend on your gauge: when you are walking at street level within the city and you look around, then the density will make it seem like you are in a much bigger American city. However, if your gauge is the footprint (e.g. the distance from one end to the other, number of freeway exits, etc) then your conclusion will be the opposite.

Pushkin is a St. Petersburg suburb that hosts a bunch of great imperial castles. The distance from downtown is less than the distance from Seattle to Kent, yet it feels in the countryside because you pass a bunch of fields to get there, yet St. Petersburg has over 5 million people in the urban area. Fairly large apartment buildings were built up until almost the end of the city.
I wasn't really thinking about a feel factor or footprint, but more along the lines of economic output. Major cities produce more then smaller cities, and they also have more job opportunities and have more services/stores. I'm aware that Russian cities don't produce as much value as American ones, but they are still making stuff, its not like they are all unemployed or something. And at least in the US all of these business tend to be located in a central area called the downtown, and industrial cities also have industrial areas too. So do Russian cities have business centers and industrial centers and how do they compare to American ones? Also not all Russian cities are dominated by apartments, the ones in the South tend to have a lot of detached single family houses, though on much smaller lots then in the US.

Rostov-on-Don: 1,109,800
City Center
https://www.google.com/maps/@47.2221...ck-JoMpMew!2e0
https://www.google.com/maps/@47.2195...YNE5Opj9Ug!2e0
https://www.google.com/maps/@47.2201...iLFNXhgkTw!2e0

Residential
https://www.google.com/maps/@47.2335...NKO43Wl3Dg!2e0
https://www.google.com/maps/@47.2023...ZN6xhPhLeQ!2e0
https://www.google.com/maps/@47.2628...mGka1gQUyA!2e0

Would New Orleans be the American counterpart of Rostov, they are both similar in population size and both major ports to the entrance of a major river system.
New Orleans: 389,617 (Urban Area: 899,703)
City Center
https://www.google.com/maps/@29.9536...kHeyy774sg!2e0
https://www.google.com/maps/@29.9541...cFgytmEHUw!2e0
https://www.google.com/maps/@29.9512...m6t2fqVHHQ!2e0
Residential
https://www.google.com/maps/@29.9627...kfhBDtnYRw!2e0
https://www.google.com/maps/@29.9724...yAvuFiJs0A!2e0
https://www.google.com/maps/@29.8962...F1fsQWe2YQ!2e0

Also Rostov Oblast and Louisiana both have around the same population (4,254,600 vs 4,681,666), and area (100,800 km2 vs 135,382 km2)
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Old 02-08-2017, 02:13 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
102,189 posts, read 107,809,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chottandrah View Post
Not a fan of American cities and their enormous boring bland suburbias where u need a car to even go to the supermarket!

I however find Russian cities to be depressing, full of commie blocks, and weird looking.
Thanks, pal--we love you, too. Russia's cities are full of classical architecture, not to mention those beautiful churches! It's only the "suburbs" pretty much, that have those big clusters of apt. blocks. Sweden has those, too, btw. Russia's city centers are a joy to behold. Clearly, you've never been there, and you've been looking at the wrong photos online.
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Old 02-08-2017, 09:39 PM
 
2,563 posts, read 3,624,366 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Thanks, pal--we love you, too. Russia's cities are full of classical architecture, not to mention those beautiful churches! It's only the "suburbs" pretty much, that have those big clusters of apt. blocks. Sweden has those, too, btw. Russia's city centers are a joy to behold. Clearly, you've never been there, and you've been looking at the wrong photos online.

St. Petersburg and Moscow are bucket list cities for me (doubt I will ever go though). There is something incredibly oddly romantic about them imo.
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