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Thread: Larger cities compared to smaller cities

  1. #1
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    Larger cities compared to smaller cities

    First, is their a classification for sizes of cities? A certain population deems a city as X and so fourth.

    Also, at what population do we start to see larger cities having a bad impact on the environment?

    And what do some ppl mean when a smaller city doesn't feel that small? Higher population density or increased density in downtowns?

  2. #2
    There is no standard of what is a big city vs. a small city. No governing board, no metric beyond what an individual wants to do. The question would be what do you think is a big city?

    A lot of people use the standard of 10,000,000 in a metro area to define a "megacity", but there is no reason to use this cutoff rather than 9.5 million or 15 million other than it is a nice round number.

    In a lot of research including my own, major metro areas are those with at least a million people. Below that level, subgroups may not be large enough for statistically significant analysis. But again, the real reason is that its a nice round number.

    Why do you think that larger cities have a worse environmental impact? Read David Owen's book, or at least his short piece that was in the New Yorker.

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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by Gotta Speakup View post
    Why do you think that larger cities have a worse environmental impact? Read David Owen's book, or at least his short piece that was in the New Yorker.
    New Yorker link: http://www.newyorker.com/archive/200...18fa_fact_owen
    Owen's website: http://www.davidowen.net/ click on articles


    Consider the Census definition of micropolitan as a break point -
    micro area contains an urban core of at least 10,000 (but less than 50,000) population
    http://www.census.gov/population/www...metroarea.html
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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    You can have a small city with a bad impact on the environment and big cities that do not.

    Larger cities can have public transportation, but small ones typical have very sparse service, if any.

    Small Cities could be home to chemical companies that pollute the air and water. Local examples I can think of are Sarnia, ON; and Midland, MI.

    Where would a smaller suburb of a large city fit in your question?
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    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    With 30,000 people Dodge City is considered (and feared) as a big city to the surrounding towns.

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    Cyburbian Joe Iliff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    With 30,000 people Dodge City is considered (and feared) as a big city to the surrounding towns.
    Size relative to the surroundings is very important factor. A city of 50,000 population that is the largest of any city within a 3 hour drive is different from a city of 50,000 that has 10 cities of equal or larger size within a 1 hour drive. In some states and regions, a city of 50,000 persons would be the largest, while in others, it would be the 20th to 40th largest city.
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    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    Mike gurnee and Joe lliff make a good point.

    Another example: In Hawaii Honolulu is the largest city at about 1,000,000 people. The second largest city? Hilo, with a population of about 40,000.

    Coming from the mainland, Honolulu doesn't seem very large to me, but to people born/raised in Hawaii, Honolulu is a giant monster city.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian RPfresh's avatar
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    I think the term 'larger city' itself carries some of this - large compared to what? I agree with the last three posters.

    As for your last question, I think density has a lot to do with it. SF has been referred to as a small city with a big-city feel largely because of the density of its core.

    I think that factors like the city's needs, political power to meet those needs, its influx or outflow of citizens and whether or not the city has a major port play into any measurement of largeness. And its neighbors do matter - in the Northwest Seattle is the 'big' city, and Portland is kind of in shadow (or so a friend from Portland told me). Seattle, though, only has like 4 million I believe. The Bay Area has seven to eight million and is huge; however, it's half as large as LA, and thus most people think Los Angeles when they think California.

    There is no measurement, and there shouldn't be. Cities are all completely different and have their own personalities and problems no matter what the size.

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    Well, I used to hear there was small, medium, and large cities. People don't refer to San Luis Obispo, Ca as a small town because of the density of downtown. People say San Luis Obispo has a medium sized downtown because it's supposed to serve 100,000 population.

    LA's downtown I am sure serves to fill more than a million people.

    Many people even say that San Luis Obispo has it's own small urban culture.

    The tallest building in San Luis Obispo is over 50ft. And the tallest buildings are located in downtown. San Luis Obispo only has 45,000 population and it's downtown is the same size of Oxnard, Ca which has 190,000 population. Oxnard is more spread out and does one really tall building else where in the city.

    Los Angeles and San Francisco have buildings over 100 ft tall and I would say Fresno, San Diego, Long Beach, Oakland, San Jose, Bakersfield, Santa Ana, Stockton, Riverside, and San Bernardino all have buildings over that height too. LA and San Francisco with the largest buildings.

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    Los Angeles and San Francisco have buildings over 100 ft tall and I would say Fresno, San Diego, Long Beach, Oakland, San Jose, Bakersfield, Santa Ana, Stockton, Riverside, and San Bernardino all have buildings over that height too. LA and San Francisco with the largest buildings.
    The largest buildings could be automobile factories, look at the old Toyota/Chevy plant in California for example. These are much larger than your average skyscraper, even though they may be only a maximum of 3 stories high.

    You really need to re-evaluate how you compare things. You cannot put rigid measurements on things like population, volume, urban or rural. You can compare one thing to another to determine what is larger or more rural. This method does not work so well when trying to aggregate cities over a huge number of categories.

    100 ft tall building for many of us are not tall buildings. Here (Detroit) we don't start noticing a building's height unless it is over 30 stories, in Chicago or New York 30 stories is not tall.
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    The largest buildings could be automobile factories, look at the old Toyota/Chevy plant in California for example. These are much larger than your average skyscraper, even though they may be only a maximum of 3 stories high.

    You really need to re-evaluate how you compare things. You cannot put rigid measurements on things like population, volume, urban or rural. You can compare one thing to another to determine what is larger or more rural. This method does not work so well when trying to aggregate cities over a huge number of categories.

    100 ft tall building for many of us are not tall buildings. Here (Detroit) we don't start noticing a building's height unless it is over 30 stories, in Chicago or New York 30 stories is not tall.
    I get what you're saying. I think the minimium for tallness starts with at least 100 ft. across the board. Pittsburg I heard is considered a major city and their tallest skyscraper is at 125ft. The tallest building in Bakersfield I heard is at 12 stories. In San Luis Obispo I think were at 6 stories for one building.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    I get what you're saying. I think the minimium for tallness starts with at least 100 ft. across the board. Pittsburg I heard is considered a major city and their tallest skyscraper is at 125ft. The tallest building in Bakersfield I heard is at 12 stories. In San Luis Obispo I think were at 6 stories for one building.
    Pittsburgh PA? umm I don't think so. PPG is taller, heck even the old Kauffman's department store is taller I am willing to bet!
    http://www.city-data.com/picfilesc/picc4347.php

    Just because you think that an arbitrary level of tallness starts at about 10 stories does not mean the rest of the world does. My former office was about 250 feet in the air and I was not even close to being in the tallest building in my central business district.
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    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    Pittsburg I heard is considered a major city and their tallest skyscraper is at 125ft. The tallest building in Bakersfield I heard is at 12 stories. In San Luis Obispo I think were at 6 stories for one building.
    I think your height and scale is completely off. A 6-story building is well 75feet. To me, these are still not tall buildings at all, simply because I have worked/been in very tall buildings such as The Bank of America Building in San Francisco at the very top level. You really can't measure what is a tall building because it just depends on the local context as well as site conditions (i.e. a tall building may appear small because it is built against a hill side or vice versa). Then again, i think slo is a small town, simply because I have lived in much larger cities.
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    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    I think your height and scale is completely off. A 6-story building is well 75feet. To me, these are still not tall buildings at all, simply because I have worked/been in very tall buildings such as The Bank of America Building in San Francisco at the very top level. You really can't measure what is a tall building because it just depends on the local context as well as site conditions (i.e. a tall building may appear small because it is built against a hill side or vice versa). Then again, i think slo is a small town, simply because I have lived in much larger cities.
    Well I read an article:
    http://www.cp-dr.com/node/1782
    That stated that 75,000 to 250,000 population is considered mid-sized cities.

    And I heard SLO would have 75,000 population if they didn't have restrictive city limits and that there is alot of population in SLO-country club, southwest SLO, Cal Poly, Edna, etc...

    And I think if you look at SLO's downtown compared to Chico or Visalia we have the same height wise of buildings. And I would never use the word "small town" to describle SLO". Small is Paso Robles, Templeton, Atascadero, El Centro, Watsonville, Capitola, Monterey.

    Downtown SLO and Downtown Santa Maria definately have the "urban feel" for the area. And btw Downtown Santa Barbara and SLO have similar height in their downtowns.

    So maybe SLO is small urban?

    I agree we don't have tall buildings in SLO. There are much taller buildings in much larger urban areas.

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