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Thread: City culture shifting to suburbs ?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus
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    City culture shifting to suburbs ?

    Will city culture play second fiddle to suburbs?

    Headline and article from the Indy Star Opinion section:
    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dl...2/1002/OPINION

    Highlights:

    What the cities haven't conceded is the market on cultural and sports facilities: football stadiums, symphony orchestras, art museums and zoos. Even as residents moved away from central cities, they would return for professional sporting events, to visit cultural institutions or to enjoy nightlife distinctive to downtowns.

    Now, suburbs have jumped big-time into the cultural amenities market. In Carmel, an $80 million, 1,600-seat concert hall under development is being hailed as "the crown jewel" in a complex of retail, dining and entertainment facilities.

    On the other hand, demand for cultural arts is not infinite. Just as the Indianapolis area couldn't possibly sustain two professional football teams, it might not be possible to maintain two symphony-tailored concert halls. Hilbert Circle Theatre in Indianapolis, home to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, seats 1,786.

    "Enlightened mayors of suburbs want their cities to be real communities, and not inevitably part of the troubled status of exurbs: the early suburbs that now are often bleak," says former Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith.


    Other example given was the attendence difference between two venues for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
    Last edited by JNA; 15 Feb 2006 at 8:28 AM.
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  2. #2
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA
    "Enlightened mayors of suburbs want their cities to be real communities, and not inevitably part of the troubled status of exurbs: the early suburbs that now are often bleak," says former Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith.
    OT: Mayor Goldsmith is clearly confused about the definition of an "exurb."
    As to this premise: It all depends on how strong the central city is and the level at which suburbanites identify themselves as city residents.

    If you ask someone from Medford, MA where they grew up, they would say "Boston" without hesitation. The core city is too strong in Boston for any of the major amenities to even consider relocation. In fact, you see the opposite phenomenon. The New England Patriots fought a long losing battle to build a new stadium in central Boston. The Massachusetts Horticultural Society is fighting to build a "Garden Under Glass" downtown and the best restaurants and nightlife are located within the central city.

    You can see the transition to this form of strong central city identity in Providence. When my parents and I were growing up, Providence was just a place to pass through. Now it has become the state and region's downtown, hosting most of the state's core cultural and entertainment attractions.

    I wonder if the same is true in Baltimore, Detroit or Indianapolis...

  3. #3
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    But aren't the list of failures longer? (pontiac silverdome comes to mind)

    Plus how do peoplel who work in the City make it home to the 'burbs in time to make teh 7:00PM starting time?

    Also for art, how do artists afford to live there and where do they get their inspiration from?
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

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    Quote Originally posted by donk
    But aren't the list of failures longer? (pontiac silverdome comes to mind)

    Plus how do peoplel who work in the City make it home to the 'burbs in time to make teh 7:00PM starting time?

    Also for art, how do artists afford to live there and where do they get their inspiration from?
    From a Northern California perspective, the core cities are typically MORE expensive than the outlying exurbs. Unless you want to live in a (rapidly gentrifying) post-industrial apocalypse (which some artists do) or Gunfire Projects Alley, the more serious question in stronger central cities is "How can the artists afford to live downtown"? They often can't, which means cheap production space moves to the outer blue collar burbs. For example, there was a minor burst of garage rock in the early 200s centered in, of all places, distinctly un-hip Vacaville.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by donk
    But aren't the list of failures longer? (pontiac silverdome comes to mind)
    On the contrary, I would argue that all domes are failures (Kingdome, Superdome, Astrodome come to mind). Additionally, the suburban arena The Palace of Auburn Hills seems to be a big success.

    Back to the main topic:

    Here in Chicagoland, while Chicago absolutely rules in sports, museums, and other culture, there is a good mix of culture to be found in the suburbs. For example...

    Aurora has the Paramount Arts Center, Schaumburg has the Prairie Center for the Arts, Elgin has the Hemmens Auditorium, Joliet has the Rialto Square Theater, Rosemont has the Rosemont Theater, and Merrillville has the Star Plaza Theater.

    There's the suburban Brookfield Zoo, which is hands down better than Lincoln Park, and one of the best in America.

    There are the Botanical Gardens and Ravinia Music Theater located in the North Shore suburbs.

    There's Arlington International Racecourse in the northwest suburbs.

    The Western Great Lakes' most popular theme park, Six Flags Great America is located all the way north in Gurnee.

    Minor league baseball is a popular suburban attraction for families. They can choose from The Schaumburg Flyers or the Kane County Cougars.

    The suburbs are the only places with casinos, with the Grand Victoria in Elgin, the Hollywood Casino in Auroa, Harrah's and Empress in Joliet, and Harrah's in East Chicago.

    While Chicago has the Taste of Chicago, the suburbs have their own individual town celebrations and a few even compete with the Taste in terms of food offerings, musical entertainment, and attendance, one of the biggest being Ribfest in Naperville.

    Shcuamburg's Woodfield Mall actually gets more visitiors per year than almost any other place in Illinois, with over 300 stores and more than 2 million square feet.

    There are at least 3 major convention centers in the suburbs.
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  6. #6
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    One of the biggest suburban museums in the area is moving to Center City so i'd say the opposite is the case here. I'd also say that it's the increasing amount of leisure time that suburbanites are spending in the city and the exposure to its amenities that are driving demand for more and better services in the 'burbs (like the restaurant and theatre boom in South Jersey).

    No east coast city is going have a net loss of institutions to the suburbs - if anything it will be a win-win for everyone.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  7. #7
    Suspended Bad Email Address teshadoh's avatar
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    Interesting - because suburban Cobb county has opened a major arts center in an edge city on the edge of Atlanta. So far, the Atlanta Opera company has moved to this location out of the traditional arts district of Midtown, where they will perform. This is partly due to the lack of financial support / funding of an opera oriented performance venue.

    It's already common for suburban town centers to have art galleries, should this had been a tip that this was to be a future trend?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Detroit is the hub of pretty much all of our regional/cultural/convention places. Sure there are some in the suburbs, but the vast majority (and the reason to fund them are owned by the City, run by the city, and operated by or with oversight by a board that the City sits on due to its large interest in the intisitution.

    The City is in the process of spinning off management of the Detroit Zoo, Detroit Institute of the Arts, Historical Museum to non-profit groups, but will still retain ownership. This has already been done sucessfully to the City's half dozen or so golf courses, and the Detroit Symphony/Orchestra Hall.

    The Symphony is one of the most interesting of the group. It resides in one of the most acousically perfect halls in the United States; a restored Jazz Club (Paradise Theatre). It has been expanded to include several new smaller preformance spaces, and a learning center. It also is attached to the City's School for Fine and Performing Arts, so professional musicians employed by the symphony are seen by the high school kids daily, who help to teach and critique and guide them. http://www.detroitsymphony.com/main.taf?p=10
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    Cyburbian
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    Bethesda is not a Baltimore suburb

    The reference to Bethesda is a red herring. Bethesda is INSIDE the DC Capital beltway and is not even close to Baltimore's beltway. Bethesda is a lot more urban than suburban. If Bethesda competes with anyone it would be with the Nat'l Symphony at the Kennedy Center.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Transportation Infrastructure

    I can't help but notice that Carmel is not close to any freeways. How does Carmel propose to provide transportation infrastructure for all this new development? Indianapolis already has superb auto infrastructure and freeways that serve downtown and other urban areas well.

    I'd like to see an urban growth law that requires developers to build transportation infrastructure to service their new developments. Freeways aren't cheap to build.

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