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Thread: What's the point of living in a metropolitan city?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Hceux's avatar
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    What's the point of living in a metropolitan city?

    Earlier tonight, I went for a walk with a classmate. She brought up an interesting point about Toronto. What is the reason to live in Toronto? If you want to go biking, hiking, ski-dooing, etc, then you have to leave the city for the countryside to do these things. And, she said that she found the point of living in this city was to shop, to eat, and to suck in bad polluted air.

    So, this slightly biased conversation got me thinking: why do people choose to live in metropolitan cities, like Toronto?

    My reason for living in Toronto is attending a university in Toronto that offers the only program on this subject in Ontario.

    What are your reasons for living in the large metropolitan cities that you had lived in or are now living in?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian njm's avatar
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    living in the city is an armchair sociologist's paradise. also, for those of us who personally dislike driving (regardless of our feelings for others' driving habits), it's nice to have everything with a convenient distance.

    I guess a third reason is that I don't like things 'too' quiet.
    What luck! A random assemblage of words never sounded less intelligent.

  3. #3
    Metropolitan cities have highly differentiated markets. Many niche businesses, institutions and professions can only succeed there.

    So yeah, shopping, food, jobs and culture.

  4. #4
    I think most people live in large cities, because that's where they work, or that's where they're trying to find work.

  5. #5

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    becuse that is where people congregate, meet and communicate with the world. We are basically a social animal

  6. #6
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Can't you hike along the Don Mills? Can't you also go to the Toronto Islands? My point is cities do set aside areas such as these (mainly because they are difficult to develop) to enjoy nature. Toronto's air pollution is due to its location at the lakebed on the bottom of the Niagra escarpment and the fact that Canada has air quality goals without any sort of teeth that the Clean Air Act in the States have. Short of giving up all forms of transportation, utilities, and manufacturing, you'll always have air pollution there.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  7. #7

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    Except for small towns near national or state/provincial parks, my experience has been that metropolitan areas often have better true public access to hiking and natural amenities than many or most small towns. The inner Bay Area, for example, has far better regional parks than out here in small city exurbia. Heck, as exurban sprawl continues, even the on-road bicycling is not as good as it once was. I would probably feel safer in the East Bay hills of Oakland/Berkeley than I would during peak hours in the land of the SUV out here.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    ^-- Heh. I know of people in the Suburbs who put their bikes on their cars and drive into the city to ride around on city streets because traffic in the 'burbs is so fast and aggressive that they don't feel safe out there.
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
    http://neighborhoods.chicago.il.us Photographs of Life in the Neighborhoods of Chicago
    http://hafd.org/~jordanb/ Pretentious Weblog.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    ^-- Heh. I know of people in the Suburbs who put their bikes on their cars and drive into the city to ride around on city streets because traffic in the 'burbs is so fast and aggressive that they don't feel safe out there.

    So true.

    Also- if you have ever lived in a small town surrounded by nothing but nature- it is nice but also can be very culturally unstimulating (is that a word?).

  10. #10
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Why, in short, opportunity, interaction, and life style choice. Right now I live in an apartment in a suburban city. The apt complex is surrounded by state game land and has little to no pedestrian access. Additionally, I am young and full of energy and I want to in a place that has people walking around on sidewalks, the ability to walk or bike to get a cup of coffee, beer, or a bite to eat.

    So, in August I will move into a condo in a historic neighborhood at the edge of downtown in Grand Rapids, Michiganís second largest city. While I will be gaining the lifestyle that I want, I will also be gaining a one hour commute each direction... but the GF will loose a one hour commute, so it works out in the end.

    Living in the suburban community, I try to ride my bike, but people here donít watch for people on bikes. This Saturday someone when off on me because he was trying to cross the designated bike lane, and he did not want to wait for me to go by. On top of that, most city streets, the amount of cars keeps the speed down. On the street that I live on, the speed limit is 45mph, so everyone does 55, and it is a divided road with sidewalks on the other side.

    Cities also have more cultural, social, sporting, shopping, drinking, eating, and entertainment opportunities.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  11. #11
         
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    I think that what draws a lot of people to the metropolitan city is mostly entertainment. Seems like most people want to be where there is a good night scene, lots of nice bars to go to, great shops to go to. I'm 17 and still in high school so I don't really have a choice of where I live but personally if I end up living in a big city when I'm older it'll mainly be because of the architecture and shops. I'm a nut about nice looking buildings and will definately live in a downtown.

    Lately I've been kind of straying away from really wanting to live in a big cities. I've done a ton of exploring of the smaller downtowns around southeast Michigan and have found some that I am really attracted to. I also think it would be nice to live in a smaller town that has less crime, no homeless people. Having a nice downtown with good architecture is stil vital though.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ZachariahDaMan
    Lately I've been kind of straying away from really wanting to live in a big cities. I've done a ton of exploring of the smaller downtowns around southeast Michigan and have found some that I am really attracted to. I also think it would be nice to live in a smaller town that has less crime, no homeless people. Having a nice downtown with good architecture is stil vital though.
    Yes Ypsi and Saginaw are the safest of smaller cities.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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    ummm yeah, those are the first cities I think of when I think of safe.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis

    So, in August I will move into a condo in a historic neighborhood at the edge of downtown in Grand Rapids, Michiganís second largest city. While I will be gaining the lifestyle that I want, I will also be gaining a one hour commute each direction... but the GF will loose a one hour commute, so it works out in the end.

    .
    Did you finally buy a place? I must have missed that. If so congrats dude!

  15. #15
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ZachariahDaMan
    ummm yeah, those are the first cities I think of when I think of safe.

    No offense, but I'm just trying to prove a point, you can't always assume smaller downtowns are safer or have less homeless than larger ones. Crime happens everywhere, particularly where there is high unemployment or a drug problem. I've run into bums and homeless in the oddest of downtowns in Northern Michigan. Sure places like Chicago and Detroit have more, but thats due to sheer size of the regions, on a per capita basis there are cities in N Michigan that are far worse off.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  16. #16
         
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    No offense, but I'm just trying to prove a point, you can't always assume smaller downtowns are safer or have less homeless than larger ones. Crime happens everywhere, particularly where there is high unemployment or a drug problem. I've run into bums and homeless in the oddest of downtowns in Northern Michigan. Sure places like Chicago and Detroit have more, but thats due to sheer size of the regions, on a per capita basis there are cities in N Michigan that are far worse off.
    When did I say that all small towns are safe and I don't have to deal with homeless people in them??? I simply said that I'm starting to like the smaller downtowns where you don't have to deal with that crap.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    No offense, but I'm just trying to prove a point, you can't always assume smaller downtowns are safer or have less homeless than larger ones. Crime happens everywhere, particularly where there is high unemployment or a drug problem. I've run into bums and homeless in the oddest of downtowns in Northern Michigan. Sure places like Chicago and Detroit have more, but thats due to sheer size of the regions, on a per capita basis there are cities in N Michigan that are far worse off.

    I'm going to have to agree with DetroitPlanner - I have been in and actually lived in some smaller downtown areas as well as bigger downtown areas and definately sometimes the smaller downtown areas have more crime and homeless per capita. Definately not always but I don't think that you can realiztically make generalizations like that.

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    What are your reasons for living in the large metropolitan cities that you had lived in or are now living in?[/QUOTE]

    You don't have to walk through parking lots to do your shopping .

  19. #19
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by high density
    What are your reasons for living in the large metropolitan cities that you had lived in or are now living in
    .
    I assume you were talking to me? For me the reason had more to do with a combination of higher salary and lower costs of living (as it involved a move out of California) than it did any perceived benefit to living in a major metro area.

    You don't have to walk through parking lots to do your shopping
    Isn't it quite a paradox? In downtown areas you don't have to walk through the parking lot but if you need to you can't find parking.

  20. #20
    i love the city for the museams, the culture ( i can walk or bike or ride a bus a few blocks and see 4-5 different cultures (even though chicago is one of the most, if not the most segregated cities in the US...but that's another post)), food tied into the afore mentioned, shopping, and night life ( though i am married with children so this doesn't really apply). i lived in the burbs for a few years and could not sleep all i heard were crikets. i need the #1 bus passing by every few minutes to lull me to sleep.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ZachariahDaMan
    When did I say that all small towns are safe and I don't have to deal with homeless people in them??? I simply said that I'm starting to like the smaller downtowns where you don't have to deal with that crap.

    Umm how about here???

    Lately I've been kind of straying away from really wanting to live in a big cities. I've done a ton of exploring of the smaller downtowns around southeast Michigan and have found some that I am really attracted to. I also think it would be nice to live in a smaller town that has less crime, no homeless people.
    See you said it and started the discussion moving in that direction.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  22. #22
         
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    I don't know how many times I'm going to have to say this. My question wasn't answered. I never said anywhere in there that all small towns are safe. I said I would like to live in a small town that is safe. There is a difference between the two.

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