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Poll results: What is your ideal city, population-wise? Use metro populations, when applicable.

Voters
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  • Small Town-- less than 5,000 residents

    0 0%
  • Mid-sized Town-- 5,000 - 20,000 residents

    0 0%
  • Large Town-- 20,000 - 50,000 residents

    5 18.52%
  • Small City-- 50,000 - 100,000 residents

    1 3.70%
  • Mid-sized City-- 100,000 - 500,000 residents

    8 29.63%
  • Large City-- 500,000 - 1 million residents

    2 7.41%
  • Metropolitan City-- 1 million - 2.5 million residents

    2 7.41%
  • Cosmopolitan City-- 2.5 million - 5 million residents

    1 3.70%
  • Major Metro Area-- 5 million - 10 million residents

    5 18.52%
  • Alpha-class Metro Area - 10+ million residents

    3 11.11%
  • Other-- explain.

    0 0%
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Thread: Your Ideal City: Population?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Your Ideal City: Population?

    Picture your interpretation of a perfect city. Some of you I'm sure have an actual place in mind, but it should just be an idea or general inclination based on your personality, level of socialization, comfort, etc. How big is this city, population-wise (and use metropolitan populations if applicable [that means you, suburbia], not city limits population)? Using the basic descriptions and arbitrary titles listed in the poll, make your choice. Approximate when needed.

    Discuss and explain, but mainly I just want to get Cyburbia's pulse.
    Last edited by TexanOkie; 09 Jul 2009 at 5:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    I would go with 20-50,000 to work in, but I'd want 100-500,000 to live in. If you are talking metro areas and not just City proper I'd go bigger, though.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  3. #3
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Rygor View post
    I would go with 20-50,000 to work in, but I'd want 100-500,000 to live in. If you are talking metro areas and not just City proper I'd go bigger, though.
    I did mean metro areas. So for those of us in suburbia, include the metro area at large, not just your city. For example, I work in a 17,000-resident suburb of Austin, but Austin's metro population is around 1.6 million. So, if Austin or my current suburb were my ideal, I would mark the category for 1 million - 2.5 million.

    Austin is not my ideal. At all. However, the size of Austin, and other cities and metro areas with similar populations, seems to be my ideal. Fort Worth (minus Dallas) has about 2 million, Oklahoma City has about 1.3. Nashville, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Portland (OR), Indianapolis, San Antonio, Providence, the Hampton Roads, Sacramento, Columbus (OH), Jacksonville, New Orleans, etc, all have dramatically different cultures and senses of place, yet fit into this category. The other options have similar leeway on place specifics.
    Last edited by TexanOkie; 09 Jul 2009 at 5:25 PM.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    For me, built form and density matter a lot more to me than overall population. I'd be much happier in a small walkable college town somewhere than most 1950's or later suburban areas of large metros, but if we're talking the absolute ideal, I'd go with a large metro of at least 5 million.
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CJC View post
    For me, built form and density matter a lot more to me than overall population. I'd be much happier in a small walkable college town somewhere than most 1950's or later suburban areas of large metros, but if we're talking the absolute ideal, I'd go with a large metro of at least 5 million.
    I agree. Built form is more important. However, in your built form of choice, at some point it's either too small to be worth it or so large that it's overwhelming.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    I originally thought of the municipality and votes 20k-50k but after seeing your second post I'll say 1M - 1.5M people.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Culture, attractions, economy and number and diversity of job opportunities, having everything within an hour is very important to me, so I went with Alpha-sized world city. Chicago's right on the cusp at 9.5 million, but it will reach 10 million shortly. I'd say anywhere between 8-12 million is perfect for me. I suppose I could settle for a smaller metropolitan area too (2-8 million). Any smaller than that though, and it would have to be within a few hours drive of a larger metro.

    However, even though I like metropolitan areas, I don't think I would enjoy living in the city-proper of any place over 250,000 or so. Smaller, local government is important to me, and things become too easily mis-managed and residents lose too much power when a city gets too big. My ideal city is a suburb of about 10,000-50,000 on the fringes of a large metropolitan area...within 1 hour's drive of the heart of the city, within 1 hour's drive of the heart of the country (rural area). And I'm happy to say I'm in my ideal location. Hopefully I can stay here.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  8. #8
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    A person born into a big city will have the natural inclination to chose larger cities, while those born in mid or small ones will typically prefer those. It deals with what you are used to (or what you will put up with) depending upon your persepective.

    I am most at home where I am. I am in a complex, multi-country metro that is anywhere from 4 million to 5.5 million depending upon how you count it. I take comfort in big vity amenities like hospitals or being able to get places by bus (though 5 kids were shot recently by a bus stop near my house!)
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  9. #9
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
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    My preference would be to live in a quiet neighborhood of a large city. I grew up in a New England small town and am just not wired for "all hustle and bustle, all the time". I love it in doses but it causes me lots of anxiety if, say, I have to return home from work and listen to honking cabs and people yelling under my window. If I had kids, my preference would be a walkable railroad suburb with a vibrant downtown, although these places tend to be damn expensive to live in in a lot of cases since you really need to own a car to go anywhere not served my the train line.

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