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Thread: America's most forgotten cities

  1. #51
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    When looking at a list of the top 50 most populous cities in the US many more names pop up that haven't been mentioned. Several are sub-cities or suburbs to the major city within the market for instance; Mesa, AZ (in Phx MSA), Fresno, CA (Sacramento MSA), and just outside the top 50; Aurora, CO (Denver MSA) and Stockton, CA (Sacramento MSA again).

    Then you have probably one of the most forgotten areas of the country, though a major player in the military and port activity as well as tourism, Virginia Beach, VA. This city is known as the "Hampton Roads" area (Which is comprised of the top 3 cities in VA - VA Beach, Norfolk, and Chesapeake all over 200k residents). I think due to the geographical location being "cut off" from the 95 corridor in VA where all other major cities in the state are and having no competition from NC/MA/and Peninsular VA to its growth. Over 1M people reside in this area but like I mentioned it is often called "Hampton Roads" to refer to the whole coastal area.

  2. #52
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    When looking at a list of the top 50 most populous cities in the US many more names pop up that haven't been mentioned. Several are sub-cities or suburbs to the major city within the market for instance; Mesa, AZ (in Phx MSA), Fresno, CA (Sacramento MSA), and just outside the top 50; Aurora, CO (Denver MSA) and Stockton, CA (Sacramento MSA again).

    Then you have probably one of the most forgotten areas of the country, though a major player in the military and port activity as well as tourism, Virginia Beach, VA. This city is known as the "Hampton Roads" area (Which is comprised of the top 3 cities in VA - VA Beach, Norfolk, and Chesapeake all over 200k residents). I think due to the geographical location being "cut off" from the 95 corridor in VA where all other major cities in the state are and having no competition from NC/MA/and Peninsular VA to its growth. Over 1M people reside in this area but like I mentioned it is often called "Hampton Roads" to refer to the whole coastal area.
    And I think out of all the Hampton Road cities, Portsmouth is probably the most forgotten.
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  3. #53
    Cyburbian Joe Iliff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    When looking at a list of the top 50 most populous cities in the US many more names pop up that haven't been mentioned. Several are sub-cities or suburbs to the major city within the market for instance; Mesa, AZ (in Phx MSA), Fresno, CA (Sacramento MSA), and just outside the top 50; Aurora, CO (Denver MSA) and Stockton, CA (Sacramento MSA again).
    You could probably add Arlington, Texas to that list, though the appearance of the Texas Rangers in the World Series and the upcoming Super Bowl in Arlington may help get it noticed on a national level.
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  4. #54
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    And I think out of all the Hampton Road cities, Portsmouth is probably the most forgotten.
    Having lived there, I would probably agree, although Portsmouth does have the really big Army Medical Center in the area.

    I agree that the Hampton Roads (or Tidewater, as some call it) area is largely fogotten, despite being so important from a defense/logistics standpoint. There are no major league teams and no major conference universities, either, despite there being almost 1.8 million people in the entire metro area. That also contributes to it's relative anonymity.
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  5. #55
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    When looking at a list of the top 50 most populous cities in the US many more names pop up that haven't been mentioned. Several are sub-cities or suburbs to the major city within the market for instance; Mesa, AZ (in Phx MSA), Fresno, CA (Sacramento MSA), and just outside the top 50; Aurora, CO (Denver MSA) and Stockton, CA (Sacramento MSA again).
    Colorado, Arizona and California have many such megasuburbs with populations much larger than much more recognizable cities in other states. One could say the same about Ontario as well; Mississauga (668,549) is larger than Boston (645,169), Seattle (616,627), Denver (610,345), Milwaukee (605,013), Washington (599,657) and Atlanta (540,922).

    The multi-city metros: I don't think the average American could name more than one or two of the Quad Cities, but if they could name three, I think the one most likely to be forgotten is Bittendorf.

    Aurora, Colorado is Denver's leading mockburb; the most frequent subject of jokes about Denver's suburbs. The flat semi-arid landscape, a built environment that is perceived as sterile (mostly built after 1970, very strict design regulations, very few overhead utilities, dominated by very large planned communities, etc) and the "poverty-stricken" Colfax Avenue area (by Denver standards; anywhere else, it would be considered lower middle-class to middle-class) fuel the Aurora hate.
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  6. #56
    Cyburbian Joe Iliff's avatar
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    Quad Cities is another metro area that is ignored. I have had several people not know what the Quad Cities were when I mentioned them.
    JOE ILIFF
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    Martin Luther King, Jr.

  7. #57
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    The multi-city metros: I don't think the average American could name more than one or two of the Quad Cities, but if they could name three, I think the one most likely to be forgotten is Bittendorf
    Well, I guess you've proven just how forgotten it truly is, considering it's actually spelled Bettendorf.
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  8. #58
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    When looking at a list of the top 50 most populous cities in the US many more names pop up that haven't been mentioned. Several are sub-cities or suburbs to the major city within the market for instance; Mesa, AZ (in Phx MSA), Fresno, CA (Sacramento MSA), and just outside the top 50; Aurora, CO (Denver MSA) and Stockton, CA (Sacramento MSA again).
    Eh, I'll dispute your California cities a bit, though I'll agree that they're definitely "forgotten" in many ways - Fresno's almost 200 miles from Sacramento, and certainly not in the same MSA (or CSA for that matter). Even Stockton is 50 miles away from Sac and not a part of a Sac MSA or CSA - if anything, Stockton is more likely to be absorbed into the Bay Area CSA at some point, though that's a decade or more away. Both Fresno and Stockton have their own MSAs, but the Stockton MSA does have a fair amount of commuters to the San Francisco, San Jose, and Sacramento MSAs. Fresno's a standalone city and MSA no matter how you slice it.

    Little known fact - Fresno is the largest city and MSA (over a million) that does not have an interstate highway passing through it. I believe that Bakersfield (100 miles south of Fresno) is the second largest city and MSA without an interstate highway, though that one's a bit more debatable because the region has nearly sprawled out to I-5.

    As far as unknown California mega-burbs, I'd nominate Fremont (200k+, Bay Area), Chula Vista (200k+, San Diego), Santa Ana (350k+, Orange County), and Fontana or Moreno Valley (both ~200k, Inland Empire) as being invisible to the average American.
    Last edited by CJC; 06 Jan 2011 at 4:47 PM.
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  9. #59
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CJC View post
    Eh, I'll dispute the numbers on your California cities a bit, though I'll agree that they're definitely "forgotten" in many ways - Fresno's almost 200 miles from Sacramento, and certainly not in the same MSA (or CSA for that matter). Even Stockton is 50 miles away from Sac and not a part of a Sac MSA or CSA - if anything, Stockton is more likely to be absorbed into the Bay Area CSA at some point, though that's a decade or more away. Both Fresno and Stockton have their own MSAs, but the Stockton MSA does have a fair amount of commuters to the San Francisco, San Jose, and Sacramento MSAs. Fresno's a standalone city and MSA no matter how you slice it.

    Little known fact - Fresno is the largest city and MSA (over a million) that does not have an interstate highway passing through it.
    Sorry if I misquoted some facts there thank you for keeping me in line, I prepared my post quickly and didn't have time to fact check it.

  10. #60
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    Sorry if I misquoted some facts there thank you for keeping me in line, I prepared my post quickly and didn't have time to fact check it.
    That's what we're all here for
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  11. #61
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Has Shreveport, LA, been mentioned? Seems to me that this is the classic "big little city". My company has a manufacturing plant located there.

    Note: Shreveport is where the majority of the filming of HBO's True Blood takes place.

    Bear
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  12. #62
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CJC View post
    Eh, I'll dispute your California cities a bit, though I'll agree that they're definitely "forgotten" in many ways - Fresno's almost 200 miles from Sacramento, and certainly not in the same MSA (or CSA for that matter). Even Stockton is 50 miles away from Sac and not a part of a Sac MSA or CSA - if anything, Stockton is more likely to be absorbed into the Bay Area CSA at some point, though that's a decade or more away. Both Fresno and Stockton have their own MSAs, but the Stockton MSA does have a fair amount of commuters to the San Francisco, San Jose, and Sacramento MSAs. Fresno's a standalone city and MSA no matter how you slice it.
    Stockton will likely be quickly 'absorbed' into the Bay area if/when the CA 4 freeway is ever completed between Brentwood (the city and not the neighborhood in Los Angeles ) and Stockton.

    Quote Originally posted by CJC View post
    Little known fact - Fresno is the largest city and MSA (over a million) that does not have an interstate highway passing through it. I believe that Bakersfield (100 miles south of Fresno) is the second largest city and MSA without an interstate highway, though that one's a bit more debatable because the region has nearly sprawled out to I-5.
    The Appleton-Oshkosh, WI MSA is also well up there on the list of metros without an I-route, although US 41 is on the list for future 'promotion' to full interstate status.

    Mike

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    While not exactly forgotten, in the NW I don't hear much about Spokane, although it's come up on my searches - seems like there are good recreational amenities and a nice downtown, and a sizable small city both today and historically, yet for NW'ers it seems to be the country cousin of Seattle and Portland. Although it is not a university town, neither is Bend, OR and you hear a lot about Bend ...

  14. #64
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by docwatson View post
    While not exactly forgotten, in the NW I don't hear much about Spokane, although it's come up on my searches - seems like there are good recreational amenities and a nice downtown, and a sizable small city both today and historically, yet for NW'ers it seems to be the country cousin of Seattle and Portland. Although it is not a university town, neither is Bend, OR and you hear a lot about Bend ...
    What about Everett and Tacoma? Although it does seem like every other COPS episode is filmed in Eastern Washington..

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    Sacramento, Ca.
    Cleveland

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    Sacramento, Ca.
    Cleveland
    Strongly disagree. Both have professional sports teams, one is a state capital, another the hub of a metropolitan area with nearly 3,000,000 residents, and both are firmly cemented in to the collective psyche of the country, especially Cleveland.

    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    What about Everett and Tacoma? Although it does seem like every other COPS episode is filmed in Eastern Washington..
    That's how Fort Worth remains in the national consciousness.
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  17. #67
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    That's how Fort Worth remains in the national consciousness.
    Perhaps... until you visit! Then you realize that Fort Worth is one of the (few) true gems of Texas (and the entire South Central U.S.).

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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Strongly disagree. Both have professional sports teams, one is a state capital, another the hub of a metropolitan area with nearly 3,000,000 residents, and both are firmly cemented in to the collective psyche of the country, especially Cleveland.



    That's how Fort Worth remains in the national consciousness.
    And Sac's sport team is not that good and outside of California hardly anyone will know about Sacramento.

  19. #69
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    And Sac's sport team is not that good and outside of California hardly anyone will know about Sacramento.


    You're wrong on this one, kid. I would point that out to you, but, you know...
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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post

    Perhaps... until you visit! Then you realize that Fort Worth is one of the (few) true gems of Texas (and the entire South Central U.S.).
    I knew you'd bite at that!
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  21. #71
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North View post
    Has Shreveport, LA, been mentioned? Seems to me that this is the classic "big little city". My company has a manufacturing plant located there.

    Note: Shreveport is where the majority of the filming of HBO's True Blood takes place.

    Bear
    Speaking of another "big little city", I'd say that often Richmond, VA is overlooked, despite being a state capital and historical center of the Civil War. The City of Richmond itself is not big (a bit over 200k in population) but the metro area is about 1.2 million, which is not too shabby. It has a decent downtown with an actual skyline located along the river and some very nice neighborhoods (The Fan, Carytown, etc.) and cultural attractions. There is tons of great historic architecture.

    Maybe it's because there aren't any bigtime universities (it has VCU, University of Richmond, which is in the A-10, and Virginia Union) or high level professional sports teams. It doesn't get the attention other similar cities in the mid-atlantic get such as Raleigh or Charlotte, and it's between the bigger metro areas of DC and Hampton Roads, so sort of gets overshadowed.

    I visited Richmond this past week, though, and thought it was very nice and had a lot to offer.
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  22. #72
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North View post
    Has Shreveport, LA, been mentioned? Seems to me that this is the classic "big little city". My company has a manufacturing plant located there.

    Note: Shreveport is where the majority of the filming of HBO's True Blood takes place.

    Bear
    Shreveport is interesting in that during the 1960s and 1970s, neighbors NIMBYed a freeway that was proposed to be built through an inner-city neighborhood to death (I-49 north of I-20). In the intervening years, the public housing complex that was built on the abandoned ROW itself was abandoned and cleared, the highway guys started upgrading the US 71 corridor from the Shreveport area to Kansas City to become I-49 - and the idea of connecting it through that neighborhood to that long-incomplete interchange at I-20 now has broad support, even among the neighbors. Depending on funding, it should be under construction within the next five-ten years.

    See:
    http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=3...87891&t=k&z=14
    I-20 runs from southwest to the east and I-49 heads off to the south. That's downtown Shreveport at the upper right.

    Mike

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    Quote Originally posted by Bubba View post


    You're wrong on this one, kid. I would point that out to you, but, you know...
    Okay well I dont know for sure. But whenever I mention california to people they know about LA, San Diego, or San Francisco. What would make people know about Sacramento?

  24. #74
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    What would make people know about Sacramento?
    It's the Capital? The King's are an NBA team, which means they could make it to the television a time or two during the year. Newsweek magazine named Sacramento one of the ten best cities in the United States. It has a slew of great museums. It has more Starbucks per capita than any other city not named Seattle. It can beat up San Fransisco. It sells moonshine for free.

    What kid that graduated 6th grade doesn't know about Sacramento?
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  25. #75
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    Okay well I dont know for sure.....
    Off-topic:
    This speaks volumes.

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