• Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no echo chambers. Create your FREE Cyburbia ID, and join us today! You can also register through your Reddit, Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Microsoft account.

New Poster

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,329
Points
31
I feel like I'm walking into a room filled with people I do not know. But, just like in life, one must mingle.

I have never been on a message board before so "bear" with Bear Up North.

Me? 55 in August, Operations Manager for a mid-sized distribution center....absolutely NO schooling in any kind of urban planning, etc.

When I was a Junior in high school my Sociology teach spent the semester designing a city, with the help of all the kids in the class. I liked it and started drawing maps....city maps, to be more specific. Complete with all of the roads, rivers, creeks, buildings, xways, railroads, etc. forever.

Almost 40 years later I continue to draw maps.

The city I designed is named De Noc. It is in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, on the shores of Lake Michigan, on the northern end of Big Bay De Noc. Those nearly 40 years of drawing all of those interconnecting maps.....many suburbs included.....have produced a place that is real to me.

De Noc has sprawl.....as my maps were drawn quite often I would sprawl forward much like many of our cities here in the U.S. De Noc has poor planning (or lack of planning) decisions that were later changed.

De Noc has expressways slicing through urban neighborhoods creating pockets of ghettos. And the more I prowl thru the internet.....informative sites such as this one.....the more I go back to the drawing board and work on changes and improvements to the landscape known as metro De Noc.

I could go on for hours....but I won't. Just wanted to share some basics with a point: A city doesn't have to be real to have the real problems (and benefits) that our cities all have.


Bear
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
Do you have any of your drawings scanned? It would be great if you could post them...

Welcome! :)
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Welcome. It is good to have another Midwesterner on the boards. Are you from the UP?
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Welcome Bear

You'll find this a friendly group!
 

Wannaplan?

Galactic Superstar
Messages
3,149
Points
27
Hail to the Victors!

Welcome!

Bear Up North said:
...the more I go back to the drawing board and work on changes and improvements to the landscape known as metro De Noc...
Hilarious! That town is so small and remote!
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,329
Points
31
Thanx to all for the nice "welcome" messages. Some responses:

De Noc (and all suburbs) are drawn on paper aprox size
28" x 22". Each of the more than 400 sheets (plats) is considered to be 644 acres....equal in size to a square mile, but the sheets are rectangular.

To see the entire city I would have to rent a gymnasium.

I have no scanner. I would need a scanner for the size drawings that I have.

Except for a summer in downtown Chicago, I have lived in northwestern Ohio all of my life. But.....I take numerous trips to Michigan's Upper Peninsula.....sort of a geographic love affair.

The southern Upper Peninsula hugs Lake Michigan so De Noc temperatures aren't as severe as along the Lake Superior shoreline. Winters are a little milder than Minneapolis and Summers do not get as hot as the Twin Cities.

And, yes indeed.....their is healthy competition between De Noc and the Twins.

Bear
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Bear Up North said:
I take numerous trips to Michigan's Upper Peninsula.....sort of a geographic love affair.
Easy to understand. I head up there once or twice a year. Munising is my usual base, but I have been all through it from the Keweenaw to Marinette to Sault Ste. Marie. How does Fayette fit into the metro DeNoc region?

(For others, Fayette is a ghost town - site of a smelter - that has been converted to a state park.)
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,329
Points
31
Michael Stumpf.....

Fayette remains a state park, easily accessible (short drive) for the folks in De Noc to do a day-trip. De Noc's metro and all the cookie-cutter cul-de-sac burbs haven't spread that far.

Some of the suburbs were invented names.....wives, girl-friends, cool-sounding names, rip-offs from other metros. And some of the suburbs are "liberally relocated" to fit my needs.

Example.....Nahma Junction is, in all reality, just a crossroads. However, in the world of De Noc it is a suburb on the big lake, complete with a deep water port facility and a shipbuilding factory.

Nahma Junction was drawn in the late 1970's and I was living in a suburb of Toledo.....Perrysburg.....at that time. P'Burg's original boundaries were a "box"....squared in by East Boundary Street, West Boundary Street, South Boundary Street, and the Maumee River. I did the same for Nahma Junction, but added a spur of the metro area bike trail. (Bike trails basically "stole" from bike trails that are on I-275 in metro Detroit.

I steal a lot. Heh heh....

P.S. Real: There is a little bar about 30 miles west of Marquette, called STUMP'S. Nice folks. I camp near there, usually late summer.

Bear
Bear
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Bear Up North said:
P.S. Real: There is a little bar about 30 miles west of Marquette, called STUMP'S. Nice folks. I camp near there, usually late summer.
Unusual name, but it turns up every once in a while.
There is a "Stumpf Drugs" in Louisiana.
A Minnesota landscape architecture firm, Coen + Stumpf, has been getting some good recognition lately.
I've found a "Stumpf Street" in Cross Plains, WI.
Milwaukee has a building, the "Stumpf Block." I don't know anything about it, but my grandfather was born in Milwaukee.
There is a "Stumpftown" in Colorado, named after a miner, but it is a ghost town now.
 

buffy

Member
Messages
19
Points
1
Michael Stumpf said:
Unusual name, but it turns up every once in a while.
There is a "Stumpf Drugs" in Louisiana.
A Minnesota landscape architecture firm, Coen + Stumpf, has been getting some good recognition lately.
I've found a "Stumpf Street" in Cross Plains, WI.
Milwaukee has a building, the "Stumpf Block." I don't know anything about it, but my grandfather was born in Milwaukee.
There is a "Stumpftown" in Colorado, named after a miner, but it is a ghost town now.
Any relation to Bill Stumpf the celebrated co-designer of the Aeron Chair?

Oh and welcome to the big ol huggie bear
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
buffy said:
Any relation to Bill Stumpf the celebrated co-designer of the Aeron Chair?

Oh and welcome to the big ol huggie bear
I have a brother, Bill, but not the same one.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
Hey!

I used to draw maps back when I was in high school. My mother had a paper route, and they always bound the newspapers in blank newsprint. I used to get pretty elaborate.
 
Messages
3,690
Points
27
Bear - welcome to the group. You'll find that as message boards go, we're a pretty friendly one. Hope you enjoy!
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
De Noc sounds intriguing; I hope you document it electronically one day so people can see it.

Welcome.
 

PlannerByDay

Cyburbian
Messages
1,827
Points
24
Welcome.

Your map project sounds very very interesting and detailed. It would be neat to see certain elements of your community such as along the lake shore or the downtown area.

The Cyburbia forum is a great place to bounce ideas around I hope you enjoy you time in the fourm, I know I do.

Welcome again
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,329
Points
31
The paper size of my drawings is aprox 28" x 22". From west to east my metro is 23 drawings wide which would be about 54 feet. From north to south my metro is 26 drawings in height which would be about 48 feet.

Your questions jump-started this old mind.....as Operations Manager for a large northwestern Ohio distribution center I have access to a very large open space.....our shipping department. It would be empty (we have same day service) on weekends.
My metro would be aprox 54 x 48. I could borrow the company's digital camera. We have rolling 12-feet high ladders, for a good view. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.......

I draw every street. The regular 2-lane streets are about 1/4" wide (non-metric-savvy U.S.A. guy talking to you). The 4-lanes are about 1/2" wide. I do not name every street. I only name the streets that are major arteries and any street that has a building (other than a house) or a park or mini playground or outside ice rink, etc. The houses are somewhat similar to the one's you draw.....although mine are "sloppier". They almost look like quick-drawn circles. I add these to my maps to indicate residential development and to get accurate population counts of each plat (sheet). In my world, a house is worth 5 people.
I also have a significant number of apartment buildings, including many high-rise units. The size and (livable) floors of an apartment building also help the population stats.

De Noc's current population is 1,174,100. The Metropolitan De Noc Area (SMSA) is 1,856,267. De Noc is in the 10 largest U.S. cities in population but it's metro is in the mid-20's. I need to build more suburbs.

The reason I name certain streets is because I have also been working on a multi-year project to give addresses to every building in the metro (excluding the houses). The buildings can be (and are) any building you would see in a major metro:

Offices, apartments, banks, malls, small retail centers, restaurants, taverns (my personal favorite), hospitals, factories, any and all business establishments, and on-and-on......all named.

When you get a metro this big it can get confusing. For instance, say that I'm working on a new plat in the southwest Metro (my favorite area right now because of a new airport I just built). When I go to add the usual "stuff" that you would see along a major artery I have to make sure that the same things aren't on the adjacent plat or so close that it wouldn't make sense. Star Bank and Trust (my largest banking corporation) may be getting a branch on West Alaska House Road in the suburb of Alaska House. If I don't have some sort of indicator to tell me where the closest Star branch is I could be, in theory, wastefully using the bank's money for over-saturation of bank branches. (That couldn't happen in the "real world", right? hah hah hah.....).

So I have a stack of 8&1/2 x 11 code maps, just showing the plat numbers. For my Star Bank example I check the code map for Star Bank.....oops, I have a branch in adjacent suburb Porcupine Lake and it is only one mile from this location. So I don't build it.

I also have about a dozen of what I refer to as "major maps", drawn to a scale that would show about 6 plats width and heighth.....with the buildings not drawn in. These majors help me keep my roads, parks, lakes, creeks, etc. somewhat logical.

Metro De Noc's park system is one of the best in the world. One of my projects (the list is endless) is to determine the acres, playgrounds, ball fields, outside ice rinks, tennis courts, etc. and compare with other similar metros. Research on the net (Google search of playground and park standards) has helped me on this one. Included within the park system is a significant number of bike trails. (Coincidence.....real-life Marquette, Michigan is considered one of the best cities in the states for bike trails.)

I said I was building an airport. Almost finished. Used runway patterns liberally stolen from Denver, Chicago, Seattle, etc. to develop my new airport. The airport also has a 4-lane road around the perimeter, gates and accesses to the aorport on one side of the road and hotels, motels, casinos, restaurants, retail centers....all on the other side.

The old airport will be torn down and converted to an office park, because it does have good expressway access. The old airport was a circle runway.....for real !!! I was about 20 years old and read and article in Popular Science about circle runways so that's what De Noc got. But.....the city is so big now it can't handle the passenger volume.

The expressway system needs some work. It's pretty good in the center of the city, helping to distribute inbound and outbound traffic in a logical manner. But.....the fast growing southwestern suburbs have constantly stopped traffic on the x-ways that head that direction. One major expressway ends at the city limits for Des Plaines (sound familiar, Chicago folks?) and feeds major traffic to a boulevard system. Because of this error in planning most of the SW burb traffic is on the Industrial Expressway, getting jammed in a sea of truck traffice from the heavily-industrialized near-SW side. Outbound downtown traffic that is heading SW has another choice but it adds a number of miles.....head south on I-98 to Metropolitan Parkway (8-lane outerbelt) and turn west. I-98 heading through the northeast suburbs is also a mess, even though the growth in this area is not as strong. This portion of I-98 becomes 2-lane just a few miles from downtown De Noc....bad, bad, bad.

There is good public transportation in De Noc....a comprehensive Monorail system. There has not been much development and retail growth around DNTS stations.....because that was just something I never thought about in cause and effect terms. After reading many net sites such as Subway.com (and their links) I see that this is an issue that is used as a reason to build public transit. Of course, bus routes feed the DNTS stations.....yes, route development is on my project list.

Skyscrapers.com is a great site for info on buildings, skylines, planned projects, etc. I researched similar-sized metros (such as Cincinnati, Kansas City, Twins) and reviewed the number of skyscrapers. These metros have (usually) about 125-150 skyscrapers. Since I indicate the number of floors for these tall buildings on my drawings I was able to pop an Excel spreadsheet together for all of my buildings. I have about 194 skyscrapers.

Justification? One of the top insurance centers in the states, a vibrant downtown with a substantial growth period in the 1990's, no high rise zoning issues in the metro (we look like Toronto from the air with small pockets of high rise buildings spurting right out of neighborhoods), and many high-rise apartment buildings.

I hope all of this info is of some use. I love the scans of your city. Keep them coming and keep encouraging me to figure out how to get De Noc on the internet.

Bear
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
That photo reminds me of my high school days.

I used to be very detailed, showing all the residential streets, shopping center layouts (no parking lot spacing diagrams), the parks, churches, golf courses. Used to invent snobby suburbs with curvilinear street patterns-this is before I became more enraptured with traditional urbanism.

Its a fun hobby-but it would be too much like work today.
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,329
Points
31
Keep on drawing those maps. I love 'em.

I like the fact that you are trying to be realistic as possible.

Question: I'm not sure how big your city (or metro) is in population. Sometimes downtown development can be hindered by Mean Ole' Mister Sprawl....allowing your good citizens the opportunity to drive on wide streets, through newer developments, and pull right up to retail centers (usually with about a dozen stores). That sprawl will drain shoppers from your downtown.

Unless you have....."the gimmick".

Larger metros (NY, Toronto, Chicago) have downtowns that are alive for long hours. These places have everything a person needs. albeit at high $ living. Toronto is an excellent example of downtown success. The subway system is clean and quick, there is a lot to do (bars, restaurants, theaters), and some great big ticket attractions are there.

Some mid-size metros have energized their downtowns. The last time I was in Minneapolis it was "hopping" at night, although it has been quite some time. Pittsburgh has some sports stadiums that draw folks downtown and is continually working on ways to keep those people spending time (& $) downtown.

Some mid-size metros have not been as successful in their downtown nightlife. I was in Cincinnati last April for a wedding and many bars and restaurants were closed by 6:00 PM on a Saturday night. (Maybe I picked the wrong part of downtown?).
Reading on the web about Cinci I can see that they are trying to succeed.....but the headlines seem to always indicate that stores, etc. downtown have not been successful.

There is a neat nightlife across the river in Covington. That was fun, even for an old $x^& like me.

Smaller metros (such as Toledo) really struggle. Toledo had a "festival marketplace mall" in the mid-1980's. It lasted a few years and closed....you can only buy so many kites, fudge, and glassware with a paltry skyline. It was replaced by a very successful Science Museum. And Toledo's new baseball stadium, built downtown and in its' second year, was voted BEST new minor-league ballpark. Some neat bars and restaurants do a nice business on game days but in wintertime the stadium and downtown are quite dead.

You will find some smaller communities who have re-energized their downtown areas....although they usually refer to that cluster of buildings as "uptown". Antiques or close-by natural attractions are a couple things that add a spark to small town downtowns.

In my city, De Noc, I have recently re-drawn my downtown plat. Main reason it was thirty some years old and somewhat crinkled. I made no real changes. Downtown De Noc is still a corporate headquarters city, there is an underground retail center (patterned after Toronto), a number of major hotels and casinos, and.....this is important....ample and easy parking.

I hope some of this helps you. If anybody else reading this post thinks that Im full of it....let me know. I'm old enough to listen but too old to change. Heh heh heh.....

Bear
 

pete-rock

Cyburbian
Messages
1,551
Points
24
Welcome, Bear!

Anyone who uses the University of Michigan avatar is cool with me. I never went there, but I've always been a big fan of the Maize and Blue!
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,329
Points
31
Some of the government buildings in my city (De Noc) include
a Federal Building (we are a huge city, after all), Police Department, City Hall, County Courthouse, Jail, and a Juvenile Justice Center.

Some of the buildings are connected by a series of underground tunnels (such as the Police State, the court house, and the Jail). Many cities do this.

The parking for most of downtown De Noc is on multiple underground levels, based on Chicago. Access to the parking is via street entrances.

Seems to me that planned cities (newer cities) would not have many grid pattern streets, except possibly downtown. If Enville was a city that has been around for a century or two it would most certainly have grids.....unless the topography did not allow it. If I remember, Enville is pretty flat, right?

Be very careful with a 4-lane turning into a 2-lane. I run into the same problem in my real-world distribution center. I can't have conveyor abilities "shrinking" as more cartons get closer to shipping.

De Noc has a few examples of a 4 lane entering downtown by splitting into 2 each 2-lanes, one-way streets. This is a common practice in cities.

How high to build your apartment towers and what do they look like. Vancouver, BC, is an excellent example of a city that is filled with high-rise apartments. The word I got is that more and more are getting planned and built. Good info on skyscrapers is available @skyscrapers.com. Also tons of photos so you can check out the latest in high-rise design.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,329
Points
31
Enjoyed looking at all of your scans. A few comments:

I noticed that you use color in your designs. My De Noc maps are plain ole' pencil lead. My water is not even colored-in to a "blue". The irregular lines around a lake (for instance) that are the shoreline and the fact that there are no roads or buildings is an indicator that it is water. It's simply blank.
Your way or my way are both OK. We do this because we like to.

Your last three scans are interesting.....interesting because you can almost feel feel that you are in an airplane flying over Enville. I'll bet you thought that, too.....it made you feel good because it somehow makes it seem "real".

When I'm working on De Noc I will sometimes want to get a feel for how a few plats are going to line-up next to each other so I will lay them on the dining room floor, in proper order. I get that "in-an-airplane" feeling when I do that.

Something I noticed on a few scans....and I see it on my "main maps" of the entire De Noc metro.....the "edge".

No, not talking any guitar playing guy with an unusual name. I'm talking about the fact that on our "fake" cities we only have what we have drawn. So the world seems to end at the edge of our perimeter drawings.

Again, no big deal. We do this because we like it.

Bear
 
Top