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  #21  
Old Posted Sep 6, 2019, 10:07 PM
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Eh, I don't really agree with that. Cincinnati is very hilly and looks more like SE Ohio, while parts of NE Ohio are very much intensely agricultural.
It's an outlier in the Midwest due to it's geography much like Pittsburgh is in the NE. But Cincinnati still feels Midwest with a southern tinge to it. Cleveland feels a lot like Buffalo. Buffalo is 'northeast' but differs somewhat from other Upstate NY cities like Syracuse, Albany and Utica which feel more New Englandish the further east you go.
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  #22  
Old Posted Sep 6, 2019, 10:38 PM
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  #23  
Old Posted Sep 6, 2019, 10:38 PM
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It's an outlier in the Midwest due to it's geography much like Pittsburgh is in the NE. But Cincinnati still feels Midwest with a southern tinge to it. Cleveland feels a lot like Buffalo. Buffalo is 'northeast' but differs somewhat from other Upstate NY cities like Syracuse, Albany and Utica which feel more New Englandish the further east you go.
Oh yeah, Cincinnati is definitely a Midwestern city with some cultural influences from the South, and some architectural influences from the Northeast. I've always gotten purely Midwestern vibes from Cleveland, and I'm not really sure what about it makes it feel Eastern. If it's just the cultural influences from the immigrants they've received over the years, then I guess Detroit and Chicago are also not Midwestern. From the architecture to the accent to the layout of the city...it's Great Lakes Midwest through and through.

Of course, Clevelanders are quick to point out that they were 'part of Connecticut' hundreds of years ago when the population of NE Ohio was a few dozen people. They'll say that the 'Connecticut influence' is still there because there are 3 buildings from the Connecticut Reserve that are still standing and look vaguely similar to buildings you might find in a small town in CT. But I have always thought this is just something they say to make themselves feel more...prestigious? As if Cleveland is somehow Greenwich on Lake Erie. I've always found this preposterous.
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  #24  
Old Posted Sep 6, 2019, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by edale View Post
Oh yeah, Cincinnati is definitely a Midwestern city with some cultural influences from the South, and some architectural influences from the Northeast. I've always gotten purely Midwestern vibes from Cleveland, and I'm not really sure what about it makes it feel Eastern. If it's just the cultural influences from the immigrants they've received over the years, then I guess Detroit and Chicago are also not Midwestern. From the architecture to the accent to the layout of the city...it's Great Lakes Midwest through and through.

Of course, Clevelanders are quick to point out that they were 'part of Connecticut' hundreds of years ago when the population of NE Ohio was a few dozen people. They'll say that the 'Connecticut influence' is still there because there are 3 buildings from the Connecticut Reserve that are still standing and look vaguely similar to buildings you might find in a small town in CT. But I have always thought this is just something they say to make themselves feel more...prestigious? As if Cleveland is somehow Greenwich on Lake Erie. I've always found this preposterous.
lol, yes, it is preposterous. By that measure, Detroit was part of Massachusetts. Or better yet, France, since that city was originally settled and plotted out by the French.
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  #25  
Old Posted Sep 6, 2019, 11:29 PM
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Steubenville, OH.
Is that the town known for its culture of rape?
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  #26  
Old Posted Sep 6, 2019, 11:41 PM
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Minneapolis always seems to be a notch or 2 further ahead than other places in the US midwest.
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  #27  
Old Posted Sep 6, 2019, 11:56 PM
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Champaign-Urbana.

it has one more Urban than anyone else.

also, Kansas City. the big one, not the little one.
Columbus had Urban Meyer.
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  #28  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2019, 12:27 AM
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Of course, Clevelanders are quick to point out that they were 'part of Connecticut' hundreds of years ago when the population of NE Ohio was a few dozen people. They'll say that the 'Connecticut influence' is still there because there are 3 buildings from the Connecticut Reserve that are still standing and look vaguely similar to buildings you might find in a small town in CT. But I have always thought this is just something they say to make themselves feel more...prestigious? As if Cleveland is somehow Greenwich on Lake Erie. I've always found this preposterous.
I'd agree with this. I never got the connection either, at least in a general land use/cultural feel context. Cleveland is actually a newer metro which boomed concurrent with Detroit and Buffalo booms.

Also, I always find it odd that Connecticut = prestigious and NJ = working class, when they have almost indistinguishable household income, education and demographics. Both have town greens, Portuguese, railroad suburbs, colonial relics, beach towns, etc. They're about as similar as any two states, yet they have polar opposite reputations. NJ = chemical plants and Eyetalians and Connecticut = country-club WASPs.
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  #29  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2019, 12:51 AM
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I would say Milwaukee, even though it does not have rail transit. And Pittsburgh, which straddles the Midwest/east coast. I haven't been to Minneapolis in ages. Columbus does have a okay downtown core and a few neighborhoods near downtown, but it is a sprawling, car oriented city for the most part and it's downtown does not have much retail (it had a big mall but it was shuttered years ago and now the major retail is on the edges of the city (along with strip malls and some of the close in neighborhoods/suburbs with their own retail).
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  #30  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2019, 12:58 AM
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I'd agree with this. I never got the connection either, at least in a general land use/cultural feel context. Cleveland is actually a newer metro which boomed concurrent with Detroit and Buffalo booms.

Also, I always find it odd that Connecticut = prestigious and NJ = working class, when they have almost indistinguishable household income, education and demographics. Both have town greens, Portuguese, railroad suburbs, colonial relics, beach towns, etc. They're about as similar as any two states, yet they have polar opposite reputations. NJ = chemical plants and Eyetalians and Connecticut = country-club WASPs.
cleveland feels very midwest to this midwestern. in fact overall it feels newer than st. louis (theres no weird creole markets, etc) excepting the pre-war rail-serviced, orthodox jewish suburbs which remind me of metro st. louis.
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  #31  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2019, 12:59 AM
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Quantitatively we can consider population density and fraction of people commuting by driving alone. Here is some data from the 1-year 2017 ACS (central city only):



Based on these metrics, Minneapolis is a clear winner, with Madison and Milwaukee being runners-up.
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  #32  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2019, 1:00 AM
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I would say Milwaukee, even though it does not have rail transit. And Pittsburgh, which straddles the Midwest/east coast. I haven't been to Minneapolis in ages. Columbus does have a okay downtown core and a few neighborhoods near downtown, but it is a sprawling, car oriented city for the most part and it's downtown does not have much retail (it had a big mall but it was shuttered years ago and now the major retail is on the edges of the city (along with strip malls and some of the close in neighborhoods/suburbs with their own retail).
Milwaukee east of the Milwaukee river is quite urban.
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  #33  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2019, 1:01 AM
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Originally Posted by SIGSEGV View Post
Quantitatively we can consider population density and fraction of people commuting by driving alone. Here is some data from the 1-year 2017 ACS (central city only):



Based on these metrics, Minneapolis is a clear winner, with Madison and Milwaukee being runners-up.
nice yes, i’m pro-data driven shit. corresponds approximately with my conclusions excluding cincinnati.
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  #34  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2019, 1:07 AM
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nice yes, i’m pro-data driven shit. corresponds approximately with my conclusions excluding cincinnati.

It's interesting how Detroit, St. Louis and Cleveland have have both very similar drive alone modal shares (~70%) and densities (~5k /sq mile)
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  #35  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2019, 1:25 AM
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Modal share and density, while helpful stats, aren't really definitive. Calgary has significantly higher density and transit share than, say, Philly. Would anyone seriously argue Calgary is more urban than Philly? How about Winnipeg more urban than Boston or Chicago?

Urbanity is a subjective concept largely based on street-level feel. Minneapolis, IMO, doesn't quite have it.
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  #36  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2019, 1:42 AM
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My gut was saying Minneapolis and not because of some random percent ride alone metric.
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  #37  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2019, 2:15 AM
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Modal share and density, while helpful stats, aren't really definitive. Calgary has significantly higher density and transit share than, say, Philly. Would anyone seriously argue Calgary is more urban than Philly? How about Winnipeg more urban than Boston or Chicago?

Urbanity is a subjective concept largely based on street-level feel. Minneapolis, IMO, doesn't quite have it.
I agree with you for the most part (there are just statistics that tend to correlate with urban areas), but I don't have enough on-the-ground experience in every city to make qualitative comparisons. Streetview helps, but it's not easy go get a sense of scale.

That said, which of these (all in Chicago) do you consider the most urban:

A) https://www.google.com/maps/@41.8671...7i16384!8i8192

vs.

B) https://www.google.com/maps/@41.8725...7i16384!8i8192

vs.

C) https://www.google.com/maps/@41.9181...7i16384!8i8192


Canadian cities (and Minneapolis) have a lot of streetscapes like A and much fewer of B and C (owing to the age of development, obviously) but arguably they are all urban typologies.
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  #38  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2019, 2:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Modal share and density, while helpful stats, aren't really definitive. Calgary has significantly higher density and transit share than, say, Philly. Would anyone seriously argue Calgary is more urban than Philly? How about Winnipeg more urban than Boston or Chicago?

Urbanity is a subjective concept largely based on street-level feel. Minneapolis, IMO, doesn't quite have it.
I think we'd really need to specify if we were talking about aesthetically urban which would be the domain of appearance and "feel", or functionally urban which would pertain to how people move around and interact with their environment. Functional urbanism would very strongly rely on stats such as population density and transportation modal share while largely ignoring appearance, while the opposite would be true of aesthetic urbanism. Of course there's a correlation between places that appear urban aesthetically and places that function in an urban manner, but as you pointed out it's not a direct relationship.
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  #39  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2019, 2:38 AM
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I think we'd really need to specify if we were talking about aesthetically urban which would be the domain of appearance and "feel", or functionally urban which would pertain to how people move around and interact with their environment. Functional urbanism would very strongly rely on stats such as population density and transportation modal share while largely ignoring appearance, while the opposite would be true of aesthetic urbanism. Of course there's a correlation between places that appear urban aesthetically and places that function in an urban manner, but as you pointed out it's not a direct relationship.
Indeed, places like OTR in Cincinnati or the Historic Third Ward in Milwaukee are almost more like museums or playgrounds than functional neighborhoods.
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  #40  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2019, 4:07 AM
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Indeed, places like OTR in Cincinnati or the Historic Third Ward in Milwaukee are almost more like museums or playgrounds than functional neighborhoods.
As someone who travels the Midwest extensively, I would say outside of Chicago, that Cincinnati and St. Louis appear most urban to me. Now if you include Pittsburgh as mid-west, you would have to also add it in the equation also. Its interesting these three cities are river towns, it appears that outside of Chicago, other lakefront cities have not been able to interwove their lands abutting the lakes into great urban fabric.
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