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  #1  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2019, 8:20 PM
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Second cities

Anyone ever take interest in the second cities of countries, states, provinces, or other subdivisions? Second cities are the second-biggest/secondmost important city in a certain place. Most people visit the primary city in a country or place when traveling: Paris in France, Reykjavik in Iceland, Lisbon in Portugal, St. John's in Newfoundland & Labrador in Canada, Denver in Colorado, and so on.

Ever travel to any second city? Ever visit a second city before the primary city? Do you think that the second city is a better slice of the country's/state's/province's people and culture, since most visitors go to the primary city? Do you like the second city more or less than the primary city?

Here's some examples of second cities:

Bahamas: Freeport
Iceland: Akureyri
Portugal: Porto
Greece: Thessaloniki
Colorado: Colorado Springs
Arizona: Tucson
Nevada: Reno
Newfoundland & Labrador: Corner Brook
Prince Edward Island: Sunnyside
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  #2  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2019, 8:37 PM
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in illinois' case, our 2nd, 3rd, and 4th largest cities (aurora, joliet, and naperville) are now just satellite cities enveloped within the massive chicagoland juggernaut, so they're not really standalone cities.

the largest city in illinois not within chicagoland would be rockford. the second largest metro area entirely within illinois* is peoria.

i can't think of any reason why someone from outside the region would want to visit rockford or peoria instead of chicago, unless they have family there.

i'm not trying to shit on rockford and peoria, it's just the truth.



(*) the metro east area of metro st. louis and the quad cities metro area are larger, but those metros extend substantially into other states.
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Last edited by Steely Dan; Mar 27, 2019 at 9:08 PM.
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Old Posted Mar 28, 2019, 6:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
in illinois' case, our 2nd, 3rd, and 4th largest cities (aurora, joliet, and naperville) are now just satellite cities enveloped within the massive chicagoland juggernaut, so they're not really standalone cities.

the largest city in illinois not within chicagoland would be rockford. the second largest metro area entirely within illinois* is peoria.

i can't think of any reason why someone from outside the region would want to visit Rockford or peoria instead of chicago, unless they have family there.

i'm not trying to shit on rockford and peoria, it's just the truth.



(*) the metro east area of metro st. louis and the quad cities metro area are larger, but those metros extend substantially into other states.
Rock Cut State Park
Troop 16 - Rock Cut 2017 by Harry Carmichael, on Flickr

Rockford is working diligently to re-focus after the general industrial slump, bout an hour or so away, well worth the road trip.
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Old Posted Mar 30, 2019, 3:40 PM
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Rock Cut State Park
Troop 16 - Rock Cut 2017 by Harry Carmichael, on Flickr

Rockford is working diligently to re-focus after the general industrial slump, bout an hour or so away, well worth the road trip.
Not to mention, it also has an amazingly good, unbelievable CHEAP old-school red gravy Italian restaurant called Capri. Freaking delicious, and did I say CHEAP?!?!?!

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  #5  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2019, 8:58 PM
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Originally Posted by xzmattzx View Post
Iceland: Akureyri
I’ve been to Iceland twice and I’ve never heard of this place.

Anyway, some others:

Russia - St Petersburg
Australia - Melbourne
Spain - Barcelona (which will piss off the Catalans)
Austria - Salzburg
Netherlands - Rotterdam
Poland - Kraków
Norway - Bergen
UK - Edinburgh (at least for tourists)
Thailand - Chiang Mai
Japan - Osaka

Countries like Germany, Italy and even France have too many contenders to choose one. For Germany it’s hard to even pick the first city.

There are also some where the “first city” for tourists is not actually the largest, “most important” city in the country generally speaking. Examples:

Brazil - Rio de Janeiro
Morocco - Marrakech
South Africa - Capetown
Croatia - Split
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Last edited by 10023; Mar 27, 2019 at 9:45 PM.
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  #6  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2019, 9:12 PM
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  #7  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2019, 9:03 PM
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I think Austrians would consider Graz the second city (and Linz the third), but, yeah, for tourists, definitely Salzburg.
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  #8  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2019, 9:13 PM
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What would be considered the primary and secondary cities in Texas?

Houston is the "largest city"

but Dallas is the "largest metroplex" but is 'also' the 3rd largest city in the state...


I guess the best example to have is maybe going to San Fransisco, many people visit there before LA, and its the 4th largest city (or something) in the state
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  #9  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2019, 9:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Denvergotback View Post
What would be considered the primary and secondary cities in Texas?

Houston is the "largest city"

but Dallas is the "largest metroplex" but is 'also' the 3rd largest city in the state...


I guess the best example to have is maybe going to San Fransisco, many people visit there before LA, and its the 4th largest city (or something) in the state
SF is without a doubt the second city in California. I would consider Dallas to be the primary city in Texas, and Houston the second city. But they're probably too close together in population now for first city/second city designation.
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  #10  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2019, 9:23 PM
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Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
SF is without a doubt the second city in California. I would consider Dallas to be the primary city in Texas, and Houston the second city. But they're probably too close together in population now for first city/second city designation.
In terms of metro area pop. & GDP Dallas-Ft. Worth metro area and Houston metro area almost equal. So I would consider Houston & Dallas (metro) to almost share #1 status in Texas. Number 3 is more interesting. Is it San Antonio or Austin? SA has it on pop., but on influence & growth, is it Austin? Right now I'd give a slight edge to San Anton., in the future though? Austin does have the fastest growing skyline. San Antonio's skyline grows very slowly for a big Texas city. Not sure why.
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  #11  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2019, 9:28 PM
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# 2 in Ireland

Well, if you take the island as a whole, Belfast of course w/ Dublin #1. But for Rep. Ireland (south) is it Cork? Galway? Limerick? Somewhere else?

In Scotland--is Edinburgh or Glasgow #1? Glasgow is bigger but Edinburgh is the capitol and probably has the most inluence.

Italy- I would say Milan, but Naples defenders might disagree.

France--Lyon or Marseilles? Probably Lyon.

Australia--I do believe Melbourne might be closing the gap with Sydney, but still Sydney by a nose.

China is more complicated. Is Beijing #1 or is it Shanghai?
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  #12  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2019, 10:01 PM
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In France, that would still be Lyon because the economy's always been pretty steady over there.
I would hold it as a pretty aggressive town in business, by tradition.

Although Bordeaux, whose genuine 18th-century historic downtown feels very good and attractive might turn a serious challenger since it's been connected to Paris by a HSR line.
It takes only 2 hours for the 600km ride by train now, like you can almost travel the round trip on a daily basis, given today's work amenities.
As a result, it's been madly gentrifying at faster rate, which of course is causing some issues to the local working and middle class people.

Toulouse is also doing good as the major hub of the aeronautical industry in Europe.
It is actually the fastest growing city in the country, but it's rather suburban. To my knowledge, the way I see it, people like their single-family homes with pools in backyards over there, so it's no real urban reference. That may cause some issues to them too in the end, and I hope they work more seriously on their city density.

Population-wise, Marseille should obviously be a candidate, but their downtown is such an impoverished mess that it's still hard to take it seriously.
It's like an American town in the 1970s/80s. The bourgeoisie lives outside the city proper over there, much like in Toulouse.

Nice is nice and kinda sexy as the largest city on the Riviera, but the local economy's yet too slow to make a nominee of it.

And Lille where I've never been yet is the northernmost larger city of the country, almost Belgian, which doesn't necessarily helps.
No kidding, it seems to be a pretty cool town however, but I don't see it as a rival of Lyon yet.

So it'd be either Lyon, definitely the most legitimate to date, or Toulouse or Bordeaux as rising challengers.
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  #13  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2019, 11:45 PM
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Well, if you take the island as a whole, Belfast of course w/ Dublin #1. But for Rep. Ireland (south) is it Cork? Galway? Limerick? Somewhere else?

In Scotland--is Edinburgh or Glasgow #1? Glasgow is bigger but Edinburgh is the capitol and probably has the most inluence.

Italy- I would say Milan, but Naples defenders might disagree.

France--Lyon or Marseilles? Probably Lyon.

Australia--I do believe Melbourne might be closing the gap with Sydney, but still Sydney by a nose.

China is more complicated. Is Beijing #1 or is it Shanghai?
I'd say Cork is #2 for ROI.

Edinburgh is more influential and its the capital of Scotland but Glasgow is the major city in Scotland I'd say, just like Toronto is the main city in Ontario even though Ottowa is the capital of the whole of Canada.

In Italy definitely Milan>Naples, Milan is richer than Rome and bigger than Naples plus a lot richer, its where the main stock market for the country is based etc

For France I'd go for Lyon over Marseille with the others some way behind on size even though some might be richer than Marseille.

For Australia both Sydney and Melbourne are ahead of Canberra by some distance even though Canberra is the capital, the two biggest cities there are pretty evenly matched.

China is big enough to have two #1 cities!

In the UK it's usually a competition between Birmingham and Manchester, the urban areas are pretty even in terms of population or economy although looking at city boundaries only then Birmingham is double the population because the boundaries of Manchester are much more tightly drawn. Glasgow would come just behind those two for size but none of the three have the political influence of Edinburgh.

Germany is probably the most tricky case, you've got Berlin, Rhein-Ruhr, Frankfurt and Munich all with their own niches of importance for one reason or another, maybe Hamburg is a bit behind those. I think Berlin is the only capital in the EU which is poorer than the national average. Obviously there are unique historical reasons for that, Germany is relatively young as a unified country and Berlin lost a lot of power/influence/economy after WWII when it was split with half behind the iron curtain and the other half isolated.

Plus also:

Japan has an obvious second city in Osaka, much larger than anywhere else outside Tokyo.

In Spain Barcelona might well be more known and visited internationally than Madrid even though it's quite a lot smaller.

India is a toss up between Delhi and Mumbai I guess for #1.

In Turkey Istanbul seems the definite #1 although Ankara is the capital.

Brazil has an odd situation with Brasilia as capital but low profile internationally, Sao Paulo being very dominant domestically but Rio de Janeiro being the most recognised city internationally.
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Old Posted Mar 27, 2019, 10:03 PM
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In terms of metro area pop. & GDP Dallas-Ft. Worth metro area and Houston metro area almost equal. So I would consider Houston & Dallas (metro) to almost share #1 status in Texas. Number 3 is more interesting. Is it San Antonio or Austin?
I'd put Austin first--mostly because it's the state capitol and has the main UT campus--but both are growing so fast, in about 10 years we'll refer to that region as Austonio.
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  #15  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2019, 10:42 PM
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I'd put Austin first--mostly because it's the state capitol and has the main UT campus--but both are growing so fast, in about 10 years we'll refer to that region as Austonio.
Folks that live here will NEVER refer to the region as Austonio. The region may tighten up statistically and demographically, but Austonio just doesn't cut it. Keep in mind the two cities are almost as far apart as NY and Philly, and development in between the two metros is mostly along one highway corridor. Meanwhile, the two cities have vastly different economies.
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  #16  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2019, 6:18 AM
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Originally Posted by CaliNative View Post
In terms of metro area pop. & GDP Dallas-Ft. Worth metro area and Houston metro area almost equal. So I would consider Houston & Dallas (metro) to almost share #1 status in Texas. Number 3 is more interesting. Is it San Antonio or Austin? SA has it on pop., but on influence & growth, is it Austin? Right now I'd give a slight edge to San Anton., in the future though? Austin does have the fastest growing skyline. San Antonio's skyline grows very slowly for a big Texas city. Not sure why.
Totally agree on Texas, neither city would yield to the other, they have a healthy rivalry. Although the Cowboys may push Dallas over the top

As far as California, I definitely see San Francisco as second city regardless of population. San Diego is 3rd and San Jose.....if we are to be honest is really suburban San Francisco.
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Old Posted Mar 27, 2019, 9:38 PM
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SF is without a doubt the second city in California. I would consider Dallas to be the primary city in Texas, and Houston the second city. But they're probably too close together in population now for first city/second city designation.
I would agree. But San Jose and San Diego do have a claim for #2, but as the capitol/"downtown"/"city" of the second largest metro area in the state, plus for a lot of other reasons SF has the #2 crown. L.A. is clearly number one for its gigantic size alone, although SF does lead in some important categories--tech, finance etc. Which is the #1 metro area is more problematic--Is it the greater SF metro area (including San Jose/Oakland etc.) or is it the greater L.A. metro area (including Orange Co., Riverside, San Bern, eastern Ventura)? L.A. metro still is #1 in GDP, but in world importance it could be a tie. They are both gigantic and influential. They may share the title.

Last edited by CaliNative; Mar 27, 2019 at 9:52 PM.
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  #18  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2019, 9:57 PM
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Here's a good one...In MO, St. Louis or K.C.?

Ignoring the fact that part of K.C. metro is in Kansas and a small part of St. Louis metro is in Illinois, I would call it almost a tie. St. Louis metro is still a bit larger, but K.C. still seems to be growing faster. In the future, co-leaders? One thing is clear--KC rules the west & St. Louis the east.
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Old Posted Mar 28, 2019, 8:35 PM
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Ignoring the fact that part of K.C. metro is in Kansas and a small part of St. Louis metro is in Illinois, I would call it almost a tie. St. Louis metro is still a bit larger, but K.C. still seems to be growing faster. In the future, co-leaders? One thing is clear--KC rules the west & St. Louis the east.
St. Louis is the dominant city of Missouri, with an extra 1,000,000 people or whatever in missouri. But I don't think of KC as being the 2nd city of the state, either, as it's in a different region. Springfield is more likely to come to mind, which is yet again in a different region on the Ozark plateau. Missouri isn't a cohesive archetypal midwestern state.
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Old Posted Mar 27, 2019, 9:58 PM
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SF is without a doubt the second city in California.
As far as population yes. As far as power and influence, in 2019, it really depends on what we're talking about.
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