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  #41  
Old Posted May 28, 2019, 3:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuckerman View Post
As always comparing city sizes and populations is fraught with statistical jiggery-pokery. For example, density is highly related to age and geography in the US. Older cities were not built upon an auto dependent population and sprawl is largely dependent on land availability. Cites like Dallas, Phoenix, Atlanta had very few restraints geographically and could spread widely through auto access. One can only speculate what NYC would be like if it had developed in the mid 20th century – Albany might be a suburb and dozens of mid-rise business parks could have covered all of NJ and Conn.
Having earlier lived mostly in quite dense cities I am always struck by how different Atlanta is. When we moved here 25 years ago the metro area population was about half the present population. Watching millions added to an area is instructive. Only in recent years has the central area started to grow in density, but in addition there are so called “urban-suburban” areas that have formed quite dense older central city like characteristics. Consequently it is hard to know what is “downtown” and it shows that such concepts are historically dated Mumfordish notions of what constitute a city. The political city of Atlanta is less than 10% of the metro population.
Yet age isn't a factor with Atlanta & Miami who are close in population and in age yet the density factor is vastly different for both.
Miami is also around 10% of the metro population but even it suburbs are dense.
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  #42  
Old Posted May 28, 2019, 5:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuckerman View Post
One can only speculate what NYC would be like if it had developed in the mid 20th century – Albany might be a suburb and dozens of mid-rise business parks could have covered all of NJ and Conn.
New York would probably not be the size it is today...or at the very least, a very decentralized metro like LA; a smaller New York but bigger Newark, Yonkers, White Plains, Hicksville and other secondary towns nearby though Albany would still too far away to factor in. Speaking of Albany, it being the oldest city in NYS and in this scenario, developed much earlier than NYC, it could have been a much bigger city and perhaps even equal to (a smaller) New York.
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  #43  
Old Posted May 28, 2019, 5:24 AM
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Land availability yes, but also voter-approved restrictions on sprawl. All of the five major West Coast cities could sprawl much more if allowed.
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  #44  
Old Posted May 28, 2019, 6:02 AM
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
Land availability yes, but also voter-approved restrictions on sprawl. All of the five major West Coast cities could sprawl much more if allowed.
Speaking of which Miami did institute a Urban Boundary Line in 1977 that is still in effect today. If not for the forward thinking commissioners of that time I'm sure Miami would have sprawled just as much as Dallas, Phoenix, or Atlanta and would have swallowed a good portion of the Everglades.
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  #45  
Old Posted May 28, 2019, 1:58 PM
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Originally Posted by memph View Post
In Texas, Phoenix and Vegas, it's somewhere in between at around 4-6k ppsm and in the Midwest it's usually around 3-4k ppsm.
i'm not convinced that texas sprawl is substantively denser than midwest sprawl.

there was a thread a little while ago where some people here where lauding the "impressive" density of Plano, TX (3,820 ppsm).

that's roughly the same exact density of Schaumburg, IL (3,860 ppsm).
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  #46  
Old Posted May 28, 2019, 2:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
i'm not convinced that texas sprawl is substantively denser than midwest sprawl.

there was a thread a little while ago where some people here where lauding the "impressive" density of Plano, TX (3,820 ppsm).

that's roughly the same exact density of Schaumburg, IL (3,860 ppsm).
I remember that discussion. While it's true they both have similar population densities*, Plano to Schaumburg is an apples to oranges comparison and here's why:

1] Plano is growing and becoming more dense and prosperous as the years pass
2] Schaumburg is in decline
3] Plano is significantly larger: 71 square miles with a population of about 290,000. Schaumburg is only 74,000 on 19 square miles of land.
4] Since the year 2000, Plano has added a Schaumburg to its population.
5] Since 2000, Schaumburg has lost 1,200 people.

[*Going with the most current population estimate, Plano's current population density is north of 4,000].
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  #47  
Old Posted May 28, 2019, 2:54 PM
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Are we really splitting hairs as to whether Plano or Schaumburg or "denser"? Just. No.
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  #48  
Old Posted May 28, 2019, 3:26 PM
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Are we really splitting hairs as to whether Plano or Schaumburg or "denser"? Just. No.
Yup!

Not really though. Discussing development patterns between older established midwest suburbs and newer Sun Belt cities.
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  #49  
Old Posted May 28, 2019, 3:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Sun Belt View Post
Discussing development patterns between older established midwest suburbs and newer Sun Belt cities.
but schaumburg is not an "older established midwest suburb".

THIS is an "older established midwest suburb".
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  #50  
Old Posted May 28, 2019, 3:43 PM
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Schaumburg isn't declining, nor is it older/established. It's basically a Midwest Plano.
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  #51  
Old Posted May 28, 2019, 4:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Sun Belt View Post
1] Plano is growing and becoming more dense and prosperous as the years pass...
Is it? I mean. . . just because it's growing, why would it become "more dense"?

. . .
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  #52  
Old Posted May 28, 2019, 4:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Tuckerman View Post
One can only speculate what NYC would be like if it had developed in the mid 20th century – Albany might be a suburb and dozens of mid-rise business parks could have covered all of NJ and Conn.
If NYC didn't develop when it did then it would not have developed into anything remotely resembling a top tier city. It catapulted into the nation's largest city due to the technological capabilities of the time, much like sprawly Sun Belt cities are a product of the technological capabilities of the moment we are in now (or were in very recently).
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  #53  
Old Posted May 28, 2019, 8:21 PM
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Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
If NYC didn't develop when it did then it would not have developed into anything remotely resembling a top tier city. It catapulted into the nation's largest city due to the technological capabilities of the time, much like sprawly Sun Belt cities are a product of the technological capabilities of the moment we are in now (or were in very recently).
That's... quite ridiculous. New York has one of the best harbors in the entire world and is geographically strategic. It may not have developed into such a predominant city, but it would have been top tier period.
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  #54  
Old Posted May 28, 2019, 8:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom In Chicago View Post
Is it? I mean. . . just because it's growing, why would it become "more dense"?

. . .
Because Texas reformed annexation laws last year to inhibit annexation. It is now almost impossible in the state to annex new land to a preexisting city, and so Plano no longer has a functional ability to add land. If Plano had not already set itself down the path to dense urban development, I'd argue that means Plano's growth would plateau in the near future not ONLY because of the aforementioned change, but also because it is near landlocked by other municipalities (Allen, Frisco, Hebron, Richardson, Addison, etc.). Furthermore, Plano is one of the few collar cities in DFW to have already purposefully engaged in land development code changes to allow for denser development. They already have one of the largest suburban skylines in DFW because of this effort. Thus, any population they continue to gain will make the city more densely populated.
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Killeen/Temple Metro: 451,679 (+11.44%) + Waco Metro: 271,942 (+15.77%) + Bryan/College Station Metro: 262,431 (+14.77%)
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  #55  
Old Posted May 28, 2019, 8:44 PM
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Originally Posted by wwmiv View Post
That's... quite ridiculous. New York has one of the best harbors in the entire world and is geographically strategic. It may not have developed into such a predominant city, but it would have been top tier period.
I don't see why.

If you've read NYC's history, you'll know that made NYC great was its role as a seaport in an era when shipping goods to and from Europe was what built America's economy.

If NYC were built from scratch, say, in 1950, none of that would be relevant. There would be very little strategic advantage to NYC's location. Manhattan would probably be built out with a couple of roads, some nice houses, gas stations, a shopping center or two, and perhaps a Taco Bell. NYC's entire Chinese population would consist of the owners of the local Chinese food delivery joint.
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  #56  
Old Posted May 28, 2019, 8:52 PM
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
I don't see why.

If you've read NYC's history, you'll know that made NYC great was its role as a seaport in an era when shipping goods to and from Europe was what built America's economy.

If NYC were built from scratch, say, in 1950, none of that would be relevant. There would be very little strategic advantage to NYC's location. Manhattan would probably be built out with a couple of roads, some nice houses, gas stations, a shopping center or two, and perhaps a Taco Bell. NYC's entire Chinese population would consist of the owners of the local Chinese food delivery joint.
New York Harbor is one of the finest natural harbors in the world and the ocean access for a major navigable river that, with canals connects it to the great lake systems and the st. Lawrence river opening the interior of the the Northeast to ocean trade.

There is no alternate history where NYC doesnt become a major commercial hub.

Weather it would be as big as what we have here is another question but it certainly would be one of the largest cities in America in any situation.
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  #57  
Old Posted May 28, 2019, 9:32 PM
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Originally Posted by wwmiv View Post
Because Texas reformed annexation laws last year to inhibit annexation. It is now almost impossible in the state to annex new land to a preexisting city, and so Plano no longer has a functional ability to add land. If Plano had not already set itself down the path to dense urban development, I'd argue that means Plano's growth would plateau in the near future not ONLY because of the aforementioned change, but also because it is near landlocked by other municipalities (Allen, Frisco, Hebron, Richardson, Addison, etc.). Furthermore, Plano is one of the few collar cities in DFW to have already purposefully engaged in land development code changes to allow for denser development. They already have one of the largest suburban skylines in DFW because of this effort. Thus, any population they continue to gain will make the city more densely populated.
So I'm seeing a few problems with this logic, but please feel free to correct my line of thought here. . . first observation is that Plano doesn't have a skyline - suburban or otherwise* - so I'm wondering where are all these high density (residential) buildings you're referencing would be. . . second observation tells me that (based upon a quick Google Earth flyover) that about 90-95% of Plano is already developed, with few remaining areas that are up for high-density development, and the areas that may still be under development appear to lower density housing:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Pl...!4d-96.6989136

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Pl...!4d-96.6989136

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Pl...!4d-96.6989136

The type of high-er density development appears to be in the form of apartment complexes not unlike what you would find in any suburb of any city in the US, so based upon my logic (flawed as it may be) Plano may actually not only have a density issue, but one where it will simply find future growth altogether. . .

*A simple Google image search for Plano, TX doesn't show any images of tall buildings one would associate with a "skyline", suburban or otherwise. . . but please feel free to post photos to correct my misunderstanding. . .

. . .
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  #58  
Old Posted May 28, 2019, 10:08 PM
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It has always been interesting to try and understand why some cities grow and others do not. Obviously the answer lies in multi-causality. That is, there is seldom a simple answer. As A.N. Whitehead stated “seek simplicity and distrust it.” Of course NYC did have a great harbor, and geographic location, but so did Boston and Baltimore, Baltimore being further inland than either Boston or NY.

What is an interesting question for me has been, “When do cities stop growing and become, as it were, “fully cooked?” When and why does the rate of growth slow down? Cities and metro areas like NY, Boston, Philly, Chicago seem to have reached their optimum populations and are now stable or growing quite slowly. In contrast, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Phoenix, Seattle, etc. continue to grow at a fairly high rate. When are they going to be cooked and at what size?
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  #59  
Old Posted May 28, 2019, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Schaumburg isn't declining, nor is it older/established. It's basically a Midwest Plano.
I tend to think that negative growth is a decline.
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  #60  
Old Posted May 28, 2019, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom In Chicago View Post
Is it? I mean. . . just because it's growing, why would it become "more dense"?

. . .
In-fill. We've been witnessing this phenomenon in high growth metros when municipalities become land locked by other municipalities, natural geographical features and other restricted lands.

Downtown:
https://goo.gl/maps/mekSt9CffUFekcmX8
https://goo.gl/maps/9MzMoSEDqAujw16h7
https://goo.gl/maps/4uZyeDVqJkTVsCRF7
https://goo.gl/maps/qTPrLAcvc3Vcs2aP8

The other side of town, high rise in-fill.
https://goo.gl/maps/5drSGx3NBsrv23Su8
https://goo.gl/maps/McFZP8vkxJavEkMg7

Last edited by Sun Belt; May 28, 2019 at 11:03 PM.
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