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  #61  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2019, 3:44 PM
Crawford Crawford is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
You are confusing DP with the greater South Loop.
No. I never mentioned, or posted, Dearborn Park. The linked streetscape was not Dearborn Park.
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
The greater South Loop east of Michigan Ave is still generally well connected to surrounding streets. It is not the same thing as DP.
Most of the South Loop consists of quiet side streets, and those are the most desirable streets for families. Streets like State and Wabash are unpleasant and unattractive, generally.
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
DP is an insular hellhole like a suburban subdivision with nearly no outlets. It also completely turns its back on State St, a major thoroughfare, south of Roosevelt.
That portion of State Street sucks. It has a giant L running alongside, and is dirty and noisy. Families aren't gonna live there. Dearborn Park (again, not what we're talking about) has a number of dense, urban midrise towers, actually. I ate at an Indian restaurant at the base of one of these towers. The areas west of Dearborn Park are just railroad tracks and strip malls.

If you dislike the townhouses of the South Loop, you must hate Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Wicker Park and Bucktown. The family oriented streets in those neighborhoods are even less intense.
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
People who live in DP come out with pitchforks and torches whenever there is a proposal that threatens that status quo.
NIMBYs suck, but that's what you get with families.
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  #62  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2019, 4:04 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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^ I don't think you are understanding my point.

I never said that I have a problem with townhouses. That's why the townhouse neighborhoods east of Michigan Ave have never bothered me.

My problem is specifically with the layout of DP, particularly the second phase south of Roosevelt. It turns its back on a major street and has a completely insular design far worse than townhouse neighborhoods built afterwards, as well as prewar neighborhoods such as Lincoln Park, Bucktown, etc as you mentioned. DP for example creates a huge barrier between State and Clark streets, something you don't see in the neighborhoods east of Michigan Ave in the South Loop, and certainly you won't see up in LP, Bucktown, Lakeview, etc. Please note the differences on a map.

Anyhow, this is way off topic
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  #63  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2019, 4:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
No. I never mentioned, or posted, Dearborn Park. The linked streetscape was not Dearborn Park.
You posted Dearborn Park II in your first post of the playground. DPII is much worse than DP in my view, since DP at least has midrises east of Plymouth and Dearborn Station itself is nice (if underused...but a great place to see jazz!). DPII, with the SFH on State in particular, is a travesty.


I agree that the SL is a nice place to live (I live there!) and I have no problems with the townhouses of Central Station. I'm sure DP II is nice too, but it's a poor use of land.
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  #64  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2019, 4:11 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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The difference between DPII and Central Station (east of Michigan Ave):

If you go from Roosevelt south to 16th St, take a look at through-running east-west streets on this 4 block stretch.

DPII has zero east-west running streets
Central Station has 2 (out of 3 possible: only 15th st doesn't cut through).

DPII is a fortress. Central Station isn't.

Anyhow, we are way off topic
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  #65  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2019, 4:14 PM
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
Milwaukee is interesting.

In many ways it is one of the midwest's most urban cities.

People focus a lot on the Historic Third Ward but to me, its most urban areas are its north lakefront. Those are not "museums". They are functional urban neighborhoods with a long row of highrise apartment buildings and adjacent walkable commercial strips. In a way, they are sort of a mini-Chicago in their layout.
Totally agree with you... Prospect/Farwell/Brady are the most vibrant part of Milwaukee. The Third Ward is aesthetically more traditionally urban in form but not function IMO.
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  #66  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2019, 4:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
But these aren't equivalent to prewar urbanity. Dallas has probably built like 50k in-town units, but doesn't appear notably more urban than earlier. It's more like dense suburbia imported to low-value core land to serve demographic trends like later family formation and less money for down payments. It's Phase 1 to the eventual Plano McMansion.
This is the sort of development Minneapolis has been building, I'm not sure I would call these suburban:

https://www.google.com/maps/@44.9483...7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com/maps/@44.9484...7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com/maps/@44.9737...7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com/maps/@44.9814...7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com/maps/@44.9811...7i13312!8i6656

Last edited by Chef; Sep 7, 2019 at 4:53 PM.
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  #67  
Old Posted Sep 8, 2019, 1:57 PM
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Downtown is a secondary issue here

Generally in the us the cities that are adding the most urban format infill midrises are those with the highest rate of increasing urbanity.

Houston inner loop, dc, Austin, portland, Chicago west loop, Minneapolis are at the forefront of this trend.

In the Midwest, maybe Columbus.

Meanwhile Milwaukee’s downtown, St. Louis central west end, and Cincinnati’s OTR are architecturally extraordinary. But they lack the new investments in sufficient numbers to make these assets yield the benefits they should.
to be clear, the central west end IS getting serious investment and is a growing island in the “global chicago island” mode with too much new construction for me to bother with on here. additionally, OTR has been completely transformed with renovations and subtle infill in a way that i’ve never see first hand. i remember how it was. st. louis problem isnt the lack of investment in the central west end and OTR is seeing plenty of attention.


nextstl.com


nextstl.com


apartments.com
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Last edited by Centropolis; Sep 8, 2019 at 2:21 PM.
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  #68  
Old Posted Sep 8, 2019, 4:52 PM
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I defy anyone to compare inner loop Houston today to 30 years ago and tell me midrise construction everywhere hasn’t contributed to gains in urbanity.
Who ever said that it hasn't contributed?
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  #69  
Old Posted Sep 8, 2019, 5:23 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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I haven’t ever been to Columbus, Cincy, or Minneapolis.

Based on articles I’ve read, Streetview visits, pics, and my knowledge about infill development, though, my hunch is that Minneapolis wins.

It has the most high rise construction, lots of urban infill, and progressive policies towards zoning such as eliminating SFH zoning.

It may have less prewar fabric than St Louis or Cincy but urbanism doesn’t have to end there.

I also think that Milwaukee may deserve #2 status. I say this because it may not be as large as some other cities, but it’s extant urbanity is quite impressive. Plus it now has a streetcar and it has downtown-to-downtown rail connections direct to Chicago, with plans underway to increase said service.

St Louis has some wonderful building stock but it seems too disconnected unlike Milwaukee which, like Chicago, has nearly contiguous urbanity radiating out from downtown.

I won’t comment much on Cincy but it seems like its big claim to fame is OTR which seems wonderful, but not encompassing enough, it would seem.
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  #70  
Old Posted Sep 8, 2019, 6:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
But these aren't equivalent to prewar urbanity. Dallas has probably built like 50k in-town units, but doesn't appear notably more urban than earlier. It's more like dense suburbia imported to low-value core land to serve demographic trends like later family formation and less money for down payments. It's Phase 1 to the eventual Plano McMansion.
Well, no shit. These cities lacked it in the first place and they were largely suburban in nature. No one is going to build pre-war density anymore certainly not in areas where it never really existed but Dallas has gotten substantially more urban with these new developments. As is Houston. The Inner Loop has drastically changed since I've lived here. And no, they are not the first stop before winding up in McMansion. Perhaps for some but the trend is to move into the city and stay there.
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  #71  
Old Posted Sep 8, 2019, 6:36 PM
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Did Milwaukee try to save itself through annexation?

I was looking for a correlation between 1950s population density in Midwest cities and population decline, and noticed that some of the cities we're talking about have increased in area. Milwaukee's current population density is 48% of what it was in 1950, which makes it look a lot more like its non-Chicago neighbors Cleveland (42% of 1950 density), St. Louis (37%), Pittsburgh (45%), and Detroit (39%), than Chicago (70%). Columbus, OH (39%) showed a similar drop in population density, and like Milwaukee, has also grown substantially in land area since 1950.

Minneapolis (81% of 1950) is the only major city that has retained mid-century density better than Chicago (70%). Cincinnati (57%) is the only other Midwest city to retain at least 50% of 1950 density.

Indianapolis (29%) and Kansas City (25%) showed the worst declines in population density, but also grew substantially in land area.

source for 1950s numbers: https://www.census.gov/population/ww...0027/tab18.txt

Last edited by iheartthed; Sep 8, 2019 at 6:49 PM.
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  #72  
Old Posted Sep 8, 2019, 6:44 PM
aderwent aderwent is offline
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Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
Did Milwaukee try to save itself through annexation?

I was looking for a correlation between 1950s population density in Midwest cities and population decline, and noticed that some of the cities we're talking about have increased in area. Milwaukee's current population density is 48% of what it was in 1950, which makes it look a lot more like it's non-Chicago neighbors Cleveland (42% of 1950 density), St. Louis (37%), Pittsburgh (45%), and Detroit (39%), than Chicago (70%). Columbus, OH (39%) showed a similar drop in population density, and like Milwaukee, has also grown substantially in land area since 1950.

Minneapolis (81% of 1950) is the only major city that has retained mid-century density better than Chicago (70%). Cincinnati (57%) is the only other Midwest city to retain at least 50% of 1950 density.

Indianapolis (29%) and Kansas City (25%) showed the worst declines in population density, but also grew substantially in land area.

source for 1950s numbers: https://www.census.gov/population/ww...0027/tab18.txt
Are the current densities using 1950 boundaries or current city boundaries? I think that is an important distinction.
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  #73  
Old Posted Sep 8, 2019, 6:46 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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Originally Posted by aderwent View Post
Are the current densities using 1950 boundaries or current city boundaries? I think that is an important distinction.
Densities are according to the boundaries of the city at time of population capture (e.g. 1950 pop.->1950 land area, 2010 pop.->2010 land area).
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  #74  
Old Posted Sep 8, 2019, 8:31 PM
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Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
Did Milwaukee try to save itself through annexation?
yes, milwauke did some fairly significant post-war land annexation in the 60's and 70s, taking on vast tracts of formerly unincorporated milwaukee county land, growing from 50 sq. miles in 1950 to 96 sq. miles by 1980, nearly doubling in land area.




1950 U.S. Census - 10 largest midwest cities, ranked by average density:

- Chicago: 3,620,962 / 207.5 sq. miles = 17,450 ppsm

- St. Louis: 856,796 / 61.0 sq. miles = 14,046 ppsm

- Detroit: 1,849,568 / 139.6 sq. miles = 13,249 ppsm

- Milwaukee: 637,392 / 50.0 sq. miles = 12,748 ppsm

- Cleveland: 914,808 / 75.0 sq. miles = 12,197 ppsm

- Minneapolis: 521,718 / 53.8 sq. miles = 9,697 ppsm

- Columbus: 375,901 / 39.4 sq. miles = 9,541 ppsm

- Indianapolis: 427,173 / 55.2 sq. miles = 7,739 ppsm

- Cincinnati: 503,998 / 75.1 sq. miles = 6,711 ppsm

- Kansas City: 456,622 / 80.6 sq. miles = 5,665 ppsm

source: http://www.census.gov/population/www...0027/tab18.txt





of those cities, milwaukee, KC, columbus, and indy all did extensive post-war annexation, making apples to apples population comparisons between now and 1950 difficult to obtain.

milwaukee went from 50 sq. miles to 96 sq. miles (92% increase)

KC went from 81 sq. miles to 315 sq. miles (288% increase)

columbus went from 39 sq. miles to 217 sq. miles (456% increase)

indy went from 55 sq. miles to 361 sq. miles (556% increase)


the rest all stayed more or less the same physical size*, making it easier to compare then and now.

(*) chicago added about 20 sq. miles (10% increase) in the '60s, but almost all of that was for ohare airport, which remains uninhabited land, so using the 1950 land area for chicago today would be a pretty accurate apples to apples density comparison.





fortunately, several years ago, someone over at SSC calculated milwaukee's current population for the old 50 sq. mile pre-war city limits and found the old city is currently home to ~447,000 people today.

here's a post i made several years ago talking about apples to apples population decline in major midwest cities from 1950:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post

midwest cities by 2016 percentage of 1950 peak population:

minneapolis: 413,651 / 521,718 = 79.3%
chicago: 2,704,958 / 3,620,962 = 74.7%
milwaukee: 447,006 / 637,392 = 70.1% *
cincinnati: 298,800 / 503,998 = 59.3%
cleveland: 385,809 / 914,808 = 42.2%
detroit: 672,795 / 1,849,568 = 36.4%
st. louis: 311,404 / 856,796 = 36.3%



columbus, indy, and KC are not included because they went crazy with annexation in the postwar period which makes their 1950 population figures a meaningless point of comparison to their 2016 population figures, since the land areas of those cities have increased many times over what they were in 1950.

(*) milwaukee also went on a bit of a postwar annexation binge, but i was able to find a relatively accurate 2016 population figure on SSC for the original 50 square mile 1950 city limits to make for an apples to apples comparison with the city's 1950 population figure.
as you can see, milwaukee falls much more in line with minneapolis and chicago on this metric than it does with cleveland, detroit, and st. louis. cincy falls in the middle.
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Last edited by Steely Dan; Sep 8, 2019 at 9:03 PM.
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  #75  
Old Posted Sep 8, 2019, 8:47 PM
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as for the answer to the thread topic, there is no one answer.

different people are going to weigh different aspects of "urban" differently, and depending on how one weights those variables, you can get lots of different answers here.


- one of the biggest-boned downtowns around on the comeback streak? that's detroit.

- a widely vibrant and healthy city with growing urbanism, transit, and population? that's easily minneapolis.

- an intact and vibrant 19th century mixed-use downtown-adjacent neighborhood? no one in the midwest touches cincy's OTR (not even chicago).

- vibrant and thriving neighborhood commercial street supported by high density residential (and a major university)? can't really beat columbus' high street in that department.

- meaningfully wide-spread medium/high pre-war density throughout large swaths of the city? no city in the midwest has more people living in 10,000+ ppsm census tracts than milwaukee.

- and so on.


there just isn't a single answer here. too many shades of gray after you get past chicago.



if i had a gun to my head and had to give an answer, i'd probably say minneapolis because it not only has widespread healthy neighborhood urbanism along with a pretty good downtown (with VASTLY improving peripheral areas), it also seems to be taking some rather aggressive and impressive steps towards meaningfully upping its urban game throughout the whole city - getting rid of SFH exclusionary zoning, banning new drive-thrus, etc.
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  #76  
Old Posted Sep 8, 2019, 9:35 PM
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Easy-peasy lemon breezy. Milwaukee. Two Januaries ago I took Amtrak up for a friend's birthday. Needed the bus that went down Kinnikinnick to Bay View.

Got lost because the city was building the new light rail line.

The bartender and several chilly, jolly, drunk patrons at the outdoor bar (outside on the sidewalk in January) at Milwaukee Market ... gave me advice to get down to Bay View.

Second place. Cleveland. Because I love Cleveland.

But first place Milwaukee because 1) Outdoor bar 2) In January 3) which was full of patrons (aka drunks) 4) Who were helpful as fuck to a stranger in need.
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  #77  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2019, 1:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
as for the answer to the thread topic, there is no one answer.

different people are going to weigh different aspects of "urban" differently, and depending on how one weights those variables, you can get lots of different answers here.


- one of the biggest-boned downtowns around on the comeback streak? that's detroit.

- a widely vibrant and healthy city with growing urbanism, transit, and population? that's easily minneapolis.

- an intact and vibrant 19th century mixed-use downtown-adjacent neighborhood? no one in the midwest touches cincy's OTR (not even chicago).

- vibrant and thriving neighborhood commercial street supported by high density residential (and a major university)? can't really beat columbus' high street in that department.

- meaningfully wide-spread medium/high pre-war density throughout large swaths of the city? no city in the midwest has more people living in 10,000+ ppsm census tracts than milwaukee.

- and so on.


there just isn't a single answer here. too many shades of gray after you get past chicago.



if i had a gun to my head and had to give an answer, i'd probably say minneapolis because it not only has widespread healthy neighborhood urbanism along with a pretty good downtown (with VASTLY improving peripheral areas), it also seems to be taking some rather aggressive and impressive steps towards meaningfully upping its urban game throughout the whole city - getting rid of SFH exclusionary zoning, banning new drive-thrus, etc.
I think this post wraps up the thread.
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  #78  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2019, 2:37 AM
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i agree with steely.

i think it IS funny that chicago people are like:

DETROIT: beautiful downtown!

CINCINNATI: historic neighborhoods!

MINNEAPOLIS: progressive!

ST. LOUIS:

MILWAUKEE: walkable and compact!

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  #79  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2019, 3:39 AM
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If size is a factor, then Minneapolis wins. St. Louis, Detroit and Cleveland all have/had the potential but disinvestment stole the greatness that could have been.
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  #80  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2019, 4:44 AM
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i agree with steely.

i think it IS funny that chicago people are like:

DETROIT: beautiful downtown!

CINCINNATI: historic neighborhoods!

MINNEAPOLIS: progressive!

ST. LOUIS:

MILWAUKEE: walkable and compact!

Oh no, man, st.ouis has solid urban creds too. Strongest residential vernacular style/form? Oh yeah.

Please don't mistake the omission as a criticism. Ditto for Cleveland.

Of the midwest's 10 major cities, I think only KC and Indy can be eliminated from contention for second most "urban" in the Midwest after Chicago. As for the other seven cities, split them hairs as you will.
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