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  #1  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 5:21 AM
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Cities that "undershot"

Which cities "undershot", i.e., never reached their anticipated potential, size or influence?


Some examples I know of,

Saint John, NB
Montreal, QC (was anticipated to reach 7 million by 2000)
Winnipeg, MB (pre-WW1 city planners expected 4.5 million by the 1980's)
Calgary, AB (Mawson's Plan was drafted for a city of 500,000 within a generation, or the mid 1930's)
Chicago, IL (yes, it may be a global city, but Burnham's "Plan of Chicago" anticipated 13.25 million by 1952)
Galveston, TX (from what I understand it was to become THE gulf port city)
New Haven, CT (expected 1 million by 2000)

And Canada's first annual demographic yearbook expected 109,540,000 Canadians by 1971.
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  #2  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 6:56 AM
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IIRC St. Louis was planned/expected to be much bigger/influential today. Even if the city did lose its #1 midwest city status to Chicago.
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  #3  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 7:29 AM
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The 1915 Panama Colombia Exposition was supposed to be San Diego's quinceanera, where it would set itself as the nation's premier gateway to the pacific. Instead, the lack of a direct railroad connection to the east coast ensured LA would gain that title. Five years later the city leaders sold virtually the entire bay to the navy, which set SD on the stable course it lies on today instead of the limitless growth they'd previously envisioned.

But hey, at least we got some pretty cool architecture out of the deal.
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 8:50 AM
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Montreal, certainly. You can feel it.

Berlin also has the bones of a larger place. Its scale can be that of a Moscow-sized city.
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 11:54 AM
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St. Louis, Toledo (OH), Buffalo, Budapest, Breslau (Wroclaw), Koenigsberg (Kaliningrad), Stettin, (Szczecin) St. Petersburg, Beirut.
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 12:01 PM
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Vienna, once the capital of Europe's greatest empire only a century before. Like Berlin it was the same league of size and growth as London, Istanbul and Paris before the wars and fracturing of empire into much smaller states.

Look at the city centre now and as Bill Bryson put it, aliens invading would be forgiven for attacking Vienna thinking it was the world capital. The grandeur of its buildings is astounding - I've never seen grander cityscapes than the streets in and around the Ringstrasse, more so than Paris, Rome, London, NYC, China. It's just a constant wall of palaces.



https://metropole.at

www.wien.info

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/3KYPN0BbInk/maxresdefault.jpg


The streetwalls: thanx to aspiringArchitect, http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show....php?p=5366110















Last edited by muppet; Sep 20, 2018 at 12:11 PM.
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 12:06 PM
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I thought about Vienna, but didn't include because it was the seat of a grand empire for like 500 years. It was basically the successor to Rome.

It didn't undershoot, it's just well past its prime, IMO. It's core is certainly grand, but not quite on the level of Paris, and many times smaller. You're in commieblockland a short walk from the Stephansdom.
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 1:13 PM
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Alton, IL
Reno, NV
Monterey, CA
Portland, ME
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  #9  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 1:23 PM
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Take your pick of any average run-in-the-mill Rust Belt city. Utica (NY) in the late 19th centurt was the fastest growing city in the county for a while. And now look at it...
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 1:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JManc View Post
Take your pick of any average run-in-the-mill Rust Belt city. Utica (NY) in the late 19th centurt was the fastest growing city in the county for a while. And now look at it...
That's a good point. Almost every city in Upstate NY between Buffalo and Albany kinda "undershot". A random town of 10,000 will have a business district more appropriate for a town of 50,000.
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 1:53 PM
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Future City, Illinois, went there one time and it was basically just a trailer park, obviously someone thought it was going to be a big deal at one time.
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  #12  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 2:39 PM
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Chicago. It should have become a megaregion by now, but instead it's only populated by about 9.5 million.
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 2:51 PM
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I hate coming onto threads and seeing someone post a million pictures just to illustrate your point... one or two is great, anymore than that just gets annoying. Nothing makes me clock out on what they were saying faster than that.
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 3:00 PM
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Was thinking one of the Virginia cities. Norfolk or Richmond maybe. If you looked at a map of Colonial America it would be hard not to think that Virginia is the prime location. Right in the middle of the Eastern Seaboard, Norfolk is perfectly located at the mouth of the Chesapeake, halfway between the Caribbean trade routes and those heading to England. Richmond seems to have 19th century bones that imply a city much larger than it currently is.

Not sure what caused it to miss out. Poor local geography with swampy, humid marshlands? That being said Richmond was one of the largest cities in the Confederacy. Perhaps being located on the border of North/South tensions meant it was too risky a place to foster economic growth in the reconstruction era.
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 3:04 PM
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a lot of midwestern cities are this way, most of them have huge bleached bones sticking out one way or another, excepting maybe twin cities or kansas city maybe. cleveland has this behemoth, echoing downtown, st. louis has a brick backbone hanging out miles and miles, detroit, well speaks for itself.
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 3:10 PM
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even chicago feels a little lean sometimes, in places. like a massively tall, slightly skinny midwesterner. like there wasn’t enough meat on those colossal bones.
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  #17  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 3:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suburbanite View Post
Was thinking one of the Virginia cities.

Not sure what caused it to miss out.
I would credit much of it to the Civil War.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suburbanite
That being said Richmond was one of the largest cities in the Confederacy. Perhaps being located on the border of North/South tensions meant it was too risky a place to foster economic growth in the reconstruction era.
It is interesting how close the Confederate capital was to the Union Capital -- about 100 miles apart from each other.

Richmond - 1865

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/56928382760083704/



https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File...A_-_524883.tif
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  #18  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 3:31 PM
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Ya Virginia was ground zero so it makes sense.

Even in the post-war sun belt boom though, why did a city like Charlotte attract so much more than Richmond? Much closer to D.C. and the rest of the Northeast, seems like an ideal location for people/businesses looking for lower costs. Given how bad D.C. summers are though I can imagine the lower Chesapeake area is that much worse.
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  #19  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 3:43 PM
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Can we really credit the Civil War for Virginia? Reconstruction ended in the 1870's and much of the development and economic boom in "older" cities in the north began around that time and took off over the next several decades. Plenty of time for Richmond and other VA cities to the same.
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 4:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JManc View Post
Can we really credit the Civil War for Virginia? Reconstruction ended in the 1870's and much of the development and economic boom in "older" cities in the north began around that time and took off over the next several decades. Plenty of time for Richmond and other VA cities to the same.
yeah, chicago was leveled to the ground by the great fire of 1871, yet it was but a speed bump on the city's meteoric rise to greatness.
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