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  #101  
Old Posted May 18, 2017, 10:43 PM
isaidso isaidso is offline
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What? Metropolitan areas correspond with connectedness to a single place, due to a shared sense of place. It's usually measured by commutershed, which I don't believe Hamilton fits the criteria for with Toronto anyways. Most Hamiltonians do not commute into Toronto and even less Torontonians commute into Hamilton. Contiguous urban development does not a single metropolitan area make. Otherwise Bos-Wash would be a single metropolitan area. You're conflating metropolitan area with megalopolis. You can't even say that Hamilton exists due to Toronto's presence, as it was founded and built out largely independent of the GTA, unlike say, the Inland Empire or Silicon Valley, which are inextricably tied to Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively, for their respective genesis'.
Now you're bringing in a different factor altogether: connectivity. Connectivity is definitely key but your argument was about distinctness which has no bearing whatsoever. Has it not occurred to you that 2 distinct cities can merge into one metro? It happens all the time. Hamilton and Toronto have existed separately but I'm not sure one can say that anymore. GO Transit is changing everything.

My second point: you're extrapolating my argument that Toronto-Hamilton being one metro to mean that Hamilton owes its existence to Toronto. Nowhere have I said that and nowhere have I argued that it's an extension of Toronto. You're the only one that has said that.
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  #102  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 12:25 AM
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there can be a grey area. newark is functionally part of NYC urban area, but it's also the center of north NJ which includes many cities, towns and suburbs. arguably, "new Jersey City" a secondary sub-metro area within the NY urban area, whereas Nassau County and Westchester county are more standard suburbs of NY (Bayonne/Edgewater/JC/Hoboken/Weehauken should be considered part of NYC for all intents and purposes).

however the intersections and relationships, whether economic/commuting/etc, between newark/north NJ and NYC are far far greater than between Hamilton and Toronto, or Milwaukee and Chicago, or Ann Arbor and Detroit which are more seperate urban areas.
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  #103  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 12:28 AM
Crawford Crawford is offline
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Yes but at the same time buildings in zone 1 & 2 of London that were divided into flats are being turned back into single family homes.
Yeah, that's what I was thinking. I would guess prime neighborhoods have shrinking unit counts, as townhouses are re-converted back to SFH.

Urban cores have had a huge increase in wealthy families, who want suburban-style layouts. That's in part why wealthy homeowners are building deep underground in London. That's why Park Avenue co-ops have seen their unit counts halved or so over the last 40 years.

There are 20 floor buildings that maybe started with 40 units in the 1930's, had 80-90 units by the 1970's, and are down to 15-20 units today, and still shrinking, which I think would shock a lot of people. These buildings are static on the outside but constantly getting reconfigured inside.
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  #104  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 2:33 AM
ue ue is offline
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Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
Now you're bringing in a different factor altogether: connectivity. Connectivity is definitely key but your argument was about distinctness which has no bearing whatsoever. Has it not occurred to you that 2 distinct cities can merge into one metro? It happens all the time. Hamilton and Toronto have existed separately but I'm not sure one can say that anymore. GO Transit is changing everything.

My second point: you're extrapolating my argument that Toronto-Hamilton being one metro to mean that Hamilton owes its existence to Toronto. Nowhere have I said that and nowhere have I argued that it's an extension of Toronto. You're the only one that has said that.
You don't need to talk down to me just because you don't seem to grasp what a metropolitan area is. Toronto and Hamilton are not Minneapolis and St Paul or San Francisco and San Jose. A metropolitan area is a geographic region with a primary city and nearby cities (suburbs) that are an extension of the city or form a polycentric, but single, region, due to interconnectivity. By your argument New York and Philly, Chicago and Milwaukee, and Los Angeles and San Diego are one of the same.
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  #105  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 7:19 AM
JoninATX JoninATX is online now
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Toronto & DFW are growing neck to neck.

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Toronto-Hamilton 7,414,700
Dallas-Fort Worth 7,233,323
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  #106  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 7:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Houston is still probably growing despite economic difficulties because it's a very young population, with a huge cohort of child-bearing age. It's like the anti-Pittsburgh in terms of age distribution.

Also, the Houston economy isn't that bad. It's just much slower than in the past.
True.
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  #107  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 8:35 AM
NorthernDancer NorthernDancer is offline
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Toronto & DFW are growing neck to neck.
Toronto is much more compact though, with an urban area of 888 square miles, and a density of 7200 ppsm. Dallas has an urban area of 1988 square miles, and a density of 2800 ppsm.
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  #108  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 9:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Yeah, that's what I was thinking. I would guess prime neighborhoods have shrinking unit counts, as townhouses are re-converted back to SFH.

Urban cores have had a huge increase in wealthy families, who want suburban-style layouts. That's in part why wealthy homeowners are building deep underground in London. That's why Park Avenue co-ops have seen their unit counts halved or so over the last 40 years.

There are 20 floor buildings that maybe started with 40 units in the 1930's, had 80-90 units by the 1970's, and are down to 15-20 units today, and still shrinking, which I think would shock a lot of people. These buildings are static on the outside but constantly getting reconfigured inside.
The "iceberg houses" have more to do with historical preservation rules that prevent visible changes to the exterior, but yeah.

This is a trend that exists well outside of the more plutocratic neighborhoods though. Even in areas like Shepherds Bush and Kilburn, people are combing houses that were split into two 2-bedroom maisonettes back into one 4-bedroom house, for instance.
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  #109  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 11:48 AM
nito nito is offline
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Originally Posted by dc_denizen View Post
If you add Hudson, Essex, union, and southern Bergen counties, this is an urban area of about what, 2 million people. This is a contiguous part of NY, same as Lambeth is a part of London. Add the inner urban area of west Chester and Nassau and New York is a city of around 11 million.
I don’t believe that there are people disputing that the New Jersey and other counties you refer to are part of New York’s urban or metro area (to throw a cat amongst the pigeons they wouldn’t be classified as such if using the UK’s Office for National Statistics definitions), but they aren’t part of New York City in the same fashion that the London Borough of Lambeth is with London on a whole range of political, economic and social measures.

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Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
Now you're bringing in a different factor altogether: connectivity. Connectivity is definitely key but your argument was about distinctness which has no bearing whatsoever. Has it not occurred to you that 2 distinct cities can merge into one metro? It happens all the time. Hamilton and Toronto have existed separately but I'm not sure one can say that anymore. GO Transit is changing everything.
Urban areas can be connected, whilst incongruent, and vice-versa.

You raise GO Transit as being a facilitator towards a merger, but GO Transit is an infrequent and slow commuter train network that lacks consistent all-day bi-directional across its network. The Regional Express Rail project will undoubtedly go some way to rectifying this issue, but even then, the likes of Hamilton GO Centre will only be guaranteed a single 1tph throughout the day (with increased frequencies at rush-hour).

A few years back I worked out the number of commuter trains that arrived in the central core (between 08:00 - 08:59 on a typical weekday) for a variety of cities; London and Toronto are illustrated below. As you can see, there is far greater connectivity across a far wider area beyond London than compared to Toronto, but it would be erroneous to claim that everything in view (and beyond) is part of a London metro area.



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  #110  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 1:23 PM
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That's the fundamental difficulty in comparing European and North American metros. Europe is just much more densely populated, with better connectivity overall. Along with history, that's why a city of 200,000 in Europe "feels" like a North American city several times its size - it is bound to be the commercial and cultural hub for a much larger population. North American cities are larger metros because they have just grown outwards from the core, rather than absorbing existing smaller cities and towns into their hinterland. Leave a metro like Houston or Atlanta and there is literally nothing of any significance for at least tens of miles. That's not the case anywhere in Europe.

That also partly explains why many European cities aren't bigger than they are. Why move to a new exurb of London or Paris with no soul, when you can move to a medieval market town that's the same distance time-wise from the center by train? You can live in Oxford or Brighton or a small town in the country, and get into London more easily than one can from the farthest flung suburbs of NY or LA into the centers of those cities.
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Last edited by 10023; May 19, 2017 at 2:27 PM.
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  #111  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 3:54 PM
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Originally Posted by 10023 View Post
That's the fundamental difficulty in comparing European and North American metros. Europe is just much more densely populated, with better connectivity overall. Along with history, that's why a city of 200,000 in Europe "feels" like a North American city several times its size -
That's something I've noticed a lot. Than going into a U.S. city with that population, you almost wonder if the figures can be correct. But yeah, a city of 500k feels way bigger in Europe than in the states. Density does wonders for a big city feel. One thing NA does have are just massive city limits.

Unfortunately, its missing the density bar a few select cities. A lot of cities are just denser suburbs in essence. And its not to knock on certain cities (why I'm not mentioning) but some places with 300-500k residents feel way smaller in the U.S.. In Canada though, they feel alive and are denser in nature.
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  #112  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 6:04 PM
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Yes, Density is a critical component of how large places feel. Just returned to Atlanta Monday from my wife's hometown- Berlin, Germany. The metro population of Berlin and Atlanta are similar, Atlanta many be even slightly or populated. Berlin is also very spread out, not as much as Atlanta metro perhaps, but still a very large area. Nonetheless, the city of Berlin "feels" much larger, the central area is very extensive, very built up. Berlin also has an extensive and comprehensive public transit system that one can only envy as an American. The relatives we stay with live in an area several miles from the Miitte and the extraordinary main train station, and within three blocks of their house is a train every five minutes into the center. One has to put this in a larger context, all of Germany is only about the size of New Mexico, but there are 83 Million people in that area. Furthermore, much of that population is found in the Northern part with multiple cities of size. When the US was still developing Germany already had a dense railway infrastructure. While the autobahns have made some expansion possible, in a sense there was nowhere to expand. By the early 20th century Germany was almost completely urbanized and conversion of agricultural land to urban use was uncommon or restricted.
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  #113  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 6:51 PM
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But my point is that it's not just density. The daytime populations of these places can be much better than the city or even 'metro' populations suggest, because they're full of people from the surrounding towns and countryside in a way that North American cities aren't. West of the Mississippi, there probably isn't even anyone in the nearby countryside. It's empty.

I say this having just landed in Florence. The view on the approach reminds you just how densely populated every bit of flat land in northern Italy actually is. It's not all a 'metro area', but there sure are a lot more people nearby than that figure would indicate who pour into offices and shops and bars every day.
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  #114  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 6:57 PM
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^^^^^

People go outside too. Cafe's filled both inside and out. Restaurants with people eating outside. The compactness of it all means plazas and small parks are full of folks. I've noticed that the street life factor is poppin' in European cities. Sadly, the suburbs and the distant nature has separated things like restaurants or movie theaters or parks. The car centric nature of it really does a number on street activity.

Now if we are talking traffic, thats what U.S. cities are good for.

Daytime population wise, office parks and suburban work places have again done a number on the figures for cores. Many people in theory never have to set foot in a city. They can live, play, work all in the burbs.
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  #115  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 8:25 PM
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Also our obsession with making sure street people can't do things (or just a Seattle problem?). That means no drinking outside of fenced areas, way fewer benches, etc.
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  #116  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 9:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ue View Post
Toronto and Hamilton are not Minneapolis and St Paul or San Francisco and San Jose. A metropolitan area is a geographic region with a primary city and nearby cities (suburbs) that are an extension of the city or form a polycentric, but single, region, due to interconnectivity. By your argument New York and Philly, Chicago and Milwaukee, and Los Angeles and San Diego are one of the same.
SF and San Jose is actually a very good comparison to Toronto and Hamilton.

San Jose has its own MSA separate from the SF MSA, and the two cities are a similar distance from one another (Hamilton is slightly closer to Toronto).
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  #117  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 10:07 PM
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Also our obsession with making sure street people can't do things (or just a Seattle problem?). That means no drinking outside of fenced areas, way fewer benches, etc.
I do love the open container laws here.

But traffic... yeah we've got that too.
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  #118  
Old Posted May 20, 2017, 2:57 AM
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It has way more to do with simple car ownership rates. The US has a dynamic which Europe/Aus/NZ/Can didn't and still don't have to deal with...........race. Slavery and it's long legacy still plagues the US and this is evident in it's urban design. In the 50s, 60s, and ,to a lesser extent, 70s every single US city without exception suffered from "white flight"............the whites fled the increasingly violent inner cities and the blacks they didn't want to live beside or want their kids to go to school with. The times of white flight and "integration" go hand-in-hand.

The whites fled and took their jobs, spending power, tax base, and political influence with them to the suburbs leaving the inner cities much poorer, a rapidly declining tax base, a plunging population, and politically impotent. This backed up by a huge highway expansion program including riping thru inner cities uniformally being the black areas that were torn down and a powerful GM lobby that encouraged the destruction of streetcar lines, and you have a recipe for urban disaster.
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  #119  
Old Posted May 20, 2017, 3:26 AM
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SF and San Jose is actually a very good comparison to Toronto and Hamilton.

San Jose has its own MSA separate from the SF MSA, and the two cities are a similar distance from one another (Hamilton is slightly closer to Toronto).
Except that SF and SJ are far more connected and apart of the same overall region than Toronto and Hamilton are. Plenty of people live in SF and reverse commute into Silicon Valley, for example, and SF has become very influenced by what goes on in the San Jose MSA. The same cannot be said for TO-Ham, to the same extent. Baltimore and Washington, New York and Philly, or Chicago and Milwaukee are better comparisons.
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  #120  
Old Posted May 20, 2017, 7:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
Also our obsession with making sure street people can't do things (or just a Seattle problem?). That means no drinking outside of fenced areas, way fewer benches, etc.
That and the permits one needs to have outdoor amenities are just a hindrance to cafe's or restaurants, etc.. Liquor licenses are also expensive. Here in NJ, it can upwards of 150k. But I don't really see anything wrong with people sitting outside, drinking wine, and eating.

Open container ordinances to allow for drinks in public would be nice in certain neighborhoods or cities. Kinda relaxing the puritan nature of some places. You know, sit in a park, get some food, some wine, and so on.
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