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  #21  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 5:17 PM
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
^ Yep, my presumption is that Detroit is probably the most extreme case of suburban-urban antipathy, although I'm glad to see that people are starting to come around
yeah, i can't think of any metro in the US with a more toxic city/suburb relationship than detroit had when L. brooks patterson was the commissioner of oakland county.

here are some of his choicer quotes about the city that anchored his metro area. yes, these are actual quotes from an elected official from a metropolitan county with some 1.2M people.


Quote:
“I made a prediction a long time ago, and it’s come to pass. I said, ‘What we’re gonna do is turn Detroit into an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and corn.’ ”


“Anytime I talk about Detroit, it will not be positive. Therefore, I’m called a Detroit basher. The truth hurts, you know? Tough shit.”


“I used to say to my kids, ‘First of all, there’s no reason for you to go to Detroit. We’ve got restaurants out here.’ They don’t even have movie theatres in Detroit—not one. I can’t imagine finding something in Detroit that we don’t have in spades here. Except for live sports. We don’t have baseball, football. For that, fine—get in and get out. But park right next to the venue—spend the extra twenty or thirty bucks. And, before you go to Detroit, you get your gas out here. You do not, do not, __under any circumstances, stop in Detroit at a gas station! That’s just a call for a carjacking.”
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Last edited by Steely Dan; Sep 30, 2019 at 9:08 PM.
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  #22  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 5:43 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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^ My understanding is that this attitude came about after the 1967 Detroit riots.

After that, much of the white population supposedly stated they were "done" with Detroit. Lots of strong antipathy and bitterness there. Probably just a matter of a new generation without those bitter feelings to come back in and bring life back into the city, which is what we are seeing.
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  #23  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 5:50 PM
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I think the City of Pittsburgh has a relatively healthy relationship with its suburbs for a rust-belt city, for a number of reasons.

1. Downtown employment remained very strong throughout the 20th century - there was no decampment of office jobs to the suburbs.

2. The presence of all of the major universities and colleges within city limits (Pittsburgh lacks any college towns of note at all).

3. Even during the worst period for the city, there were upper-middle class enclaves like Squirrel Hill, Shadyside, and Point Breeze which remained desirable, and even in some cases kept desirable neighborhood schools.

4. White flight was relatively modest in Pittsburgh, affecting selected neighborhoods, but not a whole "side" of the city like St. Louis or Cleveland (let alone the entire city like Detroit).

5. On the flipside, a lot of "suburbs" ended up more economically depressed than the city as a whole for various reasons. Some of them were just old mill towns which happened to be outside of city limits. Others experienced white flight early on.

In the last 15 years things have shifted to the point where now a majority of the black population of Allegheny County is outside of the City of Pittsburgh. The black population is still over-concentrated in the city, considering the city is only around 1/4th of the county population, but it's pretty clear now which direction things are going.

That is not to say there aren't suburbanites scared of the city, or people who move to the suburbs as soon as their kids are kindergarten age, But I don't hear quite the same level of vitriol from suburbanites here as other places I have lived.
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  #24  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 5:59 PM
LA21st LA21st is offline
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
I for one didn't experience it so strongly from DC.

Of course, I did much of my medical training there so I had to travel from DC to suburban Virginia hospitals. So perhaps my experience wasn't "typical".

But I still didn't quite have that experience in DC. DC is a very small city, geographically, plus much of its real estate is occupied by "Capital of the USA" kind of stuff. So it seems unlikely that people living there will have no reason to fathom going to/visiting/socializing in Virginia or Maryland.

Also keeping in mind how extensive the DC Metro is and how it goes out to places like Arlington, Crystal City, Fairfax County, Tysons Corner and multiple locations in Maryland, the suburb/city areas seem far more tied together than Chicago's does.
I was raised in Fairfax County, but took metro into DC alot. I won't speak for everyone, but I knew a segment of DC residents (both poor and upper middle class) who looked down on their burbs."Country" came up believe it or not haha. You would also hear commuters complain about working in the burbs pretty often.
I think there might have been some resentment that they didn't like commuting to various office parks, even places like Tysons.

I think DC suburbs are considered lame by city residents, no matter how many TODs the burbs build these kind of forums like to see. Rosslyn, Crystal City etc will never be exciting places. As one DC resident put it (Arlington is for people who dislike cities".

Last edited by LA21st; Sep 30, 2019 at 6:53 PM.
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  #25  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 6:21 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
^ My understanding is that this attitude came about after the 1967 Detroit riots.

After that, much of the white population supposedly stated they were "done" with Detroit. Lots of strong antipathy and bitterness there. Probably just a matter of a new generation without those bitter feelings to come back in and bring life back into the city, which is what we are seeing.
It was a factor, but not the entire story. Detroit isn't the only place that had riots; some places, such as NYC and L.A., had riots well after Detroit's last riot. But Detroit's city/suburb divide did become racialized, especially after Detroit elected Coleman Young, the first black mayor. And I don't think it is any coincidence that the feelings have softened a bit after the first white mayor since the 1960s was elected earlier this decade.

On the less obvious side of things, population growth in Metro Detroit has been extremely anemic since 1970. The three core counties have just about the same population today that they had in 1970, and at the same time, the percentage of foreign-born has plummeted. In other places that had ugly riots, immigrants and other newcomers have helped to erase the memory of racial divisions. Those memories lingered a lot longer in Detroit because of the lack of population growth.
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  #26  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 6:34 PM
Emprise du Lion Emprise du Lion is offline
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The suburbs are mostly inconsequential to NYC. I don't know the names of any mayors or elected officials outside of NYC, except for the governors of the tri-state, and the mayor of Newark.

NY's situation is completely the opposite of my experience growing up in the Detroit area, where suburban county executives were seen, locally at least, to have equal importance to the mayors of Detroit. L. Brooks Patterson, the late county exec of Oakland County, MI, was often jokingly referred to as the mayor of the suburbs. It is hard to imagine that any region had a more toxic urban-suburban divide than Detroit and suburban Detroit, from about 1970 until about 2010. The dynamic is quite noticeably less hostile now, but not perfect.
I'll put forward suburban St. Louis County vs St. Louis City. Even Better Together's plan, before it was ultimately shelved, for unifying the city with county all as St. Louis called for the St. Louis County Executive (Stenger, who is now in Federal prison btw) to be the appointed city/county mayor until an election could be called, rather than Krewson, the current Mayor of St. Louis.
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  #27  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 8:14 PM
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I guess these city-suburb relationships are more pronounced in the Midwest due to the heavy centralization in metros like Chicago, Detroit, etc?
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  #28  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 9:11 PM
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I guess these city-suburb relationships are more pronounced in the Midwest due to the heavy centralization in metros like Chicago, Detroit, etc?
i don't know if it's centralization so much as it is just general stagnation for decades on end.

in a growing/thriving metro area where the rising tide lifts both city and suburban boats, there's just less to fight about, but when the game gets a lot more zero-sum, the claws come out more often as people seek to protect what they perceive as "theirs".

and when you throw in the black/white racial divide which is very pronounced in midwest metros, and often along city/suburb lines, the finger pointing just gets that much more antagonistic.

on that last point, as chicago burbs have gotten a lot more racially/ethnically diverse over the past couple decades, i think that has played a role in softening some of the suburban ire that used to be directed solely toward the city in the past.
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Last edited by Steely Dan; Sep 30, 2019 at 9:33 PM.
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  #29  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 9:41 PM
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If only Virginia Beach became a real city. Of those cities, Hampton should be the anchor imo.
Just curious, why Hampton and not Norfolk?
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  #30  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 9:45 PM
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Originally Posted by SIGSEGV View Post
Is the Hampton Roads the largest metro area in the US with no obvious dominant city?
Yes. And you can tell when you are here. Norfolk fills in that role in many ways(largest downtown, huge Navy base) but its still feels very much so like a collection of small cities with one huge suburb(Virginia Beach).
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  #31  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 9:49 PM
ThePhun1 ThePhun1 is offline
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Just curious, why Hampton and not Norfolk?
It always struck me as a place that should be big because of its geography/location. Norfolk would be but is kinda forgettable as a major city.

To add a weaker but still intriguing point, the area is essentially named for Hampton.

Last edited by ThePhun1; Oct 1, 2019 at 3:29 AM.
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  #32  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 10:04 PM
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To be honest, I've lived in cities around the US that don't seem to have any animosity to their suburbs aside from little tiffs here and there.

The most memorable time I can personally recollect was when I lived in Arizona, the big issues was the airport. Phoenix and Tempe would squabble all the time. Tempe would file complaints about noise and pollution and Phoenix would respond with economic numbers.

It wasn't until 9/11 that things reversed the situation and worked against Tempe's blame game of big bad Phoenix. At the time, Tempe had a proposal to build a new stadium to host the NFL Arizona Cardinals in an undeveloped area next to the Salt River [ancient Hohokam lands], however due to the proximity of the airport, even though the current stadium [which still exists and is home to ASU] was under the final approach to Sky Harbor, it was unanimously deemed a threat to terrorists.

The end result was some god-awful place like Glendale was able to snatch them up, despite season ticket holders and tourists residing in the East Valley.
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  #33  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 10:07 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
i don't know if it's centralization so much as it is just general stagnation for decades on end.

in a growing/thriving metro area where the rising tide lifts both city and suburban boats, there's just less to fight about, but when the game gets a lot more zero-sum, the claws come out more often as people seek to protect what they perceive as "theirs".
Agreed. And it might be exacerbated by the larger land area of counties in the Midwest. In the NY/NJ area, county land areas tend to be small - Suffolk County, L.I. the notable exception - and they get built out fast. Counties with smaller land areas start competing for resources much more quickly than big ones, which probably encourages local leadership to be anti-sprawl more quickly.

For instance, Oakland County was often positioned as the anti-Detroit in 1970s-2000 era. But by the early 2000s, inner-ring Oakland County communities were more in agreement with Detroit on the aggressive pro-sprawl policies of O.C. than they were with their own County Executive (Patterson). In fact, Oakland voted in favor of the most recent attempt to fund the regional transit authority. The only count to vote against it was Macomb. Macomb was also the only core Metro Detroit county to grow substantially between 2000 and 2010, mostly through exurban sprawl. Macomb added about 54K residents, Oakland added about 8K, and Wayne lost 240K.
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  #34  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
i don't know if it's centralization so much as it is just general stagnation for decades on end.

in a growing/thriving metro area where the rising tide lifts both city and suburban boats, there's just less to fight about, but when the game gets a lot more zero-sum, the claws come out more often as people seek to protect what they perceive as "theirs".

and when you throw in the black/white racial divide which is very pronounced in midwest metros, and often along city/suburb lines, the finger pointing just gets that much more antagonistic.

on that last point, as chicago burbs have gotten a lot more racially/ethnically diverse over the past couple decades, i think that has played a role in softening some of the suburban ire that used to be directed solely toward the city in the past.
I think in Ohio Columbus has much less of a divide than Cincinnati or Cleveland. Part of this has to be the larger size of Columbus and also having larger(and fewer)suburbs overall. Good economy and growth overall is also probably helping. You can just look at the other two C's on a map and see the huge proliferation of suburban fiefdoms both small and large around those cities.
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  #35  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ThePhun1 View Post
It always struck me as a place that should be big because of it's geography/location. Norfolk would be but is kinda forgettable as a major city.

To add a weaker but still intriguing point, the area is essentially named for Hampton.
I've often wondered how cool it would have been if the peninsula developed in a much more dense way and instead of Newport News and Hampton having 300k between the two cities they would contain at least 1 million people.

However, in reality, Hampton impacts this region very little and the traffic to get there from the southside is terrible(bridge tunnel). Not trying to get into a city vs city but have you been to downtown Hampton or downtown Norfolk? The two are nowhere near each other in terms of jobs, activity, or residents. The Phoebus neighborhood in Hampton probably draws in more people than downtown.
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  #36  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 11:15 PM
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I've often wondered how cool it would have been if the peninsula developed in a much more dense way and instead of Newport News and Hampton having 300k between the two cities they would contain at least 1 million people.

However, in reality, Hampton impacts this region very little and the traffic to get there from the southside is terrible(bridge tunnel). Not trying to get into a city vs city but have you been to downtown Hampton or downtown Norfolk? The two are nowhere near each other in terms of jobs, activity, or residents. The Phoebus neighborhood in Hampton probably draws in more people than downtown.

Yeah Hampton's downtown looks pathetic. I'm somewhat familiar with Newport news (still secondhand info) due to Jefferson Lab. Everyone says Newport News sucks...
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  #37  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 11:22 PM
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It was a factor, but not the entire story. Detroit isn't the only place that had riots; some places, such as NYC and L.A., had riots well after Detroit's last riot. But Detroit's city/suburb divide did become racialized, especially after Detroit elected Coleman Young, the first black mayor. And I don't think it is any coincidence that the feelings have softened a bit after the first white mayor since the 1960s was elected earlier this decade.

On the less obvious side of things, population growth in Metro Detroit has been extremely anemic since 1970. The three core counties have just about the same population today that they had in 1970, and at the same time, the percentage of foreign-born has plummeted. In other places that had ugly riots, immigrants and other newcomers have helped to erase the memory of racial divisions. Those memories lingered a lot longer in Detroit because of the lack of population growth.
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  #38  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2019, 12:18 AM
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Toronto has two types of suburbs.

The first are the suburban, postwar parts of the city proper. These were annexed in 1998 by the province (Canadian cities have far fewer local powers than American ones). There are about 2 million people living in this swath of the city. Imagine if 2/3 of New York City lived in Staten Island and the far eastern parts of Queens, but half of those people lived in something like Co-op city and didn't vote.

The older, working-class residents of the bungalows in these areas are fighting a rearguard battle against demographic decline and a loss of neighbourhood desirability, but they come out to vote, and they make sure that Toronto city politics remains surprisingly parochial for such a big, important city.

Another 4 million people live in the vast outerbelt of suburban municipalities, most of which developed since the late 1970s. They have power in the sense that they determine Federal and Provincial elections - so they're kind of like swing states - but their influence over the city/region isn't as strong as it once was. One reason is that they're so jurisdictionally large (Mississauga is bigger than the City of Seattle; Brampton is bigger than the City of Milwaukee), that they are a microcosm of the region itself, and contain all different ethnicities, economic classes and, increasingly, a share of the region's social problems that's proportionate to their size. The other is that they're no longer the big magnets of either population growth or job growth that they once were. The region has some pretty strong growth boundaries that prevent them from sprawling outward, and most infrastructure investment has been made to get people from the suburbs downtown.
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  #39  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2019, 12:40 AM
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San Francisco isn't that bad. People complain somewhat when somebody from a far-out suburb, like Concord or Redwood City, claim that they are from San Francisco, and there's also somewhat of a rivalry between San Francisco and the East Bay, but neither of these are that bad.

I think that some of the disdain for the suburbs comes from the fact that most of the suburbs of San Francisco are rich (e.g. San Mateo), and San Franciscans like to pretend that they are not incredibly rich also.
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  #40  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2019, 1:41 AM
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I’ve lived in quite a few metros and now in NY. The realization I’ve come to after being here since 2007 is how different the city/suburb dynamic is.

This is the only metro, where the city does not feel like it belongs to it’s suburbs. NYC feels like it belongs to the world really and at the very least the Northeast. Just going in to the city from the West by car will cost you $15, not including parking. Such a massive city, surrounded by satellite cities and suburbs that partially align with a satellite city and partially with NY.

Miami would have ended up like Detroit if it wasn’t for being a refuge for wealthy Latin Americans and tourism. Broward and Palm Beach are really similar to Oakland/Macomb in their vibrancy being fed by an exodus of white wealth. The Everglades really contributing to that dichotomy. Despite the growth of Ft Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, Miami is clearly the dominate (big) city in the metro currently. Similar to San Francisco which isn’t even the most populated in its metro.
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