daily menu » rate the banner | guess the city | one on oneforums map | privacy policy | DMCA | news magazine | posting guidelines

Go Back   SkyscraperCity > Photo Forums > Urban Showcase

Urban Showcase Show your selfmade photos



Global Announcement

As a general reminder, please respect others and respect copyrights. Go here to familiarize yourself with our posting policy.


Reply

 
Thread Tools
Old July 15th, 2012, 05:56 PM   #441
Comfortably Numb
Goddess of Winter
 
Comfortably Numb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Rochester NY
Posts: 2,521
Likes (Received): 309

Quote:
Originally Posted by 600West218 View Post
Yes, I definitely did.

First, off you have to keep in mind that most Americans tend to think they live better than anyone else in the world. The media here says that all the time and as the majority of Americans never travel outside of the United States they tend to believe it. And even though I have travelled some and tend to know better I still can't help but be effected by that way of thinking.

Plus, in the early 80s when I was a high school student I was in London for a few days with a school trip. Being honest, at the time it seemed somewhat run down and the people seemed a bit worn down - tired if you will. I can't explain exactly what gave me that impression (although one thing I recall making a negative impression on me were the old style taxis) but that is what I felt.

Finally, through some friends, I knew a young German man who had lived in London, working as an investment banker. While he liked London he pretty much described everything north of London as being a wasteland.

All that to say, on this trip I was looking forward to seeing lots of great historical sites and museums but I really didn't expect much of the cities. I thought they'd be old, maybe a bit run down, and just nothing special. I certainly didn't expect them to be lively. And I expected the standard of living to be noticeably lower in England than in the US.

All that was blown away on my first day as I walked around the center of Liverpool on a Saturday. I truly was stunned by the vibrancy of the place - there were so many people on the streets, there were so many stores (and nice stores at that!), the people were very lively - I was truly impressed with the vibrancy of the place. And each day and with each new city I visited I saw more and more of this vibrancy. It was truly amazing and I was constantly thinking "I would love to live here" which I think as a tourist is about the biggest compliment you can give a place.

It is hard to judge standards of living on a vacation but the houses I saw looked very nice, there were a great many upscale stores with lots of people shopping in them, the restaraunts and bars were full, and people seemed very fashionably dressed. Sure, maybe cars in England are smaller than in the US (I can't stand SUVs anyways) but in England you have access to health care and education in a way many Americans don't. So on balance the standards of living seemed pretty similar.

The museums turned out to be pretty good, though some of them weren't as good as I hoped they would be. But they were still very worthwhile places to visit. Best of all, they gave me an excuse to visit some amazing cities (and discover a whole country of canals which I was not expecting at all).

So there is one amazing and ironic thing here that I still can't figure out. In the early 80s it was the U.S. that seemed vibrant and England that seemed run down. Now, after this trip, I see them as having switched places - with England vibrant and the US being tired and run down. I can't really be sure if they actually switched places or just the impressions of a 47 year old man are likely to be very different from a 17 year old kid.

In any event, it is safe to say England was radically different than I expected and in a very good way.
This really is music to my ears (or eyes), especially coming from an American. I am from the UK originally, but have lived in the US for a decade now. I have witnessed a lot of ignorance pertaining to the UK, or people who think they "know it all" from a week in London, or from having never even been to the UK, let alone in the last 30 years.

I hear you on the vibrancy thing. It wasn't always that way, but I think that the UK has become a lot more continental European in many ways, especially in the last 30-40 years or so. What I mean by that is more street life, more outdoor cafes, people who are more geared towards walking, rather than just sitting in a dingy pub all day staring at the same pint.

This isn't meant as a criticism of the US, but many US cities do not have the same type of vibrant centers/downtowns that you will find in the UK or Europe in general, but that's just because many US cities were designed with the car in mind and out of town malls were developed during the 50's and 60's, when the car was king, while the UK/Europe were still recovering from being physically and economically ravaged by WWII.

One thing I notice is that while Europe still continued to invest in its infrastructure, buildings and parks, the US seems to have frozen in that sense. Airports, railways and even roads here now appear dated. As fantastic as many US highways are, many are falling into disrepair due to lack of funding (of course, this varies widely by state). Britain has continued to invest in its towns and cities, especially in places such as Liverpool (you should check out OpenlyJane's thread for proof of this), which were depressing eyesores as recently as the mid 90's.

London itself has seen enormous changes over my lifetime (33 years). It's always been cosmopolitan, but now it's off the charts cosmopolitan. It could be the most cosmopolitan city on earth for all I know, plus now it finally has a skyline that is becoming a pretty decent skyline, for a city that had just one true skyscraper back in the 80's and an anti-tall building policy.

There are exceptions in the US, particularly in the northeast. I just moved from Boston, which had a really thriving city center / downtown. Same goes for Philadelphia and of course, NYC, which like London, is almost a country within itself. It's not that Europe is better or worse though; I believe that it's simply due to the car culture in relation to the prosperity that the US experienced during the 50's and 60's, when designing cities and suburbs around the car was considered the right thing to do, plus unlike in much of western Europe, you had the land available to develop in that way.

I've really enjoyed your thread though and I appreciate positive feedback on the UK, especially from a non-British person. Sometimes I wish that us Brits were less cynical and self-depreciating about our country, because it really isn't the worst place on earth and has so much to offer, despite the weather (even though I love the British climate).
__________________
There is no pain, you are receding
A distant ship smoke on the horizon
You are only coming through in waves
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying


My Panoramio
Comfortably Numb no está en línea   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links
Old July 15th, 2012, 07:45 PM   #442
Copperknickers
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 336
Likes (Received): 181

Quote:
Originally Posted by 600West218 View Post
Yes, I definitely did.

First, off you have to keep in mind that most Americans tend to think they live better than anyone else in the world. The media here says that all the time and as the majority of Americans never travel outside of the United States they tend to believe it. And even though I have travelled some and tend to know better I still can't help but be effected by that way of thinking.
Really? Americans can be pretty arrogant but I didn't think they were that ignorant. I don't think America has ever been a 'better' place to live than any other country. Perhaps in the 50s and 60s when it was more liberal, and there was little to compare with the likes of San Fransisco and New York for modernity, but right now, Europe, Oceania, Japan and North America all share exactly the same quality of life. America is pretty nice, I can imagine that living there would be OK minus the lack of history, but it has a lot of poverty in a way that Britain does not. For one thing, it has entire ghettos of black people who are all poor. That sort of thing does not exist in Europe, outside of Paris or London, yet almost every American city has it.
Copperknickers no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 15th, 2012, 11:17 PM   #443
Taller, Better
Administrator
 
Taller, Better's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 71,063
Likes (Received): 12272

It is true that the UK is modernising quickly (and in some ways I noticed creeping Americanisation last time I visited), but there is a lot to be said for its traditional way of life, and even the "sitting in a dingy pub all day" part! I hope the UK never becomes too continental, or worries too much about changing to a more "European" lifestyle, because I dread the day when everywhere is exactly the same homogenized urban scene. I, and a lot of others, rather enjoyed old school Britain and think the British have many traditions to be very proud of! But then again, maybe I am old fashioned.
__________________
'Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood."
-architect Daniel Burnman
Taller, Better no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 16th, 2012, 12:46 AM   #444
Comfortably Numb
Goddess of Winter
 
Comfortably Numb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Rochester NY
Posts: 2,521
Likes (Received): 309

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taller, Better View Post
It is true that the UK is modernising quickly (and in some ways I noticed creeping Americanisation last time I visited), but there is a lot to be said for its traditional way of life, and even the "sitting in a dingy pub all day" part! I hope the UK never becomes too continental, or worries too much about changing to a more "European" lifestyle, because I dread the day when everywhere is exactly the same homogenized urban scene. I, and a lot of others, rather enjoyed old school Britain and think the British have many traditions to be very proud of! But then again, maybe I am old fashioned.
I think that pubs will always be a part of British tradition and way of life, but many have closed down or have had to become restaurants to survive. The tanking economy certainly didn't help their cause, as many people chose to save money and drink at home instead (according to my British friends and family).

What you have in the UK now is somewhat of a mixture between traditional British, continental European and some additional Americanisations since I left 10 years ago. It is modernisation, but it is also somewhat of a renaissance of British towns and cities, whereby they are undergoing change and renovation. Liverpool is a textbook classic example of this, but even London has changed so much in the last 30 years or so.

One change regularly mentioned by friends and family back home is the very noticeable influx of immigrants from countries such as Poland and Lithuania. I look forward to seeing how they've shaken things up a bit and added to our multiculturalism.
__________________
There is no pain, you are receding
A distant ship smoke on the horizon
You are only coming through in waves
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying


My Panoramio
Comfortably Numb no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 17th, 2012, 07:12 PM   #445
MattN
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: The M1
Posts: 3,115
Likes (Received): 91

Quote:
Originally Posted by 600West218 View Post
Thanks. Well, being a travel guide would be nice. But thruthfully, most of this is owed to all the Skyscrapercity folks who gives such good advice. I got a lot of really great tips in the UK skybar before going on the trip and it really worked out great. One of them even gave me a personal tour in Liverpool. :-)

So I really recommend getting advice in the forum of whatever country you are visiting before you go. Skycrapercity - its the only way to travel :-)

BTW, before too long it will be time for industrial UK round two - this time doing more the area around the Midlands and Birmingham though I might try to hit some stuff I missed in Manchester and Liverpool too.
Are you planning on visiting the East Midlands at all?
MattN no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 18th, 2012, 06:01 AM   #446
600West218
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2,733
Likes (Received): 1574

Quote:
Originally Posted by Comfortably Numb View Post

This isn't meant as a criticism of the US, but many US cities do not have the same type of vibrant centers/downtowns that you will find in the UK or Europe in general, but that's just because many US cities were designed with the car in mind and out of town malls were developed during the 50's and 60's, when the car was king, while the UK/Europe were still recovering from being physically and economically ravaged by WWII.
I was going to answer this by saying having too much space does the US in. It can just abandon entire areas because there is plenty of new space to move to.

But then I thought about it and realized that Canada has lots of space too and they never just abandoned their cities and left them to rot.

In thinking about this I think racism has as much to do with it as automobiles. For a long time white Americans wanted nothing to do with African Americans and hence they fled and abandoned cities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Comfortably Numb View Post
One thing I notice is that while Europe still continued to invest in its infrastructure, buildings and parks, the US seems to have frozen in that sense. Airports, railways and even roads here now appear dated. As fantastic as many US highways are, many are falling into disrepair due to lack of funding (of course, this varies widely by state). Britain has continued to invest in its towns and cities, especially in places such as Liverpool (you should check out OpenlyJane's thread for proof of this), which were depressing eyesores as recently as the mid 90's.
This I'm not so sure of. I think it depends where you are. In Upstate New York this statement would be absolutely true. It seems frozen in place from the 1970s. But if you go to other places - Texas, North Carolina, Florida, to name a few - there is lots of new infrastructure.

Again, it goes back to the US being willing to let entire places just rot. Plus US states do have some pretty significant differences and businesses have left some states to go to other places viewed more favorably. Hence, some places are in quite steep decline. A final factor affecting this is that Americans do move quite a bit and so some places can have huge population declines. Not sure if the Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds area ever had such an outright decline in population the way some areas in the US have.
600West218 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 18th, 2012, 06:02 AM   #447
600West218
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2,733
Likes (Received): 1574

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattN View Post
Are you planning on visiting the East Midlands at all?
Not sure. I can certainly be persuaded to visit there if someone points me to really compelling industrial heritage or good museums there.
600West218 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 18th, 2012, 09:19 AM   #448
Linguine
leisure cook
 
Linguine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bacolod Uptown East
Posts: 11,914
Likes (Received): 3939

nice discussion on this thread...
__________________
Bacolod: "Culinary destination par excellence"
Linguine no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 18th, 2012, 05:20 PM   #449
MattN
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: The M1
Posts: 3,115
Likes (Received): 91

Quote:
Originally Posted by 600West218 View Post
Not sure. I can certainly be persuaded to visit there if someone points me to really compelling industrial heritage or good museums there.
Nottingham has plenty of old lace and hosiery factories, as well as some buildings from its most famous manufacturing employers (Boots, Players, and the now-absent Raleigh). It also has this, and an ok industrial museum. Not sure if any steaming dates will coincide with your visit.

Derby has its industrial heritage in Rolls-Royce, the railways and the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. Leicester has loads of old hosiery and shoe factories as well as another magnificent pumping station. These and the surrounding areas also have plenty of other sights to do with manufacturing, steam, canals and mining. I suspect that Foxton Locks and inclined plane would interest you as well.

Not sure you'd have time for us as well if you have a lot to see in the West Midlands (or, as those little blighters would call it, the Midlands).
MattN no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 18th, 2012, 05:43 PM   #450
600West218
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2,733
Likes (Received): 1574

Is Rolls Royce still in Derby? Do they make their jet engines there? It would be great if you could visit that factory.
600West218 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 18th, 2012, 09:33 PM   #451
MattN
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: The M1
Posts: 3,115
Likes (Received): 91

Yes, they've still got a few factories elsewhere like Hucknall but that's a lot smaller than it was. My Dad used to work for them in Derby, not sure exactly what as. Their oldest factory on Nightingale Road has been largely demolished recently but their newer buildings in Sinfin are still in use.

Visiting places like that would be very difficult nowadays but you could always try and ask!
MattN no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 19th, 2012, 03:28 AM   #452
skymantle
Registered User
 
skymantle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,811
Likes (Received): 3163

Quote:
Originally Posted by 600West218 View Post
I was going to answer this by saying having too much space does the US in. It can just abandon entire areas because there is plenty of new space to move to.

But then I thought about it and realized that Canada has lots of space too and they never just abandoned their cities and left them to rot.
This can be attributed to 'free market' economics or overt capitalism if you like, where the government doesn't take a predominant role in the upkeep of infrastructure, leaving it to the private sector, and hence the precarious maintenance of the urban and by extension social fabric in cities. This is not uniquely American either but occurs throughout the world, especially in the third world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 600West218 View Post
In thinking about this I think racism has as much to do with it as automobiles. For a long time white Americans wanted nothing to do with African Americans and hence they fled and abandoned cities.
This phenomenon is known as 'white flight' and again it is not unique to the US as it occured extensively throughout Britain and other parts of Europe, and still does. In the US and Britain many unscrupulous real estate agents would instill xenophobia in 'white people' that their neighbourhoods were going downhill with the movement of black people into their areas and hence their property values were going to go down and with that scaring them into buying property in the outskirts of the cities, the suburbs. In Britain it occured in all the major cities with South Asians and Afro-Carribean peoples moving into predominantly working-class inner-city areas and then white, often also big Irish communities moving out to the suburbs of British cities. Even wealthy countries like Norway and their relatively recent migration from Asia and Africa have seen a city like Oslo become increasingly segregated where Norwegians and middle to upper classses live in the west side of the city and migrants living to the east.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 600West218 View Post
This I'm not so sure of. I think it depends where you are. In Upstate New York this statement would be absolutely true. It seems frozen in place from the 1970s. But if you go to other places - Texas, North Carolina, Florida, to name a few - there is lots of new infrastructure.
This depends on the economic condition of a state. If there are generous tax breaks for the super wealthy and well-off then the state will not be able to raise revenue for the upkeep of existing and construction of new infrastructure. Since 1980s 'Reagonomics' this is what's been occuring in much of America it has been argued.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 600West218 View Post
Again, it goes back to the US being willing to let entire places just rot. Plus US states do have some pretty significant differences and businesses have left some states to go to other places viewed more favorably. Hence, some places are in quite steep decline. A final factor affecting this is that Americans do move quite a bit and so some places can have huge population declines. Not sure if the Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds area ever had such an outright decline in population the way some areas in the US have.
People always move according to economic conditions and yes Britions have historically moved and continue to do so for this very reason. All the cities listed were small market towns before industrialisation hit them, and many migrants have left from the port of Liverpool to the new world, not only in the 19th but also the 20th century. Thirty to forty years ago these cities were in serious economic decline, seeing many people move to other parts of Britain and the world. More recently many young people will move en masse for work or study to other parts of Britain and Europe with Germany being an increasing drawcard as of late due to its favourable economic state and hence employment opportunities.
skymantle no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 19th, 2012, 06:40 PM   #453
Smarty
Registered User
 
Smarty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: SW France
Posts: 2,254
Likes (Received): 2944

Quote:
Originally Posted by 600West218 View Post
Not sure if the Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds area ever had such an outright decline in population the way some areas in the US have.
Most of the big British cities hit their population peak in the 1930's and saw declining populations until relatively recently.

I think Liverpool's population decline was comparable to some US cities. From Wiki:

Liverpool's population peaked in 1930s with 846,101 recorded in the 1931 census.[81] Since then the city has experienced negative population growth every decade, with at its peak over 100,000 people leaving the city between 1971 and 1981.[82] Between 2001 and 2006 it experienced the ninth largest percentage population loss of any UK unitary authority

The latest census results (2011) have just been published which show (finally) an increase in the city's population over the past decade to 466,400.

http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/...9623-31408603/

Last edited by Smarty; July 19th, 2012 at 06:46 PM.
Smarty no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 19th, 2012, 06:45 PM   #454
Smarty
Registered User
 
Smarty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: SW France
Posts: 2,254
Likes (Received): 2944

Quote:
Originally Posted by skymantle View Post
In Britain it occured in all the major cities with South Asians and Afro-Carribean peoples moving into predominantly working-class inner-city areas and then white, often also big Irish communities moving out to the suburbs of British cities.
I'm not sure that you get the levels of segregation here that you find in the US. Even areas like Peckham or Brixton in South London which have large black populations (Afro-Caribbean in Brixton, African in Peckham) still have large white populations - they're far from exclusively black and are relatively mixed. Similarly somewhere like Southall in West London which has a large Indian population is far from being exclusively Indian.
Smarty no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 19th, 2012, 07:08 PM   #455
Jonesy55
Mooderator
 
Jonesy55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Floreat Salopia
Posts: 14,204
Likes (Received): 20238

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smarty View Post
Most of the big British cities hit their population peak in the 1930's and saw declining populations until relatively recently.

I think Liverpool's population decline was comparable to some US cities. From Wiki:

Liverpool's population peaked in 1930s with 846,101 recorded in the 1931 census.[81] Since then the city has experienced negative population growth every decade, with at its peak over 100,000 people leaving the city between 1971 and 1981.[82] Between 2001 and 2006 it experienced the ninth largest percentage population loss of any UK unitary authority

The latest census results (2011) have just been published which show (finally) an increase in the city's population over the past decade to 466,400.

http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/...9623-31408603/
I think a lot of that can be explained by suburbanisation, as new development from the 1930s onwards tended to be beyond the city boundaries in neighbouring boroughs but still attached to the urban areas.

The wider urban areas like Merseyside or Greater Manchester did see decline too but less pronounced and for a shorter period.
Jonesy55 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 19th, 2012, 07:10 PM   #456
Jonesy55
Mooderator
 
Jonesy55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Floreat Salopia
Posts: 14,204
Likes (Received): 20238

Quote:
Originally Posted by 600West218 View Post
Thanks. Well, being a travel guide would be nice. But thruthfully, most of this is owed to all the Skyscrapercity folks who gives such good advice. I got a lot of really great tips in the UK skybar before going on the trip and it really worked out great. One of them even gave me a personal tour in Liverpool. :-)

So I really recommend getting advice in the forum of whatever country you are visiting before you go. Skycrapercity - its the only way to travel :-)

BTW, before too long it will be time for industrial UK round two - this time doing more the area around the Midlands and Birmingham though I might try to hit some stuff I missed in Manchester and Liverpool too.
If you need a tour around Birmingham let me know, I might be able to oblige work permitting....
Jonesy55 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 19th, 2012, 07:15 PM   #457
skymantle
Registered User
 
skymantle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,811
Likes (Received): 3163

...

Last edited by skymantle; July 19th, 2012 at 07:57 PM. Reason: stay on topic
skymantle no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 19th, 2012, 09:19 PM   #458
yoshef
likes beer
 
yoshef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Libpool & Cheshire
Posts: 11,757
Likes (Received): 1210

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonesy55 View Post
I think a lot of that can be explained by suburbanisation, as new development from the 1930s onwards tended to be beyond the city boundaries in neighbouring boroughs but still attached to the urban areas.

The wider urban areas like Merseyside or Greater Manchester did see decline too but less pronounced and for a shorter period.

Probably mostly down to the density of inner city population in the 30s, waves of slum clearances and shifting people about the city, into the outskirts and into to new towns.





Lots of developments in the video above were also cleared later on :-




There is suburban housing on this site now

http://binged.it/PmRrux

Last edited by yoshef; July 19th, 2012 at 09:27 PM.
yoshef no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 20th, 2012, 12:07 AM   #459
openlyJane
Human Being
 
openlyJane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Liverpool
Posts: 31,623
Likes (Received): 43369

I really enjoyed that, and found it very informative. Thanks.
openlyJane no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old August 14th, 2012, 09:16 PM   #460
Nijal
Registered User
 
Nijal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,604
Likes (Received): 1248

Very informative and interesting thread. I am surprised by the variety of northern English cities architecture.
Nijal no está en línea   Reply With Quote


Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Related topics on SkyscraperCity


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 09:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

SkyscraperCity ☆ In Urbanity We trust ☆ about us | privacy policy | DMCA policy

tech management by Sysprosium