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Old December 11th, 2014, 02:41 AM   #4661
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Old December 11th, 2014, 04:10 AM   #4662
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Old December 11th, 2014, 06:14 PM   #4663
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDguy View Post
In response to the last page, Calgary has such a beautiful skyline, though the city's urban structure isn't that attractive to me. The photo Desert posted makes the city look very vanilla because of that style of development in the foreground.
Calgary's not a city for those looking for dense Georgian residential, Deco skyscrapers, or even Miesian minimalism. It's just too new. This was largely open prairie just a century ago.
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Old December 11th, 2014, 09:32 PM   #4664
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Old December 11th, 2014, 09:46 PM   #4665
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I have always had a weakness for the Key Bank Tower....


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Old December 11th, 2014, 09:47 PM   #4666
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What Cleveland's skyline lacks in scale it makes up for in quality. Cities in the older parts of the continent all seem to have fabulous architectural layering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DZH22 View Post
I can see where you're coming from, but I think the reality of most American cities is very different. Indirectly, you're basically saying that cities like Atlanta, Houston, and LA feel more urban than, say, Philadelphia, Boston, and San Francisco. I don't really think this is the case. In a way they feel bigger, because the skylines continue outward, but I would say these 3 cities feel much more fragmented and suburban than their denser counterparts.

Obviously Canadian cities develop a little differently, but most of our multiple cluster skylines are Southern sprawl cities.
It wasn't my intention to insinuate that there was a correlation between multiple clusters and urbanity, but I suppose that's what I did. Houston certainly isn't as urban as Boston. That said, Canadian cities tend towards the multiple cluster model due to urban planning policies on this side of the border. When our metros hit around 1.5 million people they tend to start developing secondary nodes.

Do you think US cities will head this way as metropolitan transit strategies gain steam? It's a critical element in the node system we have here. Our suburbs mirror yours to a point so the only way to make subways viable in these areas is to build high density nodes in these places. It's sort of like the Bombardier fostered 'hub and spoke' system we see in north American civil aviation. People funnel into the node, then travel further from there on a high volume transit system.

They also have the added benefit of cutting down on commuting volumes into downtown as these secondary nodes increasingly behave as mini-downtowns.
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Old December 12th, 2014, 03:44 AM   #4667
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Old December 12th, 2014, 03:45 AM   #4668
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Toronto




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I started my first photo thread documenting a recent trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Have a peek: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=724898

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Old December 12th, 2014, 09:34 AM   #4669
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Old December 12th, 2014, 01:05 PM   #4670
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
It wasn't my intention to insinuate that there was a correlation between multiple clusters and urbanity, but I suppose that's what I did. Houston certainly isn't as urban as Boston. That said, Canadian cities tend towards the multiple cluster model due to urban planning policies on this side of the border. When our metros hit around 1.5 million people they tend to start developing secondary nodes.

Do you think US cities will head this way as metropolitan transit strategies gain steam? It's a critical element in the node system we have here. Our suburbs mirror yours to a point so the only way to make subways viable in these areas is to build high density nodes in these places. It's sort of like the Bombardier fostered 'hub and spoke' system we see in north American civil aviation. People funnel into the node, then travel further from there on a high volume transit system.

They also have the added benefit of cutting down on commuting volumes into downtown as these secondary nodes increasingly behave as mini-downtowns.
I haven't been to Toronto for many years, but one thing I remember that stood out were the large residential towers, seemingly thrown up willy nilly by the highway, surrounded by nothing. This is the kind of thing you might see in the Southern sprawl cities, but definitely not the denser Northern ones. There are satellite cities up here, but not the stand-alone clusters that you are probably picturing.

I cannot speak for all suburbs, but Boston's suburbs seemed to be much older than most of Toronto's. While this shows with the older stock of buildings and general lack of a defined street grid, I think the starkest difference is the trees. Around here, the suburbs are old enough where the trees have grown back in, intertwining themselves among the (sub)urban fabric. Most new suburbs bulldoze the trees, so it takes decades to get full-size ones back onto the properties. Mississauga in particular just felt so barren to me.

Most new highrise nodes in the established cities would be built around existing (or expanded) subway stations. These areas tend to already have a dense layer of low rises, so it isn't just skyscrapers by themselves like many of Toronto's nodes appear to be. It just isn't the same kind of urbanity. Montreal is really the Canadian answer to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, etc. Toronto feels more like Chicago, a midwestern city on steroids. If you removed the skyscrapers from Toronto or Chicago, you wouldn't feel like you're in a big city anymore. The other cities I mentioned would still contain dense, substantial mazes of low-to-mid rises that keep them feeling urban at street level.

Speaking of an American node I have been to, I will mention Buckhead in Atlanta. It has the skyline of a mid-size city all on its own, down a street beyond midtown (with downtown at the opposite side of the city). Downtown Atlanta (half the main skyline, includes Suntrust and Westin Peachtree) feels like a section of a Northern city was brought to the South. Midtown and Buckhead feel more like skyscraper nodes. Buckhead's street level was atrocious, and the skyscrapers there were surrounded by parking, detached lowrises, or nothing. I could see more nodes popping up like this, but I don't necessarily think that they are urban or something that should be emulated.
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Old December 12th, 2014, 08:59 PM   #4671
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Panama City, Panama


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Old December 12th, 2014, 09:05 PM   #4672
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Austin, TX


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Old December 12th, 2014, 11:20 PM   #4673
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Austin is one of those skylines to keep an eye on. It is literally booming, and might surpass other middle-tier American cities in the near future.
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Old December 12th, 2014, 11:30 PM   #4674
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DZH22 View Post
I haven't been to Toronto for many years, but one thing I remember that stood out were the large residential towers, seemingly thrown up willy nilly by the highway, surrounded by nothing. This is the kind of thing you might see in the Southern sprawl cities, but definitely not the denser Northern ones. There are satellite cities up here, but not the stand-alone clusters that you are probably picturing.
There's a tendency for us to categorize everything into a neat box but it's rarely quite that simple. When I first arrived in Toronto I noticed the same random placement of large residential all over the place. It was very much a product of 60s/70s planning.

Since then, policies have encouraged high rises only to be built in places where they already exist. Most of these stand alone high rises aren't stand alone any more. Some have become part of major nodes, some are in zones along major arteries, some remain forlorn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DZH22 View Post
I cannot speak for all suburbs, but Boston's suburbs seemed to be much older than most of Toronto's. While this shows with the older stock of buildings and general lack of a defined street grid, I think the starkest difference is the trees. Around here, the suburbs are old enough where the trees have grown back in, intertwining themselves among the (sub)urban fabric. Most new suburbs bulldoze the trees, so it takes decades to get full-size ones back onto the properties. Mississauga in particular just felt so barren to me.
Toronto is about as old as Chicago; Boston is closer to Montreal in age. Mississauga is another ball of wax altogether. It was farmland just 40 years ago and the last great gasp of suburban sprawl this city witnessed. It had some of the richest top soil in the country, but developers simply stripped the land bare as it was more cost effective to build large subdivision that way.

Unfortunately, Mississauga will never ever be able to grow large mature trees because they killed the soil out there. It will remain barren for centuries. There's lots wrong with Mississauga, but they're finally making the best of a bad situation. Mississauga City Centre is a large node, but the jury is still out on how successfully it can be made into a real downtown. So many mistakes were made in Mississauga.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DZH22 View Post
Most new highrise nodes in the established cities would be built around existing (or expanded) subway stations. These areas tend to already have a dense layer of low rises, so it isn't just skyscrapers by themselves like many of Toronto's nodes appear to be. It just isn't the same kind of urbanity. Montreal is really the Canadian answer to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, etc. Toronto feels more like Chicago, a midwestern city on steroids. If you removed the skyscrapers from Toronto or Chicago, you wouldn't feel like you're in a big city anymore. The other cities I mentioned would still contain dense, substantial mazes of low-to-mid rises that keep them feeling urban at street level.
Boston/Montreal are more uniformly dense that Toronto, but it's not Mississauga type suburbia all over the place. The City of Toronto (2.9 million) isn't like that at all. It's not as dense as the core, but has good bones and good density. Skyscraper construction gets most of the attention, but a huge amount of midrise in-fill is occurring in these places.

The built form of Toronto may be very different than that of Montreal/Boston, but to say that it wouldn't feel like a big city if you stripped out the high rises misses the mark. One has to go pretty far out to hit places like Mississauga (it's 30km from downtown) and even those places are changing. I think your perceptions of Toronto would have been valid even as early as 2000, but not any more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DZH22 View Post
Speaking of an American node I have been to, I will mention Buckhead in Atlanta. It has the skyline of a mid-size city all on its own, down a street beyond midtown (with downtown at the opposite side of the city). Downtown Atlanta (half the main skyline, includes Suntrust and Westin Peachtree) feels like a section of a Northern city was brought to the South. Midtown and Buckhead feel more like skyscraper nodes. Buckhead's street level was atrocious, and the skyscrapers there were surrounded by parking, detached lowrises, or nothing. I could see more nodes popping up like this, but I don't necessarily think that they are urban or something that should be emulated.
Buckhead sounds like Mississauga, easily our least urban periphery node. North York City Centre would be a better example of the direction nodes are going in metro Toronto. It's the furthest one along and what the others hopefully are moving towards. It's starting to feel urban and should get where it needs to be in 10-15 years. St.Clair/Yonge and Eglinton/Yonge are less vertical, but arguably more urban than NYCC. As you can see, each one has its own challenges, but they're all heading in the same direction.

In conclusion, Toronto isn't a mature city but one still quickly developing. We're largely done expanding our geographic footprint and attention has turned to intensification. We're really only 15-20 years into that plan but the changes have been significant already. We likely have another 30-40 years of intensification before these nodes all develop into real downtowns.
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Last edited by isaidso; December 13th, 2014 at 12:08 AM.
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Old December 12th, 2014, 11:41 PM   #4675
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Buckhead sounds like Mississauga, easily our least urban periphery node. North York City Centre would be a better example of the direction nodes are going in metro Toronto. It's the furthest one along and what the others moving towards.
Buckhead is a bit closer to the city but is hemmed in by lowrise residential neighborhoods with lovely homes and big lawns that no one will ever give up for the sake of development. It's on the Peachtree spine that is sprouting towers for many miles. Sites are scarce and clustered around shopping centers or the odd legacy air pocket from Buckhead's rural days. It's Atlanta's Ft. Bonifacio (Manila) or Santa Fe (Mexico City). All the heaviest new development is going into Midtown.
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Old December 13th, 2014, 01:01 AM   #4676
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Yeah, Chicago doesn't have as many urban/suburban "nodes" as Toronto. I can only really think of Evanston or maybe Des Plains that fit the criteria. Some of its suburbs can be fairly urban, but that is more because they used to be their own towns in the past, not because of development choices. I haven't spent much time in Chicagoland so someone feel free to correct me.

That said, Chicago has been doing a great job of infilling previously barren swaths of the city immediately west and south of the loop with mid and high rise towers. Chicago is exciting because there is actually quite a bit of space for development.
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Old December 13th, 2014, 01:02 AM   #4677
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NYC from the 74th floor of its tallest building (by roof height), 432 Park. You can clearly see Jersey City, Brooklyn, and the Statue of Liberty. It's too bad this building won't have an observation deck, as I almost prefer this view to 30 Rockefeller's.


http://www.reddit.com/user/tronomics

Edit:

Might as well include the opposite view. Dat Park Avenue.

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Old December 13th, 2014, 02:32 AM   #4678
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bodegavendetta View Post
Yeah, Chicago doesn't have as many urban/suburban "nodes" as Toronto. I can only really think of Evanston or maybe Des Plains that fit the criteria. Some of its suburbs can be fairly urban, but that is more because they used to be their own towns in the past, not because of development choices. I haven't spent much time in Chicagoland so someone feel free to correct me.

That said, Chicago has been doing a great job of infilling previously barren swaths of the city immediately west and south of the loop with mid and high rise towers. Chicago is exciting because there is actually quite a bit of space for development.

I think there are a few suburbs in Chicago that actually fit into this "node" modality such like Evanston, Oakbook, and Shamburg. Some of these even have highrises:

Evanston:


Downtown Evanston, view to south by Okrent Associates, on Panoramio

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Downtown Oak Park by Okrent Associates, on Panoramio



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Old December 13th, 2014, 04:44 AM   #4679
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That said, Chicago has been doing a great job of infilling previously barren swaths of the city immediately west and south of the loop with mid and high rise towers. Chicago is exciting because there is actually quite a bit of space for development.
Is south and west where Chicago's downtown will likely expand to or is there still lots of intensification that can happen in the Loop? Awesome Manhattan photos btw.
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Old December 13th, 2014, 04:53 AM   #4680
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Buckhead is a bit closer to the city but is hemmed in by lowrise residential neighborhoods with lovely homes and big lawns that no one will ever give up for the sake of development. It's on the Peachtree spine that is sprouting towers for many miles. Sites are scarce and clustered around shopping centers or the odd legacy air pocket from Buckhead's rural days. It's Atlanta's Ft. Bonifacio (Manila) or Santa Fe (Mexico City). All the heaviest new development is going into Midtown.
Leafy detached housing on big lots is the biggest obstacle to these areas developing. NYCC has seen a number of streets like this redeveloped and they were very high end homes that got bulldozed. I suppose everything has a price. Throw enough money at people and they will sell.
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