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Old August 25th, 2008, 10:53 PM   #1
StormShadow
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Largest U.S. cities by land area

From Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...cities_by_area

This list ranks U.S. cities by land area (not including bodies of water). Total areas are also given. If ranked by total area, a number of coastal cities would appear disproportionately "larger". San Francisco is an extreme example; water makes up nearly 80% of its total area of 232 mi² (601 km²).

The list is headed by consolidated city-counties, where a city comprises the whole area of a county (or equivalent), and so may include significant portions of rural areas or even wilderness. When these cities are removed from consideration, the largest cities are Oklahoma City, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Antonio - all western cities that have had few or no geographical constraints to their expansion, whose greatest growth has occurred in the postwar automobile age, and which have had relatively little competition from their neighbors to annex additional land.


Rank City Land Area (mi²) Land Area (km²) Total Area (mi²) Total Area (km²)
1 Sitka, Alaska * 2,874 7,444 4,812 12,462
2 Juneau, Alaska * 2,717 7,036 3,255 8,430
3 Anchorage, Alaska * 1,697 4,396 1,961 5,079
4 Jacksonville, Florida 758 1,962 874 2,265
5 Anaconda, Montana * 737 1,909 741 1,920
6 Butte, Montana * 716 1,855 717 1,857
7 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 607 1,572 621 1,609
8 Honolulu, Hawaii * 600 1,554 2,127 5,509
9 Houston, Texas 579 1,501 602 1,558
10 Phoenix, Arizona 515 1,333 515 1,333
11 Nashville, Tennessee 502 1,226 526 1,287
12 Los Angeles, California 465 1,204 489 1,291
13 Skagway, Alaska 452 1,172 464 1,203
14 San Antonio, Texas 408 1,056 412 1,067
15 Suffolk, Virginia 400 1,036 429 1,111
16 Indianapolis, Indiana 362 936 368 954
17 Dallas, Texas 343 887 385 997
18 Chesapeake, Virginia 341 883 351 909
19 San Diego, California 325 840 372 964
20 Kansas City, Missouri 314 812 318 824
21 New York City, New York 305 780 469 1,214
22 Augusta, Georgia * 302 783 307 794
23 Fort Worth, Texas 293 758 299 774
24 Lexington, Kentucky * 285 737 286 740
25 Memphis, Tennessee 279 723 295 763
26 Austin, Texas 252 651 258 669
27 El Paso, Texas 249 645 251 649
28 Virginia Beach, Virginia 248 643 497 1,288
29 Charlotte, North Carolina 242 628 243 629
30 Chicago, Illinois 227 588 234 606
31 Valdez, Alaska 222 575 277 718
32 Columbus, Georgia 216 560 221 572
33 Columbus, Ohio 210 545 213 551
34 California City, California 204 527 204 527
35 Boulder City, Nevada 203 525 203 525
36 Tucson, Arizona 195 504 195 505
37 Colorado Springs, Colorado 186 481 186 482
38 Scottsdale, Arizona 184 477 184 478
39 Tulsa, Oklahoma 183 473 187 484
40 Hibbing, Minnesota 182 471 187 483
41 Albuquerque, New Mexico 181 468 181 470
42 New Orleans, Louisiana* 181 468 350 907
43 Norman, Oklahoma 177 459 190 491
44 San Jose, California 175 453 178 462
45 Huntsville, Alabama 202 324 202 323
46 Montgomery, Alabama 155 402 156 405
47 Corpus Christi, Texas 155 401 460 1,192
48 Sierra Vista, Arizona 154 398 154 398
49 Denver, Colorado 153 397 155 401
50 Birmingham, Alabama 150 388 152 394
51 Buckeye, Arizona 146 378 146 378
52 Carson City, Nevada 143 371 156 403
53 Aurora, Colorado 143 369 143 370
54 Detroit, Michigan 139 359 143 370
55 Peoria, Arizona 138 358 142 367
56 Wichita, Kansas 136 352 139 360
57 Chattanooga, Tennessee 135 350 143 371
58 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania* 135 350 142 369
59 Portland, Oregon 134 348 145 377
60 Atlanta, Georgia 132 341 132 348
61 Lynchburg, Tennessee 129 335 130 338
62 Arecibo, Puerto Rico 126 326 171 443
63 Columbia, South Carolina 125 324 128 331
64 Mesa, Arizona 125 324 125 324
65 Kansas City, Kansas 124 322 128 331
66 Adak, Alaska 122 317 127 330
67 Mobile, Alabama 118 305 159 413
68 Athens, Georgia 118 305 118 306
69 Goodyear, Arizona 117 302 117 302
70 Little Rock, Arkansas 116 301 117 303
71 Omaha, Nebraska 116 N/A N/A N/A
72 Lubbock, Texas 115 N/A N/A N/A
73 Raleigh, North Carolina 115 N/A 115 N/A
74 Ponce, Puerto Rico 115 N/A N/A N/A
75 Las Vegas, Nevada 113 N/A N/A N/A
76 Bakersfield, California 113 N/A N/A N/A
77 Utuado, Puerto Rico 113 N/A N/A N/A
78 Tampa, Florida 112 N/A N/A N/A
79 Salt Lake City, Utah 109 N/A 110 N/A
80 Winston-Salem, North Carolina 109 N/A N/A N/A
81 Yuma, Arizona 107 N/A N/A N/A
82 Cape Coral, Florida 105 N/A N/A N/A
83 Abilene, Texas 105 N/A N/A N/A
84 Palmdale, California 105 N/A N/A N/A
85 Jackson, Mississippi 105 N/A 106 N/A
86 Greensboro, North Carolina 105 N/A N/A N/A
87 Fresno, California 104 N/A N/A N/A
88 Shreveport, Louisiana 103 N/A N/A N/A
89 Sacramento, California 97 N/A 99 N/A
90 Charleston, South Carolina 97 N/A N/A N/A
91 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 96 N/A N/A N/A
92 Arlington, Texas 96 N/A N/A N/A
93 Plymouth, Massachusetts 96 N/A 134 N/A
94 Tallahassee, Florida 96 N/A 98 N/A
95 Clarksville, Tennessee 95 N/A N/A N/A
96 Durham, North Carolina 95 N/A N/A N/A
97 Lancaster, California 94 N/A N/A N/A
98 Orlando, Florida 94 N/A N/A N/A
99 Knoxville, Tennessee 93 N/A N/A N/A
100 Amarillo, Texas 90 N/A N/A N/A
101 Dothan, Alabama 87 N/A N/A N/A
102 Edmond, Oklahoma 85 N/A N/A N/A
103 Beaumont, Texas 85 N/A N/A N/A
104 Waco, Texas 84 N/A N/A N/A
105 Seattle, Washington 84 N/A N/A N/A
106 Port Arthur, Texas 83 N/A N/A N/A
107 Baltimore, Maryland 81 N/A N/A N/A
108 Toledo, Ohio 81 N/A N/A N/A
109 Brownsville, Texas 80 N/A N/A N/A
110 El Reno, Oklahoma 80 N/A N/A N/A
111 Henderson, Nevada 80 N/A N/A N/A
112 Jonesboro, Arkansas 80 N/A N/A N/A
113 Caribou, Maine 79 N/A N/A N/A
114 Ellsworth, Maine 79 N/A N/A N/A
115 Laredo, Texas 79 N/A N/A N/A
116 Fort Wayne, Indiana 79 N/A N/A N/A
117 North Las Vegas, Nevada 79 N/A N/A N/A
118 Independence, Missouri 78 N/A N/A N/A
119 Riverside, California 78 N/A N/A N/A
120 Coamo, Puerto Rico 78 N/A N/A N/A
121 Cincinnati, Ohio 78 N/A N/A N/A
122 Cleveland, Ohio 78 N/A N/A N/A
123 Baton Rouge, Louisiana 77 N/A 79 N/A
124 Fremont, California 77 N/A N/A N/A
125 Presque Isle, Maine 76 N/A N/A N/A
126 Des Moines, Iowa 76 N/A 77 N/A
127 Port St. Lucie, Florida 76 N/A N/A N/A
128 Lawton, Oklahoma 75 N/A N/A N/A
129 North Port, Florida 75 N/A N/A N/A
130 Savannah, Georgia 75 N/A N/A N/A
131 Lincoln, Nebraska 75 N/A 75 N/A
132 Rome, New York 74.9 N/A 75.7 N/A
133 Wildwood, Missouri 66 N/A N/A N/A
134 Washington, D.C. 61.4 N/A 68.3 N/A
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Old August 26th, 2008, 12:05 AM   #2
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I think that these cities felt they HAD to annex land in order to keep their cities afloat. They were developed when no one saw any alternative to the new suburban development, when everyone thought it was the new ideal. So they annexed the land hoping to keep catching increases in revenue caused by development on fringes.

It can be a good thing too, because the municipality has the ability to control land use without the need for regional governing boards (the idea of city-county without the actual structure of it). It can be a bad thing though, because the 300+ square miles of land that are still undeveloped or rural in Oklahoma City are still used in statistics, and they always terribly skew those calculations (parkland psm, people psm, anything psm) which are commonly used in studies.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 03:14 AM   #3
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thats a very interesting list, how come do small towns such as California City, Ca and Sitka, Alaska have large city land?
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Old August 26th, 2008, 04:10 AM   #4
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Very interesting that major cities of major metropolitan areas like Boston, Minneapolis (and St. Paul), Pittsburgh, and St. Louis are so geographically small that they don't even make the list.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 05:14 AM   #5
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Peoples definition of cities are urban areas and not underdeveloped rural one's.

Speaking of Sitka, for example -
Sitka appears to be a town, but it consist of an enormous rural area which don't define urbanity. I believe the entire Baranof Island or a large portion of that island belongs to the town/city land area.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 05:47 AM   #6
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is there a benefit of having a large mass of land in a city/town for example Sitka, Alaska?
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Old August 26th, 2008, 06:04 AM   #7
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I don't really know much information to why, yet. However, some articles I found. Technically, a portion of these cities/towns are rather small if we exclude the rural or non-developed areas.

Quote:
While New York City is the most populous city in the United States, Sitka, Alaska is the largest city in area. Sitka includes a whopping 2874 square miles of incorporated area. The city is larger than the state of Delaware! Officially known as the "City and Borough of Sitka," the city consolidated the City of Sitka Borough in 2000 to be the country's largest city.

Sitka displaced Juneau, Alaska as the largest city upon the 2000 incorporation. Juneau is 2717 square miles and was formed through incorporation of the borough and city in 1970.

Sitka is a perfect example of an "overbounded" city, which refers to a city that has boundaries that extend far beyond its developed area (certainly the glaciers and ice fields in the city won't be developed soon.)

Jacksonville, Florida is the largest city in area in the contiguous 48 states at 758 square miles. Jacksonville includes all of Duval County, Florida with the exception of the beach communities (Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach and Jacksonville Beach) and Baldwin.

http://geography.about.com/od/specif.../sitkaarea.htm
A view of Sitka, June 2K8 by EdKeith
image hosted on flickr
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Old August 26th, 2008, 12:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StormShadow View Post
The list is headed by consolidated city-counties, where a city comprises the whole area of a county (or equivalent), and so may include significant portions of rural areas or even wilderness. When these cities are removed from consideration, the largest cities are Oklahoma City, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Antonio - all western cities that have had few or no geographical constraints to their expansion, whose greatest growth has occurred in the postwar automobile age, and which have had relatively little competition from their neighbors to annex additional land.
Are you sure that these cities don't include large areas of land that is not suitable for development? It seems that areas of water are considered, and rural areas are considered...but nothing else.

I'm wondering if Alaskan cities might annex sparsely inhabited areas so that the residents may have city services?
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Old August 26th, 2008, 01:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StormShadow View Post
When these cities are removed from consideration, the largest cities are Oklahoma City, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Antonio - all western cities that have had few or no geographical constraints to their expansion, whose greatest growth has occurred in the postwar automobile age, and which have had relatively little competition from their neighbors to annex additional land.
I don't know about all of the other cities, but Los Angeles does have geological constraints to it's expansion. The city of Los Angeles includes a mountain range and mountains and ocean are the geological constraint to it's expansion. That's one of the reasons why it's the most densely populated urbanized area in the entire country.

It doesn't belong on a list next to Oklahoma City, Houston, or San Antonio.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 05:34 PM   #10
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Yet another typical stereotypical kneejerk "ooh LA is the biggest city in the world" garbage! First of all if you're going to be soooooo gracious as to not include SF's body of water could you not include our mountain range which hardly anybody lives on that rips the city in half which is why we have a basin & a valley within city limits? And how is LA up w/ OK city and Houston when it doesn't even make the TOP TEN!! This list is yet just another for entertainment purposes only list.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 06:48 PM   #11
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And much of Los Angeles was actually developed before WWII. By the 1940's, Los Angeles was already the 5th largest city with over 1.5 million people. In fact, Los Angeles already had most of its 469 sq. mi. as early as the 1920's. So it's not like the city went on some major annexation craze in the 70's and 80's. Between 1940 and today, the city only annexed about 4% of its current land area.

BTW, I wouldn't say this list is for entertainment purposes only for the simple fact that it measures one thing and one thing only. Unlike most Forbes lists that use a bunch of arbitrary data and comes to a pre-set conclusion, this list shows the actual land area of the different cities.

Last edited by hudkina; August 26th, 2008 at 06:56 PM.
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Old August 29th, 2008, 01:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StormShadow View Post
From Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...cities_by_area

This list ranks U.S. cities by land area (not including bodies of water). Total areas are also given. If ranked by total area, a number of coastal cities would appear disproportionately "larger". San Francisco is an extreme example; water makes up nearly 80% of its total area of 232 mi² (601 km²).

The list is headed by consolidated city-counties, where a city comprises the whole area of a county (or equivalent), and so may include significant portions of rural areas or even wilderness. When these cities are removed from consideration, the largest cities are Oklahoma City, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Antonio - all western cities that have had few or no geographical constraints to their expansion, whose greatest growth has occurred in the postwar automobile age, and which have had relatively little competition from their neighbors to annex additional land.


Rank City Land Area (mi²) Land Area (km²) Total Area (mi²) Total Area (km²)
1 Sitka, Alaska * 2,874 7,444 4,812 12,462
2 Juneau, Alaska * 2,717 7,036 3,255 8,430
3 Anchorage, Alaska * 1,697 4,396 1,961 5,079
4 Jacksonville, Florida 758 1,962 874 2,265
5 Anaconda, Montana * 737 1,909 741 1,920
6 Butte, Montana * 716 1,855 717 1,857
7 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 607 1,572 621 1,609
8 Honolulu, Hawaii * 600 1,554 2,127 5,509
9 Houston, Texas 579 1,501 602 1,558
10 Phoenix, Arizona 515 1,333 515 1,333
11 Nashville, Tennessee 502 1,226 526 1,287
12 Los Angeles, California 465 1,204 489 1,291
13 Skagway, Alaska 452 1,172 464 1,203
14 San Antonio, Texas 408 1,056 412 1,067
15 Suffolk, Virginia 400 1,036 429 1,111
16 Indianapolis, Indiana 362 936 368 954
17 Dallas, Texas 343 887 385 997
18 Chesapeake, Virginia 341 883 351 909
19 San Diego, California 325 840 372 964
20 Kansas City, Missouri 314 812 318 824
21 New York City, New York 305 780 469 1,214
22 Augusta, Georgia * 302 783 307 794
23 Fort Worth, Texas 293 758 299 774
24 Lexington, Kentucky * 285 737 286 740
25 Memphis, Tennessee 279 723 295 763
26 Austin, Texas 252 651 258 669
27 El Paso, Texas 249 645 251 649
28 Virginia Beach, Virginia 248 643 497 1,288
29 Charlotte, North Carolina 242 628 243 629
30 Chicago, Illinois 227 588 234 606
31 Valdez, Alaska 222 575 277 718
32 Columbus, Georgia 216 560 221 572
33 Columbus, Ohio 210 545 213 551
34 California City, California 204 527 204 527
35 Boulder City, Nevada 203 525 203 525
36 Tucson, Arizona 195 504 195 505
37 Colorado Springs, Colorado 186 481 186 482
38 Scottsdale, Arizona 184 477 184 478
39 Tulsa, Oklahoma 183 473 187 484
40 Hibbing, Minnesota 182 471 187 483
41 Albuquerque, New Mexico 181 468 181 470
42 New Orleans, Louisiana* 181 468 350 907
43 Norman, Oklahoma 177 459 190 491
44 San Jose, California 175 453 178 462
45 Huntsville, Alabama 202 324 202 323
46 Montgomery, Alabama 155 402 156 405
47 Corpus Christi, Texas 155 401 460 1,192
48 Sierra Vista, Arizona 154 398 154 398
49 Denver, Colorado 153 397 155 401
50 Birmingham, Alabama 150 388 152 394
51 Buckeye, Arizona 146 378 146 378
52 Carson City, Nevada 143 371 156 403
53 Aurora, Colorado 143 369 143 370
54 Detroit, Michigan 139 359 143 370
55 Peoria, Arizona 138 358 142 367
56 Wichita, Kansas 136 352 139 360
57 Chattanooga, Tennessee 135 350 143 371
58 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania* 135 350 142 369
59 Portland, Oregon 134 348 145 377
60 Atlanta, Georgia 132 341 132 348
61 Lynchburg, Tennessee 129 335 130 338
62 Arecibo, Puerto Rico 126 326 171 443
63 Columbia, South Carolina 125 324 128 331
64 Mesa, Arizona 125 324 125 324
65 Kansas City, Kansas 124 322 128 331
66 Adak, Alaska 122 317 127 330
67 Mobile, Alabama 118 305 159 413
68 Athens, Georgia 118 305 118 306
69 Goodyear, Arizona 117 302 117 302
70 Little Rock, Arkansas 116 301 117 303
71 Omaha, Nebraska 116 N/A N/A N/A
72 Lubbock, Texas 115 N/A N/A N/A
73 Raleigh, North Carolina 115 N/A 115 N/A
74 Ponce, Puerto Rico 115 N/A N/A N/A
75 Las Vegas, Nevada 113 N/A N/A N/A
76 Bakersfield, California 113 N/A N/A N/A
77 Utuado, Puerto Rico 113 N/A N/A N/A
78 Tampa, Florida 112 N/A N/A N/A
79 Salt Lake City, Utah 109 N/A 110 N/A
80 Winston-Salem, North Carolina 109 N/A N/A N/A
81 Yuma, Arizona 107 N/A N/A N/A
82 Cape Coral, Florida 105 N/A N/A N/A
83 Abilene, Texas 105 N/A N/A N/A
84 Palmdale, California 105 N/A N/A N/A
85 Jackson, Mississippi 105 N/A 106 N/A
86 Greensboro, North Carolina 105 N/A N/A N/A
87 Fresno, California 104 N/A N/A N/A
88 Shreveport, Louisiana 103 N/A N/A N/A
89 Sacramento, California 97 N/A 99 N/A
90 Charleston, South Carolina 97 N/A N/A N/A
91 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 96 N/A N/A N/A
92 Arlington, Texas 96 N/A N/A N/A
93 Plymouth, Massachusetts 96 N/A 134 N/A
94 Tallahassee, Florida 96 N/A 98 N/A
95 Clarksville, Tennessee 95 N/A N/A N/A
96 Durham, North Carolina 95 N/A N/A N/A
97 Lancaster, California 94 N/A N/A N/A
98 Orlando, Florida 94 N/A N/A N/A
99 Knoxville, Tennessee 93 N/A N/A N/A
100 Amarillo, Texas 90 N/A N/A N/A
101 Dothan, Alabama 87 N/A N/A N/A
102 Edmond, Oklahoma 85 N/A N/A N/A
103 Beaumont, Texas 85 N/A N/A N/A
104 Waco, Texas 84 N/A N/A N/A
105 Seattle, Washington 84 N/A N/A N/A
106 Port Arthur, Texas 83 N/A N/A N/A
107 Baltimore, Maryland 81 N/A N/A N/A
108 Toledo, Ohio 81 N/A N/A N/A
109 Brownsville, Texas 80 N/A N/A N/A
110 El Reno, Oklahoma 80 N/A N/A N/A
111 Henderson, Nevada 80 N/A N/A N/A
112 Jonesboro, Arkansas 80 N/A N/A N/A
113 Caribou, Maine 79 N/A N/A N/A
114 Ellsworth, Maine 79 N/A N/A N/A
115 Laredo, Texas 79 N/A N/A N/A
116 Fort Wayne, Indiana 79 N/A N/A N/A
117 North Las Vegas, Nevada 79 N/A N/A N/A
118 Independence, Missouri 78 N/A N/A N/A
119 Riverside, California 78 N/A N/A N/A
120 Coamo, Puerto Rico 78 N/A N/A N/A
121 Cincinnati, Ohio 78 N/A N/A N/A
122 Cleveland, Ohio 78 N/A N/A N/A
123 Baton Rouge, Louisiana 77 N/A 79 N/A
124 Fremont, California 77 N/A N/A N/A
125 Presque Isle, Maine 76 N/A N/A N/A
126 Des Moines, Iowa 76 N/A 77 N/A
127 Port St. Lucie, Florida 76 N/A N/A N/A
128 Lawton, Oklahoma 75 N/A N/A N/A
129 North Port, Florida 75 N/A N/A N/A
130 Savannah, Georgia 75 N/A N/A N/A
131 Lincoln, Nebraska 75 N/A 75 N/A
132 Rome, New York 74.9 N/A 75.7 N/A
133 Wildwood, Missouri 66 N/A N/A N/A
134 Washington, D.C. 61.4 N/A 68.3 N/A
Well...At least were way beyond D.C. I didn't think we were that low on the list
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Old August 29th, 2008, 07:42 AM   #13
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Ummm, is there any other point to this thread than to say "hey, I govern more square footage than anybody?" Who cares if Buckeye, Arizona is larger than Atlanta, Georgia?
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Old August 29th, 2008, 10:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avian001 View Post
Ummm, is there any other point to this thread than to say "hey, I govern more square footage than anybody?" Who cares if Buckeye, Arizona is larger than Atlanta, Georgia?

It isn't a contest that anyone wants his/her city to win...
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Old August 29th, 2008, 11:44 AM   #15
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Personally I am a sick and tired of the way that Sitka is worshiped and elevated on this forum; I've also about had it with all those Sitka photo threads and that whole "Sitka: The Greatest City On Earth" routine.

I'm sure we've all had it with those cocky, self-assured Sitkans. I'd get rid of each and every one of them, if I could, in a Sitka Minute.
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Old August 29th, 2008, 06:26 PM   #16
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This list really means nothing.
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Old August 29th, 2008, 08:11 PM   #17
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I know! If Houston were the size of Sitka it'd have over 4 million people! It's not fair that some cities aren't able to annex thousands of square miles of uninhabitated land to "bolster" their population!
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Old August 29th, 2008, 08:25 PM   #18
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Sitka, excluding the whole rural area is rather small if you observe it on photos or satellite. It's a town.

Why are many people getting bent out of shape over the list ?
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Old August 30th, 2008, 12:52 PM   #19
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Quote:
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This list really means nothing.
Damn right! And if you guys could annex all the ocean water between Pacific Palasades and the muscle beach of Venice up to the outer limits of Tokyo Harbor, LA could easily be the Largest City In The World!
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Old August 30th, 2008, 12:54 PM   #20
edsg25
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chicago
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1 Sitka, Alaska * 2,874 7,444 4,812 12,462

the governor of the state with the nation's largest city is John McCain's vice presidential nominee. Now I'm impressed!

Does anyone know how long the commute is from one side of Sitka to the other during the worst part of rush hour?
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