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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What US cities are doing the things (or have done the things) that make them serve as models for all American cities.....and what have they accomplished that makes you think, "I wish my city would do that."

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Strictly for purposes of examples, I'll use my home town of Chicago: Millennium Park has shown how an eye popping, interactive park can serve as a draw for city, suburbanites, and tourists alike....and also cause a high rise housing boom around it to take in the view.
 

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Boston's Big Dig really worked. It may have gotten terrible press for its great expense, but ask anybody who lives or visits here and has been to the airport. What used to take an hour to three hours now takes 20 minutes. The fumes from the cars travelling are filtered from underground so as not to harnm the environment (supposedly). Many acres have been freed up and are going to cultural and civic use.

In my opinion this is an incredibly progressive city.
 

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Atlanta and Miami for the south. Atlanta is trying to strengthen its tourist importance (Aquarium, Nascar Museum, new Coca Cola Museum) and Miami is trying to strenghten its retirement and condo living. They are trying to attract people to settle down there which is spurring condo growth in the U.S. along with Chicago.
 

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EDSG--Millenium Park is world class! Its a great representation to the world that Chicago can build nice parks like any other large city.
 

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I was just browsing Millenium Park's website. It looks incredible! I haven't been to Chicago in years. The park puts the city at the top of my list for places to visit soon.
 

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You most definitely have to include Baltimore in this list. You'd be hard pressed to find a city any place that has capitalized on it's waterfront setting better than Baltimore has. There is now a 7 mile waterfront promenade lined with shops, condo's, offices, and apartments that is open to the public. It really is a special urban setting.

It's ironic that the city came into existence because of it's huge harbor, and that very same harbor is turning out to be the natural resource responsible for it's rebirth. Population loss has stopped, incomes are rising, and the job base is expanding again.

Also, Baltimore has been the start of many innovative urban programs. The $1 house program, where you buy an abandoned house for one dollar with the caveat that you must renovate it to code within a few years is an example. Yep, we've gotten it together in Baltimore!

PART OF THE PROMENADE (Next year I'll be living on the 30th floor where the white crane is!


MILLION DOLLAR PIER HOMES GOING UP


ENTERTAINMENT AND RETAIL


MORE AND MORE HOUSING
 

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^^very impressive. Don't forget to mention that the Orioles' Camden Yards also set the trend for bringing back baseball only stadiums.
 

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Baltimore is underrated. From what I've seen of the Inner Harbor, it looks awesome.
 

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Cities that have undergone are undergoing a major renissiance, such as Providence, apparently Baltimore, and according to what I've heard, Cleveland. Overall though, I think of it like this too.... While New York is the greatest city in America... I'd have to say Chicago is probably the greatest AMERICAN city. It sounds contradictory, but it makes sense if you think about it.
 

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Chattanooga has also done wonders with its riverfront.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
callanoj said:
Boston's Big Dig really worked. It may have gotten terrible press for its great expense, but ask anybody who lives or visits here and has been to the airport. What used to take an hour to three hours now takes 20 minutes. The fumes from the cars travelling are filtered from underground so as not to harnm the environment (supposedly). Many acres have been freed up and are going to cultural and civic use.

In my opinion this is an incredibly progressive city.
callano, how safe has the big dig been accident wise? does having on and off ramps underground present the type of safety issues that some of us fear would happen?
 

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Phoenix and Las Vegas are serving as excellent examples to the rest of the nation as how to sprawl out and use as much land as possible, constanly building out, without a thought of building up.

Seriously though,
I would have to say Chicago is an excellent example of how to make the best use of public spaces. The Lakefront, especially downtown, is a shining beacon of what can be done with public lands. And apparently Baltimore is good at this too.

And all U.S. cities should look to New York as an example of how successful public transportation can be when done right. Obviously those cities may not have the density that NY does to support such an extensive system, but it is still an excellent example.
 

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edsg25 said:
callano, how safe has the big dig been accident wise? does having on and off ramps underground present the type of safety issues that some of us fear would happen?
I haven't heard of any major accidents inside the tunnels or on the off ramps. The main problem has been that there have been leaks in the walls due to a contractor who knowingly sold the state faulty cement. But that's an entirely different story.

But, no, no major accidents. What, specifically, do you think might happen?

I will say it feels pretty futuristic to be speeding 65 miles an hour in an underground freeway. Of course as a kid I always imagined the future above ground and in the air. But this is pretty cool when your diving for miles under ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
callanoj said:
IBut, no, no major accidents. What, specifically, do you think might happen?.
mainly as i said...on and off ramps....i just can't imagine that occurring underground with sufficent view. probably i'm wrong....it just seems so, well, scary.
 

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Milwaukee and how we are redeveloping land once covered by an underused freeway (Park East) has been looked to by other major cities in the U.S. The city is also serving as a model on bettering an urban riverfront, as well as a lakefront.
 

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Baltimore, Baltimore, Baltimore, and maybe even Baltimore too.

Image, Harbor/waterfront, residential development, commercial/entertainment, etc. Not much that they haven't done. Still some really rough areas, but what city doesn't, really? Only blemish I see is that ill-gotten football team, though they were wronged themselves in the past.

Also props to Milwaukee, San Francisco, Seattle, and any other city that has removed an obstructing expressway from their waterfront. From what I hear, Louisville and Buffalo may be next in line.
 

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A sampling of relatively older, dense cities that have reversed population declines or kept growing:

New York City

Chicago

San Francisco

Seattle

Boston

Denver

Portland, OR

Oakland

Minneapolis

Miami

Newark

St. Paul

Jersey City

Providence
 

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I agree with all of those except for Newark. And although Boston is a great city, it's actually losing population.... fast.
 
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