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  #1  
Old 07-09-2009, 04:14 PM
sdejong sdejong is offline
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Is Chicago in decline? _ Comments by Cecil

I just read in the Economist today that Houston is expected to overtake Chicago as the 3rd most populous city in the USA.

What gives?

What are we going to call ourselves now? The forth city?

But more seriously do things such as this belie a lack of dynamism? and if so, what's the cause?
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2009, 06:07 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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Populous/smopulous! Seriously, what does population have to do with the quality of a city? Sure, some Northern rust-belt cities have lost their economic base and the populations have declined, but that wouldn't apply to Chicago.

I think you could home in on Chicago still being the most livable large city in the US.
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Old 07-10-2009, 01:11 PM
sdejong sdejong is offline
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People generally move to where there are jobs. Since a city like Houston is still growing, while Chicago at best treads water, wouldn’t this indicate that there is a lot of economic opportunities that Chicago is losing out on. Rather than staying 'Chicago: City on the Make' we’re just 'Chicago: still doin’ the same-old'.
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  #4  
Old 07-10-2009, 06:42 PM
jnglmassiv jnglmassiv is offline
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Does the article refer to the cities' limits or the metro areas?
Wiki summary of the 360+ metro areas.
That list puts the Dallas Metroplex larger than Greater Houston (not much, tho) and a ways behind Chicagoland.
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  #5  
Old 07-10-2009, 07:34 PM
2ply 2ply is offline
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Keep in mind that Sunbelt cities typically have a much larger area and less density than northern cities.
Chicago is 230 square miles with a population density of 12,649 people per square mile.
Houston is 601 square miles with a population density of 3,828 people per square mile.
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  #6  
Old 07-13-2009, 02:08 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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According to this PDF report on Gross Metroplitan Products, Houston is, in inflation adjusted terms, growing faster than Chicago, but both areas are still growing economically. Houston's metro area (including Sugarland and Baytown) 2009 growth rate is 3.4%, while Chicago metro is 0.8%. Overall, Chicago area's 2007 GMP was $506.1 billion compared with Houston area's $378.3 billion. (Third and fifth overall.) Interestingly enough--and I did not know this--that puts Chicago metro's economic output higher than all but 17 other countries (and one of those countries is the US counted as a whole).
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  #7  
Old 07-15-2009, 07:22 PM
SanDiegoTim SanDiegoTim is offline
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I'm in no way qualified to say whether Chicago is in decline, but I do think high taxes are a threat to its long term prosperity. Chicago is a great city. I'm back several times a year. I'd hate to see it lose its health.
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  #8  
Old 07-22-2009, 12:17 AM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
Populous/smopulous! Seriously, what does population have to do with the quality of a city? Sure, some Northern rust-belt cities have lost their economic base and the populations have declined, but that wouldn't apply to Chicago.

I think you could home in on Chicago still being the most livable large city in the US.
Having visited many times--albeit not in winter--I can certainly attest to its general appeal. Nightlife, highbrow culture, museums, good transportation system, what's not to like? OTOH I found it disheartening the extent to which some people in the suburbs have more or less abandoned the city. I know people in Deerfield who say they really never have to go downtown for anything, which means that the convenience of suburban shopping centers and business districts comes at the price of missing out on the variety and interest that nearly any big city has to offer. I suppose that sort of thing is almost universal in America, but I had hoped it would be less so in Chicago.
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:04 PM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus View Post
Having visited many times--albeit not in winter--I can certainly attest to its general appeal. Nightlife, highbrow culture, museums, good transportation system, what's not to like? OTOH I found it disheartening the extent to which some people in the suburbs have more or less abandoned the city. I know people in Deerfield who say they really never have to go downtown for anything, which means that the convenience of suburban shopping centers and business districts comes at the price of missing out on the variety and interest that nearly any big city has to offer. I suppose that sort of thing is almost universal in America, but I had hoped it would be less so in Chicago.
I think it IS less so in Chicago. I live in a near-downtown neighborhood, and almost never visit the suburbs. There are a great many people who do the same.......TRM
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  #10  
Old 07-29-2009, 11:27 PM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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Cecil has taken this one up: http://chicago.straightdope.com/sdc20090723.php
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  #11  
Old 01-26-2010, 02:19 PM
blong72 blong72 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. Mortiss View Post
I think it IS less so in Chicago. I live in a near-downtown neighborhood, and almost never visit the suburbs. There are a great many people who do the same.......TRM
I too live in the city but a little more north towards wriggley field. I never go to the subburbs anymore since I have lived here for the last 5 years. When I do it feels like im in a ghost town or something. Weird. People living in the subburbs miss out on a real experience living in a city like Chicago. I wouldnt trade it for anything
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  #12  
Old 04-12-2010, 11:24 PM
Conductor Conductor is offline
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I have been in Chicago during the winter, and Houston during the summer. Chicago wins. You can dress for winter and survive pretty darned well, even if you do have five or six layers on and look like an arctic explorer just waiting for the EL to show up. Houston in July is basically and outdoor sauna that reminded me uncannily of opening an oven door while baking. It also reminded me of the old Mark Twain quote: "[In India,] ... 'cold weather' is merely a conventional phrase and has come into use through the necessity of having some way to distinguish between weather which will melt a brass door-knob and weather which will only make it mushy."

Last edited by Conductor; 04-12-2010 at 11:25 PM..
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  #13  
Old 05-11-2010, 11:19 AM
PhiloVance PhiloVance is offline
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I have never visited Houston, but was once in Chicago around Thanksgiving. I about froze to death.

'course I'm from the Central Valley in California and used to the heat. It's a dry heat here and Houston's sound like a wet heat, sort of like the East Coast (can anyone say Norfolk?) in August.

Hundred and ten Fahrenheit is nothing to me out here, but 90 in Norfolk in August is unbearable.

Guess it depends on what one is used to.
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  #14  
Old 05-11-2010, 11:33 AM
Gagundathar Gagundathar is offline
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I have visited both cities and I can tell you that Houston smells a helluva lot worse than Chicago ever does.
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