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  #101  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2019, 3:16 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
i'd also nominate shorewood for milwaukee burbs.
^ Nice, although its built environment doesn't have as much "old world charm", I always tip my hat to towns that promote New Urbanist principles
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  #102  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2019, 3:19 PM
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Toronto is difficult because it's early 20th century footprint was much smaller than somewhere like Chicago. It has so far outgrown it's prewar framework that any places that have that streetcar suburb charm are firmly considered part of the city proper.

Bloor West Village would be an example of that with gorgeous prewar single family homes, a main commercial strip, and proximity to High Park. Nowadays no one living there would consider themselves suburban.

https://www.google.com/maps/@43.6509...4!8i8192?hl=en

Along High Park:
https://www.google.com/maps/@43.6480...4!8i8192?hl=en


Places that are actually at a suburban distance from Downtown in the 21st century, were nothing more than tiny independent towns and villages 150 years ago. They've been swallowed up in the expansion and are surrounded by sprawl, but there are still some downtowns that maintained that charm. They all also have GO stations that serve the massive commuter rail network.

Unionville in Markham:

https://www.google.com/maps/@43.8668...4!8i8192?hl=en

Downtown Oakville:
https://www.google.com/maps/@43.4440...4!8i8192?hl=en

https://www.google.com/maps/@43.4439...4!8i8192?hl=en



Milton is the biggest culprit sprawl-wise, but also has one of the best commercial strips:

https://www.google.com/maps/@43.5136...4!8i8192?hl=en

and a few blocks of great old houses like these:

https://www.google.com/maps/@43.5113...4!8i8192?hl=en
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  #103  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2019, 3:26 PM
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^ awesome, thanks for the tour!
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  #104  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2019, 3:55 PM
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Most of Detroit's true streetcar suburbs were absorbed into the city of Detroit. Those that weren't are mostly border burbs located along one of the major spoke avenues, such as Grosse Pointe Park:
https://goo.gl/maps/vE36hrwmuDcfXVzV8

Almost all of the other true Detroit streetcar suburbs that were not absorded into Detroit, or surrounded by Detroit (Highland Park and Hamtramck), are in Oakland County, along the Woodward Avenue corridor:

Ferndale - https://goo.gl/maps/3TWLtSWPAvyddzGb8
Pleasant Ridge* - https://goo.gl/maps/yQUoWubRbPEF8ZUf9
Royal Oak** - https://goo.gl/maps/26BWYwh14yNwvV5Z7

*Pleasant Ridge's only commercial corridor is Woodward Avenue, but it is sandwiched between Ferndale and Royal Oak.

Detroit's interurban stations/suburbs were more analogous to the commuter suburbs on the East Coast. Even though many of them no longer have any rail connectivity, it is somewhat obvious which suburbs those are, due to the quaint town-like centers that many of them have retained:

Farmington - https://goo.gl/maps/VmKHjhYBV6jLMWRj6
Northville - https://goo.gl/maps/Su7dFDCceoHgbeJs5
Dearborn** - https://goo.gl/maps/SyeuNz5xvLfm5Hne7
Wyandotte - https://goo.gl/maps/QivLoRdVhuYRHE9P7
Birmingham - https://goo.gl/maps/UqVr47wjoCVR6dLZ8
Rochester - https://goo.gl/maps/rDi2kM9tFfrAyYca7
Another Rochester building that reminds me of the Wauwatosa link - https://goo.gl/maps/bPzBTnApKroMgGre7

**Dearborn and Royal Oak are technically both streetcar and Interurban suburbs, since those cities were connected to Detroit via both modes.

Last edited by iheartthed; Sep 19, 2019 at 4:17 PM.
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  #105  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2019, 4:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
it seems like most of the time when i see suburban residential side streets from europe, the whole arrangement just looks and feels so very different.


i guess what i'm asking is the north american streetcar suburb typology exclusively a north america thing?



Basically yes. There a lot of areas in Northern Europe that will feature detached, single-family housing in close quarters around walkable main drags, but there are a lot of small elements that add up to skew the feel.

Looking at Hellerup, Copenhagen from the air, you can see that it's not so structurally different from Shorewood. The streets are wavier and the building types are different, but it's overall a similar plan. They are even both beachfront areas north of the main city.

Zooming in, though, you see the lot shapes and sizes are quite different...

Hellerup has wider, shorter, squarer lots and the main street is characterized by European-style courtyard blocks, whereas Shorewood, as you noted, is based on long and narrow lots.

At street level, the main commercial drags really show their differences... Strandvejen in Hellerup is just so obviously European, nothing in North America looks like that.

On the residential streets, Shorewood has that North American, "open" feel with its yards, driveways and the rest. Over here, single-family often means walls or hedges.

You can see this in Hellerup, where walking down the street doesn't give you much of a look at the houses. It's either hedges, walls, or some combination thereof.

Some streets are more open, but the houses still just have a totally different way of relating to the street and each other than in North America.

This just how Northern Europe rolls, and you can see it in Hamburg, Stockholm, Poland, whatever.

Last edited by kool maudit; Sep 19, 2019 at 4:29 PM.
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  #106  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2019, 4:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
Most of Detroit's true streetcar suburbs were absorbed into the city of Detroit. Those that weren't are mostly border burbs located along one of the major spoke avenues, such as Grosse Pointe Park:
https://goo.gl/maps/vE36hrwmuDcfXVzV8
another awesome tour, thanks!

venture east a couple blocks on that street in the grosse pointe park streetview and it's like the world just ends. holy shit what a stark contrast!





Quote:
Originally Posted by kool maudit View Post

On the residential streets, Shorewood has that North American, "open" feel with its yards, driveways and the rest. Over here, single-family often means walls or hedges.

You can see this in Hellerup, where walking down the street doesn't give you much of a look at the houses. It's either hedges, walls, or some combination thereof.
yeah, i think that's the distinction that's making it feel so different, that "open" vs. "closed" aspect.

i wonder why europe has such a cultural preferences for privacy walls/hedges vs. north america's preference for open lawns.

are europeans perhaps a little bit leery of the Huns coming back?
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Last edited by Steely Dan; Sep 19, 2019 at 4:59 PM.
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  #107  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2019, 4:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
another awesome tour, thanks!

venture east a couple blocks on that street in the grosse point park streetview and it's like the world just ends. holy shit what a stark contrast!
I was going to mention that but decided to let inquisitive minds discover it on their own, lol.
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  #108  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2019, 4:45 PM
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I know, it's odd. My wife, for instance, loves the townhouse/streetcar suburb aspect of Toronto ("the whole city is made of houses!") but every time we look around, she's like "of course, you would want a gate or something...".

These sorts of neighbourhoods are her favourite, but the possibility of just wandering onto the lawn is always a bit much for her. I'm always saying, "yeah but we just know not to do that" etc., but the reply is "...OK, but just to be sure..."
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  #109  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2019, 4:48 PM
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I kind of think that, once Northern Europeans commit to a "villa area" as opposed to apartment blocks, it's an all-or-nothing choice. They start wanting a very rural feel, almost, which may be why sidewalks aren't there, why the houses sit at non-standard angles to the street, why the barriers go up, etc.
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  #110  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2019, 4:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
Most of Detroit's true streetcar suburbs were absorbed into the city of Detroit. Those that weren't are mostly border burbs located along one of the major spoke avenues, such as Grosse Pointe Park:
https://goo.gl/maps/vE36hrwmuDcfXVzV8

Almost all of the other true Detroit streetcar suburbs that were not absorded into Detroit, or surrounded by Detroit (Highland Park and Hamtramck), are in Oakland County, along the Woodward Avenue corridor:

Ferndale - https://goo.gl/maps/3TWLtSWPAvyddzGb8
Pleasant Ridge* - https://goo.gl/maps/yQUoWubRbPEF8ZUf9
Royal Oak** - https://goo.gl/maps/26BWYwh14yNwvV5Z7

*Pleasant Ridge's only commercial corridor is Woodward Avenue, but it is sandwiched between Ferndale and Royal Oak.

Detroit's interurban stations/suburbs were more analogous to the commuter suburbs on the East Coast. Even though many of them no longer have any rail connectivity, it is somewhat obvious which suburbs those are, due to the quaint town-like centers that many of them have retained:

Farmington - https://goo.gl/maps/VmKHjhYBV6jLMWRj6
Northville - https://goo.gl/maps/Su7dFDCceoHgbeJs5
Dearborn** - https://goo.gl/maps/SyeuNz5xvLfm5Hne7
Wyandotte - https://goo.gl/maps/QivLoRdVhuYRHE9P7
Birmingham - https://goo.gl/maps/UqVr47wjoCVR6dLZ8
Rochester - https://goo.gl/maps/rDi2kM9tFfrAyYca7
Another Rochester building that reminds me of the Wauwatosa link - https://goo.gl/maps/bPzBTnApKroMgGre7

**Dearborn and Royal Oak are technically both streetcar and Interurban suburbs, since those cities were connected to Detroit via both modes.
Wow, I forgot all about Detroit. Very nice examples.

Actually, Detroit deserves a special place among the echelon of prewar American cities in that it has an unusual collection of high quality urban suburbs for a city that otherwise lacks commuter rail transit.

That's probably because of Detroit's unique history
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  #111  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2019, 4:57 PM
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Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
I was going to mention that but decided to let inquisitive minds discover it on their own, lol.
A friend of mine used to live in west village and the drive from her place to atwater brewery in grosse point went through no-mans land, it was wild the first time i saw it.
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  #112  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2019, 5:02 PM
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For Metro Detroit, Plymouth has a really quaint/attractive city center. It looks like a small town in a movie.

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3700...7i16384!8i8192

Milford has a really quaint downtown.

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.5904...7i13312!8i6656

Dearborn actually has two downtowns, as it developed as two separate cities. The Pointes have three separate downtowns, though all are small. Berkley and Clawson have decent downtowns.
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  #113  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2019, 5:06 PM
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Detroit at its streetcar zenith must have seemed almost impossibly vast and gracious to those more familiar with tenement cities.
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  #114  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2019, 5:08 PM
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Originally Posted by kool maudit View Post
[URL="https://www.google.com/maps/@43.713713,-79.4177664,3a,60y,68.78h,86.12t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sMbnTR9aF8_iNjbnL6shHVQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192"]
Wow, Toronto really seems to have annexed a lot of what would be considered run of the mill suburban fabric in Chicago or other big US metros. That block doesn't look too different than a lot of areas in Park Ridge, Elmhurst, Wilmette etc. in Chicago. Maybe the lots are just slightly smaller.

The difference between gate preferences between cultures really is interesting. I would say if anything when I see gates, I assume there is some compelling reason (crime, undesirable neighbors, etc.) and if anything it makes me feel less safe and like the area is less desirable. Why else would somebody who is upper middle class waste resources on something like that? Anyway, that's usually my gut reaction to seeing those sorts of privacy attempts being made. The only exception would be truly massive Lake Forest type estates where the gate was clearly just there to flaunt wealth and keep gawkers away.
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  #115  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2019, 5:10 PM
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I see your point, but the villa areas of Scandinavia hardly developed in response to crime or disorder, so I think it's just a cultural thing.
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  #116  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2019, 5:10 PM
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Wow, Toronto really seems to have annexed a lot of what would be considered run of the mill suburban fabric in Chicago or other big US metros. That block doesn't look too different than a lot of areas in Park Ridge, Elmhurst, Wilmette etc. in Chicago.


It's the same thing and served the same function when it was built. Toronto was a metro of a little over 1 million then.
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  #117  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2019, 5:17 PM
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It's the same thing and served the same function when it was built. Toronto was a metro of a little over 1 million then.
yeah, chicagoland was like 5 times bigger than metro toronto in 1930 (~4,365,000 vs. ~810,000), so of course you're gonna have a lot more of this streetcar/railroad suburb style development in chicagoland.

it's just math.
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  #118  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2019, 5:29 PM
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Hmm...that's a hard one.
I would say Las Vegas or San Diego (waits for the pitchforks)

JK JK

To LA, probably Pasadena, or Long Beach. Both are large cities in their own right, but are in the orbit of Los Angeles. Both have lovely walkable neighborhoods and cultural aspects that set them apart.
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  #119  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2019, 6:01 PM
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Since this thread has basically turned into a showcase of urban-ish, historic commercial districts in suburbs (which I'm loving, btw), I'll post some more for Cincinnati. While there is no longer commuter rail in Cincy, there are many old towns that grew up around railroads concurrently to Cincinnati's development that have been fully swallowed into the suburbs. Here are some examples:

1) Milford:
https://www.google.com/maps/@39.1728...7i16384!8i8192


2) Loveland:
https://www.google.com/maps/@39.2681...7i16384!8i8192


3) Glendale (one of the country's first suburbs, dating back to the 1840/50s):
https://www.google.com/maps/@39.2707...7i13312!8i6656
(you can see the old rail station on the right, now a 'village museum')


4) Wyoming (residential streets are much more impressive than their modest downtown, but still a pleasant little commercial node)
https://www.google.com/maps/@39.2272...7i16384!8i8192


5) Elmwood Place (poor and suffering from disinvestment, but still has the bones of a solid commercial district, especially for being about 10 miles from downtown)
https://www.google.com/maps/@39.1863...7i16384!8i8192


...and if we're counting places like Brookline in Boston, then I guess it makes sense to count the Northern Kentucky river cities as suburbs for Cincy, too.

1) Covington
https://www.google.com/maps/@39.0840...7i16384!8i8192

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.0816...7i13312!8i6656


2) Newport
https://www.google.com/maps/@39.0909...7i16384!8i8192

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.0941...7i16384!8i8192


3) Bellevue
https://www.google.com/maps/@39.1058...7i16384!8i8192
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  #120  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2019, 6:02 PM
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Palm Beach, Boca, and Hollywood are not suburbs
They are. Maybe not directly for Miami, but for West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale respectively.
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