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thebarb20

Florence - Lopsided Growth and other towns

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Florence has grown a lot to the South and West and the North and East side of town has been left behind. Are most cities in South Carolina experiencing the same type of dynamic. Westward expansion is explained somewhat with the I-20 and I-95 interchange. Placing FMU on the East side of town should have helped the area grow but it has not happened. Any thoughts on this or other towns?

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I think that is comon with most cities. Columbia is growing west and northeast, Greenville is growin East and South (generally), Spartanburg is growing North and West/Southwest, and Charleston appears to be growing in all directions from what I can understand, though maybe more NE towards Mt Plesant and North towards Summerville.

This doens't mean there is no growth in other directions, just that it is not as fast.

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I think that is comon with most cities. Columbia is growing west and northeast, Greenville is growin East and South (generally), Spartanburg is growing North and West/Southwest, and Charleston appears to be growing in all directions from what I can understand, though maybe more NE towards Mt Plesant and North towards Summerville.

This doens't mean there is no growth in other directions, just that it is not as fast.

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I know of few cities anywhere that are not growing lopsided. Atlanta certainly has had more growth in the northern suburbs than the southern suburbs over the past several decades. Charlotte has grown more south and east than north or west. Raleigh is definitely growing more north and west than south and east. And so forth. Even small towns follow the pattern. Orangeburg has grown much more north than south. The same for Greenwood.

It seems like most cities have some sides that are more industrial or have more low income areas along with other sides that have more commercial development and upper income areas. Needless to say, the sides with more commerical development and upper income areas are more popular (compare northern Richland to southern Richland around Columbia).

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In Florence's case, chalk that up to the I-20 spur and very bad planning. Florence has suffered from what I call Walmartitus to the point of being fatal to its downtown. City leaders should have really pushed for Honda and some of the other manufacturers looking for cheap labor to locate their facilities somewhere closer in town. Same for the big box retail.

Of course, that is just a dream but it would have been much different Florence if it had happened. There are some very lovely neighborhoods that would have benefited from the better development.

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I would offer that more often than not, growth and development follow good schools and access. There are always exceptions of course....Charleston is growing in almost every area except the more "hood" areas of N. Charleston. But I know for a fact, the growth in Columbia has followed Richland Dist 2 and Rich/Lex Dist 5 school zones.

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Aiken's growth is extremely lopsided, and somewhat randomly so... The majority of the growth is to the south, which is away from both Augusta and I-20. Even though SRS is still cutting jobs, the city still sprawls pretty much exclusively in that direction.

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I'd only add that the term "favored quarter" was coined by some urban researcher some years ago, to describe this phenomenon. Nearly all metropolitan areas exhibit this trend of certain "wedge" of a metro absorbes disproportionate growth and prosperity. There are a lot of dynamics that probably goes into this phenomenon, but as has been mentioned, schools and access are a part of it. So are jobs, taxes, regulatory environments, industrial sites, etc.

Of course there were factors of class, race, etc., although what was "white flight" is now a more multi-ethnic "middle class" flight. The most diverse areas in the DC metro area, for example, are in the suburbs, and increasingly in the exurbs. In fact, there is, in some cities, a reverse white-flight of childless young professionals and empty nesters moving back into trendy city neighborhoods.

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