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Which southern city has the most practical, pedestrian friendly, and appealing downtown?

Most Practical and Pedestrian Friendly Downtown of the South   70 members have voted

  1. 1. Which southern city has the most practical, pedestrian friendly, and appealing downtown?

    • Atlanta
      3
    • Austin
      3
    • Dallas
      1
    • Houston
      1
    • Charlotte
      8
    • Miami
      5
    • Knoxville
      0
    • Columbia
      6
    • Nasheville
      10
    • Winston-Salem
      3
    • Tulsa
      0
    • Little Rock
      4
    • Louisville
      3
    • Oklahoma City
      2
    • other (specify with a reply)
      21

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43 posts in this topic

I consider a downtown great when it provides many useful qualities such as grocery stores, retail of all types (i.e.: department stores, record and book stores, etc.), restuaraunts (all types), decent public transportation, and other viable resources which are useful for its citizens everyday lives. In addition, it must be aesthetically appealing to the eyes and pedestrian friendly. In your opinion which southern city has the most practical (useful) and pedestrian friendly downtown, while being appealing to the senses?

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I think you've left off four cities that are good candidates here: Asheville, Charleston, Greenville, and Savannah. Aside from the issue of affordability, I'd go with Charleston.

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Just going over the list & the criteria to base it on, I would too choose other, New Orleans. Otherwise the runner-ups would be other 'others', Charleston, Asheville, Key West & Savannah & any number of college towns like Athens & Chapel Hill. Otherwise the only other larger city that in my view has a pedestrian scaled downtown would be Nashville. Parts of Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Memphis, Louisville are close - but over all there are too many 'pieces' that don't fit, too far brutilized by freeways & ill conceived urban developments. I'm impressed with how far Charlotte's downtown has come, but I'm not sure it's in the direction of a pedestrian scale. Columbia, Winston Salem, Knoxville, Greenville, Jacksonville, Tampa & likely others have potential - but not there yet.

NOTE: I left off cities I haven't visited.

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I would say Charleston. The area attracts visitors year round around the Market & King Street so most locals are aware of people walking everywhere.

A southern city historically but i can get away with saying this; Baltimore is the worst pedestrian city ive ever been to.

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Older well-organized cities like Charleston, New Orleans and Savannah definitely win.

I think Little Rock has a surprisingly functional and easil traversed downtown for a city its size with good residential, shopping, and transportation options.

Interesting that Dallas was on the list but not Ft Worth. Living in the DFW metro I can say that most of Dallas was obilterated by skyscrapers long ago and it's now a downtown searching for an identity and only fringe districts like the West End and Deep Ellum seem to have any character. It's improving, but it's not what we think of as a desirable urban environment yet.

Ft Worth on the other hand kept most of its older building and integrated more modern ones well. It's CBD is as large as Dallas, just less vertical. The Sundance Square entertainment district is very nice and practical. It's very pedestrian friendly and heavily used. The only negative is the lack of rail access (aside from the Trinity Rail connection to downtown Dallas) and reliance on city buses for public transport but a big plus is widespread free parking garages.

Some pics of Ft Worth downtown:

3.jpg

weekreviewph1.jpg

pix1.jpg

photo2.jpg

caravn2.jpg

TCdesign4-2004.jpg

ftworth01.jpg

fortworth.jpg

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^ Good point about Ft Worth, it is an easy area to walk around, managebly sized streets & a good block grid.

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Well, the only cities on your list I've been to are Atlanta,Charlotte, W-S, and Columbia. I would go with Charlotte on this one followed by Cola. I wish Greenville and Greensboro were to be added as they have great downtowns(especially Greenville).

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In addition to Asheville and Charleston, other great ones are Charlottesville, Wilmington and Alexandria. Richmond's is nice too with the Shockoe Bottom and the James River.

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I'm shocked that Columbia makes the list before Greenville would.

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In addition to Asheville and Charleston, other great ones are Charlottesville, Wilmington and Alexandria. Richmond's is nice too with the Shockoe Bottom and the James River.

Yeah, C'ville has a nice older outdoor mall with tons of shops and restaurants. Richmond's Shockoe Slip and Canal Walk are very walkable and filled with soon to be and already existing restaurants and retailers. They get my vote.

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I consider a downtown great when it provides many useful qualities such as grocery stores, retail of all types (i.e.: department stores, record and book stores, etc.), restuaraunts (all types), decent public transportation, and other viable resources which are useful for its citizens everyday lives. In addition, it must be aesthetically appealing to the eyes and pedestrian friendly. In your opinion which southern city has the most practical (useful) and pedestrian friendly downtown, while being appealing to the senses?

This criteria practically eliminates all but a few cities such as Charleston, New Orleans, Asheville and Savannah. I don't remember if Asheville and Savannah have dept stores?

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I would vote Charleston if it were on here.

Charlotte would win if every street downtown was like Tryon St.. Tryon St. is, imo, one of the more pleasing streets in the South East.

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Having been to most of the cities DT's on the list, I will go with Norfolk because of it's feel. Waterside and all the streets have historic feel just make's Norfolk a great place. I also love the DT mall.

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Yeah, C'ville has a nice older outdoor mall with tons of shops and restaurants. Richmond's Shockoe Slip and Canal Walk are very walkable and filled with soon to be and already existing restaurants and retailers. They get my vote.

And incredibly I forgot Richmond & Charlottesville (though implied by my statement concerning college towns). Richmond would actually rank at least as high as Charleston - which would be the second grouping behind New Orleans.

I am still very leery of hearing Charlotte - or most post-WWII downtowns. Though I admire the downtown, I don't consider downtown Charlotte that appealing, from a pedestrian's view. Obviously the same for Atlanta's downtown, though if more streets were like Broad St in the Fairlie Poplar district then I might think differently.

Broad St

broadst1.jpg

Poplar St

randy_poplarst1.jpg

Atlanta's downtown quickly goes downhill - from pedestrian orientation beyond the pre-1920 Fairlie Poplar district.

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Haha, as a Richmonder :lol: I have a few cool shots.

The Canal Walk

Richmond8-12-05006.jpg

Main Street

Richmond8-12-05012.jpg

Sorry my dog's in this one, it's off the coast of Bell Isle, a summer hotspot in the James River with views of the skyline

JamesRiver9-17-05008.jpg

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I could definitely live in Richmond.

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Come on up, theres plenty of room :lol:

A good picture of one of the many pools at The Lofts at Tobacco Row

21845477_lf.jpg

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Of the cities that I am familiar with, I would say the leaders would be older and well organized cities like New Orleans, Charleston, Key West and Savannah, with New Orleans as my #1. Of the larger cities, I would probably have to agree with teshadoh and say Nashville. But Atlanta, Memphis, Miami, Dallas, and Houston would also be up there.

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What about Norfolk? Oh I forgot, they're Northeastern. :P

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What about Norfolk? Oh I forgot, they're Northeastern.

As often as it is left off of every damn southern poll one would think so.

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As often as it is left off of every damn southern poll one would think so.

:rofl: Too true.

edit: I see you changed your from location as well. :lol:

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You're right - perhaps it would help, not just for this thread but future threads, to base city selection on a more non-biased formula. Though not perfect, using the Urbanized Area population (2000) might help. Following are the groupings of largest cities in the SE, incidentally - the list includes 'arguable' cities but if they cross over into an understood southern state (TX, KY, VA) then they are included. So yes, I know Cincinnati isn't a southern city - or Washington for that matter.

> 1 Million

Miami

Dallas--Fort Worth--Arlington

Washington

Houston

Atlanta

Tampa--St. Petersburg

Cincinnati

Virginia Beach (Norfolk)

San Antonio

Orlando

New Orleans

> 500k

Memphis

Austin

Jacksonville

Louisville

Richmond

Charlotte

Nashville

Oklahoma City

El Paso

Birmingham

Tulsa

Sarasota--Bradenton (FL)

Raleigh

McAllen (TX)

> 250k

Baton Rouge

Charleston--North Charleston

Columbia

Knoxville

Palm Bay--Melbourne (FL)

Little Rock

Chattanooga

Augusta

Cape Coral (FL)

Pensacola

Mobile

Greenville

Denton--Lewisville (Dallas TX suburbs)

Winston-Salem

Corpus Christi

Jackson

Durham

Fayetteville

Shreveport

Port St. Lucie (FL)

Greensboro

Lexington-Fayette

So if a poll was based on the 'largest' cities in the south, they would include the following:

Miami

Dallas--Fort Worth--Arlington

Houston

Atlanta

Tampa--St. Petersburg

Norfolk

San Antonio

Orlando

New Orleans

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I'd say Savannah, Charleston, or Key West.

Of course, there's also the French Quarter of New Orleans.

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A southern city historically but i can get away with saying this; Baltimore is the worst pedestrian city ive ever been to.

I partly agree with you. I love Baltimore. In fact, the Inner Harbor (which has come a LONG way over the years) is one of my favorite places in the country. It is quite walkable. As you proceed a few blocks from the Harbor, much of the downtown area is not as pedestrian friendly. Some of the other neighborhoods in Baltimore, however, are walkable and have a lot of interesting things to do. Fells Point is a historic neighborhood on the water (east of the Inner Harbor) that has great shopping, dining, and nightlife (the cobblestone streets are cool too). Mount Vernon, just north of downtown, is cool as well.

So I agree that parts of the city are not as walkable, but overall it isn't too bad. While Baltimore is in the process of improving some not so great areas, it certainly isn't the most unwalkable place I have been to.

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