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krazeeboi

The Decentralization of the South

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I can't recall there being a thread here on the USA South forum that discusses this, although pieces have been discussed throughout various subforums.

A recent article in USA Today entitled "Who's the Biggest Fish in the South?" talks about Signature tower in Nashville and the NASCAR Hall of Fame as being evidence that Atlanta is no longer the only player in town as far as the South goes. Now this thread is not designed to be a pissing contest, but I take all of this as evidence that the South as a whole is becoming more competitive on a national level and not that Atlanta is "done." This is really good news for the 2nd and 3rd tier Southern cities, as it shows that there is enough going on out there for several cities to have a piece of the pie and not necessarily lose their standing.

Thoughts?

Remember, no city bashing!

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Indeed, the South is definitely shining. It's nice to see these fine Southern cities and towns getting the attention they deserve. I know Ive heard about and seen these cities and developments firsthand. It would be nice to see smaller cities "catch up" with the bigger ones though. Maybe if we ask nicely for Atlanta, Miami, Charlotte, and Nashville to take a break for a while, we could catch up easily :D

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Indeed, the South is definitely shining. It's nice to see these fine Southern cities and towns getting the attention they deserve. I know Ive heard about and seen these cities and developments firsthand. It would be nice to see smaller cities "catch up" with the bigger ones though. Maybe if we ask nicely for Atlanta, Miami, Charlotte, and Nashville to take a break for a while, we could catch up easily :D

Hey - a native of Charlotte (and I live near Raleigh), but I have to say Richmond is an awesome city - not 2nd fiddle to anyone IMO.

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^I concur. A city with a rich past that is embracing the future. I know that sounds like a cheesy CVB logo, but I think it's true for Richmond. It wasn't named one of America's Most Livable Cities for nothing. :thumbsup:

Considering the article's angle, I wonder if Dallas and Houston are considered "Southern" here. I would guess that Miami is just too cosmopolitan and international and doesn't really fit the definition of "Southern," so it gets a pass.

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Why thank ya guys :D Weve been dealing with the demolition discussions of some of our oldest skyscrapers. We were in a lul in the development area until last year when our first skyscraper in what was 10 years(?) was completed. It's picked up a lot since then. Having universities in your city helps a lot with development. VCU has been fueling our development in the 'Midtown' area of the city.

About Houston and Dallas, Ive never considered them Southern. Having lived in Houston, it definitely reflects that of a Southwestern city. Just one mans opinion :D Now that youve mentioned it, Krazeeboi, Miami does seem in its own little world with its new developments. Ive lost track of whats going on down there :lol:

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About Houston and Dallas, Ive never considered them Southern. Having lived in Houston, it definitely reflects that of a Southwestern city. Just one mans opinion :D Now that youve mentioned it, Krazeeboi, Miami does seem in its own little world with its new developments. Ive lost track of whats going on down there :lol:

Texas, in general, has a very high Hispanic population and some of the architecture... particularly Houston-San Antonio... is southwestern. No doubt there's a southwestern feel there. Dallas/Ft. Worth, however, gives off a distinctly southern feel to me. I suppose Ft. Worth being "cow town" and all, as well DFW has more trees and grass than areas west. It's kind of a crossroads I suppose, because Ft. Worth is definitely more western-feeling to me than Dallas.

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Texas, in general, has a very high Hispanic population and some of the architecture... particularly Houston-San Antonio... is southwestern. No doubt there's a southwestern feel there. Dallas/Ft. Worth, however, gives off a distinctly southern feel to me. I suppose Ft. Worth being "cow town" and all, as well DFW has more trees and grass than areas west. It's kind of a crossroads I suppose, because Ft. Worth is definitely more western-feeling to me than Dallas.

I agree.

Dallas is probably just as Southern as Atlanta. Both have had a ton of transplants that have changed their character some but both at their core are conservative, Protestant, and you can find sweet tea at any restaurant. I agree about the change between Dallas and Ft Worth, it seems like the cities are hours apart culturally.

I think the Hispanic influence in Texas is what ends with it being classified as "Southwestern". I don't think of this as being true in Dallas or Houston but I believe it is in cities like San Antonio and El Paso. However, in DFW and Houston the majority of people are kind of traditional Southerners, many raised in rural areas. The rest of the South will soon be inundated with Hispanics and will see some of that influence.

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I agree.

Dallas is probably just as Southern as Atlanta. Both have had a ton of transplants that have changed their character some but both at their core are conservative, Protestant, and you can find sweet tea at any restaurant. I agree about the change between Dallas and Ft Worth, it seems like the cities are hours apart culturally.

I think the Hispanic influence in Texas is what ends with it being classified as "Southwestern". I don't think of this as being true in Dallas or Houston but I believe it is in cities like San Antonio and El Paso. However, in DFW and Houston the majority of people are kind of traditional Southerners, many raised in rural areas. The rest of the South will soon be inundated with Hispanics and will see some of that influence.

You know, one area that has a surprising number of Hispanics is Tyler. That's a big wow-factor, because even Longview doesn't have nearly the numbers that Tyler does as far as the Hispanic population goes.

And it's hard to go out to eat in Tyler and end up anywhere but a Mexican restaurant. :D

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You know, one area that has a surprising number of Hispanics is Tyler. That's a big wow-factor, because even Longview doesn't have nearly the numbers that Tyler does as far as the Hispanic population goes.

And it's hard to go out to eat in Tyler and end up anywhere but a Mexican restaurant. :D

True, and otherwise east Texas has that kind of traditional, deep South mentality little different than it is right across the Louisiana border. It's weird that Longview, Tyler and Marshall have a lot of Hispanics but there aren't many right across the border in Shreveport. Little Rock has very few. It's like somehow the Texas border provides some kind of invisible line that many immigrants are afraid to cross.

Tyler has a wonderful zoo for a smaller city. It's really quite nice.

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I'm not surprised considering all cities like Atlanta, Charlotte, Orlando, and Miami has been basting in the spotlight for the last 5 years. It's about time other Southern cities get some time in the spotlight. Good job, Nashville. However, they better watch out for Birmingham which as on the come up. It is also consider 1 of America's Most Liveable Cities as well.

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True, and otherwise east Texas has that kind of traditional, deep South mentality little different than it is right across the Louisiana border. It's weird that Longview, Tyler and Marshall have a lot of Hispanics but there aren't many right across the border in Shreveport. Little Rock has very few. It's like somehow the Texas border provides some kind of invisible line that many immigrants are afraid to cross.

Tyler has a wonderful zoo for a smaller city. It's really quite nice.

It's true... the border between Louisiana and Texas has long been like a stopping point for Hispanics. However, while Shreveport doesn't have a lot itself, its sister city, Bossier City, has tons of them now. I was noticing the old neighborhood where I grew up, which had become a crime-ridden neighborhood of about 50% black and 50% white is probably now 20% Hispanic, 40% black, and 40% white. There are a lot of Hispanic migrant workers in the area right now building all the newer subdivisions. It's hard to spot a white or black man on any construction job unless he's the foreman or superintendant. But still, you don't see a lot of them in Shreveport, just Bossier. I even noticed there's now a Hispanic church in my old neighborhood... I remember when it was a Pentecostal church. Shamefully, though, someone set that little church on fire last week.

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^I concur. A city with a rich past that is embracing the future. I know that sounds like a cheesy CVB logo, but I think it's true for Richmond. It wasn't named one of America's Most Livable Cities for nothing. :thumbsup:

Considering the article's angle, I wonder if Dallas and Houston are considered "Southern" here. I would guess that Miami is just too cosmopolitan and international and doesn't really fit the definition of "Southern," so it gets a pass.

While I agree that Miami is not Southern, I disagree that its cosmopolitan feel is what prevents it from being so. Does New York's cosmopolitan feel keep it from being Northern?

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I think this kind of competition is great for the South. It will drive Atlanta to new heights. It will also give cities like Nashville, Charlotte, Birmingham, etc., the national attention they've deserved for quite a while now. In the end we're going to end up with bigger, livelier, and more exciting Southern cities in EVERY area of the South.

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It was really a badly written article that plays on the national stereotype that Atlanta is the center of the South even though this isn't true. Nevermind that it still refers to the region as Dixie. This is what can be called a "stock" story as they can just change the specific subject and rerun it whenever they need to fill space in the paper.

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It was really a badly written article that plays on the national stereotype that Atlanta is the center of the South even though this isn't true. Nevermind that it still refers to the region as Dixie. This is what can be called a "stock" story as they can just change the specific subject and rerun it whenever they need to fill space in the paper.

I hate the name "Dixie" because of the backward stereotypes it conjures up. And I never understood why Atlanta has been stereotypically thought of as the center of the south, considering there are plenty of great large cities in the south, the largest one being Houston. Not to mention, Houston is the 4th largest city in the nation and Atlanta isn't even in the top 10. Going by memory, I don't even think it's in the top 25. But there are other great southern cities, as well, which are larger than Atlanta but are underrated as far as the national spotlight goes.

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To be honest, I don't really consider the Signature Tower to be much of a threat to Atlanta's "crown". It's just a big building. Chicago's got buildings taller than New York (currently), but it doen't eclipse NYC in significance. Atlanta's got a taller building than LA, but our city is far from eclipsing LA in importance.

The NASCAR HOF would be the only real threat to the "crown" because it could achieve status as a major tourist hotspot.

Just don't think Atlanta's tossing in the towel yet. We're still looking for ways to get businesses and tourists here.

Also, we may not be as active on the same fronts that Charlotte and Nashville have, but we instead seem to be focusing on internal improvements as to how we can make our city better. We've had an intown condo boom with lots of towers being proposed; we've got the Beltline proposal (which seems to be making some progress); we've got the Peachtree Streetcar; we've got, for what it's worth, Atlantic Station; there's a proposed park at an old quarry outside of town; and I could probably go on. We've slowed on the business environment and we're instead trying to focus on the living environment so that we can further mature as a city.

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Poor old Raleigh/Durham. We are growing as fast or faster than any metro in the South percentage wise (I think?), but I guess when Raleigh starts announcing 40 and 50 stories buildings in the CBD, we'll get a little recognition.

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While I agree that Miami is not Southern, I disagree that its cosmopolitan feel is what prevents it from being so. Does New York's cosmopolitan feel keep it from being Northern?

I'm not sure I follow. I'm not saying that Southern cities cannot be cosmopolitan, but Miami's heavy Latin American influence makes it culturally un-Southern in a drastically different way than can be said of other cities geographically located in the South that have somewhat of a cosmopolitan feel.

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I hate the name "Dixie" because of the backward stereotypes it conjures up. And I never understood why Atlanta has been stereotypically thought of as the center of the south, considering there are plenty of great large cities in the south, the largest one being Houston. Not to mention, Houston is the 4th largest city in the nation and Atlanta isn't even in the top 10. Going by memory, I don't even think it's in the top 25. But there are other great southern cities, as well, which are larger than Atlanta but are underrated as far as the national spotlight goes.

This goes back to whether or not comparably-sized metros like Dallas, Houston, and Miami are also considered Southern, whether geographically or culturally. Perhaps the article should have stated "Southeast," as we know in this forum that there can be quite a bit of debate of what areas exactly constitute "the South" in its entirety.

As far as city population goes, it really has no relevance here. The Atlanta metro is one of the largest in the nation. Jacksonville is a larger city than Miami, but clearly Miami is the big dog in Florida due to its influence--the size of its metro area. MSA, CSA, and urbanized area populations are much better indicators of a city's true size and influence.

And I'm not understanding the sentiment that the Raleigh-Durham area isn't getting any love. Check out just about any ranking, especially those that have to do with the local economy and hot spots for relocation, and Raleigh-Durham usually ranks near the top.

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Poor old Raleigh/Durham. We are growing as fast or faster than any metro in the South percentage wise (I think?), but I guess when Raleigh starts announcing 40 and 50 stories buildings in the CBD, we'll get a little recognition.

:lol:

I love the Triangle - it's amenities are one of a kind; like everyone we have our issues too. As for the modest skylines in Raleigh and Durham...oy! Washington is very distinctive, and dense to boot, and look how not tall it's skyline is. Maybe such a plan could inspire another Richard Florida think-piece...

I'm not sure I follow. I'm not saying that Southern cities cannot be cosmopolitan, but Miami's heavy Latin American influence makes it culturally un-Southern in a drastically different way than can be said of other cities geographically located in the South that have somewhat of a cosmopolitan feel.

I sorta-kinda agree, but I love to play devil's advocate with Miami - in one way it's quintessentially Southern - as the South (at least the urban South) diversifies at an ever-accelerating pace, Miami, and New Orleans, were there first. The internationalization of those cities is oriented towards the Carribean, but other Southern cities are internationalizing in different ways, and at different speeds. As Miami has become a crossroads between North & South America and the Caribbean (and also absorbed a Northern influx), it's somehow gotten lopped off of "the South" - so how will - 50 years down the road - we regard Atlanta (evolving into a global city, looking a little different from Miami, but global is global), or Cary (the "Containment Area for Relocated Yankees," also one of the most Asian cities in the Southeast)? I think the idea of The South can and will absorb a lot of internatinal influences, some as of yet unforseen, and somehow remain The South; just a different kind of South.

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I don't think Atlanta is cooling at all as a business hot spot. the dot com bust in over and were adding tons of jobs. We're right up there in the top 5 of job creation and our metro is consistently in the top 3 for population growth. Atlanta still has incredible momentum and shows no signs of slowing down, but I do agree in the future it will begin to share more of the growth with other southern cities.

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:lol:

I love the Triangle - it's amenities are one of a kind; like everyone we have our issues too. As for the modest skylines in Raleigh and Durham...oy! Washington is very distinctive, and dense to boot, and look how not tall it's skyline is. Maybe such a plan could inspire another Richard Florida think-piece...

I sorta-kinda agree, but I love to play devil's advocate with Miami - in one way it's quintessentially Southern - as the South (at least the urban South) diversifies at an ever-accelerating pace, Miami, and New Orleans, were there first. The internationalization of those cities is oriented towards the Carribean, but other Southern cities are internationalizing in different ways, and at different speeds. As Miami has become a crossroads between North & South America and the Caribbean (and also absorbed a Northern influx), it's somehow gotten lopped off of "the South" - so how will - 50 years down the road - we regard Atlanta (evolving into a global city, looking a little different from Miami, but global is global), or Cary (the "Containment Area for Relocated Yankees," also one of the most Asian cities in the Southeast)? I think the idea of The South can and will absorb a lot of internatinal influences, some as of yet unforseen, and somehow remain The South; just a different kind of South.

I like to think of Miami as the "cresecendo of peninsular Florida." Central and southern Florida are by far the least Southern (culturally speaking) parts of the state (and probably the South as a whole), and that seems to reach a peak in Miami. Other cities that are "internationalizing" and becoming more cosmopolitan still have areas that are as Southern as you can get 20-30 miles out. So I guess it's really more about regions becoming more cosmopolitan and international rather than cities themselves.

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I'm not sure I follow. I'm not saying that Southern cities cannot be cosmopolitan, but Miami's heavy Latin American influence makes it culturally un-Southern in a drastically different way than can be said of other cities geographically located in the South that have somewhat of a cosmopolitan feel.

I see your point now, krazee. At first I thought you were saying that a cosmopolitan city could not be Southern, and I disagree with that. Now I understand that you were emphasizing the international/immigrant part of Miami, which is sure to change the culture (regardless of what it was before).

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If anyone is trying to protect our cities from losing their "South," that is hilarious. How can you limit growth to certain sectors of people and culture? I understand the desire to be unique and independent, but can this not be achieved while including everyone and embracing other cultures at the same time? That is a tough question, although I have seen it in a few places already. The main thing people associated with Southern culture was hospitality. That is one thing that should never be forgotten.

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If anyone is trying to protect our cities from losing their "South," that is hilarious. How can you limit growth to certain sectors of people and culture? I understand the desire to be unique and independent, but can this not be achieved while including everyone and embracing other cultures at the same time? That is a tough question, although I have seen it in a few places already. The main thing people associated with Southern culture was hospitality. That is one thing that should never be forgotten.

I can see people being concerned about areas of the south losing it's culture as so many non natives move in. But I'm like you, how are you going to prevent it? People have made a big deal about making the Hispanics adapt to our American culture. Maybe the South also needs to make this mandatory of all the Yankees moving in. :lol:

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