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AlienCity

Similar cities to Huntsville

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Which cities (in the South or elsewhere) strike you as being similar to Huntsville in some ways? Personally, I think Huntsville is pretty unique (NASA construction h-q, etc), but there are a few places out there that seem similar:

- Pensacola: Well, they don't focus on things as high up as Huntsville (Pensacola Naval Air Station), but it is a semi-major "military city", with a skyline that isn't highly developed, due to other commercial centers in the area. Also, it has large unincorporated suburban areas and sprawl. Floods are bad too. Of course, I wouldn't mind having a beautiful gulf beach a couple miles across the bay.

- Area around Research Triangle Park in North Carolina: With Cummings Research Park being 2nd largest in the country behind this one, it's a natural comparison.

- Columbus, GA: I don't know much about the city really, but it's a military town of about the same size.

- San Jose/Silicon Valley: Huntsville's aerospace industry has spawned quite a few computer manufacturers and businesses.

- Seattle: A town with big airplane manufacturing centers (close to space shuttle manufacturing), and numerous high tech companies. Boeing is big in both towns. In fact, most airplane manufacturers double as NASA contractors.

- Atlanta: Well, there are plenty of high tech companies in the city, but my connection is that it's built in a hilly, heavily-wooded area, and personally, it's the only town in the south outside of Huntsville I've lived in for any substantial period of time. It has similar landscape, has some nice historic antebellum areas (like Twickenham), and is only 140 miles away (for a crow at least). Of course, Atlanta is about 10 Huntsvilles put together size-wise, but I find a little bit of Huntsville in Atlanta, and vice versa.

- Houston: Another NASA city that likes to identify itself with "Rocket". "Astro", "Comet', etc.

- Cape Canaveral: Huntsville builds 'em, they launch 'em.

BTW, I don't know how similar it is, but here is info on Huntsville's "sister' city:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tainan%2C_Taiwan

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Raleigh/RTP is probably the most apt comparison IMO. I've been going to Raleigh for almost my entire life. RTP and Cummings research park are an obvious parallel. An undersized, but nice, downtown that doesn't reflect the metro population is common to both. Southerners with smarts and a lot of transplants also define the area. Both areas have a very friendly population with a sense of optimism. The climate is similar in both areas. Proximity to mountains and beaches is also similar. Raleigh is closer to the beach (about 3 hours), but if you ever talk to anyone from Raleigh, they will make it seem like it is ocean front property. The cost of living in both areas is low for the job market and average income, although Raleigh has gotten much more expensive in recent years. In some ways, Huntsville is like Raleigh 20 years ago. Hopefully, we can learn from Raleigh and not sprawl so badly because the traffic is terrible there now and the sprawl seems to go on forever. Raleigh is on its way to being a mini-Atlanta.

Although, a big difference between the two lies in the university culture in the RTP area. NC State, UNC and Duke add a young vibrancy and college feel to the area. Huntsville doesn't have that (sorry UAH and A&M but you just don't cut it). Huntsville feels like a place for professionals to raise a family.

Here's an off-the-wall comparison for you. Albuquerque, NM. Huntsville has Army Redstone Research Arsenal and NASA Marshall, Albuquerque has Kirtland Airforce Research Labs and Sandia National Labs. Both have a mountain on the east side of town. OK, well Sandia Mtn is a LITTLE bigger (almost 11,000ft) than Monte Sano. :rolleyes: Cost of living in both areas is about the same. Both are in states that are looked down upon by outsiders. I've heard people out west call New Mexico the "West Virginia of the West". I assume they weren't speaking of the hospitality and beautiful scenery. Alabama is dumped on by everyone. Well, I think the similarities end there.

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My list:

Chattanooga

Columbus

Tallahassee

Lexington

Raleigh

Roanoke

Greenville has also been mentioned as a city similar to Huntsville. Unfortunately, I have never visited Greenville, so I can't prove this.

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Here's an off-the-wall comparison for you. Albuquerque, NM. Huntsville has Army Redstone Research Arsenal and NASA Marshall, Albuquerque has Kirtland Airforce Research Labs and Sandia National Labs. Both have a mountain on the east side of town. OK, well Sandia Mtn is a LITTLE bigger (almost 11,000ft) than Monte Sano. :rolleyes: Cost of living in both areas is about the same. Both are in states that are looked down upon by outsiders. I've heard people out west call New Mexico the "West Virginia of the West". I assume they weren't speaking of the hospitality and beautiful scenery. Alabama is dumped on by everyone. Well, I think the similarities end there.

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OKC is a military town that has always struck me as a big huntsville.

never heard anyone dump on new mexico or ABQ, though. how could they? beautiful state; enjoyable town (i love UNM's campus.)

columbus? it's not nearly as affluent as huntsville is. and the military presence there does not spur the tech work (public or private) that goes on in huntsville. but the ghetto areas in both towns are similar. and there are rivers. but columbus does have a more vital downtown (though that may change as huntsville cultivates its core).

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Also, New Mexico's shape is like a boxy, bigger Alabama. Big head with a small neck is what I think of the shape as. Of course Alabama has a nose and mouth, while NM's a "blockhead". Climate, and southwestern architecture aside, I see the similiarities. Also, Tuscon, AZ is another one.

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never heard anyone dump on new mexico or ABQ, though. how could they? beautiful state; enjoyable town (i love UNM's campus.)

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Greenville has also been mentioned as a city similar to Huntsville. Unfortunately, I have never visited Greenville, so I can't prove this.

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I think Huntsville and Columbus are very similar. They both have similar economies and population.

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What about Austin is similar? I've never been there, so I really do want to know.

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What about Austin is similar? I've never been there, so I really do want to know.

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maybe i'll learn something. austin, IMO, is in a class of cities that are about as unlike huntsville as any i can think of. i've been there a few times, but am no austin insider. i'm not preaching; i just see very few similarities. austin is a capital city; it's more socially liberal; it is home to the flagship public university in its state; it has an active downtown and a very active night life / events calendar; is a tourist destination.......

well, both cities are in the south...any other similarities?

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Both Austin and Huntsville are internationally-recognized tech cities. And, like HSVTiger said, Austin is what Huntsville wants to be when it gets bigger.

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Both Austin and Huntsville are internationally-recognized tech cities. And, like HSVTiger said, Austin is what Huntsville wants to be when it gets bigger.

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I think Huntsville is a sleeping city... it has so much potential!.... I visited during Christmas... it's a nice quiet city.. nothing like I thought though... with so much growth going on.. I thought I was gonna see highrises going up all over the place and a more vibrant downtown.. but it's a potential place of residency for me since the wife is from Birmingham.

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Downtown is SLOWLY coming around. According to folks that have lived here longer, downtown was completely dead 5+ years ago. Most of the restaurants and bars that are there today weren't there, people went to work and went home afterwards. They may take their kids to the park on a Saturday, but that is it. However, as long as we have people (including city councilmen) in town opposing 8 story shadow casting buildings downtown, it will be an uphill battle.

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I don't understand that! that's crazy... I love the park downtown.. I have a lot of pictures from down there!

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OKC is a military town that has always struck me as a big huntsville.

never heard anyone dump on new mexico or ABQ, though. how could they? beautiful state; enjoyable town (i love UNM's campus.)

columbus? it's not nearly as affluent as huntsville is. and the military presence there does not spur the tech work (public or private) that goes on in huntsville. but the ghetto areas in both towns are similar. and there are rivers. but columbus does have a more vital downtown (though that may change as huntsville cultivates its core).

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I must really disagree with you on this Columbus,GA and Huntsville, AL are very closly related...

...then theres the lack of a major highway cutting through town. I-65 missed huntsville and I-565 was built to link the city to the highway as in columbus I-85 missed the city, but I-185 was built to connect the city to I-85

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