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krazeeboi

Becoming a "24-hour city"

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Many times, I see statements related to the growth and development in a city as a sign that said city is on the way to becoming a "true 24-hour city." How reachable is this goal, truly? Is it as easy as some make it seem? For that matter, what cities would one consider to be a true 24-hour city?

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Many times, I see statements related to the growth and development in a city as a sign that said city is on the way to becoming a "true 24-hour city." How reachable is this goal, truly? Is it as easy as some make it seem? For that matter, what cities would one consider to be a true 24-hour city?

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The party is only getting started at 3am in the French Quarter and the Warehouse District here in New Orleans. This city is known for being very laid back, hence "The Big Easy," but it's hard to surpass New Orleans in all around nightlife, whether it's partying, dining, or even shopping.

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I would say that to be a "24-hour city" you need to have:

- A decent range of entertainment options open past 2AM

- A decent range of dining options open all night

- Transportation (public, taxis) available all night

- Enough people on the street all night so that some people feel safe on the street (qualified because many people don't feel safe at all in the city after dark)

The U.S. is highly deficient in 24-hour cities, and all you have to do is go slightly north (Toronto, Montreal) to find a huge shift. I those cities in the central districts I noticed that almost every eating establishment was open until 4AM. Also, go to Europe or Latin America for a much more prominent late-night culture (generally).

Why would a city want to be a "24-hour city"? One reason is crime. Dead hours of the night are like a temporal version of the "dark corners" where unsavory activity can thrive. Another reason is image, as 24-hour cities are perceived to be more exciting.

I guess another reason would be economics - closed retail establishments are essentially wasted space-time, so the more hours you can keep them in operation, the more $$$ (including tax $$$) you generate.

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I can tell you that New Orleans is one of the best known 24 hour cities. Our bars don't have closing times. Life never ceases here. I can only speak of New Orleans, since I'm from here, but, it takes time being a 24 hour city...truly (I would imagine). New Orleans has been 24 hours since the 1850's...there are creatures of the night that you just have to get used to...law enforcement has to overlook certain things and fixate on others at certain times of the night....

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That's a good point, Sean. It does take quite some time to form and establish a true "24-hour city." Most of the cities that are considered to be "24-hour cities" have been that way for over a century.

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Destinations

-Late night entertainment options.

-Public Transit Options operate 24/7

-More people living in the city instead of the 'burbs

-Bring more retail into the city for daytime draws

Safety

-Well Illuminated Streets

-Increase Police Presence

-Make city street more pedestrian friendly i.e. wider sidewalks, bulb outs, street trees, reduced number of car lanes, etc.

That's about all I can think of for now.

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Put some large universities into any city and watch it become a 24 hour city!

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When I lived in New York (late 1990s), I found "the city that never sleeps" to be drowsier than you might think. If you wanted to eat at a diner or get drunk, you're set. If you needed a hardware store, though, hope you're done by 6. No nearby grocery store was open 24 hours. My gym was 24 hours, but began closing at 11pm. If the definition is that bars, casual restaurants, and convenience stores are open, I'd say there's lots of 24 hour cities, not just or even especially New York. The 24-hour public transit however is a major difference.

I'd say it's the broader range of services that is much more key to achieving what I would call a true "24-hour city," and that we have very few that approach that. The difference between Waffle House and charming East Village diners is all taste. What would be more genuinely useful would be Target open until 2am, doctor's offices opening at 6am, being able to renew your driver's license or getting a haircut at 3am. 'Round the clock public transit in a dense market would probably help too.

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I think the "24 hour city" reference is just some hogwash. Certainly - several cities have specific neighborhoods or districts that may be active over an extended period of time. But overall - as davidzla suggests, any city that has a 24 hour establishment could be called a "24 hour city".

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davidzLA, you make some interesting points. I think this highlights the difference between '24-hour city' taken literally and its general usage - I don't think that any city planner or city booster is thinking of keeping hardware stores and barber shops open until 2AM when they use the term '24-hour city'. At most, the term refers to: a few entertainment venues running well past midnight, some bars and restaurants to fill in the dead hours until morning, all keeping a few (non-scary) people walking on the streets throughout the night.

Interestingly, from my experience living in LA and New York, it is probably true that there are the same amount of restaurants and night clubs to go to in the middle of the night. The difference is that in LA they are not "sidewalk" businesses; generally you park right next to them or behind them rather than walking to them. And generally, LA is not perceived as a '24-hour city' as often as New York is. So having a built environment and transit system for vibrant pedestrian streets is probably just as important as what's open when for receiving this designation.

All in all, '24-hour city' is not the most accurate term for what people are trying to get at when they use it, but it has rhetorical appeal, and that's probably all that matters.

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New Orleans is off the hook when it comes to being a 24-hour city. At the same time, criminality takes off around that time.

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24 hour city - Miami Beach is definitely one of them. The streets & the clubs are still packed at 4 am in the morning. A lot of restaurants still open, absolutely crazy.

Another two that come into mind are Atlantic City & Las Vegas

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So anotherwords, the best way to become a 24 hour city is to get a bunch of partiers who have the money to not need to get up in the morinng to go to work come to your city?

I guess in general I just fail to see what the real drive for a 24 hour city really is? Is it economic? Do these businesses actually put out enough money to justify the extra services required? Is there an industry that thrives on non-traditional hours?

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Put some large universities into any city and watch it become a 24 hour city!

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Boston has a lot of universities but I don't know if I'd characterize it as a 24 hour city. Certain neighborhoods do well - Harvard Sq, Central Sq, Allston/Brighton, Davis Sq... but many can get very quiet. Charlestown, with its empty, narrow, dimly lit streets can be downright creepy. And the T only runs till about 12:30am on the wkends, which is ridiculous.

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On some lines, it's probably a good idea they shut down at 12:30. (cough Orange cough) On other lines, it might be a good idea to run them till 3 am (like DC). Green most likely.

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NYC is often characterized as a 24 hour city...and in some neighborhoods it is and in other it isnt. There are many neighborhoods that are abuzz with activity all day and night, there are others that are abuzz during the day like Wall Street when thousands of people head to work here.

One thing that I truly think helps keep NYC abuzz is the fact that the subway is 24/7....it runs all the time allowing people to move all over at any hour of the day

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The term "24-hour City" can also include the residential element. Once you have people living downtown in an urban envirornment, then you can offically use the coined name. It also encourages 24-hour necessity businesses to open downtown, such as drug and grocery stores. Of course, the hard part is getting people to move back downtown away from the convenient suburbs.

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It is not nearly as easy to be a 24 hour city ai one would think. I live in downtown Washington, D.C., a vibrant place to be sure, but not even remotely a 24 hour city. For one thing, the Metro closes at about 12:30 on most nights (2:30-3 AM on weekends though). There are almost no 24 hour restaurants in Washington- at least very few that I can think of in the city. Most bars and restaurants are closed by 1:00-2:00 AM on weeknights and 3:00 AM on the weekends. 24 hour city? Washington has a long way to go...

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It is not nearly as easy to be a 24 hour city aas one would think. I live in downtown Washington, D.C., a vubrant place to be sure, but not even remotely a 24 hour city. For one thing, the Metro closes at about 12:30 on most nights (2:30-3 AM on weekends though). There are almost no 24 hour restaurants in Washington- at least very few that I can think of in the city. Most bars and restaurants are closed by 1:00-2:00 AM on weeknights and 3:00 AM on the weekends. 24 hour city? Washington has a long way to go...

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I believe Downtown DC is becoming more of a 24 hour downtown then it use to be 10 or 15 years ago when Chinatown use to role up the sidewalks after 5:00pm. I think the city may never reach 24 hour status due to the recent restrictions planned for nightclubs in the city in the wake of the shooting that killed the 17 year old girl. In addition I think DC is a city full of overstressed workaholics who simply do not have the energy to stay up late at night. New York is full of people who do not work normal work hours and these people are normally out looking for a drink at 3 or 4 in the morning. I think the 24 hour dream should be left to the New Yorks and the Las Vegas's of the world.

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