Skip to comments.Largest urban structure on Earth
Posted on 03/10/2011 12:38:04 PM PST by WesternCulture
Forget about Tokyo.
Anyone having traveled from Paris through Belgium, the Netherlands and the Ruhr District in Germany (like I have) wouldn't be impressed by a small, rural Far-East Asian settlement like that.
However, this part of the World isn't the only candidate to the title.
Some experts would say the largest "cityscape" found on Earth is the Eastern Seaboard Conurbation of the United States of America extending from Maine down to Florida, housing around 110 million inhabitants.
Personally, I've only visited the southern part of it (Fla.) and although there is plenty of farmland between cities like Miami and Orlando, I agree you could actually consider the East Coast of Florida as a more or less coherent urban structure.
A European equivalent of the Eastern Seaboard Conurbation is the so called Blue Banana Corridor of more or less the same number of urban dwellers (110 million) stretching from North West England down to Milan in northern Italy.
For some reason, "The Blue Banana" concept doesn't include Greater Paris/The Île-de-France Region of 11.7 million inhabitants. Maybe because of how some scholars wish to draw bananas..
Personally, I've always loved big cities. While landscapes like that of, for instance, the Tuscan countryside are breathtakingly beautiful, I also feel the bustling city of today's Florence is (Florence, home to the Renaissance, is the largest city in the Italian region of Tuscany. Although Florence/Firenze isn't exactly small, it's not one of the biggest cities throughout Europe). Brunelleschi's magnificent Dome and the medieval quarters nearing it where Dante grew up are extraordinary features of the Tuscan capital all of us ought to experience at least once in our lifetime, but so is also being stuck in endless traffic trying to bring home some bottles of Chianti wine, fresh pane toscano (tuscan bread baked without salt) and pecorino cheese.
One of the most brilliant aspects of human civilization is our ability of creating wonders like Berlin, San Francisco, Madrid, Chicago, Prague, Seoul, Houston, Stockholm and Buenos Aires.
You can bomb a city like beautiful Dresden for decades.
It will rise up and reclaim its identity outliving evil men like Hitler and Stalin.
(For further reading about The Blue Banana, The Eastern Seaboard, Paris and Florence please check out the links I've posted below.)
The Blue Banana:
The Eastern Seaboard:
I share an opinion of cities with Thomas Jefferson.
Realistically, the “Eastern Seaboard Conurbation” drops out south of Petersburg, Virginia. In fact, the Richmond-Washington I-95 corridor isn’t fully urbanized yet, there’s still about 35 miles of relatively empty space between Richmond and Fredericksburg. (North of Fredericksburg, though, all bets are off—it’s been absorbed into the greater Washington area. Stonewall Jackson would weep.)
Yup, the DC/Baltimore/Philly/Jersey/NY/CT/Boston corridor is pretty big
“I share an opinion of cities with Thomas Jefferson.”
- What did Jefferson say on that subject?
Please enlighten me.
Chianti wine, fresh pane toscano (tuscan bread baked without salt) and pecorino cheese
This post is making me hungry.
A great image.
Thanks for posting.
City dwellers are totally dependent for their survival on people they look down on and who they ridicule. At an inevitable time of chaos and disaster, which people are most likely to survive?? Who is ultimately smarter?
Me too, but I'm glad I no longer live in them.
Mainly being from Los Angeles for most of my life with 10 years spent in San Francisco, I now prefer the remote Western US mountain town lifestyle.
But until I'd actually seen New York City and explored it, I really hadn't known what a metropolis really means. New York City convinced me that it remains the uncontested center of Western Civilization -- no insult to Paris or Rome intended.
San Francisco is just the miniature golf course version of Manhattan, and that's being generous.
The first time I was on the east coast I was expecting to see just what this story states ... a continuity "cityscape" ......
I was shocked as just how much open space you found on the east coast...you get out of the city and your in the sticks
So Cal is just one continuity suburban sprawl ...far more than I saw on the East Coast...that really surprised me
I was surprised to see the lights are still on in Detroit.
ditto and them some.
Looks like the only really habitable place left is Alaska.
I live in the next county over from the arrogant parasite of Ann Arbor. They sneer and call Jackson county “Jacksatucky” as they demand more taxpayer money to support them.
“But until I’d actually seen New York City and explored it, I really hadn’t known what a metropolis really means. New York City convinced me that it remains the uncontested center of Western Civilization — no insult to Paris or Rome intended.”
- I more or less agree.
New York still is to be considered the capital of the World.
But many would say London has taken over its position as our planet’s financial capital.
Paris and Rome?
Rome is a magnificent city but it isn’t even the leading city in Italy.
Milan has 7.5 million inhabitants and is much stronger in terms of economic influence.
By the way, being European, I’d say the leading cities in my part of the World are London, Paris, Barcelona, Stockholm, Frankfurt and above mentioned Milan.
Zürich, Geneva, Copenhagen, St. Petersburg, Hamburg etc too are significant, but if you’d compare what’s happening in Zürich at the moment to what’s going on in the IT business of Stockholm I guess you’d deem the business scene in Zürich rather bleak.
That pic is from ‘94. I’m sure it’s a little darker these days
West Virginia is almost like North Korea compared to the rest of the East Coast on the night satellite pic. Verizon Wireless’ coverage map looks similar.
The first time I flew from NYC to Washington DC, was forty years ago.
What I saw shocked me: all down the coast the view was dominated by development: buildings, buildings, and more buildings.
What from the ground I might have taken as vast forests, viewed from above were but little postage stamps of green surrounded on all sides by buildings and cement.
It was an horrific sight.
And it’s only gotten worse.
No wonder we’ve lost so much freedom.
I live in a vast metropolis of around 150 to 200 people. We see turkeys and deer wandering through town.
I think Jefferson said it better here:
"I view great cities as pestilential to the morals, the health and the liberties of man. True, they nourish some of the elegant arts; but the useful ones can thrive elsewhere; and less perfection in the others, with more health, virtue and freedom, would be my choice." -Thomas Jefferson
And here: "I think our governments will remain virtuous for many centuries as long as they are chiefly agricultural; and this will be as long as there shall be vacant lands in any part of America. When they get piled upon one another in large cities as in Europe, they will become corrupt as in Europe." Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson to James Madison, 1787:
“”.... I think our governments will remain virtuous for many centuries; as long as they are chiefly agricultural; and this will be as long as there shall be vacant lands in any part of America. When they get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, they will become corrupt as in Europe. Above all things I hope the education of the common people will be attended to; convinced that on their good sense we may rely with the most security for the preservation of a due degree of liberty.””
Jefferson to Benjamin Rush, 1800:
“”...The yellow fever will discourage the growth of great cities in our nation, & I view great cities as pestilential to the morals, the health and the liberties of man. True, they nourish some of the elegant arts, but the useful ones can thrive elsewhere, and less perfection in the others, with more health, virtue & freedom, would be my choice.””
Did you say turkeys?
Wow, that is an incredible photo, God help us all ...
“This post is making me hungry.”
- My best advice to you;
Get a well paid job and then rent a nice villa in Tuscany for a couple of weeks or so.
Explore the countryside, Medieval towns like San Gimignano, Siena and Pistoia, then feast on porchetta, florentine lampredotto, ribollita and bistecca alla fiorentina washed down with some Brunello di Montalcino or whatever wine available.
F*ck French food!!
I’m about as dangerous as a butterfly in the country but you stick me in a city and I’ll be a killing spree waiting to happen.
Its not hard to imagine that they have a screwed up country south of the border when you see that urban blanket covering the land contours, is it?
Visited Florence a few months ago, unfortunately just missed the chestnut festival. While dining there is pretty good my favorite lunch was to go into a deli and get a wide but random collection of cured/smoked meats and some cheeses and eat them straight out of the paper. Though (I believe we freeped about this before) when it comes to breakfast in Europe my favorite is Sweden for it’s pickled/smoked/cured fish.
Sincere thanks for educating me on the issue of Jefferson.
Greetings from Volvo Land.
feast on porchetta, florentine lampredotto, ribollita and bistecca alla fiorentina washed down with some Brunello di Montalcino or whatever wine available
You know you’re not helping!
Tuscany is on my list though.
I live on top of a hill, from my vantage, I can see one house and nobody lives in it. It’s great.
The US Founding Fathers saw the US as a land of small farmers who owned their own land. The Industrial Revolution and the development of the cotton plantation culture spelled the end of that.
* was surprised to see the lights are still on in Detroit.*
That does seem surprising. It’s very close to being Mad Max territory...
If one believes the recent articles and books, that ‘Blue Banana’ is trending to muslim.
In perhaps 75 to 100 years, we’re gonna need the Eighth and Fifteenth Air Forces again.
- Yes, that's the way to go exploring the great cusine of Tuscany.
Don't bother with the tourist trap restaurants. Go straight to Mercato Centrale and ask the vendors what they have on offer.
Italian restaurant owners are businessmen. This must be remembered. They have no reason selling you great dishes using the best of ingredients for seven Euros when they could get away with making a nice profit feeding you pig's garbage.
If you wish to enjoy proper Italian cooking, consult restaurants in the upper middle class neighborhoods in the cities. They depend on the local clientele not tourists and therefore have to perform at a much higher level. You can't go wrong.
As one who grew up in L.A. county, CA before the freeways, you can keep the “bright lights and big cities”. IMHO, quiet nights under the stars make this life much more pleasurable.
Tuscany is on my list though.”
- Happy to hear that.
By the way, don't forget upon Scandinavia (I live in Gothenburg, Sweden)..
Our food is not famous, but believe me, Viking feasts are second to none.
Lobsters, oysters, glittering salmons and trouts from lakes named Vänern and Vättern. Venison, hare and mushrooms from our vast forests and puddings made from blood and tasty stews blending beef, kidney and pork.
No, we don't make wine, but there is beer and aquavit for everyone!
That was at a time when Philadelphia was the largest city in the US with about 40K people.
Up to the second World War, many major US cities increased in population size. But afterwards, people living close to the city centers desired some sort of property of their own and bought houses in the suburbs.
Europeans in general didn't dispose of the same economical resources at that time and another aspect of importance considering the situation in Europe visavi America is the prestige over here of living close to historical city centers and famed monuments.
From a French perspective, for instance, disposing of a large apartment in the centre of Paris is even more desirable than owning a large 18th century estate somewhere in the Loire Valley.
HOUSTON is one of the crappiest places anywhere.
I was born there when it was only .5M but now the thing goes on for 50-80 miles (and +5M)in any direction and there is is NOTHING worth seeing. All natural beauty when I was playing along the bayous as a kid is gone - only more concrete and asphalt.
Endless urbanization is a worthless and ugly human endeavor.
“HOUSTON is one of the crappiest places anywhere.”
- Come on fellow Freeper,
Houston disposes of a very impressive skyline and generally, the inhabitants of Texas are known for being very friendly and hospitable, wouldn’t you say so too?.
I haven’t been to Texas myself, but I’ve met with many nice people originating from down there on the Internet.
Perhaps you ought to travel some more and learn how to put things in perspective.
I live in Gothenburg, Sweden, a cold corner of the World consisting of industrial plants, snow and cold. But having seen the so called beauty of sunnier places here on Earth, I have also begun to realize the beauty of docks, large factories and hard working people earning proper wages.
In my eyes, proud cities like Gothenburg, Munich, Houston and Zürich are incredible and their inhabitants deserve to be well off and drive around in luxury SUVs.
I have traveled from Scandinavia and the Baltics, to the Balkans, from the former Waraw Pact countries to the UK. There is no comparison.