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C. Briem

Edge Cities are a phenomenon much more limited in Pittsburgh and environs for several reasons... and at their extreme in DC. Fairfax or other NVA places may safely be said to be 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) downtowns even. More on that is here:

Industry dynamics in the Washington, DC, area: has a second job core emerged? Monthly Labor Review. December 2006, Vol. 129, No. 12

http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2006/12/art1exc.htm

sam, but what about the north shore? it's booming. the PG says so. it has to be true. two subway stations (a nice BJ for the owner of the new parking garage). another new hotel. more restaurants. odd, why aren't we having more fun? maybe it's because there are more T stops. after all, a quarter mile between the two under construction is a long walk. jesus. the PG story was absurd. mostly because of the subway stuff. this is one area where we've been on the same page from the start.

sean mcdaniel

sam, but what about the north shore? it's booming. the PG says so. it has to be true. two subway stations (a nice BJ for the owner of the new parking garage). another new hotel. more restaurants. odd, why aren't we having more fun? maybe it's because there are more T stops. after all, a quarter mile between the two under construction is a long walk. jesus. the PG story was absurd. mostly because of the subway stuff. this is one area where we've been on the same page from the start.

sean mcdaniel

hey, i meant to say..."maybe because there AREN'T more t-stops" on the n. shore.

Sam M

Ah yes. The North Shore. I suspect all the success is due to the crafty name change.

Or maybe it was the billion dollars in public money.

Has it risen that high yet? PNC Park? Heinz Field? The Tunnel? Etc?

For that amount of money, the government could have built 1,000 million dollar residences. And given them away.


Just saying.

Sam M

Chris,

Edge cities certainly are more prevalent in NVA than they are here. I don't know if we even have anything approaching them.

The interesting thing to me about places like Ballston, though, is that they feel like a whole different thing unto themselves. If Reston and Tysons lack certain elements of "city-ness," Ballston is even more wanting. At least it was when I was in that area. It didn't seem like much of an employment center. Overall, it seemed like less of a "place." It was just a place to live and eat. (If you can apply "just" to such things.)

What I might be really interested in seeing is to what extent this "suburb" is a suburb of DC, and to what extent it is a suburb of Reston/Tysons/Etc. That is, how many people live in Ballston and commute AWAY from DC?

I think this is a growing phenomenon. But I have no idea how it's hashing out there. But it does seem like Ballston would be a reasonable place to live if one half of a couple worked in "the city," and another out at AOL.

Either way, DC does seem like an incredibly interesting place to view these forces in action.

Last, I still wonder: Is it tragic that these huge condo projects are going on in NVA instead of "downtown"? We can talk about that area's growth. But the fact of the matter is, the District has seen the same flight of residents impacting many cities. (From more than 800,000 in 1950 to fewer that 600,000 today.) And that happened despite EXPLOSIVE expansion in the region's economy and job base.

Sort of the flipside to Pittsburgh in a lot of ways. Job growth. Economic growth. Population growth (Pittsburgh has held pretty steady in terms of MSA, but the DC area has gone bonkers, I think.) And, I might point out, massive investment in a widely respected transit system.

And still, the people moved out of the city.

I am sure riots didn't help. And a dysfunctional city government. Etc. Etc. Etc.

But no matter. The damn place is such a weird mish-mash of city and suburb that it demands attentions. Or at least gawking.

John Morris

Sam,

I am close to being convinced. I think that I can help the city shrink and give it that rural flair that you crave.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07046/762136-56.stm

C. Briem

I think my overly subtle point was that for DC at least, it may be time to think of these new concentrations not as "edge cities" but actually as downtowns unto themselves... which then shades some of these debates a new way.

I thought John's PG reference was to one of the regular stories about the one farm that still exists within the city limits. ha.

Susan

DC height requirements preclude building up. Cost of living in VA is lower than DC or MD.

Ray Hyde

Arlington now has a large percentage of people commuting out of the county to work, not only to Tysons and Reston, but to the District and Maryland. In fact Arlington now has a higher number and percentage of people working outside of the county than before Metro was built.

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