How does Boston's urbanism compare?

DBM

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I just find it fascinating how much energy was expended on this.
Fascinating--but also infuriating--because of the rank hypocrisy the fierce opposition campaign so starkly exposed. I'm highly confident the core of opposition came from wealthy Baby Boomer-aged whites living in Back Bay, West End, DTX, Waterfront, other posh Downtown-adjacent precincts. I imagine the overwhelming majority of the opposition fancied themselves as progressives--and yet, who did their opposition hurt?

--Poor folks in Chinatown and other gritty neighborhoods who could've desperately used the affordable-housing the (original, pre-pandemic iteration) would've brought.

--Working-class tradespeople, many of them minorities, from Roxbury, Dorchester, other working-class neighborhoods, who would've been (and in fact now are) constructing the tower.

--The service people, many of them minorities, many of them immigrant strivers, who would've (and eventually will be) servicing the building as doormen, janitorial staff, garage attendants, etc.

I'm so glad the pro-development coalition overcame the wealthy hypocritical opponents. I'm so glad the Baby Boomer downtown residents, whose conception of what Boston's urban core should look like has been trapped in amber since they attended college at BU, Harvard, MIT, Tufts, etc., etc., circa 1965-1970, will slowly but surely give way to a younger generation that actually embraces dynamic urbanism.
 

KriterionBOS

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It would be the tallest building in Montreal, Vancouver, Baltimore, St. Louis, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Columbus, Nashville, Jacksonville, Tampa, Milwaukee, Memphis, Phoenix, Portland (OR), Salt Lake City, Sacramento, Hartford, all Upstate NY cities, DC Metro, Raleigh, Winnipeg, Louisville, among others. All but 3 of those have a major sports team. It's Boston's 4th tallest building, but would be the 2nd or 3rd tallest in many other large cities such as Pittsburgh and Detroit. It certainly isn't bad, but it isn't going to move the needle the way a new tallest would.
Out of that list of cities, only DC, Phoenix, and possibly Montreal are of a similar overall stature as Boston in terms of size, importance. The cities that Boston *should* be compared to are Philly, San Francisco, Houston, Miami, Atlanta, Seattle, Dallas. In that sense we're on par or ahead of 4 (Seattle, Philly, Atlanta, Dallas) in terms of 150 meter buildings, but they all have us beat for absolute height.
 

Massachoicetts

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Out of that list of cities, only DC, Phoenix, and possibly Montreal are of a similar overall stature as Boston in terms of size, importance. The cities that Boston *should* be compared to are Philly, San Francisco, Houston, Miami, Atlanta, Seattle, Dallas. In that sense we're on par or ahead of 4 (Seattle, Philly, Atlanta, Dallas) in terms of 150 meter buildings, but they all have us beat for absolute height.
 

Highwayguy

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i like phoenix just fine, but i wouldn't put it in the same category as boston, san fran, philly, etc.
Phoenix isn’t in the same category as San Fran, but it is in the same B-tier city category as Boston, Philly, ect... (metro) population wise, so Bos to PHX is a valid comparison to make. However, I agree that Phoenix isn’t in the same league as those other cities from an urban “placeness” prospective, but l think thats more from Phoenix punching way below its weight relative to population. If l recall correctly, their downtown height limit is even more constrained by sky harbor than Boston is by Logan, but since their downtown is built like a 128 office park, it’s probably a moot point anyway.
 

chrisbrat

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plenty of metrics out there (which have been quoted on AB plenty; i'll let someone else who's more irked by the above comment than i am re-post them) to suggest that boston is as, if not more, globally significant than S.F.
 

kmp1284

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plenty of metrics out there (which have been quoted on AB plenty; i'll let someone else who's more irked by the above comment than i am re-post them) to suggest that boston is as, if not more, globally significant than S.F.
I don’t think anyone has ever credibly asserted that San Francisco and Boston are peers much less that Boston is more significant globally.
 

whighlander

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I don’t think anyone has ever credibly asserted that San Francisco and Boston are peers much less that Boston is more significant globally.
Kmp -- your comment is really only pertinent when it comes to as a "venue for iconic entertainment"*

On all other important grounds Boston is in another league with True Top Tier Global Cities


*1
Action Movies:
SF: Dirty Harry Series, Bullet, The Rock, the Presidio, View to a Kill
BOS: the Friends of Eddie Coyle, The Brinks Job, The Town, Tomas Crowne Affair, The Departed, Blown Away, Shutter Island, Black Mass
Edge SF because of the stars and the chase scenes on the hills

Popular Music with City in the Name:
SF: I left My Heart in San Francisco
BOS: Shipping Up to Boston, "Love that Dirty Water Boston your my home" [honorable mention]
Big Edge SF

Classical Musical Organizations:
SF: SF Symphony
BOS: BSO, Boston Early Music Festival, Handel & Haydn Society
No Contest: BOS by knockout

Art Museums:
SF: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), Legion of Honor & de Young Museum, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco Camerawork
BOS: MFA, Gardner, ICA, Fogg
Huge edge BOS

Sports Teams::
SF: Golden State Warriors, San Jose Sharks, San Jose Earthquakes [soccer] SF Giants, SF 49ers, Oakland Athletics, Oakland Raiders [gone]
BOS: Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, Bruins, Revolution
Split decision to BOS: SF has one more team, BOS has teams with unchallengeable history, both cities depend on remote teams to fill out the roster
Iconic Sports Venues:
SF: Levi's Stadium [football], Oracle Park [baseball], Oakland Coliseum [ostensibly baseball], Earthquakes Stadium [soccer], Chase Center [basketball] SAP Center [hockey]
BOS: TD Garden, Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium
Split decision: to BOS -- SF and environs have more facilities though some a way out but BOS has the iconic Garden and Fenway with honorable mention to Gillette and then BOS has all those championships

Iconic Infrastructure:
SF: Golden Gate and Bay Bridges
BOS: Big Dig
edge SF
 

Nibbles O’Plenty

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Kmp -- your comment is really only pertinent when it comes to as a "venue for iconic entertainment"*

On all other important grounds Boston is in another league with True Top Tier Global Cities


*1
Action Movies:
SF: Dirty Harry Series, Bullet, The Rock, the Presidio, View to a Kill
BOS: the Friends of Eddie Coyle, The Brinks Job, The Town, Tomas Crowne Affair, The Departed, Blown Away, Shutter Island, Black Mass
Edge SF because of the stars and the chase scenes on the hills

Popular Music with City in the Name:
SF: I left My Heart in San Francisco
BOS: Shipping Up to Boston, "Love that Dirty Water Boston your my home" [honorable mention]
Big Edge SF

Classical Musical Organizations:
SF: SF Symphony
BOS: BSO, Boston Early Music Festival, Handel & Haydn Society
No Contest: BOS by knockout

Art Museums:
SF: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), Legion of Honor & de Young Museum, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco Camerawork
BOS: MFA, Gardner, ICA, Fogg
Huge edge BOS

Sports Teams::
SF: Golden State Warriors, San Jose Sharks, San Jose Earthquakes [soccer] SF Giants, SF 49ers, Oakland Athletics, Oakland Raiders [gone]
BOS: Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, Bruins, Revolution
Split decision to BOS: SF has one more team, BOS has teams with unchallengeable history, both cities depend on remote teams to fill out the roster
Iconic Sports Venues:
SF: Levi's Stadium [football], Oracle Park [baseball], Oakland Coliseum [ostensibly baseball], Earthquakes Stadium [soccer], Chase Center [basketball] SAP Center [hockey]
BOS: TD Garden, Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium
Split decision: to BOS -- SF and environs have more facilities though some a way out but BOS has the iconic Garden and Fenway with honorable mention to Gillette and then BOS has all those championships

Iconic Infrastructure:
SF: Golden Gate and Bay Bridges
BOS: Big Dig
edge SF
You forget Ted.
 

kmp1284

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Boston #21 on Kearney's Global City Index, San Fran #22; Boston #4 on Shroeders Global Cities Index, San Fran #6.

I'd suggest taking a look at the 2020 Kearney study. Schroders is only rating the "economically strongest cities for global real estate investing."

These are some of the data points I was thinking of ...

Economy and innovation
GDP: $548b to $463b
Fortune 500 HQs: 19 to 13
Global Financial Centres Index: 8 to 15
VC Investment: $6.471b to $3.144b
Patents since 1976: 108k to 42k

Global stature
International Visitors: 3.93m to 1.74m
Consulates: 42 to 26
 

Scott

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The Boston vs Denver thread seems to have escaped from SSP
 

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