Cities that could have been much larger

elkarlo

Banned
How about Baghdad? And I am not talking about the drop in population from the Iraq war but from the Mongols sack of the city in 1401. It was the modern cosmopolitan hub of the world at the time, what we would consider London to be today. The world leader in education, science and math. The city lost 80 % of it's population and it's irrigation canals were destroyed beyond repair. One could not think of a more tragic destruction of a major city.
It didn't help that the turks did nothing in Iraq to develop it. Irrigation and canals could be repaired, they just didn't do it, it seems.
 
Quite a lot of cities in the interior of India/Pakistan could have been much larger if it wasn't for British colonialism which simply focused on port-cities.
 
Lacking WW1 you'd have quite a lot 10 million+ cities in Europe. Berlin, Vienna, Warsaw, Belgrade and St. Petersburg were all very hard hit by the wars and the results of them, all which would have gone over 10 million during the 20th century.
 
Bourges could've been a 1-2 million inhabitants city if it didn't burn in 1487 : it's central to France, has plenty of plains around it and many institutions were present before the whole turning into ashes thing
 
Gdynia would be much larger and more important to the Polish economy without WW2. By the late '30s it had overtaken Danzig in terms of Polish shipping.

Wilno/Vilnius would be probably be a larger city than OTL, and remain an important Jewish cultural center.

Without the partition of Bengal, Kolkata could be a much larger. Much of the rural to urban migration in Bangladesh may have gone to Kolkata instead, and Dhaka might have a smaller population than OTL.
 
I think almost all the cities of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire would have been buffed significantly by the empire surviving, mostly because, at minimum, it probably butterflies WWII and the total devastation it wrought upon the region. With how many major cities located on or almost on the flat and ideal land of the Panonian plain (Zabreb, Bratislavia, Budapest, Novi Sad, Vienna, Timișoara) I'd expect there to be a lot of intercity commuting, perhaps a candidate for a Japan-esque bullet train.
 
Cairo, Illinois? It seems like there should be a major city at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi, yet it barely musters 2,000 people today and even at its peak in 1920 only had 15,000. The reasons I've heard for its small size is that St. Louis stole some of its thunder or that maybe it's because of its proneness to flooding. But St. Louis is 150 miles away - not exactly close and many major cities in the US are closer together. And plenty of cities have had terrible flooding but that didn't prevent their growth.
 
Having done some more research, I think you'd need a POD in the 19th century to save Niagara Falls NY. Keeping the park under local and not state administration (like the Canadian side) would go a long way towards helping the city manage post-industrial transition.

Speaking of Canada, Montreal could have been substantially larger than it ended up being in OTL especially with a POD in the 19th century. Had one of the various plans to build Canals along the St. Lawrence's rapids earlier, Montreal will have a decisive advantage over New York in shipping to the Midwest.
 
What POD would be needed to make Luton, Bedfordshire, England larger than it is today?

It's an industrial and airport town, maybe like Midwestern cities in the U.S. ?
 
San Francisco bay area is one that is intriguing. If the earthquake in 1906 is a lot worse for the City itself, there might be more building on the eastern edge of the bay with its easier connections to the rest of the country. Oakland, Berkley, and the rest of the towns would be built up in response to this. Maybe a NYC bourogh system might work.

In Texas Matagorda might work. With it being on the shore of Matagorda bay and a more hostile Mexico during the revalutionary years the might have it be a major point intead of Brownsville.
 
Even though it's still the second largest city in the country Birmingham in the UK could have been substantially larger and more developed.

In the main it was central government interference which helped bugger things up: effectively forcing industry to move to other parts of the country after the Second World War, setting development plans calling for an 11% population reduction over fourteen years, banning the construction of new office buildings in the mid-1960s etc. Going against the old idea of success breeding success–nowadays recognised as theory of economic agglomeration–it caused the city to become more and more reliant on a single industry, so that when car production collapsed it led to major financial and social difficulties. More sensible policies would have been good both for the city and the country as a whole.
 
Even though it's still the second largest city in the country Birmingham in the UK could have been substantially larger and more developed.

In the main it was central government interference which helped bugger things up: effectively forcing industry to move to other parts of the country after the Second World War, setting development plans calling for an 11% population reduction over fourteen years, banning the construction of new office buildings in the mid-1960s etc. Going against the old idea of success breeding success–nowadays recognised as theory of economic agglomeration–it caused the city to become more and more reliant on a single industry, so that when car production collapsed it led to major financial and social difficulties. More sensible policies would have been good both for the city and the country as a whole.
@Simon: Interesting idea about Birmingham.

Could, in an ATL, when the Local Government Act 1972 was enacted, which came into force on 1 April 1974 have included Halesowen and parts of what's along Hagley Road into Birmingham (in OTL Hagley Road divides Birmingham and Sandwell, intersecting the two), and also Rubery in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire across the border?

Equally, what about taking in parts of Solihull that border on the city?

What would be the advantages and disadvantages of this?
 
Speaking of Canada, Montreal could have been substantially larger than it ended up being in OTL especially with a POD in the 19th century. Had one of the various plans to build Canals along the St. Lawrence's rapids earlier, Montreal will have a decisive advantage over New York in shipping to the Midwest.
You can add on to that Montreal's bid to be Canada's capital succeeding to further wank it.
 
"An especially difficult blow fell when Olympia was bypassed by mainline railroads in the 1870s. City residents had to build their own line to connect with the Northern Pacific mainline at Tenino - 15 miles to the south.

Olympia's title of capital was often contested during the early years, and Olympia townspeople fought challenges by Vancouver, Steilacoom, Seattle, Port Townsend and Tacoma for location of the seat of territorial and, later, state government."

If Seattle or Tacoma got the Washington state capital designation instead of Olympia, would that make said town much bigger?
 
If China didn't lost Outer Manchuria, Vladivostok (obviously wouldn't be called that) would have become a metropolis city of several millions. It's location and being tightly connected to the rest of China would make this inevitable.

It's not happening under Russia simply because it is too remote from the Russian core and Russia itself is not highly populated.
 
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