Chicago is one of The United States most iconic cities. It is a city that everyone has heard of, many have been to, and everyone knows at least something about, such as it being called “The Windy City. Chicago is one of the largest cities in the United States, with 2.7 million people living there it is the third largest city by population in the American Midwest, as it is considered a Midwestern City and is most culturally associated with this characteristic.
Cape Coral, Florida, in contrast is a costal city, located on the Gulf of Mexico. Locals call it simply, “The Cape.” Here though, there is a comparison to be made between the two cities. Both enjoy cities have vast stretches of water front land and have different water sports activities such as kayaking and swimming that residents often participate in. The difference being of course that Chicago’s waterfront is from the Great Lakes whereas Cape Coral’s is an ocean.
In terms of population, Cape Coral is small compared to Chicago. It is also a much younger city. Chicago is a French rendering of the native America word shikakwa, which translates into wild onion. Since the late 17th Century European settlers have inhabited the area. In 1803 the US army constructed for Dearborn in the current location of it. In 1833, it had a population of 200 and was called the Town of Chicago and in seven years that number grew to over 4,000. In 1837 Chicago was officially organized as a US City and for several decades was the fastest growing city in the world.
Cape Coral and Chicago, shortly after their founding can both be considered cities that achieved the success of a fast population growth. Cape Coral has been since it’s founding one of the fastest growing cities in Florida. Cape Coral, was much more planned than Chicago, which sprung up due to it being a good location for defense with an access to shipping from the Great Lakes. As a quickly growing city, Chicago sprung up with not near the level of central planning that went into Cape Coral.
Cape Coral was founded in 1957, and it was a result of central planning and is considered a pre-planned community, which means it was not the natural result of people moving there and then more people arriving, but rather the government setting aside land and taking necessary steps to attract a population. The planning worked and in 2010 the city had a population of 155,000 people. The city has been called a “Waterfront Wonderland” since it has miles of waterways and canals, which can be used for water sports. So while Chicago also has waterfront, Cape Coral has much more of a water front culture that lives there. Part of this is due to the fact that Cape Coral is in a different climate as Chicago and does not need to deal with the bit of winter that those in Chicago must suffer through. As anyone who lives or has lived there can tell you, Chicago goes through some of the worst Midwest winters as any city of it’s size, with maybe only Minneapolis being able to take home the prize of having worse winters.
Cape Coral can boast an average of 355 days of sunshine each year. However, it does have a rainy season, and there is precipitation on about 145 days of the year. But the winters there are dry and temperatures not too called. The rain falls mainly between May and September. As such, Cape Coral really only has two seasons. Chicago, on the other hand, has four distinct seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Because of the large bodies of water surrounding it, Chicago experiences hot and humid summers with temperatures regularly exceeding 90 degrees. The average daytime temperature in the winter is 31 degrees. The lowest temperature ever recorded was a chilly -27 degrees that occurred on July 24, 1934.
The construction of Cape Coral first involved the creation of the canals that led it today being called a “Waterfront Wonderland.” They went to extreme measures to achieve success, even bringing in celebrities to the community to endorse it.
Perhaps one of the most striking differences between the two cities is the architecture. Chicago and Cape have very different construction styles that stems both from the differing natures of the cities economies, the seasons and their geography. Chicago is a place of skyscrapers rising above to make a scenic skyline while Cape Coral is a place of much more modern constructions as compared to Chicago which certainly do not “loom.” Transporation and getting around is much different. Chicago, because of it’s population and distance between different areas has a much more thorough public transportation system designed to serve the needs of it’s people.
In Cape Coral, public transportation services is outsourced to a company called Lee Tran, which has 18 buses that operated on fixed routes. The buses operate only until 9:45pm.
Chicago has one of the largest transit systems of any cities in the US. It has seven mainline and four secondary interstate highways that run through it, making it a mecca for people not just arriving there but passing through it. Cape Coral is very differing from this, with only one major highways passing through it.
The Chicago Transit Authority, handles public transportation and operates a subway. There are two airports that service the city, The Midway and O’Hare Airports. Chicago also has the US”s second most used passenger train network.
There are also bus lines and the city abounds in taxis, giving commuters many options in arriving to where they need to be.
" City of Cape Coral > About > History."City of Cape Coral > Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Aug. 2013. <http://www.capecoral.net/About/History/tabid/470/Default.aspx>.
"City of Chicago Fact Sheet." No Games Chicago. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 July 2013. <nogames.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/w