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Old 04-22-2012, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
17,288 posts, read 9,727,905 times
Reputation: 6021

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To answer the question, "Is LA more urban than people think," I think that it's about exactly as urban as people think. Even in the densest neighborhood that's frequently cited by LA posters, Koreatown, you still see a very sprawled out, auto-centric design that fails to match the pedestrian activity in places such as Bucktown, Back Bay, Rittenhouse, Dupont Circle, etc.


Welcome to Koreatown - YouTube


illadates Episode 5: Rittenhouse Square - YouTube
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:44 AM
 
Location: NYC
1,745 posts, read 1,125,499 times
Reputation: 944
Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
There's no high horse here--I agree there are strip malls and wide roads. Is that really all that's needed to say they're equivalent. And keep in mind we've been talking about walkable neighborhoods and urbanity. If these tiny groupings of places you showed were next to each other (a lot of retail strips, shopping centers, and apartment complexes densely packed), then I'd actually agree with you on the comparison as they'd both be dense urban neighborhoods built out differently from traditional urban cities--but the problem is these small groupings are scattered about so it's simply much harder for them to function as a dense urban neighborhood where people can easily live carless (and I'm also guessing the mass transit in any of those neighborhoods is anywhere near as frequent, accessible, or tightly connected).
The places I showed you are not so tiny. The area around downtown CG alone stretches for about 1.5 miles north to south and 2 miles east to west. Plenty of high rise condos there, hotels, retail. The area around UM is fairly large as well.

Would I say that you can easily live carless in CG? Of course not (even though they've got Metrorail and a decent bus network as well). But neither do I take seriously people's claims that you can easily live carless in Hollywood. Maybe if you live right next to the subway, work downtown and your whole life revolves around going to work and hanging out in the 1 mile radius from your home... But the same could be said of CG... or almost any city in the country.

Also I find it ironic that you dismissively referred in your prior post to the parking structures in CG. It's true there are lot of multistory parking lots throughout the denser parts of CG. You guys could actually learn something from that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
Also, those dense 3.5 square miles are connected to other dense tracts either physically adjacent (such as west hollywood) or via subway such as north hollywood and downtown LA. It's funny that you're using Coral Gables and it's disjointed urban neighborhoods as a comparison, because it highlights exactly why the dense parts of Los Angeles, despite how they're built, does function as urban/dense/walkable despite the structural layout of the place.
I think we have different conceptions of what adjacent means. To me, Chelsea, West Village and Soho are adjacent. South End, Back Bay and Beacon Hill are adjacent. Center City and University City are adjacent.

Hollywood and West Hollywood are not adjacent, in the cohesive urban sense that you seem to imply, when their respective activity centers are separated by 3 miles of this:

hollywood, ca - Google Maps

or this:

Google Maps

How is this different from downtown CG and the South Miami/UM area being separated by 3 miles of this:

U.S. 1 S - Google Maps

And notice the Metrorail line on the left...
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
17,288 posts, read 9,727,905 times
Reputation: 6021
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitzrovian View Post
The places I showed you are not so tiny. The area around downtown CG alone stretches for about 1.5 miles north to south and 2 miles east to west. Plenty of high rise condos there, hotels, retail. The area around UM is fairly large as well.

Would I say that you can easily live carless in CG? Of course not (even though they've got Metrorail and a decent bus network as well). But neither do I take seriously people's claims that you can easily live carless in Hollywood. Maybe if you live right next to the subway, work downtown and your whole life revolves around going to work and hanging out in the 1 mile radius from your home... But the same could be said of CG... or almost any city in the country.

Also I find it ironic that you dismissively referred in your prior post to the parking structures in CG. It's true there are lot of multistory parking lots throughout the denser parts of CG. You guys could actually learn something from that.



I think we have different conceptions of what adjacent means. To me, Chelsea, West Village and Soho are adjacent. South End, Back Bay and Beacon Hill are adjacent. Center City and University City are adjacent.

Hollywood and West Hollywood are not adjacent, in the cohesive urban sense that you seem to imply, when their respective activity centers are separated by 3 miles of this:

hollywood, ca - Google Maps

or this:

Google Maps

How is this different from downtown CG and the South Miami/UM area being separated by 3 miles of this:

U.S. 1 S - Google Maps

And notice the Metrorail line on the left...
Solid points.
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:40 AM
 
Location: NYC
1,745 posts, read 1,125,499 times
Reputation: 944
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
To answer the question, "Is LA more urban than people think," I think that it's about exactly as urban as people think. Even in the densest neighborhood that's frequently cited by LA posters, Koreatown, you still see a very sprawled out, auto-centric design that fails to match the pedestrian activity in places such as Bucktown, Back Bay, Rittenhouse, Dupont Circle, etc.


Welcome to Koreatown - YouTube


illadates Episode 5: Rittenhouse Square - YouTube
I agree with your observations about LA's serious urban design flaws. But the other point to make here is that even the neighborhoods that are considered dense in LA are not really all that dense. 20k psm is at best medium density by world class urban standards. To create a vibrant urban environment you need to get closer to 30k. At least. At 30k and up you can have a neighborhood that lends itself to proliferation of mixed use throughout its urban fabric. That's when you have bars on residential corners and restaurants and shops on ground level. That's what creates vibrancy. At 20k, unless there is a large commercial or tourist presence, you are most likely looking at a few retail strips surrounded by dead residential blocks. That was my point when I compared Hollywood to CG.
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:41 AM
 
Location: southern california
49,797 posts, read 46,891,519 times
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i love LA its got its own feel, big city but modern and no winter.
smooth ride and lots of sun, like its freeways. crisp mornings not muggy like miami.
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
8,994 posts, read 5,703,485 times
Reputation: 2883
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitzrovian View Post
I agree with your observations about LA's serious urban design flaws. But the other point to make here is that even the neighborhoods that are considered dense in LA are not really all that dense. 20k psm is at best medium density by world class urban standards. To create a vibrant urban environment you need to get closer to 30k. At least. At 30k and up you can have a neighborhood that lends itself to proliferation of mixed use throughout its urban fabric. That's when you have bars on residential corners and restaurants and shops on ground level. That's what creates vibrancy. At 20k, unless there is a large commercial or tourist presence, you are most likely looking at a few retail strips surrounded by dead residential blocks. That was my point when I compared Hollywood to CG.
Yikes man LA probably has more census tracts above 30k ppsm than any other city in the US other than NYC. Just as NEIs graphs clearly show. More people in LA live in areas with 30k ppsm than anywhere in this country besides NYC. Don't use subjective, unquantified borders like neighborhoods - you have to use census tracts.

Not to mention they are for the most part cohesively connected.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
8,994 posts, read 5,703,485 times
Reputation: 2883
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitzrovian View Post
The places I showed you are not so tiny. The area around downtown CG alone stretches for about 1.5 miles north to south and 2 miles east to west. Plenty of high rise condos there, hotels, retail. The area around UM is fairly large as well.

Would I say that you can easily live carless in CG? Of course not (even though they've got Metrorail and a decent bus network as well). But neither do I take seriously people's claims that you can easily live carless in Hollywood. Maybe if you live right next to the subway, work downtown and your whole life revolves around going to work and hanging out in the 1 mile radius from your home... But the same could be said of CG... or almost any city in the country.

Also I find it ironic that you dismissively referred in your prior post to the parking structures in CG. It's true there are lot of multistory parking lots throughout the denser parts of CG. You guys could actually learn something from that.



I think we have different conceptions of what adjacent means. To me, Chelsea, West Village and Soho are adjacent. South End, Back Bay and Beacon Hill are adjacent. Center City and University City are adjacent.

Hollywood and West Hollywood are not adjacent, in the cohesive urban sense that you seem to imply, when their respective activity centers are separated by 3 miles of this:

hollywood, ca - Google Maps

or this:

Google Maps

How is this different from downtown CG and the South Miami/UM area being separated by 3 miles of this:

U.S. 1 S - Google Maps

And notice the Metrorail line on the left...
Yet its only a 1.9mile walk from the center of Hollywood (Hollywood/Highland) to the center of West Hollywood (SaMo and Fairfax). How'd they fit three miles between those neighborhood centers?
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
5,578 posts, read 2,585,611 times
Reputation: 2955
Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
Yikes man LA probably has more census tracts above 30k ppsm than any other city in the US other than NYC. Just as NEIs graphs clearly show. More people in LA live in areas with 30k ppsm than anywhere in this country besides NYC. Don't use subjective, unquantified borders like neighborhoods - you have to use census tracts.

Not to mention they are for the most part cohesively connected.
And the dingbat New Yorkers are ruined again.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
17,288 posts, read 9,727,905 times
Reputation: 6021
Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
Yikes man LA probably has more census tracts above 30k ppsm than any other city in the US other than NYC. Just as NEIs graphs clearly show. More people in LA live in areas with 30k ppsm than anywhere in this country besides NYC. Don't use subjective, unquantified borders like neighborhoods - you have to use census tracts.

Not to mention they are for the most part cohesively connected.
And that density has almost no bearing on its urbanity and walkability. Check out these corners in Koreatown, one of which the tour guide calls "one of the busiest in Koreatown" (at 2:43). Yet there are hardly any pedestrians to be found. To be the second largest city in the United States, you would think that it's most urban and densely populated residential district would be able to generate more foot traffic than Takoma Park, MD.

This is pathetic. You can't even argue that it's just a bad time of day because we DO see plenty of cars.


Welcome to Koreatown - YouTube

Compare the above to Shaw/U Street in DC. There's no comparison really. One city is designed for walking. The other is designed for driving, which the Koreatown video makes abundantly clear.


Scene In: U Street - YouTube
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:52 AM
 
Location: London, U.K.
883 posts, read 727,656 times
Reputation: 764
It appears I must spread rep around before giving to BajanYankee again. Excellent work BajanYankee
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