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View Poll Results: Which city is more Urban
Chicago 114 79.17%
Los Angeles 30 20.83%
Voters: 144. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 04-21-2013, 08:51 PM
 
Location: SoCal
1,243 posts, read 1,570,119 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I was talking about the outer fringes of the city limits. And I say that because there's been a big deal made about the outlying areas of Chicago that are more suburban in character. It may be true that the outlying areas of Los Angeles are denser, but that's not saying a whole lot since those areas are rather suburban too. At that point, you're basically engaged in a battle of "My suburbia is denser than your suburbia."
I've always maintained that "suburbia" is a function rather than a design or look. In other worlds: a true suburb is merely a place where commuters to the city live and sleep. It works in concert with the city but couldn't function on it's own because lack of amenities or CBD etc. The fringe areas in Los Angeles are much more independent small cities than sleepy suburbs. This fact is reflected in how rush hour commutes in LA tend to go in both directions. There is a lot of gray area here that I feel people don't acknowledge when debating this. California suburbs look and operate different from NE and MW suburbs in the first place and the LA and Bay areas are much differently developed than most NE and MW urban areas. But when you look at commute patterns and examine the areas themselves you'll IMO find what you're looking for. LA isn't like Chicago, sh*t is all over the place out here.
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,798 posts, read 19,010,012 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Some_Random_Guy View Post
Obviously Chicago, in fact, you would be hard pressed to find a more 'urban' city anywhere in the world.
As much as I love Chicago, there are many other cities that are more urban than it. For the US though, there is only one city that is more urban for a long period of time and that is NYC. There are others that are similar such as San Francisco too, but in the north side, Chicago is more dense than San Francisco for the same exact physical area as the entire San Francisco.

As far as LA and Chicago goes, I have spent considerable time in Los Angeles and Chicago. There are a few small areas like Koreatown which are very urban and just as urban as Chicago, but overall Chicago wins and it's not terribly close. Definitely dense areas of Los Angeles for US standards, but Chicago is very dense for a long period of time, especially on the north side. Even 9 miles north of City Hall in Chicago, it's 30,000 per sq mile and if you average just going north, it's probably around 23,000-26,000 per sq mile all through those 9 miles.

LA is more dense if you take the entire metro area into account, but not by a ton. People need to realize though that Chicago's MSA is over twice as large, physically, as Los Angeles' and there are many areas on the very outskirts of the MSA where it's not populated at all. Los Angeles eventually overtakes it, but it takes a little bit because the city of chicago and some of the suburbs that border it (such as Berwyn, Cicero, and Evanston) are quite dense too and have pretty sizable populations (250,000-300,000 for those three cities alone).

In short, the city of Chicago is a good deal more dense for a longer period of time than LA, but LA's metro area is on average more built up to be dense, but at the same time, Los Angeles MSA is over twice as small as Chicago's MSA in physical area.
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,231,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MB8abovetherim View Post
I've always maintained that "suburbia" is a function rather than a design or look. In other worlds: a true suburb is merely a place where commuters to the city live and sleep.
Would Brooklyn qualify as a suburb by that definition? Queens? The Bronx? Yonkers? Jersey City?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MB8abovetherim View Post
It works in concert with the city but couldn't function on it's own because lack of amenities or CBD etc. The fringe areas in Los Angeles are much more independent small cities than sleepy suburbs. This fact is reflected in how rush hour commutes in LA tend to go in both directions. There is a lot of gray area here that I feel people don't acknowledge when debating this. California suburbs look and operate different from NE and MW suburbs in the first place and the LA and Bay areas are much differently developed than most NE and MW urban areas. But when you look at commute patterns and examine the areas themselves you'll IMO find what you're looking for. LA isn't like Chicago, sh*t is all over the place out here.
That doesn't make L.A. unique. All metro areas have a ton of jobs in the suburbs. A suburb does not become "urban" simply because it has office parks.
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,107,696 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
As much as I love Chicago, there are many other cities that are more urban than it. For the US though, there is only one city that is more urban for a long period of time and that is NYC. There are others that are similar such as San Francisco too, but in the north side, Chicago is more dense than San Francisco for the same exact physical area as the entire San Francisco.

As far as LA and Chicago goes, I have spent considerable time in Los Angeles and Chicago. There are a few small areas like Koreatown which are very urban and just as urban as Chicago, but overall Chicago wins and it's not terribly close. Definitely dense areas of Los Angeles for US standards, but Chicago is very dense for a long period of time, especially on the north side. Even 9 miles north of City Hall in Chicago, it's 30,000 per sq mile and if you average just going north, it's probably around 23,000-26,000 per sq mile all through those 9 miles.

LA is more dense if you take the entire metro area into account, but not by a ton. People need to realize though that Chicago's MSA is over twice as large, physically, as Los Angeles' and there are many areas on the very outskirts of the MSA where it's not populated at all. Los Angeles eventually overtakes it, but it takes a little bit because the city of chicago and some of the suburbs that border it (such as Berwyn, Cicero, and Evanston) are quite dense too and have pretty sizable populations (250,000-300,000 for those three cities alone).

In short, the city of Chicago is a good deal more dense for a longer period of time than LA, but LA's metro area is on average more built up to be dense, but at the same time, Los Angeles MSA is over twice as small as Chicago's MSA in physical area.
While I agree that Chicago is the more urban city, I disagree that it is not close. Chicago is in its own tier behind NYC and above cities like LA, Boston, SF, DC, Philadelphia (I know I cite it a lot, but Dweebo's chart [on this thread] of density-by-housing-unit-per-square-mile chart is the best visual summation of this I've seen).

The corridor from DTLA through Westlake, Koreatown, East Hollywood and Central Hollywood is a distance of almost 9 miles and is about equal in density to that corridor in Chicago you mentioned, although I don't think it quite reaches the peak density of that stretch. It is also not as pleasant to walk (weather non-withstanding ).

As mentioned on the Chicago vs. Boston thread on City vs. City, LA and Chicago get to 1 million people in about the same amount of space.
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
The corridor from DTLA through Westlake, Koreatown, East Hollywood and Central Hollywood is a distance of almost 9 miles and is about equal in density to that corridor in Chicago you mentioned, although I don't think it quite reaches the peak density of that stretch. It is also not as pleasant to walk (weather non-withstanding ).
Yes, I did mention that 9 miles stretch, but it's a lot broader than in LA. Not to mention that the density goes out in other areas and it's not just in one direction in Chicago.


Quote:
As mentioned on the Chicago vs. Boston thread on City vs. City, LA and Chicago get to 1 million people in about the same amount of space.
Actually, that was a conjecture. There's no real evidence behind that for Los Angeles. Someone should do it though and see. Not doubting it's not true, but we should have some solid evidence for it.
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:31 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,987 posts, read 41,947,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post

Actually, that was a conjecture. There's no real evidence behind that for Los Angeles. Someone should do it though and see. Not doubting it's not true, but we should have some solid evidence for it.
There is, I where it was done. I started doing out the numbers myself, but I got bored halfway.
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,107,696 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
Yes, I did mention that 9 miles stretch, but it's a lot broader than in LA. Not to mention that the density goes out in other areas and it's not just in one direction in Chicago.
I think it might be broader in Chicago than Los Angeles, yes. Also (as that graph shows), it is more structurally dense than Los Angeles, which has slightly larger household sizes.

However, I would say that the high-density development in Los Angeles is not in one direction either though.

  • High density continues to the west down Olympic, Adams and Venice through Mid City.
  • To the east through Boyle Heights and East LA, which is actually an unincorporated area but one of the densest "cities" in the country. To the Northeast with Lincoln Heights and Highland Park.
  • To the south through Historic South Central and South Park (not the DTLA neighborhood but the original near Avalon and 54th).
  • There are some extremely high density areas in the San Fernando Valley, such as North Hollywood (which would be continuous from Hollywood if not for those mountains), Van Nuys and Panorama City.
  • The Westside has pockets in Westwood and Palms, and to some extent Venice and Santa Monica.
  • After Hancock Park, which I mentioned is very low density and pretty suburban, you hit the Miracle Mile on Wilshire. To the north it is pretty dense, with Fairfax and La Brea leading up to Beverly, Melrose and Santa Monica Blvd.
  • Additionally, I only stopped at Central Hollywood because that is the city limits. However, the built form of those areas continues (and arguably improves) through West Hollywood and Beverly Hills - that stretch from DTLA to Beverly Hills is probably about 12-15 miles.
LA is definitely way more patchy - Chicago pretty much has a giant wall going to the north, especially to the east of that river (not sure what its name is) and railroad tracks. Chicago is high density in other directions too, though seems to drop off quite a bit directly to the west of its core (though it picks back up with Oak Park, etc.).


Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
Actually, that was a conjecture. There's no real evidence behind that for Los Angeles. Someone should do it though and see. Not doubting it's not true, but we should have some solid evidence for it.
Yeah that one was conjecture, but there have been quite a few threads where this sort of thing is measured (though maybe not to 1 million), so I was just basing it off of that.
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:49 PM
 
2,478 posts, read 4,867,202 times
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Lol @ LA being urban. The 15 people who voted for LA either a) have never been to Chicago or b) have never been to LA or c) don't know what urban means. LA is a huge sprawling suburb. Chicago is very urban. It's no contest.
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:54 PM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,152,919 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
Yes, I did mention that 9 miles stretch, but it's a lot broader than in LA. Not to mention that the density goes out in other areas and it's not just in one direction in Chicago.


Actually, that was a conjecture. There's no real evidence behind that for Los Angeles. Someone should do it though and see. Not doubting it's not true, but we should have some solid evidence for it.
There is a thread about what is your population in the SF footprint

LA and Chicago were nearly identical to 1 million with Philly just behind - now the next hundred miles not sure if anyone has done, imagine LA and Chicago would pull away from Philly there

These three all got to over 1 million residnets in the core 47 sq miles
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:58 PM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,152,919 times
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What density would your cities density be if it was the size of San Francisco?
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