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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 03-18-2013, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Hollywood, CA
1,576 posts, read 2,536,238 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
What I meant by compact was that the Los Angeles urban area is physically small. I wasn't referring to arbitrary (and LA's are the definition of arbitrary) city limits. Los Angeles is definitely a huge city, and probably could benefit from being broken up a little bit.

Besides, I got about 44 miles from San Pedro to Sylmar, and it is 32 miles from tip to tip of Chicago. If you don't include the tack-on that is the Harbor Gateway and San Pedro / Wilmington the core city of Los Angeles is about 30 miles from Sylmar to to 105 freeway.
Whether the Harbor Area is a tack-on or not. It's still part of the city of Los Angeles as a whole, and the whole of LA is pretty sprawled out and decentralized.

And I agree with you with splitting LA up. San Fernando Valley should have succeeded 10 years ago, it's taking up a lot of space and money for the city, and is underfunded by the city.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,107,696 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hipcat View Post
Hollywood and Westlake are the exceptions to the rule in the immediate Los Angeles area. The average Los Angeles resident, lives in an area like this.

Los Angeles, CA to Westlake, Los Angeles, CA - Google Maps

or this
San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, CA - Google Maps

Is it as urban as San Francisco or a Northeastern, or Rustbelt city? No. It looks like any suburban area in a sunbelt like city in the US.
The average resident of Los Angeles lives in an multifamily building, so those two links are poor representations of the average LA resident's neighborhood. Those are good representations of South LA and the Valley. In Central LA there are single family homes but typically (big exception is Hancock Park) they are at least mixed in with apartment buildings, and often are dominated by apartment buildings on their block. The Westside (and the Valley to some extent) is more segregated, with apartments dominating some areas and SFHs dominating most others - Palms, Rancho Park, Westwood are good examples of apartment-dominated neighborhoods on the Westside.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:28 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,987 posts, read 41,947,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
The average resident of Los Angeles lives in an multifamily building, so those two links are poor representations of the average LA resident's neighborhood.
Eh. It's about 50% multifamily. Housing units in multifamily buildings typically have less people per household, so I'd guess the average person lives in a single family dwelling.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,107,696 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Eh. It's about 50% multifamily. Housing units in multifamily buildings typically have less people per household, so I'd guess the average person lives in a single family dwelling.
Okay fair enough (I looked it is around 52%) but even so, I disagree with the notion that it "It [Los Angeles] looks like any suburban area in a sunbelt like city in the US."

LA is closer in form to the Sunbelt cities (mostly because they took LA's development style and went nuts with the sprawl / car-dependence) than East Coast cities and (while there are some similarities) Rust Belt cities.

At the same time though, there is obviously something that is different about Los Angeles vs. other Sunbelt cities when you look at the density patterns (LA is almost exponentially more dense than many Sunbelt cities), transit ridership, rates of walking, and (I know it's unloved here but) the amount of high-scoring areas on Walkscore, etc.

It certainly occupies a strange space in urban discussions.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,231,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
The city center of London feels much more urban to me than Chicago. The skyscraper district is impressive and does feel obviously big city, but its area is nowhere as big, and the amount of shops smaller. Right by the loop, the job density of Chicago is higher, but overall the number and percent of people working in the center city is higher for London. Chicago in some directions from downtown isn't that built up.
We don't really see many comparisons of American and European cities on an urbanity basis. I suppose that's partly because it's against the rules in the City vs. City forum where the majority of these threads originate. But we have no such restrictions in the Urban Planning forum, right? I'd be interested to see how people feel a smaller city like Amsterdam, for example, stacks up with Philadelphia or Chicago. Or how Rome compares to Los Angeles.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Hollywood, CA
1,576 posts, read 2,536,238 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
The average resident of Los Angeles lives in an multifamily building, so those two links are poor representations of the average LA resident's neighborhood. Those are good representations of South LA and the Valley. In Central LA there are single family homes but typically (big exception is Hancock Park) they are at least mixed in with apartment buildings, and often are dominated by apartment buildings on their block. The Westside (and the Valley to some extent) is more segregated, with apartments dominating some areas and SFHs dominating most others - Palms, Rancho Park, Westwood are good examples of apartment-dominated neighborhoods on the Westside.
The fact that Central LA doesn't make up most of Los Angeles population like South LA and the San Fernando Valley does makes my point valid. South LA, The San Fernando Valley, and the Harbor Area make up over 50% of Los Angeles(city limits) population and built form. Those areas are the norm and representative of most of Los Angeles city limits. You can't just take a section like Central LA and make it representative of the whole city. It doesn't work with the average.

Last edited by hipcat; 03-18-2013 at 04:25 PM..
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,107,696 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hipcat View Post
The fact that Central LA doesn't make up most of Los Angeles population like South LA and the San Fernando Valley does makes my point valid. South LA, The San Fernando Valley, and the Harbor Area make up over 50% of Los Angeles(city limits) population and built form. Those areas are the norm and representative of most of Los Angeles city limits. You can't just take a section like Central LA and make it representative of the whole city. It doesn't work with the average.
I agree Central LA is not very typical of Los Angeles I guess the point I was trying to make is you can't just pick a streetview and say "this is the typical LA lifestyle / neighborhood". I think LA is just too big and varied to make broad generalizations like that.

To bring this back around, the point should be made that this too goes for Chicago. Sometimes it seems like people see the Loop and assume Chicago is NYC Pt. 2 - even some of the posts in this thread seem to indicate that notion.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Hollywood, CA
1,576 posts, read 2,536,238 times
Reputation: 1119
Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
I agree Central LA is not very typical of Los Angeles I guess the point I was trying to make is you can't just pick a streetview and say "this is the typical LA lifestyle / neighborhood". I think LA is just too big and varied to make broad generalizations like that.

To bring this back around, the point should be made that this too goes for Chicago. Sometimes it seems like people see the Loop and assume Chicago is NYC Pt. 2 - even some of the posts in this thread seem to indicate that notion.
It's not just the loop. But some of the Neighborhoods like Lincoln Park, South Shore, Wicker Park, and Wrigleyville are the densest places I've been to, and I was born and raised in the Los Angeles Area. There isn't anywhere in the LA urban area with 30,000 people per square miles like in some Chicago neighborhoods. So that's where the NYC pt 2 comparisons come from.

And LA is a bit to segmented to generalize. I agree with that. Central LA is different in urbanity from the San Fernando Valley.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:09 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,987 posts, read 41,947,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hipcat View Post
It's not just the loop. But some of the Neighborhoods like Lincoln Park, South Shore, Wicker Park, and Wrigleyville are the densest places I've been to, and I was born and raised in the Los Angeles Area. There isn't anywhere in the LA urban area with 30,000 people per square miles like in some Chicago neighborhoods. So that's where the NYC pt 2 comparisons come from.
Yes there is. Koreatown, for one. Same or slightly denser than any Chicago neighborhood. Part of the higher density is larger household size but it's still structurally dense. The commercial streets of some of the neighborhoods you mentioned might be able to pass for outer borough NYC nabes:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Wrigl...167.78,,0,-0.6

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Wrigl...137.35,,0,-3.9

but residential density-wise, 30,000 people per square mile isn't NYC pt 2 at all; most of the spots near the center city are much denser. 30,000 people per square mile is the density of Bay Ridge (where Saturday Night Fever is supposed take place), rather far out, though a nice neighborhood (and most of Bay Ridge still seems denser judging by a map). Most sections a visitor would see are denser. There's some similarities between the two cities but large differences.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:52 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,987 posts, read 41,947,535 times
Reputation: 14805
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
We don't really see many comparisons of American and European cities on an urbanity basis. I suppose that's partly because it's against the rules in the City vs. City forum where the majority of these threads originate. But we have no such restrictions in the Urban Planning forum, right? I'd be interested to see how people feel a smaller city like Amsterdam, for example, stacks up with Philadelphia or Chicago. Or how Rome compares to Los Angeles.
Sure, there's no geographic restrictions on the forum. The sticky describing what's on-topic for the forum says comparisons for other cities belong in the city vs city forum (if a city's not in North America, the world forum is most appropriate ), but if it's just on urban design then it's ok in the urban planning forum.

Unless you've spent time in a city, it's hard to judge urbanity, especially for cities so drastically different, so unless people here well-traveled, there may not be much response. I made a comparison between New York City, Paris and London as well as a few other American and English cities mostly on density:

Urban Density Comparisons

It's easier to make density comparisons by looking up numbers than subjective urbanity comparisons, which require extensive time in the cities (though I've spent lots of time in New York City and London, London a long time ago) but except for the outer parts of the three cities, all are "traditionally" urban rather than "auto-centric" so perhaps density is almost enough. As for Amsterdam, I'd rate it as more urban than Philadelphia, less than Chicago, if only because Chicago is so big. Amsterdam has more of a small scale feel that the best US equivalents are Philly, Boston and San Francisco. Here's a density figure I found:

http://www.city-data.com/forum/28382658-post193.html
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