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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, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Hollywood, CA
1,576 posts, read 2,536,238 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
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...5,,0,11.9&z=15


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.
But when you average things out. Chicago has denser neighborhoods than Los Angeles. Chicago's neighorhoods on average aren't as dense as NYC's neighborhoods, but they are denser by structural design and population compared to Los Angeles's neighborhoods.

The density of Los Angeles neighborhoods are inflated by multiple families living in the same housing. Other than Koreatown, Hollywood, East Hollywood Westlake, and maybe Palms. I don't have that feeling I'm in a dense neighborhood like some of the neigborhoods I saw in Chicago. Most of these neighborhoods have the typical single family homes with strip malls on the commercial streets found in most of Los Angeles.

Here's the 10 densest neighborhoods in Los Angeles from mapping LA.

1 Koreatown 42,611
2 Westlake 38,214
3 East Hollywood 31,095
4 Pico-Union 25,352
5 Maywood 23,638
6 Harvard Heights 23,473
7 Hollywood 22,193
8 Walnut Park 22,028
9 Palms 21,870
10 Adams-Normandie 21,848

I highlighted Maywood to give an example of how density statistics are inflated. Here's what Maywood looks like.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=maywo...63.22,,0,-5.47

Doesn't look like an area that has 23,638 people per square mile right? Looks like a medium density sunbelt neighborhood with a spread out feel ,which is mostly Single Family Homes and Strip Malls . It doesn't feel like a urban neighborhood like Wrigleyville does.

Compare Maywood to Wrigleyville. A neighborhood in Near North Side with 30,000 people per square mile.
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Wrigl...267.76,,0,1.54

9/10 people would consider Wrigleyville to be a more denser looking neighborhood than Maywood based on the structural design. The fact there isn't any large parking lots, and the buildings are closer together in Wrigleyville makes it feel denser.

The point I'm making is that most of LA's density is inflated by homes having large households. The structure of most of those areas in the top 10 of Los Angeles densest neighborhoods were built and designed for low density.

Here's how another poster explains it. It nails what my original post said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nafster
I agree with everyone who says within city limits Chicago feels much larger due to the huge abundance of bigger buildings and higher density.

Once you leave Chicago, the suburbs don't feel big at all, save a few.

The LA overall, while absent of big buildings, just feels like an endless expansion of little buildings and palm trees. I couldn't believe it.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:27 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
I highlighted Maywood to give an example of how density statistics are inflated. Here's what Maywood looks like.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=maywo...63.22,,0,-5.47

Doesn't look like an area that has 23,638 people per square mile right? Looks like a medium density sunbelt neighborhood with a spread out feel ,which is mostly Single Family Homes and Strip Malls .
It does feel less dense than Wringleyville. But appears may be deceiving. The lots are small. Here's Hollis, Queens (home of many rappers), almost all of it 21k/sq mile (all the tracts area about the same — unsurprising, the housing is identical). Just about all single family homes:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Holli...+York&t=h&z=16

Don't think Hollis is overcrowded. Maywood at about the same scale:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=maywo...gl=us&t=h&z=16

LA seems to set back the houses more, creating more front yard and less back yard, so the density appears a bit less than the NYC view, but otherwise they don't look too different.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
9,832 posts, read 7,675,073 times
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The entire city of L.A. is 52% multi-unit structures, but the Central L.A. region is probably in the 80% range. West Hollywood, for example, is 89% multi-unit structures. The massive area stretching west of DTLA is most certainly not dominated by SFHs. Streetscapes like this are more common if anything: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=1330+...en&sa=N&tab=wl

That's 9 miles from DTLA. Westlake, Koreatown, and Hollywood are also dominated by multi-unit buildings. That is very atypical of a sunbelt city. Don't even try to spin it otherwise.

In case anyone was wondering, the average household size in Chicago is 2.57 vs 2.99 in Los Angeles. Obviously, L.A. is massively cheating to appear denser.

I'll give Chicago the decided edge in urbanity at the core level, but even that edge isn't as big as the one L.A. has when comparing urbanized areas:

Chicagoland (UA): 2442 sq miles, population 8.6 million
Los Angeles + Riverside + Mission Viejo (UA): 2430 sq miles, population 14.7 million

As the facts show, the two regions are nearly identical in size. The difference is that Los Angeles is nearly 60% denser. That ain't peanuts.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
9,832 posts, read 7,675,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigantown View Post
Mexico city may have a denser population than Chicago but i wouldn't call it more urban.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Hollywood, CA
1,576 posts, read 2,536,238 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondChandlerLives View Post
The entire city of L.A. is 52% multi-unit structures, but the Central L.A. region is probably in the 80% range. West Hollywood, for example, is 89% multi-unit structures. The massive area stretching west of DTLA is most certainly not dominated by SFHs. Streetscapes like this are more common if anything: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=1330+...en&sa=N&tab=wl

That's 9 miles from DTLA. Westlake, Koreatown, and Hollywood are also dominated by multi-unit buildings. That is very atypical of a sunbelt city. Don't even try to spin it otherwise.

In case anyone was wondering, the average household size in Chicago is 2.57 vs 2.99 in Los Angeles. Obviously, L.A. is massively cheating to appear denser.

I'll give Chicago the decided edge in urbanity at the core level, but even that edge isn't as big as the one L.A. has when comparing urbanized areas:

Chicagoland (UA): 2442 sq miles, population 8.6 million
Los Angeles + Riverside + Mission Viejo (UA): 2430 sq miles, population 14.7 million

As the facts show, the two regions are nearly identical in size. The difference is that Los Angeles is nearly 60% denser. That ain't peanuts.
But the area you are talking about does not make up the majority of LA. The Westside and San Fernando Valley have low densities, and South LA's density is inflated by large households in mostly single family homes. That area you are talking about is an exception to the rule.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Hollywood, CA
1,576 posts, read 2,536,238 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
It does feel less dense than Wringleyville. But appears may be deceiving. The lots are small. Here's Hollis, Queens (home of many rappers), almost all of it 21k/sq mile (all the tracts area about the same unsurprising, the housing is identical). Just about all single family homes:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Holli...+York&t=h&z=16

Don't think Hollis is overcrowded. Maywood at about the same scale:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=maywo...gl=us&t=h&z=16

LA seems to set back the houses more, creating more front yard and less back yard, so the density appears a bit less than the NYC view, but otherwise they don't look too different.
The point I was making is that LA's density statistics are decieving. The feel of most LA neighborhoods isn't different from other Sunbelt cities. What makes the LA metro area denser than Chicagoland is that the built area is consistently like Maywood from the San Fernando Valley to Santa Ana, compared to the Chi which is dense at the core, but more spaced out in the suburbs.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
9,832 posts, read 7,675,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hipcat View Post
But the area you are talking about does not make up the majority of LA. The Westside and San Fernando Valley have low densities, and South LA's density is inflated by large households in mostly single family homes. That area you are talking about is an exception to the rule.
No, the Westside and SFV have moderate densities, and can get up there in certain neighborhoods (Panorama City, Palms, etc). Besides, the entire county is 42% multi-unit housing, and virtually every new project is either ab apartment complex, or a mixed-use project:

Beverly Hills: https://maps.google.com/maps?oe=&q=4...ed=0CDMQ8gEwAA

https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q...ed=0CDAQ8gEwAA

This has all been discussed before--if you took a continuous, 225 sq mile chunk of land in the Los Angeles basin and compared it to Chicago, Los Angeles would come out slightly denser in population. You can rationalize it by pointing to household sizes, but the average household in L.A. is only .42 higher than Chicago, so that doesn't really fly.

Last edited by RaymondChandlerLives; 03-18-2013 at 10:54 PM..
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:51 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,690 posts, read 89,187,251 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hipcat View Post
Its the battle of the dense core versus sprawled density. So which city feels more urban?
City: Chicago.

Metro: both seem to feel mostly suburban in form but LA's urbanized area is a lot denser and there's less buildable open space. The outskirts of what "officially" counts as the Chicago metropolitan area still has a lot of cornfields.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:29 PM
 
Location: Hollywood, CA
1,576 posts, read 2,536,238 times
Reputation: 1119
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondChandlerLives View Post
No, the Westside and SFV have moderate densities, and can get up there in certain neighborhoods (Panorama City, Palms, etc). Besides, the entire county is 42% multi-unit housing, and virtually every new project is either ab apartment complex, or a mixed-use project:

Beverly Hills: https://maps.google.com/maps?oe=&q=4...ed=0CDMQ8gEwAA

https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q...ed=0CDAQ8gEwAA

This has all been discussed before--if you took a continuous, 225 sq mile chunk of land in the Los Angeles basin and compared it to Chicago, Los Angeles would come out slightly denser in population. You can rationalize it by pointing to household sizes, but the average household in L.A. is only .42 higher than Chicago, so that doesn't really fly.
I'm talking specifically of the city limits. Which is the San Fernando Valley, South L.A, Central L.A, and the Westside. Not the LA basin, nor LA county. Anything that is not the 469 sq miles of LA city limits is not part of the debate. If we are specifically comparing the cores of both cities. There's no doubt Chicago looks denser, and has a denser infrastructure than the core of LA. Just compare my Maywood example with Wrigleyville. Its clear what a neighborhood with a density of 23,000 people per square mile looks like in LA.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:45 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
9,832 posts, read 7,675,073 times
Reputation: 6288
If the discussion is only city limits, why do you keep bringing up Maywood as an L.A. neighborhood?

I agree that Chicago is built more densely in its core (less parking lots, slightly narrower streets, killer downtown, etc), but the city overall is way more than just The Loop and Near Northside and it isn't that far ahead as you're making it out to be. Not enough to offset Los Angeles being 60% denser in its urban footprint IMO.

Last edited by RaymondChandlerLives; 03-18-2013 at 11:54 PM..
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