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Old 02-23-2015, 03:46 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
9,832 posts, read 7,696,330 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
People like to beat up in LA for sprawl; it's actually high density. People like to beat up on LA for too much roadway; it actually is fairly low on lane miles per capita. Like Chicago, it's enormous in extent of urban area, but for some reason Chicago doesn't get called sprawly so often.

New York is an outlier, as the graphs above show.
It is. It has arguably the most dense 200 sq miles of any industrialized city on Earth AND it is the most sprawling of the world's megacites. Yes, it's even bigger than Tokyo:

Urban Areas (demographia)
New York - 4495 sq miles - 20.6 million - 4,500 ppsm
Tokyo - 3300 sq miles - 37.8 million - 11500 ppsm
Los Angeles - 2432 sq miles - 15.06 million - 6,000 ppsm
Chicago - 2647 sq miles - 9.16 million - 3,400 ppsm

The NYC urban area is damn near twice the size of LA and Chicagoland, with 6 million fewer residents, is larger too. How are they less sprawling? They're not, plain and simple. They avoid the sprawl tag because they're defined by their highly regarded CBDs and densely populated neighborhoods; Los Angeles is not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
But then if sprawl is different from density, what exactly is sprawl? It may mean different things to different people, if it means anything at all.
Sprawl should be defined by the total size of the urbanized footprint. That removes just about all the subjectivity commonly associated with the term. Pedestrian friendliness, street widths, income level of transit riders, 15 Guatemalans in a house, etc. feel like arguments for a different topic.

Last edited by RaymondChandlerLives; 02-23-2015 at 04:51 AM..
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Old 02-23-2015, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,140,805 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
Yeah, well, it's hard to say how much of LA's higher density is due to crowding. Many census tracts in LA have little in the way of parks, industry, or anything other than residential.

Although the built density is often higher than it looks from the street. You have buildings with rear extension, or back yard cottages, or bungalow courts, or 2-3 storey apartment buildings that stretch all the way to the back of what are rather deep lots. Plus usually there's no space lost to back alleys and city blocks are relatively large, so there's not that much space dedicated to ROWs despite the ROWs being pretty wide.
The thing is, most people agree that Los Angeles is actually denser and more populous than the official numbers suggest, because of its massive numbers of illegal immigrants and large homeless population that are not counted by US Census takers. In fact, city and state officials put LA's population over 4 million. As far as the bolded, I do agree that LA has little in the way of set-aside parkland in the flat, developed areas. However, I don't think LA has that many purely-residential census tracts, especially compared to other cities - maybe some areas in the Valley in which the arterial roadways are inexplicably all residential with the occasional corner strip mall. In fact, I think LA may have more areas in which industrial is adjacent to residential (it's kind of popular dig on LA - how polluted and industrial it is). Even in the well-regarded and medium density downtown Pasadena, we have a power plant in the same tract as million dollar homes.

Los Angeles looks a bit less dense due to the architectural style, often what appears to be a SFH or a set of 4 rowhomes is in fact a very-deep apartment building with 20-30 units. Either way, the density is there to support a high concentration of amenities on the commercial boulevards and avenues which are typically spaced about a half mile apart. This makes it fairly easy to reach a great deal of

Like many other LA posters on this thread have mentioned, the vast majority of my day-to-day activities are reached by walking. I can commiserate with tourists who have a hard time getting around the city without a car, it can be very time-consuming to travel from point of interests on Metro Rail and buses. I think this clouds outsider's views about the city, and they do not realize that for residents of much of the main "urban" areas of Los Angeles (Westside/Beach Cities, Eastern SFV/Burbank/Glendale, Central LA/Wilshire/Hollywood, NELA/Pasadena), we are not sentenced to a life of auto-dependence.

Lastly, I don't know if LA is the "least sprawling" big city (I think for now the Bay Area has that title), but it certainly is nowhere near the list of "most sprawling" cities.
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
Yeah, well, it's hard to say how much of LA's higher density is due to crowding. Many census tracts in LA have little in the way of parks, industry, or anything other than residential.
I don't think it's hard to say that LA is higher density, at least in part, because of crowding. It seems pretty clear.

The densest areas of LA are essentially all lower income, and those areas have higher-than-average household sizes.

In fact LA, as a whole, has higher-than-average household sizes. The Asian and Latino residents are culturally disposed to intergenerational living, even in "rich" areas like Irvine (mostly Asian), where every home comes with an "in law suite" to appeal to the local homebuyer demographic.

Put bluntly, Mexican and Chinese and Filipino households tend to be intergenerational, and that's at least half of LA right there.
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:07 PM
 
9,701 posts, read 7,280,976 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondChandlerLives View Post
How are they less sprawling? They're not, plain and simple. They avoid the sprawl tag because they're defined by their highly regarded CBDs and densely populated neighborhoods; Los Angeles is not.
No, that has nothing to do with it. NYC is much less sprawling than LA because the people in NYC live in less sprawling neighborhoods. You aren't weighting the density, so it's essentially useless. A square mile in Manhattan is weighted the same as a square mile in the Poconos. What's the point? You're weighting 500 people the same as 100,000 people.

The vast majority of the NYC area population lives in a small minority of the NYC area geography. But, because the East is habitable essentially anywhere, and because the West isn't, the NYC area encompasses a huge, largely empty geography, and LA doesn't. You can't just build in the desert in CA like you can in the forest outside NYC. It's actually impossible; you can't get utilities there.
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Old 02-23-2015, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,140,805 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOLA101 View Post
No, that has nothing to do with it. NYC is much less sprawling than LA because the people in NYC live in less sprawling neighborhoods. You aren't weighting the density, so it's essentially useless. A square mile in Manhattan is weighted the same as a square mile in the Poconos. What's the point? You're weighting 500 people the same as 100,000 people.

The vast majority of the NYC area population lives in a small minority of the NYC area geography.
But, because the East is habitable essentially anywhere, and because the West isn't, the NYC area encompasses a huge, largely empty geography, and LA doesn't. You can't just build in the desert in CA like you can in the forest outside NYC. It's actually impossible; you can't get utilities there.
And a smaller (but still very substantial in total numbers) population lives in a vast area (so vast in fact, it makes the NYC urban area nearly twice as large as LA's), which to me, sounds a lot like sprawl.

It doesn't matter why they didn't develop the desert - all that matters is that it is empty and therefore not a part of the LA urban area.
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Old 02-23-2015, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
9,832 posts, read 7,696,330 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOLA101 View Post
No, that has nothing to do with it. NYC is much less sprawling than LA because the people in NYC live in less sprawling neighborhoods. You aren't weighting the density, so it's essentially useless. A square mile in Manhattan is weighted the same as a square mile in the Poconos. What's the point? You're weighting 500 people the same as 100,000 people.

The vast majority of the NYC area population lives in a small minority of the NYC area geography. But, because the East is habitable essentially anywhere, and because the West isn't, the NYC area encompasses a huge, largely empty geography, and LA doesn't. You can't just build in the desert in CA like you can in the forest outside NYC. It's actually impossible; you can't get utilities there.
The majority of Tri-state area residents live outside the city--over 12 million people in a staggering 4100 sq miles of land. We're going to pretend this doesn't exist because of a weighted statistic? Because of your excuses? Don't think so.

Quote:
In fact LA, as a whole, has higher-than-average household sizes.*
Household Size
New York City 2.64
Chicago 2.58
Los Angeles 2.83

Truly a staggering difference.
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Old 02-23-2015, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,769,822 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondChandlerLives View Post
It is. It has arguably the most dense 200 sq miles of any industrialized city on Earth AND it is the most sprawling of the world's megacites. Yes, it's even bigger than Tokyo:

Urban Areas (demographia)
New York - 4495 sq miles - 20.6 million - 4,500 ppsm
Tokyo - 3300 sq miles - 37.8 million - 11500 ppsm
Los Angeles - 2432 sq miles - 15.06 million - 6,000 ppsm
Chicago - 2647 sq miles - 9.16 million - 3,400 ppsm

The NYC urban area is damn near twice the size of LA and Chicagoland, with 6 million fewer residents, is larger too. How are they less sprawling? They're not, plain and simple. They avoid the sprawl tag because they're defined by their highly regarded CBDs and densely populated neighborhoods; Los Angeles is not.

Sprawl should be defined by the total size of the urbanized footprint. That removes just about all the subjectivity commonly associated with the term. Pedestrian friendliness, street widths, income level of transit riders, 15 Guatemalans in a house, etc. feel like arguments for a different topic.
If you consider Seoul industrialized (I would), it's denser than NYC.

Tokyo's 200 central square miles are probably denser too. The special wards of Tokyo:

8,804,303 people
238.11 square miles
36,976 ppsm

For the densest 200 sq mi, it would probably get to around 39,000 ppsm.

New York would probably be around 36k ppsm if you exclude the less dense outer community boards (Queens 7, 11, 13, 14, Bronx 10 and Staten Island).
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Old 02-23-2015, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,769,822 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondChandlerLives View Post
The majority of Tri-state area residents live outside the city--over 12 million people in a staggering 4100 sq miles of land. We're going to pretend this doesn't exist because of a weighted statistic? Because of your excuses? Don't think so.



Household Size
New York City 2.64
Chicago 2.58
Los Angeles 2.83

Truly a staggering difference.
I think NYC has a weighted density of about 60-70k ppsm, and its suburbs are around 10k ppsm, with a bit more people living in the suburbs than the city, for a weighted density a little over 30k ppsm for the metro area. LA+Orange county has a weighted density of around 12k ppsm, and I'm guessing maybe around 15-20k ppsm for the Long Beach-Santa Monica-Burbank-Pasadena-El Monte-Norwalk area at the core of LA county.
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Old 02-24-2015, 12:25 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
9,832 posts, read 7,696,330 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
If you consider Seoul industrialized (I would), it's denser than NYC.

Tokyo's 200 central square miles are probably denser too. The special wards of Tokyo:

8,804,303 people
238.11 square miles
36,976 ppsm

For the densest 200 sq mi, it would probably get to around 39,000 ppsm.

New York would probably be around 36k ppsm if you exclude the less dense outer community boards (Queens 7, 11, 13, 14, Bronx 10 and Staten Island).
Yeah, Tokyo ands Seoul are denser. NYC's up there though. Do you know how Osaka and Paris stack up? They probably round out the top 5, as Barcelona and Madrid are too small.

Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
I think NYC has a weighted density of about 60-70k ppsm, and its suburbs are around 10k ppsm, with a bit more people living in the suburbs than the city, for a weighted density a little over 30k ppsm for the metro area. LA+Orange county has a weighted density of around 12k ppsm, and I'm guessing maybe around 15-20k ppsm for the Long Beach-Santa Monica-Burbank-Pasadena-El Monte-Norwalk area at the core of LA county.
10k density seems high for NYC's suburbs. I saw a graph (IIRC from Nei) that showed Nassau County, which has areas that are pretty dense by suburban New York's standards, had a lower weighted density than Orange County. Hudson County is far and away the densest area out of the Manhattan/Brooklyn/Queens/Bronx, but it only makes up 5-6% of that 12 million figure.
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Old 02-24-2015, 12:38 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
9,832 posts, read 7,696,330 times
Reputation: 6288
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOLA101 View Post
I don't think it's hard to say that LA is higher density, at least in part, because of crowding. It seems pretty clear.

The densest areas of LA are essentially all lower income, and those areas have higher-than-average household sizes.

In fact LA, as a whole, has higher-than-average household sizes. The Asian and Latino residents are culturally disposed to intergenerational living, even in "rich" areas like Irvine (mostly Asian), where every home comes with an "in law suite" to appeal to the local homebuyer demographic.

Put bluntly, Mexican and Chinese and Filipino households tend to be intergenerational, and that's at least half of LA right there.
It has been proven that LA's housing density is easily on par with Philly's, so why don't you save the excuses already?

LA's densest areas (Westlake, Koreatown) are likely heavily undercounted, so it all events out.
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