Tag Archives: urban sprawl

64 Worst: Urban Density vs. Urban Sprawl

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I’ve recently noticed a trend that reminds me of L.A.’s many ironies: people who used to complain about how spread out Los Angeles is are now worried about skyscrapers and further residential development within city limits. Are they expecting the population of L.A. to stop growing?

Urban density seems to be the hot topic lately, as property developers have been able to twist arms in city government to change zoning laws to allow more to be built on existing space with less restrictions. This means taller buildings, and less requirements to ensure adequate parking even though more people will be encouraged to live in the new developments.

Robert Cruickshank at California Progress Report believes Los Angeles and other cities throughout the state, need more urban density:

Whether they know it or not, those who oppose density are helping establish a “homeowner aristocracy” – where the benefits of society go only to those who were lucky enough to buy a house before 2000, or who inherited from someone who did.

Urban sprawl pretty much defines Los Angeles, with its hundreds of suburbs, thousands of minimalls, and millions of miles of congested roads, along with resulting blight, as affordable housing and better living conditions move further from wherever they work in the city core (a loose term in L.A., to be sure).

A city can be victim to both, but is there a solution? Of course, the more appropriate question here is – which is worse?

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