Could Los Angeles grow to become a “real city” like New York or London? Last year, LA gained at least 50,000 people, according to a recent report from the California Department of Finance, pushing the population to more than 4 million people for the first time in the city’s history. — Vice
Part of the appeal of Los Angeles has been its refusal to be like other cities. For years, its objective "center" was a forbidding cluster of office towers with near zero street life, while in outlying, low-density neighborhoods, people partied in back yards that ran up against wildlife preserves...
If Mr. Ratti’s projections are correct, and self-driving cars can radically reduce traffic without cannibalizing existing mass transit—the hypotheticals pile up—it is possible that self-driving cars will make many cities livable in a way they aren’t now. Imagine if every U.S. city had a hybrid public-private mass-transit system on par with those in New York City or Washington, D.C., comprised entirely of self-driving vehicles. — wsj.com
Many buildings in distinctive Manhattan neighborhoods like Chinatown, the Upper East Side and Washington Heights could not be erected now: Properties in those areas tend to cover too much of their lots (Washington Heights), have too much commercial space (Chinatown) or rise too high (the Upper East Side). [...]
“It’s ridiculous that we have these hundred-year-old buildings that everyone loves, and none of them ‘should’ be the way they are.” — nytimes.com
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Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities on the planet. To accommodate a rapidly growing number of inhabitants in a limited area of land, the emphasis is on space efficiency – which often translates into extremes of verticality and compact living.
Alex Nimmo grew up in the English countryside but moved to Hong Kong three years ago. The contrast, as you might imagine, was sharp. — theguardian.com
But all New Yorkers are losing familiar vistas, and some are losing light and air, as supertall buildings sprout like beanstalks in midtown Manhattan. There are a dozen such “supertalls” – buildings of 1,000 feet or higher – in the construction or planning stages. And the buildings are not, as in Dubai or Shanghai’s Pudong district, being constructed where nothing else had stood. They are, instead, crowding into already dense neighbourhoods where light and air are at a premium [...]. — theguardian.com
In 1910, Manhattan reached a peak population of 2.2 million, from which it has never since rebounded, even after modest growth in the past three decades. Angel’s research found that today, Manhattan’s population density is down a surprising 40% from 1910. — urbanomnibus.net
It is a fractal of contemporary Los Angeles architecture, the fragment that both contains and helps explain the whole. [...]
What gives the $165-million project its unusual symbolic power is that it takes the generic stuff of a typical L.A. apartment building — a wood frame slathered in white stucco and lifted above a concrete parking deck — and expands it dramatically to urban scale. [...]
The design takes banality and stretches it like taffy in the direction of monumentality. — latimes.com
Joel Kotkin, a fellow at Chapman University and an untiring defender of the suburbs, begins a recent column in the Washington Post with a valid question: “What is a city for?” He then proceeds to get that question completely wrong. But really, we should be thanking him. In his article, he neatly sums up many of the key myths emerging from the anti-urbanism set, making my job of debunking these myths a lot easier. — thisbigcity.net
City of Darkness Revisited is a photo book and cultural history of Kowloon Walled City, a largely ungoverned, densely populated enclave within Hong Kong.[...]
It was like nothing else in Hong Kong: a mass of interconnected 12- and 14-story buildings forming a single huge structure, its facade glowing from the light of hundreds of apartments and shops. Clearly there was no administrative oversight. It was too dense, too ad-hoc, too unrestrained. All this was clear before even entering the place. — Kickstarter
Tokyo’s extreme housing production and resulting market is a product of Japan’s uniquely liberal zoning rules. Taken along with its dense network of profitable, private railways, Tokyo is the closest thing this planet has to a city that has completely surrendered itself to market forces. And its construction numbers show it. — nextcity.org
The urban planning community is constantly touting the benefits of building dense communities around public transportation. But according to designers Chad Kellogg and Matt Bowles, few solutions have been ambitious enough to do the whole Transit-Oriented Development idea justice. So they came up with their own.
Behold the Urban Alloy Towers, a proposal to take over spaces immediately surrounding transportation infrastructure like elevated train lines and highways. — theatlanticcities.com
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