Personally, I tend to think of L.A. in a narrow sort of way.  Freeways, smog, mansions in the hills, a vast sprawling carpet of single-family homes whose lights twinkle forever as you fly over them. Oh yes — and total car dependency for everyone.

As Lauren Herstik writes in the New York Times, there are two existing L.A.s (one is mine) and an emerging third one. The third L.A. is not without detractors whose arguements are very familiar to us here in Vancouver. But there are also supporters, as in huge numbers of voters, who have a liking for the third L.A.  And there is lots to recognise in the characteristics of the third L.A.


Writes Herstik:  The effort to slow construction, known as Measure S or the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, was financed mainly by Michael Weinstein, the president of the Hollywood-based AIDS Health Foundation. Mr. Weinstein’s office is on the 21st floor of a Hollywood skyscraper with a view of the hills, next to the future site of two 28-story mixed-use residential towers

Mr. Weinstein said that kind of development was out of character for the neighborhood. . .

. . .  Measure S, which was defeated last month, was the third in a trio of transformative local ballot measures. In November, Angelinos approved a $1.2 billion bond to build affordable housing, along with a half-cent sales tax increase to pay for mass transit.

. . .  Koreatown is well served by mass transit: Three metro stops along Wilshire Boulevard link it to downtown Los Angeles.

“It’s denser and people are choosing to live there because they want to give up some square footage in exchange for more,” Mr. Hawthorne said. That’s more time, access to transit and a pedestrian culture.

. . . “I see a series of many urban centers along the transportation corridors”, said Nelson Rising, chief executive of Rising Realty Partners, which has worked extensively in downtown Los Angeles.

“Anything near a transit stop will become viable and attractive”, Mr. Rising said. He pointed to specific hubs of density along the purple line, which currently links downtown to Koreatown and is set to extend all the way to Santa Monica with the passage of the transit measure. He also pointed to the Expo Line, which runs parallel to Interstate 10 and connected downtown to Santa Monica in May 2016.

The city planning department has laid the groundwork for these changes. Last year it enacted a mobility plan to diversify transportation modes by 2035, and created a new industrial live-work zone in response to demand from commercial and residential sectors for that kind of multiuse development.