Urban Fold

A Fight Over the Future of "America's 'Most Livable' Community"

LA's trendy Silver Lake neighborhood "is going through a full-blown, divisive identity crisis." Amid trendy boutiques and million dollar homes are bastions of poverty and crime. Activists are divided on how to define, let alone address, its problems.
Eric Norris / flickr

What's been called the "Best Hipster Neighborhood" in the United States and one of the country's top 10 "Best Big-City Neighborhoods" is actually two very different neighborhoods, divided by Sunset Boulevard. North of the boulevard are the high-priced homes and open spaces the area is known for, but south of the street, one finds "high unemployment, troubling poverty, an education deficit and serious health and quality-of-life problems." Together they form an area with one of Los Angeles's lowest life expectancy rates; and activists divided by age and outlook are struggling to define a vision for its future. 

"Behind the scenes of this urban paradise, an old-guard, liberal establishment that's been comfortable letting L.A.'s political power structure run things from downtown — such as applying new density development in once-sleepy areas — now consistently bangs heads with younger, Occupy L.A.–aligned artists, college graduates and laid-back misfits out to disrupt the old arrangement," explains Patrick Range McDonald.

"The older, more affluent baby boomers seem fixated on micro-issues such as relieving Silver Lake's parking crunch, which sparks the ire of younger folks, who tend to think of the bigger picture: They want to build a more sustainable, environmentally friendly community."

Full Story: Silver Lake Millennials War With Boomers in America's "Most Livable" Community

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