I couldn't resist. I knew it was going to be a madhouse in downtown L.A. for Michael Jackson's memorial service, but I had to go see what it was like -- not because I'm a super fan, but purely for the urban novelty of a huge swath of downtown closed off for thousands of fans and mourners.
But what really struck me as I was wandering around amongst the masses was the huge percentage of them that were neither fans nor mourners. Lined along the sidewalks leading to the memorial's venue were dozens of vendors, selling everything you could think of with Michael Jackson's name or face pasted on. From buttons to t-shirts to hand-painted portraits, the informal economy was booming down at MJ Central.
Jul 7, 2009 By
Only 17% of shoppers in downtown San Francisco drove to get there, according to a new survey conducted by The San Francisco County Transportation Authority.
May 27, 2009 Streetsblog SF
MSNBC looks at the demographic and cultural shift away from suburbs and towards downtown.
May 22, 2009 MSNBC
I missed the APA national conference for the first time in 15 years -- but I quickly heard reports that one of the hot topics focused on banning electronic message boards. I dissent.
May 4, 2009 By
Recent research from the Brookings Institution looks at 98 metropolitan areas and finds that fewer people are working close to downtowns, and there are fewer jobs located in those areas.
Apr 8, 2009 The Brookings Institution
Downtowns can be designed to both reduce driving and boost the economy. But they're still going to need parking, according to urban designers George Crandall and Don Arambula.
Feb 13, 2009 Smart City
Amid tough economic times, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman is pushing a broad redevelopment plan in the city's outdated downtown.
Feb 10, 2009 The New York Times
Less than a year ago, downtown Los Angeles was seen as a rising star, on a path towards becoming a vibrant and humming urban core. But the economic dive has stalled many projects, and they could be stalled for quite a while, according to this column.
Jan 30, 2009 Los Angeles Magazine
San Francisco building codes encouraged the creation of privately-owned, publicly-accessible spaces across the downtown. These spaces have gone underused and are little understood. A new report from SPUR attempts to clear the fog.
Jan 24, 2009 Streetsblog
The issues posed by homeless people in downtown Riverside, California, are not out of the ordinary. But they definitely do not help the city's efforts to revitalize downtown.
Dec 3, 2008 California Planning & Development Report