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Is a Denser Future Best for Los Angeles?

Inspired by the controversial new Community Plan for Hollywood, <em>The New York Times</em> has invited six debaters to its opinion pages to offer their views on whether Los Angeles should "New Yorkify".
April 6, 2012, 10am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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The debaters include authors, educators, bloggers, directors, and Bill Fulton (who has held seemingly every title in the planning profession).

First to Fulton, currently vice-president of Smart Growth America, who claims that the New Yorkification of LA is already happening, and will continue to, in areas well served by transit. And yes, he comforts, New Yorkers will still find plenty to complain about when comparing LA to the Big Apple, despite its increasing urbanization.

Cori Clark Nelson, blogger at Los Angeles I'm Yours, doesn't decry the concept of densification, but asks if there is a demand for it, and calls for improving mass transit as a more pressing priority.

Eric Avila, professor at UCLA, calls for new policies and priorities, to replace the unsustainable patterns of sprawl that gave rise to the city.

Perhaps it's best to leave the last word to Adrian Glick Kudler, senior editor of Curbed LA, who has one of the most reasonable arguments we've read in a while:

"The Hollywood Community Plan is not particularly groundbreaking. It doesn't touch parking requirements, it lowers height limits in a lot of places, and it really just tweaks floor area ratios (which dictate how big buildings can be relative to their lots). What it does is make sure that big buildings rise near transit stations, notes that historic buildings should be properly looked out for, and encourages pedestrian-friendly street improvements and new park development. It treats Hollywood like the urban center it's been for a long, long time, and it tries to make it a nice-looking, working urban center, for all the Angelenos who might want to live in that kind of place."

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Published on Friday, April 6, 2012 in The New York Times
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