I had heard of “dense sprawl” and “density without walkability” in the past, but before spending a week in Jerusalem last month, I had never really lived through these problems.
My parents (who I was staying with) rented a unit in a high-rise condo complex called Holyland Tower. Although Holyland Tower was the tallest building in the area, there were numerous mid-rise buildings, and lots of two-and three-story apartment and condo buildings. While walking through the idea, I saw nothing resembling a single-family home. In sum, this area was a pretty dense neighborhood in a pretty dense city (Jerusalem’s overall density is roughly comparable to that of the city of San Francisco).
A few days ago, I was in a Chicago neighborhood called Lincoln Square, on Lincoln Avenue just south of Lawrence Avenue. Lincoln Avenue looks like many posh urban neighborhoods- narrow, walkable streets inhabited by gelato-eating, prosperous-looking people. Even on a weeknight, the shops and streets of Lincoln Square betrayed no evidence of a recession.*