A Tale of Two Cities: Is L.A. Glorified Sprawl or a Great American City? A Tale of Two Cities: Is L.A. Glorified Sprawl or a Great American City?
Cities

A Tale of Two Cities: Is L.A. Glorified Sprawl or a Great American City?

by Kyla Fullenwider

October 31, 2010

Cicylists stop for a drink in downtown LA during CicLAvia

But not so, says Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne. Yes, the city is acclimating to the kinds of things (bike lanes, public transit, and farmers markets) that would have seemed foreign to residents just a decade ago. But, he argues, these kinds of changes are not inevitable by any stretch of the imagination, especially given the recent and vocal opposition to the west-side extension proposed by the city's public transit agency Metro. The subway expansion would bring public transit into some of the wealthier parts of the city for the first time and has met fierce opposition from some of the city's most affluent residents. Hawthorne notes, "The subway continues to operate as a symbol of anxiety-producing change."

That Los Angeles challenges our notions of what a city is or should be is not lost on anyone who lives here (or visits). What do you think? Is L.A. on the verge of becoming one of the world's great cities, a sprawling mess, or both?

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A Tale of Two Cities: Is L.A. Glorified Sprawl or a Great American City?