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  #41  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 1:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom In Chicago View Post
Chicago's core is still growing. . . up until the mid-1980s everything around the Loop was heavy industry. . . that transformation from industrial to residential/office/hotel high rises continues to this day. . .

. . .
That’s great, but not relevant to the premise of the thread or the point I was trying to make. Not matter how much Chicago’s core continues to grow doesn’t change the fact that, land area-wise, DTLA is substantially larger than the Loop, West Loop, and Near North Side combined.
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  #42  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 3:15 AM
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Depends how you define DTLA. The clearly-downtown areas are much smaller than the Chicago equivalent. Any set of parallel standards would have its area be much smaller.
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  #43  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 2:38 PM
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Downtown LA is a region of LA that is made up of many many smaller neighborhoods and districts. Similar to when people in LA say the Westside or Harbor communities, Northeast LA. Eastside. DTLA is not what other cities probably call it which is the central area around a city hall plus the CBD.

DTLA is currently the areas mostly in the non-residential areas. Pretty much all the commercial, industrial, warehouse, cultural, sporting areas. Not all but most of these ares are considered Downtown LA area. Downtown LA is like saying Lower Manhattan or Midtown Manhattan. Actually Downtown might actually grow to include the industrial areas east of the LA River but not beyond the freeway. Who knows how much it will grow.
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  #44  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 2:46 PM
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Downtown LA as a proxy for the regional core, is quite small, certainly much smaller than Downtown Chicago. It's actually amazingly small considering the size and importance of greater LA..

Obviously that doesn't mean that a large geography can't be labeled as "downtown LA", but it's delineating something much broader than than regional core.
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  #45  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 2:47 PM
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the extremely nebulous concept of "downtown" is mostly worthless as a comparison tool because no two cities define "downtown" the same way. in fact, many cities (chicago included) don't even bother to ever formally define "downtown".

chicago does have what the city calls "the central area", defined as the lake over to ashland, and north ave. down to cermak. it's 11 sq. miles, but it includes a lot of areas that most urbanists would not include in a traditional interpretation of "downtown".

when someone says "downtown X has more Y than downtown Z", it's often a meaningless statement because apples are rarely ever compared with other apples in such instances.
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Last edited by Steely Dan; Sep 24, 2019 at 4:38 PM.
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  #46  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 2:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Quixote View Post
That’s great, but not relevant to the premise of the thread or the point I was trying to make. Not matter how much Chicago’s core continues to grow doesn’t change the fact that, land area-wise, DTLA is substantially larger than the Loop, West Loop, and Near North Side combined.
I have lived in L.A, and now live in Chicago, believe me there is no comparison between DTLA and downtown Chicago in any metric. Not only is the urban core, with the exception of N.Y , outpacing all other U.S cities in growth, but the adjacent areas like the West Loop, Fulton Market, Near North are densifying like crazy. And this does not even include on the horizon mega-projects like The 78, Lincoln Yards, Michael Reese and others which will further densify the core. So maybe the topic should be growing density in U.S outside of Chicago and N.Y.
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  #47  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 4:23 PM
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Chicago's central/ loop area is freaking massive. I walked from Desplaines St to Wabash and then from Wabash to Millennium Park and then on to area around JHC. That was 3 miles and only a small dent in the total area.
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  #48  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 4:45 PM
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Originally Posted by skysoar View Post
I have lived in L.A, and now live in Chicago, believe me there is no comparison between DTLA and downtown Chicago in any metric. Not only is the urban core, with the exception of N.Y , outpacing all other U.S cities in growth, but the adjacent areas like the West Loop, Fulton Market, Near North are densifying like crazy. And this does not even include on the horizon mega-projects like The 78, Lincoln Yards, Michael Reese and others which will further densify the core. So maybe the topic should be growing density in U.S outside of Chicago and N.Y.
Yea, I lived in both. I don't see LA ever catching up to Chicago in respect to downtown/skyline .
That said, I do expect LA to surpass every other city's (not including NYC) downtown, barring some natural disaster.

And after returning to LA after visiting Chicago last month, LA feels bigger as a whole. The metro areas are different scopes.
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  #49  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 5:39 PM
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Yea, I lived in both. I don't see LA ever catching up to Chicago in respect to downtown/skyline .
That said, I do expect LA to surpass every other city's (not including NYC) downtown, barring some natural disaster.

And after returning to LA after visiting Chicago last month, LA feels bigger as a whole. The metro areas are different scopes.
Right. . . LA functions so much more at a regional decentralized level, where Chicago is extremely centrally focused. . . different animals, but I agree that LA certainly feels bigger, because it is in fact. . . bigger. . .

. . .
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  #50  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 5:49 PM
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Yes, but some people on this forum don't think so. For some reason...

Almost every Chicagoan in real life I know makes the same observation. But this forum lol..
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  #51  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 6:24 PM
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If you're just looking at core to core, Chicago feels like a much bigger and important city than LA. But if you look at the metro level, or even just driving from one end of the city to the other, it's pretty clear that LA is substantially larger. LA just doesn't end, and nearly every parcel in the entire basin and surrounding valleys is built out. DTLA still feels woefully undersized and definitely a TON rougher around the edges than our peer cities' downtowns, though it has gotten a lot better and continues to improve. There are some big projects underway right now, but DTLA still has a ways to go before it can really be mentioned in the same breath as center city Chicago or even SF. It will be interesting to see if the 3 new subway stops from the regional connector project will spur new growth. They don't seem to be located in places that will have much impact, but we'll see. While I appreciate the grit and vintage vibe the Historic Core has today, I'd absolutely love to see the area clean and economically vibrant, and the theaters restored to their original uses on Broadway.
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  #52  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 6:44 PM
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Downtown LA might always feel undersized relative to the area, unforunately. Even if it becomes larger than these other downtowns, it still won't match the 18-20 million people living here. I've accepted that lol. However, it's possible the Wilshire-Hollywood-Beverly Hills-Westwood-Santa Monica corridor will come close.

That doesn't mean downtown can't improve greatly and expand the skyline in all four directions. It's already one of the more interesting/vibrant downtowns in the country and just getting started.
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  #53  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 7:03 PM
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When you're in NY or Chicago, you really feel like you're in the 'city' compared to LA which is so decentralized and feels much more like a region. The LA area seems so massive that you get the impression that it's bigger than Chicago or even New York.
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  #54  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 7:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom In Chicago View Post
Right. . . LA functions so much more at a regional decentralized level, where Chicago is extremely centrally focused. . . different animals, but I agree that LA certainly feels bigger, because it is in fact. . . bigger. . .

. . .
yep. LA and chicago are kinda at opposite ends of the mono-centrism/poly-centrism spectrum.

overall, LA feels bigger because it is, and because it has so many more nodes of activity.

chicago threw all of its cultural eggs in one basket, whereas LA threw theirs all over the place.


i blame the el and metra. the (downtown) beast must be fed, and feed it the trains do. this is how you end up with hyper-centralization; everything goes to one, and only one, place:


source: https://parking.com/chicago/chicago-cta-monthly-parking


source: https://chicagotransitguide.com/maps/metra-map/
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  #55  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 7:11 PM
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L.A. (metro) has never felt bigger than New York, to me, but I do think it feels bigger than Chicago. And Chicago feels bigger than just about everywhere else. All three feel proportional to their ranking.

Driving from Chicago, it's a pretty quick drive to the hinterlands of Indiana, especially when there is no traffic. It takes a couple of hours to feel like you've hit the hinterlands when driving from downtown L.A. or Manhattan under even light traffic. A normal traffic jam in either city will easily make a trip to the countryside a 4- or 5-hour drive.
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  #56  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 7:16 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
yep. LA and chicago are kinda at opposite ends of the mono-centrism/poly-centrism spectrum.

overall, LA feels bigger because it is, and because it has so many more nodes of activity.

chicago threw all of its cultural eggs in one basket, whereas LA threw theirs all over the place.


i blame the el and metra. the (downtown) beast must be fed, and feed it the trains do. this is how you end up with hyper-centralization; everything goes to one, and only one, place:


source: https://parking.com/chicago/chicago-cta-monthly-parking


source: https://chicagotransitguide.com/maps/metra-map/
This post ain't complete without adding in the South Shore Line:


https://www.mysouthshoreline.com/tickets/maps-stations
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  #57  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 7:20 PM
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Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
L.A. (metro) has never felt bigger than New York, to me, but I do think it feels bigger than Chicago. And Chicago feels bigger than just about everywhere else. All three feel proportional to their ranking.

Driving from Chicago, it's a pretty quick drive to the hinterlands of Indiana, especially when there is no traffic. It takes a couple of hours to feel like you've hit the hinterlands when driving from downtown L.A. or Manhattan under even light traffic. A normal traffic jam in either city will easily make a trip to the countryside a 4- or 5-hour drive.
Yes, it's always felt weird to me how coming from or enter Indiana how fast you feel you've left a major metro area of 10 million.

Leaving on interterstate 88 is a different story.
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  #58  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 7:20 PM
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Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
Driving from Chicago, it's a pretty quick drive to the hinterlands of Indiana, especially when there is no traffic. It takes a couple of hours to feel like you've hit the hinterlands when driving from downtown L.A. or Manhattan under even light traffic. A normal traffic jam in either city will easily make a trip to the countryside a 4- or 5-hour drive.
^ You obviously have limited experience with this.

I've spent years driving around Chicagoland, and I can tell you that it can often be maddening. Sure there are lucky days/times, but for the most part it can take quite a while to traverse the region via the Illinois tollway and get to the other side.

Now I'm not interested in some silly pissing match about which region takes longer to drive through--so I'll concede that NY and LA are definitely worse. But the notion that you can get from Chicago to its outskirts "in a heartbeat" is just ludicrous.
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  #59  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 7:21 PM
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Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
L.A. (metro) has never felt bigger than New York, to me, but I do think it feels bigger than Chicago. And Chicago feels bigger than just about everywhere else. All three feel proportional to their ranking.

Driving from Chicago, it's a pretty quick drive to the hinterlands of Indiana, especially when there is no traffic. It takes a couple of hours to feel like you've hit the hinterlands when driving from downtown L.A. or Manhattan under even light traffic. A normal traffic jam in either city will easily make a trip to the countryside a 4- or 5-hour drive.
Yes I noticed this the first time I visited LA and drove to Palm Springs. While Chicago feels "city" longer than it did during my drive from LA to the desert, the suburbs of LA lasted for hours.

Chicago is city-suburb-country in no more than 2 hours during traffic.

LA was city-suburb for like 3 hours before it started to feel like countryside, and traffic was relatively light at the time. Even NYC seems like you hit the hinterlands sooner than LA.
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  #60  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 7:22 PM
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Originally Posted by LA21st View Post
Yes, it's always felt weird to me how coming from or enter Indiana how fast you feel you've left a major metro area of 10 million.
For sure--once you leave metro Chicago the density quickly turns positively hicktown rural. That's even worse in Indiana because when you head to Wisconsin you still have Racine, Kenosha, and Milwaukee.

But NW Indiana is positively rural, and quite depressing outside of the Indiana Dunes and some of the cool steel mills.

LA is nothing at all like that. It never gets rural until you get REALLY REALLY the hell far away
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