Out of Control Policy Blog

LA: Holy land, and future of the West

D.J. Waldie, wrote the brilliant and moving Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir, which tells us a and lot about how suburbia came about and what it was like.

In a Denver Post column today he looks at the future of growth of cities in the West, and why L.A. looks like the result, no matter which direction you approach it from.

Los Angeles is nearly built out. The last empty bits of the metropolis are already being fitted into a titanic grid of neighborhoods that extends, except for mountains and coastline, 60 miles from south to north and from the Pacific Ocean deep into the desert.

. . .

If other Westerners are as lucky, this kind of suburbia - with its 5,000-square-foot lots and pedestrian-friendly streets - will endure in the West's growing cities, even though, to suburbia's furious critics, my piece of Los Angeles is the epicenter of sprawl.

. . .

Given the overwhelming preference for neighborhoods that look an awful lot like mine, it's easy to predict that other metropolitan areas in the West will also look a lot like Los Angeles.

Adrian Moore is Vice President, Policy


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