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August 22, 2014

L.A. Scores Densest City Title

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L.A. Scores Densest City Title

Experts at the recent Impact on Density Symposium ranked Los Angeles as the nation’s most dense city. Defined as people per square mile, L.A. topped New York City and Chicago with 7,000 residents per square mile. By comparison, New York has 5,319 people per square mile.

Symposium attendees concurred that L.A.'s density is increasing and the city needs to alter building codes to accommodate increased population growth.  Architect Wade Killefer has proposed doubling floor-to-area ratios, currently at 6 to 1. He points to multiple high-rises having been built on the main Wilshire thoroughfare in the past five to 10 years because there is no height requirement and notes, "Since developers respond to market and financing factors and construction costs for high-rise buildings, cost 25 percent to 35 percent more than mid-rise structures, smaller buildings are currently in vogue."

Architect Bill Roschen, a former president of the Los Angeles Planning Commission, adds that public transportation also plays an important role in accommodating increased density. To this end, he encourages linkages between developments and train stations so that more people can live closer to where they work. The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority recently hosted a conference to encourage funding and support a 24-mile light rail extension that would link Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, and Claremont.

Source: "L.A. Claims 'Most Dense' Title," GlobeSt.com (11/26/13)

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