‘Densification’ Sounds More Appealing in an English Accent

CNN’s Richard Quest (Quest Means Busines) has new a series on problematic urban centers around the world. Guess which troubled berg made the list? Los Angeles stars in this recent installment with the veddy British Quest reciting L.A.’s standard list of shortcomings: dozens of cities in search of a center; unwalkable, unsustainable. It’s all true, of course, and architect Michael Maltzan and ULI Los Angeles’ Katherine Perez give good advice. The most palatable, most opportune solution is urban infill: Increasing density by building in already built-up areas. But why can’t Quest find where infill has already blossomed? Dozens of urban centers from Santa Ana to Santa Monica have vibrant mini-cities, where – even in our current recessionary disaster – economies have managed to survive if not thrive . And they’re much more livable than Quest’s L.A. clichés suggest.

–Jack Skelley

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