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Developments in a changing city

August 17, 2007

Re "L.A. to N.Y., nonstop," Opinion, Aug. 12

Angelenos have suffered long enough with a decrepit downtown and endless stretches of ugly stucco boxes. Let downtown L.A. bloom and grow so that we can be a world-class city. The subway expansion and park development will happen soon enough; give it a chance.

Chuck Burdick

West Los Angeles

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As a third-generation Angeleno, my perspective differs greatly from Joel Kotkin's academic analysis. In the 1950s, what would become Kotkin's "multiple urban cores" were in fact small working towns often surrounded by agriculture and industry. The freeway building boom of the 1960s and '70s changed all that. Today people move to bedroom communities far from their work, and services are located "freeway close" but miles away. It is foolish to think we can suburbanize ourselves out of the problems created by suburbanization.

The rush to Manhattanize is actually years behind the need to provide housing and services that would again enable families to move closer to their workplace and access services and entertainment without having to resort to car and freeway.

Chris Plourde

Venice

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I agree with Kotkin that too many members of the L.A. City Council are in bed with financially powerful developers. They, apparently, could care less about the long-term (or maybe even short-term) ramifications. Their goal is to make as much money as possible. The public welfare is irrelevant.

This is also happening, to an unacceptable degree, in West Hollywood, where I have lived for almost three decades and in the last few years have witnessed an explosion of overdevelopment in a city that is a mere 1.9 square miles. Single-family homes are being demolished at an alarming rate to make way for condos.

However, with the current foreclosure problems, which I think are but the tip of the dreaded iceberg, it is my hope that these greedy developers will get burned in a way that they will not forget. Perhaps when that happens, the developers and the City Council members will realize that the welfare of the common people is their first priority.

Dan Morin

West Hollywood

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