I love a Parisian stroll as much as the next guy does, but I have friends in the planning community who make me look like Robert Moses. They ride fixies. They build parklets. They live in lofts. They go on urban hikes. Some don't own carsï¿½in Los Angeles. And I have never heard one of them say, "man, I really wish L.A. was more like Bangladesh."
It doesn't matter which superlative you pick: 25 Los Angeleses. 100 San Joses. 2,000 Poways. Nearly three Californias. That's how many people will be added to the United States population by the year 2050. They are not all going to live in Los Angeles, San Jose, or Poway, but a great many of them are going to live in California, thus pushing the state's population to about 60 million, according to the state Department of Finance.
Joel Kotkin is, of course, the Los Angeles pundit who loves to be hated by planners. Last week in the Los Angeles TimesSunday opinion section. Kotkin flung around a lot of very selective facts and kinda-truths in order to make the argument that Los Angeles is rushing thoughtlessly and without public debate into "Manhattanization". This article is the latest piece of evidence suggesting that Kotkin's arguments are getting old and tired.