New London Architecture

London and Los Angeles: The Centre v The Suburbs

Wednesday 16 November 2022

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What are the drivers that bring us back to the centre and push us out to the suburbs of our global cities? Watch the webinar discussion between London and Los Angeles.

London and Los Angeles could be characterised as ‘polycentric cities’ with many local centres. Have urban migratory patterns changed permanently in favour of the outer suburbs in London and downtown in LA? Or is the mosaic city model, with distinct and competing neighbourhood centres each bound a fifteen-minute lifestyle, a more accurate picture of post covid urbanism?
London and Los Angeles are emerging from Covid all bent out of shape but is it actually a better shape? Migration out of central London is one defining narrative of the epidemic, and migration into Los Angeles dominates the urban conversation. On the other hand, London continues to build as Angelenos complain of being priced out. 
In London, the hollowing out of the city centre is happening to the advantage of more space, gardens and access to the green spaces of middle England. While LA’s many 'cities' from Compton to West Hollywood continue to grow in density, with Angelenos seeking out transport options, cycle lanes and the fifteen-minute neighbourhood. What is driving these different patterns? Is the continued expansion of Los Angeles upwards not outwards a sustainable urban future? And is London really to become a donut city where distinctive boroughs orbit an empty centre?

This event formed part of the NLA City Dialogues programme, which brings together speakers and audiences to foster cross-city dialogue and learning between cities.
In association with KAP Studios.

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