what is the LA's European equivalent?

Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 06:32 AM
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I am sorry, fromlatobcn, that your thread has been hijacked. Such things happen on the web.

Now, your question.

First, urban researchers - at least here in Europe - widely agree that there are different types of cities in the world, the "European City" and the "North American City" among them. And that L.A. would be the most extreme example of a North American City.

On the other hand, the "European City" has even won government approval as a type of living that has to be preserved and protected against "Americanization". And many urban researchers in Europe would say that European and North American cities are not really comparable unless a comparison works out the differences.

Second, which cities to match?

From a methodological point of view, you should start by defining criteria for similarities. You (and other posters) have already begun defining some criteria, however not in a systematic way. Here are a few examples for criteria which would make sense:

- size of the city,
- urban structure (e.g. single-centered or polycentric)
- importance on national and international levels (governmental functions),
- economic structure (you mentioned tourism),
- social structure (e.g. immigrants).

If you have a table of criteria, you simply fill in European cities and check where they match L.A.

At a first glance, I would say the best match for L.A. in Europe would be the Ruhr Area in Germany, because

- size is similar (at least same dimension),
- urban structure is similar (polycentric),
- importance is somewhat similar (neither national nor state capitals),
- economic structure is rather different,
- social structure is somewhat similar (here Latino immigrants, there Turkish immigrants).
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 06:39 AM
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I'd say LA and London. Here's why:

Similar size. Both enormous.

Cities of cities. LA is a collection of big and not so big communities, all grouped together in a regional conurbation that extends for miles in all directions. People say "LA" knowing they're talking about more than the City of LA (most wouldn't be able to tell you when they're in LA v. Beverly Hills v. Culver City v. Pasadena.) So too with London, which started as a group of villages and is still VERY much the sum of its districts. One used to refer to "greater London" but now it encompasses basically all of the southeast of England, just as "LA" encompasses most of southern California.

Capitals of the culture. Movies, TV, design, food, music, the arts... LA shares this a little with New York, but IMO LA is increasingly the nexus of 21st century American popular culture - multicultural, avant-garde. Likewise London.

Economic dominance. Economically LA dominates the western half of the US as London does the UK. New York may have Wall Street, but LA's role in the Pacific Rim is rapidly promoting LA into the economic powerhouse of North America, just as the City of London increasingly is wrestling with Germany for the top spot in Europe.

Diversity. Hispanic, North-, South-, and Southeast-Asian, Middle Eastern, African... LA is the new "melting pot" of America. Just like London.

Oh sure, there are big differences. Palm trees v. red buses, Malibu v. Maida Vale, Dodgers v. Spurs. But IMO a lot of similarities, sunshine notwithstanding.

"When a man is tired of (your choice) he is tired of life."
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 07:08 AM
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1959... somebody will come and tell you how rude it is to explain to the student how to do his job
;-)

LOL.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 07:11 AM
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I don't understand why so many people say that Los Angeles does not have a center. It has a quite prominent center full of skyscrapers. But I think that non-Latinos and non-bankers are in denial about its very existence.

As for the debate about which city is more "diverse" (languages, restaurants), I have to smile about that. I encourage people who come to Paris to discover the diverse areas, but most of them just want to go to the whitest, Frenchest part of the city (St. Germain-des-Prés, Ile Saint Louis, Marais...) and fear for their safety if they stray from there. I am in a minority group in my own neighbourhood since I am white and French, but I wonder how many of the diversity braggarts here have chose to be in the minority in their own city.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 07:33 AM
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"fear for their safety if they stray from there."

Off topic, but an interesting insight. We recently thought St Denis was the highlight of a weekend in Paris, and I was surprised to find us the only white people walking from the RER station to the Basilica (i remember no non-whites when last there 25 years ago). And almost the only whites on a very crowded Saturday evening metro back into town.

I felt as safe as if I were in Southall or Harrow (where it's often also rare to find many white visitors). But everyone in London was horrified to hear we'd "braved" the banlieue.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 08:19 AM
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People are weird, aren't they, especially when they are voicing opinions about places they have never been.

I should probably point out (again) that you will absolutely never find Paris or anywhere else in France in the "diversity championships" since ethnic statistics are forbidden by law. We have no information on racial breakdown either, because it has become totally meaningless as the various cultures and races mix more and more. Nobody would ever be called black here just because one of their parents was black (are you listening, Mr. Obama?).

Obviously, there are drawbacks to this since it has not eradicated racism, but at least it means that racists don't have a leg to stand on. But of course, racists don't care about this anyway since when I was growing up in Mississippi, being a n*gger-lover was just as bad as being a n*gger.

The closest we have to ethnic statistics is that during a census, people are asked their nationality and also the nationality of their parents. This gives information about recent arrivals but nothing else.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 08:25 AM
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I also think that NYC is more like London than Paris.
Paris is a very French city - London is more cosmopolitan. The variety of food is also more similar in London and NYC. And the concentration of financial companies, as has been mentioned.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 08:38 AM
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The beaches in LA do have a similar feeling to the beaches at Barceloneta. There are even some bars in Barceloneta, on the beach that have adopted a southern California vibe "Surf House Barcelona" comes to mind. And there are body builders and folks on the beach from many cultures and nationalities.

Both LA and Barcelona have hosted the olympics.

Sometimes, walking on Hollywood Blvd is about as crowded as walking on the Ramblas. And you have to watch your wallet on both.

People wear shorts and flip flops all over town in both places.

Good luck with your paper!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 08:41 AM
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<i>Paris is a very French city - London is more cosmopolitan.</i>

Where have you been in Paris?
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 09:04 AM
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I'm thinking that if we restrict the replies exclusively to people who have lived at least six months in each city mentioned... we will get zero replies.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 09:04 AM
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As far as climate is concerned LA is situated in a dessert.

I'm not aware of any european cities in a similar situation - although the closest might be some of the cities in southern Spain (although except for a language similarity I think the culture is completely different.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 09:07 AM
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Yum! Which dessert? Crème brûlée, banana split or a big mountain of wobbly green jelly?
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 09:22 AM
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The variety of replies shows their arbitrariness. And you will get more until the end of the day in America.

Without proper criteria, you will not get a meaningful solution.

Climate would be the least important criterion for your comparison.



Good luck with your paper!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 09:23 AM
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This declaration might be interesting for you:

http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/...ig_charter.pdf



In this declaration, "European cities" are clearly viewed in contrast to North American cities.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 09:41 AM
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OK, I have only lived in NYC and London, so know those better than Paris. The restaurant scene in NYC is certainly more like London than Paris.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 09:52 AM
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kerouac


There are other ways to ascertain ethnic diversity:

The type and number of restaurants that are not French.
Which translations are sold in bookstores
Unless you have a prohibition, the languages used on the facade of shops
Etnhic food sold in groceries and supermarkets
Who lives in which neighborhood.
What goods are sold in stores.
______________________

but I wonder how many of the diversity braggarts here have chose to be in the minority in their own city.
___________________
If arrogance were a criterion, Paris would have no peer.

Just in my apartment alone, and this from either speaking to people, overhearing conversations, or names

Irish
Germans
Blacks
Puerto Ricans and other Latinos
Italians
Asians-at least Chinese and Koreans
Asian Indians
Filipinos
Israelis
Protestants
Catholics
Hindus
Jews
Sikh-there is only Sikh
Do members of the gay community count?

We did have some French, but they left and did leave a forwarding address

And the most vile minority of all-hipsters

But then again the building is only about 100 units.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 09:54 AM
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Oh my goodness, I omitted Blacks and did not have asterisks to show my racial sophistication.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 10:10 AM
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What Kerouac says is that we have the same diversity in Paris.

With a lot of Muslims, to the point that Foxnews say we have no-go zones rules by ISIS.

So in Paris I see
- Indians
- Pakistanis
- members from Capo Verde
- Roms
- Tunesian
- Maroccans
- Algerians
- Jews
- Blacks
from everywhere (old colonies but not only)
- Syrians now
- Chinese
- Vietnamese
- Koreans
- Europeans from all over Europe
- US (mostly tourists)
- not that many south americans imho

Who did I forget, your list was more impressive IMD !
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 10:35 AM
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That's a very short list, Whathello, but I live only 100m from the <i>France Terre d'Asile</i> refugee office. There is a queue of 500 people every day representing every corner of the world.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2016, 10:57 AM
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Miami and Istanbul? I've never been to Miami but Istanbul is a gateway to another world...
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