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The Economist: Vernon Doing Just Fine As An Industrial City

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Every day, 45,000 people commute to work in Vernon, that five-square mile patch of industrial land near downtown Los Angeles, but only 90 residents live full-time in the city, paying as little as $147 a month in rent. The Economist 's general profile of Vernon indicates the city doesn't seem to be showing many signs of change (we'll point out that there are some changes: places like architect Marmol Radziner's prefab factory have moved in next door to the slaughterhouses). And why should Vernon change, argues the magazine. "Many cities used to have places like Vernon. Think of Manchester's warehouses or Manhattan's meat-packing district, now converted into clubs and trendy lofts. This is a shame. Smelly, noisy businesses sustain a wider range of jobs than the cafés and cultural centres that most cities try so hard to lure. And all the businesses that exist in Vernon have to exist somewhere." [The Economist]