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USC Geography Student Finds LA Has a Very Long Urban Center

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Los Angeles does, in fact, have an urban center, it's just really, really long, according to research by USC Geographic Information Science and Technology grad Samuel Krueger. For his (award-winning) thesis, "Delimiting the Postmodern Urban Center: An Analysis of Urban Amenity Clusters in Los Angeles," he showed that LA does have "a strong core center runs from Santa Monica to downtown Los Angeles. The path, which he dubbed The Wilshire/Santa Monica Corridor, is named for the two main arteries along which the city's center is concentrated," according to USC News. (Krueger says "I get tired of people saying that LA is not a real city, so I wanted to show that it has a center just like any other city.")

Krueger wanted to locate a specifically cultural center, so he mapped five amenities ("entertainment, full-service restaurants, hotels and motels, trendy hangouts, and high culture") and created centrality scores "to quantify the density of amenities in clusters."

According to the thesis abstract, the resulting corridor is "comparable in function to New York's Manhattan or to Chicago's Loop" and is "composed of Santa Monica, Westwood, Beverly Hills, Fairfax, Hollywood, Koreatown, and Downtown Los Angeles." Krueger stayed local post-school (of course!) and now works for the LADWP.
· The heart of the civic matter [USC News]