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Afternoon Thinkage: What Does LA's Skyline Say About the City?

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Skylines are to cities as clothes are to people--they give clues to the style and mindset of those they belong to, or so says The Atlantic Cities's Thomas Sigler. He's divvied up city vistas into 10 camps, including "Lights Out," which includes low, sprawling skylines like those in Cairo or Mexico City, and "Shock Cities," where cranes and furious development seemingly changed the view overnight--think Dubai, Doha, and Panama City. LA doesn't get a specific mention and it's easy to see why, since it doesn't easily fall into one category and our skyline looks impressive when viewed from the east or west, but scrawny from the north and south (and always, always flat-topped, sigh). We imagine it would fall somewhere in between the New York/Chicago-esque "The Power Broker"-- tall and robust ... featuring a good mix of residential and commercial buildings, and a heterogeneous architectural fabric, indicative of a constantly evolving urban landscape--and "Oligopolis," "marked by the clear dominance of a handful of prominent towers headquartering firms in the region's key industries. A key feature of these cities' downtowns is parking lots ... Examples include Pittsburgh and Houston, where CBDs turn into ghost towns after the districts' workforces have headed back to the 'burbs for the evening." The latter part of that statement may not apply to DTLA anymore, but there is no shortage of parking lots surrounding our tallest towers.
· What Your Skyline Says About Your City [The Atlantic Cities]