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Curbed Cup Final Four: (2) Koreatown vs. (11) Burbank

Which neighborhood should advance? Vote now!

An aerial view of the Wiltern in Koreatown.

The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 neighborhoods vying for the prestigious (fake) trophy. We’ll reveal each of the neighborhoods this week, and polls will be open for 24 hours so you can cast your vote as to which ones should advance. Let the eliminations commence!


If we had one word to sum up Koreatown, it might be “overwhelming.” The busy neighborhood has so much to see and do, it can be hard to decide where to start.

A trip to the spa? A bit of bulgogi? Dumplings? Soondae? Maybe you’d prefer to catch a show at the Wiltern? Or drive golf balls into a big net right off Wilshire Boulevard?

Koreatown packs a lot into a relatively small area, and now developers are trying to pack dozens of new projects into that same space. Among the highlights: a condo and hotel projectnext to the historic Wilshire Galleria, a museum(with housing attached) dedicated to Korean American culture and history, and a massive mixed-use project partly developed by the county.

The walkable neighborhood is already home to three subway stations and iconic Los Angeles landmarks like the Bullocks Wilshire Building, the soaring Wilshire Boulevard Temple, and, of course, Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment building.


If your first instinct is to cast aside Burbank because of its chain stores and sizzling summertime temperatures, it’s time to reconsider. The city has a lot going for it—darling vintage shops in Magnolia Park, a laid back airport, and cute homes.

There are other reasons why the city landed in this year’s Curbed Cup competition. This summer, Curbed’s urbanism editor, Alissa Walker, proclaimed that Burbank was leading the Valley’s urban transformation. She laid out a pretty convincing case.

The city is planning to convert its former Ikea site into a walkable community with 765 housing units, it’s making the Burbank’s Town Center much more walkable, it’s expanding its network of bike lanes, and it’s “pushing to replace its aging airport terminal with an integrated air-rail station filled with cutting-edge sustainability features.”