Although the thought of walking the streets of Downtown Los Angeles may seem foreign to most Angelenos, the expanding metro rail is making it easier for residents to get around the city. In the past ten years Downtown Los Angeles has seen substantial changes to its urban fabric leading to increased pedestrian activity and surprising economic investment.
Recent proposals for the historic downtown district include over a dozen mixed-use towers ranging from twenty to seventy-five stories. The hope is that these new high-rise projects will increase density, promote walkability and introduce a mixture of commercial and residential activity into the once depleted downtown. The thirteen downtown projects account for over half of the twenty-seven new high-rise buildings being proposed throughout the city. Downtown Los Angeles is leading the way in the recent boom of economic activity due, in large part, to the presence of the five converging metro lines that service the area. (more…)
The Petite Ceinture in Paris, via MessyNessyChic
The Petite Ceinture or Little Belt railway is a 17-mile long abandoned rail line circling within Paris. Built between 1852 and 1869, the railway served as a fortification around the city and a connection point between all of Paris’ major train stations. As the city limits expanded and the current metro system became the prominent means of transportation, the Petite Ceinture became obsolete. Passenger service along the railway was discontinued in 1934, when the final station closed.
Just beneath the surface of Paris lies an extensive network of tunnels and caves that compose the 2,400 kilometers of Paris’ sewer system. The underground tunnels, which include the famous catacombs, are so complex and well-connected that they mimic the city streets above ground and are identified by the same street signs and addresses. The Sewer Museum or Musée des Egouts offers visitors the opportunity to explore this subterranean system and discover the intricate inner workings of the city (and has a far shorter line than the Catacomb Museum).
Vista Hermosa Park is an unexpected nature preserve that reveals the vast potential for nature within Los Angeles’ urban sprawl. The park offers visitors a remarkable panorama of the city skyline framed by a lush natural environment. This large natural space in the heart of the urban landscape feels secluded, even though it is near two major freeways and just north of downtown L.A.