Affordability has never been just about housing costs. Researchers have long known that it’s the interaction between housing and transportation costs that provides a more meaningful measure of affordability. This is especially true now that transportation costs have increased to an average of 19 percent of household income -- up from 3 percent in the 1920s.
Transportation is now the second highest household expenditure after housing, and gas prices are expected to continue driving that cost up. Communities in Southern California are especially vulnerable as the foreclosure crisis indicates -- since residents drive so much.
The affordability index is a new tool to measure the true affordability of housing choices by combining housing and transportation costs (H+T) in a neighborhood or region and dividing that number by income. Interestingly, the index shows that H+T costs vary significantly: households living in neighborhoods that are relatively dense,…
Koreatown is a culturally vibrant neighborhood in the Wilshire area of the City of Los Angeles, bookended by Downtown Los Angeles on the east and Hollywood on the north. This case study examines how the neighborhood is both intensifying and expanding, fueled by a building boom and large-scale public investment.
Koreatown is one of the most diverse and densely populated neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Although the neighborhood is still primarily associated with Koreans and Korean Americans, Koreatown is home to concentrations of other ethnicities as well, including Hispanics, Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, and other Asian Americans (Figure 1). The neighborhood’s population density is said to be second only to Manhattan15 and the employment density is one of the highest in the SCAG region (Figure 3). Koreatown’s diverse population and density support not only Korean restaurants, stores and cultural facilities, but also everything from taquerias to karaoke bars…