There’s No There There: Or Why Neighborhoods Don’t Readily Develop Near Light-Rail Transit Stations

Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris and Tridib Banerjee

In 1990 Los Angeles inaugurated the Blue Line amidst much fanfare as the first increment of a long-awaited light-rail system. The rail line connects downtown Los Angeles to Long Beach, traversing twenty-two miles of the poorest and most neglected neighborhoods in South Central Los Angeles. After six years, ridership has risen significantly, but areas around stations remain unchanged - disinvested, forsaken, and decaying – denying planners' dreams of transit villages and depriving surrounding communities of their hopes for a better economic future.

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