Originally Posted by pesto
Interestingly, LA and Berlin do have a bit in common. They are both going through revitalizations of their historical inner-cities and adjacent hoods (Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg, etc.; Downtown, Ktown, Westlake, etc.) which includes an influx of the young, various ethnics, artsy types. Each has a look somewhat different from the other major cities of its continent: Berlin has more open spaces, wider streets, relatively little truly historic (medieval, renaissance, 18th century) street patterns; easier movement of cars; it is not reminiscent of the cores of Paris, London, Rome. Similarly, LA is basically a product of the 20th century, with an emphasis on the possibility of light and air coming into even central districts and an emphasis on mid-rise rather than high-rise (again, similar to the plan for Unter den Linden and the Mitte shopping core). LA is missing transit, but several lines are under construction.
Of course, Berlin is a national capital and has huge amounts of money to speed its development, and it shows in the spectacular architecture, the cleaned and repaired Mitte and many other ways. LA is not even the capital of its own state, so it depends more heavily on private investment for its renovation. This will presumably be a much slower process. But I suspect that the results will be surprisingly similar: medium-rise with plazas; substantial edgy, artsy populations with relatively little connection to the NY, London, Paris "official" culture scenes; relatively lower prices; less finance and corporate, but more arts.
And, no, I am not arguing that they are identical (there are big differences in income, population, demographics, geography, weather and other things), or that they are better or worse than any other city.