Visions for a Shattered City

Urban designers theorize how L.A. can emerge from the rubble -- and survive the dangers beneath it

The visionary Swiss architect Le Corbusier once drew up a plan to modernize Paris that called for razing most of the central city and replacing the old structures with eighteen 60-story towers. His idea, says historian Robert Fishman of Rutgers University, was that "cities were completely out of touch with the modern world and modern technology and what they needed was shock therapy, or what he called 'urban surgery,' in order to make a complete break with the past." Fortunately, Paris survived Le Corbusier. But the idea might not be all that bad for other cities. Asks Fishman: Could it be...

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