"When you don't have to get into a car, it's golden," says L.A. real estate developer Rick Caruso in a June 30, 2014 article titled "The End of Driving (As We Know It)" in Fortune magazine.
The article's author Michal Lev-Ram observes that despite L.A.'s longtime love affair with cars, "it's on the front lines of a surprising tectonic shift that's taking place all across the U.S.: People, especially young adults, aren't driving as much as they used to."
Young professionals and others are opting for urban life. Caruso observes that "There is a very strong movement toward living, working, socializing, and entertaining closer to home." He estimates that 30% of those who go to the Grove get there by foot.
Cities are responding to this movement with new or improved public transportation systems, bike-sharing programs, and more pedestrian-friendly thoroughfares. Companies are moving back to cities or establishing satellite offices there.
Even automobile companies are responding to this trend. While Mercedes-Benz has established a driving academy in L.A. and Orange County to teach teens to drive and presumably increase the sale of its cars, the company has also introduced a service called Boost by Benz (only available so far in Palo Alto) that shuttles kids to games and lessons and has launched a car-sharing service called car2go.
Check out the article to read about these trends and Santa Monica's impressive progress in becoming a more pedestrian and bike-friendly city. Also, take a look at the profiles of LA Walks and CicLAvia (under "Organizations") on this website.