In the decades following World War II, when the suburbs were young and the car was king, Los Angeles went on a land-buying spree.
The city bought parcels in every size and shape, demolished any buildings on them and opened parking lots to serve emerging commercial districts.
By the 1970s the buying had mostly stopped, and today these 119 public lots blend into the urban quilt all but indistinguishable from their free-market competitors.
But now the city is cultivating plans that could transform much of that land again, this time from asphalt to multistory apartment buildings to house chronically homeless people.
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