How many acres of parkland does Los Angeles County have? How many parks are there in the county and where are they all located? What amenities do these park offer and what condition are they in? Which communities have a high level of park need? What are the priority park projects in each city or unincorporated community? How much would it cost to make these projects happen? These are some of the key questions that are answered in the Los Angeles Countywide Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment recently released by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). The Parks Needs Assessment was completed in 15 months, starting in March 2015 and ending in May 2016. [Read more…] about Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment: The L.A. County Story
When I mentioned to some friends that I would be vacationing in Washington, D.C., most of them told me about the Smithsonian museums which offer free admissions. While I did end up visiting a few of these amazing museums, I also went to one that nobody suggested: the National Building Museum. This museum is dedicated to the interpretation of the history and impact of the built environment, and is perfect for architects, planners, landscape architects, and designers. (I knew about the museum because it helped to organize a symposium on Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. that I attended a few years ago). Here are some highlights of the museum: [Read more…] about A Museum for Architects and Planners
Do you enjoy LEGOs and nature? If yes, then I have the perfect exhibit to recommend to you. Over the weekend, I visited the South Coast Botanic Garden with my family to see the Nature Connects exhibit. [Read more…] about Exhibit Review: Nature Connects at the South Coast Botanic Garden
When I tell people that I work for the Department of Parks and Recreation, many ask whether I watch the TV show Parks and Recreation. While I do enjoy the comedy series, I must say that doing “real life” parks and recreation planning is actually far more interesting and rewarding. Personally, I am motivated by the desire to help improve and expand recreational options for communities in need because I have experienced firsthand the many benefits of parks and recreational facilities. [Read more…] about Park Planning for Underserved Communities in Los Angeles County
Do you love parks and trains? What do you think about a train-themed park? As a park planner and a train lover, I must say that I am a fan of Station Square Park in the City of Monrovia. This new park is located adjacent to the Monrovia Gold Line Station, which was constructed as part of the Gold Line Foothill Extension project and opened on March 5, 2016. [Read more…] about Station Square Park: Monrovia’s Newest Park
A belated Happy New Year to you! I know that we are already in the middle of January, but perhaps some of us are still trying to figure out the resolutions or goals that we would like to accomplish this year. Well, if you would like some help or inspiration, here are some suggestions: [Read more…] about New Year’s Resolutions for Planners
Can you believe that it is December already? Well, it is that time of year again when we think about giving and receiving presents. I previously shared some ideas on the perfect gifts for planners in Presents for Plannerds and Presents for Plannerds: 2014 Edition which have turned out to be two of my most read articles. I am glad to know that my lists have been helpful to some planners and/or fans of planners. Many of the products I mentioned in 2013 and 2014 are still valid and available, but I would like to highlight a few new items that I learned about this year. Also, instead of describing items by categories like books, DVDs, and apparel as I did in the past, I am going to recommend several websites where great gifts for planners may be purchased. Without further ado, here is my 2015 edition of Presents for Plannerds: [Read more…] about Presents for Plannerds: 2015 Edition
As the year winds down, I think this is a good time to look ahead to 2016. Specifically, I would like to discuss some events that planners, architects, and landscape architects can look forward to in the new year. For those of you who follow my writing, you must know by now that I am a big fan of conferences. As I explained in Rest for the Weary Planner, I see conferences as opportunities to learn, grow, network, and be encouraged. I always return to work from conferences feeling refreshed and more prepared to take on the work that awaits me. In 2015, I was fortunate to be able to attend and present at the APA National Conference in Seattle (read this article for a summary). Without further ado, here are ten conferences and meetings that may be of interest to those of us in the fields of planning, architecture, and landscape architecture: [Read more…] about Looking Ahead to 2016: Events for Planners
How should we determine the park needs of communities? How do we figure out whether a city is park-rich or park-poor? Traditionally, park need is measured by the amount of parkland in a city per 1,000 residents and then compared to some standard or goal. For example, if you take a look at the Parks and Recreation Elements of General Plans for most cities in California, you will find a standard or goal for parkland expressed in terms of X acres per 1,000 residents. Recently, I read an article in Builder which identifies the top ten cities in the U.S. with the most park acreage per 1,000 households. [Read more…] about How Should Park Needs be Measured?
Have you ever heard of Westlake Park? This was a park that was once referred to as “the most popular open-air resort in the city” (page 17 of Kevin Roderick’s book on Wilshire Boulevard). Opened in 1890, the park was loved by the people of Los Angeles and offered the perfect venue for leisurely strolls, boating in a lake, and popular Sunday concerts. The park was surrounded by luxury hotels and the area even became known as the Champs-Élysées of Los Angeles. You may be wondering, where is this great park and how come I have not been there yet? [Read more…] about What about MacArthur Park?