Do you remember where you were or what you were doing on September 11th, 2001? I can still remember quite vividly that day even though it was 15 years ago. I had just arrived at my office when the building manager said in passing, “Isn’t it terrible what happened in New York City?” [Read more…] about 9/11: Reflections of An Urban Planner
“You can’t see the forest for the trees!” All of us are familiar with this expression which is often used to describe or understand [Read more…] about Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Planning for Parks and Urban Forests in Los Angeles County
Ok, that will be the last Rolling Stones distorted allusion in this op-ed.
Please close your eyes and imagine with me the reality that developers experience in the building application process …. [Read more…] about Empathy for the Devel . . . oper (with apologies to the Rolling Stones)
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
That hissing sound you hear is the air coming out of the U. S. real estate market. While the decline will not be comparable to the 2008-2010 debacle, the downturn will have a negative effect on the rest of the economy.
Let’s examine some of the telltale signs. [Read more…] about The Hissing Sound and the U. S. Real Estate Market
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
Where are we now on homelessness in Los Angeles?
Much has happened in the three months since my UrbDeZine colleague Michael Russell unpacked the arc of the homeless crisis in Los Angeles. In early 2016, both the City of Los Angeles and County of Los Angeles approved comprehensive plans to tackle homelessness within their respective jurisdictions. Largely thanks to Home Rule, inter-cooperative city/county policy making has never been a regular trait of L.A. politics. But with L.A.’s homeless crisis reaching a state of emergency across jurisdictional boundaries, the old “policy making in silos” approach simply wouldn’t work here. Even the New York Times took note in a story highlighting collaboration between the two governments on Los Angeles’ homeless crisis response. The million dollar question remaining for Los Angeles City and County is, “How do we pay for it?” [Read more…] about Urge Pasadena to Approve the Measures to Address Homelessness
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