“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
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
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
We lost a legend with the passing of Professor Edward W. Soja last month in Los Angeles. Soja’s contributions to the spatial disciplines are as innumerable and diverse as the students he influenced. From 2003 to 2005, I was lucky to be one of his students. I never told Ed about the profound influence he had on me. In commemoration of Ed’s life and work, I’d like to share that story with you. [Read more…] about Epitaph for Edward W. Soja
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?