Thursday, August 16, 2007

Northeast Los Angeles Planning Session

Councilman Jose Huizar's second community-based planning discussion in Eagle Rock on Tuesday focused on the future of smart growth in Los Angeles.

The panelists included: Mike Woo, city planning commissioner; Emily Gabel-Luddy of the Urban Design Studio with the city; Woodie Tescher with EIP Associates; William Fain with Johnson Fain, who all spoke about the virtues of creating transit-based development around the city.

Several noteworthy points were brought up in the discussion: If we laid out every space dedicated to parking in Los Angeles, it would cover 81 percent of the city. The average Los Angeles car carries 1.2 people per ride. Only four percent of the city is dedicated to open space, compared to 17 percent for New York City. Repeatedly, the panelist discussed the ills that we already know plague the city - that we are too car-centered, that cities weren't designed to encourage pedestrian use, and that our auto-centered culture is no longer sustainable.

I was disappointed at the lack of diversity among the audience and panelists, especially in a council district such as Huizar's, considering that these sessions are meant to make planning issues accessible to the community. I submitted several questions on the impact of so-called "smart growth" on the gentrification of our communities and it was barely discussed or properly answered. However, the awareness that issues of density, land use, how we move around, and the creation of liveable communities was actively discussed. Although no exact vision for how it will all come together was articulated, the discussion seems to be moving along and involving the various agencies with a stake in community development.

Huizar will hold two more sessions:
Economic Development - Encouraging Small Business
Wed., Sept. 19 at 7 p.m.
El Sereno Senior Center, 4818 Klamath Place

Historic Preservation - A Link to Revitalization
Tues., Sept. 25 at 7 p.m.
Center for the Arts in Eagle Rock, 2225 Colorado Blvd.


Cowboy Galactico said...

Dang, I was actually going to drop by that even but instead allocated time for the finalizing of the LUF site. These events always lack diversity amongst audience. Perhaps the topic you mentioned should be something we can create panel event on before the end of the summer? "Preserving the character of communities.."


ctsnet2002 said...

I attended and agree about the question/answer period. I submitted five questions to the panel. Only one was addressed. I spoke with Jessica after meeting and she indicated that some questions will be held for the upcoming panel to answer. I was quite disappointed that this was a one sided view of the planner's suggesting that by having a community meeting that they would receive input from the attendee's at the very least. That did not occur. It is a ruse to have community meetings if the public who take the time to attend cannot direct their questions directly to the panel personaly. It could have been managed better in my opinion.