Are you a “foodie“? Do you live in the Los Angeles area? Are you a regular reader of the L.A. Times? If you answered yes to all three questions, then you have probably heard of acclaimed food critic Jonathan Gold. I recently watched City of Gold which I initially thought was just a documentary about Gold and his culinary adventures. However, as I was watching the movie, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that its focus was not solely on the Pulitzer-winning writer and his favorite restaurants; City of Gold also reveals Gold’s love for Los Angeles and how he has essentially experienced the diversity and vastness of the city through food. [Read more…] about Documentary Review: City of Gold
Dear Pasadena City Council Members,
A long overdue update to the Second Dwelling Unit Ordinance is before you at the January 30, 2017, City Council public hearing. With the passage of AB 2299 and SB 1069, all local jurisdictions are obligated to amend zoning ordinances to facilitate easier pathways to building accessory dwellings units (ADUs). As the staff report notes, the new state laws came about in response to a statewide affordable housing crisis. We see it in Pasadena. It’s rendered in the presence of homeless encampments, occupied vehicles on city streets and parking lots, and the existence of unpermitted housing on private properties across the city.
[Read more…] about An Open Letter to the Pasadena City Council Urging a Comprehensive Overhaul of the Second Dwelling Unit Ordinance
Dear Pasadena Planning Commissioners,
A long overdue update to the City of Pasadena’s Second Dwelling Unit Ordinance is before you at the December 14, 2016, Planning Commission public hearing. This will be the first of many hearings in response to the passage of Assembly Bill 2299 (AB 2299) and Senate Bill 1069 (SB 1069) and the upcoming Housing Element Implementation Program. At this juncture, I see three compelling reasons for your Commission to advocate a comprehensive overhaul of Pasadena’s Second Dwelling Unit Ordinance. [Read more…] about An Open Letter to the Pasadena Planning Commission Urging a Comprehensive Overhaul of the Second Dwelling Unit Ordinance
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
It was none of these things for the homeless.
For the homeless, it is a life without shelter, food, health care and a positive environment. Their environment is freezing and often wet.
Regardless of where you live, most would agree that we have a major societal issue on our hands.
While I have traveled to all but two states and all major cities, my perspective of homelessness is based upon the City of Los Angeles, because this is where I have lived for most of my career.
As the project manager of the Bunker Hill Urban Renewal project in downtown Los Angeles, I became aware of “Skid Row” and the “homeless” in the late-1960’s. [Read more…] about Mind Blowing Facts about LA’s Homeless People and How to Un-Homeless Them
- Of or relating to the habitat or environment.
- The doctrine, theory, or science of a subject.
- Branch of science concerned with the interrelationships of organisms and their environments, especially as manifested by the natural cycles and rhythms, community development and structure, interaction between different kinds of organisms, geographic distribution, and population alternatives.
- The totality or pattern of relations between organisms and their environments.
~ Webster’s New International Dictionary, 3rd ed., 1976
_____________________________________ [Read more…] about Reyner Banham, Mike Davis, and the Discourse on Los Angeles Ecology
On April 20, 2015, Mayor Eric Garcetti unveiled his budget for next year.
After a “speech” at a Valley Industry Commerce Association, the Mayor formally presented his budget at City Hall.
What can I say?!! It was underwhelming.
My family will attest, I’m a San Diego Chargers football fan. During football season, not only is the TV tuned to Chargers games, but so are multiple strategically located radios around the yard, lest I miss any action while attending to a honey-do task or breaking up an argument between my children. Then there are the pre and post game shows, and wasted hours reading about the draft, trades, and other team side shows. Lest I forget to mention, I’m also a San Diego County resident – just outside the city’s boundaries.
However, the Chargers are one of several NFL teams, along with the St. Louis Rams and the Oakland Raiders, considered likely to move to another city unless they receive a new football stadium. [Read more…] about Five reasons losing an NFL football team is good for a city
Earlier this summer, I published an article on these pages remarking on the growing scholarship on informality in the U.S. housing market.  My article was intended as an opening salvo to planning academics who, as I see it, fail to understand American informal housing from the implementation side of planning—the enforcement and regulatory standpoint. [Read more…] about Response to Comments: The Informal Housing Debate Remains Open
Have you heard of the exercise app called “Human“? I only learned about it last week when I read an article on CityLab that discusses how the app encourages people to exercise or be physically active for at least 30 minutes a day and in doing so, collects very interesting data on how people move in different cities. The article presents maps taken from Human’s website for the cities of Amsterdam and Houston to illustrate how data collected through the app validate the reputation of the two cities: Amsterdam as a bike-loving city, and Houston as a place where people love their cars and don’t walk much. [Read more…] about Tracking the Movement of Angelenos