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
California’s Bay Area housing disaster tells Southern Californians that our housing crisis will only get worse and doing nothing is both an irrational and irresponsible response. We are faced with deciding to have more neighbors or pay more taxes as we desperately need money to fix our city’s crumbling infrastructure. The conundrum is that we despise taxes and the mere mention of ‘density’ polarizes any discussion into either demands for no new growth or building tall towers.
I believe answers to meet San Diego’s housing demand are found in the following two-tier approach: [Read more…] about Its not Smart Growth… It’s Called Avoiding a Housing Crisis
While I was a graduate student at UC Berkeley studying architecture, ideas were always buzzing around; at design charrettes, guest lectures and of course, at the dining table. International House, where I lived, was home to residents from eighty countries enrolled in various academic programs. Our insatiable thirst for learning extended to coffee hours and dinner, with enough food for thought to go around. [Read more…] about Celebrating Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas
Trust in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is defined as the “belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective.” Sadly, on numerous occasions, the City of Santa Monica and some their residents have proven that they cannot be trusted. [Read more…] about You Cannot Trust Santa Monica
A revised Pinnacle project for 11th & Broadway is in design review at Civic San Diego. The main difference seems to be that the developer now proposes to relocate (by 50′) the historically designated Hamilton Apartments rather than demolish them as had been previously approved by the Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC) in 2012. An act of enlightenment and altruism, or an act pragmatism (i.e. to avoid litigation or utilize tax credits)? The Civic San Diego staff report doesn’t say. In any case, preserving historical resources and adaptively reusing existing structures can only be a good thing for downtown’s diversities of architecture, people, and uses. The staff report to the Civic San Diego Real Estate Committee summarizes the project: [Read more…] about Revised 11th & Broadway Pinnacle Project in Design Review – San Diego
Starting on March 22nd of this year, Government Center on “the T,” as the subway is known by the locals in Boston, will be closed for renovation. [Read more…] about Government Center’s closure (Boston)
A recent article by John Karras, founder of consulting firm UrbanSCALE, offered “12 Strategies That Will Transform Your City’s Downtown.” The article was a good selection of the many revitalization strategies, and addressed some important sticking points, e.g., transitioning from auto-orientation and healing the gashes created by the the last half century of urban freeway construction. One or two of the strategies are still-controversial or not widely accepted, e.g., eliminating minimum parking requirements (even imposing maximum parking restrictions), which made the article even more of a worthwhile read. Moreover, [Read more…] about How San Diego’s Downtown Scores on 12 Point ‘Vibrant Downtown Strategies’ Test
In this age of planning emphasis on “smart growth,” “new urbanism,” “transit oriented development,” “infill development” and so on, density and proximity to transit corridors sometimes overshadow all other considerations. Zoning and Community plans years in the making, with wide participation, are now being viewed by some property owners and city officials as obsolete and vulnerable. Local residents are increasingly resentful as they experience frontal assaults to the scale and character of their neighborhoods – the essence of how they identify with their neighborhoods. [Read more…] about Three Reasons Neighborhood Identity is Paramount in Smart Growth
At one time, Los Angeles had the backbone of a great transit system. Today, it does not! Why not?