In the wake of the 2011 demise of California’s 400 redevelopment agencies, cities, developers, and institutions are all struggling to find new ways to fund the construction and maintenance of essential infrastructure and other public buildings and facilities. A San Francisco official recently complained to me that there are 40,000 dwelling units entitled in the city that aren’t being built. He noted a variety of reasons, but a chief one for large developments is the need for massive unfunded up-front investments in infrastructure. This includes projects like Treasure Island, Park Merced, Pier 70, and Hunters Point/Candlestick. [Read more…] about Show me the Money: Financing Public Facilities in the Age of Scarcity
In a recent article Tim Jorgensen, an Associate Professor of Radiation Medicine at Georgetown University, wrote about the risks of getting cancer from flying in jet airplanes. According to Professor Jorgensen, the primary health risk comes from exposure to cosmic radiation. Sounds like scary stuff. He wrote about one particularly frequent flyer (a Mr. Stuker), who had amassed some 18 million miles of air travel (imagine the upgrades!): [Read more…] about Risky Business – brownfield development in need of reasonable health risk standards
Soccer? Football? Fútbol? While there may not be universal consensus on what to call the sport, I think most can agree that it has become a very popular sport in America. I previously wrote an article called Soccer and Park Planning from my perspective both as a soccer fan and a planner. It seems appropriate now to do a sequel given the continued “soccerization” of land use across cities in the U.S. Essentially, I am referring to the dedication of an increasing amount of land/space for soccer, and the development of additional facilities for both players and fans, including soccer fields and futsal courts at parks as well as soccer-specific stadiums for professional teams. [Read more…] about Soccerization of Land Use
I’ve been driving my electric car (aka EV for electric vehicle) for a little shy of a year now. While I love it (I even bought a second one), I realize they’re not for everybody. Below are some reasons you might hate an EV: [Read more…] about Eleven reasons an electric car wouldn’t be for you
The idea for grand pedestrian routes through downtown San Diego is not new. In 1908, John Nolen famously had vision of a Promenade from Balboa Park to San Diego Bay along what is now Cedar Street. Just imagine how that would be today if it had been implemented 100 years ago, with the beautiful County Administration Building at the bottom of the gentle hill from Park to Bay. Sometimes I think ‘so many opportunities lost’ should be San Diego’s motto.
But, in the fertile minds of planners, this idea hasn’t died. Now, they are being called Green Streets, and six are planned for downtown. [Read more…] about A New Grand Pedestrian Promenade Through Downtown San Diego?
You can look at commercial district revitalization in two ways: The first way, which is the common way, and unfortunately not the best way, is to hatch a scheme to get rid of everything that is under-performing and replace it with something else. Bulldoze it, and start over with a blank slate. This approach to economic revitalization is the cornerstone of many well-intentioned plans — the wholesale replacement of entire existing commercial ecosystems. It is also an approach that values typical male attributes: valuing big, valuing new, valuing the deal. This is truly a shame since these districts often have wonderful businesses, owned by locals, which serve as non-traditional anchors pulling from wide trade areas. [Read more…] about What’s so feminine about good revitalization of a commercial district?
Mayor Garcetti said: “We need money to build housing for the homeless.”
Voters said: “Here is $1.2 billion for housing the homeless.” (November bond issue.)
Mayor Garcetti said: “We need money to provide services for the homeless.”
Voters said: “Okay, we will tax ourselves a one quarter percent sales tax, so that you can provide needed services for homeless.” [Read more…] about LA’s new homeless money: What Garcetti could learn from Bradley and de Blasio
The San Diego Region will struggle in every neighborhood to accommodate the population growth forecasted by SANDAG – as many as a million new residents by 2050. San Diego already has a widely-recognized housing shortage that results in major annual price increases and undermines the city’s climate action plan as commuters go farther afield in search of affordability. The problem will only get worse unless we take bold steps to sensibly accommodate this inevitable growth. [Read more…] about Support the Morena Corridor Specific Plan
Well, San Diego and Imperial Counties, have you had enough? Has the lunacy in the rest of California finally gotten to you? Do you listen to the political drivel emanating from our “leaders” in Sacramento and wish for a divorce? Does the recent talk of a “Calexit,” California leaving the U.S., have you wishing that the rest of California would in fact go, just without our two counties? [Read more…] about San Diexit?
Over the years, I have written numerous articles about the importance of planning for new parks in underserved communities and highlighted various projects that I have been fortunate to be involved in. In particular, two projects that I have discussed at length are the Los Angeles County Master Plan for Sustainable Parks and Recreation: Phase I (also known as the Community Parks and Recreation Plans) and the Countywide Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment (see Park Planning for Underserved Communities and Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment: The L.A. County Story). As a park planner, I am generally more focused on the creation and siting of parks to meet community needs, and the equitable distribution of such facilities. However, I am also fully aware that recreational programming matters just as much as planning, and perhaps even more so based on the input of many residents and park staff with whom I have interacted. Thus, I would like to address programming in this article, with a special focus on the Parks After Dark (PAD) program. [Read more…] about Surprising benefits from nighttime park programming in LA