We hear a lot about “smart growth” in the press, in blogs, and at planning commissions these days. There are folks who support smart growth projects, and folks who don’t. But of course, no one ever couches their opposition to a smart growth project in terms of favoring “dumb growth,” although that’s what they may really be saying, if they thought about it. [Read more]
(Originally published on the David Prowler Blog on May 16, 2018)
It’s in a bourgeois neighborhood that’s well off the tourist path. It’s small; I’m guessing about 200’ by 500’, ringed by a hodgepodge of stores and dotted with street furniture. Nothing fancy at all, really modest. [Read More]
Building Industry Association (BIA) CEO Borre Winckel and Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 (C-3, a non-profit that advocates sustainable urban planning in San Diego) President Kathleen Ferrier recently debated the Safeguard Our San Diego Countryside (SOS) ballot initiative. The initiative was described by East County Magazine as follows:
If passed, the measure would require voter approval of amendments to the San Diego County General Plan that significantly increase density on parcels in the unincorporated county now designated for farming, open space, and wildlife uses.
The email exchange contained a passionate and informative conversation with directly conflicting ideas about how the measure might impact development, housing, and the environment in San Diego County. [Read More]
Do you like to travel and explore different cities? I certainly do. While I travel mostly for pleasure (rather than for work), the planner in me cannot help but observe, study, and evaluate the places I visit. While much of this observing, studying, and evaluating take place on foot at the street level, I also try to find high-above vantage points that offer the best views of a city. . . Read more
With its current leasing notice, the McMillin Company has every intention of gutting the North Chapel at Liberty Station (San Diego) and replace it with a restaurant. As an artist in the (slowly-disappearing) NTC Foundation’s Arts District at Liberty Station, I am leading an effort among my fellow artists to stop this outrage from coming to fruition. Read more about the North Chapel . . .
It has been over two months since I became a regular bus rider. As I shared in my previous article, my office recently moved from Koreatown (where I was able to reach with ease riding the subway) to Alhambra (which is not served by Metro rail at all). Thus my morning commute now consists of 15 minutes of walking, a short ride on the subway, a 30-minute bus ride, and another 10 minutes on foot. This is just to get to work; I have to do the reverse to return home. Taking public transit to and from a suburb located about nine miles east of my home has been anything but convenient. It would be easy for me to just complain about it endlessly or even give up on the bus altogether. However, I have chosen to stick with it for now because I cannot dismiss riding the bus as an entirely bad experience. As a planner who tends to think about and reflect upon my experiences (perhaps too much), I want to share the following observations about bus riding in Los Angeles. I must clarify though that my comments are from my perspective as a public transit user only, not as a transportation planner, since I lack formal training and experience in the field of transportation planning.Continue Reading Riding the Bus: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Articles and studies from newspapers to academic journals warn the public against the havoc and devastation caused by rent control ordinances. However, it is not tenants and community based organizations that are funding these articles and studies, it is real estate investors, developers, and corporate apartment owner associations. For decades, tenants and community based organizations across California have worked tirelessly to enact rent control ordinances to decrease displacement and protect the rights and dignity of working families, the elderly, and long-term tenants. Tenant advocates continue to direct their limited resources to local initiatives and ballot measures, not to fund studies, articles, and lawsuits.Continue Reading Demystifying Rent Control
I have been learning a lot lately. No, I have not returned to school or taken a few courses through Planetizen. Instead, I have simply been playing with my five-year old daughter and gaining a few insights along the way. Some of her favorite toys these days are Blockitecture sets which consist of colorful wooden blocks of buildings, parks, green spaces, rivers, and lakes. Together, we have built neighborhoods and had humorous conversations about what makes a city “fun” or “awesome,” two of her most often-used adjectives. Of course, this has brought me, a plannerd and father, much joy and satisfaction, knowing that my daughter is beginning to understand what I do as a planner and that she may even aspire to be one in the future (well, I am not sure about this yet). All kidding aside, I have seriously learned a few things through our play sessions that I would like to share below. . . . Read More
I find it fascinating that in response to an article about economic development, a male planner felt entirely comfortable telling me that the only thing of value about me is how developed my breasts and vagina are. In fact, he seemed downright proud about that observation, so much so that he signed his email to me with his company logo, telephone number and web address. What precipitated this completely unprofessional sexist email outrage that I quoted exactly in the headline?Continue Reading The only feminist development I’d like to see is on your chest and between your legs…
I wear a blue County jacket and dark pants, denim or Dickies, when I’m out doing zoning enforcement inspections. This isn’t a regulation uniform. I don’t have to wear it. I’m an urban planner, not a cop.Continue Reading An Urban Planner on the Ground in South Central Los Angeles