“That’s a walk in the park!” Most of us are familiar with this expression which is used to describe something that is very easy to do. Ironically, a walk to a park may actually not be a walk in the park for a variety of reasons. For example, there may not be a park within walking distance (typically defined as a half-mile) from one’s home. There may also be physical and social barriers that often make walking to parks challenging and undesirable, such as a lack of infrastructure like sidewalks and crosswalks, traffic safety concerns like speeding vehicles, and crime issue like the presence of gangs. Continue Reading A Walk to the Park
Los Angeles County
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
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.Continue Reading Soccerization of Land Use
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?”Continue Reading Urge Pasadena to Approve the Measures to Address Homelessness
As a park planner, I am always on the lookout for the latest news about parks and recreation. Recently, I have not had to look very hard. In particular, an article about efforts to increase parkland in Los Angeles was published by the L.A. Times on August 22, 2014 and has since been widely distributed, especially among professionals and associations in my field. Continue Reading Unincorporated Areas Need More Parks Too
Local and regional parks can be used to mitigate the urban heat island effect and minimize local climate change. Unfortunately, this idea is not often shared, discussed, and/or adequately understood. If you do a search on the web on “climate change and parks,” you will find that most of the results are links to information about how climate change is impacting national parks. Examples include a discussion on the National Park Service (NPS) website, and recent articles published by National Geographic and Scientific America. Continue Reading Parks and Climate Change: The L.A. County Story