Tag Archive: Los Angeles

  1. LA’s Olympic Bid: Is the Third Time a Charm?

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    An unsupportive public, the absence of a cohesive vision, and the prospect of taxpayers footing the bill for cost overruns doomed Boston’s 2024 Olympic bid. Now, with the U.S. Olympic Committee scrambling to find a replacement, it looks like Los Angeles is poised to win the nomination. Although hosting the international competition is nothing new for the City of Angels, how will L.A. avoid the pitfalls that ultimately sank Boston’s bid? And, if selected, will the city be able to emulate its success as the host of the 1984 games? (more…)

  2. Bringing Community School Parks to LA Neighborhoods

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    Los Angeles nonprofit, People for Parks, just launched its fundraising campaign to start two new Community School Parks. These neighborhood parks are schoolyards that are opened up to the community as playgrounds and parks when school isn’t in session. To reach its goal of opening two school playgrounds every weekend for one year, People for Parks needs to raise $24,000 in the next 30 days. (more…)

  3. Preparing for “The Big One”

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    After watching Hollywood’s latest take on the demise of California, we thought we’d check in on progress that cities throughout the state have made to seismically retrofit vulnerable structures. San Francisco’s most recent seismic retrofit program is well underway, and it’s been about six months since Los Angeles revealed plans to embark on a similarly ambitious effort to shore-up the city’s at-risk buildings. But as earthquake-prone cities look to finance expensive retrofits, what tools are available? And how do we finance these efforts without significantly increasing costs for tenants and building owners? A growing effort to expand mechanisms like the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program to help property owners cover seismic retrofit costs may be part of the answer.

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  4. City of Los Angeles Median Design Competition

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    Image from UC Davis Arboretum and Public Gardens: https://www.flickr.com/photos/47484186@N06/12327998474/

    Image from UC Davis Arboretum and Public Gardens: https://www.flickr.com/photos/47484186@N06/12327998474/

    The City of Los Angeles Innovation and Performance Commission (IPC) recently approved $35,000 to fund a competition for designers to develop a kit to help communities implement median beautification projects. The proposed kit will include streamlined permitting, little to no irrigation to address the drought conditions, and blueprints for communities wishing to improve their public medians. (more…)

  5. Making All Votes Count

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    These days, it seems that post-election coverage in the U.S. often comes with a hefty dose of consternation about the future of our electorate. With each election, our national voting rates seem to hit another historic low. During the 2014 midterm elections, just 37 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot, registering the lowest turnout for a federal election since World War II. At the same time, voting in many parts of the country is becoming more difficult. A weakened Voting Rights Act coupled with attempts by some state legislatures to limit access to the polls has had the effect of making it more burdensome for citizens to exercise this fundamental right. Likewise, institutionalized gerrymandering and the outsized influence of wealthy political donors give many citizens the impression that their single vote is largely inconsequential. With these impediments in place, how do we move toward a voting system where our electorate is more engaged and more representative of our nation’s diversity? The most obvious answer may be to require every eligible voter to cast a ballot on Election Day. (more…)

  6. Los Angeles 50 Parks Initiative

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    In 2012, the City of Los Angeles set out to increase green spaces in the city’s park-poor neighborhoods by establishing the 50 parks initiative. A project status document from that year indicates the City was poised to enter partnerships with local organizations to produce 50 neighborhood parks. Three years later, the initiative is making progress toward its original goal, with 29 new parks added.

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  7. A More Transparent Development Process

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    Image from Cornell University Sustainable Design: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cusd/7953248594/in/photostream/

    Image from Cornell University Sustainable Design: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cusd/7953248594/in/photostream/

    A rebounding economy has led to a resurgence of development activity in real estate markets throughout the country. But as high-rise condos, multi-family rentals, creative office blocs, and boutique hotel developments begin to crop up in thriving urban markets, the backlash is inevitable. Much of the criticism centers on unaffordability, the lack of community amenities, and the impression that developers are scoring major concessions at the expense of taxpayers and local residents. But is there a better way to do development?

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  8. Metro Los Angeles County Crowdsourcing Bike Share Map

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    Image from killerturnip: https://www.flickr.com/photos/70044955@N00/11526752666/

    As Metro continues its efforts to build a countywide bike share program, the agency recently released a new crowdsourcing map that identifies communities that may be primed for bike share due to various factors (e.g., population and employment density, job and trip attractors, topography, bicycle infrastructure, community support, and funding availability). Metro is asking members of the public to suggest neighborhoods or cities in the County that may be good locations for a future bike share program. (more…)

  9. Rail Transit in Panama

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    Image from ELP Advisors

    Image from ELP Advisors

    With First Rail Transit Line in Central America, Panama Aims to Remake its Urban Centers

    This month, ELP heads south to Panama to explore Central America’s very first rail transit system. With the recent opening of the Panama City’s Metro de Panama, as well as concurrent improvements to MetroBus, the regional bus system, Panama City is poised to not only increase connectivity, but also radically alter its urban landscape.

    In October, a delegation of Panamanian officials, including key legislators, finance experts, and city planning officials, visited California and met with public, private and non-profit sector leaders to discuss issues of social and urban economic development. (more…)