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Evaluating the Los Angeles Downtown Strategic Plan

The Los Angeles Downtown Strategic Plan (DSP) of 1994 was crafted to guide future direction in the city’s revival of its dead downtown. Past efforts to resuscitate Downtown, which had declined over the 20th Century as the result of competing regional interests and the automobile takeover of Southern California, were consistently too single-purposed and short-sighted. Once the city was able to reconcile with the interests of all Downtown stakeholders, it realized that the keys to sustainable growth were in adaptive reuse, coordinated public/private action, catalytic projects to stimulate further growth, small-grain development, and New Urbanist ideals. Such were the hallmarks of the DSP. Since some of the plan’s proposals were not followed, and many were followed almost too well, some uneven consequences have undermined its progress—yet it has succeeded on multiple levels. Because of the plan’s success in increasing quality of life for Downtowners, making the metropolis more efficient, allowing for future flexibility, embracing its local character and heritage, and making the region more sustainable, it was a good plan—especially for its time.

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"The Cerebral City" Release: Mon, June 22

Releasing my short documentary about the power of public space and personal discovery on Vimeo and Youtube this coming Monday, June 22nd!

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