This video documents the National AIA Regional Urban Design Conference “Restructuring Urbanisms: the Next L.A.,” held February 10-13, 1994, at Shutters Hotel, Santa Monica.
John Kaliski argues that the people are the main souce of power in determining the fate of their neighborhood. He challenges the “two-dimensional” view of L.A. and proposes new zoning codes and land use plans. David Stein tries to dispell some myths surrounding Los Angeles through graphs, data, and comparisons with other major cities.
The panelists discuss emerging trends in Los Angeles and its inhabitants. They describe the different scales of urbanism, and the difficulty that creates in creating a cohesive regional infrastructure that makes transportation a seamless transition from one place to another. They also describe the economics of maintaining regional infrastructure to support a growing economy.
Elizabeth Mull describes her projects as a way of addressing the differing scales through strategic planning and addressing a range of communal issues. When designing for a community, she stresses the importance of understanding the existing conditions, insuring basic amenities, and providing multi-use spaces in the public realm. She observes that Los Angeles needs to create a place that defines the culture of the city.
Michaele Pride-Wells of the Professional Design Coalition describes their community based efforts to increase personal ownership and to create jobs within lower income communities. While describing Crenshaw and the efforts to revitalize its neighborhoods, the group notes the importance of having the local community behind them when dealing with politicians.
The panel discusses job markets, a region’s image, poverty and real estate. Panelists suggest that the sweeping urban schemes that usually get presented to city officials need to be informed by an emphasis on daily life.