A Denser L.A. 

Understanding the map

Wednesday, May 30 2007

Click the image to download a full pdf of the map

The Los Angeles City Council and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa have embraced the concept of “smart growth,” a plan to concentrate multistory, “mixed use” housing — stores and restaurants on the ground, apartments or condos above — on or near transit corridors. To carry out City Hall’s vision of a much denser city, the Planning Department developed this map showing every place in L.A. that lies within 1,500 feet of a busy transit stop — places where buses and trains stop every 15 minutes or less during afternoon rush hour.

 Originally, this map was used by city officials to identify places they believed made sense for constructing affordable housing. But now the map serves as an informal guide for city officials who are deciding where they believe multistory, mixed-use housing should go. Because bus lines crisscross much of Los Angeles, nearly every neighborhood north of the 10 Freeway and south of the Santa Monica Mountains and Hollywood Hills, as well as three big swaths of the Valley, are included in their determinations.

City planners say that existing single-family neighborhoods with highly restrictive R-1 zoning — in places such as Eagle Rock, Hancock Park, Cheviot Hills and the Encino hills — won’t be forced to absorb these multistory projects, but all other areas are in play.

Even as an informal guide, this transit map shows just how extensive the transformation to multistory housing might be under the new smart-growth planning mantra. Even if only a fraction of the development occurs, that sweeping change will affect all of Los Angeles.

Also read David Zahniser's article, “What's Smart About Smart Growth?”

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