Michael LoGrande: How Should New Planning Director Approach The Job?

Now that Mayor Villaraigosa has selected Michael LoGrande to become director of planning, we've asked activists from around the city to give LoGrande advice: How should he approach the job?

First up, Marcia Hanscom, Playa del Rey environmentalist.

The first question needs to be: Do we have the infrastructure to support the various communities we already have?

In other words, there may be some places where we are already maxed out in terms of traffic mobility, not enough open space, etc.

Then: Ask the communities what they want first. Maybe a certain community would really like to have a dry cleaner in the neighborhood. What would it take to attract one? Maybe a certain community has too much pass-through traffic -- a freeway/commuter system cutting right through the heart of the neighborhood -- what would it take to fix that?

In other words, as Jane Usher and Gail Goldberg have said, "Do real planning." It's a great slogan: Has it happened anywhere yet in Los Angeles?

Support the Urban Design Studio -- that's the first place where I see some hope for doing things differently in L.A. Given them more resources, perhaps two employees for each council district are needed.

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