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?
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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.