Jennifer Siegal being interviewed for Broad Minded City
Bill Roschen, Architect, former president of the Los Angeles Planning Commission and part of the advisory group in Recode L.A, is interviewed for Broad Minded City. The interview took place at the Sunset Triangle Plaza, a pilot mini-park program spearheaded by Mr. Roschen and designed by Rios Clementi Hale Studios.
Short interview clip with Bart Reed who is the Founder and Executive Director of the Transit Coalition, a San Fernando Valley based non-profit advocacy group dealing with transportation policy, planning and land use issues for effective transportation systems and services which includes auto, rail, bus, bicycle, roads, ADA, transportation of goods and pedestrian safety.“Mobility is not just a question of building wider or longer roads; it is about providing appropriate and efficient systems that serve the most people in the best, most equitable manner. This includes encouraging a transition from car use to trains, buses and bicycles, and bringing more pedestrians onto well-lit sidewalks.”
The civic-minded community activist, Miriam Fogler, sits down at the Van Nuys Civic Center in Van Nuys, California to talk about hers concerns on city government decisions, especially when they vote on issues pertaining to a specific area or neighborhood in which they have no insight or personal investment, This occurs often in areas that have less representatives, like the San Fernando Valley and South Los Angeles.
What Miriam wants is to have a video conference or Skype technology in the Van Nuys Government Center in order to communicate with Los Angeles City Council downtown. This would serve to better represent the stakeholders who work, live and own in the San Fernando Valley, when they can’t travel to City Hall in downtown Los Angeles.
Here, Sam Lubell, the West Coast Editor for the Architects Newspaper and writer co-curator Greg Golden speak on their successful exhibit “Never Built,” an exhibit show featuring proposals by designers and architects that were never built, which included works of Frank Lloyd Wright and Lloyd Wright.
In this clip, Sam explains about the “Never Built” exhibition and speaks about the possibilities of having some of these never built proposals as a missed opportunity for the City of Los Angeles .
In 2013, Broad Minded City screened as a work-in-progress to employees and associates of Gensler (the global design and architecture firm) in their downtown L.A.’s office. Guest speakers included Eric Lloyd Wright, Louis Wiehle and Ken Bernstein of L.A. City Planning. One of the last comments was made by another guest —the spiritual leader for the South Central Farms, Refugio “Cuco” Ceballos, who came with an eloquent, poignant and provocative speech. Here is his speech.
As 2014 begins and the lessons that were learned in 2013 in working on the Documentary, there has been diagrammatical shift on the attention of civic and public realm in cities like Los Angeles and the rest of the modern matrix of cities which presents itself towards the future with an emphasis on reimagining and revitalize neighborhoods in cities. The opportunity to present the work-in-progress film to 3 different events in 2013 shows that there is an interest in urban and civic planning and design and a need for civic engagement to improve and move to a direction that can be unprecedented.
Mr. Christopher Hawthorne, the Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic, wrote a column before the end of 2013 about the new identity taking shape by reviewing or reintroducing the LA River as an integral part in the fabric of LA and how a generation of Angelenos are instead using public transportation and bicycles. He states “Los Angeles is no longer in the business of building freeways or stand-alone houses”, meaning that Los Angeles is moving from a auto-centric to a multi-modal culture where residents are choosing different ways of experiencing the city and its neighborhoods, how things are changing where there will be an emphasis in rebuilding better streetscapes safer for pedestrians and bicyclist.
It also reintroduced the concept of Frank Lloyd Wright’s urban model Broad Acre City into Los Angeles consciousness about integrating nature into the built environment. While it may not be totally convincing, the fact is that parts of Los Angeles are trying to bring greenbelt or greenways into former rail line easements, and the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, is promoting the “Great Streets Initiative” where the focus is along street corridors in improving the street life by installing streetlights for pedestrians, park benches or trees/landscaping.
But the main concern is whether Los Angeles can move forward with a tight budget, residents/stakeholders are willing to vote & approved city measures that will taxed its citizens in accelerating of building better public transportation or believing to finance in rebuilding the LA River. And what about the roles architects and designers should be doing or acknowledging beside overseeing or projecting their concepts into a civic/public realm? What about architects and designers knowing about urban planning in their own neighborhoods that would bring a policy in making their area more attractive or create an identity that is different from its neighbors? What about public input?
We are now living in the most interesting time of this era where questions and concerns about the future of mankind is in jeopardy or in crisis, where global warming, population growth, and quality of life has been addressed. Sometimes when we think globally, we should act locally. With technology playing an important role on how we are going to live in the near future, with smartphones, automation, robotics, informational technology and surveillance in a globalize economy, it a dawn of a new universe. It is the New Technological Age of the 21st Century.
As a personal note, this endeavor has been taken a toll and has fought the validity in this gesture on architecture, design and cities. The only hope right now is to complete and let it stand for what it is worth. I would like to thank the people involve who help me stir in the right direction or who commented how important and relevant to today’s climate. I promise last year I would do more posting in the Broad Minded City website, which didn’t materialized but it’s a new year and starting fresh. There will be more clips, interview and upcoming events. I’ll promise that!
For all who made it to the Gensler screening event in downtown last August 1st (Thursday), many thanks for sitting through the event and to stay around for the Q&A sessions. I would like to especially thank Jaymes Dunsmore of Gensler to put Broad Minded City into Gensler’s film series. It was a good event and gain a lot of insight from the people who are part of the film, Eric Lloyd Wright, Louis Wiehle, Ken Bernstein, myself and a special comment by Refugio Ceballos “Cuco” telling about the concern of a young girl from Canada who tell that she is frighten about the future because the lack of nature in cities. Cuco’s comment brought a few more people into the audience during his speech. He brought a sense of realism to the conversation.
While some of the people that were mentioned in the previous post weren’t able to make it because the conflict of schedules and travel time to get to Gensler’s office in Downtown LA, overall it was a success. It is a start to bring Broad Minded City to the masses. I would also like to thank Daniel Skolnick and Debbie Gloria for showing up for the event, even though both were hanging in the background, hopefully for the next screening event, both and other future guest for any screening event will bring another perspective of Broadacre City, Los Angeles and any other cities dealing with ever growing population, identity and the environment.
Quirino de la Cuesta