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.”
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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!
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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
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This Thursday (August 1st) Gensler is hosting a screening of Broad Minded City. It will have a Q&A session after the screening which the participants (interviewees & filmmaker) will engage in the conversation of the film. Here is a list of the participants who will be part of the Q&A.
- Eric Lloyd Wright, architect, grandson of Frank Lloyd Wright & father of Lloyd Wright.
- Daniel Skolnick, LA City Planner, former Deputy Planner for former LA Councilmen Tony Cardenas & Dennis Zine.
- Quirino de la Cuesta, Film director.
- Debbie Gloria, architect & LEED AP.
- Louis Wiehle, architect, former apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright
-Juan Carlos Munoz Hernandez, graffiti artist
-Ken Bernstein, Manager of the Office of Historic Resources and Principal City Planner at the Los Angeles Department of City Planning
- Refugio Ceballos “Cuco”- South Central Farmers Activist
- Kevin Parkhurst & Hannah Wear, husband and wife, associates of Eric Loyd Wright owners of Solar-installation company- Malibu Solar
- Benjamin Ball, co-principal of Ball-Nogues Studio
It will be exciting event and the conversation bring a good dialogue. For your information, it is a work in progress and there will be many hurdles to make this film a full-featured film. Anyone who would like to be part of the audience, many will be Gensler’s employees, will have to notify thru this website by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. in order for me to let Gensler how many people in my part who will attend.
Quirino de la Cuesta.
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The short film of Broad Minded City will be screening at the Downtown Los Angeles office of Gensler, a multidisciplinary firm focusing Design, Architecture, Urban Planning / Design and Interior Design. The screening is part of an event created by Gensler as a film series showcasing films related to cities, design, planning and architecture. It is mostly for the people in the firm but it is also open to patrons who are interested in film and design. It will be screening between 5:30- 7:30 pm. It is an honor to be able to present it at the Gensler office which there will be a Q&A sessions towards Broad Minded City.
The screening will take place at 500 South Figueroa Street and parking is available. For more information please contact my email at email@example.com. Please inform how many will be attending the event because there is a limited amount of seating and we don’t any overcrowding in the Gensler’s office space. You could also take the Metro line to Gensler as a alternative way to their office.
For the Q&A session after the screening, I invited some of the interviewees of Broad Minded City to engage in the conversation on the film, Los Angeles, Broadacre City and the current situation for cities besides Los Angeles. There will be more notices in the coming days to inform who will attend the screening event and information.
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If anyone in the Los Angeles area or in Southern California, a short film of Broad Minded City will be screening today (June 8th) at the Wright Organic Resource Center in Malibu to celebrate the birthday of Architect Frank Lloyd Wright who will be 146 years old. If anyone is interested in attending the event, it will start from 1:00 pm till 5:00 pm. The actual screening will take place at 3:30 pm.
Here is the link to the event here
This is the first screening in Los Angeles and excited that Eric Lloyd Wright & associates is able to invite me to screen it. Hope some of you will be able to make it for the event.
Quirino de la Cuesta
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In March 21, 2013, Broad Minded City had the opportunity to screen the short film of Broad Minded City to a group of Dutch architects, urban designers, planners and urban farmers for a dinner event. It was an unusual event where I didn’t have to go to Rotterdam, The Netherlands and presented myself in front of the group. It was done in a Skype chat, where I introduced myself prior to screening it by uploading the short film to Vimeo. After I introduced myself, they viewed the short film for about an hour and a half.
Once they were done, they came to a dinner table where the chef of the event prepared a good looking setup of dishes and flowers, created by Maidie van den Bos who is also an architect. During the dinner sessions where everyone was eating except for me asked questions about the film. They asked questions which were interesting in itself and was able to answer. I mentioned to them they were the first group of people for an event to see it fir the very first time.
While the short film was already presented, by far in no means that it is done. All along this documentary will be a full-feature documentary, which will hopefully be screening in film festivals, get distribution and theatrical release.
Right now, here are some photos of the HUB dinner session event. I would like to thank Gilbert de Nijs for organizing the event and allowing me to screen it for the first time.