Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Land use welcomes

Atop City Hall in the Tom Bradley Room, I had the honor of welcoming the members of the Urban Land Institute to Los Angeles for their international meeting, which begins today. No other think tank in the world address issue of urban land use and development at the scale that ULI does; a few years ago, they performed a study of Hollywood, roughly bounded by the redevelopment area, and the recommendations they made have helped my office, the CRA, and the Chamber of Commerce think about the future of the area.

It's a good time for Los Angeles to host a group of creative land-use thinkers. We face enormous change and enormous possibility; the Institute's agenda will include workshops on developments planned or proposed for the Staples Center and LA Live, the Port of Los Angeles, and Century City. The Mayor and the Council are both supportive of development, and, more importantly, of development done right. There is unprecedented concentration in the city right now on new and courageous solutions to the housing crisis (which I've discussed here and here.) Mixed-use development, density on transportation corridors, and other smart-growth principles, once wild new ideas, are showing up in plans on file and buildings on the ground. We're literally "growing up"—not just maturing in our thinking about what it means to be a city, but starting to grow vertically instead of just creeping out horizontally over every available patch of dirt. And twenty-odd stories below the ULI's meeting, a new mayor is actively searching for a new planning director who can accelerate our search for solutions.

Also welcome on the land-use front is Curbed L.A., a new region-wide blog addressing real estate, transportation, and development issues. It's great to see more discussion of these issues, which are central like no others to the 21st century in Los Angeles.