Thursday, April 26, 2007

Do Real Planning #2: Offer Basic Design Standards

Design Review Committee
Originally uploaded by CD-13.
Last week, the Los Angeles City Planning Commission unveiled a 14-point policy agenda to set the city on a course towards sustainability, using Planning Director Gail Goldberg's mantra, “DO REAL PLANNING”, as an acronym for the platform. Here at, I am sharing my thoughts on each of these planning principles, using the lens of my own district work and the potential for citywide direction along these lines.

Because our plans historically have not included formal design guidelines, I have been blessed with more than a dozen architects, historical preservationists, and designers from the community, who volunteer several hours a month to participate in our Hollywood Design Review Committee. I can't underscore enough how critically important this has been in raising the bar for our major developments in Hollywood.

I am encouraged that the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects is developing a workshop for communities on design principles that will help elevate design issues in all Los Angeles neighborhoods and I am working with them to bring the Los Angeles Unified School District, local chambers, and other governmental entities together to ensure that good design can be more unified in our neighborhoods, no matter who is building in our city.

Too often, good design has been missing from our local developments, but neighborhood councils, community groups, and council offices have the potential to bring all stakeholders in any given community together to make Los Angeles as beautiful as it can be.