Monday, September 14, 2009

Developers Embrace New Downtown Los Angeles Design Standards

At a meeting last week, developers and designers overwhelmingly embraced the City of Los Angeles' "Design for a Livable Downtown" guidelines, according to the Los Angeles Downtown News.

This Guide is a coordinated, multi-departmental effort intended to promote "walkability, sustainability and transit options" and to reinforce the character of each of Downtown LA's many different neighborhoods.

Some of the points emphasized in the Guide are:
  • creating wide sidewalks
  • establishing wide setbacks
  • building sustainably and "green"
  • instituting abundant landscaping
  • integrating parking into building structures
  • promoting open space
  • varying horizontal and vertical building details
  • regulating signage
  • incorporating public art
Historically, so much of Los Angeles was developed without a master plan and large swaths of the city suffer from sprawl and mini-mallization.

The City, wisely, in the 21st century has taken the early 20th century Downtown and imposed a strict vision which will transform the urban core into a distinctive, vibrant, sustainable, livable environment.

The snowballing momentum in Downtown building should be invigorated by this imaginative and useful plan to create one of the great metropolises of this new millenium.