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January 1, 2011

Los Angeles Times architecture critic, aghast at a stadium proposal, thinks New York, by contrast, doesn't embrace developer-driven projects

Atlantic Yards Report

Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne yesterday offered Critic's Notebook: Los Angeles needs a game plan: AEG's plans for a new football stadium in downtown Los Angeles point to bigger problems: The city follows, not leads, and allows developers to shape Los Angeles one mega-project at a time.

He lamented:

One is that City Hall finds itself in the familiar position of reacting to, rather than guiding with any real foresight, a major development proposal that seeks to rewrite the planning rules downtown.

New York leads the way?

Dismayingly, Hawthorne suggested New York offers a counterpoint:

By contrast, other cities, notably New York under Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Portland, Ore., have breathed new life into the public sphere not by chasing giant developer-driven projects but by tending carefully to transit, bike paths, parks and other human-scaled improvements.

I posted a comment:

That's ridiculous. Along with appointing an innovative director of the Department of Transportation and others concerned about human-scaled improvements, Bloomberg has backed to the hilt developer-driven megaprojects such as the West Side Stadium (killed), new stadiums for the Yankees and Mets, and the Atlantic Yards project (arena plus towers) in Brooklyn.

Distinguished planner Alexander Garvin said this past June, "Atlantic Yards: what kind of public realm is there? None,” he responded rhetorically. “A single site rezoned for a single owner with a set of towers and an arena. That's not a public realm. If you're going to increase what you can support on the site, you need to be able to support them with something, such as community facilities, mass transit, and streets, and I have a problem when the upzoning isn't related to that.”

link

Posted by steve at January 1, 2011 9:03 AM