“It’s like throwing a sponge into the ocean!” said LA mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti, referring to the Sepulveda Pass freeway expansion. He spoke at the Urban Land Institute’s FutureBuild plenary session on the state of transportation and transit oriented development in Southern California. The comment could be just as easily be applied to the proposed 710 tunnel, or other freeway expansion projects in Southern California.
Joining Garcetti for the plenary panel were Janet-Marie Smith (who has overseen the Dodger Stadium renovation) and Frances Anderton (KCRW’s Which Way, LA producer).
An earlier set of morning breakouts focused on how to combine transportation planning, transit oriented development and affordable housing policies. A Chicago planner said most cities’ budgetary structures are “siloed” and don’t support sustainable solutions, “and markets undervalue sustainability.”
Dan Rosenfeld, Senior Deputy to LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, commented on lessons learned in Portland and their applicability to transit development in Los Angeles. Creating vibrant neighborhoods by focusing on the 30ft. of street scape in front of buildings, improving walkability around transit stops, and understanding challenges faced by private developers were key points for panelists. Rosenfeld also noted that peripheral agendas – affordability, sustainability, prevailing wage, and architectural significance – “load the boat” for infill TOD proposals.
Repeating comments he made at the MoveLA meeting a few days earlier, Forest City Development President Kevin Ratner said that “sustainable private sector TOD development could be an oxymoron.“
Construction and retrofitting for achieving energy efficiency or net zero emissions, were discussed in concurrent sessions (covered in the previous post).