This article was being written as our City Council was spending a weekend retreat in Virginia Park addressing the City’s five strategic goals using “data driven planning” to solve “mobility,” “inclusiveness and diversity,” re-purposing the “Santa Monica Airport,” “homelessness” and childhood “education.” Shouldn’t they also be looking at “safety” and “happiness”? Are data driven decisions … Continue reading Who’s Listening?
Santa Monica City’s Architectural Review Board (ARB), established in 1974, acts “to preserve existing areas of natural beauty, cultural importance and assure that buildings, structures, signs or other developments are in good taste, good design, harmonious with surrounding developments, and in general contribute to the preservation of Santa Monica’s reputation as a place of beauty, … Continue reading ARB (All Ready to Build?)
Before deciding an optimum population for our city, which is the second most densest California coastal city, we should take in a larger context. Most people would agree that space ship earth has too many people today and the aspirations of those billions for a humane life can only be met (and barely) if we … Continue reading Simply Too Many People? (Part 2)
In this two part article SM.a.r.t. (Santa Monica architects for a responsible tomorrow) takes on the thorny issue of the optimum Santa Monica population. When we look ahead at the population of Santa Monica, there are conflicting views of how many people should live, work and visit here. Some people believe we have already crossed … Continue reading Simply Too Many People? (Part 1)
This coming Thursday, January 11, there is a community meeting regarding a project that could have a major impact on Santa Monica’s future. As an involved group of architects, planners, and city commissioners, we feel this project, as designed, is not necessarily one that will be beneficial for our city or its citizens. A few … Continue reading Dangers of Wishing Upon a “Star-chitect”
If our city were a ship, it might be described as “floundering and adrift.” At times it seems that Santa Monica knows neither where it’s going nor, if it did, how to get there. It is difficult to make policy without a clear vision or a well-defined course of action. For example, do we see … Continue reading Santa Monica…A City Searching for Itself at Sea
Continuing last week’s article, this week we present additional quotes from architects, designers, and philosophers who have thought deeply about the city environment. “City life is not the only environmental option; a regional solution can offer a range of lifestyles and community types without compromising our ecology. A well designed region, when combined with aggressive … Continue reading Urban Thinkers and their Words, Part 2
Why I never/seldom go downtown and never really want to go there. What is downtown for me, a resident of Ocean Park? The Apple store. Maybe. What else is there? Barnes & Noble is said to be leaving, though a new/used bookstore has just opened near 2nd Street. Otherwise, just the same national chains rattling … Continue reading Where is the there, there?
Does our City have a vision for its future? Do the current policies of our City Council, as Mr. Cole suggests, “creatively shape the tides of history” for our small beach town. Is it true that we are using “economic, demographic and technological forces… to maximize public wellbeing and minimize the adverse impacts on people … Continue reading Back to the future
Santa Monica is at a crossroads. Will speculators or residents determine our city’s future? Since developers tend to think short term, focusing on profitability, it is important that residents, with their emphasis on the city’s livability, also weigh in to balance the discussion. At present, it appears that our City leaders have chosen to put … Continue reading SMart and Final