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?
Our expansive beaches largely define Santa Monica. How might our community be impacted, both financially and otherwise, should this vital asset disappear beneath the waves? Ironically, what makes our city so unique, may also be its undoing. As the earth warms, and sea levels rise, our city is becoming increasingly vulnerable to the ocean’s periodic … Continue reading Santa Monica’s Achilles Heel
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”
Before SMa.r.t. there were Letters to the Editor. Here are letters from 2013 by Ron Goldman, FAIA, and Bob Taylor, AIA, predicting the coming failure of the planning direction the City was actually implementing, as opposed to the direction set by the newly adopted LUCE (Land Use Circulation Element of the General Plan) that they … Continue reading So What’s New?
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
Last week we asked: what should Santa Monica look like in 5, 10, or 15 years? Will we be an urban city or a beach city? What questions need to be asked and answered? This week we continue with our review of important issues facing our community. Housing and affordability: How much do we need … Continue reading A Conversation About Santa Monica’s Future, Part 2
What should Santa Monica look like in 5, 10, or 15 years? Will we be an urban city or a beach city? What questions need to be asked and answered? With change happening at a faster and faster pace, computers have already taken jobs away from the middle class and robotics will take an even … Continue reading A Conversation About Santa Monica’s Future, part 1