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”
Santa Monica’s new DCP (Downtown Community Plan) identifies three sites as “Established Opportunity Sites,” although the addition of the word “established” seemed to have appeared from nowhere in the final version presented to the Council for approval. The phrase “Opportunity Site” only appears once in the Land Use Circulation Element (LUCE) of the General Plan … Continue reading In the Spot…light: Creative Zoning in Santa Monica
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
For this week’s article, and in the context of the Downtown Specific Plan, we provide a few thought-provoking observations by well-known architects and urban philosophers. Peter Calthorpe “Traditional urbanism has three essential qualities: (1) a diverse population and range of activities, (2) a rich array of public spaces and institutions, and (3) human scale in … Continue reading Urban Thinkers and their Words
The city is for human beings, not for a race of giant men playing a new kind of chess.”– Jane Jacobs from in “The Death and Life of Great American Cities…” We’re a unique beachfront community and we should capitalize on that, not change it. The Downtown Community Plan (DCP) as proposed will likely have … Continue reading The DCP: When Less is More
One of the most important decisions our City Council will make this year could be approval of our new Downtown Community Plan (DCP). What is the DCP? It is the master plan that will define our public realm and quality of our environment for the next 13 years. It will address such issues as land … Continue reading Our Downtown Community Plan: Quantity or Quality?
Santa Monica has always been a mixed bag. Since 1875, it’s been a breath of fresh air for Los Angeles. It is the ultimate seaside escape for millions of people each year. It was a working class city, occupied by small duplexes and triplexes, with a great deal of economic and racial diversity. Our town … Continue reading It’s Time That Residents Matter!
The current Downtown Community Plan under consideration by the Planning Commission is a good start but could get better. It is single mindedly pro housing expecting to add about 2500 units (approximately 4000 new residents) in the next 13 years to 2030. In addition it reduces certain (not all) parking requirements to hopefully reduce traffic … Continue reading Housing Über Alles
“Santa Monica is already so built out, an enormous tourist center, a huge regional office hub, with significant multi-family housing, home to a 30,000-student college, two major, growing hospitals, with our streets and sidewalks overtaxed, and more. Yet, the Downtown Community Plan (DCP) never adequately answers “why” so much more rapid development – more than … Continue reading Why Indeed!
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