Los Angeles — the city of sprawl and no planning or bad planning — long ago became a city of limits, a city that had filled its vast open spaces with homes, businesses and factories and wore out its infranstructure.
Smart growth became a necessity a quarter century ago, yet the city continued to regard every project on a case by case basis where political influence played a more important role than the value of projects to the quality of the city’s life and economy, much to the displeasure of many.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa held a press conference Monday and spoke directly to these concerns, promising — as ke did five years ago — a new era in city planning that respected the neighborhoods while expediting developments that meet the highest standards.
The occasion then was the appointment Gail Goldberg as planning director, a position she surrendered weary from the endless battles with the mayor’s staff..
Monday’s news conference, heavily attended by pro-development interests and a handful of reporters, was to announce his appointment of Michael LoGrande as her successor as LA City Planning Director.
Many planning experts and current and former city planners question LoGrande’s qualifications since he is not a certified planner and has worked in various roles in city planning for barely a dozen years. They also questions his work ethic and his commitment to smart growth and full, open and inclusive processes in all aspects for city planning.
Here’s everything he had to say at today’s press conference:
Here’s the mayor’s announcement where he makes a commitment to smart growth: