Once a shiny, exciting new concept, transit oriented development is easing into the mainstream like a train approaching a station--in thought, if not yet on the ground. Yesterday's Transit Oriented Development Summit, sponsored by the LA chapter of the Urban Land Institute and held at the University of Southern California, attempted to lay the track for a long, prosperous ride -- rather than a dead-end.
To supporters, the wisdom of Senate Bill 375, the 2008 law that promotes emissions reductions through coordination of transportation and land use, lies in its holistic approach to planning and its kitting together of disparate elements of the urban fabric. But, in light of budget crises at all level of government, one piece that is essential to SB 375's success is rapidly coming off the rails: money to run buses and trains
For quite some time now, we've heard about the credit crisis, the foreclosure crisis, the health care crisis, the state budget crisis, the climate change crisis. Add one more crisis to your worry list: the transit crisis.
One of the things prominently on display at this year's California Chapter, American Planning Association conference was the evolution of the City of Los Angeles from a gargantuan suburb into a true "big city."
New mixed-use and adaptive reuse projects are located all around the conference site in Hollywood, often within easy walking distance of a Red Line subway station. Conference attendees who ventured onto the Red Line encountered a bustling public transit system no matter the time of day.
A breakout session on Tuesday explained the city's adaptive reuse ordinance and related programs. But what the session highlighted was the re-birth of downtown Los Angeles as a desirable place to live for more than 10,000 people.
One of the most ambitious transit-oriented redevelopment projects in the state is taking shape in an unlikely location. Union City, a mostly working-class suburb just north of Fremont in Alameda County, is converting about 175 acres into a dense urban environment surrounding what city planners hope will become a regional transit hub.
I tend to be skeptical about land use policy and development trends in California. Every time I leave the state, I see creative developments and practices that we Californians should be implementing. >>read more