So, How Does One “Plan” L.A.?* (Updated)

CURBED L.A. is reporting that Gail Golderg, L.A.’s City Planner, is stepping down after four years. I spent a few days with Goldberg gathering string on a couple stories about the changing face of L.A. She was faced with a problem that was nothing short of an oxymoron — how does one even begin to start thinking about planning a city that is so fast-forward, all-over-the place and simply resists category or organizing thesis. I liked her early strategies: to meet with various Angelenos and take walks through their own neighborhoods so she could understand what mattered to residents literally from the ground up. Every weekend, she would pencil in a date and put on her walking shoes and explore. What led her, an energetic transplant from San Diego, to say she is ready to retire, I’m sure will become clearer soon. But I am sorry to lose her before she had a change to really exhibit her imprint.

Here is some of the criticism bubbling up: Via L.A. Observed from L.A. Business Journal:
“But Goldberg has come under attack from homeowner activists for approving too many developments. Also, developers said the department stalls development plans.”

Too bad, since something’s gotta give here. We have become truly a city of neighborhoods — as was predicted. But it isn’t so much the space, that we could navigate — now it simply takes too long to get from here to there. Who are we as Angelenos if we can’t take part in all of Los Angeles?

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