Cap and Play

<p>This commentary from the <em>Los Angeles Times</em> calls for creation of a central park for the city, made by putting a "cap" over a section of freeway.</p>
June 21, 2008, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Great cities have great urban parks. Central Park in New York, Millennium Park in Chicago, Washington's Mall. They are magnets for the key ingredients that make a successful city center: housing and hotels, shops and cafes, museums and concert halls, public festivals and recreation from active sports to leisurely strolling. They provide breathing room amid the civic bustle; they open up the densest cityscapes; they signify the heart of the heart of their hometowns."

"Unfortunately, Los Angeles -- a great city by most definitions -- has no important downtown park."

"It is time for something bold and visionary."

"More than 100 acres of potential downtown urban parkland are hiding in plain sight."

"Where is this potential park? On top of the "Big Trench" -- that unsightly two-thirds of a mile of the 101 Freeway, just east of the 110 interchange between Grand Avenue and Alameda Street -- that brutally slices through the historic heart of Los Angeles."

"All we have to do is put a "lid" over the Big Trench and its exit ramps and acquire nearby parking lots and underutilized land next to the freeway, turning an urban eyesore into a 100-acre urban park and knitting the core of downtown together again."

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Published on Friday, June 20, 2008 in The Los Angeles Times
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