The Role of a Big City Planning Director: Visionary or Expeditor?

Michael LoGrande, recently approved as the next Planning Director for the city of L.A., is a city hall insider with a reputation as an expeditor. Former interim Planning Director Mark Winogrond questions the process by which LoGrande was selected.

An excerpt from the article:

"There are common threads to every American city which has seen great and grand improvements in the last 20 years: Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, San Diego, San Francisco, especially Chicago, New York, Boston, Baltimore, and on and on. Their mayors all put city-building first, often on a par with public safety. Many of those mayors went on to national office riding on the backs of the improvements in their city. Some, like Mayor Daley, simply love the citymaking process so much, that they stay as long as they can, growing their city, park by park, flower bed by flower bed.

Louis Kahn said, "A street is a room by agreement." Gail Goldberg understood this intuitively and fought to create planning-transportation partnerships for the benefit of we, the using citizens. So far nothing tells us whether Michael LoGrande understands that line, let alone agrees with it. Citymaking lives by the old scuba diver's maxim, "Plan your dive, then dive your plan." So far we have nothing that tells us whether Michael understands that maxim, let alone agrees with it."

Thanks to David Abel

Full Story: Who’s Qualified to be the City of L.A.’s Custodian of the Built Environment?
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