Is a Deputy Mayor for Architecture and Urban Design in LA's Future

In preparation for a series of Los Angeles mayoral candidate forums being hosted by the AIA beginning this Friday, Will Wright singles out the one issue that he would most like to see addressed.

Wright, the Director of Government & Public Affairs for the AIA Los Angeles (the host of the upcoming mayoral forums), pens an editorial in which he proposes creating an office of Deputy Mayor of Architecture and Urban Design to help coordinate the city's "investments in infrastructure and capital improvement citywide and ensure design excellence all on projects that influence the public realm."

Wright catalogs the numerous sprawling bureaucracies who have an impact on L.A.'s built environment, but are rarely on the same page, or even speaking terms. "Short of charter reform, one way to restructure the decision-making hierarchy of these huge organizations when it comes to building is to enable a team within the Mayor's office to create a more integrated system of project delivery and facility operations with a greater emphasis on design and performance."

"The cost of a project," notes Wright, "isn't simply measured in what we spend on it, but it also includes what we fail to gain from it."

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