Revitalization's Best Friend

Marissa Gluck attributes downtown L.A.'s resurgence to some unlikely community development partners - our four-legged friends.

Marissa Gluck writes that the resurgence of downtown Los Angeles over the last decade, as old offices were converted into apartments, was spurred, at least partly, by the intentionally pet-friendly policies of building owners. These policies boosted the the number of renters with dogs in the downtown area, driving "residents out of their homes and into the street at least twice each day" to mix with their neighbors and activate the streets.

Real estate developer Tom Gilmore, one of the early leaders of downtown's revitalization, argues that "'Random interaction is a key component of a vital urban environment'...Dogs, he reasons, are the 'lubricant' that helps residents interact with their neighbors and local shop owners. 'Walking out of your door every day should bring a series of unintended events.'"

USC Associate Professor Elizabeth Currid-Halkett agrees that the community has grown strong, but attributes the development to "amenities and businesses," instead of the dogs. Either way, with 40 percent of current downtown residents owning a dog, their presence in the neighborhood is transforming downtown into a pooch's paradise.

Thanks to Akemi Leung

Full Story: How dogs saved a Los Angeles neighborhood

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city

Choose from over 20 styles of neckties imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95