Los Angeles Deputy Mayor for Budget and Innovation Rick Cole shared his views on the critical ingredients necessary for the city to improve its thoroughfares at the Urban Land Institute-Los Angeles’ panel discussion on February 19 at Gensler titled "StimULI: Can LA’s Streets Be Great?" Jack Skelley, a member of ULI-LA’s Executive Committee, moderated the conversation. The Planning Report has included an edited transcription of Cole’s remarks, which touch on the central importance of investment and the role of the flâneur in creating vibrant streets. Speaking ahead of Cole were Councilmember José Huizar and City of Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Doane Liu.
Often maligned by armchair urbanists for its car culture, Los Angeles has made strides in recent years, through investments in public transportation and in its downtown, in improving walkability and public space. Mayor Eric Garcetti's launch of the Great Streets Initiative in October 2013 aims to carry these improvements further with a focus on corridors throughout the city. An executive directive by the mayor created a working group of relevant city departments to first focus on coordinating work ("No more Bureau of Street Services paving a street on Monday, DWP digging it up on Tuesday," said Mayor Garcetti), identifying streets, and establishing timelines.