In the second part of a series looking at codes in L.A. that require tall buildings to have flat roofs for helicopter landing, Curbed LA discusses a new building that has been exempted from the code and whether more are likely to follow.
Fire and life safety engineer Nate Wittasek argues that helipads offer a "negligible" benefit to building safety.
"'From an engineering point of view, the helipad isn't the best use of money,' believes Wittasek, a former firefighter who also serves on the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, a Chicago-based group that studies the planning and design of buildings. 'You're spending all this money and infrastructure on something that is rarely used. What if you put the money towards something that was more beneficial?'
Wittasek is part of a team that created a modern fire safety system for the Red Building, the first major building exempted from Los Angeles County's helipad requirement, according to Deputy Chief David R. Richardson at the County of Los Angeles Fire Department. 'They proposed a [fire safety] system that was better than what was originally supposed to go in,' says Richardson. The building will open next year."
Boston Transit Riders Report Safety Concerns
Almost three-quarters of current and former riders report feeling unsafe while using MBTA services.
The Unceremonious Death of a Freeway Expansion Project
The end of an Oregon freeway project didn't get much fanfare, but the victory is worth celebrating.
Houston Lot Size Reforms Yield Positive Results
New research shows that reducing lot size requirements helped create thousands of new homes.
From Zero to Two: Houston’s Bike Share Saga Continues
The city is now proposing supporting BCycle as well as launching a new, complementary system.
‘Affordability Unlocked’ Boosts Austin’s Affordable Housing Production
A 2019 program has created new housing at a faster rate than other city programs.
How Homelessness Differs in Rural America
Although less visible than in major cities, the housing crisis is no less severe in many rural communities, where being unhoused poses unique challenges.
Knoxville-Knox County Planning
City of Stonecrest
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
Mpact: Mobility, Community, Possibility
City of San Carlos
National Capital Planning Commission
City of Culver City
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.