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Advocating a New Planning Covenant for Los Angeles

Two well-known Los Angeles civic leaders advocate a new framework for understanding the built environment and landscape of Los Angeles, setting a trajectory for sustainable development.
April 12, 2014, 9am PDT | Kevin Madden
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Los Angeles’ urbanism is difficult to unravel, characterized typically as suburban, messy, and poorly planned. But how can we understand its origins and where the city is moving today? How does the landscape of Los Angeles come to define its trajectory? Two of LA’s prominent civic leaders—Daniel Rosenfeld, President of The George Crenshaw Development Project, and Paul Vandeventer, President & CEO of Community Partners—have created a framework in the following The Planning Report article to anchor the city’s physical timeline. Their observations offer insight into what they call a “Fifth Covenant” between Angelenos and the land, setting the stage for sustainable growth.

A convenant? Vandeventer and Rosenfeld respond, "Throughout history, every community has served as a steward for the land it inhabits. The people of Los Angeles are no different. Their stewardship not only continues a covenant handed down from previous generations, but also represents a commitment to future Angelenos. A covenant with the land suggests a shared conviction across generations that responsibly managing the land matters. Stewardship means both knowledge of the past and wisdom inform decisions that shape the future. We’ve created something remarkable in Los Angeles despite wavering in our stewardship over the decades between the poles of mastery and drift."

An appreciation for urban living coupled with investment in a growing mass transit system and a revitalized Downtown mark signs of this new covenant. As Los Angeles evolves over the next century, residents, businesses, and community stakeholders have an opportunity to recommit themselves to their city and to the environment.  

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Published on Friday, April 11, 2014 in The Planning Report
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