The Role of Stadiums in Urban Revitalization
At the recent 2014 Women in Sports and Events (WISE) Los Angeles gala, Janet Marie Smith was one of three recipients of the Women of Inspiration Awards. Smith's preeminent career in stadium planning and historic preservation includes, most recently, upgrades and enhancements to the 52-year-old Dodger Stadium.
The Planning Report attended the event and presents a transcription of Janet Marie Smith's remarks in its latest December issue. In her acceptance speech, Smith discusses her own beginnings in architecture and stadium renovation, and emphasizes the role of sports stadiums in bringing life back to urban downtowns.
Smith eloquently stated: "The alignment of the public-sector goal to revitalize downtown, coupled with Larry [Lucchino]’s vision for an old fashioned ballpark, demonstrated how sports could be used to invigorate urban development. Since Camden Yards opened in Baltimore in 1992, 20 of the 26 new MLB parks have moved into their downtowns to become a part of a city revitalization effort."