LOS ANGELES — Many of America’s cities are in the crapper thanks to years of policy that’s favored suburbs and sprawl, writes The New York Times’ architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff. But with a city guy in the Oval Office, and billions being pumped into urban centers, this trend is reversible and opportunity especially lies in four cities: New Orleans, Buffalo, New York City’s Bronx borough, and Los Angeles.

Ouroussoff acknowledges our city has fared better than most (our booming population has been spared from natural disasters), but our limited transit network and our lack of green space threaten the livability of L.A., and if unchecked, could turn the city into a North American Cairo. But a "citywide plan that anchored Los Angeles along two major axes — the green river and the asphalt boulevard — could save it from becoming a third world city," writes Ouroussoff, a former architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times. [Image via the L.A. Times]

LOS ANGELES — Many of America’s cities are in the crapper thanks to years of policy that’s favored suburbs and sprawl, writes The New York Times’ architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff. But with a city guy in the Oval Office, and billions being pumped into urban centers, this trend is reversible and opportunity especially lies in four cities: New Orleans, Buffalo, New York City’s Bronx borough, and Los Angeles.

Ouroussoff acknowledges our city has fared better than most (our booming population has been spared from natural disasters), but our limited transit network and our lack of green space threaten the livability of L.A., and if unchecked, could turn the city into a North American Cairo. But a "citywide plan that anchored Los Angeles along two major axes — the green river and the asphalt boulevard — could save it from becoming a third world city," writes Ouroussoff, a former architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times. [Image via the L.A. Times]

  • Specifically, Ouroussoff wants the ambitious plan to re-green the L.A. River to move forward. Returning part of the concrete bed to its natural state would grant park space to diverse communities from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach. Councilman Ed Reyes told Ouroussoff that $100 million could get the plan jump-started at least near downtown.
  • Public transit needs a shot in the arm; most important is getting a train under Wilshire Boulevard that connects our cultural institutions (the Wiltern, LACMA, the Hammer, and Eli Broad’s new museum at Wilshire and Santa Monica). Concentrating public transit and culture on Wilshire could give L.A. the center it’s always been searching for.
  • Also, in a nice shout-out, Ouroussoff acknowledges that L.A. "has the most talented cluster of architects practicing anywhere in the United States."

View post at Curbed.com.

Copyright (c) 2009 Curbed.com LLC

***

What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below or send a letter to the editor.

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Will you attend ICLV virtually or in-person? The agenda is packed with stellar speakers and sessions.Learn More×
Limited time: Get 30 days of Inman Select for $5.SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription