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Art on the BART

Perkins + Will’s Destination Crenshaw is intended to empower the local community
For the city of Crenshaw, a historically black neighborhood in Los Angeles County, the initial symptoms of gentrification are beginning to make themselves present. Businesses and shops are closing down after decades of serving the community, the cost of housing is suspiciously skyrocketing while shops and cafes with variously esoteric titles are popping up along its main thoroughfares. “Gentrification is a crisis that threatens all elements of the work that we do,” said Damien Goodmon, executive director of the Crenshaw Subway Coalition. It's a workers issue. It's a public health issue. It's an education issue. It's an environment issue. It's a civil rights issue.” A 1.3-mile-long open-air museum along Crenshaw Boulevard, set to be completed by spring of next year, was designed to combat ensuing gentrification by empowering the community that has called the neighborhood homes for several decades. Titled Destination Crenshaw, the project was spearheaded by L.A. City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson and designed by architecture firm Perkins+Will, the same studio behind similarly-motivated projects, including Charlotte’s Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture and Washington DC’s National Museum of African American History. “Unlike traditional museums,” writes Perkins+Will, “Destination Crenshaw won’t be bound by walls or ceilings. The open-air, public art and cultural experience will feature architectural designs that capture the innovative and trailblazing spirit of Black L.A.” Destination Crenshaw was primarily devised as a pedestrian-friendly zone, complete with monuments, art, park space, and viewing platforms, and will also preserve and integrate the Crenshaw Wall, an 800-foot mural depicting images and icons from black history, painted by graffiti collective Rocking the Nation, into its overall design. However, the project is also designed to be visible from the Crenshaw/Los Angeles Airport (LAX) Metro Rail Line, an 8.5-mile-long light-rail system also set to be complete by spring of next year.  “We really wanted to look at how we [can] use the opportunity that the rail presents to solidify, to restore the historic African American community in Southern California,” said Harris-Dawson, “and doing it in a way that benefits the people who already live there.” Beyond its ability to tell the history of the storied neighborhood through the employment of local artists, Harris-Dawson also hopes Destination Crenshaw will become a catalyst for bringing back businesses operated by members of the local creative community as well as boost the region's economy. The goals laid out by the project inspired Perkins+Will to reimagine how a museum can enhance a neighborhood. “What was clear was being able to tell a very large story about this community being there for so long and also the contribution of all the major players and heroes that have come out of that community,” said Zena Howard, the lead architect at Perkins+Will. “We began thinking about how you could tell the story not in a chronological way, not like a history museum, not in a didactic way, but more in an experiential way.” While many see the project as a boon for the neighborhood, others are slower to consider it under such absolute terms. Earl Ofari Hutchinson, a longtime resident of Crenshaw and the president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, maintains that it is “unrealistic at best and a delusion at worst” to believe that Destination Crenshaw will halt the gentrification already present in the neighborhood.
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Barrel-Chested

John Lautner’s spiraling Foster House is for sale
Homes designed by the Frank Lloyd Wright-tutored West Coast architect John Lautner don’t usually stay on the market for long. Their seductive layouts, extravagant material palettes, and sweeping views have historically made them the subjects of bidding wars and ownerships lasting more than one lifetime. One of the architect’s homes, however, has been on the market for nearly three months and has even been subject to a price reduction. The Foster House, Lautner’s smallest home at a modest 1,016 square feet, is currently on sale for the first time since it was constructed for a schoolteacher in 1950. The home sits on a sharp corner in the quiet suburb of Sherman Oaks, California, a far cry from the trendy hills of Silver Lake where the majority of the architect’s work can be found. The features of the modest home can easily be listed in full: the ground floor is an open-air carport and features an unprogrammed room with an adjoining bathroom and a sloped lawn shaded by eucalyptus trees, while the second floor contains an updated kitchen with a foldaway table, a bedroom, a bathroom, a closet, a main room, and a balcony separated by a wall of glass. With its roots in the treehouse building type, the Foster House will likely find an owner (or owners, if they are petite) more interested in novelty than pragmatism. While it may be impractically small for some, the radial redwood-beamed ceiling and loads of built-in furniture pieces make it as charming as any other home the architect has designed. The Foster House is currently on sale for $1.45 million after first being put on the market in June for $1.6 million.
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Transit-Oriented Non-Development

One of Los Angeles's most successful housing programs is facing a lawsuit

According to the Los Angeles Times, an L.A.-based nonprofit has filed a lawsuit seeking to eliminate one of the city’s most successful affordable housing programs. Fix the City (FTC), which board members describe as a “pro-safety, pro-livability, pro-‘rules-matter’ group,” is suing the municipal government over its implementation of the Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) program, which loosens planning regulations for developers who build near transit stations. FTC’s leaders assert that the TOC scheme, which was initiated after Los Angeles voters came out in favor of Measure JJJ to address the city’s homelessness crisis, has allowed local officials to bypass the elected leaders of the city council and operate without proper civic oversight.

The lawsuit is intended to halt progress on the construction of a 79-foot-tall apartment building on Santa Monica Boulevard, which would accommodate 120 residential units spread across seven stories. If the project moves forward, it will be allowed to exceed existing height limitations on Santa Monica Boulevard by more than 20 feet in exchange for a guarantee that a certain percentage of the units will be set aside for affordable housing—a provision of the TOC program aimed at increasing residential density. FTC board members have accused the city of providing developer incentives that go beyond what voters approved under Measure JJJ, insisting that officials should redraw the housing plan with greater attention to due process and community oversight.

Contrary to what the FTC’s most recent lawsuit might suggest, the Transit Oriented Communities strategy has actually been quite successful in encouraging developers to build more residential units across the city. Since it went into effect in late 2017, the program has led to developer-led proposals for 20,000 new units, almost 4,000 of which are designated as affordable. Mayor Eric Garcetti has also indicated that the initiative’s focus on transit corridors will help to reduce L.A.'s crippling congestion problems.

Supporters of the TOC program and Measure JJJ have criticized the lawsuit as an impediment in the city’s quest to address its mounting housing crisis. The FTC, which has repeatedly sued the city over planning decisions ranging from the construction of a 27-story tower in Koreatown to the addition of hundreds of miles of bus and bicycle lanes through the Mobility Plan, is a known impediment to such actions. Whether the latest lawsuit will mark a legal victory or defeat for the city still remains to be seen.

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A No-Spoiler Zone

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood ingeniously blends existing and fabricated scenery
Los Angeles may be popularly thought of as a city with relatively little regard for the history of its built environment in favor of a ceaseless self-transformation, yet countless examples of the buildings completed during the movie industry’s Golden Era of the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s, as well as a few fortunate survivors from before that era, remain intact to this day. The production team behind Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, set in 1969, made ample use of what was available while developing innovative techniques for what was not. Following the friendship of actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and stuntman Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) as they narrowly come into contact with the sordid details of the Manson Family murders, Once Upon a Time takes its viewers through grand, unobstructed views of the city as it appeared half a century ago. A period piece with this much exposure, of course, required a detail-oriented crew to revert the city to its former glory without the extensive aid of digital set extensions. Barbara Ling, the lead production designer of Once Upon a Time, claims to have placed over 170 sets and facades in between preexisting structures to convincingly frame the film in the late 1960s. Lengthy stretches of Hollywood Boulevard, for example, were shut down for production to allow for long sweeping shots of the street as high up as a bird’s eye view. During the street closures, the elements completed off-site were brought in with cranes and quickly set into place. During several close-up shots, the posters and other period-accurate materials in the background were borrowed from Tarantino’s own collection of vintage memorabilia (including the same advertisement for Tanya suntan lotion advertisement famously displayed on the cover of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown’s book Learning from Las Vegas from 1972). But the film also takes advantage of what the city would never dare destroy. Once Upon a Time begins with Rick, Cliff and Marvin Schwarz (Al Pacino) inside Musso and Frank Grill, the “Oldest in Hollywood,” which is celebrating its centennial this year. Because its interior has been virtually unchanged since it first opened on Hollywood Boulevard, it is only in the transition from interior to the exterior that movie magic is employed, in which the production team skillfully recreated the restaurant’s original parking lot entrance based on old photographs. According to Variety, the restaurant staff even pulled out the original plateware from their storage room. The same creative mixture of reality and fabrication is most brilliantly applied near the end of the film, in which a gorgeous series of sunset shots seamlessly combines the city’s existing neon signage, such as that for the 1963 Cinerama Dome, with those that have been lost to time. But perhaps the greatest challenge met by Once Upon a Time is persuading its audience that Los Angeles is a beautiful city. “Los Angeles may be the most photographed city in the world,” Thom Anderson argued in his 2003 documentary Los Angeles Plays Itself, “but it’s one of the least photogenic. It’s not Paris or New York. In New York, everything is sharp and in-focus, as if seen through a wide-angle lens. In smoggy cities like Los Angeles, everything dissolves into the distance, and even stuff that’s close-up seems far off.” While Tarantino’s three previous movies set in the city—Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), and Jackie Brown (1997)—succumbed to the global stereotypes by depicting it as a gritty hellscape befitting the crime and corruption taking place under his direction, Once Upon a Time portrays Los Angeles with an unapologetic charm rivaled only by Roman Polanski’s Chinatown (1974) and Rebel Without a Cause (1955). Attention to detail and historical accuracy will likely make Once Upon a Time an essential reference for film and architecture buffs alike. As Tarantino contemplates his next and possibly last film (which will, no doubt, be another period piece), one can only hope that his focus on the built environment will somehow be even sharper.
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Paving on Parker

Morphosis, Renzo Piano, SOM among shortlisted for civic office tower in L.A.
Less than three months after the controversial demolition of the Parker Center in downtown Los Angeles, a shortlist of high-profile architects has been released to head up the design of a new, 27-story municipal office tower in its place.  The $700 million “Los Angeles Street Civic Building Project” as it’s temporarily called, is being spearheaded by L.A. Bureau of Engineering and has been in the works for quite some time. The agency, which oversees the planning, design, and construction of all public buildings, infrastructure, and public spaces, first introduced the idea to raze the Parker Center, previously home to the city’s police department for 55 years, and build atop it in 2016. At the same time, the Cultural Heritage Commission was trying to get the aging building landmarked but failed to meet the deadline. The L.A. City Council ultimately approved the overall proposal in 2017 on the belief that a new tower would be less expensive than preserving and revamping the Parker Center’s 319,000-square-foot exterior envelope.  Though design details haven’t been released yet, the upcoming 450-foot tower is slated to contain 750,000-square-feet of office space with room for a conference center, a childcare facility, retail space, and an underground garage. Initial concepts for the project lightly reference the surrounding city buildings in the Civic Center District, including Los Angeles City Hall, a structure of similar height. Plans also call for a landscape that links pedestrians to Little Tokyo nearby, according to Urbanize L.A.  After issuing a request for qualifications this spring, the Bureau of Engineering reduced the five submissions it received down to a shortlist of three. Below are those finalists: DTLA Civic Partners, LLC This local team is led by SOM and Clark Construction, funded by Meridiam and Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate, and managed by ENGIE Services. LAC 3 Partners L.A.-based firm Morphosis is at the helm of LAC 3, which includes Hensel Phelps Construction, Macquarie Financial Holdings, and JLC Infrastructure, as well as Honeywell International in operations management.  Plenary Collaborative Los Angeles Smith Group and Renzo Piano Building Workshop are working together on the design for the project, while Webcor Construction, Plenary Group, and Johnson Controls will serve as the building, equity, and operations experts respectively.  Once this shortlist is approved by the L.A. Board of Public Works, an RFP will be presented to the City Council ahead of any further announcements. Construction is expected to start next year and end in 2023. 
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Smoke and Mirrors

A look at the flimsy architectural stage sets of William Leavitt
When reflecting on the recent art and architecture scene of Los Angeles, a familiar cadre of names will typically come to mind; Ed Ruscha, Frank Gehry, John Baldessari, and Thom Mayne, to name a few. But beyond the figures that have famously channeled the city’s flair for the dramatic into their creative work, there is at least one artist that has made the spotlight his artistic subject while avoiding it for himself altogether. William Leavitt, now 78, has been quietly producing art about the uniquely modern spectacle of Los Angeles and its built environment since the late 1960s. Leavitt was stunned by the scale of Los Angeles and the hold the movie industry had on the city when he arrived in 1965. Part of a generation that reacted against the plain functionality of modernism in favor of a burgeoning commercial language designed for mass appeal, Leavitt continues to produce illustrations and sculptures which pay special attention to the architecture and interior design aesthetic present in the soap operas, furniture showrooms and suburban basements of the time. Like Ruscha and Gehry, Leavitt was an out-of-towner fascinated by the hastily constructed buildings that popped up around Los Angeles during the 1950s and 60s. But that would be selling Leavitt’s inspirations short. The artist skillfully conflated the kitsch and thinly veiled constructions of mid-century America with the sparse beauty of stage set design employed in so many of Hollywood’s movie studios and independent theatres. In 1988, he wrote about the first time he visited the backlot of a movie studio: “I loved the deception of going up to one of those perfect houses and opening the door and seeing that there was nothing but canvas and 2x4s holding it up. I thought that was spectacular: all the bricks were made of composition board.” The unique balance of image and reality on display throughout the city’s built environment is Leavitt’s primary source of inspiration. While the minimal stage sets of movies and plays are designed to appear more complete to their audiences fixed in place, Leavitt invites his audience to study his sets up close and in the round. As Ann Goldstein described his work, it “tak[es] into account the theatrical potential of the ordinary” while “considering the significance of every detail - location, lighting, atmosphere, props, and sound - and, like a set designer, he assembles a scene where every element plays a role.” One of his most well-known installations, California Patio (1972) is a sculpture depicting an entire setting: a freestanding sliding glass door between blue curtains framing a truncated woodchip garden. The materials of the entire piece might well have been purchased at a local hardware store, yet they become more than the sum of their parts; the 2x4s holding up the structure are more cleanly nailed and the sandbags more delicately placed than what is typically hidden from the screen or the stage. Leavitt’s illustrations, meanwhile, are reminiscent of those used by art directors to describe a stage set to a production crew. In Electric Chair (Interior) (1983), for example, efficiently depicts a sparse basement in which function and utility might be easily be confused for one another.
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He's a Pinball Wizard

Olafur Eliasson unveils larger-than-life spheres in San Francisco
Olafur Eliasson’s latest installation, Seeing spheres, 2019, is the Danish-Icelandic artist’s first permanent public piece on the West Coast. Each of the five ultra-polished steel balls stands over 15-feet tall and now populate the corner of San Francisco’s bayside basketball arena, the Chase Center. According to Studio Olafur Eliasson, the artwork was realized using a fabrication process known as hydroforming, which is a cost-effective way to shape metals using highly pressurized fluid. The design team unveiled through the company’s Instagram account that Netherlands-based Central Industry Group (CIG) helped them turn what were once polyhedral pieces of steel with many planar faces into smooth spheres. Viewers can watch as the individual structures are dipped into high-pressure water below and then lifted to reveal a perfectly round shape. 
 
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Revealed to the public this week, the finished spheres now sit arranged in a circle within the 25,000-square-foot triangular plaza of the Chase Center—home of the Golden State Warriors. Flat mirrors carved into the inward-facing side of each structure allow visitors to see their reflection, as well as the other spheres, from various angles. Whether viewing up close or from the center of the installation, the pieces appear and disappear, layer on top of one another, and distort the surrounding landscape. The circular, oversized frames are also rimmed with LED lights that glow at night.  “Seeing spheres is a public space that contains you and contains multitudes,” said Eliasson in a comment on Instagram. “We often think of public space as empty, negative space in the city, viewed from a car or crossed on the way to somewhere else. Seeing spheres offers a place to pause, where you see yourself from outside, as a participant in society.” This isn’t Eliasson’s first foray into spheres. Known for a longtime career of crafting super shapely, light-filled artwork, most of it somewhat trippy, his most recent projects featuring spherical forms include In real life, 2019 and Renaissance echoes, 2019, both currently on view at his Tate Modern retrospective in London, as well as Rainbow bridge, 2017, shown at the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York, among many others. 
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Kings of Leong

AN visits a Los Angeles LGBT Center designed to stand out
In recognition of the many services it has provided for its community for 50 years, the Los Angeles LGBT Center recently opened a brand new campus that was designed to stand out in May of this year. The Anita May Rosenstein Campus was collaboratively designed by Leong Leong and Killefer Flammang Architects to provide courses, space, and amenities for an estimated 42,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youths and seniors in Los Angeles each month. The 183,000-square-foot campus offers many much-needed programs for the local LGBTQ community, including youth, senior and drop-in centers, a youth academy and a homeless shelter for up to 100 people. The campus is sited on a relatively quiet intersection at Santa Monica Boulevard and North McCadden Place in Hollywood, built across the street from The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, another facility owned by the Los Angeles LGBT Center which houses a theater, offices, art galleries and community meeting spaces. The campus’s 12 programs were formally separated from one another across the four-acre site to create the visual complexity and porosity of a typical college campus. “Inspired by the mission of the Center,” said Dominic Leong, one of the partners of Leong Leong, “the architecture is a cohesive mosaic of identities and programs rather than a singular iconic gesture.” The rounded edges, fritted glass, and cylindrical skylights are all nods to the circular logo for the Los Angeles LGBT Center, while lending the campus the added benefit of proudly standing out among its boxy neighbors. “The Center’s leaders gave KFA and Leong Leong a clear vision: that the design of the new Anita May Rosenstein Campus must reflect the boldness, optimism, and absolute certainty of the Center’s mission to care for, champion, and celebrate LGBT individuals and families,” said Barbara Flammang, one of the partners of Killefer Flammang Architects. “We hope that the design and formal expression of these buildings and open, landscaped spaces contribute to the flourishing of the people who live in, work at, and visit this wonderful place.” Boldness and openness are apparent design intentions even at night, when the edges of the building’s exterior are highlighted in purple neon, and one can see from the street that even some of the interior spaces appear thick with a purple haze. The layout of many of the building’s living spaces is reflective of many of the gestures prevalent in the coliving spaces being built today, such as WeLive and Second Home. The communal kitchen and main activity room, for instance, can appear as a single large room when the large sliding doors between them are held open, while the lightness and transparency of the design throughout encourages interaction among its clients and staff. Though the campus is now open and has already begun serving its community, the completion of its second phase remains highly anticipated. Expected to be completed early next year, Phase II will include 98 units for seniors and 25 apartments for younger tenants. The intergenerational nature of the campus was intended to spur the commingling of its diverse clientele.
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Coast to Coast

The HKIA brings Hong Kong architecture to L.A. in Island__Peninsula
An upcoming exhibition will bring together two vastly different cities on opposite sides of the same ocean. Organized by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA), Island__Peninsula is a 14-day public exhibition which aims to compare the contrasting urban landscapes of both Los Angeles and its Chinese counterpart while illustrating what they believe to be a unique “Hong Kong style”.  Sixteen exhibits have bene organized under four themes that encompass the architecture of Hong Kong: glamor, efficiency, orderliness, and constant change. The exhibits will be displayed in the form of “islands”, a concept inspired by a 1975 novel, Island and Peninsula, by Liu Yichang which explores fragments of daily life in the Chinese city composed of 263 islands.  Accordingly, Island__Peninsula will offer a range of both built and conceptual work at various scales from individual homes, high-density towers, streetscapes, and community facilities. Works on view will include a theater emphasizing the traditional Chinese craft of bamboo scaffolding, speculations on transit-oriented developments, and how a university project adapts to the undulating hillside terrain of the city.  Under the “Land of Efficiency” theme, one exhibitor opened a dialogue between the two cities through a project called “Case Study Tower”. Employing the symbolism of Art & Architecture’s Case Study Houses, Chiu Ning and Lau Wai Kin multiplied and composed imagery and drawings of the homes to visualize a fictional tower typical of Hong Kong’s residences.  In concurrence with the exhibition, an interactive installation titled “Skyline Cello” will be on view at Hysan Place in Hong Kong. The artist, Keith Lam, “uses the skyline of Hong Kong and Los Angeles as musical score”, encouraging visitors to create their own "music of the city."  Island__Peninsula was co-curated by Chang Hoi Wood and So Kwok Kin and will run from September 19 through October 2 at the Westfield Oasis Space at Westfield Century City, Los Angeles. 
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Up To Olympic Standards

The Los Angeles Coliseum undergoes a monumental renovation
Once known as “The Greatest Stadium in the World,” the Los Angeles Coliseum has played host to some of the most important moments in modern athletic history since it was first completed in 1923. As the host of the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics, the Coliseum became a National Historic Landmark while the 1984 Olympic games were being held. Every generation that has taken its hand at renovating the 18-acre Los Angeles Coliseum has been met with the same monumental challenge: to update every one of its essential features with a successful collaboration between architects, building engineers, and sound engineers. The recent renovation of the 96-year-old building, completed this year to the tune of $315 million, is the most comprehensive yet. The greatest challenge for DLR Group, the design firm hired to oversee the project, was to position a new seven-story tower within the iconic bowl structure while respecting strict historic preservation guidelines. The new building, named the Scholarship Tower, modernizes the Coliseum with features that have its VIP guests in mind, including an entire level of luxury suites, a year-round club lounge, and an expansive rooftop deck with unobstructed views. The insertion of the Scholarship Tower into the cast-in-place concrete structure required the study of a detailed computer model, which allowed the team to develop a unique brace system for each of the tower’s seven floors. In the event of an earthquake, the Tower would sway independently of the concrete structure which surrounds it. The viewing experience in the other parts of the Coliseum was improved as well: every seat within the bowl has been replaced with one that's two inches wider. Though this alteration and the inclusion of the Scholarship Tower reduced the number of outdoor seats from 93,000 to 78,000, the result will make the viewing experience significantly more comfortable during the Coliseum’s year-round events. In addition, every seat now has unobstructed access to a Wi-Fi hotspot, thanks to an elaborate network of wires and over 700 access points discreetly installed within the concrete underfoot. Given how unreliable wireless services can be in large crowds, the team found the labor involved in the construction of this network a necessity. With only very few of the original construction documents still intact, the task ahead of DLR Group was an uphill battle from the very beginning. Don Barnum, DLR Group principal and lead of the firm’s Sports Studio, said that when dealing with any historic preservation project, “a lot of things come into what makes it a historic landmark and it is not just a view. We have to maintain that integrity.” The task, no doubt, was all the more challenging when applied to the Coliseum, a building as large as a small neighborhood. When the Coliseum becomes the host of the 2028 Summer Olympics, its renovation will be strongly felt by its visitors while being nearly imperceptible to all those viewing the games from around the world.
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Rugged Refined

OFFICEUNTITLED combines two buildings for Portland's stately Woodlark Hotel
Earlier this year, OFFICEUNTITLED (formerly R&A Architecture + Design) completed the new Woodlark Hotel in Portland's storied Downtown neighborhood. This substantial project—the fusing of two monumental listed buildings—has become a symbol of Portland's rapid urban renewal but also the so-called New Northwest movement: defined as the masterful blending of refined and historically-informed architectural detailing and a weathered ruggedness specific to the area. The joining of two buildings of different heights, with different floorplate arrangements, presented a unique challenge to the design team, especially for a hospitality project. In particular, The Woodlark’s interior takes its cues from nature: an abundant source of inspiration in the region. Lush, mossy, velvet and natural wood tones complement oceanic blues and shiny metallic accents. Luxurious textiles, ornate brass, and lacquer finishes join salvaged woods and natural leathers to delineate a distinct material palette. Read the full article on our interiors and design website, aninteriormag.com.
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DTLA 2040

City of Los Angeles releases draft plan for 20 years of downtown growth
The Los Angeles Department of City Planning has announced a new plan that frames the city’s long-term priorities for development. Called DTLA 2040, the outline breaks down how the city’s core will be strengthened to accommodate the estimated 125,000 more people, 70,000 more housing units, and 55,000 more jobs expected for the downtown area in the next two decades.  Over the next few months, the agency will be asking locals for feedback on a preliminary draft of the Downtown Community Plan—its official name—which locals were able to view online as of July. The proposal is broken down into three main categories: policy, land use, and zoning, and determines how Downtown Los Angeles and its current 80,000 residents will grapple with future growth. The proposed zoning plan breaks the downtown area into 10 land use designations, from its transit core to public facilities, to open space, and production, among others. It’s a logical next step for the agency to do this, since it announced a commitment to progressive land-use and transportation reform across the entire city late last year ahead of the 2028 Olympic Games. The plan falls under re:code LA, a major update to the city’s 73-year-old zoning code. An initial draft is coming soon.  A pivotal part of the Downtown Community Plan to rezone L.A.’s Central City includes a new Community Benefits program, an incentive model in which developers could build taller and denser structures if they offer public amenities and affordable housing. This is critical, according to a city planner who spoke with Urbanize L.A., because the next 20 years of growth will occur in just one percent of the city’s total land area.   Critics of the idea worry it will exacerbate L.A.’s worsening homeless crisis. A large portion of Skid Row is expected to be developed into market-rate housing and commercial use. Curbed L.A. reported that only a section of Skid Row is slated to be rezoned for affordable housing, which is a start, but it’s not enough according to some community homeless advocates. The Downtown Community Plan isn’t just about housing, however, it’s also about advancing mobility in terms of pedestrian traffic, cycling, and driving, as well as reinforcing the neighborhood’s character. Downtown residents can provide comments on the overall proposal until it's adopted by the city council.