Streets can play an important role in the life of a community besides being a way to move cars from one place to another. LA StreetsBlog hosted a night of envisioning a new way to look at streets as a place to live, not just a place to drive. "Planning the Future of Our Streets" was a two-way conversation, not just a lecture where attendees got a chance to model their own street, and discussed the issues with planners, advocates and politicians.
First Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, UCLA Urban Planning Professor (and Pasadena resident) presented about the importance of sidewalks, their design, and how they fit into making a street great. Loukaitou-Sideris has written about this subject and her most recent book is Sidewalks: Conflict and Negotiation Over Public Space.
You can read about Sidewalks here.
Next, James Rojas lead an interactive planning program to help attendees design their own perfect street. Participants were given a short amount of time to build a model of what they picture the perfect street to look like using colored construction paper, and thousands of small items such as hair rollers, buttons, yarn, shiny beads, pipe cleaners, and blocks. These materials helped the participants re-create the visual language of the city based on their personal experience in the built environment; green yarn became grass, blue poker chips formed the edges of the ocean, and hair rollers shaped a skyline of apartments or office buildings.
Rojas has led these workshops literally around the world, from L.A.'s Eastside to United Nation's conferences in South America.
Click here for more information about James.
Finally, Pasadena Magazine editor-in-chief Linda Immediato moderated a panel discussion featuring:
- Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard
- Mark Gangi, the Principal of Gangi Architects
- Felicia Williams from C.I.C.L.E.
- Erlinda Romo, the executive director of the Pasadena Playhouse District