Archives for the month of: December, 2011

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Sweet, sweet things could be going on in Montreal if a densification proposal passes there.  It would encourage owners of large parking lots downtown to (gasp) develop them!  Check out the article on Montreal’s Gazette.

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I don’t know where I’ve been, but clearly it hasn’t been the right places if this is first I’ve heard of this- a new film called Urbanized is on its way out, directed by Gary Hustwit, who did Helvetica. Check out some info here. Jan Gehl (who I met in Copenhagen 2 summers ago) and Rem Koolhaus (whose opinions are extreme but interesting) are in it, among many other important urban thinkers of the day. Sad that Robert Fishman doesn’t make a cameo, but I guess you can’t have everything.

an·ge·le·no/ˌanjəˈlēnō

 A native or inhabitant of Los Angeles, CA (Merriam-Webster)
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I talk about the future of the urban environment- very often and usually to people who couldn’t care less.  At least, to people who don’t think about it nearly as much as I do. Living in LA again, I find myself constantly coming across aspects of the city that I’d like to change. From the transportation system to the housing situation, public schools to urban design…its a great city, but there is a lot to be done here. Sometimes, when I try to explain why suburbs trap teenagers, or why its OK to have stores without giant parking lots, I get a positive reaction. My grandmother, for instance, really gets it. But most of the time, I get the “typical LA” reaction:
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Don’t bother trying to “save” our city. It is what it is. We all drive cars and live nowhere near our jobs. We prefer big box stores and making fun of tourists.
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Ok, so thats a sweeping generalization. BUT it is the kind of reaction I get all the time. In fact, I had a conversation last weekend with someone who told me to give up on promoting transportation awareness in our city all together, and that I should find a career that actually can make a difference. She said that LA is on the road to destruction, and we should just let it fall. Ouch. She’s entitled to her opinion, but she just so indicative of the Apathetic Angeleno that I seem to be meeting all the time since I moved back.

I don’t have a solution for this. I think at this point in my (non)career, I’m more prone to asking question and causing problems than solving anything, especially since I’m still on the hunt for a job. But instead of backing down from these kinda of people, I’m taking it upon myself to lead the charge for change. Before we can change our physical infrastructure, we need to change our mindset. If Apathetic Angelenos are running wild, perfectly happy with mediocrity, then I’ll be here to give them a piece of my mind.

Ap·a·thet·ic  An·ge·le·no/ˌapəˈTHetik ˌanjəˈlēnō

A native or inhabitant of Los Angeles, CA who shows no feeling, interest, or concern for the future of the city or its inhabitants.

If I had a picture of one, I’d make a new meme right now.