Archives for posts with tag: urban planning

Kimchee Cookoff

Good Food Day LA- what a fantastic event!!  While all sorts of amazing things went on throughout the city involving over 3,000 participants at 40 locations, I had the opportunity to attend the central event at Metabolic Studio near Chinatown and the cornfield-turned-park in downtown.  Along with a couple of food trucks with tasty items, there was a small vendor fair with information on urban gardens, youth programs, and volunteer opportunities throughout the city.  There was an awesome kimchee cook-off, which included chefs, farmers, food critics and even a councilmember as judges.  The winners were stoked, it was very cool to watch.  The main event ended with a great speech by LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy on the importance of good food in schools and beyond, as well as food workers rights.

SO why is this important?  Why is the LA Food Policy Council (along with the mayor) even putting on an event like this?  Of course, everybody likes “good” food- in the sense that it tastes good- but when you can feel good about eating that food as well, it brings another dimension of “good” to the table that you may not have previously considered a part of the package.  Once you start to look into our food-related policies and practices, like the folks at the Council have been doing, you start to understand the wide reach that food has as well as its impact on many aspects of our lives.  Consider:  Where is your food coming from?  Are different parts of it coming from different parts of the country, or even the world?  What is it packaged in, and how were those materials processed?  Are they recyclable?  Were pesticides involved?  Should you be worried about them?  How about the people who helped, plant, grow, collect, process, pack, distribute or cook the food?  Not to mention issues related to Farmers Markets, food trucks, and problems of access to food…in short, food connects to every aspect of our lives and the lives of the people around us.  It impacts public health, urban design, poverty, government policies, sustainability, agricultural practices and so much more.

It is because of the breadth and the depth of the issue of food that its become such a hot topic across the board, and is something that everyone can relate to and should be aware of.  So the next time you have the opportunity to get involved in something food related, take a chance and see what its all about.

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I recently accidentally came across an excellent public space in downtown LA while chaperoning a trip to the Fed.  Between Hope and Grand, and Olympic and 9th, there is an amazing little pocket of green that accomplishes so much in the single block it shares with FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising).  Just across from the Fed, and within a mile of LA Live and the Staples Center, Grand Hope Park manages to combine a myriad of uses and types of spaces into a place where anyone could feel welcome.  This may not seem like an amazing feat, but think about it for a minute:  how many parks and public spaces have you been to that you didn’t want to linger at?  Maybe it wasn’t designed or programmed for your uses, or it didn’t feel safe- both major issues with public spaces, especially in a city where the “eyes on the street” aren’t always easy to come by.  This park was obviously occupied by students, but it had children, elderly, office workers, and more- the question is, what separates this park from so many others?

Grand Hope Park Water Feature

According to the Cultural Landscape Foundation, it is 2.5 acres, was completed in 1993, and was designed by the famed Lawrence Halprin.  According to yours truly, there are a few reasons why this space functions so well. Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome to the brand-spanking new blog of a grad student as I explore new territories in graphical representation in urban planning and design.  Throughout the next semester and perhaps onwards, I will be posting exciting news, reactions to the course and the field, and graphical projects as I create them.  The hope is that I can take my previous and continuing knowledge of urban planning and stir in a “dash of design” through the experiences in this course, and come out with a more flavorful comprehension of how it all comes together in physical planning.  So here we go!

edit: heres a GIS map that I made quickly and am not happy with; edits to come…516_GIS_Map