If you are at all involved with urban planning in Los Angeles you were probably either in the audience or on the panel at last night's "The Future of the Los Angeles City Planning Department (and the City of Los Angeles)" event, sponsored by AIA, APA-L.A., ULI, and Cal Poly Pomona's College of Environmental Design. I suppose a third option is that you were stuck in traffic and couldn't make it.
At a press conference at City Hall this morning Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa introduced Michael LoGrande, his nominee to success Gail Goldberg as the city's planning director. At some moments the rhetoric of the mayor and fellow speakers -- including LoGrande, City Council Member Ed Reyes, and Planning Commissioner Bill Roschen, and affordable housing activist Jackie DuPont Walker -- sounded as if they were building the world's next great city.
Other times, their emphasis on customer service made the city sound more like a Nordstrom store than the writhing metropolis that it is.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is reportedly set to announce his selection of Michael LoGrande as the city's next planning director. A 13-year veteran of the department, LoGrande currently serves as its chief zoning administrator. He replaces Gail Goldberg, who had served as planning director for four years before announcing her retirement three weeks ago.
LoGrande's path to the directorship contrasts with that of Goldberg, who arrived in 2005 to a department far different from the one she is leaving.