There comes a moment in the course of every nascent trend when we must ask, "is that a thing?" For tactical urbanism, that moment has been coming at least since 2008, when the (re)Bar collective deposited its first temporary minipark to inaugurate National Park(ing) Day. It's been coming since Mayor Bloomberg closed Times Square. And it's been coming since people in Los Angeles started referring to gourmet food trucks unironically. >>read more
Californians voted cautiously this week if they chose to vote at all. It would be foolish to look for just one electoral mood in such a large state – but when voters considered ballot measures related to land use, they mainly chose to preserve status quos.
When voters in Orange County approved the creation of the 1,300-acre Orange County Great Park out of the shuttered Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, they had every reason to believe the estimated $1.2 billion cost would come, partially, from redevelopment monies. Such was the status quo in 2002.
When the upscale cafeteria-style restaurant Forage opened in Los Angeles's Silver Lake neighborhood in early 2010, it did so with a new take on the "farm to table'" movement that's slowly been gaining ground in California, as well as the rest of the country in recent years.
In 2004, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors adopted a general plan. With that plan, the county adopted a programmatic environmental impact report (PEIR). The PEIR indicated that the development contemplated under the county's new general plan would have significant and unavoidable impacts on the county's oak woodland habitat and wildlife. The 2004 general plan identified two policies—options A and B—to assist in mitigating the impacts to oak woodland habitat.
The definition of wetland would seem to be self-evident: wet land. If only it were that easy in California.
From vernal pools that slowly diminish in the Central Valley heat to brackish estuaries separating ocean from land, California's topography includes some of the most varied types of wetlands imaginable. Their numbers and varieties baffle that which governmental regulations such as the federal Clean Water Act describe.
The past few years have been great for not building things. The Great Recession has particularly devastated developers building on the urban fringe, who found themselves saddled with entitlements for homes that no one would ever buy.
But for a distinct group of non-developers, the so-called Great Recession has been great for business.
Among the many counterintuitive theories that Jane Jacobs dispensed was that of the evils of parks: if designed and situated poorly, they could turn into vast dead spaces where unsavory characters could congregate and mischief could ensure. She preferred, instead, smaller, more intimate spaces with close connections to their communities.
If Jacobs loved Washington Square Park, then she most likely would have swooned over "parklets."
The words "pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure" probably cannot motivate the masses the same way an unguarded 8-year-old in a faded crosswalk can. That's understandable. According to the Centers for Disease Control, two-thirds of drivers nationwide exceed speed limits around schools. The result is that one child ages 5-15 per 200,000 are killed as pedestrians each year.