A Park for Everyone Offers a ‘Vision of What California Might Be’ 

In Praise of Whittier Narrows Recreation Area, an L.A. Gem That Contains Multitudes

It was tricky to get out of the house while the state was under the latest stay-at-home order, much less to find public places that offered both ample social distance and community. But I managed to do both at a park 10 miles east of Downtown L.A.

I wish our entire state was as broad-minded as the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area. The nearly 1,500-acre park, spanning both sides of the 60 Freeway in the city of South El Monte, isn’t just one of L.A. County’s largest and most popular parks. It’s …

In Search of ‘the Commons’ in Modern America | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

In Search of ‘the Commons’ in Modern America

My Rhode Island Town Has Had a Communal Green Since 1694, but Today’s Public Spaces Are Complicated and Splintered

“The commons” is a concept, an ideal. The commons are property we all share, property that’s owned not by any one person or group, but that’s held—well, in common. …

A Short History of the Idea of ‘Main Street’ in America

From Nathaniel Hawthorne to Disneyland, the Concept Has Represented Both the Experimental and the Conventional

In the United States, Main Street has always been two things—a place and an idea. As both, Main Street has embodied the contradictions of the country itself.

It is …

Democracy Strikes out at Dodger Stadium

The L.A. Ballpark Was a Diverse and Inclusive Public Space. Then Prices Took a Bad Hop.

When Los Angeles Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley opened Dodger Stadium on April 10, 1962, his ticket price structure was simple, straightforward, and inexpensive: $3.50 for box seats, $2.50 for reserved …

How Playing in the Park After Dark Unifies South L.A.

Summer Night Lights Reclaimed Public Space From Gangs and Started a Beloved Community Tradition

This summer, 32 parks around Los Angeles—many located in South L.A.—will stay open until 11 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

This is Summer Night Lights, one of L.A.’s most popular …

California’s High Speed Rail Should Look Like Germany’s

Stations Can Be Vital Public Spaces That Provide Space for People to Gather, Shop, and Be Entertained

Will California’s high-speed rail system be German enough?

That question is not a joke, as I learned last month while riding Germany’s popular high-speed rail. In fact, it’s a more important …