A Funeral Oration for the California Parking Lot

There's Honor in Anti-Parking Policies—But Killing Off-Street Spaces Also Means Losing Local Revenue, Gathering Spaces, and More

Friends, Californians, fellow drivers, stop honking your horns and lend me your ears.

I come to bury California’s parking lots, not to praise them.

The evil that abundant parking spaces do lives long after the ground is paved over.

So say the honorable officials and wise engineers of California. They tell us that parking consumes huge amounts of property that might be used more productively for business, housing, or transit infrastructure like bus or bike lanes. In L.A. County alone, parking covers 200 square miles. Most parking spaces are empty most of …

Trains Are Not the Silver Bullet

A Successful Rail System in L.A. Has to Help People to Get to Work, Complement Existing Bus Routes, and Serve 1,000,000 Riders a Day.

Trains and rail are inseparable from California’s past. When Leland Stanford hammered “The Golden Spike” in an 1869 ceremony in Utah, he united the first transcontinental railway in the U.S.—and …

Are Walkable Neighborhoods and Bike Lanes Only for the Creative Class?

Urban Planners Are Trying to Make Streets Safer and More Accessible. But Unfortunately Not for Everyone.

The “Complete Streets” concept in urban planning and design has been hailed as nothing less than a revolution. “North America is on the verge of a new paradigm,” writes Mobility …

What Can Downtown L.A. Do for Southern California?

The Dense, Cosmopolitan Neighborhood Already Offers Great Art and Food. Now It Needs to Ease Pressures on the Working Poor and Be More Inclusive.

When the Ace Hotel opened downtown in early 2014, a billboard announced its arrival with two simple words: “Hello LA.” The sign epitomizes a revitalized downtown Los Angeles intent on …

Architect Qingyun Ma

The USC Dean Loves Downtown and Breakfast Burritos; Texting and Air China Not-So-Much

Architect Qingyun Ma is a curator, winemaker, and dean of the University of Southern California School of Architecture. He is also the founder of architecture firm MADA s.p.a.m., which has …