Wednesday, December 23, 2009

**Winter/Spring Internships with Los Angeles City Planning, Community Planning Division**

**Winter/Spring Internships with Los Angeles City Planning, Community
Planning Division**

The City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning is looking for
intern candidates for its Community Planning division. This non-paid
internship is available for Winter/Spring 2010 (late January through
May). Candidates are ideally available for 1-2 days per week, 8-16
hours/week, and 8 hours per week minimum. While this is an unpaid
internship, those selected will be working closely with professional
level planners on policy, research and community outreach efforts. The
internship offers an enriching experience for new planners or students
wishing to gain hands-on practice in urban planning.

Position Summary/Job Description:
The Department is working on a number of exciting and challenging
projects, including updates to several of its long-range Community
Plans, development of design overlays, updates to hillside development
regulations, and the review of new development projects. Our new
Community Plans include goals, policies, and programs related to land
use, mobility, urban design, and infrastructure. Interns' tasks may

- Issue-specific research and analysis
- Community meeting preparation and attendance
- Graphics creation using SketchUp, Photoshop, or Illustrator
- Policy development
- Assistance with powerpoint presentations
- Data entry and records management
- Various general support duties

- Experience or education in Urban/City Planning
- Word, Excel proficiency
- GIS, AutoCAD, SketchUp, Photoshop, Illustrator preferred, but not
- Available 8–20 hrs/week (Minimum of 8hrs/wk)

Ideal candidates are familiar with the City of Los Angeles, enjoy
problem-solving, and are highly motivated and detail-oriented.

To Apply:
Email your resume to Susan Robinson,, by
January 14th.

Contact Susan Robinson at

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Deputy Mayor Bud Ovrom to serve as General Manager of LADBS


Happy Holidays!

As an FYI, it has just been announced that Deputy Mayor Bud Ovrom will become the next General Manager at LADBS.  This is an excellent opportunity to adovicate our support for the 12 to 2 initiative and efforts to streamline the building permit process.

More info, here:

December 22, 2009 |  1:49 pm

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa continues to reshuffle his cabinet of top advisers, announcing today that his deputy mayor for economic development will move into the top job at the Department of Building and Safety.

Deputy Mayor Robert "Bud" Ovrom will replace Andrew Adelman, who stepped down as general manager of that department in September. Adelman resigned as police were investigating allegations that he had raped a woman at his apartment. That investigation ended with no arrests made or charges filed.

Ovrom has promised to restart the mayor's effort to streamline the building permit process, which has been in the proposal stage for years. "As a 'bricks and mortar' guy, supporting construction has always been my favorite part of my job," he said in a prepared statement.

The appointment must be confirmed by the City Council.

Since Villaraigosa started his second four-year term on July 1, he has announced the departures of his chief of staff, a deputy chief of staff and at least one deputy mayor -- Helmi Hisserich, who became the No. 2 official at the city's housing department. Villaraigosa also accepted the resignations of general managers at two major agencies -- the Community Redevelopment Agency and the Department of Water and Power.

This week, Villaraigosa also announced the hiring of a new deputy mayor for education: Joan Sullivan, the founder of the Bronx Academy of Letters High School in New York City. Sullivan is a member of the Urban Assembly, a nonprofit organization that focuses on new school development in the New York area.

-- David Zahniser at L.A. City Hall

Will Wright Director of Government & Public Affairs

AIA / los angeles
A Chapter of the American Institute of Architects

3780 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 800, Los Angeles, CA 90010
213.639.0777 phone | 213.639.0767 fax

Friday, December 18, 2009

New Data Shows Stimulus Spending on Transit Creates More Jobs than Highways, Released in Wake of House Jobs Bill

Latest jobs data show stimulus spending on public transportation produces more jobs, faster, than highways

The latest data on stimulus spending shows that funds spent on public transportation were a more effective job creator than stimulus funds spent on highways. In the 10 months since ARRA was signed, investing in public transportation produced twice as many jobs as investing in roads:

§       Every billion dollars spent on public transportation produced 16,400 job-months
§       Every billion dollars spent on projects funded under highway infrastructure programs produced 8,800 job-months.
(Because transportation projects are of different durations, a "job month" is a more accurate way of comparing quantities of employment created)

As Congress and the Administration discuss a possible jobs bill, the implication is clear: shifting available funds toward public transportation will create more jobs.

These figures are calculated from data provided by the states through October 31, and released by the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on
December 10th

President Obama has said he is concerned that the goal of quickly boosting employment with shovel-ready projects may conflict with making long-term investments in America's future. These results show that investing in public transportation produces the most return for the money in both categories:

§       it is a more effective job creator; and
§       it builds the transportation systems we need for the future. 

Investing in public transportation also:

§       helps get people to work today and tomorrow,
§       provides immediate support to state and local governments struggling to run public transportation systems.

Other findings

The result that public transportation funding produced more jobs per dollar held across states: every dollar spent on public transportation supports between 1.6x and 2.5x the number of jobs that a dollar spent on highways supports.

Public transportation projects produce so many more jobs per dollar that even in cases where public transportation dollars spent out more slowly, they created more net jobs than
the spending through highway projects.  

The speed at which states spent stimulus funds varied widely. Transit spending was faster than highway spending for projects and transit agencies in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois,
Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. This is in marked contrast to statements to the GAO
that only pavement projects can get the money out quickly.

Any further transportation  spending the goal of which is rapid job creation should include measures to accelerate spending, including technical assistance to strapped transportation agencies, and possibly sanctions
and rewards.

These job-creation results data are not directly comparable to previously published studies on job creation through infrastructure investment since these are all incomplete programs in various stages of obligation, contracting, initiation, and completion.

Policy implications

No matter what the economic conditions, we need investments to provide the maximum possible return.

We now have enough data on the impacts of ARRA spending to begin drawing conclusions about the effectiveness of spending under different parts of ARRA. The data so far show that spending through public
transportation programs is both the more effective job creator, and moves us towards the transportation system of the future. 

As Congress and the Administration debate future federal investments in transportation, they should look at the ARRA results to date from the dedicated transit funds and the Surface
Transportation Program. Congress and the Administration should note the direct economic benefits of different kinds of investment, and how each helps reduce the cost of living, provides
access to jobs, boosts manufacturing, and improves state of repair for all kinds of transportation assets.  

All future apportionments, whether from a jobs bill, a second stimulus, and/or the continuing SAFETEA
LU program, and whatever authorization replaces it, should be guided by a balanced
approach to transportation spending that produces the maximum return for the money.
Phineas Baxandall, Senior Analyst for Tax & Budget Policy, U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG), Cell: 857
2341328, Office: 6177474351,
William Schroeer, State Policy Director, Smart Growth America, p 612 308 7147, Scott Bernstein, Center for Neighborhood Technology, p 773


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Very truly yours,

Will Wright
Director of Government & Public Affairs
American Institute of Architects/Los Angeles | 3780 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 800, Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 639-0777 phone | (213) 639-0767 fax |

The AIA/LA Design Advocate.

The AIA/LA Design Advocate.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

The AIA/LA Design Advocate.

The AIA/LA Design Advocate.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

The AIA/ Design Advocate.

The AIA/ Design Advocate.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

The AIA/ Design Advocate.

The AIA/ Design Advocate.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Friday, December 4, 2009

December 2009 - AIA/LA Political Outreach Committee

Dear AIA/LA Political Outreach Committee:

As a reminder, we DO NOT have a POC meeting scheduled in December.  Therefore, there is NO POC meeting on Tuesday, December 8th.

Committee Co-Chairs Roger Sherman and Jim Favaro (as well as AIA/LA President-elect Paul Danna) are moving forward on the Alternative Project Delivery initiative and we will have a complete status update pertaining to their on-going efforts at our next POC meeting, which will be on Tuesday, January 12 (6pm).  

In the meantime, I would like to canvass the Committee's perspective on a couple of emerging issues.  Please let me know if, as a committee, you'd like for me to respond in any certain way (pro/con) with regards to the following pending matters at City Hall:

1.  LA City Code Amendment - Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) - As directed by State Regulations, City of LA Department of City Planning is currently developing policy with regards to ADU's and with your leadership and guidance we can help effect that policy (if so desired).  This ordinance is in the early stages and, hence, the chance to help shape public policy.

2.  Low Impact Development Ordinance - The Public Works Commission will be reviewing the proposed LID Ordinance on Friday, December 11.  After this hearing, the ordinance will also be heard at the City of LA Energy and Environment Committee and at the Planning and Land Use Management Committee.  If you have specific thoughts/reactions/ guidance on this proposed ordinance please share your thoughts with me ASAP.  You can access the draft ordinance by CLICKING HERE.

3.  Ideas for the theme and for the specific speakers for the 2010 AIA/LA Political Outreach Breakfast Series.  If you'd like to work with me on this, kindly contact me with your ideas and suggestions so that we can draft a proposal for consideration  by the AIA/LA Board's Public Outreach Portfolio leadership, which will be comprised of Board members Angie Brooks, Merry Norris, Roger Sherman, Carl Muhlstein and Deborah Weintraub.  (I'm attaching a copy of the 2010 AIA/LA Organization Chart to help explain this programming hierarchy)

4.  Lastly, if you are currently receiving this email, it's because I have you on the 2009 Committee Roster.  If you are no longer interested, please let me know so I can remove you from the list when I create the official 2010 committee roster of membership/ interest.

Thank you.

Very truly yours,

Will Wright
Director of Government & Public Affairs
American Institute of Architects/Los Angeles | 3780 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 800, Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 639-0777 phone | (213) 639-0767 fax |

Making the ‘Jobs’ Bill Work For Architects

Congress is moving quickly to develop legislation aimed at preserving American jobs and reducing unemployment. In fact, the House hopes to craft a bill by Christmas. With the Architecture Billing Index maintaining a negative score, indicating a reduction in demand for design services and architecture firms everywhere suffering the effects of the ongoing economic crisis, we need your help to ensure that this potential legislation is developed with provisions that work for architects.
The AIA has provided Congress with recommendations for policies that will bring about short- and long-term recovery to our economy and lay the groundwork for more vibrant and sustainable communities. Our plan is available at The design and construction industry is one of the cornerstones of our economy, accounting for one in ten dollars of gross domestic product and millions of well-paying jobs. As Congress works to produce legislation to stimulate job creation, we believe the best way to achieve this is to foster growth is through investments in our nation's infrastructure and expanding access to credit, especially for our nation's small businesses.
Congress can pursue these goals by adopting a few key proposals to:
  • Provide $11 billion for the modernization, renovation, and repair of our nation's schools
  • Allow the SBA to provide reduced loan fees and larger guarantees for its 504 and 7(a) programs and increasing lending limits for the 504 program
  • Enact the Small Business Financing and Investment Act (HR 3854)
  • Expand the authority of the Treasury Department to provide funding of new commercial and institutional real estate loans for worth, solidly underwritten projects that will create jobs, and revitalize communities.
  • Increase the value of the Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction to $3.00 per square foot from its current $1.80 per square foot.
Congress will debate this bill in the coming weeks. You can help make sure that the plan helps the design and construction industry get back to work. Please ask your member of Congress to support these important provisions. Click here to connect with the AIA Advocacy Center.
Christine McEntee
Executive Vice President and CEO, AIA National

Monday, November 30, 2009

AIA/LA Breakfast w/ GUY MEHULA - Friday, December 4 (8am)

Dear AIA/LA POC Member:

Please make plans to attend our upcoming breakfast reception with Guy Mehula, the former Chief Facilities Executive for LAUSD.  The event will be on FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4 (8am) at GENSLER.
This will be an excellent opportunity for us to hear about Mr. Mehula's leadership  behind LAUSD's capital improvement programs and his ideas for how AIA/LA can continue to serve as a leadership resource to LAUSD.
To REGISTER for the event:   CLICK HERE
or cut and paste the following link - 

The 2009 AIA/LA "BUILDING LA'S FUTURE" Breakfast Series 
PRESENTED BY - Parsons Brinckerhoff
Former Chief Facilities Executive
Los Angeles Unified School District
December 4, 2009 (8am) 
2500 Broadway, Suite 300
Santa Monica, CA  90404

NO-HOST PARKING.  AIA/LA recommends riding METRO.  You can also park across the street at the Central Library, entrance on Flower.

8am - breakfast, introductions
8:15am - 8:45am - Larry Eisenberg will speak about matters of interest he'd like feedback on from the architecture & design community
8:45am - 9:15am - Questions & Answers from the audience
9:15am - wrap-up/ conclusion
9:30am - end

From Guy Mehula

For the past seven years I have had the honor to be a part of the leadership for the Facilities Division of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)- - first as the Deputy Chief Facilities Executive for New Construction and then as the Chief Facilities Executive.  I joined the District because I am passionate about the mission and drawn by the challenges I knew we would face.   At that time, I had no idea how generous the voters would continue to be, and how much we would be able to achieve. 

The work that we have done together and the investments we have made in our schools, community, and economy are significant.  This Program is truly historical.  Eighty new K-12 schools, more than 83,000 new K-12 classroom seats and approximately 19,000 modernization projects have been completed.  There are 10,000 people working on the Program on a daily basis and $13.6 Billion of local Bond funds have been leveraged into a $20.1 Billion Program.  Our schools are healthier, safer and less overcrowded.   The New Construction Program is more than 60 percent complete and our Modernization Program is approximately 90 percent complete.  We are on track to provide every LAUSD student with the opportunity to attend a neighborhood school operating on a two-semester calendar.

We have turned this Division into a world class, award winning Program and developed a team of highly qualified construction professionals that are able to deliver projects on schedule and within budget.  After careful consideration, I have decided to retire from the District and explore new career opportunities.  I informed the Superintendent and Board of Education of my decision this weekend and wanted to personally let you know about my decision as well.  My last day leading the organization will be Friday, October 23rd.  

This Program and this team are second to none.  Thank you for all that you have done for the students of LAUSD.  I am proud to have been part of this spectacular team and am confident the future will bring many more successes.  It is because of your teamwork and commitment to excellence that we have been able to provide our students with safe and healthy neighborhood schools on time and within budget. 


The 2009 AIA/LA "BUILDING LA'S FUTURE" Breakfast Series 
Presented by  Parsons Brinckerhoff

07.24.09 - Gerry Miller - Chief Legislative Analyst, City of Los Angeles - NBBJ
08.07.09 - Jim B. Clarke - Director of Federal Relations, Office of the Mayor, City of Los Angeles - Gruen Associates
09.18.09 - Gary Lee Moore, P.E. - City Engineer, City of Los Angeles - ARUP
10.01.09 - Larry Eisenberg - Executive Director, Facilities Planning & Development - LACCD - Altoon + Porter Architects LLP
10.30.09 - Brian League - Director of Entitlements, Capital Construction Development -  USC - CO Architects
11.06.09 - Steven A. Olsen - Vice Chancellor - Finance, Budget and Capital Programs  - UCLA - RCH Studios
11.13.09 - Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas - County of Los Angeles - Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP
12.04.09 - Guy Mehula - former Chief Facilities Executive - LAUSD - Gensler
12.10.09 - Bruce Armistead - Regional Manager, Los Angeles-to-Anaheim segment of the California High Speed Rail Project - Parsons Brinckherhoff
01.14.10 - Geraldine Knatz, PhD - Executive Director - The Port of Los Angeles - Harley Ellis Devereaux Architects


Sponsored by:
Parsons Brincherhoff
Gruen Associates
Altoon + Porter Architects LLP
Harley Ellis Devereaux
CO Architects
Rios Clementi Hale Studios
Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP

Price per breakfast/Entire Series:
$15/$135 - AIA/LA member
$30/$270 - Non AIA/LA member 

The 2009 AIA/LA "BUILDING LA'S FUTURE" Breakfast Series will serve as an excellent opportunity for key leaders in the A/E/C industry to engage directly with decision-makers that presently have ongoing capital improvement programs that are helping to shape the City in which we live. 

For additional information, please contact:
Will Wright
Director, Government & Public Affairs
AIA Los Angeles
(213) 639-0777

Monday, November 23, 2009

Reminder: AIA/LA UDC Dec 2 LACMA Masterplan presentation+ events of interest

AIA/Los Angeles Urban Design Committee

Tuesday, December 02, 2009 7-9PM

LACMA Masterplan presented by LACMA President, Melody Kanschat

Location: AIA/LA offices 3780 Wilshire Boulevard suite 800 LA CA 90010

RSVP to Will Wright @


In 2001 LACMA hosted a competition to create an architectural master plan that was commensurate with the increasing quality of LACMA's collection and in keeping with the innovations in art, architecture and design that characterize Los Angeles.  Architects were challenged to unify LACMA's 20-acre campus, add gallery space and reassert LACMA's presence along Wilshire Boulevard and within the surrounding Hancock Park.  


Eight years later, two phases of the master plan are near completion, the third phase is in the planning stage, the subway will be extended along Wilshire Boulevard and LACMA has assembled several properties on the south side of Wilshire for future development.   How do the first two phases measure up to the plan?  What was the process, internally, politically, and publically?  How do you measure LACMA's effectiveness?  


Join LACMA President, Melody Kanschat, for a discussion about the museum's development within the context of our city's cultural infrastructure and LACMA's role in moving that agenda forward.


Events of Interest


Broadway Streetscape Masterplan

Tuesday Nov. 24 from 5:30-7:30pm
Attend when it's most convenient for you

Open house format with presentation at 6:30pm
The Exchange 114 W. 5th Street (5th btwn Spring & Main)


Please join us Tuesday Nov. 24 as we share the Final Designs for the Broadway Streetscape Master Plan. Attendees will be asked to review and provide input on the final concepts for the design of Broadways public right of way areas, including elements on the sidewalks and in the street itself which enhance the environment and historic character of the corridor, and better serve pedestrians and transit riders, including:

Street Configuration and Station Design
Planting, Materials and Furnishings
Wayfinding Signage
Identity Elements

The Broadway Streetscape Master Plan project is part of Bringing Back Broadway, a public-private partnership initiative by Councilmember Jose' Huizar, focused on the long-term success and viability of the Historic Broadway District between 2nd and Olympic.

For more information, contact:
Valerie Watson
Meléndrez - Landscape Architecture, Planning & Urban Design

Our web site is

If you are on Facebook, be sure to join "Friends of Bringing Back Broadway at:



LA River

The Fifth Ecology: Los Angeles Beyond Desire

Exhibit on the Los Angeles River. Conversations on the LA River and The School of Architecture of Fine Arts in Stockholm


727 Gallery

727 So. Spring Street

Los Angeles, California

See attached press release



The School of Architecture at the Royal University of Fine Arts in Stockholm recently completed a post graduate project on the Los Angeles

River:  The Fifth Ecology - Los Angeles Beyond Desire.


This report is part of an ongoing series called Cities and Energy- a

three- year investigation of how necessary changes in energy consumption and production influence and inform our cities and our ways of life. The school examines the Los Angeles River as a post- material public space.


*The Fifth Ecology will be created in and around the river. This ecology will be distinctly urban, specific to Los Angeles, and will host humans, animals, lifestyles, infrastructure and waste. These will be formal and informal actors in Los Angeles* great leap towards becoming a sustainable megacity. The Fifth Ecology will be its spectacular shop




Read the entire report @



LA River

Albion Park Design Workshop – Saturday, January 9, 2009


The City recently acquired the Albion Dairy Parcel located in Lincoln Heights (next to the Downey Recreation Center) through Proposition O funds.  This is the City's first property acquisition along the Los Angeles River.   As part of the City's preparation for Prop 84 funding, the City Albion Team ( CATS)  is organizing a series of workshops to gather community input for a neighborhood park concept.  The first of these workshops will take place


Wednesday, November 18, 2009  6:30  to  8:30 pm   Downey Recreation Center, 1772 N. Spring Street, 90031.  Refreshments and snacks will be provided.  For more information,  please see the attached flyer.



You have received a blind copy to reduce email address clutter.


Updated Website

Please visit our updated Los Angeles River Website: 


Ad Hoc River Committee ( )



Friday, November 20, 2009

Creating a Community Greening Strategy for Downtown

Creating a Community Greening Strategy for Downtown
Community members invited to participate in the American Institute of Architects Sustainable Design Assessment Team Program in Downtown


From Wednesday, December 2 to Friday, December 4, 2009 a team of sustainability experts from across the nation will converge upon Downtown Los Angeles to assist the local Neighborhood Council Sustainability Committee in creating a community greening strategy. Downtown was one of only ten communities selected nationwide to host a Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT), a program run by the American Institute of Architects. Your input and participation is needed to ensure that any recommendations developed by the team respond to the sustainability issues you think are most important in Downtown.


The SDAT program is a community assistance program that brings teams of volunteer professionals to work with community decision-makers and stakeholders to help them develop a vision and framework for a sustainable future. The goal of the project is to create a report that helps to guide the Sustainability Committee's work, identifies key projects to improve the sustainability of downtown, and serves as a model for other Neighborhood Councils to work on sustainability issues at the grassroots level. 


During their three day visit, the SDAT will take a comprehensive tour of Downtown and meet with key stakeholders from the public, nonprofit, private, and education sectors. Community members are invited to a community mixer to meet the SDAT members (Dec 2), to a public working session to engage the visiting experts while they develop their recommendations (Dec 3), and to a closing presentation and reception at the LAPD Headquarters Auditorium to hear the preliminary findings and provide feedback (Dec 4). With active community participation, this intensive three-day visit will yield a report that responds to community issues and serves as the foundation for working towards a more sustainable downtown in the upcoming years.


Our schedule is still evolving and a finalized agenda will be posted on our website by Wednesday, November 25. You are encourage to participate in this exciting project and invited to attend the closing presentation on Friday, December 4 from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the new LAPD Headquarters Auditorium (202 W. 1st Street). For more information, please see the attached press package for our schedule or email us at with any questions. 


The Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council is a grassroots-level advisory committee representing a diverse group of stakeholders that live, work, and own a business downtown on issues ranging from affordable housing, economic development and sustainability to arts, land use, education, and public safety. The Sustainability Committee is one of several committees of community volunteers who are taking an active role in the future of our neighborhood. Awarded a 2009 Los Angeles American Planning Association Award and California American Planning Association Award of Merit, the Sustainability Committee is building momentum and recognition for its greening efforts in Downtown Los Angeles. 



For more information, please contact:
Ashley Z. Hand, LEED AP, Assoc. AIA
Chair, Sustainability Committee
Director, Area-Wide Work-Force, Private Sector
Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, 2008-2010