Friday, July 30, 2010

AIA|LA Works With LADBS on the CALGreen Code

Yesterday, Will Wright and AIA|LA members Jim Dixon, Tracy Stone, Laurel Gillette joined representatives from the Mayor's office, the Clinton Foundation, the Los Angeles Business Council, LADWP, Fire and other departments to help LADBS shape and refine its strategy to implement the CALGreen building code.  

We focused primarily on strategies to better integrate and refine the solar-ready and ElectricVehical-ready clauses of the code.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

AIA|LA Advocates for an Iconic Design for the Sixth Street Bridge

The AIA|LA strongly encourages the City to support a design direction for the Sixth Street Bridge that will allow for the opportunity to:

·      Create a new iconic and contemporary landmark for Los Angeles.

·      Catalyze economic growth and revitalization in the Arts District, Boyle Heights and throughout downtown.

·      Strengthen the link between Boyle Heights and downtown.

·      Create new, accessible public open space along the River

·      Encourage pedestrian and bicycle activity through the creation of attractive walk and bike lanes. 

The AIA|LA Design Advocate.

Welcome to The AIA|LA Design Advocate.

In effort to better educate the AIA|LA membership about current advocacy efforts that help influence public policy through the lens of design, I plan to jot down various remarks reflecting on my day-to-day activities as the Director of Government & Public Affairs for the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|LA).

This is a public and open forum and I welcome your critical feedback, piquant remarks and casual observations.

Please feel free to e-mail anything you see fit to share to

I'll plan to moderate the discussion from time to time to remove anything that is obviously inappropriate - but otherwise, I have trust in you to share your insight and perspective in a civically engaged manner.

Very truly yours,

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

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

INVITE: The Future of the L.A. City Planning Department :: August 4 (6pm)

The Future of the L.A. City Planning Department

(And the Future of the City)
Wednesday, August 4 (6:00pm)
Louis XVI Room

Southwestern Law School 

3050 Wilshire Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA  90010


What kind of planning does the city need in view of the demographic, economic, and environmental challenges coming in the years ahead?

How should the next Planning Director grapple with the budget restrictions and staff reductions imposed on the Planning Department in the past year and the reality of a system in which the Planning Department is not autonomous?

You are invited to attend a bracing discussion of these and other key questions facing the City Planning Department. We will be joined by Michael LoGrande, who has been nominated by Mayor Villaraigosa to be the Planning Director.

The panel will feature:

• Jane Blumenfeld: Former Acting Deputy Director, L.A. City Planning Dept.
• Bill Boyarsky: Columnist for Truthdig and LA Observed; Former L.A. Times City Editor and Columnist
• Vaughan Davies: Principal, Director of Urban Design, AECOM Design + Planning
• Hon. Bill Fulton: Mayor of the City of Ventura; Senior Scholar, USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development; Principal, Design, Community & Environment (DCE)
• Emily Gabel-Luddy: Past Director, Urban Design Studio, L.A. City Planning Dept.
• Christopher Hawthorne: Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic
• John Kaliski, AIA: Principal, Urban Studio-LA; Past President, AIA|LA
• Elva Yanez: Policy Coordinator, Los Angeles Collaborative for Environmental Health and Justice

Michael Woo, Dean of Cal Poly Pomona's College of Environmental Design, a member of the L.A. City Planning Commission, and a former L.A. Councilman, will be the moderator.

Bill Roschen, FAIA, President of the L.A. City Planning Commission, will give opening remarks.

Wednesday, August 4 (6:00pm - 8:00pm)

Southwestern Law School (former Bullocks Wilshire building)
Louis XVI Room
3050 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 90010

Access: Metro Red Line to Wilshire/Vermont station or free parking behind the building Link to directions and map:

RSVP by August 2: Email or Telephone 909-869-2667.

Presented as a public service by the College of Environmental Design, Cal Poly Pomona; the American Institute of Architects, Los Angeles Chapter; the American Planning Association, Los Angeles Section; and the Urban Land Institute/Los Angeles.

For more information, please contact:

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

Thursday, July 22, 2010

LA Beyond Cars: Exhibition Opening July 29 in Downtown Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, California (July 22, 2010) - In a culmination of its international Call for Ideas launched earlier this summer, railLA announced the July 29 opening of a curated exhibit entitled LA Beyond Cars. Participants to the Call for Ideas submitted conceptual designs, art, studies, inventions, city plans, videos and other creative solutions revolving around the topic of high-speed rail, its integration into the design of cities and visions of a future more sustainable, pedestrian-friendly, transit-oriented and less reliant on automobiles. Over 100 works were received, including invited submissions from renowned architects MVRDV, Eric Owen Moss, Topotek1, and Pritzker Prize laureates Thom Mayne, Sir Norman Foster, and Zaha Hadid. The 15,000 s.f. exhibit space will display drawings, models, videos, animations, a rail-inspired installation by sculptor Stephen Glassman and will host interactive station design workshops by artist and planner, James Rojas.
The exhibit will run July 30 through August 28 from 11:00am-7:00pm in the "Jewel Box" at the base of the City National Bank Plaza towers, 525 South Flower Street, in Downtown Los Angeles.
While the ideas to be exhibited will be drawn from participants as far afield as the Netherlands, China, Korea, Germany, Great Britain and Macedonia, the focus of many of the works are local, specifically addressing the development of Los Angeles Union Station and the neighborhood surrounding it. The Transit District area between Union Station and the Los Angeles River are addressed by one such scheme from the Piggy Backyard, a volunteer collaboration of local design and architecture firms Chee Salette Architecture Office, Mia Lehrer + Associates, Michael Maltzan Architecture, and Perkins+Will.  Also being represented will be work by college students, engineers, artists, industrial designers, entrepreneurs, and children, whose musings range from practical improvements to train and track design, to critical and optimistic visions on the future Los Angeles.
Four prizes will be awarded by the railLA executive committee at the event's conclusion, in addition to a prize awarded by the general public through an online poll. Submissions may be viewed online at
About railLA
railLA ( is a joint not-for-profit collaboration between the Los Angeles Chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIA/LA) and the American Planning Association (APA-LA) with the specific purpose of increasing public awareness of the benefits inherent in integrating high-speed rail into our cities, most notably, at first, in Los Angeles.  Events such as LA Beyond Cars are intended to generate enthusiasm about the California High-Speed Rail Project and encourage a paradigm shift toward the use of transit.
Since its inception, railLA has quickly become a growing partnership of architects, city and regional planners, and engineers working with business and community leaders as one voice to guarantee that the promise of high-speed rail becomes a reality.
For more information on railLA and its summer 2010 programs, please visit
# # #
Gunnar Hand, Chair, railLA
(816) 916.6304
Ashley Z. Hand, LEED AP, Assoc. AIA
Secretary, railLA

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Announcement from the LA Department of City Planning

Greetings from the Los Angeles Department of City Planning.

In celebration of the ZIMAS (Zone Information and Map Access System)
*10-year* anniversary, the Planning Department is rolling out a new version
of the system on the Internet.

The new ZIMAS uses the latest GIS, mapping, and Internet technologies;
features a brand new graphical user interface; and provides Internet users
instant access to a wealth of planning, zoning, and property information for
any property within the City of Los Angeles.

We welcome you to visit ZIMAS at

Thank you.

Vincent P. Bertoni, AICP
Acting Director

Attachment - ZIMAS Announcement

Monday, July 19, 2010

Support Public Transportation in LA COUNTY-Sign Move LA's Petition Today!

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BizFed members and key contacts,


Sign on asap if you and/or your organization want to be heard. Move LA is coordinating an important effort to get as many companies, organizations, and individuals as possible to sign on to a petition simply seeking the vital Federal government support of 30/10.


It is easy. Just click below where noted and type in your name, and contact info. Hit send. That's it.


We cannot let up in our fierce and unrelenting support to see the 12 approved Metro transit projects throughout LA County get built in the next 10 years. We need the 166,000 jobs, cleaner air, and reduced gridlock.


Thanks, Tracy Rafter

LA County BizFed


From: Denny Zane for Move LA []
Sent: Monday, July 19, 2010 4:49 PM
We are requesting a formal public endorsement from you and your organization in support of LA Metro's "30/10 Plan". The "30/10 Plan" seeks the assistance of the federal government to enable LA Metro to build 12 transit projects funded in Measure R over 10 years rather than 30 years.

Time is of the essence. Things are moving fast in Washington and we need your support of the "30/10 Plan" today! Please click below and join us by signing the petition and forwarding this email to other sympathetic organizations and companies.


Sign the "30/10 Plan" Petition Today 

Click Here 

Move LA initiated Measure R, the 1/2 cent sales tax for transportation approved by 68% of LA County voters on the November, 2008, ballot and convened the business, labor and environmental coalition that championed it. Thus began a 30-year revenue stream of $40 billion for Los Angeles County transportation projects, nearly 70% of which will be used to build a modern, robust transit system.

Thank you,

Denny Zane

Executive Director, Move LA

For more information about Move LA visit

If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please reply to this message with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line or simply click on the following link: Unsubscribe

Move LA
506 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 223
Santa Monica, California 90401

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Friday, July 16, 2010

SUCCESS! OEA established in LA City

LA City Office of Economic Analysis is official!


GREAT news: The LA City Council yesterday approved an Office of Economic Analysis that the business community initiated and then rallied strongly for over the past year!


The Council voted 14-0 to create the office, which will perform economic impact analyses on proposed ordinances and will be funded by $250,000 by Council President Eric Garcetti, who was among the bold leaders of the drive.


This is a good step toward helping ensure the jobs and economic impact of policy, projects and regulations are adequately evaluated by LA City officials BEFORE they take action. And a solid success story for the collective business community. BizFed, Central City Association (CCA), Employers Group, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, LAEDC, Valley Industry and Commerce Assoc. (VICA), among others, came together in earnest to advance this most needed economic assessment vehicle.


The OEA, modeled after a similar office in San Francisco, will operate in the CAO's office, is expected to be operational this summer and will contract out the requested reports. The OEA will only do a report on proposed projects or ordinances for which an economic analysis is requested by the Council.  Thus, the business community will need to be diligent in asking council members to request analyses if we think they are important.


We ARE all making a difference!




Tracy Rafter, CEO 

BizFed, Los Angeles County Business Federation 


Grassroots alliance of 70 top LA County business groups

Mobilizing over 100,000 business owners


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pacific Palisades Commercial Villages DRB: opportunity to serve

The City of Los Angeles is actively searching for an architect to serve on the Pacific Palisades Commercial Villages Design Review Board.  If you have interest, please contact Whitney Blumenfeld in Councilmember Rosendahl's office for more information.  Also, please copy me on your correspondence so that we can keep track of your interest and update you on additional opportunities.

Very truly yours,
Will Wright
Director, Government & Public Affairs
AIA Los Angeles

Pacific Palisades Commercial Villages Design Review Board:
The Pacific Palisades Commercial Villages DRB reviews commercial projects within 3 commercial areas of Pacific Palisades (see the Specific Plan link below for a map of these areas). Since 1985 there has been a Specific Plan in place with regulations related to land use, parking, site planning, architecture, urban design, and signs.
About the Board:
- There are seven board members, at least one of which must be an architect. One must be a landscape architect and another must be a landscape architect or urban designer.
- Members must live or work in Pacific Palisades (zip codes 90272 and 90402).
- Board members are appointed by Council District 11, but work closely with the Planning Department.
- The board reviews roughly between 8 and 15 projects a year, ranging from shopping centers to apartment buildings to small storefront renovations. Only the exteriors of projects are reviewed.
- The board meets every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month at the Pacific Palisades Chamber office at 15330 Antioch St. Meetings begin at 7pm and typically last 2 hours or less. Meetings are canceled if there are no projects to review, which happens somewhat frequently. 
- At least a week prior to the DRB meeting, the Planning Dept. sends the board members sets of all the plans they will be reviewing at the next meeting.
- Board member terms last 4 years, with a two term maximum. A member can step down from the board at any time.

If you meet the above criteria and have interest in serving, please contact:

Whitney Blumenfeld
Planning Deputy
Office of Councilmember Bill Rosendahl
District #11
City of Los Angeles
200 North Spring Street, Room 415
Los Angeles, CA 90012
tel:  (213) - 473-7011
fax: (213) 473-6926

Please copy Will Wright ( on your correspondence.  Thank you!

AIA|LA Breakfast Reception w/ RICHARD KATZ - July 23 (8am)

AIA Los Angeles presents...
"A Greener City Through Better Land-Use - Part 3"
A Breakfast Reception with Richard Katz
Board Member for METRO and California High-Speed Rail Authority
Friday, July 23 (8:00-9:30am)
HNTB Architecture
601 West Fifth Street
Suite 1010
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Hosted by HNTB Architecture

As part three of our 2010 AIA|LA Breakfast Series entitled "A Greener City Through Better Land-Use", the breakfast reception with Metro and CHSRA Board Member Richard Katz will continue our seven part series of discussions with civic officials about how we can build and operate a more environmentally and economically sustainable City by making better land-use decisions.

Advance Registration Required.
AIA Members = $15
Non-Members = $30

To register, CLICK HERE.

Or cut and past the following link into your web browser:,S7,5969eac8-dbfc-4a80-966e-0b6b58cb5cc4


Richard Katz is the owner of a successful public policy and government relations firm based in Los Angeles, Richard Katz Consulting (RKC), Inc. RKC offers a wide variety of services, including strategic advice, message development, negotiations/ mediation and government relations strategies. RKC brings a vast knowledge of all levels of government and can guide clients through the maze of both bureaucratic and regulatory concerns. In addition, they can develop, direct and implement a communications strategy to specific stakeholders. Targeting interest groups and helping clients gain entrée into organizations, stakeholders and corporations through their vast contacts and decades of relationships is their specialty.

Richard Katz was California's lead negotiator for the landmark Colorado River Agreement between the State of California, the Federal Government, four California Water Agencies, and the six Colorado River Basin States, furthering his expertise as a negotiator on issues of statewide significance. Katz had already played a pivotal role in renegotiating $30 Billion worth of California's Energy contracts and developing California's Transportation Blueprint for the 21st Century, which the voters approved as Proposition 111 in 1990.

Shortly after his election in June of 2005, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed Katz to serve with him on the Governing Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. In Sepember 2008, following the horrendous Metrolink crash, Mayor Villaraigosa appointed him to the Metrolink board in order to lead the effort to right the agency.

Governor Davis appointed Katz as his Senior Advisor on Energy and Water issues in 2001. Also in 2001, Katz was appointed to the State Water Resources Control Board. Confirmed by the Senate, he served for five years, occupying the water quality seat on the State Board.

Katz was first elected to the California State Assembly in 1980, serving continuously for 16 years. As Democratic Leader in 1995, Katz led the Party back to majority status by winning 43 seats in the 1996 elections. California's term limits law prohibited Katz from seeking re-election.

For 10 years, Katz served as Chair of the powerful Assembly Transportation Committee. Katz authored Proposition 111, a 10 year Blueprint, which raised more money for mass transit and highways than any other effort in the history of California. He created the Congestion Management Plan, requiring cities and counties to measure and mitigate impacts of land use decisions on streets, highways and transit systems. Katz also spearheaded numerous investigations of governmental waste.

In addition to serving as Chair of the Transportation Committee, Katz worked in policy areas including the environment, education, criminal justice and consumer issues. Some of his accomplishments include laws he wrote and efforts he led in the areas of prison reform, groundwater protection, computer education, a $100 million school bus replacement program, Mono Lake restoration and landmark water market legislation.

Katz was Chair of Angelenos for Better Classrooms, which led the successful 1997 campaign to pass a $2.4 billion L.A. school bond. Katz serves on the boards of: Project Grad, The West Coast Sport Medicine Foundation, Heal the Bay, Valley Presbyterian Hospital, The Children's Community School, Encino Tarzana Hospital Foundation and Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH).

A native of Los Angeles, Katz lives in Sherman Oaks with Wendy Mitchell, their two year-old son Mitchell Robert and their two dogs.

Appointed by the Governor of the State of California.

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