FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
railLA asks LA to think big about high-speed rail on July 17
LOS ANGELES, California - Urban planner and artist James Rojas believes he has found a way to develop community consensus through design and provide a process for the public to envision their ideal California High-Speed Rail project, which is now in the process of finalizing its track alignments in Northern and Southern California. A demonstration of the pioneering technique he describes as Interactive Planning will be held July 17 from 11:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m. at the Pico House in the El Pueblo district of Los Angeles. Interactive models of the 30/10 scenario for Los Angeles County and Union Station with High-Speed Rail will also be on display.
Organized by railLA and sponsored jointly by California Speaker of the Assembly John Perez and Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar, the event is intended to gather public input on how the area around Union Station will best adapt to the introduction of high-speed rail.
Rojas and railLA workshop subcomittee co-chair Alan Huynh are leading the exercise that taps into the public's creative thinking. Participants use colorful scraps of craft material and discarded odds and ends to each build, in a few minutes time, proposed solutions that attempt to address personal concerns and priorities that are sometimes difficult to express verbally. By engaging in form-making, which is an inherently constructive process, Rojas has found that participants unwittingly drop their guard to become open-minded and cooperative, even when not setting-out to do so.
Said Rojas, "The creation of small models helps participants of any age or linguistic background to articulate their desires publicly. Since there are no-right or wrong answers, all social barriers are broken down, thereby creating a friendly exchange of ideas."
railLA (www.railLA.org) is a joint effort 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 and elevating the public discourse of the benefits inherent in integrating high-speed rail into our cities, most notably, at first, in Los Angeles.
Since its inception, railLA has quickly become a growing partnership of architects, city and regional planners, landscape architects, urban designers, and engineers working with business and community leaders as one voice to guarantee that the promise of high-speed rail becomes a reality.
This summer, railLA is hosting a series of community workshops, an exhibition and panel discussion on high-speed rail. For more information on railLA and its summer 2010 programs, visit www.railLA.org
Gunnar Hand, Chair, railLA
Gunnar Hand, Chair, railLA
Ashley Z. Hand, LEED AP, Assoc. AIA