The AIA California Council supports California redevelopment and the critical and necessary role the public sector plays in shaping urban development, eliminating blight, and improving the livability and economy of many of our communities. AIACC strongly recommends that California reform and not eliminate government’s role in redevelopment in order to create the best future for the residents and businesses of California and to assure the most robust state economy for our competitive place in the global environment.
Why? Because redevelopment has proven to be essential for:
1. Economic development: Redevelopment is often the key to a community's increased economic return as well as the sense of pride that is fostered by projects that typically jump‐start a neighborhood's turn‐around. In addition, redevelopment is at the core of the $41 billion economic engine, creating upwards of 300,000 much‐needed jobs in California.
2. Revitalization of California cities: Redevelopment is solely responsible for the successful rebuilding of California’s cities thereby curtailing sprawl and greenfield development which creates an increased financial burden on the state due to expanding infrastructure needs and environmental impacts. Focusing growth in our urban areas also protects valuable farmland.
3. Affordable housing: California is dependent on Redevelopment to provide housing that is affordable; moderate to low income housing essentially would cease without Redevelopment programs.
4. Sustainability leadership: Redevelopment is critical to addressing our Public Health needs, and realizing our California goals to green the economy and the environment. These goals are embodied in AB 32 and SB 375 which were enacted for cleaner air to breath, better communities centered around transit, and less dependence on automobiles using ever more expensive fuels.
5. Community vision: Redevelopment makes sure local revenue remains in local control. Redevelopment has combined economic tools, community benefits, and catalytic
projects as no other program has in the history of our state and is the primary tool that local communities have to control their destiny.
Gov. Brown's budget proposal currently recommends the elimination of redevelopment agencies and funding. We recommend maintaining funding for redevelopment, but to reform or redefine administration of those funds. Redevelopment creates value, and does not draw funds from other important services. We recognize that there have been misuses of this tool and that there is a clear need to reform redevelopment to guard against abuse. We commit to assisting in identifying and supporting necessary reforms. To paraphrase President Obama’s analogy during his State of the Union address: “When you are in a crisis in an airplane, you don’t throw out the engine.”
Redevelopment is California’s engine.
The American Institute of Architects California Council represents nearly 22,000 licensed architects throughout the state. Architects are professionals trained to envision the future and help create it. California is fortunate to have many of the best visionary architects in the United States and the world. The architectural community stands ready and willing to assist in reforming redevelopment to be a stronger, better, and more reliable tool in support of a growing California.
Please reach out to me with any questions or additional concerns.
Very truly yours,
Director of Government & Public Affairs
AIA/ los ángeles