Here is a quick list of some sample questions I might ask prospective Mayoral candidates:
1. Mayor Bloomberg initiated Plan NYC, President Sarkozy dedicated resources to the GRAND PARIS urban renewal plan: will you dedicate substantial resources to develop a substantial vision for what you'd like Los Angeles to look and feel like in the year 2030? And, if so - what will you do to make certain that the vision doesn't just sit on a shelf amongst a hundred other grand plans for LA?
2. NYC has its Design & Construction Excellence program, the GSA has its Design Excellence Program, what specific mechanism will you engage to ensure ongoing design excellence for the City of Los Angeles? How will you defend against the premise that good design costs more? Will you refine the definition of cost to include life-cycle cost AND add metrics to capture the delta gain for Return on Investment, i.e., how a publicly financed infrastructure project like the Sixth Street Viaduct might actually attract tourism revenue if designed as a world-class project, etc.?
3. The City of LA is as strong (or as weak) as the spirit of its people. How will you inspire more citizens to become civically engaged so that we continue to maximize the enlightened value of our communities?
ECONOMIC & CULTURAL COMPETITIVENESS
4. Jack Kyser used to say that Los Angeles imports diversity and exports creativity. At present, we are exporting design solutions to other countries that will, with time, offer other locations definitive opportunities to excel beyond LA's ability to remain economic and culturally competitive. What specific steps will you take to ensure that more design solutions are implemented within our own City, so that it has a fighting chance to remain a desirable place in comparison to other emerging world-class cities?
5. We have severely underperforming public facilities. What will you do to maximize the value of our public assets?
HEALTH AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
6. We are facing severe epidemics of diabetes and obesity. What measures will you take to transform the built environment of the City of Los Angeles so that it facilities more active lifestyles, and fosters a greater spirit of livable placemaking?
- The AIA|LA Design Advocate.
Director, Government & Public Affairs
AIA Los Angeles