Change the Street, Transform the City

urban rendering

by Yuzhou ‘Andrew’ Peng (MAUD ’19), Solomon Green-Eames (MUP ’19)

The existing model of Transit Oriented Development in Los Angeles simply places high density housing in proximity to new transit stations, which are often not aligned with existing neighbourhood centers. This means that neighbourhood amenities are not accessible on foot for residents of new TOD developments, as such, they end up being highly car dependent.

Our proposal centers around targeted quick build street improvements in existing neighborhood commercial centers as a means to enabling residents to access amenities via sustainable modes, enable a new culture of streetlife and kick start increases in affordable commercial and retail density in these existing neighborhood centers. Our interventions in neighborhood centers are supported by a proposed network of transit and bicycle boulevards that link neighborhood centers together in a cohesive network across the city.

Unlike traditional TOD which first requires decade long planning and construction process, we propose a ‘quick build and revise’ approach. This means the rapid transformation of streetscapes using paint + temporary interventions in the short term, supported by community engagement. These transformations can then be adjusted based on community feedback. Following this, the changes are concretized as funding becomes available for larger capital projects. Finally, these new streetscapes generate the possibility for affordable infill of existing autocentric land use typologies, creating higher density. Mechanism are set in place early on the ensure that all new development adjacent to street improvements does not displace existing residents.