Southern California is changing. The drought conditions that have been sneaking up on use for the last 5 years have reached an all time high, which has everyone thinking about their water bill and approach to landscape. For a number of years landscape architects have been pushing for more sustainable design and water conservation (whether wanted our not – AB 1881 requires all planting and irrigation plans to be meet minimal levels of water consumption), but have had to battle the historic SoCal notion of “give it water and it will grow”.
Yesterday was the second PALAPA (Professional Architects, Landscape Architects and Planners Assembly) event at the Hyperion Water Treatment facility on the Pacific shore. PALAPA is a forum for design and environmental professionals to share ideas and techniques of water conservation and sustainable planning in the Greater Los Angeles area. Speakers included a number of public and private practitioners discussing their successes and challenges to moving LA toward improved green infrastructure and conservation.
What is the value of historic design? When does built work become historic? Because it’s old, or was created by a designer of significance, is it more valuable? According to The Cultural Landscape Foundation, the Long Beach Convention Center has great value and should be preserved.
Tomorrow is a big day for downtown Los Angeles. For the first time in decades a new public open space…no, scratch that…a new PARK will open in the Civic Core. The difference between open space and park is significant in this case. The Grand Park is not associated with a building project. There is no architectural program, no parking structure, no entertainment venue, government agency or earthquake rehab from which it has grown. This is a good, old fashioned park smack dab in the middle of downtown! Midwestern colloquialisms seem appropriate for this post, don’t they? After all, we’re measuring a public green space in acres and not square feet for once.