Symposia: "Density: Through Thick and Thin, Los Angeles"

So thank you all for coming out I’m Michael Speaks I’m dean of the school of architecture I know a lot of the work of many of the panelists up here, and I’m thrilled that they’re here, and that they’ll be speaking today I’m only here really to welcome everybody and I’ll turn it over very shortly In fact, in just a few seconds, to Larry Davis, the undergraduate chair of Syracuse architecture, who organized the whole thing We are competing, at the moment, with ticket sales for our annual Beaux Art event and so that explains the – we hope, once they purchase their tickets, they will be up here and engaged in the discussion and in any case, we’re all very happy to have you here We welcome everybody, and I’ll ask Larry Davis to come up and do formal introductions I was a 12 year resident of Los Angeles, so I’m very interested to hear about a lot of this and excited and I for one am very happy that the votes turned out the way they did in the city We’ll talk about that later Thank you Larry Davis Thanks As you know, I’m Larry Davis, and a little bit of background here so you understand where this particular event resides, relative to some other things that we’ve been having over the course of the academic year, actually This is the last one of three The series has actually discussed the issue in North America, you can see, and in Asia as well, and tonight we’re going to do so in Los Angeles, through a cross-disciplinary exchange on the topic And so what’s unique about this is (A) it’s about a specific place and (B) it’s actually involving people that are outside the discipline It’s my thinking and hope that discussions that are interdisciplinary are, well, discussions about things like density, which affect a lot of disciplines, are important, but they’re perhaps better constructed in some ways if there is a core to them So the core is us, but we have some pretty interesting people out here tonight to try and talk about that Just a little bit of a background to catch you up, for those of you who missed the first two, the first symposium was a general discussion about urban density in North America and featured two architects You can see Michael Dennis and Roger Sherman Michael Dennis practiced in Boston, teaches at MIT We would call him a more traditional version of or the classic urbanist where you’re talking about mass and void in a city Roger Sherman, in LA, was looking at that kind of scattered city, that scattered environment, in ways that are kind of inventive, and the thing I think that came out of that is that there are more than one kind of density There’s not just mass and void, but of course there’s functional density There’s a density of social interaction among anything in any given cities, and the circumstances that set that up, or could actually be tweaked, if you will, to make them more intense are very interesting to think about The second symposium was taking advantage of our Asian connections, and so we had two people, Bing Boo and Fay Wang Their research and practice book – this was on, well, just two forms of urban density there we looked at There are others, of course Bing Boo is associated with an almost new, instant cities that are popping up in the last 15 years What’s that kind of mean? And a second, lower density pattern by – it was discussed by Fay Wang, who looked at a kind of American-style suburb that’s popping up there as a kind of escape from the urban ills of the center city, but also as a form of prestige consumption That kinda sounds familiar, doesn’t it? The last in the series tonight picks up where China, I think, left off by examining competing impulses to either make the city in the case of LA denser in ways that are arguably improving the life of more of its residents, or on the other hand, maybe keeping the density the same, preserving its historic identity, and exurban lifestyle that it’s also really famous for This evening we have a set of speakers and an interdisciplinary panel to discuss the two recent ballot initiatives that affect and let the residents there weigh in on the future density of LA Prop JJJ, which was voted on in November of this year or this last year, and Measure S, which just was voted on in March of 2017 I’ll let our guests tell you how that turned out Both were presented to the voters in the city as opposing choices for the future density and identity of the city Tonight we will examine the current battle between these two urban visions

So the valuable thing here, I think, is looking at the LA case and we could begin to discuss this as a kind of emblematic thing and a striking example of a larger, worldwide, and often contentious debate focused on the cost and benefits of urban and exurban density To that end, I have a few questions I just wanna throw out to the speakers and maybe the audience to sort of keep in mind that I’m sure you’ll have your own by the end of these presentations, but one, how important is the historic identity of the city? How much should this identity change for newer residents from different cultures with different values, presumably? Two, quantitatively, how – we often hear about the high price of low density development, but is there a point of diminishing returns for high density development in terms of ecological and economic benefit? And three, regarding economic and ecological factors, is there a middle range, a kind of sweet spot, so to speak? Some people are starting to think about this There have been some studies in Europe in particular, and so at least strategically should we begin this discussion about is there a kind of optimal place for density in our cities to be? These are just a few of the questions I have, and I hope you’ll have others at the end So I’d like to thank Dean Michael Speaks for his insight and support in this series, Tarik Raca, and Liz Camel, who proposed the idea of the series, and are co-curating the series with me, Francisco Senise, this evening, our own resident expert on urbanism and someone who’s very involved in this will be the moderator tonight and I wanna thank him Most of all, I want to thank our speakers, Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin, two architectural critics very familiar with the topic, and our interdisciplinary panel, Stewart Rosenthal, Jamie Winters, and Lamir Taron Their roles in this is to discuss the matter of urban destiny from a position outside the field using this debate between Prop. JJJ and Measure S as an example of what is at stake not just for architects and urban designers, but other disciplines, and more importantly, all the people involved in and around cities Our first speaker is Sam Lubell He’s a staff writer at Wired, a contributing editor at the Architect’s Newspaper He’s written several books about architecture from Monacelli Press, __________, Metropolis Books _______ on these are all major presses for architecture and urban design, for those of you outside the field He also writes for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, Architect, Architectural Record, Architectural Review, Wallpaper, and Contract, as well as other things He’s co-curated the A+D Architecture and Design Museum exhibits, “Never Built Los Angeles,” and another one called Shelter: Rethinking How We Live in Los Angeles His upcoming exhibition with our other speaker, Greg Goldin, Never Built New York, will open at the Queens Museum in September So you should all go see that So ladies and gentlemen, help me welcome Sam Lubell Great Well, thank you so much for having me It’s great to be at Syracuse, and I really appreciate the invitation And as Larry was saying, Greg and I are both gonna be talking a little bit about density in Los Angeles And what I’m really gonna be doing is just sort of introducing you to the concept and sort of the ins and outs of it and then Greg’s gonna talk a little bit about these measures that are going on in this kind of – I call it a civil war going on right now in Los Angeles about density, but I’m from the East Coast I lived in LA later, after I was in my 30’s, and growing up, I think like anybody else, sort of saw LA as a sprawling place that just sprawled on forever and just was not a dense city And it turns out that that was absolutely wrong and it always kind of – it has been for quite some time LA, yes, it was at one point fairly sparse This is in the 1920’s and this is the area around – I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LACMA I mean this is right where it is, basically, and then this is basically the same area about 30 years later in the 1950’s, and you can see, it’s a dense area of the city, and it’s not uncommon LA is not the kind of city that has a downtown and then everything else is sort of flat around it The reason LA is so dense is that it has a downtown and it has Century City It has Santa Monica and then it has Hollywood and then it has West Hollywood and then it has – it just goes on and on So it’s just endless density versus the more traditional maybe East Coast downtown, very

dense Manhattan, for instance, in New York, extremely dense Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn, not as dense, although Brooklyn’s getting there, but anyway, you start to realize that LA is actually an incredibly dense place And this happened early on, not just in the city centers, but all the neighborhoods Fairly early on, they started to build what I call stealth density, this idea that neighborhoods that don’t look particularly dense, they start building multifamily apartment buildings and multifamily dwellings and accessory dwellings onto the back of houses, so a neighborhood that could look sort of like a suburban, single family area actually is quite, quite dense And then that’s sort of the typical, traditional looking stealth density, and then LA actually, from fairly early on, became quite well known for multifamily housing, not just for the single family house And some of the more famous examples, Gregory Ain, this is the Dunsmuir Flats, which is what, Greg, about three blocks from your house? And incredibly modern, one of the earliest modernist multifamily developments in the United States, and I think one of the best It’s really fantastic, and this is the Village Green, another good example of density, but done in the garden style, something that sort of masks that density And again, on this one back here, this is another good example, Park La Brea, which was done after World War II And if you know Stuy Town in New York, the same developer is working on that and same sort of concept of these towers in the garden So very effective, but then now that you have LA, the idea of that density rolling forward to now, and LA is now – well, it’s arguable, and this is why I’m trying to show this jumble of slides, is that LA is now arguably the region of LA, the county of LA, even the city of LA are considered the densest in the county, not New York, not San Francisco, not Chicago Here you have one report saying – this is the thing You get reports You can judge this on a lot of different factors, and this gets – I could use the whole presentation about how you can debate just how dense LA is, but 6,000 people or 7,000 people per square mile, 1,046 per square kilometer The density is in the city and they’re saying the levels tend to drop off as you leave the city centers in traditional urban areas, whereas LA, it just doesn’t drop off It just keeps going in that kind of constant density, but again, I like this quote No matter how comprehensive, no measure of density can capture every dimension of sprawl, because you can still have a high amount of density and still have sprawl It can still go on forever and there’s places where it goes high, there’s places where it goes low It’s very, very hard to quantify density, and some of the examples in modern day LA of density – I showed some of the ones in old LA You have obviously multifamily housing developments, apartments and et cetera, a lot of mixed use development LA has realized, and so has most of the world has realized you can’t just have development with residential separated from other types of development, and that makes a more vibrant city, and that’s certainly everywhere Condominium towers, especially in downtown, but everywhere you go TOD’s, transit oriented development, and I think people – I’m always amazed people don’t even know LA has a subway, and it’s a very comprehensive one LA’s too big for it to cover all the bases, and it didn’t really get started until the 1980’s, so it’s catching up, and it’s really catching up, but it’s got a lot of work to do, but also transit oriented to buses, to light rail, to other types of transit, and there’s a ton of it in LA It has the most comprehensive bus system in the country, for instance It used to have the most comprehensive trolley system in the country, but that was dismantled Granny flats, or accessory dwellings, that’s, you know, if you have a single family house and you have a flat in the back or a couple of flats in the back to help you pay the rent That’s another version of density that people don’t realize just how dense the neighborhoods can get that way There’s now a new ordnance for small lot subdivisions in LA, and that’s subdivisions not like a typical suburban subdivision, but on a small lot, you can subdivide that into different apartment units, and they’re really trying to promote that kind of density in LA Obviously the preservation of historic neighborhoods that already are quite dense, and Greg, I point to him again, lives in one of those They call them the HPOZ historic preservation overlay zone Is that correct? That’s right Yep, yeah, so just keeping the density as it is, and then you do have the traditional hillside housing in LA You have subdivisions You have the makers of sprawl as well still going, but it’s a lot more rare It’s not as common, and then this – and Greg’s gonna get a lot more into this, but I’m sort of simplifying, and this is very important that I’m saying this is too simple, because these arguments, you can make arguments against every one of these points, but in

essence, the idea is you have – it’s for density, price stabilization, because obviously if you have fewer units, like in New York, or San Francisco, or Manhattan I should say, or San Francisco, the price is gonna go up because you have a lot of demand for not much supply You’re obviously containing sprawl if you’re going up and not out, but that has its limits, because if you’re going up and then still going out, you’re still getting sprawl Environmental advantages – obviously people that live in denser places, there’s less travel back and forth, and a lot of other arguments, but the holes can be poked in that very quickly as well, and a lot of these density developments are going up in places near freeways, for instance, that are, you know, not environmentally or health-wise very smart to be developing, and so you’ve got issues with that Obviously, again, the people especially against Measure S, which Greg will get into, are not so happy about the traffic that more density in an area can cause and you can definitely see that throughout the city that LA is still the traffic capital of the country Also, I’d say the congestion capital, as it spreads around, and density can cause more congestion and more just kinda chaos And there’s also the loss of neighborhood character, and I’m gonna talk a little bit more about the effect of density on – and this is a huge part of LA’s battle in grappling with density is trying to deal with how does LA become something as it goes from density to sort of almost mega-density How does it deal with that? How does it maintain its LA-ness? How does it stay a city that is based on jewel-like neighborhoods and commercial strips between that without feeling like Manhattan or feeling like another place? And that’s a challenge, so I’ll just bring you through a few of these kind of nodes of density that I’ve been talking about One of them, and an obvious one, is Santa Monica Everybody wants to live near the beach, and everybody wants to live in a place like Santa Monica So if you have that, you’ve got a lot of projects coming in, and this is a good example of just the sort of intensity that’s been going on, and it’s not an easy place to get things through, but there are already 35 – this is just in the last year or so 35 recently approved multifamily mixed use projects These are larger than single family projects, and more than 30 of them are pending approval I just took this from the Santa Monica planning department’s website, and you can see some of the examples of that Some of them are quite flashy Obviously I pulled a few flashy ones because they also are – they look good, but this is Frank Gary’s Ocean Avenue project on the left there, right on the water, and this is a project by OMA, and then this is a more typical, but very high end project And it’s debatable whether this kind of a project, if it’s market rate, if it’s very high end, is gonna – the issues of dealing with the costs rising Also, the other issue with the more expensive market rate density is that you generally have fewer units, because people that – you’ll get the whole floor, so the fewer units means you’re not gonna have as much density, so that’s sort of another hidden issue besides price when you have these really high priced density, and that’s certainly a big issues in Santa Monica Santa Monica, which used to be this sleepy kind of, you know, and 50 years ago, sleepy little oceanfront town Now it’s just this complete reversal, and people are still struggling with that too The identity of the place has changed What do you do? What does it become? What is it becoming? And Hollywood’s struggling with that Hollywood is certainly one of the densest developed areas of LA, and it makes sense It’s right on transit Most of the subway lines, they actually center either downtown or Hollywood, and then they branch out from there, so there’s a lot of tall, mixed use development going on there, and it’s certainly one of the urban centers of LA, which I think they say is what, 77 cities are in LA County? I don’t know Something like that, so they always say it’s a million cities trying to find a home, and Hollywood’s one of those cities, and then so this is a project that Measure S was sort of spawned by that we’re talking about this anti-development measure It’s called the Palladium Project by an architect in San Francisco named Stanley Saitowitz, and obviously when you think of Hollywood, I don’t know how many of you have been to Hollywood, but you don’t necessarily think of this This is another project called the Millennium Towers Speaking of the local character, this is a major landmark here, the Capitol Records Building, completely dwarfed by that People couldn’t handle that, and this one actually died, so that’s an example of density dying, and then this is another interesting landmark

This is crossroads of the world, which I love It’s an old school, Hollywood-era development, and you can see how it’s dwarfed by the new development going on, and people have already tried to halt develop maybe for Measure S, with trying to halt Measure – development and succeeded for a while, completely halting development in – oh, did my mic go off? Can you hear me? Oh, it didn’t Okay Completely halting development whatsoever in Hollywood, so it’s sort of a harbinger for the rest of LA People were scared of the New Yorkification, the Manhattanification, of Hollywood Then there’s downtown, which obviously people say that it should be the center of LA, because it is downtown, and really, where most of the development’s going on in downtown LA is in the new area called – developing area called South Park I don’t know if you know the Staples Center, but it’s all around there A lot of this used to be on former parking lots and all of a sudden this area that was sort of at the south end of downtown that was sort of forgotten Now that downtown LA has made a huge resurgence, this is where the bulk of the density is going on, and most of the development – two of these examples are Chinese developers that are coming in and making these massive, massive new projects This is slightly smaller scale on the bottom, but you can see this is just the tip of the iceberg Downtown LA, the amount of density going in there is just staggering It really is fundamentally altering the city, and then this is right adjacent to downtown LA This is the arts district, and what’s interesting about these projects, the arts district, like a lot of arts districts in this country, warehouses and cool street art, but now that whole character is changing with these kind of negative elements by mega names in architecture So you have a project here on the top by Herzog and de Meuron and here on the bottom, a project by Bjarke Ingels Group, big, so these are completely changing this from this sort of ramshackle, scrappy place, to developer heaven, basically And they’re interesting projects, and mixed use, and they have got terraces, but it’s still completely, completely changing the character of the city, and then you’ve got just a small sampling of other nodes, but I thought I should mention Koreatown I don’t think people outside of LA even think about Koreatown, but it’s actually the densest neighborhood in all of LA and an amazing example of people living in extreme density, not all high priced, so it’s a lot of units in each area, and really, it’s just a worthwhile place to visit if you wanna see extreme density in LA and just extreme chaos and life Century City, Sunset Strip, which is on West Hollywood, once famous for seedy rock and roll clubs, now it’s like, fancy, really tall high-rises and fancy hotels by Frank Gary and so on and so on You can see You can see everything is changing and the density is changing the character And so I have to mention briefly, first of all, there’s so many density measures that I’m not gonna get into besides Measure S, besides Measure JJJ that Greg is gonna talk about There’s dozens more that are talking about density bonuses and SB 375, which is talking about around the region, smart growth, but other measures besides dealing with how to legislate density is legislating transit, because a lot of people, myself included, feel like if you’re gonna have this kind of density, you have to improve the transit, the mass transit Anybody who’s tried to drive in LA recently is probably gonna agree with me, but there’s a lot of disagreements over how that’s gonna happen Subways maybe not – it’s so expensive It takes so much time Maybe we need to enhance the bus system, which is already huge, but doesn’t come enough, and doesn’t have its own dedicated lanes, and so there’s so many issues, but you’ve had Prop A was in the ’80s, Prop C, Measure R, 2008 These are all half-cent sales tax additions Each one of these, actually, so LA’s been willing to tax itself quite a bit, and Measure R, I think it’s brought in, I don’t know, $30 to $40 billion for transit, and you’ve had the extension of the Gold Line with the Measure R. You’ve had the Expo Line, which now can actually take you from downtown to Culver City to Santa Monica and the – you can have finally some transit going to LAX, but there are questions Will this ever cover enough ground? Will people’s commutes, if they’re going from Orange County to Santa Monica, is that too far for any transit to really cover? Can you build enough transit? Can you ever build enough transit to cover the massive, massive sprawl of LA? Is there any silver bullet? Is transit just another thing that, oh, this is gonna solve this issue, and then ten other issues come about And I thought I’d leave you with my last slide, because I worked – Greg and I worked on this book for LA called Never Built Los Angeles about projects that were never built, and

one of them was a plan from back in the 1970’s by a planner named Calvin Hamilton It’s called the city centers plan I love the drawing So he had, I mentioned, all these nodes, and these nodes hadn’t developed to the extent, even close to the extent, that they’ve developed now at that time, but he envisioned this then, and if you look one by one at these, these are basically all the density centers now in LA, and they weren’t necessarily – they were getting that way, but they weren’t necessarily that way But he also, in this plan, called for affordable housing, and how do you manage the price increases, and how do you balance density with issues of lifestyle and making sure everybody’s part of that density program And also he had mass transit plans going through each one of these density centers, and you do wonder, if that had happened then in the ’70s, if this is actually become a reality, maybe we’d be a lot closer to solving these issues that my colleague, Greg, is now going to tell you a little bit about, so thank you Thank you, Sam Our next speaker, Greg Goldin, was an architecture critic at the Los Angeles magazine from 1999 to 2011, and in 2011, he was awarded the Getty Institute Research Grant, which led to his exhibition windshield perspective at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum in LA in 2013, a study of vernacular Los Angeles architecture In the summer of 2013, he co-curated and co-authored Never Built Los Angeles In 2014, he was a contributing curator to the Getty Museum’s No Further West, an exhibition about making of Los Angeles’ Union Station, you know, the train station there His latest book, co-authored with Sam, is Never Built New York His writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Architectural Record, Architect’s Newspaper, and Zoglo, among others, and he is also a resident of Los Angeles So you have real creds there Thank you I hope you can hear me Thank you very much It’s nice to be in Syracuse Let’s see The last time I was here was 30 years ago for a wedding, for the daughter of a physics professor, and it all seems very different I’m less technological than Sam, so I don’t even know which button to push My apologies Male: Did you get it? I don’t know Male: Here ______ ________ [crosstalk] this one It’s this one, the one that’s the arrow Apologies So yep Let’s see Let’s see if it works There it goes Good I chose the same title as Sam Male: And the same font Density in Los Angeles, but really with huge asterisks I do live in Los Angeles, and I live in a neighborhood that’s in the crosshairs of the very battles that I hope I can give some outline to, and then when we all sit down together, perhaps we can get into this into a much more finely grained discussion and perhaps a more contentious debate about really what is the meaning of this very, very ambiguous term, density, and we’ll see whether it has any application at all But as I say, a house divided, for those of you who know the great movie from the 1930’s, or the novel, A Tale of Two Cities, which I would describe as a city built of unobtainium, that rare mineral that very few of us have ever encountered, or better known as to be in the discussion, the nation’s least affordable city, which Sam touched on, and you will, I think, see how this relates, the very issue of density, and to the measures that I’m going to talk about that have become the political imbroglio of the last or really the only discussion that anyone has in Los Angeles for the last six months or even a year It used to be everyone would ask, “Where do you work and how much money do you make?” Now it’s all about where do you live and how much rent do you pay, or if you’ve been there long enough, what is your mortgage? Meaning you get to live in the city that is made of unobtainium To give you some idea of exactly what’s happening here, you have to parse this out a little bit, but Los Angeles, among US cities, is in the worst condition in terms of its affordability and livability Not livability, affordability, because as the population has grown, the housing stock has declined, and you can see, it’s really – well, we don’t live in San Antonio and

nobody plotted out Syracuse for us here Sorry, but look what happens LA is dead last in American cities, and I could not find a similar chart to show you what will also reflect these facts, meaning that as the population has grown, you have fewer and fewer places to live because we have not kept a pace with the growth and population The housing starts have declined It’s a negative number That’s already gonna be bad because of simple economics of supply and demand I don’t have a slide to show you that wages are also either contracting or in a dead steady state relative to the decline in housing stock, which means that you have fewer homes and you have lower wages to pay your rent, which results in – wrong button Sorry, guys Well, this is another representation, by the way I’ll backtrack a teeny bit If you look at Los Angeles, Sam showed you a couple of slides One slide, which is actually of my neighborhood, his opening slide, which I bet I can go – can I go back to that? Let’s see It’s here Look Sorry Keep going There Okay This is Los Angeles, and we’ll flip forward to that other slide of how it fills in and then what rate it fills in and what rate housing is built And does it have a little pointer? No, I’m sorry It does? Did it point? Good All right, so this street right here is Fairfax Avenue, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art sits right about there Am I right about this? Maybe I’m a little bit – no, I may be – it’s always hard to tell on these things Yeah This is the Park La Brea, the tar pits, which is where the museum sits today If you guys – people know where the LA County Museum of Art is, these oil derricks sit approximately where my own house is today, right around here Male: You should be rich I get royalties, which keep declining in value So this is approximately 1910, I would guess Here is my neighborhood today The major oilfield here, which was called the St. Louis oilfield – I mean Salt Lake oilfield, the orientation’s different here Fairfax is back over that way This is Wilshire Boulevard The County Museum of Art is right about there That’s the tar pits My home is about right there So that’s 1930, so as we go forward to – sorry about this, guys I know that’s eye poison To here, as you can see, in the ’30s, the city was booming The housing starts were at their all-time high You were building Los Angeles out Postwar, which some of you may remember, California and the United States was in a severe depression after World War II People tend to forget this It isn’t until the 1950’s when after the United States Congress passes a law which permits you to deduct your home mortgage interest from your taxes that California and the rest of the country becomes suburban, robbing all major metropolitan areas of the impetus to build rental housing It happened in LA, just like it happened everywhere else, and if you scrutinize Los Angeles closely, you will see the emptying out of the city center and the burgeoning of suburbia, and that’s represented here in the ’50s and ’60s into the ’70s and even into the ’80s, and then we begin the decline, until we get to today The modern era in the – what’s called the boom, our current economic boom We’re building nothing, or close to nothing It’s fairly staggering when you think about this, and this is what begins to tell the – what I call the tale of the grim statistics, and this is the frame in which the measures I’m going to discuss occur, the city ballot measures 58 percent of Los Angeles renters are shelling out 30 percent or more of their income to meet their monthly nut As I mentioned, the gap between rising rents and declining wages is widening I don’t have the numbers on that, but the low income housing that was built largely

in the ’50s and ’60s, some in the ’70s with federal money and that’s not – I’m not talking about designated housing projects This is federal subsidies to private builders who have set asides for low income housing All of the covenants for that are now coming due, meaning the window was anywhere from 30 years to 55 years You had to set aside these low income housing units Those are being lost, 15,000, which may not sound like a lot, but that’s a big chunk of housing for low income housing in Los Angeles 15,000 are due to expire in the five years, added to which Los Angeles, which does have rent control and has fairly well regulated and stabilized housing market, which covers approximately 80 percent of all rental units in the city, 20,000 of those units were removed in the last – since the year 2000, I believe, and you cannot add any under state law You cannot add, when you build new housing in Los Angeles Rent control may not be applied to it, meaning all new housing, unless it is specifically designated low or moderate income housing in LA through other measures, is market rate So you can begin to see the forces that are compressing the city into action What you get instead is these, what they call luxury, if that’s luxury You can define that for yourself, but this is typical of what is now being built as market rate apartments and supplanting the rent controlled apartments in Los Angeles, leading to the disaster So sorry, the really dull slide, but Measure JJJ, which brings us to last year in November, as Larry alluded to There was a ballot measure, a citywide ballot measure to fund low income housing in Los Angeles Sorry So it has two very key components, and it was passed by the electorate in Los Angeles because the housing crisis in LA is apparent to everyone, and the majority of voters in LA actually are renters The majority of the city is made up now of renters, not of homeowners It’s a myth to think of Los Angeles simply as a suburban city It’s not It’s a city of renters, and Measure JJJ passed during the national election when Donald Trump got elected The city of Los Angeles voted to tax itself, or rather, to create a system by which developers would be forced to add low income housing units to any building of more than ten condos or apartments built in the city of Los Angeles, but there’s an interesting asterisk to it Only when they’re building it in – where they have to ask for a zoning change So it’s a very important thing to consider as we go forward, and I will discuss this What that means is if you simply by right can build a condo building on a parcel in Los Angeles, you don’t have to have any set asides for low income housing You don’t get any density bonuses You get nothing You can just build it If you are asking the city for an exception, then these density rules apply I’ll talk about that in a moment because that asterisk turns out to be a very big asterisk from the point of view of developers The other component to Measure JJJ is it requires you to have prevailing wage – you have to pay a prevailing wage to your laborer in building a new structure and you must hire – I believe it’s 30 percent of the persons who are working on a building must come within a certain radius – must live within a certain radius of the structure that you’re building That’s another big exception that developers will get to that they don’t like That’s Measure JJJ It passed Fast forward to March of this year, just a few weeks ago An address was on the ballot This was essentially entirely at loggerheads with Measure JJJ in theory Measure S said two things It would put a two year moratorium on all spot zoning in Los Angeles, which is zoning

within a system that’s called pay to play in LA If you wanna build something where you don’t have the right to do it under the zoning, you go to your city council person You line their pockets This is all true I’m not making any of this up You just pay them off and lo and behold, the city council allows you to build whatever you like, all the things that Sam showed you pictures of, none of which you would normally be able to build, according to the zoning laws of Los Angeles And this is really where the fight begins, because neighborhood by neighborhood, developers are looking to add density and to extract profit from building parcels on which they cannot simply go in and build by right, and therefore they have to go through a political process in order to get the rights to build what they want That has become enormously contentious, and that’s precisely what led to Measure S getting on the ballot It was defeated, remarkably, by a margin of two to one, and the question is, with Measure S going down and Measure JJJ going forward, does Los Angeles and will Los Angeles actually become more dense, and does that density produce the desired result? So this is an example of an apartment building too This one’s four blocks from where I live on Wilshire Boulevard where actually by right, there are no height limits Donald Trump proposed to build how many stories, Sam, 110 story building along Wilshire not about two miles away from here? No height limits, no restrictions whatsoever on this parcel, but this is fairly typical of the kind of mixed use infill I should have brought a picture of this Originally here was a beautiful art deco department store from the 1930’s It was torn down It was demolished in order to build this ticky tack building that in ten years from now no doubt won’t exist anymore And what’s interesting is this is all market rate This was simply driven by a developer who sees that there are profits to be made from this, regardless of whether you have the density bonuses that are offered under Prop. JJJ and this is where that asterisk comes in, because they had no – developers have no interest in applying for density bonuses here for a very simple reason These buildings are unoccupied They have 25 percent vacancy rates in what is a highly pressured rental market There’s a three percent or so vacancy rate citywide in Los Angeles, so that’s enormous pressure on rents, to push rents up, and yet these new market rate structures, which I should add are built between two transit nodes half a mile to the east of this and a half a mile to the west of this on Wilshire Boulevard are planned, are under way They’re building them Two new subway stops for the metro that will go from downtown LA into, slowly over a millennium or two, make its way to Santa Monica by 2021, I think is when Two new subway stations will be within walking distance of these buildings So this is representative of what is actually happening along transit nodes, and they remain at a very high vacancy rate So when you push toward density, you have to wonder exactly what You may be pushing against the other end of the rope, and it’s a question I think we can talk about Oh, sorry Wrong button That’s an aerial view of yet another of these projects in the same neighborhood in this – sorry It’s pulled off of Google It’s not very good, but it’s the same kind of thing This is all within the last three years, approximately, all in anticipation of the subway stops that are gonna be built along Wilshire Boulevard This ended up in here Sorry Sam has already touched on this, this question of well, what really is a dense city? I hope we’ll talk more about this, but I think people are surprised to learn New York is half the density of Paris You would never think of that, and Los Angeles is fast catching up to Paris There are neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Koreatown, that Sam mentioned 40,000 people per square mile, and if you were to take a flyover, Koreatown, you’d look at it and you would think, “Oh, this is streets with two story buildings and palm trees.” You would think it’s classic Los Angeles from the 1930’s, and you’d be wrong, and you’d be wrong because there are 12 people living in a one bedroom apartment, sleeping in shifts

That’s the reality, so the other issue, I think with this kind of density, which Sam has touched on, and goes to the – one of the key issues that gave life to Measure S, despite its failure and I think the proponents of the sort of density program that they’d like to see come about through Measure JJJ is that you have to really interrogate what density actually is all about In Los Angeles, density has meant building in certain, particular corridors, in particular in these freeway corridors So the LA Times just did this series It’s one of these aha moments that occurred to somebody to actually ask the question of what does it really mean to live by a freeway in these brand new apartment buildings? And I think I may have gotten the – there they are, as you can see These are buildings built by a guy named Jeff Palmer He’s building them in these interstitial kind of spaces in the city that previously were either parking lots or completely abandoned land adjacent to freeways or in very high traffic corridors They go up overnight If anybody knows the story of this particular building, I think this one is the Medici, but I’m not sure They all have these silly Italian names This one, somebody burned down, and then he built it back up again Before it was completed, somebody torched it It was great applause in LA We were really glad, and it’s right in the crosshairs between this idea of Measure S, which is to preserve the character of the city, to slow this kind of growth down, versus JJJ, which would give him density bonuses if he were interested in availing himself of them, right by the freeway, but the truth is, these are at-risk zones The pollution levels are so astronomically high that the people who are living in them, and we know this around the world People who live adjacent to these kinds of spots have greater health risks of all kinds: heart disease, lung disease, asthma, the list goes on and on, and so the LA Times did this story And they went and they visited the people who live in these places This is a daily – you know, that’s the toll you take That’s the particulates that you’re breathing when you live in these neighborhoods right by the freeway So the question becomes, is this really density, or is this density? And is this a neighborhood you value, or is this a neighborhood you value? And these are the questions that are written into the political measures that Los Angeles has been fighting about in the last year or so, and I mean we can talk about this I’m not gonna give my answers to that right now, but I think that it raises the questions that when you look at that very word, density, and then you have to give it a location, you have to give it a geography, you have to give it a real place, suddenly you’re left with more questions, I think, than you are fed answers There we go Really interesting, first of all I think a lot of sort of unexpected facts up there, ones that you don’t associate typically, at least us East Coasters, with LA First of all, I’d like to introduce our panel members Stuart Rosenthal is a Maxwell Advisory Board professor of economics and a senior research associate at the Center of Policy Research Before joining SU, he taught at Virginia Tech and at the University of British Columbia, and the board of governors for the Federal Reserve His research is in the area of urban economics, real estate, finance, and housing, and state, and local public economics This includes work on a wide range of housing and mortgage issues, the determinants of urban renewal and decay, as well as the influence of agglomeration on productivity and entrepreneurship At the end here, Lemir Teron

Did I say that right? Male 1: Lemir Teron Teron, great Thanks – is an environmental studies – was on the environmental studies faculty at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry He currently works on a municipal scale, renewal energy projects His research examines a sustainability policy, urban development, environmental justice Turon received his Ph.D. from the University of Delaware Center of Energy and Environmental Policy and completed a post-doc at NOAA, an affiliated environmental cooperation science center, where his book explored the human dimensions of challenges related to legacy pollution, climate change, and coastal communities Finally, we have Jamie Winders, O’Hanley Faculty Scholar, professor, and chair of the geography department at the Maxwell School here at Syracuse She was trained as an urban geographer She studies the relationship between immigration and racial politics, especially in the context of American cities Beyond her work on immigration, Winders has published on topics including new and social media, social reproduction, post-colonial theory, gender, and class dynamics Thank you all three for being willing to come tonight and speakers And Francisco Sanin is on our faculty as well I’ve been teaching with him for now over – well, we won’t say how long Male 2: Since the last time too Has done a lot of work, particularly in urban design in Latin America and Korea, has helped co-curate a Beanali, the Korea exhibit there one year I know, and it’s very significant, and has a good voice and a strong, influential voice on urban topics throughout the world, actually So he’s perfect here for moderating our group tonight Male 2: Thank you Thank you Thank you Male 1: So I guess my task is to invite the respondents to respond Male 2: Oh, they have the microphones Male 1: Oh, you have the microphones? Male 2: Yeah, the few microphones are yours Male 1: Okay Jamie Winder: I think you’ve been volunteering Male 1: Yes Stuart Rosenthal: Oh, my Okay All right I guess I’ve been volunteered I’m Stuart Rosenthal First, before I say anything else, just thank you very much to the folks who have put on this event and for giving us the opportunity to visit with our visitors from afar It’s wonderful to have you here, so thank you very much Okay, I guess I’m gonna start with a stylized fact that I think might just be helpful for some of us who are perhaps more familiar with Syracuse than Los Angeles, but before coming over, I looked at house price movements in Syracuse and Los Angeles going back to 1978 Normalizing nominal house prices quality adjusted to be the same in 1978 House prices in Syracuse have moved up approximately perhaps by a factor of three and a half over that period of time, whereas Los Angeles prices have moved up by a factor of about nine, and that’s for the overall metro area There will be individual neighborhoods where the patterns are very different, but I perceive that part of what is at issue with these ballot initiatives is that there really is a crushing affordability problem in the housing market in Los Angeles, much more so than we experience here at the moment in Syracuse And that is challenging for anybody who is not highly paid On the one hand, it’s a bad thing, but I guess drawing on my background I will say that one of the reasons why some places are expensive is often because good things are happening in those locations as well There’s ample quality employment, high productivity, but where I think the issues really become challenging is when you have local government stepping in and enacting various types of zoning ordinances that are motivated often by well-intended goals, but can have unintended consequences And that includes a neighborhood You worry about the character of your neighborhood If you enact zoning, that will restrict development In a setting where employment is booming, it’s not hard to guess what’s gonna happen to house prices And so I perceive that that is part of what is really in the background here, and sharp tradeoffs then between the desire to preserve certain neighborhood amenities versus the need to, given the employment base, and to have access to adequate affordable housing There are other factors that contribute, but I’m going to perhaps pause and get some others a chance to comment Sure Male 1: Sure Go ahead Jamie Winder: Go ahead

No Male 2: It can be taken right off of it Male 1: Okay, great Male 3: First off, I’d like to say thank you to the two gentlemen I’ve become very aware of your work in the recent weeks and a very impressive presentation tonight, and some of the other things that you’ve commentated on has been really enlightening for me From the small environmental school right across the walkway, so I’d like to put a little environmental context on what we’re talking about, and extend the local conversation One of your last slides is very striking, the interstate running essentially right through the city, and if you make your way around the city, I think we’re all familiar with the viaduct situation, I-81 situation that’s really provocative local conversation And I would say that the consequences the gentlemen or the lady with the sit on her finger, the consequences are just as striking in this town Literally, you have a basketball court and a children’s jungle gym literally under the interstate, so the consequences for somebody that’s predisposed to respiratory illness, whether it is in Syracuse or in Los Angeles, the consequences could be death Meanwhile, if you live in the public housing complex, they did ban smoking, which is a good thing, I suppose, but the ozone that these folks are exposed to is pretty significant, but extending the conversation, looking at this environmentally, I think there’s a lot of things that we need to think about because Los Angeles has a pretty ambitious sustainability plan, but when we talk about Los Angeles’ density, we need to do so in the context What’s the food policy of Los Angeles? And they have done some pretty creative things in recent years What’s the waste management policy, so you have all these people who are gonna be added to the city The hazardous waste that these folks are creating, the hazardous waste that industry’s creating, where is the stuff being stored at? Now, like I said, they have a pretty ambitious hazardous waste plan, but people do create waste, so I hope through the course of the evening we’ll get to talk about some environmental issues and place this in an environmental and ecological context Jamie Winder: So thanks for two really interesting presentations I spent a lot of time thinking and reading about Los Angeles and some of the bodies of work that I draw on, but this talk was getting me to think about it in a different way, which I found quite exciting So the two bodies of work that I contribute to and that I draw on are very grounded in Los Angeles So you have urban geographers There’s an LA School of Urban Geography, but for them, LA is kind of this whole thing that’s often seen from sort of a God’s eye view, and the real question is, is LA sort of an exception to all the rules of urban development? Is it the quintessential postmodern city, or is it the prototype of the 21st century, but we don’t get that granularity and that texture that you all talked about The other body of work that I’m most familiar with is migration studies, much of which is based on studies of immigrant dynamics in Los Angeles, but in a lot of that work, LA is really just a backdrop It’s the dynamics among immigrants that’s much more central and that it’s happening in Los Angeles is sort of secondary So I really enjoyed kind of getting this in-depth look The other thing that geographers are invested in is thinking about the ways that the landscape becomes a site of struggle and that is actually produced through different kinds of struggle and you could really see that in some of what you were talking about There were a couple of things that really jumped out at me in the presentation, and one is the question of – that Sam mentioned of what to do when the identity of a neighborhood or a place changes, and that really resonated with me, because I spent a lot of time looking at what happens when historically white or historically black neighborhoods, especially in southern cities, begin to change, and so when the landscape changes, when different kinds of families come in, when different kinds of businesses come in, what does it mean when the identity of a place changes I think that’s really important here The other is at the end of Greg’s presentation He talked about what kind of neighborhood do you value, and one of the things that strikes me about LA is that you is plural, right? So you can have a neighborhood that everybody identifies, but the you’s in there will be plural, and so what kind of neighborhood that different people within a tight geographic area want So again, we can think of the landscape as a site of struggle, and then finally you mentioned this idea of interstitial places, and I was struck by something I saw on YouTube the other day about the pod share LA, where it’s millennials and it’s for $50.00 you can rent – it’s

like a pod you sleep in, but it’s also a workspace, and there’s a bathroom there, and the idea that – I think their slogan – I wrote it down – if I can find it That they want access, not ownership, right? And so these pod share places are really designed for millennials, but they’re working in those interstitial spaces to kind of get us to, again, think about the city and questions of density and family structure and all these things in different sorts of ways So I’ll leave it there Male 1: Wonderful I guess my role as a moderator at some point is to recognize that we are in a school of architecture, and as such, we have a bias and an interest (A) to use the word that you probably most are suspicious of is form We’re very interested in form We’re very interested in spatial conditions We’re very interested in how architecture can and should participate in the larger processes that we’re describing One could argue that through the 20th century, architecture progressively gave up territories and knowledge and disciplinary space to participate in these larger discussions, but interestingly enough, issues like sustainability crisis, and energy, migration, geographies, have reestablished a certain credibility for architecture to participate in this process, but it also forces us to rethink the mechanism and the way in which we think about this process We grow up thinking that architecture was always the result of all these processes, or at best, the representation or effect of it One would like to posit the possibility that architecture is an active participant in constructing new divisions and new possibilities In that sense, it begins to create a very complex network that in a way has been presented here from, I think, very really clear and exciting perspectives of how different forms of density, different ways in which the city transform and recreate itself from back patios and granny apartments to pots too And then the whole underlying political structure or struggle between two visions of the city, which ______ not simply say that there’s an nostalgic in the progressive form, but that there are other issues that are at stake that begin to talk about identity, migration, environmental issues, but it’s also the role of the institution So for instance, Stuart, you were talking about the sort of _______ dynamic and in a way implicit in your presentation was also the idea that the institutions were unable to understand those dynamics and to participate in a constructive way I would like to elaborate on that, in a way taking the other position, because for instance, when we talk about infrastructure, transportation, the idea of ______, the decentralization, management of waste if we were to go that way, those are elements that come from the state, that come from the institution, that can have an incredibly dynamic effect in the way that we understand _____ ______ that we construct relationships, not to mention when we talk about luxury or privatization Because in a way, we could argue that the purpose of the city is not simply to produce jobs and not even to make people happy, but it’s to coexist It’s to learn to practice with each other and with the work which we are It’s ______ _______ political sort of project at stake, so without being so complex with my language, I’m just trying to understand how do you see, because you have a really interesting background and experience, this relationship between the economic logic, which is almost overwhelming and unstoppable, and the role of the institution in constructing the larger vision and developing mechanisms that could curtail and negotiate with them Stuart Rosenthal: Okay Well, thank you First, I think local government undoubtedly is keenly aware of many of the tradeoffs that Los Angeles is wrestling with I do think that cities of course are places where lots of different types of activities take place, lots of different types of social interactions, whether it’s at the workplace, or at home, or in a local community center, but fundamentally a city like Los Angeles is a working city There are cities I would call retirement towns, but Los Angeles is first and foremost a place where people work, and one of the things that ties the various challenges together, I think,

for Los Angeles, is where do people live and where do they work and what are the opportunities for travel between the two places? And, you know, local governments intervenes in every facet of that What I can tell you is that if we provide businesses opportunities to cluster together spatially, there’s a lot of evidence I confess I’m biased by some of my own work, but not just my own work, that many companies across a range of different types of industries care a lot more about what’s within one mile, even what’s on that block, than they do just a few blocks away If you look at Manhattan, there are intensive differences in the type of activities taking place in the employment sector are going from one two-square block part of Manhattan, to another two-square block portion of Manhattan, so some very localized concentrations of different types of activity Not in all cases, but in many instances there is evidence to suggest that this is part of what allows companies to do a better job of getting their job done, allows labor to be more productive That does generate higher income, but it’s also a way of doing business that concentrates employment together So now you’ve gotta find some way for the workers to be able to live close enough to where they work so we don’t have all suffer these horrendous commutes that I know some people in Los Angeles do I think in the context of the two ballot initiatives here, one of the things that I was struck by is that they really are, and the discussion I think mostly is focused on residential opportunities without a lot of connection to the employment centers in Los Angeles And I don’t think it’s a case of one size fits all throughout the LA area There’s plenty of room for some neighborhoods, for idiosyncratic reasons to be targets of zoning that would protect historic attributes, but while other areas could experience significant densification But I do think we wanna be conscious of when we allow density, residential density, to increase in some locations, how is that going to affect the nature of travel in Los Angeles, the opportunities to get to work? That’s tied in with the transport network, in addition to the nature of the residential stock in Los Angeles My understanding is that the subway system in LA is growing, but at least my LA friends, and I’m not in LA, so I defer to Doug and Sam, is relative to say, Paris, or New York, or Washington, DC Still somewhat in its infancy, and instead, I think of LA as being the quintessential highway city, and if we build highways as we have in Los Angeles, it’s – I don’t think you need a degree in economics to appreciate that’s going to spread the city out So while I agree that LA is a very dense area measured over some range, it is striking to me that it has such a flat skyline that extends for such a long distance, and I think that’s a consequence in some measure of the nature of the transport system So I think when government gets involved in Los Angeles, all of these factors need to be taken into account Male 4: I think there’s a lot to say We would have to unpack a huge amount to begin to even touch the surface of this, both the question you ask, and then the broader thing, but you have to complicate the picture, I think When you say Los Angeles, what do you mean? Do you mean downtown Los Angeles, which is a hybrid of a cultural center at some level, a neighborhood? Part of the downtown now is an arts district, which I would put very large and ironic quotation marks around, because I think it’s being decimated It’s also being transformed by young, urban professionals who want to live in downtown because there are jobs there in both finance and I think largely finance and the law, legal professions That’s one area, but Los Angeles is the largest industrial, light industrial, and in fact, the largest industrial center west of the Mississippi It is the larger light industrial center in the country

It has miles and miles and miles I mean we didn’t show you any of these pictures, but you drive south of downtown Los Angeles all the way to the Port of Long Beach, the most important port of Los Angeles is Long Beach It’s the most important and thriving port in the country, and that is acre and acre and acre of light industrial and single family residences combined of what was formerly the heart of black Los Angeles, is now large immigrant populations, and their definition of spatial – how is the city supposed to look? What is it supposed to be – is completely different than mine And how they thrive within the city, or even if they’re not thriving, how they have a purchase on what the city is and what it has to offer is totally different than my own I grew up there I’m lucky to live in a neighborhood where I bought a place 30 years ago that nobody who lives in Vernon could afford or Maywood could afford to move into my neighborhood at all, and I wouldn’t exchange my life as a writer for their life polishing chrome So what’s the city that we’re talking about? And I say this to try to bring it back to your notion of how can architecture play a role, and I think it’s extremely difficult because we don’t know the place we’re talking about at all Stuart Rosenthal: And I really liked your point about the question of where people live in relation to where they work, because I think you can’t talk about density in LA without talking about transit and you can’t separate the two and you can’t talk about those two without talking about affordability These are all extremely intertwined, and anybody who’s thinking about planning LA and talking about, oh, my god, this traffic, this affordability A huge part of the traffic that Greg and I were talking about the other day, the result of the traffic is exactly the reason that you were saying, is that most of the people that are coming to Santa Monica are coming from very far away If there was a way that they _____ ______ maybe and could live in Santa Monica, then you wouldn’t have this extreme backlog of traffic, but the size of the region and what’s demanded, is that even possible to make Santa Monica – oh, it would be great Everybody could just live and work and just walk down the street, but is that possible? I don’t know, but it’s an interesting question, because that could help maybe deal with issues of affordability That could help deal with the issues of all this incredible traffic and congestion, so they’re interesting questions Whether you can solve these problems that way, I don’t know Male 4: Well, ____ _____ _____ to add something to what Sam said, when I was growing up, the commute on the Santa Monica Freeway, which connects the beach to downtown and then points east of downtown, it was exactly the opposite of what it is today So the morning traffic in Los Angeles flows east to west and south to kind of west and at night, it goes the other way So that Frank Geary complains he’ll never go on Friday night to Disney Concert Hall from his home in Venice or Santa Monica because it’s an hour and a half commute, minimum, to go approximately 12.3 miles Now, when I was a kid, that didn’t exist You could get from Santa Monica to downtown traveling 65 miles an hour What has happened is that the kinds of jobs there are in Santa Monica don’t pay a high enough wage for the people to live in Santa Monica So they live way east, someplace else, and you’ve got a gajillion people And I don’t know what the answer to that is Bomb them both, you know? Male 1: Maybe we would come up with an answer to that, but maybe it would be interesting to make things a little bit more complicated I like the fact that we purposefully invited you from a very different perspective, disciplinary looks, so that things like an economic equation like you just presented seems to be very precise and quantifiable and sometimes we think of density as something that is easily quantifiable, but there are these unquantifiable issues that are based on judgement and politics or on a lot of other things So one of the things that strikes me that wasn’t mentioning now, I think, but I understand from Measure S is the idea of simply put gentrification That is not simply a question of density and job, but it’s also the idea that communities that are dispossessed are being marginalized, are being kicked out, and this is a global phenomena So I was very interested, Jamie, in your expression of this landscape of struggle, because overlaying

on this logic of the economy, there are other logics that are superimposed on the city, and that’s one beautiful thing about the city, is this super position of waste management, economy, ecology, sustainability, systems flows of different processes, but also of cultural and political struggles That is precisely perhaps, but the reason for this to exist is to negotiate those struggles and to create a space of _____ ______ between these different, opposing identities and positions So I was wondering if you could talk a little bit more about it Jamie Winder: About the idea of kind of landscape as the – Male 1: Landscape of struggle and how that could begin to form our discussion, perhaps Jamie Winder: Yeah I mean I think there are multiple ways to kind of get into that One of the things that geographers are often interested in thinking about cities is this kind of recursive relationship between the public, broadly defined in the city, and the built-in environment, and the fact that that public can often change much more rapidly than necessarily the built-in environment can adjust And you can think about that in the context of gentrification, right? Of the ways that the built-in environment of the neighborhood kind of develops around and in relation to a particular understanding of family, a particular kind of economy, and as families and as the demographics change and as the economic opportunities change, you very quickly can kind of get those two things kind of out of whack so that the public that’s being served by the built-in environment, the two kind of don’t – they don’t mesh anymore, but more broadly, a lot of geographers want to take and sort of – I think in the same way as architecture, but to understand an active role of space, right? That the city isn’t just this container in which social dynamics happen, but that there’s this interplay that the landscape – there’s a very well-known cultural geographer who taught at Syracuse for many, many years Don Minig, who talked about the landscape as both mold and mirror, that it reflects and it reinforces it, but we can also think – I go back to that I think it had an Italian name and it had a lot of pollution Stuart Rosenthal: Oh, the _____ _______ Jamie Winder: The building that was right in the gaps around the interstate, and again, sort of thinking about that construction, and it was burned down, and they rebuilt it, and some people were happy as sort of the wonderful embodiment of this idea of the landscape is this side of struggle, that that is being produced through these struggles over whose Los Angeles is being produced through the urban landscape For whom is the city working? Who can claim a place? And somebody torched it, and then they rebuilt it, and the people who were there are sort of happy, but they’re also unhealthy, and so that’s for me, a really interesting microcosm, to think about what it means to take this sort of active understanding of space and the ways that it really gets produced through political and economic and also kind of cultural struggles Male 3: Sure To extend on your commentary on for who, I would also like to ask by whom In the context of the conversation that you were having earlier on gentrification changing neighborhood identity, obviously Los Angeles has a huge immigrant population I was doing some research last year Approximately 17 percent of adults who live in Los Angeles are linguistically isolated That means that no one in their household speaks English Self-classified is very well So let’s reconcile that with each neighborhood in Los Angeles has its own neighborhood development plan So you have 30 or so development plans, most of which haven’t been updated in a generation or two, so if you have these teeming, gentrified spaces, teeming spaces that have been – the ethnic dynamics have changed within these neighborhoods, but yet you’re still operating off of a development plan that’s 20 or 30 years old I would contend that you don’t really have a very – you don’t allow for the process of democracy to work its way out if we’re talking about the design and delivery of city services and economic development Stuart Rosenthal: You raise a really, really intelligent – this is a great point you make, and here’s the interesting thing Male 3: Thank you Stuart Rosenthal: Measure S, one of its components – mind you, this went down defeated two to one, was that the city would be mandated to finally update the community plans, and it would have to do it according to the city charter, which assumes a kind of democratic process So the very electorate who is stuck in this rubric that everyone agrees doesn’t work and doesn’t reflect anything about who or whom

They voted against it Male 4: The question is, they wanna update the community plans to what end? I mean, you know Stuart Rosenthal: Oh, but that’s a process in itself Male 4: Right Stuart Rosenthal: And it’s a question of can you let that process find its own language, its own meaning, and reflect what neighborhoods want, which may lead us right back to another problem, right? Which it may be in the kind of larger sense, it may turn out to be not ideal, but that’s where the rub is Male 4: I like thinking of density as a struggle If you just picture – you could just put the density of LA for instance, or another city, like a fast motion or a stop action camera, and see they’re going _____ ______ ______, because these struggles, like Measure S, like if something gets blocked and then, well, the people are still gonna keep coming, and they still wanna live in an urban area, so are they gonna – people in the ’50s, they all moved away, and then everybody got sick of that There were more opportunities, and then they came back, and now the prices are going up and the density’s starting to reach its limit, so what’s gonna happen next? Are we gonna have to figure out a way to densify more intelligently? Are people gonna start moving back to the suburbs? And they already are starting to move to midsized cities instead of staying in these big, expensive, overcrowded cities You’ve gotta go to Austin, Portland, places like that, Syracuse, perhaps Jamie Winder: Stay in Syracuse when you graduate Stuart Rosenthal: ______ plan There’s a freeway Male 4: Yeah No, so where is this density? Where does it go? Where are the tensions gonna push us next? And I’m very curious to hear what you guys have to say about it Stuart Rosenthal: I think you hit on some of the places it’s going to go Male 4: Yeah Stuart Rosenthal: And it’s going to go away from Los Angeles, if Los Angeles doesn’t provide sufficient housing for the mix of people working in the town who might otherwise want to live there One way to think about it is it’s not very pleasant to deal with pollution by the highway or an hour long commute, if you are fortunate I had a memorable trip from South Central LA from the University of Southern California with a colleague one year We left at 3:00 on a Friday afternoon out to Thousand Oaks, north of town We had to stop for a couple of rest breaks along the way It took us about two and a half hours to get there That’s a tough way to live It doesn’t work for me Some people, this colleague of mine claims he’s okay with it, but the reality is – a question I ask people sometimes is okay, let’s suppose you’ve graduated Let’s suppose you’ve been offered a wonderful job in pick your favorite city, and I’ll say Los Angeles, and let’s suppose instead you also have an alternate opportunity at a different town called Syracuse And the salary offer is the same and we know LA’s got a different basket of amenities and a higher cost of living Okay, so which town do you choose? Do you go to Los Angeles or do you go to Syracuse? And I guess I’m gonna ask folks here I’m gonna leave the Syracuse professors out We of course all wanna be here For you students, I’m guessing there are a few students back there Which would you go? Same job, same nominal job, Los Angeles versus Syracuse, where do you go? Male 1: Los Angeles Stuart Rosenthal: Los Angeles Los Angeles? Okay, definitely? 100 percent? No way about it? Okay Let’s say that wage is $100,000.00, okay? Now I’m gonna offer you $110,000.00 to come to Syracuse instead Will you come? $120,000.00? $150,000.00? Male 1: ___________ Stuart Rosenthal: Pardon? Male 1: No Stuart Rosenthal: $225,000.00 to come to Syracuse? Can I get you here? Jamie Winder: I’ll come to Syracuse Stuart Rosenthal: Okay, there we go, and that’s exactly what’s happening across cities The cities that are perceived to have nicer amenities honestly tend to have lower wages, all else equal, and the cities that are less appealing tend to have higher wages adjusted for the cost of living and what’s gonna happen in LA and what is happening is as it becomes a more difficult place to live, that is shifting people to other cities, I think without any question Jamie Winder: I was really struck by the fact that LA is a city of renters, which I think is interesting, but also the graph that showed the profound impact of being able to write off your mortgage interest as a tax deduction on sort of suburbanization

I think we’re at a really interesting moment, to go back to the students in the room I mentioned the pod share There’s this sense that culturally, millennials are less invested in the idea of homeownership and you guys are entering the workforce in a fundamentally different fiscal reality And so in terms of thinking about – Sam raised the issue of what’s next There’s also the question of this dream of homeownership that’s always kind of been out there Is it going to stick with your generation, or are you truly going to be the generation that’s more about access than ownership, that you want to think about the city in a different sort of way And that really seems to resonate with at least pockets in Los Angeles, and you know, as the cultural values change, will we see changes in the built environment, or will you all be forced to conform to the suburbs, whether you want to or not, you know? So how do we think about the way these sort of cultural and political economic shifts may reconfigure how you guys think about home and where you live Male 1: Sounds like a good opening for the questions from the audience Male 2: Oh, there’s a microphone here Hang on Male 1: I’m sure we have time for questions for each one of them Stuart Rosenthal: Oh, that’s right Male 1: _____ _____ ______ Stuart Rosenthal: Fire at will Male 1: Maybe our very own team who expressed support for one of the meshes would like to come and comment Male 2: Or I can give it to you Here How about it? Hannah: I can project I’ll project Male 2: No, it’s all right [Crosstalk] Hannah: Oh, okay That’s all right Okay Well, I think it’s interesting I was going to ask a similar question about how my generation particularly is coming into a new age where the nuclear family is really being obliterated and it’s interesting, the comment you brought up about are we going to conform to the suburbs, but I mean maybe it’s too naïve to believe that perhaps we’re going to reform the suburbs in a sense that we may not necessarily live in a nuclear family, but we’ll live in these nuclear groups, if that makes sense So I would think about it in that sense, where of course we’re not going to look at the home or our goals aren’t going to be to have children or whatever, but to be accepted into a small group that perhaps also will share similar interests and similar tastes in where we might wanna travel to a city and take really – take into mind the environmental and economical factors of a nuclear family living in LA You might have someone going north and the other parent going south and someone living in Santa Monica, for example, does nothing for you because regardless, one of you is going to be traveling, so perhaps it’ll be more environmentally and economically friendly Not really a question, but more common, I guess, I suppose Stuart Rosenthal: I would just say that bohemianism, which is what I think you’re describing, is not a new idea, and it’s not new to any cities that I can think of, and there is always a strain of that, and it usually – you could probably track it by age, by which I mean how old a person is Male 1: Let’s not go there Stuart Rosenthal: And you see, it falls off rather rapidly the older you get, so this question of is – when you asked how many of you would trade off $225,000.00 for Syracuse versus $100,000.00 to live in LA, you know, it’s an interesting question, but it may be posed to the wrong people Male 1: Maybe it’s interesting to start thinking that bohemianism, as you describe it, is sort of a romantic idea of opting out of the system What Hannah is describing is a new form of labor It’s organized labor It’s what makes labor possible, so it’s a complete reversal, but it’s a condition by which you participate in the production system, rather than opting out And therefore it’s become instructional to the society, rather than an option from a few that want to create this sort of alternative Stuart Rosenthal: Yeah, I don’t think it’s as strict as – I think there is a generational shift between the willingness to share, willingness to live in denser places, willingness to rent

over buy I mean the sharing economy as it is would not have existed even ten years ago probably, and people of another generation would have said, “Wait You’re gonna have some stranger live in my house and drive my car around?” And there are attitudes, so I think it’s a good question I think these could be lasting changes, and if they are, they could change the way our cities densify or not, definitely Male 5: You don’t think those reflect deep and abiding issues of class? Sorry to throw that word around here Male 4: Oh, sure Yeah That’s true Stuart Rosenthal: Because I don’t think that LA is really fascinating because it’s become much more polyglot than it ever was before I think when you talk about how 17 percent of people who live in LA only speak a non-English language, right? Male 1: Si, Senor Stuart Rosenthal: Right Correcto, but there is this really great cross-pollinization among all of those different ethnicities and people, and I think it’s what’s made the city much more dynamic and much more interesting It’s why you would wanna go there for the $100,000.00 versus the $225,000.00 Male 4: I’ll take either Stuart Rosenthal: But I also think that there are other currents that run through the city, and the children of the person who is working in the chrome polishing factory, they don’t see the world through this lens at all They see it as dead end schools that are failing in every single category to provide them with proper education that might lead to the sort of advancement that lets you drive Uber for a living, or to be in the disaggregated economy, whatever that’s supposed to look like _____ ______ No assurances of anything, including homeownership or health care I mean I’m sorry to bring this up, but this is the dynamic of cities and the truth is that in Los Angeles, the vast, vast, vast majority don’t look like _____ ______ Sam, who can live this way Male 4: Me? Stuart Rosenthal: They just don’t These opportunities don’t exist, and for them, the city is not this beautiful, ripe fruit that’s going to be plucked and lead to a succulent, wonderful – Male 4: Are you saying that Uber drivers are all upper class? Stuart Rosenthal: I’m saying that they’re decimated, and they’ve also, meanwhile, as we know, decimated other people who actually put their kids through college by having a cab – a taxi medallion Male 4: That’s a whole other issue Stuart Rosenthal: But it’s the same It is the issue It’s the issue It’s the crisis of our city, and it’s reflected in these matters of density, I think I mean that’s why – yeah Male 4: I wonder if I could just add something to that very quickly There’s an academic paper in the Journal of Urban Economics by Dan Black and some co-authors Dan Black was at one time here at Syracuse, is now in Chicago, and the title is Why Do Gay Men Prefer San Francisco? The paper is not about sexual orientation, but the point of the title and the paper is that San Francisco is an enormously attractive place to a lot of people, both to businesses and as a place to live It has extraordinarily expensive housing and that makes it very, very difficult to raise a family there And in a more somewhat exogenesis fashion, gay men tend not to have as many children as do heterosexual couples Any city that becomes very sought after, such as Los Angeles, with a very vibrant employment center, and _____ _____ ______ is that will restrict housing opportunities without somehow accommodating that pressure through a very sophisticated transport system, is gonna face real challenges that will affect not just how many people will live there, but the composition of people who will live there So if you’re looking to raise a family and I appreciate the comments that were made I bounced around a lot at one time, and at least for me, I can tell you as soon as we had our children, that was it The whole story was different It was where are they gonna go to school? What’s gonna be a good neighborhood, and how are we gonna work the logistics of family life, which is challenging for anybody, I think, raising kids So I think we just need to be conscious of the fact that the housing opportunities and the transport and the degree to which one town may be very expensive will affect who chooses to live in that town and the nature of their experience Male 5: Well, first of all, as someone who grew up in Van Nuys, I felt I wanted to say

something, but thank you very much for two wonderful presentations and a great follow up discussion What I was curious about was whether some of the smaller municipalities within the Los Angeles area, and I’m thinking specifically of Santa Monica and West Hollywood, has been able to negotiate – well, wait Let me back up and ask the question Were they also affected by the two ballot measures? Stuart Rosenthal: No They were only city of LA Male 5: That’s what I was thinking So I’m curious then How have they handled these issues? I’m wondering if there’s an issue of scale, where a smaller municipality has a better chance of controlling a smaller area more effectively Stuart Rosenthal: You wanna answer that, Sam? Sam: Well, I can That’s a really good question I think from my perspective, having been in LA for a while, and looked at – because LA isn’t a city Everybody knows that It’s tons of cities merged together, sort of plopped together What they have in common, from my perspective, is that very few of them have dealt very well with this issue What’s frustrating to me about what happened in the aftermath of Measure S, the recent aftermath, is that it’s like you have these two options Option A, go as we’ve been going and just kind of Option B, instead of fixing where we’re going, nuclear option, just stop it all, or at least for a few years and then see what happens And so we went with option A, and then it’s like, okay, back to normal, and back to this sort of pay to play thing that doesn’t deal with issues very particularly well with affordability or with who’s included What we’re doing with kind of anything, it’s just sort of processed more and more And I think it’s sort of similar in places like Santa Monica, where affordability is barely existent Male 5: Part of the reason I ask is I remember in the ’70s there was a huge outcry because the ’70s, early ’80s maybe, there was a huge outcry in Santa Monica from landlords because the city government was really enforcing rent control, if I remember correctly Stuart Rosenthal: Yes Male 5: Yeah, and so you know, I was just curious Stuart Rosenthal: No, and I don’t wanna disparage all planners, by the way I think everybody’s trying to deal very specifically with all these questions, but there’s these in transit issues and most of all, this sort of system that’s been put in place for years and years and years Male 4: Well, there is one specific – with Santa Monica, the pushback has looked very different There has been a political resistance to the kind of development that Sam showed you, although much of it I think has been much better planned It’s less random than it is and the city of Los Angeles has been planned really around the extension of the Expo Line into Santa Monica and then downtown and I think it’s been more careful Where the pushback has occurred is in both the building envelope, meaning height and lot line to lot line and in the residential neighborhoods, and I don’t remember What has it been, about two years ago now that Santa Monica passed an ordinance, or maybe it was a ballot measure that has restricted the lot coverage that you can have for these single family and some of them multiple family lots in Santa Monica, which was to combat _________ Stuart Rosenthal: Everybody’s tried that Male 4: Yeah, so that’s rampant City of LA has done it Stuart Rosenthal: Not as successfully People can get around it Male 4: Not really as successfully, so that’s the level at which you’ve seen it in Santa Monica, but you haven’t seen this kind of Measure S, which is just as Sam says It’s the nuclear option Take out the ax and that’s it Today it’s all gonna come to an end West Hollywood, less so, and I don’t – the battle will emerge in West Hollywood because it all goes – the taproot to a lot of this is Prop. 13, which I don’t know if everyone here knows It’s the third rail of California politics It limited property tax increases in the state, statewide, and it essentially bankrupted the state of California and it stole all of the county’s monies And the only way you can get it back is to allow any kind of growth It doesn’t matter what the hell it is, as long as you build something new, and that’s why you see it And then for cities like West Hollywood, which really do not have a tax base to support the city, they have to allow bigger development Stuart Rosenthal: But West Hollywood actually reminds me – is one of those cities that

I think has taken the lead with promoting affordable housing They have a pretty aggressive policy on that and they’ve – more than most places I saw Male 4: Yeah Stuart Rosenthal: They’ve really done a pretty decent job Most places, as you were saying, it’s not like, well, in New York, there’s sort of like you’re gonna do this If you’re gonna do a development, you’re gonna include affordable housing LA, it’s really not the case You can get a density bonus, but if you don’t want it, you don’t have to do anything, and West Hollywood has been much more aggressive than most in doing it, so that’s why Male 6: _____ _____ _______ a question Male 7: Another Angeleno Male 6: Yeah, I grew up in Westchester in Los Angeles Male 2: Oh, there you go, yeah Male 6: The question I wanted to ask, is there a role of the increasing income stratification and a lot more very wealthy people and fewer middle class people in playing a role in the way Los Angeles has evolved into the exceedingly expensive west side and the more affordable east side Anyway, I’ll throw that out to the panel Stuart Rosenthal: That’s a difficult question to give you an assessment I think we only know it anecdotally, which is to say everybody I know asks the same question Who can afford this place? And we don’t know who can, and it’s definitely skewed things, but I don’t know I don’t know, because what you describe, the west side is totally unaffordable, at least to normal, middle class people Santa Monica was once a dumpy little town Closed up at 5:00 Male 2: Don’t forget Venice Stuart Rosenthal: Yes, Venice I was telling Sam this the other day I used to go there to the junk stores You could buy a full cutaway, a three piece with cummerbund, for 25 cents at the junk stores there Now, forget it I could probably go back and sell the thing to some hipster for $500.00, but I don’t know how to translate that to give you an answer, other than look, Boyle Heights is now being invaded And for those who don’t know, Boyle Heights is historically the largely Hispanic, was once very Jewish, neighborhood, and it is now being invaded by young, hip people and the people who grew up there hate them, and there is a battle brewing in that neighborhood What shape it will take, I don’t know, because the houses are really beautiful They’re all mostly pre-World War I You can get a lot more for your money, and it’s going to lead to a classic gentrification fight Male 6: You asked who could afford to live here I think recently there was a mandate of a $15.00 an hour minimum wage set to go in over several years, and my question, part rhetorically, is how many hours a week does somebody have to work at $15.00 an hour to sustain themselves and their family, and if we’re gonna think about the social dynamics, you mentioned the crumbling schools and the old K-12 school teachers So school’s always on my mind If you are working that 60 hours a week for the $15.00 an hour wage, are you going to be able to meaningfully participate in your child’s education? So when you talk about the crumbling schools, if you don’t have parental involvement, certainly that informs crumbling schools, and then we can go in many different directions with that A lot of environmental literature on this, the school and the prison pipeline – I know it’s not the theme of this conversation, but I definitely see the interconnectivity of low wages, the lack of interactivity, environmental conditions If you are making that $15.00 an hour, you’re not gonna be able to live in one of these nice transit-oriented TOD neighborhoods You’re gonna be pushed out to – I just want us to be mindful of the interconnectivity of a lot of these issues Male 1: Last question here You had – Male 7: First of all, thank you for your presentations We all know LA as an urban sprawl city, and also we spoke about the notes that make up LA, essentially, and oh, there also seems to be issues within the public infrastructure, specifically rapid transit, and an infrastructure that’s other than car-related

So my question is essentially a two-part question How many of these issues can be attributed to public infrastructure, rapid transit, or the lack of public infrastructure, and how can these issues be amended by the implementation of public infrastructure, if they can be amended at all? Stuart Rosenthal: Sam, you’re not gonna take that one? You’re the guy who believes in subways Sam: You don’t? Stuart Rosenthal: No, of course not Sam: Then you take it Stuart Rosenthal: I’m the contrarian Sam: You believe in transit, just not subways Stuart Rosenthal: Yes I heartily believe in transit and mass transit, by which I mean publically subsidized transportation Sam: A few thoughts? Stuart Rosenthal: I do believe in that Sam: Oh, okay Stuart Rosenthal: Yes, but I don’t know that subways are of where the dollars should be put I still don’t believe I only know it about Los Angeles, so I can’t speak more broadly than that, but the cost of building a subway in Los Angeles is a billion dollars a mile It’s a billion dollars a mile The effect has been, thus far, to transfer ridership from buses to subways The buses have operating costs about an eighth of the cost per mile that it costs to push heavy rail, which is the subway, through tunnels, and the capital cost of a bus is infinitesimal by comparison So the question is, where are you putting your dollars? Los Angeles, in passing Measure R and extending it through Measure M, which goes out, I believe, to infinity plus one, will continue to fund heavy rail at, I think, an enormous price for actual mass transit in Los Angeles So we have this built-in problem That’s just to begin with Then there’s the deeper question of how can people move around? And I don’t know the answer to that at all, and I don’t think that shifting them off buses into undergrounds is an answer It’s just paying a lot of money to change the ridership, and you can go look up the numbers for yourself I’m not making this stuff up Sam: And I think transit, and to an extent, I do agree I think what I like about subways, as I’ve said, is I’ve been on many buses in LA, and you still have to deal with being in the traffic Stuart Rosenthal: You do They’re not great Sam: And that’s the problem, but yeah, is it realistic to build something that’s not that great, and that’s not a question, and you need a lot of money and a lot of time, but say in a perfect world, oh, my god, we all of a sudden have a subway system and we dealt with all these problems of location That still, in terms of density, that helps us now with the problem of traffic and congestion, but it certainly doesn’t deal with affordability That becomes a whole other question People say transit is the answer to all density issues are wrong because there’s so many more Male 2: This is the last, last question Sam: So it can be a distraction that way Jamie Winder: I mean we can also think about public infrastructure more broadly, so if my math is correct, there were 20,000 rent subsidized units lost since 2000 and 15,000 more that are about to go on the market Male 2: Yes, of low income housing Jamie Winder: So we could think of that as a disinvestment in the public, right? So it’s not infrastructure in the sense of nuts and bolts and streets and subways, but that kind of infrastructure, those kinds of policies that enable middle class families to stay in the city, that’s an aspect of public infrastructure as well The absence of that feeds into some of these same dynamics in the same way that an absence of good bus routes does Male 1: I want to pick up on that, because I think it’s really important in contemporary discourse about the city More and more we’re going from thinking about just Obama, or most politicians say we’re going to invest in infrastructure, and they start with bridges and roads, but I think when we think about the city, the infrastructure relates to the idea of the public, of the collective, right? So in a way, you can conceptualize the houses and infrastructure for production and reproduction of either labor of life Schools has been mentioned Waste management, transportation, so there’s a whole series of categories, that if we start to think about infrastructure associated with intervention or with the idea of the public beginning to have the relevancy that articulates a way that we understand the city that’s really different from just housing and jobs and begins to talk about qualitative issues like identity, affordability, and all other things And it’s not simply on the hands of the market, but it’s also in the hands of political entity

Jamie Winder: No, I was gonna say something, or ask a question that you just addressed, so I’m not gonna ask it, because you said it probably better than I could Male 2: Thanks Really, really interesting discussion I wanna thank the panel speakers, Francisco and you, for coming this evening This will be on YouTube, I think, in a couple of weeks, so if you wanna read it again or see it again, plus the other preceding events, you may do so there So thank you very much Thanks for coming Oh, no Male 1: Oh, it was ________ Male 2: Yeah Male 1: _______ open Male 2: You can talk to them afterwards How about that? All right So thank you very much Thank you