In 1990, as the twenty year old plan for the center of Los Angeles neared completion, it became clear that this was the moment for a critical reappraisal, the first step toward a redefinition of downtown planning policy for the future. While the impact of planning strategies was significant even more radical changes were under way due to economic and social forces which were either out of the scope of influence of the earlier plan or not addressed by it. We were asked by the Downtown Strategic Plan Committee to develop a comprehensive twenty year plan in cooperation with the Community Redevelopment Agency. The team assembled by de Bretteville and Polyzoides consisted of more than a dozen smaller firms of various expertise. The size of these firms and the major role played by the principals working in a format of intense collaborations based on a series of charrettes enabled the team to be responsive and flexible. In a project of such scope and complexity these characteristics were critical to the continuing redefinition of issues and roles which took place in the course of work.
As completed the plan proposed sixteen critical interventions which can be described under three headings. The order, identity, character and primary activities of six commercial areas including major retail, entertainment and office expansions are the elements to be developed as an enhancement of the public life at the center. Four other projects addressed both the character and quality of streets as well as local and regional transportation issues. Proposals for improvement or development of six fully serviced residential neighborhoods are intended to bring a committed resident population to the downtown.
Downtown Strategic Plan
27 million square feet of Commercial
18,000 Dwelling Units
Peter de Bretteville
Moule & Polyzoides
Barton Aschman Associates