Los Angeles

Los Angeles Seeks Pedestrians

March 5, 2012
L.A. converts a street into a public park.

The automobile is undoubtedly the dominant mode of travel in Los Angeles. But to write off the city as made up entirely of car-driving, bumper-to-bumper rush hour commuters is clearly an over-generalization. A growing group of Angelenos is finding ways to make transit, cycling, and walking (and, often, a combination thereof) relevant and viable in their daily lives.

The Struggle to Define L.A.'s Transitional Moment

January 5, 2012
A year of reading about Los Angeles with LA Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne.

Last January, Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne kicked off a year-long project to explore his city through its literature. He picked 24 – plus three more reader suggestions – of the “most significant books on Southern California architecture and urbanism.” The Reading L.A. project covers the city's growth, development, design, infrastructure and culture, including well-known titles like Reyner Banham’s 1971 Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies, as well as less prominent books like David Brodsly’s 1981 L.A Freeway: An Appreciative Essay.

L.A.'s Bike Lane Blues

December 14, 2011
The city's new green bike lane has hit costly speedbumps.

The city of Los Angeles recently followed the lead of cities like San Francisco and New York by altering two of its streets and adding new bike lanes, part of a pilot program that included painting the entire width of the lanes bright green. These new lanes have been welcomed by the bicycle community and by ribbon-cutting local politicians as a bold green sign of the city’s efforts to become a safer and friendlier place to bike.

L.A.'s Citywide Block Party

October 7, 2011
How Los Angeles shut down miles of streets and got flooded with bikes.

Ten miles of street might not seem like a lot in sprawling, spreading Los Angeles. But temporarily closing those 10 miles to car traffic – a seemingly sacrilegious idea in car-dependent L.A. – is creating a disproportionately large and, frankly, positive impact in the city.

Uneasy Rider

July 1, 2011
Facing budget cuts, transit agencies building new rail projects are struggling to make the trains run on time—or at all.

Public transit needs public funding. And that goes way beyond the fare box. Local, state, and federal dollars are the lifeblood of public transportation projects in the United States. But with the country in recovery from the recession and states cutting back programs to close budget holes, support for public transit looks to be grinding to a halt.

Landscape Futures Super-Workshop

January 27, 2011
Geoff Manaugh is trying out a new shared and experimental approach to curating which calls for direct interaction among participants.

Sure, you could curate an exhibition like everybody else: pick a theme, commission a few artists, and then sit back and wait around to sip your plastic cup of Cabernet on opening night.

Or, you could curate like Geoff Manaugh.

Blog to Print

January 1, 2011
A Los Angeles blog launches a weekly print tabloid

Article about Blogdowntown, a Downtown L.A.-focused blog that recently launched a weekly print publication.

This article is not currently available online.

School's Naming Rights Sold, At What Cost?

December 24, 2010
Students in the Los Angeles Unified School District may soon be attending football games and band concerts in buildings with the name of corporate sponsors plastered on them. The school board has agreed to sell the naming rights to its buildings in hopes of raising much-needed revenue, but the plan has its detractors.


In Los Angeles, the school district's cafeterias and sports fields will soon be brought to you by some of the world's biggest companies. The district is turning to corporate sponsors to help fill major budget holes, which makes parents and some school officials uncomfortable.

Nate Berg reports.

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That Old Double-Flipperitis

Dan Cerny was winning by millions of points when his shiny metal ball slipped past his flippers and into the hole for the second time. He still had a third and final ball, but so did each of his three competitors in this bracket of the city's newest organized sport, the Los Angeles Pinball League.

Cerny was dominating a pinball machine titled Rollergames, which is based — as much as a pinball game can be — on another completely disparate but comparably fringe organized sport known as Roller Derby. Cerny's score had reached more than 4 million at this two-thirds mark in the game, while his competitors at this Echo Park pinball arcade had been left behind in the mere hundreds of thousands.

The New New Urbanists

November 17, 2010
Los Angeles’s high school of urban planning welcomes its freshman class.

Kids can be planners too. That’s the philosophy of a group of Los Angeles teachers who just started their own pilot school organized around the unlikely theme of urban planning. The East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy of Urban Planning and Design held its first classes in September on the crisp new campus of Esteban Torres High School, in the heavily Latino East L.A. It’s a neighborhood where, the teachers think, students can particularly benefit from the skills and values of the planning profession.