Let’s face it, the easy sites are all gone.  We are left with the remnants – irregular shaped, topographically challenged, limited access, penned in by crowded roads with numerous constraints imposed by NIMBYs, difficult adjacencies like railroads or freeways, entitlement requirements, utilities, and environmental challenges such as sea-level rise or oil wells.

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As planners and architects working on macro- and micro-scale communities, we are often asked, “What makes a Great Neighborhood?” It’s not an easy question with a singular, analytical answer. It’s a question of physical and emotional dimensions that evokes our personal experience and preferences.

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I have travelled the world to visit the great monuments of architecture like Notre Dame, the Pantheon and the Hagia Sophia without realizing we have a comparable building in my hometown:  one of the most exciting recent projects in Los Angeles is the restoration of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple by Brenda Levin of Levin & […]

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