Los Angeles is a privatized city that has historically lacked public open space, ranking 66th in the country. Within its 4,751 square miles sprawl, there are too few places for people to congregate and recreate, especially along light rail and bus rapid transit lines, which offer a new way to experience the city.
As the region works to increase our mobility in time for the 2028 Olympic & Paralympic Games, millions of people will be successfully traversing 10 – 40 miles stretches without a car — all the way from Westwood to Downtown, Long Beach to Montclair, Santa Monica to Hollywood. But what about the points in between, the parts of the county that are not key Olympic destinations, but that hold cultural value for Los Angeles? How can they be strategically amplified to provide important cultural connections to visitor’s understanding of the county at large?
As part of a larger agenda, how can the Olympics & Paralympics be a catalyst for bringing these much needed public spaces to the county, that will help build civic pride as well as provide accessibility and connectivity? This panel, organized by Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects [LOHA], will look at how the 2028 Olympics & Paralympics can build upon the success of the LA’s past efforts in ‘32 and ’84, and investigate how we can employ the same kind of resourcefulness and ingenuity to the upcoming games, ultimately creating public spaces that can remain as permanent fixtures in the region.
How can we unlock the latent potential of the county’s existing infrastructure to create design interventions in key sites, such as pavilions, seating structures, and amphitheaters, that can serve as performance spaces, public art projects, rest areas, commercial and dining spaces? And how can we ensure an ecosystem of greater cultural inclusion so that more neighbor groups and community-based organizations can help program and benefit from these spaces?
What will these spaces look like in a denser and more transit-connected Los Angeles? Where will these in-between spaces be situated? How can we engage with the City, County, Metro, arts organizations, and commerce to provide an economic and cultural stimulus for surrounding communities?
As the 4th in a series of AIA|LA’s ongoing panel discussions about preparing our region for 2028, LOHA has identified this critical issue and convened a group of thought-leaders to further examine the inherent strengths of the ‘in-between’.
Lorcan O’Herlihy, FAIA – Founding Principal, LOHA
Yuval Sharon – Artistic Director, The Industry
Letitia Fernandez Ivins – Senior Manager, Transportation Planning (Arts & Design), METRO
Kristen Gordon – Economic Development Deputy, Council District 8, City of Los Angeles
Betty Avila – Executive Director, Self Help Graphics & Art
Moderated by Sinead Finnerty-Pyne – Project Strategist, LOHA
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