WE all know that tar (asphalt to Americans) is a crime against humanity but here is a different take on why so many lives are so impoverished – instead of ‘dirt’ ( soil to the rest of us) and lawn ( also anathema to amny) to play in as kids – these children can scrape their knees and elbows on the petroleum industries detritus... from Curbed LA by Adrian Glick Kudler
Mia Lehrer, Piggyback Yard plans
Landscape architect Mia Lehrer’s work with her firm Mia Lehrer + Associates includes a lot of LA’s favorite outdoor sites, including the Annenberg Community Beach House, the Silver Lake Reservoir path, Vista Hermosa Park on the edge of Downtown, and the LA River (they collaborated on the Revitalization Master Plan). Since Lehrer is such an expert, we asked her for her thoughts on the greening of Los Angeles–now, tomorrow, and in 20 years. Yesterday, she discussed the LA of 2031, her favorite outdoor places in LA, and better yards for Angelenos. Here’s what we asked her today:
What’s the worst landscaping crime you see committed around Los Angeles?
Asphalt, asphalt and asphalt…especially in the design and construction of schools. These are spaces where the future leaders of our city and country spend most of their days 9 months out of the year and it’s a shame that they are not able to interact with nature as part of their daily school activities.
What site in Los Angeles would you love to work on and why?
The LA River, and luckily we do. It is the largest existing infrastructure that could be retrofitted into a large ecological and social connection. It’s also a challenging site in term of its history and technicality. The biggest challenge is to make people turn around and realize that what they consider a ditch in their backyard is the biggest, greenest infrastructure in town – “we have a river – face it!”
I would also love to work on the California High Speed Rail project because we have to make sure this incredible project of massive proportions that runs along the river is planned in a smart and LA friendly manner, integrating Los Angeles and neighboring communities. It is a project that will change how we move through our region and will be a precedent for other cities that are retrofitting for high speed railways.
As the Port of Los Angeles is one of the largest in the country occupying 7500 acres of land and water along 43 miles of waterfront. As the busiest container port in the United States and growing, the infrastructure needs to be recalibrated for the next century, not only in terms of the machinery coming and going, but also the people who spend their time living, working, and playing around the district. The Port should be realized as a new water front for the city.
· Mia Lehrer + Associates [Official Site]
· Mia Lehrer on What LA’s Parks Will Look Like in 2031 and More [Curbed LA]