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Does NFL stadium proposal reveal a dysfunctional planning culture in L.A.?

December 30, 2010 |  2:36 pm


After the entertainment giant AEG released three designs for a downtown football stadium earlier this month, I mostly focused -- as did most critics and design writers in town -- on the quality of the architecture, which was thoroughly uninspired.

But the stadium story has other dimensions and implications that are worth exploring. In short, the way AEG has worked to smooth the way for political approval of the stadium suggests that Los Angeles -- for all the recent talk of pursuing fine-grained urban planning and new transit networks -- still tends to build downtown one standalone mega project at a time.

The attempt to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles, in other words, also reveals some of the dysfunctional logic that continues to rule the culture of city planning here.

Click here to read more about this in my Critic's Notebook.

-- Christopher Hawthorne

Image: Rendering of a downtown Los Angeles stadium and event center by HKS. Credit: AEG / Icon Venue Group

Comments () | Archives (3)

LA was founded on corruption, was built and expanded upon corruption, and continues with corruption. It's the same theme over and over again that usually involves taxpayers subsidizing some billionaire developer's scheme with the bribed help of the local politicians. Are you surprised about the football stadium? Taxpayers shouldn't have to spend one cent to help AEG build this thing. Ticket prices will be well beyond the reach of most citizens, the construction jobs will go to some friend/relative of the developer or city council person, and all the profits will go right into Anschutz's pockets. The people of LA will get nothing in return except higher taxes.

The AEG proposal is entangled with city politics. Meanwhile Roski's competing proposal to build a stadium in the City of Industry would be privately financed and it already has the green light from the city. Just one reason why the Industry site would be superior for a new stadium.

Seems like Cali is being conned by the same old "urbists" who have been repeatedly bilking Seattle taxpayers, who are fleeing the metro areas for the towns.


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