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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