Interview with Los Angeles planner Cecilia Estolano

"One example (Park 101) of a place where I think we need to apply this kind of thinking is the area right around Union Station. ELP Advisors is working on a feasibility plan for the Park 101 project, which would cap three blocks of the 101 Freeway as it goes through Downtown Los Angeles.

That investment would create an amazing amenity: parkland right in the middle of the city. It would also knit together the Historic Core, the Civic Center, and the largest transportation hub in the region.

As we look at that, we also have to look at other investments going on in the area, including the Union Station Master Plan; the eventual advent of high-speed rail; the Regional Connector; and private investment going on in Chinatown. Altogether, we can see that this is a district that needs to be comprehensively planned.

It might be a great place to implement an Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District. We’re investing a lot in the public realm that will create value for private property owners. We should be able to capture that value and use the proceeds to fund benefits like affordable housing."

-Cecilia Estolano, ELP Advisors. 

Full Article Here

Los Angeles Times - Freeway cap parks can be L.A.'s High Line

New York's High Line park, seen here in 2011, has become one of the top visitor attractions in the city. The popular park was built along an abandoned elevated train line in Manhattan. (Kathy Willens / Associated Press)

New York's High Line park, seen here in 2011, has become one of the top visitor attractions in the city. The popular park was built along an abandoned elevated train line in Manhattan. (Kathy Willens / Associated Press)

"Cap parks ... are nothing new. Seattle opened one in 1976 that spans 5.2 acres. Phoenix, Sacramento and Dallas (since 2012) are also in the game." 

Full Article Here

Tel Aviv is Planning for a New Freeway Cap Park

"Tel Aviv city officials have given initial approval to an estimated $500-million plan to add a 60-acre roof park over the central segment of the Ayalon Freeway, the busiest transportation artery and densest infrastructure corridor in Israel.

The plan calls for covering a 2-kilometer-long by 100-meter-wide section with a grassy roof, with traffic flowing through a tunnel underneath."

http://enr.construction.com/infrastructure/transportation/2015/0810-tel-aviv-aims-to-build-a-500million-green-roof-over-busy-urban-freeway.asp#.VcomB-lvAPo.email

Bridging the Gap in Washington DC

Planners and architects have submitted proposals to transform D.C.'s 11th Street Bridge into a exciting new bridge park and civic space.

Many cities often suffer from natural and man made "dividing lines", these breaks in the city fabric can sever and disconnect communities. Washington DC has struggled with the Ancostia River creating a separation among two communities, particularly between the 7th and 8th wards. These proposals re-envision an outdated piece of infrastructure into a great public space.  A similar problem that Park 101 attempts to solve,  however, instead of a river we have the 101 freeway.

More here......

PARK 101 on the list for reshaping Los Angeles by 2033!

"LA is moving toward a greener future, friendlier to pedestrians, metro users and bicyclists. There are various development projects planned, particularly in downtown and Hollywood, which are becoming more dense and vertically-built. These projects preserve historic architecture while adding apartments, parks, retail and entertainment."

See article here.

ULI Report focuses on Union Station

ULI Report presents a strategy for developing a Union Station District. The Urban Land Institute (ULI) Advisory Services Panel visited Los Angeles in December, sponsored by Metro and the City of Los Angeles planning department, to examine the Union Station study area and to advise the city on what land use and infrastructure investments the city should pursue given the pending master plan for Union Station.

Click Here to View Article