LURN Plus2

Studio One Eleven attended LURN’s Plus2 Summit in East LA last week. The event focused on “Healing the City of LA” through city planning that accounts for social equity, eliminating red-lining and health and wellness programs. How and where these units are located will determine the future of families who have called areas like Boyle Heights, Santa Ana, Central LA and Central Long Beach home for generations.

With a rapidly growing city, “we need 500,000 new affordable housing units to meet demand,” said Rudy Espinoza, Executive Director of LURN.

Health and wellness was a consistent theme throughout the day. As the city continues toward TOD (Transit Oriented Development), it is critical to be cognizant of the effects of excess particulate matter primarily on the youth. Children who live parallel to freeways are 33% more likely to be diagnosed with asthma.

“Eighty percent of what influences our health isn’t the health system, but external factors like zip codes.”
– Beatriz Maria Solis of The California Endowment

Regina Freer of Occidental College speaks to the need for development by asking “How do we meet TOD goals while also addressing Race and equity issues?” Speculation of land and its financial value is the core driver of city planning, as opposed to equity for all. If agencies really want to address social equity issues, it is essential to make health and wellness and affordable housing a top priority in the new general plan. Fortunately, there are numerous examples of successful case studies already in place that were presented throughout the day.

  • Santa Ana’s Wellness Corridor, a walkable community with a wide array of healthy options for residents. Via- Community Commons

  • Homes for Hope provides temporary housing to homelessness in South Los Angeles. “Our real goal is to get people housed as quickly as possible to get people off the streets sooner” said USC School of Architecture Professor Sofia Borges. And with a $25,000 price tag, these are an effective solution via - Curbed LA

  • Mobility in Mexico City is taking hold. With 16% of deaths in Mexico City resulting from traffic fatalities, the system reduced the driving speed limit, added bike lanes and 6,000 new bikes through a citywide Bikeshare system, and local enforcement to significantly cut down on fatalities.

  • We were also blessed by the incredibly talented Mia Lehrer, of Mia Lehrer + Associates. She spoke about success stories such as the creation of Vista Hermosa Park and the revitalization of the LA River. As we all look forward to the culmination of Gehry and Lehrer’s master plan, gentrification remains a concern for communities along the perimeter of the project, making these discussions even more critical throughout the next decade of the project’s development.

Studio One Eleven Mission:
An integrated practice of architecture, urbanism and landscape design dedicated to creating sustainable, engaging, vibrant communities.

LURN’s Mission
A community development organization whose mission is to bring people together to design, build, and promote sustainable communities that allow people to live their greatest potential.

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