Posts by AHBE LAB

Congestion can be good, study reports: “Our findings suggest that a region’s economy is not significantly impacted by traffic congestion. In fact, the results even suggest a positive association between traffic congestion and economic productivity as well as jobs. Without traffic congestion, there would be less incentive for infill development, living in a location-efficient place, walking, biking, and transit use, ridesharing, innovations in urban freight, etcetera. And if your city doesn’t have any traffic congestion, there is something really wrong.”

L.A. Metro unveils plans to link San Fernando Valley with Westwood and eventually LAX: “The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has unveiled six potential alignments for a forthcoming transit project that could link L.A.’s San Fernando Valley with the city’s Westside neighborhoods and—eventually—with Los Angeles International airport (LAX).”

The little-known behavioral scientist who transformed cities all over the world: “Ingrid and her husband took the first steps on a journey to create city spaces for the full range of human needs. The Danish couple’s ideas have since made life better in cities like New York, Moscow, Buenos Aires, Sydney, and London. Of course, many parts of many cities still seem optimized for buildings and cars. But the story of Ingrid and Jan is a model for what partnerships between behavioral scientists and designers can look like today.”

Beaver dams without beavers? Artificial logjams are a popular but controversial restoration tool: “From our 21st century vantage, it’s hard to conceive how profoundly beavers shaped the landscape. Indeed, North America might better be termed Beaverland. Surveying the Missouri River Basin in 1805, the explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark encountered beaver dams “extending as far up those streams as [we] could discover them.” Scientists calculate that up to 250 million beaver ponds once puddled the continent—impounding enough water to submerge Washington, Oregon, and California.”

Retrofitting with Green Infrastructure: “Why retrofit cities and suburbs with green infrastructure? Re-inserting the landscape back into the built environment helps us strike a better balance with nature, boost neighborhood health, and solve stormwater management problems. In a session at the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) in Savannah, Georgia, a landscape architect, an urban designer, and a civil engineer offered fresh takes on why green infrastructure is so valuable.”

Snapshot Cal Coast 2018
Join researchers from the Natural History Musem of Los Angeles County as we take advantage of the lowest tide cycle of the year to explore coastal marine life at Wilders Addition Park, San Pedro. We will work together as we bioblitz the rocky intertidal areas, using iNaturalist to document the marine life that is seen. The data we collect will be compiled into Snapshot Cal Coast and other state-wide efforts so scientists can gain a better understanding of the organisms that live in this section of the California coast.
When: Saturday and Sunday, June 16th-17th, 6AM – 9AM
Where: Wilders Addition Park, S. Meyler St. & W. Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro, CA 90731

Patrick Staff on Candice Lin
In these intimate tours, Made in L.A. 2018 artists discuss the work of fellow artists also featured in the exhibition.
Made in L.A. 2018 is the latest iteration of the Hammer’s acclaimed biennial exhibition, showcasing artists from the greater Los Angeles area.
When: Wednesday, June 13th, 6:00PM
Where: Hammer Museum

Annette Insdorf’s Cinematic Overtures: How to Read Opening Scenes
Columbia University film professor Annette Insdorf discusses her latest book, Cinematic Overtures: How to Read Opening Scenes, including film clips. The book offers insights into more than 40 films, covering a unique amalgam of high-profile titles and undiscovered gems. From American classics like Apocalypse Now, Taxi Driver, and Schindler’s List to foreign films including Hiroshima, mon amour, The Piano, and A Separation, they demonstrate how a great movie provides in the first few minutes, the keys by which to unlock the rest of the cinematic text.
When: Wednesday, June 12th, 7:30PM
Where: LACMA l Bing Theater

Bloomsday 2018
James Joyce’s eyebrow-raising poetic language paints a vivid picture of a varied cast of characters on one summer day in Dublin. This year’s Bloomsday celebration features dramatic readings from Ulysses by veteran actors Sile Bermingham, James Lancaster, John Lee, Sonya Macari, and Johnny O’Callaghan and Irish songs performed by musicians Jared Jones, Kathryn Lillich, and Neal Stulberg. The celebration continues in the courtyard with Guinness and live Irish music by Rattle the Knee. Organized by Stanley Breitbard and directed by Darcie Crager.
When: Saturday, June 16th, 7:30PM
Where: Hammer Museum

DTLA Donut Fest
Join us for a one-day edible exploration of LA’s favorite pastry at the first-ever DTLA Donut Festival at Union Station. Stroll through the The Whole Donut Marketplace showcasing donuts in all their many forms from plain, glazed, and filled to traditional and new wave varieties. This momentously mouthwatering event to include:
When: Saturday, June 16th, 9AM – 4PM
Where: Union Station, 800 N Alameda St, Los Angeles 90012

Vacant lots are full of nature. How do we keep them that way?: “Vacant lots are islands of wildness in the urban jungle: small and scraggly yet bountiful and biodiverse, a place to enjoy nearby nature and a home to city creatures. Yet there’s a tension inherent to them. Unless people protect vacant lots, they’ll eventually be developed — and they are “often considered a neighborhood eyesore, a place for crime and trash,” write researchers in the journal Sustainability. “Vacant lots are usually deemed a local problem for neighborhood residents.”

Who will save LA’s trees?: “It’s a pretty precious resource in cities, and you don’t want to take them down—you want to be adding to them,” he says. Instead, since 2000, many neighborhoods in the LA region have seen a tree canopy reduction of 14 to 55 percent, according to a University of Southern California study published in 2017.”

Marvel at Bodys Isek Kingelez’s spectacular cityscapes made of everyday materials: “On the third floor of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, a gallery is currently filled with colorfully fantastical visions of the future. Crafted by the late Congolese artist Bodys Isek Kingelez, the cityscapes are part of Bodys Isek Kingelez: City Dreams, the first retrospective of his work.”

Californians approve bond measure that will provide $200 million for Salton Sea: “Supporters said they hope the infusion of funding for the Salton Sea will help state officials get moving with the construction of ponds and wetlands on sections of the exposed shoreline, as envisioned under a 10-year plan released last year. The projects along portions of the shoreline are intended to help control lung-damaging dust while also creating wetlands to revitalize bird habitats.”

How to Design Our Neighborhoods for Happiness: “The way we design our communities plays a huge role in how we experience our lives. Neighborhoods built without sidewalks, for instance, mean that people walk less and therefore enjoy fewer spontaneous encounters, which is what instills a spirit of community to a place. A neighborly sense of the commons is missing.”

The LA Design Festival
The LA Design Festival honors our city’s rich design culture and celebrates our status as a global design capital. Our definition of design is purposely broad to ensure that our festival is reflective of LA’s diversity and talent. Now in its 8th year, the Festival is the only citywide festival of its kind, featuring over 50 events throughout LA. From architecture and interiors to graphic, industrial, fashion, set, costume, and experiential design, the LA Design Festival showcases the best of the local design scene as well as some exciting national and international voices.
When: June 7-10
Where: Various venues

Chief Design Officer Christopher Hawthorne on Housing in LA with Barbara Bestor, Julie Eizenberg, and Jimenez Lai
Join LA’s newest (and first) Chief Design Officer, Christopher Hawthorne, in a keynote conversation exploring Housing in LA. Christopher will be joined by Barbara Bestor, Julie Eizenberg, and Jimenez Lai. This event is free, but RSVP is required.
When: June 8, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Where: ROW DTLA, 777 Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021

“The Longest Straw” Screening at the Los Angeles Eco-Village
“The Longest Straw draws a connection between the water that supports a city and that water’s source. Samantha Bode, director, moved to Los Angeles and immediately fell in love with the abundant sunshine, the warm air, and the exotic plants of Southern California. But, she noticed within the city of Los Angeles the plants were very much like her native North East Pennsylvania. Green grass and tall trees grew everywhere, but there was no obvious source of water and it rarely ever rained. Where did all the water come from?”
When: June 8, 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Where: Los Angeles Eco-Village, 117 Bimini Place, Los Angeles

Mountain Lions and More
Join us for Mountain Lions and More: Discovering Wildlife in Los Angeles. Wildlife photographer Johanna Turner and Tim Martinez from the Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy will speak about their work understanding and protecting the wildlife around us. Free with admission. No registration required.
When: June 9, 10 AM – 12:30 PM
Where: Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Dr, La Canada Flintridge

Balboa Strawberry Festival
LA’s only strawberry festival, the Balboa Strawberry Festival is a celebration of summer, food, and fun, held in Encino on Ventura Blvd. The Festival is centered around local residents’ love for delicious, California grown strawberries. Featuring tons of strawberry themed food and drink, plus live music, dancing, rides and games for the whole family, this is the PERFECT way to celebrate summer!
When: June 10
Where: 17019 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA 91316

All photos: Katherine Montgomery

Monarchs in My Garden, at Last: Finally, I decided to take the same approach to my pollinator garden I had once adopted for my vegetables: I watered and I weeded, after a fashion, but mostly I let it go its own way. Any number of things might have killed those caterpillars last year….Everything you touch in nature touches everything else. Even when you’re determined to do things right, there’s only so much you can control, and it’s not very much at all.

Willful Waters: “For much of its history, Los Angeles was a river city. Yet a mere 30 years ago, most Angelenos knew little about their local river, dismissing its concrete-encased trickle as a joke when they didn’t ignore it altogether. This is no longer the case. In the last decade, interest in Los Angeles’s urban river has skyrocketed.”

How Cities Can Prepare for Autonomous Vehicles: “Cities need strong policies to guide the future of automation and help communities shape powerful technologies around their goals, rather than the other way around.” These policies include reducing speed limits; continuing to invest in active modes of transit such as walking, cycling, and mass-transit; pricing curb access; and using data to create safer and more efficient streets.”

Sunkist Skies of Glory: “The ‘booster era’ of Los Angeles spanned roughly 40 years, from 1885 to 1925. Over these pivotal decades, rough-hewn and optimistic pioneering city leaders worked with creative writers, real estate barons, and artists to bring new settlers and new businesses to their dusty Wild West town. In creating a narrative to sell Los Angeles, these boosters often rewrote the city’s history and present situation to suit their idealized, European-American values.”

When Designing for Livable Cities, Resiliency and Inclusivity Go Hand-In-Hand: “The formula for the 21st Century city rising around the world, is predictable: Build a collection of sleek towers for housing, offices, and hotels; locate services, entertainments, schools, parks, walkways, and bike paths on the ground plane—then connect this healthy (read: car free) lifestyle by mass transit to the rest of the city and beyond. If you are among the high-salaried newbies looking for sanitized urbanity, you’re in the right place. But what if you’re a teacher or other essential service provider?”