Edited by Alan A. Loomis and Lize Mogel

With summer upon us, and the outdoors beckoning, the Forum turns its attention to parks and recreational landscapes in Los Angeles and elsewhere. Through a series of essays, projects, and case studies, we outline the social/political/economic/ecological dimensions of open space in the city. Funded in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles, Cultural Affairs Department.


Civic Park Proposals, Downtown Los Angeles
by Ken Ehrlich / Lah*ub

It’s not as Complicated as People Think
Essay and Case Studies by Terence Young

Using Parks to Make an Urban Metropolis
by Stephanie Pincetl

Augustus Hawkins Park, South Los Angeles
Case Study by Lize Mogel

Confluence Park, Los Angeles
Case Study by Jennifer Price

Virginia Avenue Park, Santa Monica
Case Study by Michael Pinto

Exposition Park, South Los Angeles
Case Study by Alan Loomis

Baldwin Hills Park, Crenshaw
Case Study by Therese Kelly

Les Parcs & Los Parques:
New Parks & New Natures

by Chris Kahle

3 Acres on the Lake:
Dusable Park, Chicago

by Laurie Palmer

Public Green
by Lize Mogel

From Paradise to Parking Lot
by Lawrence Culver

About The Contributors

Lawrence Culver is a Ph.D candidate in the Department of History at UCLA, where he specializes in American cultural, environmental, and urban history, and the history of California and the American West. His essay is drawn from research for his dissertation, The Frontier of Leisure: Resorts, Recreation, and the Creation of Southern California. His research has been funded by fellowships from UCLA, the Institute for the Study of the American West at the Autry Museum, and the Historical Society of Southern California. [email:]

Ken Ehrlich is an artist and writer based in Los Angeles. His installations have been featured at Side Street Projects, Beyond Baroque, and California Institute of Technology. He is the co-editor (with Brandon LaBelle) of Surface Tension: problematics of site (Errant Bodies Press, 2003). He received an MFA in Writing and Integrated Media from CalArts, where he co-founded and edited the journal Trepan. He teaches writing and art, most recently at U.C. Irvine.

Chris Kahle is a doctoral candidate at USC Geography, and has held fellowships sponsored by the NSF and the EPA. His research explores the green potential of terrain vagues: left-overs of urban space. He is currently exploring material and imaginative transformations of the Los Angeles River and its watershed. He recently co-curated two exhibitions, Genius Loci (SCI-Arc) and Alternate Routes (UCR-California Museum of Photography), which explored artistsí conceptual mappings and cartographic maps of Southern California. [email:]

Therese Kelly is an architect and planner with Moore Ruble Yudell in Santa Monica, and previously worked as a consultant to Community Conservancy International on the Baldwin Hills Park Project. She recently graduated from UCLA’s A+UD program, where her Master’s thesis explored new scenarios for the Los Angeles River. She is also the editor of numerous books on architecture and design, including Bird’s Eye Views: Lithographs of North American Cities (Princeton Architectural Press) and earned her B.A. from Princeton University.

Alan Loomis is a senior urban designer with Moule & Polyzoides Architects and Urbanists in Pasadena, where he has led planning projects for UCSB, Pomona College, the City of Azusa, and various locations in Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties, in addition to participating in charrettes and research projects throughout California and New Mexico. He is the director of the LA Forumís web publications and the creator/editor of the DeliriousLA architecture events calendar. [email:]

Lize Mogel is an interdisciplinary artist whose work asks the viewer to take an active role in the production of public space. Her public art/cartography project, Public Green, was posted in LA transit shelters from 2001 to 2003. She recently curated Genius Loci and Alternate Routes with Chris Kahle. She has worked with the Center for Land Use Interpretation since 1999, and has taught art and media studies at CalArts and CUNY-Staten Island. [email:]

Laurie Palmer‘s interdisciplinary art practice includes sculpture, writing, public art, and collaborative projects. She teaches in the Sculpture Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. [email:]

Dr. Stephanie Pincetl is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at USC and Associate Director of the Center for Sustainable Cities, where she co-authored the report Toward a Sustainable Los Angeles. Her work focuses on questions of land use and governance in the United States and France, as well as environmental justice issues in California. Her book Transforming California, A Political History of Land Use and Development is available from Johns Hopkins University Press (1999). In July she will be joining the Institute of the Environment at UCLA, developing the Center for Urban Sustainability and Predictability. [email:]

Michael Pinto is Design Principal at Osborn, a multi-disciplinary design firm, and board member of the LA Forum. Prior, Michael worked with RoTo Architects and in his own practice, Intercision. His interests lie in the process of engaging community and notions of authorship. He is a founding member of the CityWorksLA, and has been coordinating efforts of Outreach and Community Programs at SCI-Arc. His work has been published in Thresholds, Art Journal of the University of Chicago, and Loud Paper. [email:]

Jennifer Price is a writer and environmental historian in Los Angeles, and the author of Flight Maps: Adventures with Nature in Modern America. She recently wrote a comprehensive guide to L.A. River restoration for the L.A. Weekly, and has written for the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. She is working on a book on nature in L.A.

Terence Young is a native southern Californian who studied geography at UCLA. He taught at UCLA and at USC, where he contributed to their Sustainable Cities Program. He currently teaches about recreational environments at California Polytechnic State University, Pomona and has written extensively on parks and other greenspaces. He has a forthcoming book, Building San Franciscoís Parks, 1850-1930, from the Johns Hopkins University Press.

civic park proposals, downtown los angeles : project by ken ehrlich / lah*ub