CONSULTING PLANNERS OF MASSACHUSETTS
Expertise for Communities
Making a place is not the same as designing and developing a building, public plaza, or even a commercial district. It is not just a physical place: it is a process whose purpose is to authentically satisfy people.
Mark Favermann, long time member of the Mass. Association of Consulting Planner
"Across the country, Confederate monuments are tumbling. Museums are stripping effigies of racist presidents past. Here in Los Angeles, indigenous activists toppled a statue of Junipero Serra, a canonized saint who founded the mission system that enslaved and brutalized generations of California Indians into abandoning their traditions.
The aftermath of George Floyd’s death while in police custody has created a moment for radical truth-telling. So here’s some ugly truth about the city of Los Angeles: Our freeway system is one of the most noxious monuments to racism and segregation in the country.
Most Angelenos don’t think about it as we spew carbon monoxide across the city on our way from Point A to Point B, but our toxic exhaust fumes feed into a pot of racism that’s been stewing for nearly a century. To understand exactly how that works, you have to know what things were like here before freeways came to dominate L.A.’s landscape.
Los Angeles was never a paradise of racial acceptance, but in 1910 some 36% of L.A.’s African Americans were homeowners (compared with 2.4% in New York City) — tops in the nation. L.A.’s comprehensive Red Car transit system, which offered easy, unsegregated access to the region’s growing economic opportunities, was fundamental to this success. Integrated, racially diverse neighborhoods like Watts and Boyle Heights emerged and thrived along these transit corridors.
When the 1944 Federal-Aid Highway Act allocated funds for 1,938 miles of freeways in California, planners used the opportunity, with full federal support, to obliterate as much as possible the casual mingling of the races."
A new tremor is threatening to shake minority communities as protests over racial injustice sweep the country: A wave of evictions as a federal moratorium on kicking people out of their rental units expires.
The ban on evictions — which applies to rentals that are backed by the government — expires in a matter of weeks. On top of that, the federal boost to unemployment benefits that many laid-off workers have used to pay their rent is set to end July 31.
The breakdown shows that the virus has significantly and disproportionately hit Black and Hispanic communities.
...the Seaport Neighborhood is anyplace USA, filled with rather charmless glass and polished metal high-rises that are nearly all at the same height...
Mark Favermann, long time member of the Mass. Association of Consulting Planners. Check www.favermanndesign.com and read one of Mark's articles here:
"This is where community planners can be your biggest asset, your new best friend.."
Jenn Goldson, AICP, member of the Massachusetts Association of Consulting Planners
In the Era of Coronavirus one of the few opportunities to be liberated from our shelter-in-place mandate is to go for a walk — as long as we wear a surgical mask and don’t go near anyone.
"We are in transition and will be so for at least the next 30 months"
Carol Todreas, a longtime member of the Mass. Association of Consulting Planners
"The urban planning field, like so many professions during the age of Coronavirus, is having an existential crisis. To most planners, fights over community plans, housing, and transportation projects seem trivial amidst a pandemic that could kill millions and bring down the global economy. The work of planners may seem unimportant right now, especially when compared to the life or death work of the medical profession, but it does have a role to play during this period."