Posts in City Planners in Los Angeles

open space central park

Why Open Space Matters

January 4th, 2016 Posted by City Planners in Los Angeles, Los Angeles Construction Projects No Comment yet

Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux made history in 1858 by winning a design competition meant to establish the first major, landscaped, public park in the United States. This 750 acre facility, located at the center of Manhattan Island, would go on to become the most famous and recognizable public park in the world… Central Park. Although it was conceived and built over 150 years ago, the open space and diverse greenery the park offers created a template used countless times since as a means of offering respite from the hustle and bustle of the cities that surround them. As a result, parks provide numerous health benefits for their visitors on both a physical & psychological level, in addition to helping the surrounding environment. These positive attributes can be applied to all open spaces, or green areas, throughout cities around the country, including those right here in Los Angeles, and underscore the importance of open space preservation everywhere.

Studies have shown that open space / green areas within urban environments have the following positive effects on those who visit them:

  • Improved personal health by promoting visitors to partake in various physical activities, such as walking, biking, and jogging.
  • Reduced stress levels and lower reports of clinical depression by offering visitors calm, serene areas that exist in contrast to the hectic pace of the city itself.

Furthermore, the physical environment directly benefits from these areas in the following ways:

  • By providing a habitat for native flora and fauna to thrive, despite overwhelming human development.
  • Help to reduce the “heat island effect” caused by buildings, roads, and other types of infrastructure.
  • Help regulate local microclimates and water cycles, especially runoff.

The Coalition for Responsible Equitable Economic Development (CREED LA) proudly supports environmentally-responsible projects throughout Los Angeles that not only have a positive impact on the local community, but support LA’s working families as well. Creed LA fights to ensure that developers pay fair wages to all the hard working construction professionals throughout the industry while simultaneously providing them with quality health care, continued training, and trustworthy retirement plans. To learn more about how our non-profit organization supports those building a better, greener world for us all, contact CREED LA at (877) 810-7473.

 

Rana Plaza

Why Creed LA Fights For Fairness

December 3rd, 2015 Posted by City Planners in Los Angeles, Los Angeles Construction Projects No Comment yet

Coalition for Responsible Equitable Economic Development Fights For Fairness

The world watched & read with horror that fateful day in April, 2013. On that day, over 1100 people lost their lives when Rana Plaza, a shoddily built garment factory outside the city of Dhaka, Bangladesh, collapsed as a result of substandard materials, workmanship, and lackadaisical building codes. Over 42 people have since been brought up on charges of varying degrees, including murder, for what has become known as the “deadliest garment factory accident in history”. The gross amount of negligence and oversight that resulted in these fatalities was completely unnecessary.

We’d like to think that no such calamity could ever happen here in the United States.

Indeed, we confidently walk into public and private buildings alike without ever considering the “what ifs” that led to a disaster like Rana Plaza. A large part of this confidence and security comes from knowing that all facets of the construction process are completed through the adherence to strict standards and regulations, all thanks to the expertise of architects, engineers, inspectors, and especially, local labor unions. These proud organizations represent the best of the electrical, plumbing, and mechanical trades and include the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), United Association (UA), and SMART. Together, they form the backbone of America, and it is precisely through the efforts of these hardworking, highly trained, and highly skilled Americans that we don’t have disasters like Rana Plaza.

The Coalition for Responsible Equitable Economic Development (CREED LA) fights to ensure that developers pay fair wages to the hard working men and women throughout the construction trades while simultaneously providing them with quality health care, continued training, and trustworthy retirement plans. As a result, CREED LA proudly supports exceptional construction projects throughout Los Angeles that not only positively impact the local community, but support LA’s working families in the process.

To learn more about how our non-profit organization fights for fairness, contact Jeff Modrzejewski at (877) 810-7473.

 

Photo Source: Inhabitat.com/tag/bangladesh

LA Skyscrapers

Help Counteract the Effects of Urban Heat Islands

December 3rd, 2015 Posted by City Planners in Los Angeles, Green Construction, Los Angeles Construction Projects No Comment yet

What Are Urban Heat Islands

Urban heat islands (UHI) are a consequence of our modern, developed societies. The term describes the phenomena whereby built-up urban areas are 2–5°F hotter than nearby rural areas. This results from the construction of buildings, roads, and other forms of infrastructure on areas where trees and other vegetation once stood. The types (non-porous) and colors (dark) of popular construction materials contribute to this issue because they absorb and retain more heat, and for longer periods of time, than natural materials. Therefore, urban heat islands adversely affect local communities and the environment in a number of ways, including:

  • Increased summertime peak electrical energy demand
  • Increased amounts of air pollution
  • Increased greenhouse gas emissions
  • Greater occurrence of heat-related illnesses and mortality
  • Decreased water quality
  • Altered local weather patterns

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized this growing problem a number of years ago and has a webpage dedicated solely to UHI. The intent is to educate and empower the public about what can be done to mitigate this entirely anthropogenic issue. In particular, they outline five strategies, listed below, that could be enacted to reduce heat gain due to urbanization:

  • Planting trees and other vegetative cover
  • Installing green roofs
  • Installing cool roofs
  • Utilizing cool pavements for roadways
  • Smart growth and development programs

hirilogo1_1

Local community organizations spearhead many of the grassroots efforts to replant trees and other forms of vegetation to UHI-affected cities. However, larger projects, such as the engineering and construction of a green roof on top of an existing structure, must be undertaken by properly trained & highly skilled construction professionals.

The Coalition for Responsible Equitable Economic Development (CREED LA) fights to ensure that developers pay fair wages to the hard working men & women throughout the construction trades while simultaneously providing them with quality health care, continued training, and trustworthy retirement plans. As a result, CREED LA proudly supports environmentally-responsible projects throughout Los Angeles that not only have a positive impact on the local community, but support LA’s working families as well. To learn more about how our non-profit organization supports those building a better world for us all, contact Jeff Modrzejewski at (877) 810-7473.

 

train station

Los Angeles Transit-Oriented Development

November 19th, 2015 Posted by City Planners in Los Angeles, Transit-Oriented Development No Comment yet

Los Angeles Transit Oriented Development. Smart Planning Today for a Better Tomorrow

An image comes to mind when we hear the word bucolic, that of picturesque, almost rural small towns that harken back to simpler times. These towns had a centralized “Main Street” that featured many of the town’s necessities, such as a pharmacy or a bank, within walking distance of the homes in the area. However, much of the United States hasn’t had towns laid out this way for quite some time due to rapid post-war development that gave rise to suburbs which grew, encroached upon, and absorbed many of these small towns in the process.

Today, a new trend is emerging among developers and city planners in Los Angeles and around the country that is trying to reintroduce the closeness these small towns featured, improving the quality-of-life for local residents in the process. Known as Transit-Oriented Development (TOD), compact neighborhoods comprised of residential, retail, light commerce, and entertainment would be located within a half-mile radius of public transportation hubs. A major goal of TOD is to reduce living costs by eliminating one of the most expensive aspects of living in traditional suburbs: commuting. The money spent on fuel, tolls, maintenance, etc. to keep a car, or multiple cars, running in order to maintain this lifestyle consumes a lot of a family’s income. TOD neighborhoods can help save families money because many residents would be within walking distance to a majority of the necessities of daily life would also reduce air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and improve the health of residents.

Even as transit-oriented developments begin to emerge and change the shape of existing neighborhoods for the better, it’s important to remember that highly-skilled, highly-trained construction workers are needed to safely and competently build these projects.

The Coalition for Responsible Equitable Economic Development (CREED LA)

Creed LA fights to ensure that developers pay fair wages to the hard working men and women throughout the construction trades while simultaneously providing them with quality health care, continued training, and trustworthy retirement plans.

As a result, CREED LA proudly supports transit-oriented development projects throughout Los Angeles that not only positively impact the local community, but support LA’s working families in the process. To learn more about how our non-profit organization fights for fairness, contact Jeff Modrzejewski at (877) 810-7473.

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