News

October 27, 2023

SOMOS’s Alfred Fraijo on Creating a More Inclusive Residential Real Estate Market

TPR spoke with Alfred Fraijo, the founder of SOMOS Group, a multi-disciplinary law firm that creates impactful solutions to build and sustain community resilience, promote economic development, and advance social equity to create a more inclusive residential real estate market. Frajio also advocates alternative methods to promoting equitable communities by supporting BIPOC-owned manufacturing and developers to address the demand for development and related material sourcing. In this interview, Fraijo shares his long-term goals and his view on the impacts of current state legislation on housing supply and demand on the future of the residential real estate market in Los Angeles.

October 27, 2023

11th Street Bridge Parks' Scott Kratz on Community Engagement with Public Projects

As the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill looks to revitalize infrastructure in the United States, a number of infrastructure reuse projects are being reimagined , aimed at avoiding the wasteful practice of demolition and instead reusing retired structures by breathing new life into them. One of these projects, within the network of the highly successful High Line project in New York, is the 11th Street Bridge Park in DC. Scott Kratz, Director of Building Bridges Across the River, spoke about the project on a panel during Bloomberg’s CityLab conference. In his comments, Kratz addresses the importance of community and local engagement when it comes to altering the built environment, as well as the many community directives and overall mission of the bridge reuse project.

October 27, 2023

San Diego Needs More Housing, but City’s ‘Shotgun Approach’ is Doing More Harm than Good

As the state of California continues its campaign to increase housing density at all costs and at the usurpation of local planning, many have begun to question not just whether the strategy will work, but whether incoming legislation might be setting the stage for even greater affordability challenges down the line. In this previously published opinion piece, which TPR shares with the permission, retired land use lawyer and planning consultant Cary Lowe and former San Diego city architect Michael Stepner outline the potential problems that many seem to be overlooking as we work through this statewide housing crisis.

October 19, 2023

Ben Reznik on Why State Housing Mandates Are Long Overdue

TPR spoke with Ben Reznik, Chair of Government, Land Use, Environment & Energy at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM), regarding his continuing personal and firm advocacy for more housing production, highlighting & championing recent state mandates which, as reported, have reduced local discretion and “streamlined” project approvals. Additionally, Reznik shares his belief that homelessness goes beyond housing and that the crisis is State induced.

October 19, 2023

SF Public Works’ Director, Carla Short, Rebuts City’s ‘Doom Scenario’ Narrative

TPR spoke with the interim Director of Public Works in San Francisco, Carla Short, about her Department’s service responsibilities, her leadership challenges; and also, the many successful initiatives and programs now offered. Also, Short addresses her controversial predecessor and the need for the public to look past the actions of one bad apple and towards the many passionate and hardworking city servants.

October 19, 2023

Dear Mayor Bass: Los Angeles Can’t Double Down on Past Mistakes

TPR republishes with permission an open letter to the mayor, written by Walter Jaegerhaus, which advocates for a culture of change to be brought to city hall and the approach the city is taking with concerns to its future. The author, who has previously written on the issues of American cities, outlines in this letter just how that sea change could come to pass.

October 19, 2023

Los Angeles DOT’s new General Manager, Laura Rubio-Cornejo, on the “Safer Streets” Priority

TPR, to inform policy, interviews here Laura Rubio-Cornejo, the newly appointed General Manager of the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation. Cornejo addresses how, despite only being at the job for a week, “safer streets” has emerged a clear priority. Also shared is how Cornejo’s successful tenure as Pasadena’s Director of Transportation will be built upon; as well as her history of fully embracing community engagement.

October 3, 2023

Remembering Wayne Ratkovich

It is with sadness that The Planning Report shares news of the passing of famed Los Angeles real estate developer Wayne Ratkovich, who died Sunday, September 24th at Cedars-Sinai here in LA at the age of 82. The renowned developer is best known for his part in saving several culturally significant Los Angeles landmarks from destruction and for acting as a steward to their restoration, revitalization and, now, active use. TPR shares with its readers frequent collaborator Brenda Levin’s own introduction of Ratkovich at the LA Rotary club just earlier this year. In her remarks, Levin outlines their working relationship, the many accomplishments of Ratkovich, and a personal insight into the love he had for the city of Los Angeles.

October 3, 2023

Lendlease’s Head of Sustainability Sara Neff on Developing, Implementing, and Driving Corporate Sustainability

TPR spoke with Sara Neff, Lendlease Americas' Head of Sustainability, and delved into the specific projects they are developing in the Americas, both privately and with the Department of Defense, and how those projects are setting new standards for sustainable practices. Neff also spoke on the challenges and importance of scope three emissions reporting and Lendlease’s ambitious goal of Absolute Zero emissions across all scopes by 2040.

September 18, 2023

U.C.’s ‘Disaster Resilience Network’ – Connecting Expert Academic Resources to Better Mitigate Climate Catastrophes

TPR recently interviewed Ed Blakely, a seasoned veteran with decades of experience in disaster recovery who now sits on the advisory board for the UC Disaster Resilience Network, to learn how the network could help with disaster preparedness. Also interviewed here, the network’s executive director, Joe Leitmann.

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