After an intensive first week of work, the 24 interns developing a master plan to the cap the 101 Freeway Downtown between the Civic Center and the Plaza (see prior post for details), presented six different visions to the Review Committee on Friday. We were shown substantially proposals on how – and where - the freeway might be capped - and we were also given sweeping visions of how the adjacent neighborhoods might be redeveloped and connected with each other.
These 24 interns from all over the country – and all over the world - have worked at the Cal Trans Building under EDAW’s leadership and in less than one week from their arrival in LA, they have produced an amazing array of choices from which the panel could comment upon.
The single most striking point of the session, though, was not the high quality of each of the presentations, but the fact that by using the most salient points from each of the proposals, one unified vision could be constructed.
In fact, not only could large parts of each of these six proposals be used in combination – but it is absolutely essential that any plan – or plans – contain the key elements from each of these proposals. But they now have just one week before they present their final vision – or visions – to the Review Committee – and the public at large at 5 PM – at the Cal Trans Plaza at 1st and Main Streets.
So while I have a lot to say about what I saw, I will defer any comment until after the public unveiling. But I will state this now.
Monday morning needs to be the start of a permanent committee to begin a far broader public process for this project. With the high quality of work already produced, getting the public excited about their vision should prove easy. Keeping our civic leaders engaged for the long process though, will – as usual, be the far harder task.