AIA|LA Urban Design Review Sessions w/ Department of City Planning
Tuesday, March 4, 2014, 10:00 AM to Noon
200 N. Spring Street Los Angeles, CA 90012

Are you interested in providing critical feedback to help improve urban design in the City of Los Angeles?

Join the AIA|LA & DCP Professional Volunteer Program today! We're looking for leading design talent to help the Los Angles Department of City Planning's Urban Design Studio critically review upcoming projects throughout the City.

The review sessions will occur monthly and will enable a rotating pool of architects and designers the opportunity to provide insightful and critical design feedback to help shape the built environment. You will assist in educating planning staff on urban design issues and complex urban typologies and you will have the chance to provide project specific urban design advice for staff's consideration and us.

If you are interested in participating in one or two of the following upcoming urban design review session, then please contact Will Wright to receive additional information.

Please note:
We're involving a rotating pool of architect volunteers, with sensitivity to the value of your time - so therefore, you will never need to attend more than one or two of the following scheduled sessions:

    • Tuesday, February 4 - [10:00 AM to Noon], City Hall, Room 721
    • Tuesday, March 4 - [10:00 AM to Noon], City Hall, Room 501
    • Tuesday, April 1 - [10:00 AM to Noon], City Hall, Room 501
    • Tuesday, May 6 - [10:00 AM to Noon], City Hall, Room 501
    • Tuesday, June 3 - [10:00 AM to Noon], City Hall, Room 501
    • Tuesday, July 1 - [10:00 AM to Noon], City Hall, Room 501
    • Tuesday, August 5 - [10:00 AM to Noon], City Hall, Room 501
    • Tuesday, September 2 - [10:00 AM to Noonm], City Hall, Room 501
    • Tuesday, October 7 - [10:00 AM to Noon], City Hall, Room 501
    • Tuesday, November 4 - [10:00 AM to Noon], City Hall, Room 501
    • Tuesday, December 2 - [10:00 AM to Noon], City Hall, Room 501

    Los Angeles City Hall
    Conference Room 501
    Department of City Planning
    200 N. Spring Street
    Los Angeles , CA 90012

    RSVP in advance to WILL WRIGHT with the date(s) of your preferred session. Capacity Limited! I will be in touch with a confirmation email, inclusive of additional details.

    TO PREPARE: The following links will be helpful to review prior to the session:

    1. The Urban Design Principals
    2. The Walkability Checklist
      a. Residential Guidelines:Multi-Family Residential & Commercial Mixed Use Projects
      b. Commercial Guidelines:- Pedestrian Oriented/Commercial & Mixed Use Projects
      c. Industrial Guidelines: Heavy Industrial, Limited and Light Industrial, Hybrid Industrial and Commercial Manufacturing Projects

    PILOT PROGRAM | Professional Volunteer Program
    Los Angeles City Planning | City Planning Commission


    I. Assist in educating staff on urban design issues and complex urban typologies.
    II. Provide project specific urban design advice for staff's consideration and use.


    I. Threshold For Projects Assistance
    a. Case management
    b. 50,000 SF or 50 units
    c. City Planning Commission cases
    d. Staff referrals
    e. Site plan review cases

    II. Program Structure
    a. Through the assistance of a rotating volunteer program (managed by local professional associations);
    b. four volunteers per session (2 architects, 1 emerging architect, 1 landscape architect);
    c. would meet for 2 hours at the urban design studio with project staff (applicant and applicant's architect would not be present);
    d. staff would take project specific comments under advisement

    III. Frame & Focus
    Through the Discretionary Review Process, permit approval criteria, Urban Design Guidelines and Princi- pals, Walkability Guidelines, Urban Design Studio and CPC considerations a template would be created for the volunteers to have clear and focused discussion on areas of engagement and priorities.

    IV. Possible Additional Baseline Submission Requirements
    Volunteer would assist staff in baseline submission requirements that could be expanded to include context information such as:
    a. Aerial view (within 500 feet)
    b. Streetscape photos both sides of all streets immediately adjacent to the site
    c. Transportation information on bus, train stops, bicycle lanes, etc.
    d. Urban design narrative on "how does this project meet the Citywide Guidelines and Urban Design Principles."

    V. Timing
    Projects would be encouraged to be reviewed early. Multiple reviews would be possible for more complex issues, conditions and projects. Due to rotation, volunteers are likely to vary on subsequent reviews by intention.


    This planning tool is intended:
    a. for the support of the Urban Design Studio staff and case staff which has suffered from budget cuts;
    b. to simplify and consolidate existing Urban Design Principles, Walkability Checklist and possible Citywide Design Guidelines into the application process;
    c. to support the development community by providing an introduction to the guidelines and more project specific certainty to the applicant at an early stage in the process;
    d. to engage local professional through civic volunteerism to participate in raising the urban design bar in Los Angeles.

    For more information, please contact:
    Will Wright, Hon AIA|LA
    Director, Government & Public Affairs
    AIA Los Angeles
    tel: 213.639.0764
    email: will[@]