ULI Los Angeles News

TOLA 2018 Recap

TOLA Frames LA’s Transit Revolution in the Context of Equitable Development  

Los Angeles is in the midst of a mobility revolution that is determining the evolution of city transportation in the new millennium. The LA vision of transit-oriented development is of an integrated system that is equitable for all residents of Greater Los Angeles. Hence the timely theme “Upward Mobility – Pathways to Inclusive Transit Neighborhoods” of the annual, interactive conference Transit Oriented Los Angeles 2018, organized by the Los Angeles Urban Land Institute (ULI Los Angeles), the District Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI). Held in November at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. ToLA focused on the potential for more Angelenos to live, work, and play in diverse Los Angeles county neighborhoods where they have mobility choices and a better quality of life.

“With more than half a million visitors expected for the 2028 Olympics and a projected Los Angeles population growth … of one million additional residents by 2035, the improvements to the city’s transportation infrastructure could not come at a better time,” commented the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Sheila Kuehl, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and Chair of LA Metro Board of Directors, delivered the keynote at ToLA. Associate Professor Paavo Monkkonen of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs unveiled new, exclusive research by the UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies on the impact of transit-oriented development on housing and neighborhoods. “Investing in transit-oriented communities can be a powerful force for good,” said ULI Los Angeles ToLA Chair and LA Metro Deputy Executive Officer Nick Saponara.

A panel on “Leading Voices: Balancing the Impacts of Transit Investments” convened local experts in planning and development. City of Los Angeles Planning Director Vince Bertoni, City of Compton Director of Community Development Richard Rojas, Culver City Mayor Thomas Small, and Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek joined Moderator Cecilia Estolano of Estolano LeSar Advisors to discuss reshaping their communities and maximizing equitable outcomes. A second panel of public, private and non-profit leaders, national experts and advocates, “The Power of Positive Development,” broadened the theme. Participating were Trammell Crow Company Senior Managing Director Brad Cox, Smart Growth America President and CEO Calvin Gladney, BRIDGE Housing Executive VP Kim McCay, Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE) Executive Director Cynthia Strathmann, and Moderator Jenna Hornstock, Executive Officer, LA Metro. Becky Margiotta of The Billions Institute presented the closing keynote, ”Reframing the Conversation about Community Change.”

The LA Department of Transportation summed up the ToLA vision of the future: “All new modes of transport are aimed at tackling congestion, enabling economic development, driving racial and socioeconomic equality, and saving lives.”

To read the whole UCLA Report, click here!

(TOLA Committee Chair Nick Saponara and Vice Chair Leslie Young)

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