Last Updated: May 3, 2012



from the desk of Will Wright , Hon. AIA|LA
Director, Government & Public Affairs

This report is written in effort to keep the AIA|LA membership updated on the various efforts I've been involved with on behalf of the organization. It's a call to action to inspire more architects to provide the leadership to improve the built environment.


What is your top priority? What matters most to you as an architect?

If you are passionate about making the City of Los Angeles a more environmentally and economically sustainable place, I encourage you to become involved the AIA|LA Political Outreach Committee. The POC meets on the second Tuesday of each month and serves as the forum to develop advocacy initiatives that will benefit the city and the profession. The POC also reviews various pending policy initiatives and provides recommendations for how they can be improved.

Please make plans to attend the next AIA|LA POLITICAL OUTREACH COMMITTEE meeting on Tuesday, May 15th (8am).

We will be discussing:

  • Improving procurement and project delivery methods for the County of Los Angeles
  • Opportunities to work with the City of Los Angeles on revamping thier RFQ/RFP process
  • Next steps following our recent mayoral candidate forums

Active engagement in the POC provides opportunities to meet directly with Council Members, General Managers, Legislative & Planning Deputies, the Office of the Mayor, City Planners and the Board of Public Works Commissioners and other decision makers who influence the quality of our public realm, the economic vitality of the region and the health of the architecture profession.

The AIA|LA Political Outreach Committee...
Tuesday, May 15 (8:00am - 9:30am)
AIA Los Angeles
3780 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 800
Los Angeles, CA 90010

Please RSVP to will[@]

+ AIA|LA & The Department of City Planning :: working together to build better communities

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 and share your design expertise with city planners. 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 occur monthly and enable a rotating pool of architects and designers the opportunity to provide insightful and critical design feedback to help shape the built environment.

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

Tuesday, June 5 - [Noon - 1:30pm]
Tuesday, July 10 - [Noon - 1:30pm] Tuesday, August 7 - [Noon - 1:30pm] Tuesday, September 11 - [Noon - 1:30pm] Tuesday, October 9 - [Noon - 1:30pm] Tuesday, November 6 - [Noon - 1:30pm] Tuesday, December 4 - [Noon - 1:30pm] Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - [Noon - 1:30pm]
Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - [Noon - 1:30pm]

Los Angeles City Hall
Conference Room 721
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!

+ The Sixth Street Viaduct Design Competition

On April 26th, the City of Los Angeles issued an RFQ/P for final design and construction support services for the Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project. This is a huge win for the profession and for the City of Los Angeles, in that it provides an opportunity for world-class design.

In the words of FoLAR Chairman Alex Ward, AIA:

"This bridge can be a landmark, glowing at night like a beacon, a tourist attraction, a catalyst for economic growth, a strong new link between downtown and Boyle Heights, and a route for pedestrian and bicycle access to the River. This new bridge can be part of the vision, a vision of Friends of the Los Angeles River, and a vision of the Mayor, for a revitalized River through downtown, a boatable, fishable, yes, even swimmable River with open space, parkland, bike paths, and enlightened development like the Greentech Corridor. This bridge can be the new "crown jewel", the necklace over the River running through the center of an expanded, greener, vibrant downtown."

If you're interested in submitting the RFP/Q, then please make plans to attend the pre-submittal meeting on Tuesday, May 22 (1pm) at the Ron Deaton Auditorium at LAPD Headquarters.

For a copy of the RFP/Q, please CLICK HERE.

+ Car-Free in Los Angeles :: $500 IDEAS COMPETITION

The City of Los Angeles is coordinating an extensive outreach process to update the Mobility Element of the General Plan. Recently, in conjunction with GOOD magazine, they announced an IDEAS COMPETITION to envision the ideal CAR-FREE day in Los Angeles.

The deadline to submit ideas is Tuesday, May 15th (12noon). The winning idea will be the one that tells the most compelling narrative about the delights of experiencing the City of Los Angeles without a car.

I'd love to see an architect win this competition because I think it will help elevate the discussion citywide.

To submit your idea, CLICK HERE.


As you may already be aware, on Tuesday, April 10th Los Angeles County Supervisors voted to sunset the Architectural Evaluation Board.

At present, the Department of Public Works is aiming to revamp the selection process to make it more transparent and efficient, as well as, enable a broader range of design talent to respond to RFP/ RFQ's. DPW has invited AIA|LA leadership to help inform the process and provide pro-active recommendations that will align our goals towards design excellence countywide.

Last month, we met with DPW's Jacob Williams and Massood Eftekhari and with Dan Rosenfeld from Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas' office. Rosenfeld encouraged AIA|LA to provide specific recommendations to improve:

  • the selection criteria; a sampling of successful language for the RFQ
  • the evaluation committee; it's composition and involvement
  • the shortlist of culled RFQ's; a strategy for narrowing it down to 3 or 4 top contenders for any given project
  • design review; helping guide the design process with critical review

If you have ideas, then please plan to attend the May 15th Political Outreach Committee meeting and/or share your thoughts in writing with me ASAP.

This is our chance to provide essential leadership resources for our region.

+ Encourage Los Angeles City Council to Invest in an Updated Zoning Code

Help us spread the word.

As the Director of Government & Public Affairs for AIA|LA, I strongly encourage you to reach out to your Los Angeles City Council and request that they support the Department of City Planning's budget request to fund the initial step to a comprehensive zoning code revision. The City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning has developed a proposal to embark on one of the City's biggest planning initiatives to date: a comprehensive revision of the City's Zoning Code. First adopted in 1946, the Zoning Code has grown from an 84-page pamphlet to a 600+ page book does not reflect our 21st Century needs or vision.

To review DCP's proposed work program and budget plan, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Feel free to forward this information to anyone you feel might be interested. This is an issue that AIA|LA advocated to support as part of our 2011 Issue Briefs.

It's also an issue that was identified in the 2011 City of LA Development Reform Strategic Plan.

With smart reform we can update our zoning code to provide the public with greater clarity and certainty a vision for the future of our city. A revised zoning code will not only save the taxpayer money by streamlining the amount of staff time required to administer projects, but it will also streamline the process for economically sustainable urban infill development. I encourage you to learn more about the issue, and to lend support at the upcoming council meetings.

For more information, please contact:

Will Wright, Hon. AIA|LA
Director of Government & Public Affairs
AIA Los Angeles
3780 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 800
Los Angeles, CA 90010
213.639.0764 phone
213.639.0767 fax

Photo Credit: Claire Harlan Photogrpahy

Last updated: 11-Dec-2012 03:00 AM
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