Could L.A. Be a 15-Minute City?

A coali­tion of , archi­tects, and advo­cates think Los Angeles—“the ulti­mate car ”—can become a 15-minute city. That is, with plan­ning, most res­i­dents reach their dai­ly needs with­in a 15-minute walk­ing, bik­ing, or pub­lic tran­sit trip, reports Erin Stone in LAist.

Accord­ing to Jen­ny Hontz of the Liv­able Com­mu­ni­ties Ini­tia­tive, “cars are a cul­prit when it comes to high rents: cities require to build park­ing spots with hous­ing. In L.A., each spot can cost more than $50,000, upping prices.” Con­se­quent­ly, “High­er push Ange­lenos out of the city and into longer com­mutes, adding to plan­et-heat­ing emis­sions. Accord­ing to 2019 cen­sus data, 13% of Ange­lenos who com­mut­ed to the West­side for work drove more than 50 miles to get there.”

The coali­tion argues that “build­ing small­er hous­ing with­out park­ing, close to jobs and pub­lic tran­sit, cou­pled with redesign­ing streets to be more walk­a­ble and bike­able, would low­er rents and pol­lu­tion.”

As the arti­cle notes, “Imple­ment­ing the plan does­n’t come with­out obsta­cles: oth­er things, it will require rezon­ing cer­tain , deal­ing with legal chal­lenges and red tape, and drop­ping the require­ment to build park­ing, in addi­tion to polit­i­cal and indus­try buy-in.” But with Los Ange­les includ­ing it in the city’s hous­ing ele­ment, it could have legs. Cul­ver City, a small incor­po­rat­ed city on L.A.‘s west side, “is on its way to imple­ment­ing many of the ideas and pos­si­bly also work­ing it into their gen­er­al plan.” Mean­while, a pro­posed state bill could elim­i­nate park­ing require­ments for small devel­op­ments.

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