Final Reflection

Hi all,

My apologies for tardiness as well.  I would like first of all to thank the Madrid team for sharing their work with us and introducing us to the neighborhood of Ciudad de Los Angeles, and especially to thank Patricia for setting up the exchange.  It was exciting to gain some insight into how planners and architects are addressing the issues facing urban neighborhoods in Spain.

Given that I spent most of the second half of our project assessing the possibility of siting new affordable housing in Fields Corner, the aspect of the Madrid team’s final presentation that most interested me was the development of the “Engineer’s Park” into 1700 new housing units.  As Dan noted, such a large development certainly has the potential to significantly impact life in Ciudad de Los Angeles, and I would be interested to hear about the residents’ opinions of the matter – will the new residents be part of the neighborhood association, for example? Or will they have their own organization?  Having spent several weeks trying to pick out a handful of sites that could yield 300 units and think about its impact on Fields Corner, I find myself unable to even conceptualize what adding several thousand units might do.

As for the semester as a whole, I truly did enjoy sharing our research with the Madrid team and seeing their approach to their neighborhood.  And based on both the strength of their visual presentations and their ability to engage problems we did not address, I found myself continually wishing we could incorporate more architects and a greater attention to design into our work.  In considering how the parallel workshop might improve, I believe it would be best paired with a seminar in the previous semester (or half-semester) on comparative planning.  It was hard to think of our projects both in terms of the specifics or our neighborhoods and proposals as well as in more general terms of American vs. European approaches to planning.  Had we had the opportunity to take a short seminar in the fall or in IAP on European planning, I would have felt better equipped to compare our work to Madrid’s.  Maybe next time!

Thanks again, and best of luck with your project and all your future endeavors!

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