The General Plan Speaker Series offered five evenings of conversation about the many interconnected issues ahead. View all five on video! You will need Windows Media Player to view the videos.
Download programs and biographies for the General Plan Speaker Series:
Dowell Myers, a local resident and nationally recognized USC researcher on population and housing, talked about how housing priorities continue to change. Lisa Padilla, who lives locally but works in cities throughout Southern California from her Pasadena office, described the effects of density, both the effects we welcome and those we do not. Bill Huang, the City’s Director of Housing, completed the panel. Bill examined housing affordability in Pasadena, as Boomers begin thinking about retirement and new lifestyles. This first panel, like all five in the series, included a conversation among the panelists and time for questions, answers and discussion among those who attended.
The focus of the second panel shifted, but the topics are closely tied to what was heard in the first discussion. Ellen Greenberg and Phil Erickson, both with long experience helping cities understand and plan mobility, described the many ways that streets work and the options available for getting around. Together they gave us background we need for planning mobility in Pasadena.
Pasadena is a city of many neighborhoods and many centers. From the initial lots that were developed by newcomers from Indiana to the subdivision of Hastings Ranch, the city expanded outward. The city’s neighborhoods of the 1880s, the 1920s, and the 1950s each reflect the changing opportunities for a good life here. Commercial activity moved from the area we now know as Old Pasadena along the city’s corridors and created new centers, at Lake and Washington and in east Pasadena. The character of neighborhoods, corridors, and centers changed with new transportation options and new reasons for being in Pasadena. Stefanos Polyzoides and Peter Tolkin explored the design responses through the city’s history and the opportunities today.
Pasadena led the effort with many Southern California cities beginning in 1925 to build an aqueduct from the Colorado River and to create the Metropolitan Water District. From that beginning, Pasadena has recognized that water is limited and must be shared. We face limits not only with water but with energy and its impacts and with other resources as well. Guest panelists included Phyllis Currie from Pasadena Water and Power, Timothy Brick from the Metropolitan Water District and Nancy Steele from the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council.
Our plans matter and help make some things possible and others not. The marketplace also matters. It is the sum of all the decisions we make about where to put our money, where not to put it, and on what terms. The marketplace is global, yet our plans are local. The last of five General Plan Speaker Series panels examined the changing economy and what that economy might mean for Pasadena as we update the General Plan. Guest panelists included Dr. Nancy Dayton Sidhu from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation and Debbie Lawrence from the City of Los Angeles.
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