Central Glendale California USA a traditional suburban downtown turned into an edge city 197590 1994 to the present

Glendale is a suburb of Los Angeles lying at the base of the Verduga Mountains. It has a population of about 200,000. Its central district is located on Brand Boulevard just off the Ventura Freeway that connects it to the region. The boulevard is a broad street that once had streetcars/trams running down its centre. Developed by Leslie Carlton Brand in the 1920s it was lined by 2- and 3-storey mixed-use buildings that by the 1950s and 1960s had deteriorated due to the lack of entrepreneurial spirit and absentee landlordism. Land values dropped to as low as $6 to $7 a square foot. The total land value of the Central Business District of Glendale decreased from $31.2 million in 1950 to $20 million in 1970 despite inflation and even though Glendale was and is a relatively affluent city.

The City Redevelopment Agency was founded in 1972. Its actions received strong support from the city council; its board membership consisted of the councillors! Despite the citizenry's strong opposition (in the name of private enterprise) to a redevelopment project in downtown Glendale and to the use of the city's power of eminent domain to acquire land, the agency moved ahead. The initiative seems to have resided in two sets of hands: those of Jim Rez, the city manager and executive director of the Glendale Redevelopment Agency and Susan F. Shick, his deputy, a transplant from the east coast. The city council was the sponsor of the redevelopment of Glendale.

The city used its power of eminent domain to assemble a 20-acre (8-hectare) site on Colorado Street, which runs across Brand Boulevard at the southern end of Glendale's CBD, for the Glendale Galleria, a major shopping centre. As an incentive for the development the city took two actions:

1 it built a 4400-spot parking garage;

2 it created a tax increment financing district.

These actions encouraged a property developer (John S. Griffith Company, later Donahue Schribner) to build the Galleria, a shopping centre. It was constructed in 1976. The Galleria was then a catalyst for other development and the company insisted that later developers and their architects toe the line in meeting design guidelines in order to maintain a high level of aesthetic and general environmental quality in the precinct. The tax increment going to the Redevelopment Agency in 1985 was $5.5 million. This sum could be leveraged 8:1 in the bond market for financing public projects in the downtown area. This meant that the revenue from sales taxes could be spent on the remainder of Glendale.

A CBD study, initiated by Rez in 1975, led to a plan for a rejuvenated Brand Boulevard.

The Redevelopment Agency began to aggressively acquire land for possible redevelopment. New office buildings attracted to the location began to be built at the northern end of the boulevard off the Ventura Freeway. At the southern end, Galleria 2 was built and proved to be highly successful. These successes led to ELS Architects of Berkeley being hired to develop a conceptual design and design guidelines to achieve it. ELS received a 1986 Design Award from Progressive Architecture for its work in Glendale.

Through a series of public workshops, ELS Architects and the Glendale Redevelopment Authority identified 10 goals for the district. The 10 goals were: to create a downtown identity, to encourage mixed-uses, to enhance cultural facilities, to encourage pedestrian movement, to create open space, to control vehicular movements, to promote public transit use, to provide a wide range of development opportunities, to make the development economically sound and to increase the tax base of the city. Perhaps, above all, the goal was to give visual coherence to the development. ELS Architects produced a conceptual plan (see Figure 8.58) and design guidelines (see Figure 8.59 for an example) that would achieve the ends specified. The Redevelopment Agency created a strategic plan to market the area.

The conceptual design became the development control plan in conjunction with detailed plans. The plan divided central Glendale into three sections with Brand Boulevard as the backbone. The two roads parallel to it form a loop circulation system off which the parking garages are located. A major financial centre has developed in the northern third. It consists of high-rise bank buildings housing corporations such as Sears Savings Bank, American Savings,

Figure 8.59 An example of the design guidelines for Glendale.

the First Interstate Bank and Valley National Bank. They are clustered around a plaza a block off the Ventura Freeway. The central third is mixed-use. Retail shops, offices, hotels and housing are located on Brand Boulevard with the parking garages behind them. The adjacent streets have bungalows opposite the parking garages. They house professional offices as well as being residences and act as a buffer between the busyness of Brand Boulevard and the residential areas on either side adjacent to the urban core of the city. The southern third of the area is a major regional retail district. It houses the Gallerias, major department stores and smaller-scale retail buildings.

A number of urban design issues were addressed. These included how the street edge could be defined, how open spaces could be enclosed, how shelter could be provided for pedestrians, how the apparent bulk of tall buildings could be visually reduced, how street corners could be enhanced, how blank façades at ground level could be avoided. The design guidelines were advisory in nature but gave the Redevelopment Authority bargaining power in evaluating and deciding on design proposals. The goal of obtaining a high-quality landscape was emphasized throughout the design and construction process. Brand Boulevard today shows it (see Figure 8.60b). The original design standards set a precedent so the design review process allowed no major exceptions from them. Property developers and their architects know this situation so their demands to do things in their own way have been low. Delays in obtaining approval for their proposals are costly.

Much development took place in Glendale during the late 1970s and 1980s. By mid-1985 downtown property values had soared to $470 million (from $99.7 million in 1972) and 9000 new jobs had been created. The demand for development in Glendale remained high throughout the 1980s. The area has had its ups and downs since then as competition from surrounding areas has increased. The Redevelopment Authority in Glendale had, however, moved early and had to a large extent captured the market.

How well has all the effort put into Glendale worked out? Today Brand Boulevard is a quietly successful destination, comfortable, lively and safe. The Galleria was amongst the most successful shopping centres in the United States between 2000 and 2004. In early 2004, a proposal was made to build yet another shopping centre in the area that would be in direct competition with the Galleria if it goes ahead. So in these terms the urban renewal work in Glendale has been highly successful.

The Glendale experience shows a number of things. A handful of people with strong marketable ideas can achieve much. Clear design guidelines, logically derived and based on empirical evidence are powerful tools in helping to achieve a high-quality environment. Tax increment financing can be used effectively to generate the finances needed to develop and, above all, in some cases maintain a well-designed public environment and facilities. Perhaps most of all, a streamlined approval process encourages development. These are powerful lessons. Yet lives change and places change. Plans cannot be static. A slowdown in office development spurred new actions under a new Planning Director, John McKenna.

In 1994, Alexander Cooper, of Cooper Robertson based in New York, was hired to develop a strategic plan for Glendale based on Cooper's successful efforts at Battery

Park City and his work for the Disney Corporation. The client in this instance was the City and Glendale Partners, a consortium of corporate executives. After considerable public consultation a plan for the city has been developed. What this effort demonstrates is that cities are constantly in flux if they are doing well economically and the urban design process is not a one-shot deal. As part of a city's development process urban designing is a continuous activity as pointed out in Chapter 5.

Major references

Attoe, Wayne and Donn Logan (1989). Phoenix and Glendale: catalytic design is strategic. In American Urban Architecture: Catalysts in the Design of Cities. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 106-17. Crooks, Cheryl (1985). Glendale's surprising rebirth.

Los Angeles (July): unpaginated reprint. Glendale Redevelopment Agency (1986). Urban design information. Glendale: The Agency. Lewis, Sylvia (1996). Mr. Precedent. Planning 62 (8): 10-15.

Precincts: Campuses

Many of the myriad new campus designs of the second half of the twentieth century were haphazard affairs. Some of them underwent a transition during the 1990s as university administrators tried to make them attractive places for students (and for their parents who were paying to send them there). Some were total urban designs; others were all-of-a-piece designs. Sometimes it is difficult to tell. The Universidad Autónoma de Mexico (UAM) (see Figure 8.61) is an example.

Originally founded in the 1550s, the present UAM campus was built between 1950 and 1953 by a design team headed by José García Villagrán, Mario Pani and

Figure 8.61 The Universidad Autónoma de Mexico with the library on the left with mosaic façades by Juan O'Gorman.

Enrique del Moral. It is a more purist Modernist spatial design than Universidad Central de Venezuela with buildings located within an overall orthogonal geometry. The design of the buildings involved over 150 architects but whether the result is a total or all-of-a-piece urban design is open to debate based on perceptions of whether it was really one large team that designed it or a variety of architects. The State University of New York (SUNY) at Purchase is clearly an all-of-a-piece design although some observers might regard it as a plug-in urban design.

The term 'campus', as has already been observed, has been applied to other development types than universities. In common with universities they consist of sets of buildings located in landscaped, park-like surroundings. They may be located in the heart of cities or on the periphery. The Denver Technology Center (DTC), on the outskirts of the Denver, Colorado metropolitan area is one of those developments on a green-field site that is often considered to be a campus. DTC and SUNY at Purchase are the examples of campus planning and design that are included here.

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.

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