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Editorial> Making a List, Checking it Twice
AN's West Coast editor explores the hottest topics for 2014.
One of Gensler's research images for LA's Pershing Square during the day.
Courtesy Gensler

Every publication under the sun is delivering its best of the year roundups, from books to movies to cars. So I conducted an informal poll of readers to see some of the most pressing issues for the year ahead. I reached out to some friends on social media, and to organizations like AIA/LA and SPUR, so you can even call the responses (relatively) inclusive, or even open source. So without further ado, here are the topics—let’s call them goals—for 2014. We’ll be tracking them in the year ahead.


  1. Developing a long-term Vision Plan for Los Angeles.
  2. Streamlining entitlement and permit procedures in Los Angeles.
  3. Addressing the troubling lack of affordable housing in San Francisco, and countrywide.
  4. Creating an Office of Architecture and Urban Design in Los Angeles.
  5. Improving Continuing Education Credits, which one reader called, “psycho-devastating money and time pits with no net professional benefit.”
  6. Reforming the prison industrial complex, and architecture’s role in it.
  7. Investigating how to localize development in Los Angeles and elsewhere relating to transit growth.
  8. The increasingly tenuous economic situation of the architecture profession.
  9. The impacts and solutions to architecture’s marginalized role in society.
  10. How to temper San Francisco’s “hysterical historical” planning process.
  11. How to turn around America’s biggest wasted space: LA’s Pershing Square.
  12. The remarkable transformation of Los Angeles through transit and densification.
  13. The soulless “packaging” of architecture in the high-end residential market.
  14. How to clean up LA’s Skid Row in a humane way.
  15. Getting a train to LAX. Finally.
  16. Removing old infrastructure in favor of greenways in cities nationwide.
  17. Preserving character in San Francisco in the wake of extreme gentrification.
  18. Encouraging adaptive reuse in downtowns across the west coast; could this be architecture’s future?
  19. Making the AIA more relevant to most architects.
  20. Examining how office architecture is driving the transformation of San Francisco and Silicon Valley.


Happy New Year from everyone at The Architect’s Newspaper. We’ve got a busy agenda for the year ahead!

Sam Lubell