Preparing LA for Sustainable Growth

What does your utopian version of LA look like for the future?

Architects Thom Mayne and Eui-Sung Li shared their vision on June 27th with their presentation Future LA: 99% Preservation and 1% Densification at the Hammer Museum in Westwood.

They have a plan for densifying 1% of land along the Wilshire corridor to accommodate the anticipated growth of population in Los Angeles. Their proposal includes weaning Angelenos off car ownership, turning wasteful and lavish golf courses into green space for the community, and hydroponic gardening on the rooftops of Koreatown.

Thom Mayne and Eui-Sung Li’s proposal for the Wilshire corridor in 2050 sounds like my personal slice of heaven. LA County may have ample open space, but that doesn’t mean we should continue sprawling outward. Our resources are getting more scarce. As it is, our traffic situation is insane. Pollution continues to be an issue and far too much water is wasted in landscaping. Wilshire Blvd is already the heart of the city and home to much of the city’s density. It makes perfect sense to continue to grow this corridor as the future of Los Angeles.

It will be hard to shift the collective consciousness of this city, which was built on sprawl and car culture. But we can do it. More people are landscaping with native plants and are exploring alternative commuting methods. These are small yet impactful ways we can make a more sustainable Los Angeles. And if we as a community don’t do what we can while we are able, 2050 might be too late to start.

This lecture was a part of the Hammer Museum’s series Future LA: Engineering a Sustainable Supercity. For more information on the yearlong series, visit

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