LA's new transit solutions

Niki May Young
Wednesday 25 Mar 2009

Winners of open competition announced

The winners of an open ideas competition sponsored by the SCIFI (Southern California Institute of Future Initiatives) program at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and The Architect’s Newspaper have been announced. Más Transit by Joshua G. Stein, Jacob M. Brostoff, Jaclyn Thomforde, and Aaron Whelton won the first prize for professionals and UC Berkeley student Ryan Lovett for Glocalizing Los Angeles won the first prize for students.

A New Infrastructure: Transit Solutions for Los Angeles, was inspired by LA County Measure R—a half cent sales tax that promises up to $40 billion in transit funding for the city. The competition attracted 75 proposals from architecture firms in the US, UK, France, Italy and Estonia and entries by students at SCI-Arc, USC, UC Berkeley, Columbia University, Harvard University, among others.

Entries proposed new ideas for LA County’s transit infrastructure to an influential jury including Thom Mayne, Principal and founder of Morphosis Architecs, Aspet Davidian, Director of Project Engineering Facilities for LA Count Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Eric Owen Moss, Director of SCI-Arc and Principal of Eric Owen Moss Architets. Their entries were to focus on specific rail extension projects in the city and also take a look at larger-scale, inter-related transit planning challenges in Southern California. A New Infrastructure, an exhibition of the outstanding competition entries, is on view at SCI-Arc from March 21 through March 28. Also, a series of discussions on transit in the city, community and in the realm of architecture are planned throughout the spring.

The winner, receiving $3000 is regional high-speed rail for Los Angeles with a landscape to match. It diversifies the communities in the built environment, making travel less necessary, easier and more predictable, and bypassing roadway congestion through a new raised infrastructure. A partnership between the public and private sectors creates varied opportunities for organic development. Travel times improve over time with the addition of new trains. Más also links local and inter-regional commuting; providing frequent service that will sync up with the California High Speed Rail network. San Diego via Más is less than an hour away, including transfer times; San Francisco is less than three hours away.

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