Colloquium IV: Learning From Los Angeles: L.A. Zoning Turns 100

Date & Location

  • Saturday, March 27, 2010
  • The Huntington Library


Although Los Angeles is frequently derided as an “unplanned” city, shaped largely by real estate speculation, the City of Los Angeles was actually a planning pioneer, crafting the nation’s earliest municipal zoning ordinances in the early 20th century.  With Los Angeles zoning recently celebrating its centennial, how has our little-known zoning history shaped the city we now inhabit?  What lessons can today’s urbanists and planning practitioners learn from the successes and shortcomings of past zoning laws?  Is zoning, as we know it, ready for significant changes as the demand increases for more infill development in built-out areas?

A distinguished and experienced panel will trace the Los Angeles zoning story from the early 1900s to today, exploring the mixed and complex legacy of Los Angeles’ zoning regulation and more recent initiatives to break down the strict separation of land uses. A lively and interactive discussion followed


  • Greg Hise, PhD., historian of American cities, University of Nevada, Las Vegas and author, Magnetic Los Angeles: Planning the Twentieth Century Metropolis
  • D.J. Waldie, Author, Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir and Where We Are Now: Notes from Los Angeles; Public Information Officer, City of Lakewood
  • Stefanos Polyzoides, Principal, Moule & Polyzoides Architects and Urbanists; co-founder, Congress for the New Urbanism
  • Jane Blumenfeld, Principal Planner, City of Los Angeles; initiator of City planning policies on mixed-use zoning, industrial land-use, and affordable housing
  • Moderator: Ken Bernstein, LARPHG Board member, and Director of the City of Los Angeles Planning Department’s Office of Historic Resources

Event Slideshow

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