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Curbed Awards '07: Planning Urbanity Awards

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The Curbed End o' Year Awards are broken into multiple pieces and categories, and today, we look at the winners in the Urban Planning category.


Idea of the Year
WINNER: The Freeway Cap Parks. Old people and NIMBYs hate parks. They say they attract the homeless and pedophiles and all sorts of social ills. But this year, they found a new social ill to add to the list - asthma-inducing pollution. While they remain in the "feasibility analysis" stage, the Freeway Cap Parks planned for the Hollywood and Harbor freeways may make you hack and spit up a lung while you play above, but we say they're a great use of underutilized space and will serve to reconnect neighborhoods long ago divided by eight lanes of asphalt.

Most Anticipated Change Our World Project
WINNER: Subway to the Sea/Purple Line. For the second year in a row, the Purple Line is the project to watch. In the past year, we've overturned the tunneling ban and the ban on using federal dollars to build the project. Let's hope a route is chosen in the new year.

Most Up and Coming Hipster Hood
WINNER: Culver City. We don't read the blawgs a lot, but when we do, there's usually a post about something neat happening in Culver City or some new hip restaurant/bar opening there. The word is that the rents are cheap, galleries abound, and the streets are clean. Here's looking at you, Culver City. (picture via Curbed flickr pool member mondolind)

The NIMBY Award: We're Anti!
WINNER: The Knee Jerk NIMBYs in Opposition to NBC's Relocation. The story had barely been broken (by us no less) before the nay sayers had climbed atop their soapboxes and began pontificating about all the traffic and misery sure to descend upon residents of Studio City and the Cahuenga Pass should NBC be allowed to relocate from Burbank to the Universal City Red Line station. Calm the fuck down, people. At least let the ink dry on the development plans and traffic studies before you start haterating.

The City Civil War Award: The Issue Most Likely to Rip Us Apart
WINNER: Where's the Dividing Line? Eastside versus Westside. At some point this battle of imaginary lines touched every blog in the city, spilled in to the weeklies and was all instigated by Beck in the LA Times (as was noted by LosAnjealous). The unofficial poll said everyone should just calm down. We still say the divider is La Brea. Hey, the poll is still open!

The Eric Garcetti Do Gooder "Goody Goody" Award
WINNER: City Planner Jack Chiang. We appreciate a proactive City Planner who returns calls and works to improve his community. City Planner Jack Chiang made all of us planning types proud when he made a call to inform a developer his project would be approved "no matter what." Unfortunately, the call was mistakenly left for an opponent of the project before a hearing on the opponent's appeal of the project approval.

The "If The City Can't Fix It, We'll Do It Ourselves" Award
WINNER: Curbed Traffic Solutions: Los Feliz Circle & La Brea Underpass. Kudos to the readers who submitted suggestions for fixing traffic in the city. We can't all have the bully pulpit of an Allyn Rifkin to propose ideas like one-waying Pico and Olympic, so it was swell that several of you offered your own solutions. The La Brea Underpass would speed traffic on both La Brea and Washington. The Los Feliz/Sunset Circle would cause hysterical confusion. Both are winning ideas in our mind. More ideas welcome (you think up the idea, we create the pictures).

Thank you for your continued support and emails! If you have a category and winner to add to our lists, email us (