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Planning Los Angeles Around Robertson Boulevard

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Arts-focused planner and USC assistant professor Elizabeth Currid has a new book called Starstruck: The Business of Celebrity coming out in November, in which she analyzes Getty Images' database of celebrity photos to find out where celebrities hang out and who they hang out with. (Her 2007 book The Warhol Economy looked at how the creative industries drive New York.) And what do celebrities have to do with city planning, you ask? Well, the California Planning & Development Report's Josh Stephens weighs in on a talk Currid gave this week in Massachusetts: "She's drawn the conclusion that Los Angeles and New York are the mega-galaxy in the world of stardom. London plays a supporting role, and, beyond that, a smattering of odd places – Park City, Cannes, Canada (broadly defined), and Las Vegas – play host to celebrity escapades, accomplishments, and media events." She's also found, not exactly shockingly, that a few LA neighborhoods hold the most celebrity events (Hollywood, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood), and that celebrities also create connections among regions. Stephens wonders about the specific planning that has to go into both fostering a creative industry and helping the broader city benefit from that industry, and says "[Hollywood] also seems to address the rest of Los Angeles with indifference, if not contempt. Whether planners in Los Angeles and its neighboring cities can create more places not where awards galas can take place but rather where creative folks can get together and share ideas, and figure how to use the celebrity economy to the benefit of the entire place."
· Using Paparazzi For Planning [CP&DR]