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LA's Big Year in Transportation, Planning, and Parks

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It's the last week in December, when according to tradition we make up a bunch of awards and hand them out to all the best, worst, and shitshowiest of things that happened in Los Angeles real estate, architecture, and neighborhoods this year. These are your 2011 Curbed Awards.

Non-Event of the Year
Carmageddon proved to the world that Los Angeles can live without ten miles of the 405, no sweat. Now we just have to worry that it was so much of a non-event the first time that it really will be a nightmare when it comes back again next summer.

NIMBY All-Star Award
For truly astounding efforts in blocking local projects. This year, no one spent money, made desperate excuses (earthquakes! terrorism! development!), or implicitly cried "Think of the children!" more than the tenacious folks of the Beverly Hills Unified School District in their efforts to stop a Purple Line station that would send the subway under Beverly Hills High.

Chutzpah Award
Eli Broad and several other richies decided they did not care for the alignment or station placement for the Downtown Regional Connector rail line. Unfortunately, the line had already been several years in the making and even had a preliminary environmental review studying a previously agreed upon route.

Transit Trend of the Year
Streetcars! Or something resembling them. Meanwhile, Downtown made some big movement on its proper version.

Latecomer of the Year
The Expo Line, duh.

TOD of the Future
Metro bought Union Station and 42 surrounding acres this year and they have big plans that could amount to LA's greatest transit-oriented development.

Clusterfuck of the Year
We are burying our heads in our hands just thinking about the pain of a year the California High-Speed Rail project had--not just the disputed routes, escalating costs, and long delays, but also all the crazy fussing and feuding that went on around it.

Most Anticipated Park
You guys, you guys, Santa Monica is getting a Field Operations paaaaaaark. Everyone's been pretty excited about plans for the Palisades Garden Walk and Town Square, designed by New York's High Line designers.

Planning Trend of the Year
Parklets, pocket parks, microparks, any kind of tiny little park. They're coming to Downtown and foreclosed properties all over.

Microhood of the Year
Even thought it lasted less than two months, the little village at Occupy LA made a big impact (culturally/politically and, yes, on the grass).

Planning Gamechanger of the Year
Bikeification was on a roll this year (sorry). From Santa Monica to South Pasadena to Downtown to unincorporated LA County, greater LA is changing its image as a place that's purely for drivers.
· Curbed Awards 2011 [Curbed LA]