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Human Concerns of City Planning

January 03, 1988

"War on Sleaze," "Venice . . . Homeless," "Seniors Win Stay . . . ,"" . . . Westwood Congestion"--all Dec. 10 Westside (section) headlines--are one and the same, in terms of a failure to include human concerns and needs in planning and county-city coordination.

My own experience as a member of the Countywide Citizen's Planning Council substantiates this conclusion.

Physical items, such as land development, Metro Rail and transit problems . . . crowd the agenda. Sure, all these impact on our citizens, but the discussion(s) are mostly technical. There is no looking at the problems of the elderly, changing communities, homeless, employment opportunities--a key to overcoming crime and tensions that grow out of frustration and no job(s). Aren't these concerns for planners, too?

The Dec. 10 stories are a good example of not looking ahead with an eye on the inevitable. Just as human beings age, so do physical buildings. To remain alive there has to be a program of developing continued good health, and repair when necessary. And just as people die, there comes a time buildings have to come down. But in our planning, as is evident in these stories, we wait until the problem becomes an emergency before we act. This costly error will continue unless we have some vision as to the Los Angeles of tomorrow. It's self-evident it won't be, cannot be, like yesterday. Nor can we build the city without fitting it into the overall county development. No city in this area is an island unto itself, nor can it be.

The problem for We the People is how do we move the politicians and officeholders to deal with the inevitable realistically. It demands a unified approach.

HYMAN H. HAVES

Pacific Palisades

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