Architects in Orange County, disturbed by the lack of a basic dictionary of commonly accepted urban design ideas needed to give physical coherence to the area's burgeoning growth, have begun to move toward the creation of an advisory body that would spur county planning officials into adopting urban design guidelines.
The new group, the Orange County Urban Design Advisory Coalition, was initiated by former UCI campus architect David Neuman in collaboration with the Orange County chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
"The idea is to make the public and the official decision-makers more sensitive to urban issues by commenting on major projects," he said.
Some of the upcoming major projects coalition intends to comment on include John Wayne Airport, the Santa Ana Civic Center, the design of new freeways, new forms of high-density housing and the conversion of the Irvine Business Complex into an urban village.
"It's time local design professionals made their collective voice heard in the evolution of the county's built environment," Neuman said. "If we don't, we can't in all conscience moan about the bastardization of our landscape."