Cities Are Never Finished
Cities are never finished. Something I have long known and trusted to be true. Something I learned in Architecture school. Cities are never finished.
That was brought home to me earlier this month while standing atop the Rome city hall - the palazzo Senatorio at the campadogolio - on the Capitoline hill - literally on the roof or Rome - with the Rome vice mayor Luca Bergamo - vice sindaco - discussing 22 centuries of Roman city making.
Luca Bergamo pointing and describing with me the need to allow Rome to continue to grow. “They are afraid of change,” he said. Afraid to let the current cultural wave bend and carve and expand what Rome is.
And so we’re here in West Hollywood too often considering the same challenge. How to let the current cultural wave bend and carve and expand what West Hollywood is?
As a Councilmember and if re-elected, as the next Mayor, I see this as my personal challenge to lead this discussion as best as I can. To help our city continually refine the strategy for building and culture making. To make a path for how we need to grow. More living on our terms.
That is the theme of my campaign effort for the next year and beyond. More living. On our terms.
There’s a diverse group of folks here. Residents, small business owners, property owners, developers, landlords, we’re all part of the long list of people with interests in what’s happening now, what we’ve already been done and what’s happening next.
And I’ll say this again, West Hollywood will never be finished. It can’t be. Those who want it to be finished don’t see the possibility of the future. And those who don’t understand its past also don’t see the possibility of the future.
I believe in new building making. It is my actual profession. It is exciting and makes for an exciting city.
30 years of building making experience has taught me.... that for the first time ever we can design buildings that can meet the challenges of today’s world but without all the impacts.
Buildings without impact.
And the technology to do it.
Resiliency and sustainability not simply for the building but for the life of the building. Smart HVAC systems, smart grid technology, recycled materials, smart appliances, Parking aggregation, uber/Lyft/scooters for transportation on demand, Trash murfing, locally sourced products, sustainable services, living wage, recycled water, energy collection, fiber optic distribution. The internet of things. And the technology to do it.
All things that reduce the impacts of new developments and improve the lives of residents, workers and guests.
More living on our terms.
Two weeks ago Mayor Duran used his moment of becoming mayor to highlight the strong critically important cultural import of weho. Building on a theme that I raised myself when becoming Mayor in 2014 that West Hollywood invents the culture other cities consume.
And all those events all that excitement happened in buildings built and rebuilt for cultural reasons with the technology available at the time.
West Hollywood has some of the most expensive real estate on the planet especially here on the Sunset Strip. And investment in the buildings and businesses and residents is the reason.
It is my sense that the next current great wave of city making will be easier to accomplish, better for the environment and most importantly better for our residents and our culture making if we commit to a strategy that uses the community and technology to reduce the impacts.
More living. On our terms.
One last thing.
Participation at every level. Is key to our success. I was first elected in 2011 and I think we can all see how much the city, the region, and world have changed since then. The challenges are different. Some of them seem staggering. But I have to say that our city is positioned best to not only address these challenges but to lead the region in developing the solutions.
And we’ll need your help and commitment to do that.