Measure S and the Future of Los Angeles

John Dale, FAIA, LEED AP - 2004 AIA|LA President

As an architect who has been in practice in Los Angeles for the last thirty years, I have never been more excited about the prospect of this city evolving into a more livable, urban environment. For me, one of the hallmarks of a balanced, comfortable urban environment is a diversity of housing options for different lifestyles and incomes close to work and to urban amenities. Working in downtown Los Angles, I have witnessed the amazing, positive transformation of our urban core as a result of the increase in its residential population. The streets are safer and livelier, there are more amenities and services and there is a renewed sense of energy and optimism.   A broad-based moratorium on development in Los Angeles will halt the significant progress that has taken place. I believe the focus should be on the intelligent management of growth, the more thorough shaping of appropriately scaled projects, and close attention to the creation of livable urban spaces in between new buildings that are of benefit to all.    


As you may already know, Measure S is on the ballot on March 7th and it is an issue that deeply effects the future of the City of Los Angeles, the built environment and the architecture profession.

AIA|LA reached out several AIA|LA Past-Presidents and Gold Medalists to share their individual thoughts.  We will be sharing those thoughts over the course of the next few weeks.

The AIA|LA Board of Director’s voted to oppose Measure S in January 2016 back when it was referred to as the 'Neighborhood Integrity Initiative'. The Board voted to re-iterate that opposition at the January 2017 board meeting and instructed staff to communicate that opposition in a constructive manner and to elevate the architect’s role as the bridge builder between developers who are investing rapidly in the transformation of Los Angeles and communities who may feel uncomfortable with the intensity of our current development boom.

Yes, the AIA|LA opposes Measure S - but we also want to share with the public our pro-active ideas for how we can ensure Los Angeles evolves as a more beautiful, equitable and prosperous place and yet preserves its authentic character.  For well over the past twelve years, we’ve been strong advocates encouraging City Council to invest more robustly in an inclusive community outreach process to update community plans.  However, that investment has never occurred at the scale we’d like to see - hence the community backlash that is manifested in the Measure S initiative.

We’ve noticed how divisive Measure S has become between professionals (architects, developers, city planners) and the community-at-large.  Therefore, rather than inflame that division, we’d like to deliver a carefully crafted article that captures the voices of a diverse set of design professionals and offer that blended perspective as a bridge that connects the two camps so that we can underscore the role of the architect to serve clients AND communities with a thoughtful approach to inclusive community outreach.

To read the Measure S initiative in its entirety, please CLICK HERE

For more information, please contact:

Will Wright, Hon. AIA|LA

Director, Government & Public Affairs, 


American Institute of Architects/Los Angeles Chapter

3780 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 800

Los Angeles, CA 90010

tel: (213) 639-0764



Last updated: 14-Feb-2017 02:31 PM
Share Share