Colloquium VI: Los Angeles: Invented Spaces or Authentic Spaces

Presented by the Los Angeles Region Planning History Group in cooperation with the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West

Date & Location

  • Saturday, July 9, 2011, 9:30 am – 2:00 pm
  • Huntington Library and Gardens Friends’ Hall


The Los Angeles region has evolved as much from out-sized dreams and inventions as from traditional rules for establishing human settlements.

Carey McWilliams called Los Angeles an “improbable” place not destined to succeed, but determined to do so.  As Southern California developed, the visionaries who built this region knew it was less about location and more about destination. The enormous popularity of “invented” or themed destinations – Venice of America, Olvera Street, Disneyland, Third Street Promenade, CityWalk, The Grove and many others – has provided planners, designers and developers with inspiration and lessons on both success and failure.

What is the difference between those places that have a “unifying vision” and those that celebrate a “messy vitality”?  Where do “invented” places end and “authentic” places begin?  In a land where set designers build houses, architects design movie sets, and many of our most cherished “public” spaces are privately owned and operated, anything is possible.

A distinguished panel, moderated by author and planner Sam Gennawey, will address these questions.

  • David Sloane, Professor, USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development
  • Hassan Haghani, Community Development Director, City of Glendale
  • Vaughan Davies, Principal and Director of Urban Design, AECOM
  • Tim O’Day, O’Day and Associates
  • Neal Payton, Principal, Torti Gallas and Partners

Event Slideshow

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