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THE FIFTH ECOLOGY

Los Angeles Beyond Desire

Los Angeles Beyond Desire Cities and Energy is an ongoing project at the Royal University College of Fine Arts, course in architecture that is investigating how necessary changes in energy consumption and production influence and inform our cities and our ways of life. We believe that studying the differing physical and cultural conditions of varying economies and the characteristics that make each urban environment unique can lead us to new insights and solutions relevant to the ongoing discourse concerning sustainable urban futures.

choose not to use public space and consequently don’t see the need for it. The right to public space becomes ultimately a matter of social justice.

The architect Rem Koolhaas’s seminal work from 2000, Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping, emphasizes the fact that consumption and public space have become two intertwined entities that we can no longer separate from one another. Nor can we experience the one without feeling a longing for the other. The American urban environment is consequently a result of a public space completely dependent on entertainment, in which we get out of our car only if we are provided with a climatized, orchestrated, delimited, secure, child-friendly, beguiling, styled, total shopping experience. It is Walt Disney, »America’s most important urban planner« who is perhaps ultimately responsible for setting the agenda for how Americans understand their urban environment and public space.

However, if you move around the cityscape, and in particular, if you try to experience the city through the eyes of its inhabitants, you discover a culture in which alternative spaces seem to propagate and flourish. These are spaces that work on a different set of rules than those we are familiar with. Here, we find a series of solutions that are particular and unique for the city that has generated them. Following another rhythm and interjected, they have been created by forces other than consumption. Perhaps this is because the desire to consume has already been fulfilled in every conceivable way, leaving behind those remaining needs, explicit and crystalline, searching for their built answers. Or perhaps it is because distances are vast, traffic is time-consuming and comprehensive planning has taken a backseat to private development, that individuals and grass-roots initiatives are forced to find their own answers. The city doesn’t seem to provide them. Because after all, its not Disney Land and Universal Studios City Walk that have been the model for, or replaced the need for public space in L.A. It is instead in the semi-private or semi-public sphere that these new answers can be found. It’s as if the conventional concept of public space is almost too fragile to survive exposure to the city’s powerful flow of energy these alternatives must be carefully nurtured in protected zones, at a comfortable distance from the city, but close to the individual and the community. In everything from Rudolph Schindler’s reformulation of the private home into a public meeting place – a tradition that the artist Fritz Haeg continues in his dome-home in Glassell Park – to the architect Michael Maltzan’s semi-public courtyard spaces for children at Inner-City Arts and for homeless at Rainbow Housing in Skidrow, we find the need for contact and interaction of individuals and groups manifested in physical form.

That is our understanding of urban American, one defined by the images we have seen, but is it really correct? Los Angeles, the home of Disney, is in desperate need of public space. This need becomes all the more urgent as overcrowding increases and immigrants continue to pack themselves into the existing urban fabric in the city’s central areas. The bus system, which can be considered the most quintessential of public places to be found in Los Angeles, gives a clear picture of who inhabits this space – those that can’t afford the alternative. People with the economic means

It has been said that the Beach and the Mountains are the only truly public spaces in in Los Angeles. If we read these as clues to what needs are present, then both of these grand social arenas made possible by the very landscapes which define the city itself are evidence of spaces based on something else. Perhaps they are not completely devoid of consumption, but at the least it is subordinate to another sublime experience. When the Olmstead brothers proposed their Parks, Playgrounds and Beaches for the Los Angeles Region in 1930, their ambition was twofold – to weave together these

Today we discuss carbon neutrality as a goal for urban development, but we seldom talk about an agenda for the consumption upon which our cities are dependent. How can a city be considered to be carbon neutral when the daily consumption of its inhabitants is made possible by worldwide subsistence on oil and coal production? Does it follow that a carbon neutral city would have to be a post-material one, and in that case, what would that look like? Isn’t it paramount that urban planners seriously consider the content of the city? What can and should the city consist of if we are to succeed in reducing the ever-increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere?

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two grand landscapes with a network of green spaces, as well as respond to the city’s need for mobility, recreation and play. Here we can identify another possible nucleus to an idea of postmaterial public space. Play, something taken to its logical extreme in the Hollywood industry, was also at the core of the Situationists’ concept for society expressed in The Society of the Spectacle. Guy Debord’s psycho-geographic map, The Naked City from 1957, proposes the idea of the city as a fragmentary and episodic landscape in which people are propelled by their own passions, dreams and desires. The city is defined as experiences without need for coherence or continuity. The Spectacular City, our strategy for a postmaterial Los Angeles, is composed of events and pieces of the city fabric that exist parallel to and independent of one another – all offering a nonmaterial form of spectacularity. The plethora of lifestyles and grassroots movements that are the cultural norm here and essential to an understanding of Los Angeles’s uniqueness creates a credible breading ground for this to occur. Could it take place in that most commercial of American urban inventions, the Strip, thereby transforming it into a space for post-material consumption? Can we create a new space – one sublime in scale and spectacular in content – a Fifth Ecology springing forth from the L.A. River that once united those familiar landscapes – the mountains and the beach? Los Angeles has always been a place where new ideas are generated, take root, grow and flourish, later to be commoditized and finally exported to the rest of the world. These new kinds of spaces, springing forth from the fertile ground of dynamic cultural diversity and extreme lifestyle patterns, are Los Angeles’ unique potential. L.A. is a city of destinations, rather than continuity, and public space exists as finite points in both space and time. Can we transplant this experience of noncommercial space in a hyper-public, super-scale or of a semi-public individual scale, to other places and other contexts? Looking beyond the present motopia that we recognize as L.A., we find an individualistic and landscape-scaled concept of public space. Perhaps here lies the key to a post-material urban alternative. Henrietta Palmer, professor in Architecture Michael Dudley, teacher in Architecture

THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

The Mountains

The Beach

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The current global crisis is not just a financial crisis, but an urban crisis. It is the financial crisis of suburbanization. After the recent sixty years of fossil addiction, desire-driven consumption and frantic mass production, the systematic inadequacies of the suburban lifestyle have become apparent in all segments of the American society. Americans have been living beyond their means. They’ve used illusory housing wealth and enormous amounts of fossil fuel and foreign capital to consume more than they produce. This has become evident as Americans lose their jobs, leave their homes and decrease their travel mileage. It is predicted that there will be a surplus of 22 million large-lot homes in the United States by 2025. People simply can’t afford to pay their mortgages. Instead, companies have found a new market in painting suburban lawns green. Actors are hired to play the part of ordinary families, since the real homeowners are now absent. Business as usual has become merely a facade.

renewables. Is it possible to use this opportunity and create a green collar job sector and stabilize the economy? Or will we once again turn to familiar, shortsighted solutions focused on material comforts for a selected few, leaving our collective responsibility for the planet out of the equation?

The amount of money spent trying to save the too big to failinstitutions has been enormous. And the car market is saturated. It’s estimated that there are 225 million Americans aged 18 or older. At their disposal are 243 million passenger cars, SUVs and light and heavy trucks. Thus, every adult American can sit behind a steering wheel at the same time and still leave another 20 million vehicles sitting idle in driveways and parking lots. Cars are now in the same archaic category as refrigerators and land-line telephones.

The Long Depression of the 1870’s was perhaps the first time this strategy was implemented. Then, rising industries like railroads, petroleum and steel were consolidated while old ones failed, and the United States remade itself from an agricultural power into an industrial one. A period of remarkable innovation and growth followed.

The basic requirement for the suburban paradigm was an unlimited supply of fossil fuel. Since this turned out to be a false presumption, rising gas prices has made people turn to alternative modes of transportation. In 2004 bikes outsold cars for the first time since the oil crisis in the seventies. And rapper Puff Daddy leaves his private jet at home, and flies regular with American Airlines. The time has come for an acute transformation of habits and lifestyles together with a transition to energy independence based on 4

Americans are masters in the art of using a crisis to clear away the old and make way for the new. They have re-envisioned that old American dream over and over again and reinvented their ways of living, working and producing.

The same kind of reinvention was then repeated after the Great Depression in the 1930’s. The United States combined the forces of mass production and mass consumption, which together formed the prosperous years that defined the American century. Fordism became the economic model and suburbanization the imprint in the landscape. That system is now in a crisis of unprecedented proportions. At the same time, the long-held sentiments of grass roots-movements are finally beginning to echo on a global scale. Policy makers at all levels speak of the urgency of find strategies for handling our limited resources. A mind-shift is in order. Is America up for the challenge? Are we? THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

The financial bailout of 2008 in comparison with the costs of some other historic American events.

The Marshall Plan The NASA’s all time budget The Moonshot The Korean War The Louisiana Purchase The Vietnam War The New Deal The Savings and Loan Crisis The Gulf War

2008 Bailout

“A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.” Paul Romer, Stanford Economist

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Spectacular morality is the driving force for positive environmental action. While the reason for our individual choices may vary, the ultimate desire for a spectacular result is universal. The notion of ‘saving the world’ can’t be relied on to produce wholesale changes to life patterns. Something more tangible, inclusive and alluring is needed. Spectacular morality takes center stage in the spectacular city, a place where the public realm is a theater for its vibrant citizens. In the spectacular city the concert outplays the CD, the after-party overshadows the show, and the entire event is remembered and judged by the stories that are told. Style and exclusivity are influenced by the “I was there for that”-factor. Ownership of object and place are only worth the experience that results from them. With its insatiable crave for the latest trends, no place provides a better setting for the movement of spectacular morality than Los Angeles. As both a talented, multicultural metropolis and a city caught in the grip of the suburban paradigm, Los Angeles is a place where problem and potential are equally extreme. Positive environmental change is contingent on a shift towards postmateriality. Increased access by the consumer is needed to the practices and operations of the supplier. This transparency will revolutionize all sectors of city life; public as well as private. Increased access in the spectacular city is not an adaptation of the functionalist, see-through-glass-walls ideal, but rather an increased understanding of the city’s fluctuations and events. Real-time updates will inform the public on the facts, trends, and issues that matter most to them. The ebb and flow of the city will be visible directly within the built environment in a pragmatic way, affecting the behavior and activity of its citizens. 6

Increased access will also affect the individual by raising awareness of the consequences of over-consumption. As people begin to understand the amount of waste they are responsible for, and the impact this has on their own environment, the shift from objects to events, from goods to services, and from owning to borrowing will follow. Such a shift will be felt in the political and financial sectors as investments and strategies are reallocated. Businesses and politicians will be less ambiguous and open to greater scrutiny. They will feel pressure from an enlightened public to be a part of the solution, rather than the problem. This new transparency has additional social and urban implications. When the collective dependencies of cultures are highlighted, the possibility of understanding the varying needs increases as well. Previously unknown opportunities will be discovered in social and ethnic circles different from one’s own. A dynamic, new sense of ‘cityness’ is created. With increased access, the spectacular city will create a new framework for ground breaking thought and process. It will promote and develop the basic environmental ideals that are crucial to positive environmental change. With the focus on promoting spectacular morality, rather than forced ideals, there is a real chance to wake up to a new green American dream. THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

“What cannot be overcome with simple reason, must be subverted with glamour.” Bruce Sterling, Author

“Efforts that increase transparency, improve governance and strengthen the rule of law benefit all elements of society.” Muhtar A. Kent, CEO of The Coca-Cola Company

Scenarios on access and materiality What consequences does different degrees of access and materiality have for the organisation of the city and its functions? Using transportation as an example, the scenario quadrant below outline four different visions of Los Angeles mobility.

Makes it more fun to commute! Connect to the streetscape by sharing the ride to work with people you know!

Car

Bike commuting was never this easy! Taking the bike with you on board the metro, buses and railway is the best way to increase travel range!

Multimodality

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In your own car it’s just you, the gasoline and no communication with other drivers.

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Travel Classes in Mass Transit

Use first class mass transit and you don’t need to mix with other people! While getting there on time, you can surf the internet and have a cup of coffee!

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 The Fifth Ecology will be a test ground for a post-material American dream. The Los Angeles River will be its point of departure. This is a river we have all seen in movies. In reality, even an Angelino would have a hard time finding it. Nevertheless, the Los Angeles River is the very origin of the city. Today, it carries dirty drainage water through a gated concrete ditch. The Fifth Ecology will be created in and around the river. This ecology will be distinctly urban, specific to Los Angeles, and will host humans, animals, lifestyles, infrastructure and waste. These will be formal and informal actors in Los Angeles’ great leap towards becoming a sustainable megacity. The Fifth Ecology will be its spectacular shop window.   The river is the link between Los Angeles two grand landscapes: the mountains and the ocean. A few months a year it carries the winter storm water from the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountain ranges to the Pacific Ocean. Once holy to the Tongva tribe, and praised by its settlers, Los Angeles grew up around its seasonal river. In an effort to control flooding, the Army Corps of Engineering paved the river. As a consequence, the power of the floods increased since the water was no longer absorbed by the soil. Today, the rain water from the mountains merges with dirty runoff from the streets. During the dry season, the river is nothing more than a small stream of treated sewage water in an all but empty concrete channel. Degraded to a forgotten storm drain, the river was made iconic in movies but sidestepped as a life-giver. 8

This thwarted ecological system has been consumed and transformed by a massive urban fabric. In this decisive moment in time, when new ideas are required for our urban landscapes, the river and its water will prove too valuable to waste. The river is a resource that can fuel a new urban ecology by cross-fertilizing with the city around it. Los Angeles is a city of excess. In the Fifth Ecology, the city’s abundances must be used as resources.  During the last century, Los Angeles has been both hated and loved as an example of urban and demographic change. The world’s first motopia now has a Latino majority and is one of earth’s most multicultural regions. In the wake of the environmental and economical crisis of suburbia, Los Angeles is a dense city and grassroots movements are booming in a fight for creative urban development. Despite the city’s violent and dramatic history, Los Angeles is still our capital of desire. The Fifth Ecology might be what keeps it that way.

THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

“Los Angeles may be one of the most photographed cities in the world, but its one of the least photogenic. It’s not Paris or New York. In smoggy cities like Los Angeles everything dissolves into the distance and even stuff that’s close up seem far off. The river is very sharp and recognizable in comparison to that.” Thom Andersen, director of Los Angeles Plays Itself

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A stretch with no specific beginning or ending. A place to see and be seen in. A space defined by myth, spectacle, expectation and experience. The Los Angeles River is transformed into a great American public space – The Post-motopian Strip.

A new urban strategy for the Los Angeles River area is inspired by the charm bracelet. The chain with its lucky charms that signify important events in the life of the wearer is combined with the American strip typology to create a place filled with spectacular morality and a new notion of access. The Strip is defined as a route that one can enter at any point along its length and experience while in motion. It is an urban corridor, utilizing the areas, existing functions, buildings and infrastructure it passes through in order to support it. The lucky charms take the form of a series of urban interventions while the Strip forms the bracelet that connect them along the river. The charms consist of unique zones that act as thematic generators for the Strip, interacting with the neighborhoods they meet along their way. They cross the river, thereby physically and symbolically bridging its two sides. Because nowhere is the divide between east and west more apparent than along the stretch of river located downtown. The placement of the Strip at this strategic point enables it to act as an attractor with its charms tying to the city that surround them, knitting the urban fabric together 10

at its most disconnected point. Since the charms are based on the areas they connect to, they become a source of pride for the surrounding communities, fueling further growth. The quality of the Strip as an endless chain suggests that it can grow and transform over time, either by expanding outward or increasing in length, thereby becoming a model for continued urban growth with regional implications. While some features of the Strip should be civic initiatives, others are more appropriate for bottom-up strategies. Combining the formal and informal, and turning exhibitionism and spectacularity into a new content for the city, is a strategy stemming from the qualities that make Los Angeles unique. The Strip becomes a tool for bridging the gap that presently exists along the river and provides a mediating ground – a free zone for spectacular and unexpected events to occur. The Post-motopian Strip enables the lost river to re-emerge. It can become a new type of American public space along a transformed riverbed.

THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

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The Los Angeles great divide is between east and west. Its exact borders are constantly contested. East L.A. is almost entirely latino while the West Side is predominantly white. Nowhere is the economical and physical division more apparent than along the stretch of river between the business district downtown and Boyle Heights in East L.A.

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THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

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All about Stripping Is there place for a new Strip in 21st century Los Angeles? Many of the most characteristic urban spaces in Los Angeles could be concidered ‘stretches’ rather than ‘districts’. A tradition of mobility has resulted in the city’s many iconic Strips. Landmarks through which to navigate, meet, consume, and move. The existing strips in Los Angeles all consist of a series of diverse zones. Often there are undefined areas in between, but the Strip ties them together. Analysing these areas created the foundation for a proposed development of a new Strip along the Los Angeles River. The Los Angeles River Strip is a boardwalk Strip on the site of the former train tracks to the east side of the river. It is 10 meters wide and stretches nearly five kilometers. It is a cool, shaded space for pedestrians and bikers, segways and skaters, entertainers and chess players. In order to create an attractive public space, the Strip was developed along certain guidelines and principles. The area is city-owned and has zoning codes that require all developments to be accessed by public transportation and naturally cooled, and that they produce energy. Because of its scale, the content and atmosphere of The Strip will stand out from the rest of the city. All Strip-front properties must have an active relationship to the Strip. Property owners will have obligations to and benefits from the Strip and its complementary elements. 14

The Los Angeles River Strip is a pedestrian stretch supporting formal and informal initiatives THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

Melrose Avenue

Venice Beach Boardwalk

Los Angeles River Strip

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Pocket Stripping

Green & Wildlife – Hummingbird Feeder Park

How can new public space infiltrate the existing urban fabric? Many great parks and public spaces in Los Angeles have been lost over time. They were transformed into parking lots and other single-use facilities. This has resulted in a low acreage of public space in Los Angeles, comparative to other North American cities. At the same time, the garden cities of Los Angeles, like for example residential Boyle Heights, are some of the densest areas in the United States. Several families now live in what were once single-family homes, and backyards have been transformed into parking spaces and additional housing.

Pocket Public Space The Pockets are a strategy to recreating public space in Los Angeles. It is a process that actively takes on key in-between spaces. Sometimes a building, an abandoned parking lot, an easement, part of a street or alley needs to make room for a Pocket Public Space. On the Strip, the Pocket Spaces have the same integrity as the built structures that draw people to the Strip from Mission Street. The City of Los Angeles plays an important role by successively buying leftover land from private property owners. These spaces are then sought after by the city or private entrepreneurs. 16

A Pocket Space is a place to recover, work out, sit down, play a board game, or barbeque with friends and family. It can be a small park, a number of small pools, or a playground. It is a place to feel safe, yet intrigued. Their scale is reminiscent of the private backyards that make up so much of the city. The pockets are organized into three main themes: Water & Cooling, Green & Wildlife, and Activity & Sport. The Pockets will start along the Strip and eventually spread into the Downtown area and Boyle Heights. They sprinkle public space into nearby neighborhoods and recreate trust among its residents. The Overall Pocket Program guarantees the quality and variety of the pockets. Creating Pocket Public Space in the downtown area becomes an issue of environmental justice. Alongside the Pocket Public Spaces is the Field of Opportunities, where the real estate owners are provided with an additional space to develop. A part of these spaces are always accessible and reserved for non-gated, public/private use.

Activity & Sport – Bodycult Park

Water & Cooling – Pocket Pool Park THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

Diagrammatic Section of the the Strip

Train Tracks

Pocket Public Space Field of Opportunities

The Terraced Clean Slope Clean and Lean Machine

Train tracks

Second River

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2nd River

The Strip

The Strip

Property Cooled by the Second River

Property cooled by the 2nd River

Zoning code, typical The Strip, Los Angeles, CA

Elements of the Strip

Legend: Boardwalk

S.P:

Strip Property, any development includes CO2 independant energysystem public programming of stripfacing facade.

F.A:

Future Advantage, the advantage right for propertyowner of S.P with same number to buy lot for incorporation in established S.P

F.O:

Field of Opportunities, the right for propertyowner of S.P with same number to use and maintain the land for non-gated activities.

F.W.U:

Flood Water Usage, the right for usage of floodwater exceeding levels of 20 inches midchannel

Second River Algaedes River Slopes Contain-O-Pod Pocket Space F.W.U #16

S.R.R.W:Second River Right-of-Way, land spared for the public Second River including 4 feet of passageway on each side.

Zoning Code, Contain-O-Pod Cool Stop

F.W.U #16 F.O. #16

S.P. #16

ion

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F.A. #16

F.W.U #16

F.W.U #18

F.W.U #19

F.O.#18 S.R.R.

W

F.O.#19

F.O. #17

S.R.R.W

S.R.R.W

S.P. #17

F.A. #17

S.P. #18

S.P. #19

F.A. #18

F.A. #19

100 Meters

The Contain-O-Pods along the Strip are used for both waste removal and personal transport. The Cool Stop is where the passengers get on those ContainO-Pods which are dedicated to personal transport. Connecting Mission Street and the Strip, the Cool Stop also work as an entrance to the Strip for people arriving on foot or by bike. Kungl. konstHรถgskolan: RESOURCES.08

The Sponges are a recurrent feature on the Strip embracing the so called Second River. The Sponges catch the wind and cool the water of the second, creating a refreshing breeze. The construction itself is a public space providing new surfaces for playing and relaxing. The small ponds connected to the Sponges glitter in the sunshine.

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The Algae from the Green Ray is collected at the Sears Palace where i biogas is produced and algae oil is extracted

SUN

CO2

3600 TON/YEAR

RIVER

WATER

O2

THE GREEN RAY: 40.000 M (10 ACRES) 2

AL

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/ ON 0T 26 (1

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SEA BIOG RS PALA C AS P LANT E

L.A. RIVER

CLEAN WATER ALGAE OIL

BIOGAS

Cool’n’Clean Stripping Can algae be productive, cooling and poetic at the same time? The Green Ray The production of Algae as an energy source is here used to create public space. Along the Los Angeles River Strip an urban algae farm is introduced: The Green Ray. Transparent pipes of flowing algae are creating an arcade. Exposure to direct sunlight enables the algae to grow and bloom with spectacular intensity, and a shaded walking space is created below – The Green Ray. While some kinds of algae grow in sunlight, some others need a light source from within the pipes. Still others are fluorescent and emit light themselves. In daytime, the Strip is a beaming, green place for a multitude of activities. At night, the ponds will glow and glitter in the dark, becoming decorative, symbolic, productive and functional. Strolling along the Strip is a legible synergi between the natural and the manmade. The Second River In addition to the Green Ray, the Strip is supported by the Second River. Using clean water from the the new urban wetlands of Laguna Fields, the Second River provides additional evaporative cooling. The water lily ponds add to the ambiance of the Strip while also producing energy. During the hot summer days people can take off their shoes and splash about. 18

The Green Ray creates a shadowed space along the Strip THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

The Terraced Clean Slope Beginning upstream at the Laguna Fields, a series of canals divert the river water. The river’s natural drop in height allows the canals to slowly raise the water up to the level of the Strip. The water is cleaned by the plants along the way. Placed every half-meter in height, the canals form a terraced slope adjacent to the Strip. The length deviates as each canal adapts to the variations in the natural terrain. The average length of these meandering canals is about one kilometer. Pocket Public Spaces are connected along the terraces with bikeways and walkways. These spaces are used for education, entertainment, and recreation. Since the slope is always wet, it provides a cool atmosphere and the opportunity for water to percolate. The water also supplies local cooling and is used for irrigation. Underneath the Terraced Clean Slope flush turbines produce energy when the river floods.

The Terraced Clean Slope cleans the water and makes the river bank an accessivble public space

A Green Ray is an optical phenomena occurring shortly after sunset or before sunrise. Numerous attempts have been made in literature, film, music and art to try and capture its elusive nature. The Green Ray phenomenon only occurs when the air is clean. The Green Ray is a signage of the Spectacular City.

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Venice Beach Boardwalk

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THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

Venice Beach

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Athletic Highway Can a multifaceted sports facility be located on elevated tracks? The Athletic Highway provides downtown Los Angeles with a much needed sports, experience and recreational hub for people living and working in the area. Various activities are connected by ten wide running and biking tracks. With a view over the cityscape in the west and the mountains in the east it works as a catalyst for small scale social change. It creating a physical interface for meeting places between different social groups that normally wouldn’t meet on equal levels. Housing is dispersed throughout the areas for sports and business to provide a wider range of users and inhabitants. A hidden function of the Athletic Highway is the way it generates energy. The running tracks transform kinetic energy and the windturbine is a multifunctional structure which also cools the air in the surrounding facilities. This has attracted investors that normally wouldn’t be interested in developing sports facilities. And the other way around, the traditional investors of sports fields and housing have begun to provide energy producing units. 22

Existing indu strial

parcels

Commercial /Indoor Uni ts

The Athletic Highway seen from the Cornfield THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

The Elevated Sports are built as a multilayered and multifuntional facility that uses the void over the existing land to create a new and elevated cityscape. It connects the Strip to the Cornfield and provides a walk- and bikeable connectionto the Dodger Stadium.

Housing units Single housing units Two bedrooms units Three bedrooms units

New lots for housing, on the new elevated ground New elevated surfaces, using the void over the old parking lots Elevated Runway, the new pedestrian highway connecting the Strip with the Cornfield and functioning as a link between the different elevated surfaces

New elevated ground on the rooftops of existing two-level industrial buildings, used for sports activities such as basketball, climbing, roller skating

Wind Tunnels for transporting air into the underground cooling systems are run by solar panels

Indoor spaces for activities and experience consumption, using the spaces and buildings below the elevated surfaces

Two-level industrial buildings Parking lots on ground level New and public walkable space below the elevated surfaces

Sports arena for commercial use towards the Strip

The fastest way from the Athletic Highway to the Dodgers Stadium is the zipline. This aerial runway connection use trolleys on suspended wires to provide spectacular views.

The Cornfield is redeveloped for sports and recreation

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Housing Areas: single and double apartments, for rent and owning.

Company Owned Sponsored Facili Such as the L.A. L basketball courts

University Owned: The surrounding universities provide facilities for their students and staff. City Owned: Sportsgrounds with basic facilities open for the public. Organizes  tournaments and coordinates events for the different interest groups.

The different ownership methods within the sportsfields, create a diversity of social groupings, by the way housing, power production and experience industry comes together. 24

THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

Own What You Need Movement Individuals own and share a co-owned field. Part of a larger movement of consumers who want to be in control of their consumption on an ethical and environmental level. 

d, ities: Lakers

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At foot in Pacific Palisades

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THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

At foot along the Los Angeles River

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Laguna Fields Can infrastructure work as a wetland, cleaning water and preventing flash floods? Given its urban location, the Los Angeles River requires a complicated control system to cope with flash floods. This entails a large amount of soil for drainage. However, property in the downtown area is expensive, and undeveloped parcels of land are impractical. This dilemma is solved by creating a dynamic urban wetland that is both functional and in use by human and animal inhabitants. The wetlands of Laguna Fields actively clean water all year long. During normal weather conditions it works at a low capacity. During the wet months it reduces the danger of flooding by absorbing vast amounts of water. The cleansing process relies on the reed plants growing in the wetland to filter and absorb the harmful particles that normally pollute the water. Even after they’re trimmed, the reeds still plays an important role. Some are harvested and packaged to create the basic building material for a new Pocket Island. Some are transformed into bio fuel. To create a sense of urbanity and an a sustainable economical model, the built environment of the Laguna Fields has a higher density than what’s typically found in Los Angeles. These areas have a F.A.R. (floor area ratio) between 2 and 4. 28

Walking Through the Laguna Fields “Every day during the summer I go for a walk with my wife. The Laguna Fields have become our haven. They’re like a piece of the wilderness tucked into the heart of our city. Since we are old, we can no longer travel much. Thanks to the fields, though, we don’t have to. We find beauty in all the newfound growth. I love the birch trees, the willow trees, and the black chokeberries that the birds munch on. The kingbirds, gray warblers and swallows have all found a nesting place. I can’t say I really understand how it all works, to be honest. I’m just happy we have a quiet, cool place where we can hear the birds chirp.” Pablo, 78 years, retired

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FILTER PROCESS

Filter Process VEGETATION Vegetation

A New Home for a Variety of Species Flowers/shrubbery Douglas Iris Mugwart Stipa Wild Grape Cattails Currents Mulefat Meadow Rue Water Cress

Trees California Bay Laurel Toyon Western Sycamore White Alder Arroyo Willow Pacific Willow Black Cotton Wood

Amphibians California Tree Frog Common Kingsnake Pacific Salamander Pacific Tree Frog Southern Alligator Lizard Western Rattle Snake Western Toad

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Pocket Island

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Laguna Fields during the dry season (June-August)

River Pools Electroduct

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THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

First Pocket Island in the stream

“Roses of salt, mountains in the sea, divinity’s Islands!” Pablo Armando Fernández

Dense Urban Area (F.A.R. 2 to 4)

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The Creek Freak Island Story Bird watching enthusiast Sue Ellen, a former banker and actress, suffered a dramatic economic set back when she lost her job in 2009. After selling her car and dream house in Pasadena, she ended up renting an apartment in Lincoln Heights. Without a car it was impossible for Sue Ellen to drive north to Morro Bay to watch the birds, much less any further. As Sue Ellen gazed at the nearby river, she decided to take extreme action. Her admiration of the birds in Glendale Narrows convinced her that a wider variety of birds would thrive in Los Angeles if more places like that were created. But how could vegetation be sustained in such a wretched river where the water level fluctuates so frequently? After a successful fund raising event, Sue Ellen was able to construct the first island out of plastic bottles. Soon enough, plants were thriving and the birds arrived. Inspired by the Urus Islands in Lake Titicaca, the Pocket Islands are created by packaging together the buoyant reed stalks harvested from the Laguna Fields. These floating parcels of reeds provide small, usable spaces along the Los Angeles River while remaining resilient to the river’s sudden fluctuations. These Pocket Islands have a variety of uses: nature reserve for birds, picnic area, space for meditation, corporate functions, or even a private space. 31

Electroduct Could a new transport connection produce energy instead of using it? Will the Los Angeles River forever remain a concrete ditch, or is it realistic to believe it can be restored as a natural waterway? Imagine that a brand new ecosystem could be created with the introduction of even more infrastructure. What if the development of land actually led to the preservation of nature and more sustainable living conditions for all? Just as a beaver shapes the environment with every twig he moves, humans can do the same in a concrete jungle. The Electroduct is a multidimensional structure that adapts to the seasonal character of the river it transverses. Beyond its primary function as a link between two developing areas, the bridge will control the flow of the river and generate its own electricity. Built into the bridge is a hydrodynamic dam. When open, the bridge is resilient to periods of heavy flash floods. However, a majority of the year the water level is low. During this time the dam will be closed. As water reaches the edge of the river, several basins will be formed that can be enjoyed as public recreational areas. As these pools of water branch out further, the relation ship between the Strip and the river itself improves dramatically. An ancillary benefit of the dam is the ability to generate hydroelectricity with its built-in water turbines. However, with the Electroduct electricity is generated not only by the water that flows beneath it, but also by the people who walk across it. Using the principles of piezoelectricity, a small amount of energy is generated and captured every time pressure is applied. One person walking for an hour can create 50 watts of electricity.

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Green Ray algae energy production

Laguna Fields water cleaning reed production

The Strip the urban connector

THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

View of the Electroduct

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Every morning Gladys takes her daughter Sonya to school. Just a few years ago it would have required 1 hour. a car and taken more than an Now a trip to the District 9 School is just a half hour walk from their home in Boyle Heights. In the morning, the bridge is just a practical connection between the two sides of the river – it is in the evening all the fun starts. No matter how tired Sonya is from school, she can’t help but jump up and down all the way home, watching the spectacular display of lights on the other side. Gladys Del Pilar, Boyle Heights

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Section showing dam movements according to the water flow

Electroduct energy production

Urban Pools recreation & cooling

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River Dam control system water recycling

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The Walt Disney Concert Hall (secret) Garden, Downtown 34

THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

At Fritz Haeg’s House, Glassell Park Kungl. konstHögskolan: RESOURCES.08

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Main Stage For big outdoor events

Paradise City

The Artists Market Live music for sale

How can an archaic cityscape be transformed into an urban paradise? Los Angeles creates, hosts and markets a wide array of lifestyles. Which of these have the greatest potential in a post-material Los Angeles? Are these emerging lifestyles, like nature’s biological diversity, a sign of the city’s resilience? Los Angeles’ extravagant way of life and its limitless creativity are projected and displayed all over the world, but how is it revealed locally? The Piggyback Yard is an industrial area near the historic birthplace of Los Angeles. Diverse, dense, and segregated communities surround it. Situated at the crossroads of existing and developing infrastructure systems, it has the potential to become the public heart of central Los Angeles. From the Piggyback Yard’s southern tip, Paradise City shines like a lavish living room full of positive abundance.

Section of Paradise Hills showing the relation between infrastructure, housing and the park

The Los Angeles Cocktail of Public Space The slope of Paradise City provides hillside housing while framing the Piñata Basin and covering infrastructure. The basin is filled with trees and has an assortment of features and functions: grassy laws for barbecues, a custom car care center for classic, gasoline-fueled cars, a stage built upon a landfill, an artists market for hipsters, mariachis playing by the train tracks, lush greenery along the river, and a golden serpent in paradise – the solar panel covered Caesar Chavez. 36

THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

The Piñata Basin Open and shaded recreational areas.

The Spectacular Car Grooming Presenting your precious car

The Paradise Reload Market Picking up food while transfering The Tracos, informal food Metro Purple Line Ties West L.A. with LAC+USC and beyond

The Contain-O-Pod Waste ,people and goods transportation along the Strip

The Strip

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Excerpts from Sandra’s Blog, Strolling L.A.:

BIENVENIDOS! This is a personal blog dedicated to exploring the daily adventures of pedestrian Los Angeles. The blog touches upon the latest happenings related to walking and biking in Los Angeles. Thanks for reading and comments are always appreciated! Prisoners in Paradise – Tuesday, May 7th Today I walked along the Strip and ended up in Paradise City. I was greeted with the scent of barbecued meat as I admired a group of kids cheering on an Armenian Electro artist. And yet, there was enough space and tranquility for an afternoon nap. Where Paradise City hits the Strip, the music bounces between the train cars and the magnificent trees. The Motown Gasoline Dinosaurs had their weekly Sunday meeting at the waterfalls where they got a new shine and attentive love. Getting there is so easy - the purple-line subway, the pods, and the Strip’s walkways and bike paths all connect to paradise. Like they say, all roads leads to Paradise City… where the grass is green and the girls are pretty!

Artists Market Here residents can find the band of their choice: from traditional Mariachi to hipsters from Pittsburgh – it’s all there, available for any and all events.

Don’t miss the Mexican black metal band Avzhia on the Main Stage at 6 pm on Saturday. 4 Comments on ‘Prisoners in Paradise’: Jeremy said: So cool, I’m really jealous. I am out of town when Avzhia play their gig. Hope you guys have a great time. Blog on! 2:33 PM, Wednesday, May 8th

Xavier said: I think this place is totally overrated. I would rather spend my day in the mountains! 4.17 PM, Wednesday, May 8th

Victor said: Be sure to try out the fabulous tamales down by the train cars. It’s in the second train car from the north. Definitely worth the walk!

The Spectacular Car Grooming A place to show off your classic gasoline fueled car or admire other’s, as they’re cleaned using recycled river water through the waterfalls.

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1:15 PM, Thursday, May 9th

Andrea said: This is by far my favorite part of the Strip. It cannot be missed when you are in Los Angeles. 9.15 AM, Friday, May 10th

The Paradise City is based on turning abundances found in the surroundings into resources.

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Tracos Train cars transformed into informal bars and restaurants. The Piñata Basin Big enough for showing off, celebrating and recharging.

Cheeseburgers in Paradise!

Paradise Hills “It’s great to still be part of the rock scene, even if it’s in a more comfortable way,” says music mogul Jim G. “My house almost hangs on the hill slope and gives me a magnificent view of what is happening in Paradise.”

The Bowl of Trees A magnificent bowl with a variety of sizes and species. They connect the Strip with the hills and provide the ‘Paradisians’ with well-deserved shade.

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At the end of Olvera Street, Downtown

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THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

Carnitas Michoacan, Restaurant, Lincoln Heights

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The Furry Hub What if you could change trains and habits in the same place? The Furry Hub is an infracultural structure linking mobility, transparent recycling and cultural exchange. From here you can take the California High Speed train across the state and the nation. From the platform you reach the Food Pier that crosses the river and reconnects East 3rd Street. You can watch the silent and solar powered, transparent Contain-O-Pod system transporting waste and Angelinos on elevated rails. The garbage has the Sears Palace biogas facility as its final destination. The Cyclovia, on the east side, is a cluster of bikes and biking services. You can connect to the new Metro Gold Line stop on 1st Street Bridge. The train station and the Food Pier hybrid consists of simple and strong elements. The train station is conceived with a minimum-impact strategy by using existing structures as efficient as possible. This major infrastructural hub connects to all levels of transport – local, regional and trans-American. A new platform is added above the existing tracks. From this level a bike bridge reaches across to the east side where it connects the station with the Strip and the Cyclovia. Ticket counters are concentrated to 1st Street Bridge and on the Food Pier. 42

A sweeping roof covers the platform and stretches between the Food Pier and 1st Street Bridge. The roof is covered with solar-cell threads creating an energy producing fur-like surface visible from afar. The Food Pier has room for everyone! Resting across the river, it unites the two parts of East 3rd street and creates a funky link between Boyle Heights and Downtown. East 3rd Street on both sides of the pier develops into an informal continuation of the Food Pier. As you take the escalator from the tracks and step into the Food Pier, you are welcomed by the true scent of the Los Angeles soul. Here the whole array of the LA cuisine and diversity is found in a great bazaar-like tube. The Food Pier has two levels, one for storage and processing and one for cooking and eating. Goods and groceries arrive with the trains and are loaded from underneath straight into the structure. Grey water from food-processing is re-used for cooling of the storage rooms. The waste goes straight into the Contain-O-Pod system on the strip and turns into energy at Sears Palace biogas facility. THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

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Solar Threads

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1st Street Bridge

Contain-O-Pod

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THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

High Speed Rail Network A nationwide highspeed rail network increases railbound traveling and consequently reduces the amount of energy intensive domestic flights. Los Angeles is the west coast node in the network which also connect to Mexico with two lines.

“On casual business meetings we sit on the Food Pier because it is close to both CBD my train back home. Business people like how it is funky but clean, at least parts of it. When I have time in between meetings or trains I visit my old hood and get some real East L.A. food further down on East 3rd Street.” Antonio, 52, import executive, San Diego

Dodger Stadium

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“I think diversity is a great thing, at least in theory. In reality its not always that easy. My kids are more relaxed about it than I am. If the younger generation keeps an open mind we might see some real change. The Food Pier has room for everyone, though. We go there often with the family and take turns choosing what to eat. Sometimes it’s great and sometimes it’s ...well, not that great. But it is great fun to watch people and see what they eat. It’s also safe on the pier and not too expensive. ” Sheila, 42, stay-at-home mom, Canoga Park

The station and the Food Pier are the main formal parts of the Furry Hub. These strucures connect new infrastructure with existing and brings the world to a sleepy backwater of central Los Angeles.

CHINA TOWN

LA County-USC Medical Center 5

Laguna Fields

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“I moved to the US from Armenia many years ago. Now the Food Pier is my home. I say to Americans when they come with their bags tired from the train ride and want something to eat “Welcome to Los Angeles”. I love to say that, it makes me feel at home. I know most restaurant owners on the pier. You have to be mad to work as hard as we do. We are like teachers you know, teaching our culture through our cooking. It is a big reward when you see people try something new. We should go on a world tour, right? ” Agrippas, 55, restaurant owner, the Food Pier Kungl. konstHögskolan: RESOURCES.08

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Contain-O-Pod Rapid buslines Zip Line CA High Speed Rail AMTRAK & Metrolink

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Transit map of The Fifth Ecology Overlaying several kinds of mobility, the Fifth Ecology is a vortex for urban flows. Through a multi-modal transport strategy, vivid bike commuting can be seen during rush hours. 45

Terraced Bikepaths – Spectacular bike riding along the water.

The Cyclovía The Cyclovia is the alternative and informal part of the Furry Hub. It is a mix of bike activism, repair- and customization shops as well as big brand showrooms. In and around the Cyclovia bikes are an integral part of urban life.

Pedro and Jésus Combining the East L.A. culture of equipping cars with height adjustable suspension and their strong religious beliefs, Lighthouse church members Pedro and Jésus were the first to establish a bike customization shop along the river strip: “Missioning is really easy on one of these rides. People come up to us all the time and want to talk chrome, hydraulics and bikes. We just blend in the christian message into the conversation. It’s great fun. – Yeah, and we found out the strip would be a great place to establish ourselves. The auto repair shops that were here before were perfect, we just moved in with our bike toolboxes. – We provide spectacular bikes and sustainable beliefs. That’s what we do. All that talk about keeping the kids off the streets is phony. They should be on the streets but on a bike!” 46

How it all began: The alternative story of the Strip Interview with the director of documentary movie “Lords of the River” (Released 2015) ”Oh man, it was some ride. In a way it was a hopeless project making a documentary movie about it. I just wanted to try and capture the unique spirit of the whole cyclovia-movement. You know, it was all about capturing the present. And capturing it in the most spectacular way possible at the same time as we did something we really believed in. I also wanted to set the record straight with the film. Not that we deserve a medal for it or anything but we were there first. The alternative bike movement discovered what the place could be long before the businesses and politicians caught on. It was mostly Latino kids with nowhere to go as usual. They were out of control and tried everything that could be done with a bike. The thing I liked most was when we started to make our own bikes. We used scrap-metal from the car-repair shops that nobody wanted. But after a while we got really good at it. Some of the coolest brands today came out of those customized bikes. Then the big corporations moved down here to seem real and cool. I don’t really know what to make of it now. We had all kinds of biking clubs. And then it started to spill over into the clean, middle class-world. Suddenly we had like parents without petrol that moved down the freeways in clusters on bikes delivering their kids to daycare. It was a mobile revolution on wheels. I was totally for it when the Bikers Union established in an old warehouse here and then fought for the bike-ramp across the river to the station. So, it’s all good, but it became a bike Disneyland and I want to make people know it didn’t start that way. When I met Tony, one of the elders of this place, and heard all his stories, I knew I had to make this movie.” Benjamin Selassi Ramon Director of “Lords of the River”, Released 2015 THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

Storyboard: LORDS OF THE RIVER SCENES 40-46

Panoramic veiw of the strip Voice over: 80 years of American flood technology has unwittingly created a massive cement playground of unlimited potential. It took some drunk twenty-somethings to understand that potential.

Tony stands on the riverbank. Tony: I was divorced, broke and without a job. I was tired of seeing my people of East L.A. on shitty bikes being ashamed of not having a car. Biking is cool.

Zoom in to Tony’s eyes Tony: Bike activism movement became my family. We all hung out Downtown and became friends pretty much because of bikes.

Film clip: Bike jousting Voice Over (Tony): We drank alot. We did crazy things. We were considered outlaws by pretty much everybody in society. We were the true Lords of the River.

Film clip: Chicken race trollies Voice over(Tony): That legendary summer of 2010. The train tracks on the east side of the river were left unused for six months. We started chicken racing with trollies on those tracks. Anything we found became a tool for having fun.

Tony stands in Bike-o-Rama Bar Tony: I mean we were so fucked up by consumerism skateboarding was the only counterculture. And you’ve been able to buy that entire lifestyle at Urban Outfitters since the 90’s.

Film clip: Opening ceremony of the Strip Voice over: The Strip along the river is a great success. But how did this actually start, it depends on who you ask.

Tony stands on the riverbank: Tony: To someone who knows Los Angeles through the movies, it’s like everyone lives in the hills or by the beach. We changed that, and turned the river area into something of an urban dreamland.

Zoom in to Tony’s face Tony: We lived off the river. We even took baths in it. Of course now it’s clean but back then it was dirtier than the Ganges. [Toni laughs]

Film clip: One of Tony’s tall bikes Voice over (Tony): ”I loved to explain to people they could not buy my fantastic bike because it didn’t cost anything. It was all found objects put together. Creativity instead of money”.

Film clip: Proper middle class bikers with helmets Voice over (Tony): I mean, having bike jousting in the middle of the river is far from riverbank spinning classes. I’m all for the environment, but the way it’s done lacks spirit.

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Film clip: Tall bike race on riverbank The Terraced Bikepaths are fun and creative and all, but too planned. Biking on sloped concrete should be dangerous. I remember the thrill when those flash floods came.

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Inner-City Arts, Downtown/Skid Row 48

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Dog Tongue Town Are bionic forms the future in cooling for buildings and public spaces? Using a cooling system inspired by nature (biomimicry), this charm transforms the familiar Los Angeles block typology. Individual lots are shaped by the microclimate of the block, and the living spaces aim to generate greater social sustainability. The longstanding American tradition of community is re-interpreted. Irregular shaped blocks are exposed to a greater number of surrounding blocks than similarly sized square or rectangular ones would be. They create more opportunities for community interaction. The proximity of the blocks to the Strip, as well as their numerous pocket public spaces, allow for a densely built environment of efficient infrastructure. Street patterns create strong connections to adjacent neighborhoods. In Dog Tongue Town, a single developer builds each block. Homes of different sizes and configurations are created within the overall pattern as the inhabitants place orders and the developer meets their specific needs. Each home has a porch that passes from the streetside to the courtyard. These are private, unplanned spaces that tenants can use in their own way. The inner courtyards can only be reached through these porches, meaning they are shared, private spaces. These porches are inspired by the use of the frontyard and porch in the Latino Urbanist tradition found in the neighborhoods closeby. Just as in their precedent - the porches animate the street, but even create link to the courtyard. 50

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““I remember our first evening in the house. We were exhausted and sitting on the porch listening to the sounds from the street. Everything felt so distant from inside the courtyard. When we lost our home to foreclosure two years earlier, we felt like we had lost the dream. That night on the porch, we suddenly felt the possibility of another dream beginning. It was different and built upon something we had never before considered. Renting a home was new to us. So was the idea of having access to services and amenities we need but don’t necessarily want to own. The mix of housing sizes in the area allows us to consider moving to a bigger place one day without leaving the neighborhood, or maybe even our block! That’s so important to us. When you can suddenly imagine yourself staying somewhere for the long haul, and not just passing through, it completely changes your attitude towards that neighborhood. When people ask, I now proudly say, ‘we live by the river!” Michelle, 45, Teacher

Bionic Grid Development

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Leaf structure

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Dog Tongue Town Grid

The lots are devel by units

The lots are deve by units The lots are developp by units

The lots are developp by units The lots are developp by units

5. Block structure proposal

Places, gardens a dams are placed Places, gardens dams are placed Places, gardens and dams are placed

4.Community gardens and public dams are distributed throughout the area

Places, gardens and dams are placed Places, gardens and dams are placed

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Cooling and Dog Tongue Methods The blocks of Dog Tongue Town are divided using a method that stems from the research of Frei Otto. He studied the structural efficiency of soap bubbles and noted how such formations created the most volume with the least use of material and surface. The town’s design uses the same principles, albeit at a much different scale. The geometry of the blocks enables a cooling system that mimics a dog’s tongue. A dog doesn’t sweat, but rather evaporates excess heat through its tongue. When panting, the tongue’s wet surface manages to effectively cool the rest of the dog’s body. The cooling effect is optimized with a minimal loss of water. Since the city offers few surfaces where it can ‘sweat’ - this area responds by sweating locally, just as a dog’s tounge. In Dog’s Tongue Town, clean water from the canals along the Strip is brought into the area and distributed in an underground network. Mimicking a sponge, this network connects various containers of water that are filled during the winter floods. The water is distributed under the town’s streets and blocks. Each house has a wind catcher to guide air into the underground system. The air cools the water, which in turn cools both the houses and public spaces. The water continually circulates as heat is evacuated from the system. Based only on the natural properties of water and air, this microclimate cooling system replaces the need for air conditioning. Instead, homeowners have access to a shared system that provides natural, evaporative cooling for everyone. 52

3. The buyer has to devote 10% of his area to public space and maintain it.

Every lot opens1 surface to public Every lot opens10% o surface to public use

Every lot opens10% o surface to public use Every lot opens10% o surface to public use

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1. Water channels mimicing the distribution of water on the surface of the leaf

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THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

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“Total transparency is soo much of a driver for me, it’s toootally sustainalicious!!”

– Why should I care about my family? I’ve got my own life now. They never cared about me when I lived in the streets, but now when my fashion line and the compound product endorsements are good for 2 million dollars per year, they’re suddenly all over the place! – My marketing team is excellent. To recycle all the exclusive Biomimic stuff that I’ve used and worn in everything we 3D print and sell on site, is pure genius. They should be awarded with the Nobel Prize in marketing for that!

The Transparent Compound What happens with personal integrity when companies provide transparent living? For Brea, things happened quickly. The story of how his life turned into a transparent reality show advertising green design, is one of extreme ”being at the right place at the right time”-coincidence. Having no place to stay, he was an illegal squatter in a deserted freezer facility east of the river. Then things literally struck like a bolt from the blue. A joint coalition of global high fashion/design brands and local hipster ones decided to buy the land and turn it into a radically ransparent compound, where real life mannequins would live their entire lives in a built advertisement space. Brea was told: ”Either you’re in or we buy you out”, and he went for the first alternative. This is what he and those who later auditioned to become mannequins of the Transparent Compound got. Their life became the message. 54

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55 55

Rooftops Downtown/Skidrow 56

THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

Mexican Wrestling at The Mayan, Downtown Kungl. konstHรถgskolan: RESOURCES.08

57

Agrimids CAN DENSE, mULTIDIMENSIONAL RESIDENTIAL UNITS PRODUCE THEIR OWN CROPS? When the Spanish settlers came to Los Angeles in the 18th century, they discovered a lush and fertile terrain. They soon transformed the land into foodproducing gardens where beans, vines, olives, and oranges blossomed. A reinvention of this agricultural tradition is taking place in the food distribution district of downtown Los Angeles. The last few years have seen a growing need for independent, environmentally safe food production in urban environments. Pyramids of edible gardens have begun to rise up and provide space for gardening and social interaction. The healing qualities and educational benefits of these gardens are widely accepted. As people begin to develop stronger ties with the food they eat, the popularity of these urban structures will continue to grow. Design Concept Parking lots are converted into market spaces with apartment buildings built overhead. Open-air, agricultural pyramids are built over adjoining industrial buildings. Connections between the two allow the “agrimids” to be used as public gardens by the neighboring inhabitants. The residential buildings are divided into a maximum of four housing units that vary from 46 to 92 sq. meters and from 185 to 370 sq. meters. The Agrimids are used for sustainable gardening where one can grow flowers, bell peppers, hot peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, tomatillos, strawberries, spinach, parsley, leeks, edible lavender, and a variety of herbs.  58

Life in the public gardens inside the Agrimids

Mixing agriculture into an existing cityscape requires a complex building structure THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

The Agrimids provide urban agriculture in pyradmidshaped structures. They are multilayered and combine different functions to create an elevated cityscape. The Agrimids also create a spectacular walkspace between the Strip and the Wholesale Produce District, where it also connects to the Alameda Corridor- downtown Los Angeles most important transport spine. Water Lily Bridge The Agrimids

Agrimid connections Community gardens

Private gardens

Housing units (1-3 bedrooms)

Lots

New land

Public gardens

Market spaces

Unused industrial rooftops Used industrial rooftops Agrimid District The Strip

Cooling channels

Water lily pool

Kungl. konstHรถgskolan: RESOURCES.08

59

Water Management Water plays a key role as it cycles through the adjoining structures. Grey plumbing water from the residential units is reused to irrigate the crops on the Agrimid. What is not absorbed by the plant life passes through the building’s cooling system.  From there it travels along an underground channel towards the Los Angeles River. Before navigating through the Wetland Slope system, the water is collected in shaded pools where lilies are grown. Here, the water is cleansed by the lily’s natural filtration process and they in their turn are used to create bio energy. Business Concept  Small-scale California farmers are able to collaborate and invest in energy-efficient, food-producing gardens in the downtown food distribution district. This central access enables the distribution of healthy, fresh food to the whole of Los Angeles.  Development of the Agrimids is partially financed with income from the residential units, markets and exhibition halls. Individual housing units can be rented to workers or sold as group lots. Wholesalers can rent space in the different markets for further distribution. These market spaces can also be used as exhibition halls and rented out for events throughout the year.  The city of Los Angeles, in an effort to reduce its high number of barren parking lots, contributes funding as well. As the city becomes less dependent on cars, these spaces become natural sites for development and the source for sustained cash becomes more concentrated within the city. Additional contributions will come from film production studios and retail outlets. The spectacular nature of the pyramids lends itself perfectly to use in cinema and television. They become iconic set pieces in the next generation of films. The local garment industry could also use the flare and charm of these structures to attract business and boost sales. Social Benefits Introducing gardens in an industrial area improves the environment and provide opportunities for community involvement in a place where concrete, steel, and abandoned buildings currently dominate.   The Agrimid pyramids are a great vehicle for educating kids and adults on food production and ignite a renewed interest in Californian horticulture. By providing an opportunity for cooperative projects, they develop a new agricultural tradition.  The garden-pyramids house cafés, libraries, workshops, and exhibition spaces. 60

THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

Kungl. konstHรถgskolan: RESOURCES.08

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Sheats-Goldstein House, Beverly Hills 62

THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

At the Mercadito Parking, Boyle Heights Kungl. konstHรถgskolan: RESOURCES.08

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Non-Productive Entities Public arteries providing spectacular views Renting units for guest researchers and conference attendees

Sears Palace

The Rio Vista Center for Environmental Urban Studies Focusing on renewable energy and water issues in an urban context, the center is a node for conferences, seminars and informal meetings between global greentech conglomerates and local university and private researchers.

How do you make a biogas facility an icon of science? What’s most amazing is that you barely hear it. Solar panel-covered waste containers swish by on rail a few meters above your head, and you instantly realize how little you miss the old city full of noisy gasoline trucks. The waste is still all around you, but it flows in silence on elevated rails. This bloodstream has re-made the classic Sears building into the Sears Palace, a waste management bio gas facility of central Los Angeles and a node in the Rio Vista Center for Environmental Urban Studies. Providing a green collar jobs cluster for both skilled and unskilled labour, the Rio Vista Center is an incubator for a range of different environmental technology companies establishing themselves in Los Angeles. The central building, located in a former warehouse provides equipped laboratory renting units, apartments for guest researchers and conference attendees, and an environment for water and energy research, are provided in the central building, a redeveloped warehouse. A significant feature is also the Labs’R’Us science center for kids, where local school kids can perform science experiments in a controlled environment. The Rio Vista Center started with the ambitions to create a Clean tech Manufacturing Center by the former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. ”Los Angeles shall be the global capital of clean technology” he said in 2008, and he turned out to be halfway right. Being rightfully criticized as just a hyped up investment category fad, clean tech and its focus on hi-tech solutions needed a complimentary focus on the classic environmental technologies such as sewage treatment and garbage management. This duplex character is emphasized in The Rio Vista Center and the Sears Palace, providing a clean green glocality and a Silicon Valley-configuration for the 21st century. 64

As a Boyle Heights native, Oscar de la Hoya has invested a good part of his career earnings in Sears Palace, a bio gas facility providing the Strip with its entire electricity supply. When did you begin to think of redeveloping the then desolate Sears building into a bio gas palace? – For me, the Sears building was not first and foremost a historic cultural landmark, but an East Los Angeles landmark. I remember shopping there with my mother when I was a little kid and wanted to give something back to the Boyle Heights neighbourhood. – First, we wanted to create a mixed commercial and residential use for the Sears building but that resulted in concerns about gentrification. So we re-worked it to create local green collar jobs which made things more interesting to the community. – I love when Boyle Heights kids pass The Sears Palace with a sense of pride on their way home after a day of hands-on laboratory exercises in the Labs’R’Us center for kids. Oscar de la Hoya, 47, retired American boxer

The Contain-O-Pod system The solarpowered waste containers carry the strips organic waste, paper and combustibles to Sears Palace and nearby facilities on elevated rail. The system is monitored centrally and create no boundaries in ground level. Every fifth Contain-O-Pod is used for personal transport, which create mixed usage.

THE FIFTH ECOLOGY. Beyond Desire: Los Angeles

Productive Entities Private arteries connecting the buildings’ interior functions Flexible units containing the buildings’ functions: RentA-Lab, Labs’R’Us and research facilities

The Green Ray The algae and water from the Green Ray are first used to cool the roof and are then separated; the algae provide organic material for Sears Palace, the water is recycled into the dam.

Event Entities Auditoriums for conferences and seminars which always connect to the red arteries and with exterior views

Sears Palace Sears Palace is a biogas facility collecting organic waste from the Strip and Downtown Los Angeles. The biogas produced provide the Los Angeles bus fleet with fuel, and also run a heat engine to generate electricity distributed to the strip.

The Second River The Second River is used for large scale water treatment research in a dam environment.

Kungl. konstHögskolan: RESOURCES.08

Structural Entities The underlying warehouse

Cleantech Manufacturing Center The Villaraigosa Cleantech Manufacturing Center initiative is located on the western side of the river.

65

Project Participants: Per Aase Architect Mania Aghaei Meibodi Architect Maria Andersson Artist Patricia Aramburu Urban Designer Gerard Barangé Brun Architect Björn Berglund Civil Engineer Pernilla Glaser Author Olivier Gras Architect Jakob Ingemansson Architect Kalle Landin Urban Planner Anna Maria Larson Landscape Architect Mikael Lindahl Artist Karin Lindh Artist Sergio Montero Bravo Interior Architect Jennifer Rainsford Artist Magnus Stenmark Architect Måns Tham Architect Mikael Varhelyi Production Designer

Teachers Henrietta Palmer Architect and professor Michael Dudley Architect and teacher

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in architecture and urban studies. The school concerns itself with current issues relevant for the general public and investigates how these are connected to an architectural and urban discourse. It provides one-year courses in three disciplines including Architecture, Architectural Restoration and Art and Architecture, the latter conducted in conjunction with the Fine Arts department. Each course includes an extensive lecture series, which addresses the chosen theme in a comprehensive manner. Study trips are also an integral component of each curriculum. The goal of the School of Architecture is to engage society through the generation of relevant and tangible projects, as well as the creation of working networks for all involved that continue outside the academic realm. Projects that have their inception at the school often become independent platforms that continue to develop on their own.

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enviromentally sustainable waste handling

Independent Studios Big Image

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The invisible solution for an enviromentally sustainable waste handling

Our underground waste transport system remove waste in residential areas, large-scale catering establishment (restaurants and airports), city centre and hospitals in over 30 countries.

Our underground waste transport system remove waste in residential areas, large-scale catering establishment (restaurants and airports), city centre and hospitals in over 30 countries. Kungl. konstHögskolan: RESOURCES.08

www.envac.net 67

RESOURCES.08

Royal University College of Fine Arts, Dept of Architecture Box 163 15, 103 26 Stockholm, Sweden www.kkh.se


The Fifth Ecology