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Jack Skelley has over 25 years of experience at publications ranging from Harper’s magazine to the Los Angeles Times. He specializes in issues surrounding urban design, including architecture, real estate and urban planning. A senior partner at Paolucci Communication Arts, Skelley edits the firm’s “marketeering and urbaneering” e-newsletter and blog, The Hot Sheet. He serves on the Executive Committee of Urban Land Institute, Los Angeles and writes frequently for FORM, Urban Land and Riviera magazine, where he is a Contributing Writer. Other publications include Los Angeles magazine, LAist.com, Angeleno, Riviera Interiors, L.A. Weekly, Wired, Salon, Buzz, PlanNetizen.com, California Homes and California magazine. He is an active blogger on Politico, Curbed L.A., and Huffington Post.

Skelley recently co-edited a book, Los Angeles, Building the Polycentric City, for Congress for the New Urbanism. At Los Angeles Downtown News he served in a series of top positions, including Executive Editor and Associate Publisher.

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Jack Skelley

Entries in Michael Maltzan (2)

Tuesday
Oct122010

‘Densification’ Sounds More Appealing in an English Accent

CNN’s Richard Quest (Quest Means Busines) has new a series on problematic urban centers around the world. Guess which troubled berg made the list? Los Angeles stars in this recent installment with the veddy British Quest reciting L.A.’s standard list of shortcomings: dozens of cities in search of a center; unwalkable, unsustainable. It’s all true, of course, and architect Michael Maltzan and ULI Los Angeles’ Katherine Perez give good advice. The most palatable, most opportune solution is urban infill: Increasing density by building in already built-up areas. But why can’t Quest find where infill has already blossomed? Dozens of urban centers from Santa Ana to Santa Monica have vibrant mini-cities, where – even in our current recessionary disaster – economies have managed to survive if not thrive . And they’re much more livable than Quest’s L.A. clichés suggest.

--Jack Skelley

Thursday
Sep302010

The L.A. River Banks on Smart Development

Concept rendering of Piggyback Yard development along L.A. RiverWhen poet Lewis MacAdams founded Friends of the Los Angeles River 25 years – imagining a lifelong art project to return the bedraggled waterway to greatness and greenness – to some he might have seemed out to lunch. Now we know he was ahead of his time. (I have the distinction of writing the first-ever article about FOLAR; it was for Los Angeles Downtown News.) Witness the new Piggyback Yard plan. MacAdams has enlisted three top architecture firms to create a plan that not only creates green space along the Los Angeles River, it also performs a crucial flood-control role. The idea, reported in the New York Times, “is that on a few days each year, the river would overflow into the yard. The rest of the year, the land would be a park.” This flood-detention aspect is brilliantly essential to comprehensive revitalization, because flood-control was the reason for encasing the river in ugly, community-dividing concrete more than 50 years ago.

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