What Will L.A.’s Cleantech Corridor Look Like?

LA Cleantech Corridor


L.A. isn’t known as a leader in the cleantech industry. In California, that distinction falls squarely on the Bay Area–specifically Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Now L.A. hopes to get up to speed with the CleanTech Manufacturing Center, a proposed 20-acre “green” industrial park in the city, and local designers want to help with the planning process. At this month’s upcoming Dwell on Design conference, The Architect’s Newspaper and the Southern California Institute of Architecture will launch the Cleantech Corridor competition, challenging designers and architects to envision the new industrial park.

Sam Lubell, California editor of The Architect’s Newspaper, offers some advice to potential entrants in Dwell:

Architects should get to know the area and its many stakeholders and
realize there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. “Try to integrate not
just architecture, but urban planning and sustainability,” says Lubell.
“Be sensitive to who’s already there.” That challenge will prove to be what makes the Cleantech Corridor
unique to L.A.’s urban landscape, and what makes it so interesting,
says Zellner. “This will be more integrated, multi-use,
multi-modal—more like a real city.”

The Urban Land Institute has some ideas of its own for the Corridor. During a recent panel presentation for L.A. city officials, ULI suggested renaming the Corridor to the Industrial Arts District as a homage to the already established artist community in the area. The institute also had some construction suggestions:

“Repave the streets and the sidewalks,” which have been
historically overlooked by government, said panelist and New York-based
architect Thomas Curley. Once the basics are taken
care of, the panel suggested that the district set its sights on
greening the Los Angeles River and creating a space that could double
as an art park spanning both sides of the river, bounded by Fourth and
Sixth streets, Santa Fe Avenue, and east of the river, Mission Road.

We’re hoping that officials also take suggestions from Cleantech Corridor competition entrants. This is, after all, L.A’s shot at establishing itself as a cleantech hub–it had better be good.

Ariel Schwartz can be reached on Twitter or by email.


About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more