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When a surprisingly serene Carmageddon had Angelenos across the city uttering a collective, "Well, that wasn't so hard," GOOD wondered what a car-free Los Angeles would look like. Your submissions—in the form of models, sketches, exposition, and graphics—gave us an inspiring glimpse into what that future could be. Browse through our favorites and tell us which you makes you most willing to ditch the drive. Join us to continue the conversation at the Moving Beyond Cars Party this Thursday, August 11 from 7-10pm at the A+D Museum. Check out all the details on Facebook.
The 405 Green Footprints — Apple Restuccia
The 405 Green Footprints community gardens and bike lanes will be located between the Mulholland and Sunset Blvd exits. Area residents will have a great opportunity to create an edible landscape for hungry people. The footprints in the middle are allotments for a vegetable or flower gardens. The middle divider will be full of wildflowers to attract bees and fruit-bearing trees for anybody who is hungry. There will be bike lanes on both sides of the community garden. The side of the mountain can also be utilized for vertical edible gardening. Wooden benches and logs will encourage people who want to take it easy.
I was inspired by my three-year-old son's playfulness while creating this concept.
I am a stay-at-home mom who lives in Brentwood, and a guerilla gardener. I started my vegetable garden beside our building condo without HOA approval a year ago, and it is doing really well. My husband is an avid cyclist and I would love to go ride my bike as well, but I am too scared to go out with all the cars out there. I am currently taking a class on design sustainability through the UCLA extension program.
MASS WASH — Elizabeth Timme
A Los Angeles without cars is a city where architectural monuments become catalysts for place-making, creating local investment, and prioritizing people rather than capital. MASS Design Group's vision of L.A. shows that appropriate design can deliver well-built environments that are efficient, effective, and empowering.
Utopian Taxidermy 1 — Emily Smith
As a visual artist I am able to create a space that has life and vitality without the concerns of how it will function outside of my fantasies. In Utopian Taxidermy 1 I am exploring one of the many city/rural spaces that I see in my mind. It is a combination of many things that I love about Los Angeles and the more rural areas of my childhood. It is a place without noise, cars, or smog. A place of beauty and abstraction that you can only walk through with your eyes.
Let Nature Do What It Does Best — Jacques Annandale
Look around and see a city with fewer cars and roads and less worry. Take away the wasted roadway and see a city transformed. Green space improves air and water quality while providing additional farmland and space for people to exercise. This future is one free of foreign oil dependence, with renewable energy powering mass transit through the new "streets." It is time to take a step back and let nature do what it does best. This is Howard Hughes Parkway and the 405 highway.
Transgression: 110 — Francisco Arias and Jason Claypool
Street and location: SR-110 downtown between I-10 and U.S. 101
Most cities seek ways to expand their freeways, promoting our dependency on fuel while contributing to the deterioration of our environment.
Why don’t we do the opposite: significantly reduce the number of cars, introduce local/regional mass transit, and reclaim open space.
In this case the result is more than 150 feet of endless possibilities. A plethora of uses emerge from a place once considered taboo for pedestrians. The yearning for open space downtown is quenched with a fantastic/surreal alternative to cars tearing through downtown.
Taking a Dive — John Nelson
As the car becomes increasingly insignificant in Los Angeles, so will the infrastructure that serves it. Public streets will slowly become repurposed to serve as social nodes and junctions. Green space, public baths and pedestrian pathways will transform the matrix of pavement to foster local, community exchange. The car offered limitless access; ironically, it worked to isolate those from the communities in which they live. MASS's vision of a future focuses on the ability of public space to activate the areas once dominated by the car.
Where the Empire Meets It — Kanel Suos
This is a re-imagining of the intersection of Imperial Highway and Sepulveda Blvd. in El Segundo, just South of LAX International Airport. Appropriately, the airport sets the stage for this vision of a new form of transportation. In a world with no/fewer cars, people will take flight with their very own balloons bringing color to LA’s otherwise smoggy skies. And where else would we park our balloons but former car lots (bottom right).
And like a dragon-dog rising out of the ashes, FedEx revives its business model in a post-car world by re-branding itself as “FedExcelsior!” after spending billions of dollars to bio-engineer a fleet of delivery-luck-dragon-dogs dubbed Falcor Fleet 1. No gas needed to fuel these bearded beauties; just pizza and luck.
And now that the ancient empty streets are too dead for driving, LA County has gone green by laying solar panels on the inside lanes of all former freeways, creating the world’s most vast and ginormous network of solar power panels; dumping its reliance on non-renewable energy sources along the way. Ever Beyond, LA!
The Creative Culver City at Venice — Margaret Garcia
We re-imagined Venice Boulevard between McLaughlin Ave and Inglewood Boulevard. The three lanes and parking in each direction give ample space for buses, bikes and a new pedestrian scale streetscape. The parking lane is transformed into bus stops where riders can buy tickets and queue, reducing boarding times. Buses and bicycles each travel in their own lanes, keeping riders safe. The bike path is separated from the bus lane and pedestrian promenade by curbs giving added security to bikers and pedestrians. The median is expanded to include space for pop-up cafes and kiosks for the creative entrepreneurs of Culver City.
Sidewalk Avatars — Matthew Manos
If there are no streets, then there are no cars. If there are no cars and there are no streets, then we'll be walking a lot more. If we're walking a lot more, we should make sidewalks more exciting. Sidewalk Avatars imagines an average city block as a customizable terrain for walking. The sidewalk leverages facial recognition and mobile technology to instantly transform itself and conform to your customizable desires. Want to climb through treacherous mountains on the way to the book store? Got it. Want to swim through a gentle lake to get to your morning coffee? You bet.
Ten Years from NOW! — Nisha Namorando Vida
I made this image based on the idea that if we lived in a world without cars (or trucks!), everything about the way we live would change. We would be required to eat, learn, entertain ourselves, produce energy, seek medical care, etc. much closer to where we live. This is great since it means healthier, more vibrant neighborhoods!
Los Angeles Modular — Richard Risemberg
This is a map of Los Angeles redeveloped as a car-free city following the principles expounded by J. H. Crawford in the book Carfree Cities. Each circle represents a town-square community centered on a heavy rail transit line. The spaces in between could become parks or urban farms or even revert to wild land. This map is centered on the present-day Wilshire Corridor and superimposed on the current city. Created by J. H. Crawford, Arin Verner, and Richard Risemberg.
Grey L.A. — Stephanie Morrison
In the fiscal year 2009-2010, the city of Los Angeles used an estimated 193 billion gallons of water. Of those 193 billion gallons, only 10 percent came from the city’s ground water supply and only one percent was constituted from recycled water sources. The remaining 172 billion gallons were pumped down from mountains, across deserts, and through a very long drinking straw connecting Los Angeles to the Colorado River. As weather patterns change, and as development activity and populations increase, the pressure placed upon this already-fragile water supply system will only worsen. The ticket for the city of Los Angeles is to increase the one percent of the water supply coming from recycled sources by emphasizing water conservation, rain water harvesting, and reuse of grey water. So forget the pavement. In this dream scenario, Grey L.A., the streets are replaced with waterways sourced with grey water from all adjacent buildings (this includes wastewater from activities such as laundry, dishwashing, and bathing). While the waterways act as a vast grey water reservoir, vegetation also filters the water and provides a constructed wetland. Water can be drawn back into adjacent buildings for all non-potable uses, as well as be used for agricultural irrigation — perfect for urban micro farms. The best boon of all, however, is that these waterways create a highly public amenity; a gridded network of civic spaces that serve to educate and emphasize the importance of thoughtful conservation.