A City Built for a Strong Economy

on April 09, 2014

Share your experiences of life in Los Angeles as it relates to topics covered in the Zoning Code Evaluation Report.  

Explore this week’s theme: Jobs and Innovation


A City Built for a Strong Economy

The word “Industry” is often associated with factories, full of people assembling equipment or sewing garments. While the industry of old still exists today, providing essential jobs, goods, and services that we need to retain in Los Angeles, a lot can be achieved online. For many people, shopping, and getting to work are as easy as getting online. However, the rapid pace of change is creating far-reaching effects on a variety of levels, personally, professionally, and economically. The nature of many businesses, jobs, and growth platforms is different than it used to be, and sometimes requires new tools to stay competitive. Since our built environment can’t update as quickly as our mobile apps, we need to think strategically about how Los Angeles can both protect existing and promote emerging industries, all while satisfying worker needs.

Over the years, several economic and land use studies (including the Industrial Land Use Policy Project) have provided insight into the key industries that produce jobs and tax revenue for Los Angeles. These studies took into account the diversity of industries with their various land use requirements, as well as other important competing land uses that threaten the traditional industrial zones. The City needs to simultaneously preserve some traditionally-used industrial land for the essential industries that rely upon it, while also being flexible in accommodating new and emerging industries that improve our competition in this dynamic environment. To this end, a major priority of re:code LA is to foster zoning innovation for both existing and emerging industries as they contribute to the well-being of Los Angeles as a whole.


What Makes for Productive Business and Employee Work Environments?

In order to attract and retain businesses, we need to think about the best ways to utilize remaining industrial land and ensure that retail and housing are permitted in the right places. In many emerging fields, employee work environment is essential to productivity and helps shape land use needs and building designs. While some industries (e.g. food storage/distribution and the garment industry) need large parcels and rely on the synergy of nearby complementary industries, others need to mix, adapt, and expand uses (e.g., warehouses that are converted into creative office space, loft-style housing, or artist studios).

Some industries require separation from other uses in order to mitigate nuisances and preserve public health (e.g. auto dismantling). Other segments (like creative, business, and tech companies) require zoning that supports new open work environments, such as ‘coworking’ with amenities, that help employees achieve better live/work balance while simultaneously improving productivity.

We want to hear from you about your industry’s needs in terms of space and complementary businesses. We also want to know what aspects of your work space, as an employee, make for a productive environment, whether that work is creative, technical, physical, or interactive in nature

Here are some questions to help you get started: What features of your business site are vital to its overall success? What related businesses and services are important to have nearby? What features do you like about your workplace (e.g., on-site parks/plazas, nearby restaurants and retail, building mixed-use, ease of access, office flex space, proximity to home)? Which features do you wish there were more or less of at your workplace? Do you feel like your business lot is correctly zoned for its existing uses? What kind of design would you prefer? What is something unique about your workplace? Is it used for more than one purpose? How would you prefer to get to/from your work and other destinations? Is your workplace environment safe and easily accessible? What complaints have neighbors made about your business?

Think about these topics, and share your thoughts on MapIt. Need an example? Below is a sample MapIt post.