Since you might not have had the chance to meet all the ZAC members in person, we thought it would be fun to feature short profiles on each to help you get to know them better. We’d like to introduce Liz Falletta, who also serves as Chair of the ZAC Housing Affordability and Diversity Working Group.
Liz Falletta has been a resident of Los Angeles for nearly 20 years, having first moved to the City in 1996 to attend graduate school at SCI-Arc (Southern California Institute of Architecture), followed by a Master of Real Estate Development degree from USC. She currently lives in the City’s Eagle Rock neighborhood and is an Associate Professor of architecture and urban design at USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy.
Housing has been a passion of Liz's, both academically and professionally, since she first encountered the issue as a college student. She considers housing to be “one of the single most impactful things you can do as a planner, architect or developer.” Thinking about housing from diverse perspectives, Liz's views on this issue first took form with her proposal of an alternative design for the Pico-Aliso public housing site in her master’s thesis, and then, professionally, by developing one of the City’s very first small lot subdivisions, and teaching city planning and urban design at the graduate level.
Coming from a cross-disciplinary perspective, Liz recognizes that planning, real estate development, and architecture each has different ideas about what constitutes exemplary housing. She believes that "because we’re not looking at the same models of success, it can make it difficult to collaborate on projects.” As part of her efforts to bridge those gaps, Liz is currently working on a book about housing in Los Angeles. She hopes her book will encourage a cross-disciplinary understanding of housing, for students and practitioners alike, which will facilitate each perspective's view through the lens of others involved in housing development.
Liz says that “ . . . the City has a long tradition of innovation in housing that’s slowing down," with multiple factors influencing our housing stock, including demographic changes, financial markets, and shifting cultural attitudes. With these issues in mind, she hopes to contribute in her capacity as a ZAC member with the re:code LA team to “. . . make sure that our City codes and policies support continued experimentation and innovation in response to social change.” When she’s not busy thinking about how to encourage creative solutions to LA’s housing issues, Liz enjoys going to dance classes and walking around new parts of the City.
While it’s useful to talk about the issues our City needs to resolve, it’s a bit more fun to talk about some of the things we all have in common: namely, our Angeleno culture.
If you were a tour guide for a day, where would you take a friend visiting from out of town?
“I would take them Downtown because Downtown LA didn’t change, and didn’t change, and didn’t change and then suddenly everything shifted. As someone who’s lived here for a long time, it is really fun to watch that pace of change and to see how close and energized everything feels now, whereas before it seemed very desolate and distant. And I think, too, in terms of out-of-town guests, Downtown LA really challenges their assumptions and expectations about Los Angeles as a city.”
[Any place specific?]
"Certainly Grand Park, Grand Central Market, and, let’s see, Perch is definitely a good place. The Spring Street Park. I think we’d definitely go there. Ooh, the Ace Hotel. There’s seemingly something new every week!"
If somebody asked you to recommend a dish that could only be found in LA, what would you say?
“Kimchi, definitely kimchi. If I moved away, really good kimchi is one of the foods I would miss the most.”
Lakers or Clippers?
“Oh god…can that just be my response?”
Frozen yogurt, gelato or kale?
“Kale, sadly. Dairy is not my friend.”
As you may already know, we selected our 21 Zoning Advisory Committee (ZAC) members to represent the diverse interests and various stakeholder groups of Los Angeles. Reading their biographies, you can see that each brings exciting viewpoints and experiences to the re:code LA project. The ZAC have been working closely with our team over the past few months, and have already had a valuable impact on the Zoning Code Evaluation Report that will now move forward to City Council.