USC Price School of Public Policy Professor David Sloane provided the closing keynote for the 2017 Hollywood Economic Development Summit, hosted June 22 by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce at ArcLight Cinemas Hollywood.
The theme of the summit was building a more livable Hollywood, and Sloane noted the unique challenges Hollywood faces in planning for a city that is both a global brand and a Los Angeles community.
Sloane expressed how he’d like to see Hollywood become a city with complete streets, denser housing in appropriate spaces, an urban design palette, improved parks and open space, and healthier food options.“They say 25 million people go to Hollywood every year,” Sloane said. “That’s a lot of people. It’s hard to be that international brand of Hollywood and the local community of Hollywood. Those things conflict, and when there’s a growth spurt like there is now with L.A. attracting more tech companies and jobs, that creates more opportunity for conflict.”
His remarks bookended an opening keynote given by City of Los Angeles Planning Director Vince Bertoni. There were also three panel discussions focused on placemaking, how the community benefits when major companies move to the area and how residents view the benefits of revitalization.
An update of the Hollywood Community Plan released in conjunction with the summit looks as far forward as 2040.
Sloane presented his vision of Hollywood in 2040 as having streets lined by mid-rise buildings with both middle-class and luxury housing; six-story affordable housing next to a green alley; hotels; supportive housing spaces that offer help and home to most youth and adults who once lived on the community’s streets; and wider sidewalks having replaced street parking to provide pedestrian space and outdoor dining.
Sloane noted a palpable energy and effort at the summit to make Hollywood a better place, but he worries about the distinct residential and commercial factions coming together to execute a plan to benefit all. With its global brand, central location in L.A. and transit infrastructure, Hollywood has the potential to be a vibrant community thriving on a diverse base of residents, tourists and businesses.
“Several people came up to me afterward and said they felt the talk spoke to the issues they were concerned about,” Sloane said. “One of the things I tried to get across most clearly is that if Hollywood is going to get through this period, there has to be collaboration between residents, renters, business people and tourist businesses. It has to be a coordinated, collaborative effort.”