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Social Media in Placemaking and Tastemaking at Platform, LA

Published by USC Bedrosian Center on

by Brettany Shannon

Erin Mavian on LA#itself

Well, hello and goodbye, LA#itself listeners. Today is our final episode of this fall’s limited series podcast during which we’ve delved into how our digital culture is, as it implies, a cultural shift, one bearing daily ramifications on how we construct – literally and metaphorically – our cities.

Quite serendipitously, we conclude with the sector closest to planning, real estate development. In our teaching, planning and real estate professors convey how planners establish the regulatory framework and developers provide the vision for urban development. The two might and often do have different constituencies in mind (that is, planners need to take entire municipalities into account while developers focus on specific audiences), but both are centrally interested in and create the built environment, far more explicitly than our podcast’s previous guests.

And perhaps because of the two sectors’ closeness, today’s guest best illustrates LA#itself’s larger point: we as planners, developers, and anyone involved in urban physical and social placemaking can no longer reasonably think of digital communications, specifically social media, as distinct from contemporary city-making. If anything, the digital culture has expanded the purview of the real estate developers, making them tastemakers, as well as placemakers.

Erin Mavian is the COO of the LA- and NYC-based Runyon Group, a full-service real estate company working with high-end retailers, restaurants, and creative companies to provide their visitors and partners with unique experiences. She hosted me last week at their Culver City offices to discuss Runyon’s Hayden Tract-located flagship project, Platform, what it is, how they position it within the larger contemporary development climate, and how social media serves Platform’s success.

Enjoy Mavian’s many insights, and click below to learn more about Platform and Runyon.

Visit Platform virtually via the web, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. But as Erin says, the best way to experience a place is to go there in person at 8850 Washington Boulevard in Culver City. It’s right next to the Expo Line station and there is parking, too. You can also learn more about Runyon and the other projects we discussed here.



Los Angeles Hashtags Itself is produced by Aubrey Hicks, Jonathan Schwartz, and myself, and mixed by Corey Hedden.


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