Thursday, December 9, 2010
The Culture of Urban Infrastructure
At the junction of I-5 and Highway 134 is an invisible boundary that is only marked by the infrastructure that has culminated there. Our initial visit to the site forced us to investigate the role of infrastructure in context to its immediate surroundings, as well as to the city of Los Angeles. We soon realized that the infrastructure had caused a division of land that in turn led to the separation of land use and typologies. As planners turn their backs to the factories, power plants and freeways that constantly serve their needs, a deteriorating and decomposing affect takes place. It is in our best interest to examine this relationship, and to see if there is a solution to this land that its primary motive does not disregard its ambiguity, but rather embraces it.
Our concept is to rejoin these adjacent communities with an urban plan that as its most important function is to attach itself to the existing infrastructure. A bike path stretching from the Sepulveda Dam to Dodger Stadium will be the newly created infrastructure that allows for the re-stitching of these opposing sites. The bike path's fluid movement and the rigidity of the Jeffersonian grid collide on the most western part of the site creating a fusion of intersecting pathways that ultimately result in form.
As the bike path winds its way through the site, it intersects with the existing infrastructure. These moments of intervention can be seen in a variety of experiential forms. This concept is meant to promote an urban flow into an otherwise, undesirable part of the city. It is also, meant to generate discussions about the role of infrastructure in the city, and how as citizens we interact with these important aspects of identity.
When these spaces become used more frequently, their identity will change and adapt based on necessity. What once used to be a factory, is now an artist studio. What once used to by a recycling center, is now a park with overgrown trees and a red bike path that ribbons through it. However, the use of these transforming lots are completely dependent on urban flow and circulation. The more that people use this urban infrastructural site, the more likely cities, that support them, will be able to produce similar sites along the infrastructural borders. This concept will create new opportunities for Los Angeles' infrastructure to become a part of the city's cultural identity.