Wednesday, March 30, 2016

3rdLA: Three L.A.s, Three Olympiads

The Olympics is one of those subjects that falls almost perfectly into the framework of the Third Los Angeles Project. 

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The First L.A. had its Olympics in 1932, an effort to advertise the young city and its ambition to the world. The 1984 Summer Games were an almost perfect encapsulation of Second L.A.’s emphasis on privatization, a streamlined and profitable event during which the freeways magically flowed freely. Now -- thanks to cold feet and civic opposition in Boston -- L.A. has won the right to represent the United States in trying to land the 2024 Summer Olympics. What does the 2024 bid -- in its architecture and attitude about mobility and public space -- say about the Third Los Angeles and our emerging civic identity? Can that bid be leveraged to accelerate the construction of key markers of the Third L.A. like the Wilshire Boulevard subway or the reinvention of the L.A. River?

Featuring: Bill Hanway, head of global sports at AECOM and lead designer of the 2024 L.A. Olympic bid; Catherine Gudis, associate professor of history and director of the public history program at UC Riverside; Renata Simril, president of LA84 Foundation; and Frank Guridy, visiting associate professor of history, Columbia University (previous Oxy Billington professor) and author of the forthcoming book Assembly in the Fragmented City: A History of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

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