'Can We Go Home Again?'

The article on Lynwood reads all too much like the rise and fall story of many Southern California communities.

If only urban planners, industrialists, civic officials and neighbors would learn a lesson from all this. Los Angeles is an "anti-model" for planned growth. That an All-American City such as Lynwood could be dealt such a fate in less than 30 years is astounding.

Hindsight judgments may be easy to make, but perhaps they are not being heard and understood well enough. It's so obvious to me, an L.A.-area native and counselor to urban "emigrants," how communities could have been preserved. I advise my clients, obviously, to avoid areas with L.A.'s haphazard development mentality and free-for-all life-style patterns.

The advice includes choosing towns with agricultural or green belts around them to avoid the "strip citification" that may occur when too many growing municipalities in close proximity start butting up against each other. While living in such places may mean fewer job opportunities, the trade-off is that the communities will have a strong sense of identity and self-preservation. All local institutions seem to work better when there is a clearly definable urban and rural boundary.

I applaud the efforts of South Pasadenans to stop the 110 Freeway extension, which would pierce the town's very heart, and probably doom it eventually to Lynwoodization. Freeways should be built (if at all) in a zone around a community's borders.


Director, Relocation Research

Sierra Madre

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