Opinion asked designers, artists and architects how the land in Chavez Ravine should be used:

Michael Sorkin is an architect and author of "Exquisite Corpse: Writing on Buildings" (Verso). This plan was devised by the Michael Sorkin Studio

Chavez Ravine is too valuable to build on, certainly too valuable to be a parking lot. The neighborhood scraped away 45 years ago cannot be recreated. Nor should anyone try: Los Angeles does not have a shortage of sites for development. What it lacks are parks and public spaces.

Dodger Stadium and its parking lots consume space too extravagantly for the fraction of the year they are in use. The solution is to use less space, to restrict the area (including parking) to a zone immediately adjacent to the stadium, freeing up the rest for parks and recreational areas where everyone in Los Angeles can enjoy the unsurpassed views and greenery.

By developing the immediate area of the stadium--say in a strip 100 yards or 150 yards wide--at very high density, enough revenue might be extracted to leverage the dramatic expansion of Elysian Park. The scheme (pictured on Page 1) is simply a sketch, but there seems little doubt that the desirability of overlooking the Dodger’s field of play would be a powerful magnet for hotels, housing, offices and other uses. Indeed, the stadium might--by adding an inflatable roof and other facilities--serve as a year-round recreation and convention center.


One more problem--a perennial one--must be solved: access. The periodic crunch of automobilism that turns Chavez Ravine into a site of toxic chaos can only be redressed by providing alternatives. Train service could run from Union Station on an existing line. But there can also be a monorail connection directly downtown--linking up with the subway--via the Pasadena Freeway right of way. It seems reasonable to tie all major improvements and additions to the city’s public space directly to public transit.

But why stop there? Why not look at the transformation of this stunning site as a point of departure? The park could extend in every direction through all available contiguous open space: toward downtown; through the rail yards, and up and down the Los Angeles River, linking up with Griffith Park and beyond.

The ultimate goal of this spread of green would be to join together as much of the city’s green space as possible, to create a new green grid, adding a new layer to L.A.’s earlier orders: the pueblo, the Jeffersonian grid, the rail net, and the freeway.

Big cities demand big plans.