'Village' solution to Valley's sprawl

From Times staff and wire reports

Downtown Los Angeles' renaissance -- the new Disney Concert Hall, new lofts and upscale apartments -- have grabbed the headlines recently, but the spotlight might shift north to the San Fernando Valley.

Real estate experts discussed the idea of reshaping the Valley's communities into "urban villages" at a half-day conference Wednesday on housing solutions for the densely populated, built-out area.

Experts envision the Valley's sprawl transformed into a string of communities, each with its own town center. Multi-unit residential housing would be mixed with entertainment venues, retail stores, restaurants and commercial space.

The goal is to "establish a town center through aesthetic, urban design," said Robert L. Scott, chairman of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley. "We enhance the working and living environment for residents, businesses and visitors."

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