These California designers and their imaginations. Steve Price shows people what their towns might look like if they were rebuilt along Smart Growth principles. At Narrow Streets: Los Angeles, David Yoon takes comically overbuilt streets in L.A. and Photoshops them down to a human scale. Here’s his reinvention of Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park:
On Yoon’s site, when you click the fat version of a street the skinny image pops out alongside. It’s fun. He also takes location requests.
“I’m not saying that Narrow Streets is meant to be taken literally,” Yoon says. “I think of it as concept art, and like all concept art it’s meant to provoke discussion about the city, not as a foregone conclusion, but as a series of design choices. Sure, it’s a do-over fantasy. But hopefully it sparks the imagination to also wonder: are the rules of the city really set in concrete? We’re accustomed to our age of extreme makeovers when it comes to faces, bodies, and homes, but not our own urban environments. Time to ask: how can we re-invent what we have now?”
What we need now is some sort of giant street-squoosher to mash these monstrosities down to size. And a permit. Then again, if you have a squoosher, nobody’s gonna hassle you about permits.
Here’s the intersection of Van Nuys Street and Oxnard Boulevard:
Here’s First Street in Japantown: