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FROM THIS EPISODE

Today four competing schemes for a renewed Pershing Square were unveiled. Tonight the design teams will present them to the public at Broadway's Palace Theater — and the crowd is expected to reach capacity. The teams, helmed by high profile landscape architects and architects, are offering up visions for a city square to meet the needs of LA's emerging downtown. A winner will be announced in May. But some big questions surround the proposed overhaul. Will it actually happen? Will local businesses join a public-private partnership and contribute to a multi-million-dollar overhaul? Can the park be lowered or the traffic around it be calmed? And what will the designs show us about competing trends in park and public space design — does its success depend on lots of programming or strong design?

Photo: One of the four proposals for a redesigned Pershing Square. This one comes from James Corner Field Operations with architect Frederick Fisher & Partners.

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