Shade: a luxury amenity in LA

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Bus shelters are installed and maintained by the company that controls the ad rights. Photo credit: Monica Nouwens/Places Journal

Los Angeles is undergoing a transition, from sprawling, car-based culture to a denser, more urban region where people walk and use more mass transit.

For people to fully embrace this lifestyle, however, LA’s streetscape has to be more appealing to pedestrians. Many bus riders wait ages on parched sidewalks; pedestrians walk blocks in the burning sun.

As part of his Green New Deal, Mayor Eric Garcetti has promised to add an expansive shade canopy.

However, that might be easier said than done, at least according to Sam Bloch.

Bloch recently wrote a fascinating article in Places journal, examining “shade” in LA -- who has it, who is deprived of it, and he finds that for a web of bureaucratic, cultural, social and economic reasons, shade is deprioritized in Los Angeles, especially in less affluent neighborhoods.

Sam Bloch explains his findings, as well as changes that the city needs to make if it is to successfully plant 90,000 trees.