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Federal investigation find rampant sweatshop labor in L.A. factories

la factories, los angeles, garment workers, garment factories, labor violations, sweatshop labor, made in the USA, US garment workers, US labor violations, department of labor

If you’ve been buying US-made clothes in order to avoid funding sweatshop labor, we have bad news for you. The Department of Labor announced earlier in November that a massive investigation of 77 Southern California garment contractors found widespread minimum wage and overtime violations, affecting major retailers like Forever 21, T.J. Maxx, Ross, Macy’s, and Nordstrom. In some cases, workers were being paid as little as $4 per hour.

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Architects envision carbon-sucking solar makeover for a busy L.A. freeway

Michael Maltzan Architecture, Arup Los Angeles, Arroyo Seco Bridge, Arroyo Seco Bridge by Michael Maltzan Architecture, 134 Freeway, bridge, infrastructure, architecture, design, green freeway, green bridge, solar panels, rainwater collection, emissions, traffic, transportation

Freeways don’t have to be so darn drab. Built in 1953 and expanded in 1971, the Arroyo Seco Bridge on Los Angeles‘ 134 Freeway in Pasadena currently includes 10 traffic lanes. Its main purpose is to transport vehicles from Point A to Point B, but in the process it sends a huge amount of carbon emissions into the atmosphere and emits disruptive noise pollution. Michael Maltzan Architecture (MMA) and Arup Los Angeles designed a fix for the bridge, which includes a suite of solar panels and pile of carbon-sponging concrete.

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Their design transforms the bridge into a type of above-ground tunnel that MMA calls a “new infrastructural overlay.” Drivers would still be able to see through the tunnel, but elements like “acoustically insulated walls” and “porous concrete ‘lungs'” would dramatically slash pollution. Arup estimates the insulated walls would cut noise by 65 percent, and the ‘lungs’ could capture 516,000 tons yearly of carbon dioxide. On top of the tunnel solar panels would provide clean energy for 600 homes and a rainwater collection system that would both water plants on the tunnel and add to Pasadena’s water supply.

Related: Los Angeles approves $28 million FAB Park designed by OMA and IDEO

Michael Maltzan Architecture, Arup Los Angeles, Arroyo Seco Bridge, Arroyo Seco Bridge by Michael Maltzan Architecture, 134 Freeway, bridge, infrastructure, architecture, design, green freeway, green bridge, solar panels, rainwater collection, emissions, traffic, transportation

Not only would the green freeway offer a more sustainable means of transportation, but could generate money for the city of Pasadena. MMA says the “cost savings” – which would be around $1 million – could be given to local schools.

Michael Maltzan Architecture, Arup Los Angeles, Arroyo Seco Bridge, Arroyo Seco Bridge by Michael Maltzan Architecture, 134 Freeway, bridge, infrastructure, architecture, design, green freeway, green bridge, solar panels, rainwater collection, emissions, traffic, transportation

The green dream won’t become reality just yet; rather, it’s a vision of how aging infrastructure could fit into a sustainable vision for the 21st century. Caltrans, Los Angeles County, and Pasadena would need to work together to build the innovative freeway, though MMA doesn’t yet have an estimate for how much it would cost. But it would clearly offer huge benefits to local residents, and MMA says the concept is “expandable“, such that it could be easily utilized on other freeways.

+ Michael Maltzan Architecture

+ Arup Los Angeles

Via the Los Angeles Times

Images via Michael Maltzan Architecture

 

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Dwell on Design 2016: America’s largest design event is coming to Los Angeles!

DOD, Dwell on Design, Dwell home tours, LA Design Week, green furniture, design shows, dwell, dwell on design, furniture design, interior design, la, LA Convention Center, Los Angeles, modern design, modern furniture, prefab house, Prefab Housing, Dwell on Design 2015, Dwell on Design Los Angeles, Dwell on Design LA, los angeles design events

It’s that time of year again – designers, architects, and design enthusiasts will soon be converging at Dwell on Design, America’s largest design event, held this June 24-26 at the Los Angeles Convention center. Curated by the savvy editors at Dwell magazine, the three-day event will celebrate its eleventh year of showcasing the newest and most exciting advances in design. Visitors are invited to explore exhibitions featuring the latest and greatest in design, tour exciting Dwell-approved Los Angeles homes, visit full-scale prefab homes, attend conversations led by world-class speakers, and network with industry experts. Register now to secure your attendance before tickets sell out!

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LA opens new Backbone Trail with 67 uninterrupted miles of mountain hiking

Los Angeles, Backbone Trail, hiking, hiking trail, mountains, mountain trail, recreation, outdoors, Santa Monica Mountains, Los Angeles hiking

There are more nature getaways in Los Angeles than you might expect. Forget beaches – we’re talking miles of mountain hiking trails. Los Angeles is unique because it’s bisected by the Santa Monica Mountains, and now residents can traverse 67 uninterrupted miles on the National Park Service‘s Backbone Trail.

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The Backbone Trail runs from Point Mugu in Malibu to Will Rogers State Park in Pacific Palisades, about 20 miles west of downtown Los Angeles and five miles northwest of Santa Monica. For more than 40 years, people have worked to connect the trail from around 180 land parcels. Much of the land, which was worth over $100 million dollars and spanned multiple cities, was donated or given to the public. Hollywood actor and former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger donated 40 acres of the land.

Related: Los Angeles west side celebrates first new rail line in 60 years

Now the trail, reachable by the #2 bus and close to the 101 Freeway, allows an escape for residents who want to spend a day or days hiking. It stands apart from other long-distance hiking trails in that it’s still quite close to civilization. Hikers can feel like they’re in the wilderness but only need to go a few miles to reach wineries, restaurants, and grocery stores on canyon roads near the trail.

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As of now there aren’t many camping options for hikers who really want to get away. The National Park Service aims to create backcountry campsites so people could eventually hike the entire trail in one go. Another goal is to connect the Backbone Trail to 500 miles of other hiking trails in the Santa Monica Mountains.

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The Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area, maintained by the National Park Service, is the biggest “urban national park” in the United States. Along with the Backbone Trail, the recreation area includes a Native American culture center and the old Paramount movie ranch.

Via Gizmodo

Images via the National Park Service on Flickr

 

Los Angeles approves $28 million FAB Park designed by OMA and IDEO

Los Angeles, FAB Park, FAB Park by Mia Lehrer + Associates, Mia Lehrer + Associates, IDEO, OMA, Los Angeles park, park, design

Los Angeles may soon receive a much-needed green boost. City officials have chosen the design team for a planned 2-acre park downtown, near the Los Angeles City Hall at 1st Street and Broadway. Their team headed by Mia Lehrer + Associates (MLA) also includes IDEO and OMA. Called FAB Park, the project could be finished by 2019.

Los Angeles, FAB Park, FAB Park by Mia Lehrer + Associates, Mia Lehrer + Associates, IDEO, OMA, Los Angeles park, park, design, solar energy

The Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering and Department of Recreation and Parks have settled on a budget of $28 million to create FAB Park. That budget includes money for “site work and a contingency fund.” Much of the money will come from what the city calls “Quimby funds” or “real-estate development fees.”

Related: MAD Architects unveil futuristic Cloud Corridor skyscrapers for Los Angeles

According to MLA, IDEO, and OMA, the park would provide a “respite for downtown LA that celebrates the City’s diversity as its greatest asset and promotes civic engagement through the park’s highly versatile spaces to experience art, enjoy food, and revel in its unique urban/park setting.”

The park design incorporates features such as a plaza space for events, an upscale restaurant with an “edible roof garden,” and amphitheater seating. Restaurant revenues will go to park upkeep.

Los Angeles, FAB Park, FAB Park by Mia Lehrer + Associates, Mia Lehrer + Associates, IDEO, OMA, Los Angeles park, park, design

MLA, IDEO, and OMA said they hope to achieve “‘net-zero‘ efficiency in water and energy use” and focus on water conservation and on collecting solar energy. Metal canopies equipped to collect solar power also provide shade. The design team plans to plant sycamore and oak trees that “respect the natural environments of Southern California.”

According to officials, the design is not yet final, but they chose MLA’s design because of its focus on shade, balance between man-made fixtures and greenery, and a stormwater filtration system.

The Los Angeles Times says FAB Park is part of the city’s efforts to invest in parks as the downtown area becomes more residential.

Via The Los Angeles Times

Images via OMA

 

LA’s most dangerous intersection made safer with innovative crosswalk "scramble"

by , 06/05/16

los angeles, crosswalk, scramble, barnes dance, pedestrians, traffic, public safety, transit safety, pedestrian safety, car crashes, vision zero

The Hollywood and Highland intersection in Los Angeles is losing its notoriety as the most dangerous intersection for pedestrians after introducing a crosswalk “scramble.” The design gives the road entirely to pedestrians, allowing them to even cross the street diagonally when it is their turn. Amazingly, the number of accidents has plummeted since the overhaul just six months ago.

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LA port terminal to be first in the world powered by 100% renewable energy

Port of Los Angeles, terminal, renewables, clean energy

The Port of Los Angeles is going green with plans to transition a 40-acre cargo terminal to solar power and other renewable sources. Construction will begin this June on the Pasha Green Omni Terminal Demonstration Project that port officials said will be the world’s first marine terminal to generate all of its energy needs from renewables. The terminal will also be able to operate completely off the grid if necessary. The Port of Los Angeles is partnering with Pasha Stevedoring and Terminals L.P. on the $26.6 million project that is expected to take two years to complete. The California Air Resource Board awarded a $14.5 million grant for the project with Pasha contributing $11.4 million in cash and in-kind participation.

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Could wealthy Californians opt out of water conservation?

California, drought, California drought

El Niño has come and gone. Though one of the strongest in history, the most recent El Niño event did not provide the soaking that drought-stricken California hoped for and so desperately needed. While northern California has emerged from drought, at least for now, more than 70% of the Golden State remains dangerously dry. In response to the slight positive changes, California Governor Jerry Brown has lifted statewide restrictions on water, allowing districts to set their own local regulations. But water conservation groups such as the California Coastkeeper Alliance question whether the wealthy areas, who use three times as much water as the non-affluent, will take the necessary steps to preserve water in a drier California.

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Crazy all-glass slide will be suspended 1,000 feet high off LA's tallest tower

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Los Angeles is evicting homeless people from 37 tiny homes

los angeles, homeless, tiny houses, tiny homes, california, la city seizes tiny homes, la city seizures shelters from homeless camps, elvis summers

Los Angeles city officials say they are trying to “clean up” unsightly homeless camps around the city, but it’s gone far beyond seizing drugs and guns. Now the city is actively taking possession of tiny homes that some of LA’s most unfortunate residents rely on for shelter and safety. The donation-built homes are a valuable asset to the homeless community, keeping them from sleeping on sidewalks and benches. Other members of the public have complained about the tiny homes, saying they are an eyesore and a hotbed for prostitution, drugs, and violence.

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California finally declares emergency over LA-area gas leak

Aliso Canyon, Southern California, California gas leak

Inhabitat has previously reported on an extensive and ongoing natural gas leak in the Los Angeles area. Now, over two months since the problem began, California Governor Jerry Brown has declared the persistent natural gas leak to be an emergency that urgently needs to be addressed. The governor said that Southern California Gas Co’s efforts to close the underground leak have not been effective, and alternative methods of solving the problem must be explored.

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LA's new street lamps will keep cell service running after an earthquake

philips smartpole, smartpole, ericsson 4g lte, philips citytouch, philips and ericsson, los angeles smartpole, los angeles street lighting, wireless technology, led street lamps, wireless street lamps

Los Angeles just announced plans to roll out a new generation of high-tech street lamps that can keep citizens connected even when cell networks are down after a debilitating natural disaster. Philips’ SmartPole streetlights are equipped with energy-efficient LED bulbs and 4G LTE wireless technology by Ericsson. City officials are eager to celebrate the adoption of 100 SmartPoles, which will keep both businesses and citizens connected in densely populated areas.

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Ten solutions to California's drought

How to tackle the California drought, Solutions for the CA drought, solutions to California's drought, how to solve california's drought, how to solve the drought, drought solutions, how to fix the drought

As California enters the fourth year of the worst drought in the state’s history, NASA estimates that 11 trillion gallons of water will be needed to recover from this arid rut. While Governor Jerry Brown has implemented a series of wide-ranging measures aimed at curbing water usage, there are efforts underway to engineer the state out of its drought. Some are fairly well-tested—desalination, for example—while others, such as William Shatner’s proposed $30 billion Seattle-Lake Mead pipeline, seem straight-up wacky. Read on to learn more about the good, the bad and the weird big-picture ideas for addressing California’s drought.

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Los Angeles just pledged $100 million to provide housing for the homeless

los angeles homeless, los angeles homeless emergency, homeless state of emergency, eric garcetti, los angeles city council, california homeless, skid row

Los Angeles officials are taking the problem of homelessness very seriously, declaring a state of emergency and allocating $100 million to house people responsibly. With over 25,000 people on the streets, according to a January census, 5,000 of whom are concentrated in the city’s notorious Skid Row, the problem has gone from crisis to dire emergency.

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Minimal Black Box writer’s studio frames famous Los Angeles views

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MAD Architects unveil futuristic Cloud Corridor skyscrapers for Los Angeles

MAD Architects unveil futuristic Cloud Corridor skyscrapers for Los…

MAD Architects unveiled Cloud Corridor, a futuristic vertical village that brings nature back into the heart of Los Angeles. Created as part of the ongoing “Shelter: Rethinking How We…

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Nuevo South and GOOD Magazine transform a 100-year-old craftsman into a community home for kids

Nuevo South and GOOD Magazine transform a 100-year-old craftsman into…

Having a place to be creative and socialize could be life-changing for kids living in unsafe city neighborhoods. Members of the inspiring Nuevo South community organization in South LA,…

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Famous freeway-crossing mountain lion killed in Los Angeles while crossing a freeway

Famous freeway-crossing mountain lion killed in Los Angeles while…

They call him P-32, but it’s not a stage name. Unlike many residents of Los Angeles, the male cougar known to the public since kittenhood tried his best to stick to his true nature -…

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Frank Gehry to revitalize the LA River as

Frank Gehry to revitalize the LA River as "a water reclamation…

Frank Gehry is one of our favorite architects here at Inhabitat. We’ve been eagerly awaiting his designs for the next two buildings at Facebook’s California HQ and now we have…

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Dwell on Design 2015: America's largest design event is coming to Los Angeles!

Dwell on Design 2015: America's largest design event is coming to Los…

Dwell on Design, America’s largest design event, will return to the Los Angeles Convention Center from May 29-31, 2015! Curated by the talented editors of Dwell magazine, this…

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