Once upon a time, it was a truism to say that every part of Los Angeles was within about twenty minutes of every other part. Nowadays, that’s only true at three in the morning, and sometimes not even then. But as our population has increased along with travel times, an interesting thing is happening, not just here but in cities all over the country: people, especially young people, are seeking out local lifestyles for which they do not always need a car to reach work or play. They want to walk or, if their destination is a little further afield, take public transit or ride a bicycle. Based on its recent vote on Mobility Plan 2035, a large majority of our City Council sees the long term wisdom and sustainability of this way of thinking. This is a significant moment that could accelerate the changes we have been making to our city since the Metro Red Line opened in 1993.
With all this in mind, Laemmle Theatres is proud to co-sponsor the New Urbanism Film Festival, which begins next week. A major component of our company’s philosophy is our goal to be “neighborhood” theaters, which aligns with New Urbanism concepts about bringing people closer to the amenities that they want in their communities. Together with improved mass transit and improvements that make life better and safer for walkers and bicyclists, these ideas are changing the landscape of Los Angeles.
From the festival website: “Founded in 2013, by a musician and a stand up comedian, the New Urbanism Film Festival celebrates urban planning from the pedestrian perspective. The annual four day event in Los Angeles showcases short and feature length films submitted from around the world. The festival also hosts interactive events around the city that get audiences exploring, experiencing, and examining the built environment in fun new ways. The festival returns to Los Angeles for its third year, October 8-11th at the ACME Theatre on La Brea.
“We formed this festival because we are passionate about New Urbanism and want to encourage people to think about how the built environment affects every aspect of our lives.
“We first formed a group Noodles and New Urbanism which was a monthly meetup to discuss local issues and current events relevant to urban planning. That led to a blog where members could share the articles, books and videos they’ve been tracking on the issue.
“We decided to start the New Urbanism Film Festival so that we could convene in a group to share knowledge and successes regarding urban planning.
“We hope to broaden our discussion about local issues of urban development by seeing films from worldwide.”