News | APA-USC Student Chapter Hosts Tour of Downtown Los Angeles

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APA-USC Student Chapter Hosts Tour of Downtown Los Angeles

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

By Derek Hung, USC Price BS Policy, Planning, and Development


On Saturday, September 20, the American Planning Association - USC Chapter (APA­-USC) hosted a walking tour of Downtown Los Angeles, its ?rst event since the Chapter’s inception earlier that month. Although organized and operated entirely by six undergraduate students, the event boasted a total of 30 RSVPs from USC undergraduate and graduate students in majors ranging from Urban Planning to Civil Engineering and Business Administration.

The objective of the walking tour was to experience the notoriously auto-centric Los Angeles as a non-driver. “There are so many alternatives to driving a car in the urban core,” said APA-USC president Fred Chang. “DTLA really serves as a testament that even in Los Angeles it is possible to have a pedestrian-friendly environment.”

In order to promote and take advantage of Downtown’s walkable design, the group assembled at the Jefferson/USC train station and took the Metro Expo Line to the Financial District together. Upon arrival, APA-USC’s board members shared their knowledge about new developments such as The Bloc and Wilshire Grand to demonstrate Downtown LA’s relevance and potential.

The tour was not limited to new developments. Historic points of interest included the Los Angeles Public Library, the Civic Center, Grand Central Market, and the Broadway Theater District. Additionally, APA-USC, being a spur of the American Planning Association (APA) professional network, made sure to take the attendees to visit the of?ce buildings of urban planning, architecture, and transportation engineering agencies and ?rms such as AECOM, Gensler, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT).

APA-USC is the University of Southern California’s ?rst of?cial APA-recognized student organization. Its mission is to expose its members to the planning, architecture, and engineering professions through tours, networking events, and seminars. For more information regarding APA-USC, please visit