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I spent a most enjoyable hour recording this podcast with Liz Falletta, who is deeply immersed in the nuances of the Los Angeles building codes and their impact on housing production.
Liz just published a book, By-Right l By-Design, an interdisciplinary housing reference text. It studies significant Los Angeles housing design precedents and their related development types. A side-by-side comparison of these projects – real estate development models built in large numbers as of right, versus singular examples of innovative architecture built by variance – reveals new insights for future housing production in Los Angeles and elsewhere. Projects are examined through the lenses of real estate development, urban planning and design, expanding the context in which these works can be understood, evaluated, and, ultimately, built upon.
Liz teaches architectural and urban design at USC’s Price School of Public Policy where she’s taught for over 15 years. Her courses focus on design as an interdisciplinary activity and explore how the intersecting values of architecture, planning and development can inform the design process and improve design outcomes.
In addition to teaching full time, Liz is principal of Falletta Development, which developed one of the first small lot subdivisions in Los Angeles, located on Huntington Drive in El Sereno. She has consulted on many small lot subdivisions throughout Los Angeles and worked as an entitlements consultant on various single and multi-family housing projects. Liz is a licensed architect and a licensed real estate broker in the state of California.
In recognition of the breadth of her expertise, Liz was recently appointed to the City of Los Angeles’ Zoning Advisory Committee (ZAC). This 21-member group is the first line of critique for the city’s recode LA project, a $5 million dollar, five year plan to overhaul the zoning code. Liz is leading the Housing Working Group, a subcommittee of the ZAC working to prioritize issues of housing production, affordability and sustainability throughout the recode project. Ms. Falletta is also a member of the California Planning Roundtable.
Insights and Inspirations
- Through research for her book “By-right, By-design” Liz learned that more design is not always better.
- She found that some of the best housing solutions might not be the most innovative designs.
- Over the years her students have evolved from not caring one iota about design, to caring very much today. And that bodes well for the future of cities.
- To Liz impactful real estate projects are those that balance design, planning and real estate development well.
Information and Links
- You can buy Liz’s book, By-Right l By-Design here.
- Liz loves the Penland School of Craft in NC. She’s been several times for a creative recharge and plans to go more often in the future. (I want to go too.)
- Something important to Liz is her participation in the Ross Minority Program in Real Estate (Home | Lusk Center for Real Estate) fostering minority participation in real estate development in emerging communities.
Images courtesy of Liz Falletta.