Summer 1994


Note from the Editors:

This year, as the Urban Planning Program at the UCLA Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning celebrates its 25th anniversary, we find ourselves at a crossroads. While we commemorate our past accomplishments, we are, at the same time, unsure of our future.

Our track record is impressive. Simply pick up a copy of any major planning or planning-related journal and you are likely to read about the research of our faculty members. Or, read about planning practice in Los Angeles and beyond and you are likely to find that our alumni are leading the way in innovative projects. Even before they graduate, our students are just as active in scholarly and practical work. Yet often student endeavors go unnoticed.

Critical Planning arose out of the concern of a group of students who felt that a forum was needed for sharing the high quality of written work done by our peers. This is especially important as we enter this time of transition. Student’s ideas have always shaped the growth of our program. So by documenting some of their projects and ideas, perhaps we can gain some insight into our future.

Our first issue contains a collection of short essays, articles and a piece of fiction. Mostly written for courses in the Urban Planning Program, the articles focus on topics ranging from grassroots AIDS prevention to democratic theory. They include a specially commissioned contribution by the current program head, John Friedmann, that takes a retrospective look at Urban Planning at UCLA. In response to the forthcoming changes in the program, we also solicited a number of statements by students on what planning personally means to them. These essays are included in the section titled “Visions of Planning.” The section following contains a book review on urban planning history. Finally, reflecting the whimsicality that has always characterized our program, we include a short story.

The journal has only been possible because of the help of many people. In particular, the financial support of the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies made the production and publication a reality. Also, all of the faculty members who knew of our efforts provided encouragement and logistical assistance. John Friedmann and Lee Burns were especially supportive.

We hope that this issue of Critical Planning will begin a new tradition in Urban Planning at UCLA.

The Editors


Table of Contents:

Under the Sign of the Sombrero: Mexican Restaurants in Southern California
Jean Gilbert

Get the Point: Mutual Learning and the Clean Needles Now Project
Stephanie Klasky Gamer

The Problem of Self-Reliance: International Development and Democratic Theory
Rebecca Abers

A Quarter Century of Progressive Planning Education
John Friedmann

Private Memories and Public Spaces: Remembering Rexall Drugstore
Ethusian Cynthia Exum

A Personal Manifesto
Jim Gilbert

A First Year Student’s Vignette on the Future of Los Angeles’ African American Community
Lezlee Hinesmon

What Should Urban Planning Theory Do?
Lewison Lem

Another Dreamer of the Golden Dream
Jan Mazurek

Book Review: The Historical Foundations of American City Planning
Mark Garrett, J.D.

Fiction: Making a Killing in the Southland: A Planning Mystery in Seven Innings
Dora Epstein