TREES GROW IN VAN NUYS.
THE heart of the San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley
Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills. is finally getting some attention - and it deserves it.
Workers have begun tearing out dead trees along Van Nuys Boulevard and planting new ones as part of a $3 million face lift. The federal Targeted Neighborhoods Initiative program is designed to help revitalize blighted areas.
Residents in the area decided that Van Nuys Boulevard from Victory Boulevard Victory Boulevard is a major thoroughfare on Staten Island, measuring approximately 8.0 miles (12.87 km) and stretching from the west shore community of Travis to the upper east shore communities of St. George and Tompkinsville. to Calvert Street needed some immediate attention. After a series of public meetings, they settled on replacing 43 trees, installing benches and trash cans and painting crosswalks and fixing sidewalks.
Funny how it takes money from the feds to make good things happen in the neighborhoods of Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. . Repairing sidewalks and adding amenities to enhance foot traffic draws people out into the community and helps improve shabby neighborhoods.
It's a welcome start.
But is it enough?
Not by a long shot.
Granted, Van Nuys is set to receive another boost with the long-awaited completion of the 132,000-square-foot Van Nuys Civic Center, a cheap version of the Taj Mahal Taj Mahal (täzh məhäl`, täj məhŭl`), mausoleum, Agra, Uttar Pradesh state, N India, on the Yamuna River. It is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and the finest example of the late style of Indian City Hall renovation going on downtown. But the city has yet to step up with a comprehensive plan to revitalize the area around the Civic Center, which is the Valley's heart and soul.
Why is it that other California communities are capable of innovation and redevelopment of their neighborhoods?
In San Jose San Jose, city, United States
San Jose (sănəzā`, săn hōzā`), city (1990 pop. 782,248), seat of Santa Clara co., W central Calif.; founded 1777, inc. 1850. , for example, city officials teamed up with San Jose State University's urban planning urban planning: see city planning.
Programs pursued as a means of improving the urban environment and achieving certain social and economic objectives. department to create an ambitious plan to that turns a blighted neighborhood into a vibrant community.
The key to making it work, however, is not federal money but local money and the kind of leadership lacking in Los Angeles.
In San Jose, Mayor Ron Gonzales is fulfilling a promise to direct redevelopment money away from downtown and into neighborhoods.
As a result, hundreds of millions will be redirected from downtown into San Jose's sprawling residential areas and decaying neighborhoods.
In Los Angeles, Van Nuys could serve as the same kind of model to rejuvenate re·ju·ve·nate
tr.v. re·ju·ve·nat·ed, re·ju·ve·nat·ing, re·ju·ve·nates
1. To restore to youthful vigor or appearance; make young again.
2. all of L.A.'s dying or decaying neighborhoods wherever they're located.
All it takes is a little thing called leadership.