Latest Episode:

Karin Liljegren: Restoring the Past Through Adaptive Reuse Architecture

August 18, 2020


Karin Liljegren is the founder and principal of Omgivning, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in taking old buildings and giving them a new life. This practice is known as adaptive reuse architecture, and a quick glance at Omgivning’s portfolio will reveal that it is at the forefront of this practice. Karin and Max discuss the special responsibility that the adaptive reuse architect holds as the chief conservator of a city’s architectural history.


Previous Episodes:

Jonathan Lee: Mortgage Banking and Lending During the Pandemic

August 4, 2020

Jonathan Lee is a Principal and Managing Director of George Smith Partners, a national provider of capital market services to the commercial real estate industry. Jonathan joins Max to discuss the impacts that the pandemic has had on real estate lending and the changes he foresees for the wider market as we emerge out of the pandemic.



Samantha Millman: The L.A. City Planning Commission, Where Developers and Neighbors Square Off

July 21, 2020

Samantha Millman is the President of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission, the central forum for members of the public to voice their opinions on the real estate development projects under consideration in their city. Tensions run high at the Commission—the casual observer could easily mistake the virulence and vitriol for what you might hear at the British House of Commons. As President, Samantha acts as both mediator and adjudicator, so Max sits down with her to learn more about what it’s like to try to facilitate meaningful dialogue between two groups that rarely play nice.



Doane Liu: COVID-19, Convention Centers, and Our New Fear of Flying

July 7, 2020

Doane Liu is the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Department of Convention and Tourism Development. His sole mission—to raise up Los Angeles’ status as a convention and tourism destination—has been dealt a serious setback ever since the coronavirus spread across the Southland. Max and Doane dig into the numbers and forecast just how long the decline in tourism might last.



James Arnone: Regulating Land Use During a Housing Crisis

June 23, 2020

Jim Arnone is in his thirtieth year as a partner at international law firm Latham & Watkins. As the firm’s Global Chair of the Environment, Land & Resources Department, Jim has helped his clients navigate the uncertain and treacherous terrain that is California land use law. Over the course of his long career, Jim has seen this body of law grow to become the behemoth it is today, garnering praise from some and opprobrium from others. Listen in as Jim chats with Max about housing, the California Environmental Quality Act, and his outlook on the future of land use regulation in the state.



Bruce Katz: The Local Economy Meets the Global Pandemic

June 9, 2020

In the season premiere of CitySpeak, Max Masuda-Farkas is joined over Zoom by Bruce Katz, co-author of The New Localism and Executive Director of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab. Bruce has spent his career churning out new ideas for how cities can maintain their preeminence as the engines of economic growth in America. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Bruce’s work has taken on a whole new urgency.



Episode 5 - The Architect: Eric Owen Moss

September 16, 2019

Eric Owen Moss is the principal and lead designer of his eponymously named architecture firm Eric Owen Moss Architects. Alongside his formidable portfolio of international projects, Mr. Moss is widely known for almost single-handedly designing the Culver City neighborhood known as the Hayden Tract, a fantasy world of experimental architecture developed in collaboration with Mr. Moss’s longtime partners and friends, Frederick and Laurie Samitaur-Smith. Tune in to the final episode of CitySpeak Season 1 for a conversation that reaches far beyond the bounds of architecture, from the effect of the Vietnam War on the young architects of that decade to how Mr. Moss’s design philosophy was born out of Homer’s Odyssey.



Episode 4 - The Critic: Carolina Miranda

September 3, 2019


Carolina Miranda is an arts and architecture writer for the Los Angeles Times and has had her work featured in a wide range of national and international publications. Ms. Miranda’s writing embodies what art historian Barry Bergdoll defined as the purpose of architecture criticism to be “a bridge between the professional activity of the designing architect and the role of the citizenry.” In this episode of CitySpeak, Ms. Miranda dons her critic hat to talk urbanism, local history vs. history writ large, and the role of architecture criticism within the ever-changing narrative of urban development.



Episode 3 - The Developer: William Witte

August 19, 2019

William Witte is the Chairman and CEO of Related California, the West Coast arm of the Related Companies and one of the largest real estate developers in the state. Mr. Witte’s profile defies easy classification—his over 30 years leading Related California’s extensive development portfolio of over 16,000 residential units followed after a long career in the public sector, serving as Deputy Mayor and Director of Housing under then San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein, working for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and even training as an urban planner at the University of Pennsylvania. In this episode, Max interviews Mr. Witte about NIMBYism, his work with Frank Gehry on The Grand, and several other Related matters.



Episode 2 - The Urbanist: Frances Anderton

August 5, 2019

Frances Anderton is the host of the popular radio program DnA: Design and Architecture, a weekly show on KCRW public radio. Born and raised in the ancient, historic city of Bath, England, Ms. Anderton chose her decidedly less ancient home of Los Angeles after visiting LA in 1987 on a story for the Architectural Review magazine about the city’s young architectural vanguard. Since then, she has become one of the most prominent voices (figuratively and aurally) in defining LA’s unique brand of urbanism. The Rodney King Riots, how LA compares to the UK, and the perils of too much historic preservation—tune in to hear Ms. Anderton discuss these topics and more in this second episode of CitySpeak.



Episode 1 - The Mayor: Antonio Villaraigosa

July 22, 2019

In the debut episode of CitySpeak, Max Masuda-Farkas interviews the 41st Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa. Dubbed by LA Weekly as “the Subway Mayor,” Mayor Villaraigosa was mayor from 2005-2013, promoting a new vision for Los Angeles as “a city of smart growth,” the fruits of which are just beginning to bear today. Listen in as Mayor Villaraigosa chats with Max Masuda-Farkas about everything from why cities are becoming more powerful than nations and how he wrangled the federal government to actually put its money where its mouth is on transportation.


Interested in advertising on CitySpeak?

Secure your spot here.