Los Angeles magazine to unveil online 'CityThink' effort

cityThinkLA-logo.jpgLos Angeles magazine, in the midst of its 50th anniversary year, is about to officially take the wraps off an ambitious project to generate more conversation about the city's future. CityThink will be housed on the magazine's website and be supported by a new Los Angeles Magazine Foundation, which has seed money from the California Community Foundation. The effort will seek to engage readers and regional leaders and kicks off Tuesday with a piece (under the banner of City Thinkers) by historian William Deverell of USC and the Huntington. Deverell was a co-author of the recent Visiting Blogger post here at LA Observed about the end of the aerospace century, which was illustrated by that charming photograph of Amelia Earhart plopped on a hangar floor at Lockheed.

Lord_110_Arroyo.jpgGatherings of local philanthropists and other community leaders to talk over civic issues are planned. Elements also include Think Tank, a forum for readers to propose their good ideas; the One-Ten Project, an opera based on the Pasadena Freeway's history commissioned by L.A. Opera with Laura Karpman composing and author M.G. Lord and dramaturg Shannon Halwes writing the libretto; the Get L.A. film competition announced last week; and related articles to run in the print magazine. (This drawing by Lord is inspired by the opera.)

Editor Mary Melton explains after the jump:

On CityThinkers you will read blogs from some of L.A.’s leaders in education, business, politics, and entertainment. Learn how they are preparing for the Los Angeles they envision a year, a decade, a half century from now, and what they believe is necessary to overcome one of the most challenging economic climates in the city’s history....

We at Los Angeles are taking these explorations online because they demand a multiplicity of ideas that go beyond the physical capacity of any monthly magazine. Also, to achieve anything close to its mission, CityThink must take the form of a dialogue, in which readers are every bit as engaged as we are, free to voice their own solutions and critique those of our guest contributors on the level playing field the Web uniquely affords....

Above all, with CityThink, we hope to lay a new foundation for a concept that so many of us pay lip service to but have ceased to believe in a city as complex and impermeable as Los Angeles—that we are all in this together. If we can provide an opportunity for the vast majority of Angelenos outside of the media, politics, or the company boardroom to contribute their ideas for city’s future—with the knowledge that a few of those ideas may go viral in the best Internet sense of the word—than L.A.’s prospects will have already improved considerably.

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