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Another Side of Los Angeles: Solar Roofs and Neighborhood Farms

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by Worldchanging LA local blogger, Jennifer Murphy:

Los Angeles is the land of smog, sprawl and cosmetic surgery, not known for its ecological or social consciousness. But many people, organizations and ideas are quietly fomenting revolution here. This Earth week, I'll share what these Worldchangers told me about the secretly green side of LA.

Robby Herbst is an artist and editor of the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest. He recently co-curated the exhibit Street Signs and Solar Ovens: Socialcraft in Los Angeles at the Craft and Folk Art Museum.

What local Worldchanging organization, project or idea should be better known?

I am intrigued by James Rojas' Latino Urban Forum. It gives us a way to read LA not as a post-urban city but as collection of small Mexican towns. It's not a theory, it's a reality -- one that doesn't conform to anglo notions of public space, nor anglo laws.

What one Worldchanging practice do you most wish to see flourish in Los Angeles?

I heard that in Germany, instead of building new nuclear power plants, people are being PAID for the energy they generate with their rooftop solar energy panels. The energy is being put back into the grid and saving the planet from lethal nuclear waste. This is mind-blowing and heretical here in the States where all of our solutions to crisis will inevitably affirm and enrich corporate power. This solution is decentralized and anti-hierarchical.

If you were king of Los Angeles for a day, what would you do?

First I'd get the developers out of city hall, along with our two-faced mayor. Than I would return the South Central Farm back to the farmers and repeat their model a billion times across this rich agricultural land drenched with smog and poverty.

Describe the LA you'd like to see in 2027

See above - a farm in every neighborhood, solar panels on every roof, love and community on every door step!

[South Central Farm before the bulldozers, courtesy LA Indymedia; solar roofs in Germany, courtesy of Wagner & Co]

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