Playa Vista was once home to Hughes Airport, the center of the empire run by the industrialist and famously reclusive Howard Hughes, but is a now planned community neighborhood built on the eastern side of Lincoln Blvd. where the eastern portion of the Ballona Wetlands once existed. Prior to westward expansion, it was home to the Tongya American Indians, a controversial point of discussion during construction of the development when a sacred burial site was discovered. Current plans are in planning stage for a dual-purpose museum by the developer to commemorate the tribe’s history and educate the public on the Ballona Wetlands.
Playa Vista Phase I is a good example of the approach to urban planning called “New Urbanism” where the focus of development is to create mixed-use density where residential and commercial space is intertwined through inherently walk-able and bike-able streets. Other important facets of the new urbanist’s approach is to provide easy access to parks and public space, something any visitor to Playa Vista will note immediately as they pass the many parks sprinkled throughout the community.
Playa Vista is home to the Los Angeles Clippers training center, a fantastic library, band shell, hiking/running trails, and the kind of playgrounds that have attracted many young families to move into the area.
While controversy remains over the loss of this eastern portion of the Ballona Wetlands, the creation of the Playa Vista community is rooted in a variety of green building design approaches with an emphasis on grey-water use, energy efficient design, and the use of recycled materials in construction.