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A student team from UCLA Extension's Landscape Architecture Program recently won a competition held by the Los Angeles Department of Public Works to design drought-tolerant street medians for San Vicente Boulevard.

The winning concept features easily reproducible materials and native plants, including desert willow, California gray rush and Pacific stonecrop.  The contrast between the greenery and the surrounding concrete streetscape is intended as a visual metaphor for the blending of Southern California's built and natural environments.

The design also implements a series of pre-cast concrete blocks which will both provide visual interest and help funnel storm water into an underground retention system for irrigation purposes.  This feature is a modern variation of the traditional bioswale, which removes silt and pollution from surface runoff water. 

The first installation of the new medians is slated for the 1.5-mile stretch of San Vicente between Fairfax Aveue and Pico Boulevard.  However, an exact timeline for the project is currently unclear.

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Senior Affordable Housing Coming to Santa Monica

Three-story development planned on 14th Street.
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The Community Corporation of Santa Monica is pursuing the development of a new senior affordable housing complex just south of the 10 Freeway.

The proposed three-story edifice, slated for a 15,000-square-foot site at 1820 14th Street, would replace a series of smaller commercial buildings with 39 apartments reserved for low-income seniors.  Plans also call for a ground-floor community room, a laundry facility, a library, and one level of underground p