“The shape of downtown Los Angeles is still in our hands because we are a young city and have room to grow, even at the core. At the same time, the city has an unmatched record of missing opportunities to become its own place.

On Friday, the state announced Hargreaves Associates as the winner of a design competition for a park at the Cornfield — 32 acres of land north of Chinatown. The proposal is thoughtful and interesting, though constrained by the rules of the competition.

But what the Cornfield competition really points out is how infrequently we are choosing from the best available options, some of which may lie outside the limits of a narrowly conceived exercise.”