Partner with Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council to Highlight Need for Creative Urban Planning; Announcement Coincides with Citywide Park(ing) Day
LOS ANGELES, CA – Council President Pro Tempore Jan Perry and Councilmember José Huizar announced efforts to create a parklet program for Los Angeles in partnership with the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council and other community partners. Parklets are semi-permanent open space projects located in the public right-of-way for park and recreation purposes.
“We need to engage in creative solutions to develop green spaces throughout our urban communities and the parklets concept is a practical way in which we can activate our sidewalks and streets,” said Council President Pro Tempore Jan Perry. “We have learned from San Francisco that parklets can easily be done with willing community partners. I look forward to the work ahead of us to implement the parklets vision and thank our community partners for their vision and willingness to work with us to make these demonstration projects a reality.”
To help kick-off the program, Perry and Huizar introduced a motion instructing City Planning to work with the Departments of Public Works and Transportation to implement demonstration projects currently underway in Downtown and Northeast Los Angeles.
“Parklets offer an affordable alternative to costly, large-scale models, and in turn allow communities to create unique green spaces that bring the focus back to their neighborhoods, one project at a time,” said Councilmember José Huizar. “People want to re-connect with their environment and with each other in their own communities and parklets help them to do that. In Highland Park and El Sereno, we are already working to install parklets, and now I am pleased that we are moving forward to bringing them downtown, where the lack of available green space, makes the smaller, self-contained parklet projects a perfect fit.”
The Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (DLANC) has established a working group to design, build, fund, install and maintain parklet demonstration projects on Spring Street.
The working group is coordinating this effort with the Historic Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Business Improvement District and local business owners. The 14th Council District has also initiated the creation of two parklet demonstration projects on North Huntington Drive in El Sereno and York Boulevard in Highland Park.
The announcement coincides with Park(ing) Day when individuals and organizations create mini-parks for the day in metered street parking spaces all across the country and around the world. These pop-up parks call attention to the need for public open space in our communities and the amount of space within our public realm that is devoted to the automobile. DLANC is an active participant in Park(ing) Day and has used these mini-parks to demonstrate the potential for creating engaging community gathering spaces throughout the urban landscape.
“The Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (DLANC) is proud to be a part of the groundswell of support for re-imagining our streets and public spaces,” said Valerie Watson, Chair of DLANC’s Complete Streets Working Group. “DLANC has long supported and actively participated in annual Park(ing) Day events, showcasing our efforts to promote the creation of world-class, sustainable, safe, and accessible public space, along with balanced, complete streets for Downtown residents, workers, businesses and visitors. It’s exciting to see Los Angeles build from this momentum to create our own innovative solutions to re-imagine our public realm.”
Parklets are ideal open space alternatives in built-out urban areas like downtown Los Angeles. Parklets are cost effective since they are built in the public right-of-way and are maintained by private property owners.
In February, Councilmembers Huizar, Perry, and Garcetti introduced a motion that was the catalyst for a sister pilot parklet project, working with Streets 4 People. Since then, the City Planning Department has been working, through a grant from the County Department of Public Health, on a pilot project that will utilize movable planters and street furniture, such as tables, chairs and shade structures to help the City create three small urban oases in Districts 14, 9 and 13.
The motion was referred to the Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee and the Transportation Committee for a hearing.