In recent years, the City of Los Angeles has been working towards becoming a more sustainable city. One particular street in downtown Los Angeles is about to adopt this mentality, being transformed into a sustainable space for LA residents to enjoy. Along with its recently constructed parklet, the South Park neighborhood of Los Angeles hopes to test out a new miniature park in 2016.
In January 2016, the first parklet of downtown Los Angeles was unveiled, located on Hope Street, as part of the People Street Program. This new installation was commissioned by the South Park Business Improvement District (SPBID) in an effort to improve their growing district--in light of a population that is expected to triple by 2018. Through its own funding and various sponsors' support, the first-of-its-kind project was completed. The parklet spans over 288-square-feet of space, equivalent to two standard parking spaces. While not particularly large, designers, SODA Architects and Mia Lehrer & Associates, and construction firm, Swinerton Builders, have created a space that brings a bit of green to otherwise concrete surroundings, complete with unique seating made of sustainable materials. To protect the parklet itself from the surrounding traffic, objects such as large planters, wheel stops, and reflective strips have been added to prevent cars from intruding upon the space. Its location, nearby prime tourist spots such as Staples Center and L.A. Live, creates an easily accessible place for tourists and residents alike. Consequently, with more tourists and residents coming out to enjoy the parklet, the SPBID hopes to bring business to the local stores surrounding the parklet, providing an added benefit to the local economy.
In addition to the brand new parklet, a nearby green park--located in the middle of Hope Street--is scheduled to open in April of this year. The SPBID plans to construct a park area, nicknamed “The Spot,” spanning half a block between two lanes of traffic on Hope Street. The park will serve as an open space for the general public to gather and will contain tables and chairs, trees, and even a small dog run. For added security, a security guard will be hired to patrol the streets after 9PM--to prevent loitering. Walls will be built surrounding the park, in order to block incoming traffic and display art. If the park truly becomes “the spot” to be, the park may be considered for permanent installation.
Hope Street was chosen specifically for these two projects because of its steadily increasing number of businesses and its accessibility. According to SPBID, the new spaces will benefit residents and property owners. Residents are able to enjoy the sense of community and neighborhood vitality, while property owners can enjoy the increased property values and the prospect of more engagement with local establishments.
Are there any parklets or miniature parks in your city? What kind of unique sustainable installations are accessible in your city? Do you think these green spaces have an impact in where you live? Share your thoughts and your city's stories in the comments area below.
Credits: Data linked to sources. Images by Sophia Huynh.