RiverLAnding : An expedition to prototype a “landing” on the banks of the Los Angeles River

submission by Abitron

Organization Name

:

RiverLAnding Collective

Indicator

Please select the one indicator that is most relevant to your project or organization: Environmental Quality

What is your idea and how will it impact your indicator?

:

This summer we propose to install River Landing, a temporary park that inhabits the concrete channel of the Los Angeles River, making its banks and dry-season waters accessible and universally enjoyable. This park and accessway in Elysian Valley will serve as a precedent for future parks on the 51 miles of river banks, a continuous blank space that is almost as large as New York’s Central Park. The project seeks to address immediate open space shortages and create a platform where the citizens of Los Angeles can develop a relationship with their river and deepen their involvement in the eventual large-scale modification of the river channel.

A standard film permit will enable us to install River Landing for a weekend, and we will make a movie about the event to spur community and political support for future, public installations during all the summers until the river banks are permanently improved. River Landing will use a temporary scaffolding system and innovative designs to turn the bank into an accessible and multi-purpose space without threatening the integrity of the channel. Because this intervention is only currently possible as a film shoot, we will cast the local community, river stakeholders, and other interested citizens to be in our film about inhabiting the river in this new and visionary way.

Inspired by Parking Day LA, which transforms parking spaces into semi-permanent Parklets, we believe that this project will lay the groundwork for the city and river adjacent neighborhoods to advocate and execute summer-long river-bank parklets all along the Los Angeles River. By building and filming our River Landing we will demonstrate the value and feasibility of these installations. Furthermore, the project introduces a format by which Angelenos will become instrumental in reinventing their river, while also beginning to enjoy it now.* We believe that the L.A. River has the potential to rival the beach and mountains as the premier accessible open-space in L.A. but it needs our voices, vision, and support to help it realize its full potential! What better way than to actually inhabit the river with community-generated designs!

*This summer, due to a city pilot program, a portion of the River Channel will actually be legally accessible! However, under the current public trust doctrine agreement you can only enter the channel through limited access points and there will be no amenities.

How will your project benefit Los Angeles? Please be specific.

By creating a prototype for temporary summer parks on the banks of the L.A. River, River Landing will become a precedent for the entire 51 miles of the river, thus potentially alleviating immediate open-space shortages throughout the city and county. Furthermore, by creating a format by which Angelenos can reinvent how they inhabit the river, future River Landings will both galvanize public support for permanent modifications and allow us to collectively build a new vision of the river through actual use. The river will be the landmark open space improvement in Los Angeles for this century – this project both helps this happen and ensures we know exactly the kind of space we all want and need.

What are some of your organization’s most important achievements to date?

:

- Worked on the Los Angeles Revitalization Master Plan


- Developed and implemented extensive community outreach programs


- Designed and permitted the Spring Street Parklets


- Built and employed hydraulic models to help design the Los Angeles River


- Developed vacant lots into community gardens, farms and yards


- Directed and filmed groundbreaking theater and movies.

Alexander Robinson is a landscape architect and assistant adjunct professor of landscape architecture at the University of Southern California. He worked on the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan and is currently working with regional engineering agencies to develop new L.A. River designs with his students at USC.

Abigail Feldman is a landscape architect and the founder of, Heavy Meadow, based in New Orleans, Louisiana. She launched and directed the Growing Home program for the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority. She helped transform over a 1000 vacant lots into community gardens, farms, and yards with families from The Lower 9th Ward to Lakeview.

Margot Jacobs currently works as a project manager and designer at Mia Lehrer + Associates. Drawing on her background in art and design, Margot focuses on combining innovative ideas and sustainable practices while seeking out solutions that greatly enhance living environments, evoking connections between built, social and natural realms.

Jodie Bass’s work centers on the confluence of design and social engagement by conscientious construction through both critical and hands-on methods. She is an Exhibition Designer at Los Angeles County Museum of Arts her recent work includes Drawing Surrealism, Lost Line, and Shinique Smith.

Kelly Majewski’s design work has covered a wide range of scales and types; from street furnishings to large scale urban and landscape master planning projects. Kelly has worked for multiple award winning Landscape Architecture firms. She is a strong advocate for community involvement in the design process and has led multiple public outreach meetings and workshops.

Daveed Kapoor is an architect who contributes a diverse range of experience, united by his consistent passion for space that improves the quality of people’s lives. Daveed founded Utopiad.org, a land development and architecture collective focused on redressing social justice issues. With the DLANC Complete Streets Working Group he helped design and was permit architect of the Spring Street Parklets.

Lars Jan is writer, film-maker and the artistic director of Early Morning Opera, a genre-bending performance + art lab. He has made artworks about TED talks, Laika the Soviet space dog, land art, and suicide bombing. Lars’ work has been supported by many significant artistic institutions. He is also a 2013 TED Senior Fellow and is currently developing a public spectacle about flooding and the future of empathy.

Please explain how you will evaluate your project. How will you measure success?

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The primary measure of success will be whether we can generate enough support and interest to enable a publicly accessible River Landing next summer and for years to come. We would also gauge the success of the project by the amount of interest and dialogue that it spurs in terms of thinking about how communities effectively engage with the redesign of the river channel now and in the future.

Furthermore, we would measure the success of the actual design interventions with user-occupancy surveys conducted by the same folks who are organizing them for the Spring Streek Parklets www.parkletstudies.carbonmade.com. They will conduct surveys during the actual installation and do studies of users along the existing channel prior to our installation.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

:

University of Southern California: Landscape Architecture Department arch.usc.edu/programs/master-landscape-architecture

Los Angeles County Museum of Art www.lacma.org

Elysian Valley Arts Collective www.evartscollective.com

Architizer www.architizer.com

Mia Lehrer + Associates www.mlagreen.com

RAC Design Build www.racdb.com

oOR Scapes & Landscape Morphologies Lab www.oorscapes.com & lmlab.org

Heavy Meadow www.heavymeadow.com

Furthermore, we have discussed this idea with members of the community, multiple open space and river managing entities, and other stakeholders and received universally positive feedback. We expect our team to keep growing!

What would success look like in the year 2050 regarding your indicator?

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The Los Angeles River will be transformed into the most valued open-space of our city – rivaling our mountains and beaches and reflective of Los Angeles and the unique and creative spirit of its citizens.

Discussion
54 Pink-talk-bubble-tail

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http://youtu.be/gk9v3rfLn7U
Rivermation

by gary.schwartz.9465
over 1 year ago | Reply

Good Luck with this I hope it will be successful. I am guessing it will be great!!
Vivian Flynn

by vivianflynn
over 1 year ago | Reply

This would be so awesome! I really hope this wins!

by iloveLA
over 1 year ago | Reply

Love it! My wife and I have always felt starved of open park space in LA and we love hiking around the Sepulveda Basin which was the old reservoir and is now a wonderful nature preserve. I fully support this idea, it sounds like just the kind of thing we need in LA!

by richardvanas603
over 1 year ago | Reply

Thanks. Lets make it happen!

by alexanderrobinson
over 1 year ago | Reply

love this idea! keep up the good work!

by camomerl
over 1 year ago | Reply

Thanks!

by alexanderrobinson
over 1 year ago | Reply

i can't wait to kayak down the LA river then lay out in the sun on the RiverLAanding!

by micahh
over 1 year ago | Reply

I could not have said it better myself. This man is a genius!

by samantha.santana
over 1 year ago | Reply

This is a the dream. Why not?

by alexanderrobinson
over 1 year ago | Reply

This is the dream... why not?

by alexanderrobinson
over 1 year ago | Reply

How about a commute to work via kayak?!

by jessie k
over 1 year ago | Reply

There are a lot of great causes in contention, but it's great to see one that's really forward-thinking and new. Let's make it happen!

by aaronlawrence
over 1 year ago | Reply

This is such an innovative approach. The incremental strategy is a great way to get there so that it can continue to evolve as new river landings take shape, are used and become part of the river, stitching together a collective vision for the entire river.

by margueritemarie
over 1 year ago | Reply

It's gonna take baby "steps".

by alexanderrobinson
over 1 year ago | Reply

Fantastic; great idea!

by Justin Vogt
over 1 year ago | Reply

Can you build one in my neighborhood?!?!?!!!!

by samantha.santana
over 1 year ago | Reply

Ya. We could use a River LAnding over this direction!!

by james.w.lively
over 1 year ago | Reply

Ya. We could use a River LAnding over this way!

by james.w.lively
over 1 year ago | Reply

The scheme is so excited. Looking forward to seeing it~

by Zhang.qian
over 1 year ago | Reply

Wow. Seems like it will be hard to justify teardown when the film wraps up. I can imagine a lot of people adopting this little river landing as their home away from home. Myself included!

by samantha.santana
over 1 year ago | Reply

Yes... let's hope this idea will have a life of its own.

by alexanderrobinson
over 1 year ago | Reply

This is a wonderful idea and such a great catalyst project in initialing change along the LARiver!! A creative approach and a fun way to bring together everyone from the community to be involved!

by sandrawong522
over 1 year ago | Reply

Thanks!

by alexanderrobinson
over 1 year ago | Reply

L.A. would/will be so much improved by a living river!

by califia
over 1 year ago | Reply

true indeed Califia, all kinds of life can enjoy what the LA River has to offer, and we hope to keep it safe by keeping people informed and involved. People like you!

by jodie.bass
over 1 year ago | Reply

This proposal believes the river is habitat for all sorts of animals.

by alexanderrobinson
over 1 year ago | Reply

This proposal believes the river is habitat for all sorts of animals.

by alexanderrobinson
over 1 year ago | Reply

This will be an amazing opportunity for LA! Such a creative and exciting approach to revitalizing community and the river!!

by leighagrace
over 1 year ago | Reply

A beautiful proposal. Excited for the impact it could have in LA, and the countless other cities that have available, uninhabitable open space.

by natts133
over 1 year ago | Reply

biggest asset LA has that is entirely under-utilized as a public space. heading in this direction is a no brainer

by larsjan
over 1 year ago | Reply

Yay LA !!! Lets make this happen!!!!!

by nicoleives
over 1 year ago | Reply

Let's do it!

by lhr924
over 1 year ago | Reply

Doing this project under the auspices of a film permit is brilliant! I love the idea of there eventually being multiple "landings" along the river that reflect the character of all the different hoods. Too often massive infrastructure projects steamroll the desires of the very people whom they are designed to benefit. This project is a thoughtful, circumspect way to approach this massive -- and massively important -- project.

by camellia.prufrock
over 1 year ago | Reply

Yes! Thanks for totally understanding this idea!

by alexanderrobinson
over 1 year ago | Reply

Yes! Thanks for totally understanding this idea!

by alexanderrobinson
over 1 year ago | Reply

I see this project becoming a real catalyst for change along the river. Hopefully it is selected.

by Landscraper
over 1 year ago | Reply

Thanks! If you want to get more involved you can join our mailing list here:
http://eepurl.com/xrrUL

by alexanderrobinson
over 1 year ago | Reply

I think it is critical to tell the story of the river as much as to give it an ecologically necessary overhaul, so the idea of bringing the story-telling power of film into to the project is great. It has the potential to catalyze long-lasting changes in not only the LA River but other natural systems in our area that have been engineered out of consciousness.

by jessie k
over 1 year ago | Reply

Doing this project under the auspices of a film permit is brilliant! I love the idea of different neighborhoods influencing the character of their particular landings. I hope that this project is successful and that I can be chilling on the river next summer!!

by camellia.prufrock
over 1 year ago | Reply

thanks for the enthusiasm Camellia, hope you will join us and be a part of River Landing.

by jodie.bass
over 1 year ago | Reply

This project has amazing potential!!! This bottom up approach to the river is so refreshing. Finally! - A smart plan to navigate the maze of legalities surrounding the LA River. Good Luck!!

by nicoleives
over 1 year ago | Reply

Remember to cast your vote for River Landing!

by jodie.bass
over 1 year ago | Reply

I love that this plan makes the community actors within their own environment, so they can sketch-out their experience at the LA River before they dedicate millions of dollars in irrevocably changing this infrastructure. This is really the only real proposal to changing the LA River that I have seen that bridges the gap between the community, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the legalities of building on the river. Well done!

by lilykerrigan
over 1 year ago | Reply

thanks for your comments and support!

by jodie.bass
over 1 year ago | Reply

A visionary and thoughtful proposal. It would be wonderful for people to have the chance to experience this underutilized area and useful too to experiment with creative ways to use it. Would love to see this project happen.

by SMJ
over 1 year ago | Reply

thanks for the support!

by jodie.bass
over 1 year ago | Reply

thanks for the support!

by jodie.bass
over 1 year ago | Reply

This project has amazing potential!!! This bottom up approach to the river is so refreshing. Finally! - A smart plan to navigate the maze of legalities surrounding the LA River. Good Luck!!

by nicoleives
over 1 year ago | Reply

Super excited to see this happen!
Fingers crossed ... and keep me in the voting loop!

by gina_ford
over 1 year ago | Reply

Thanks Gina!

by alexanderrobinson
over 1 year ago | Reply

Great idea! I would be excited to see the project challenge the permitting conventions in a way that sparks meaningful public dialogue about why permitting processes limit interventions such as the one proposed

by jkray
over 1 year ago | Reply

Yes! It would be fantastic to see this project pave the way for future interventions along the river!

by Abitron
over 1 year ago | Reply

smart on the permit.

by adrian.suzuki.37
over 1 year ago | Reply

Pink-ribbon-award-box-icon
Award_topvotedidea
$1,000,000 in total grants
Circle-1-inactive Step1-title-submission-inactive

Submission Began
Tuesday, February 26

Submission Ended
Thursday, March 28
at 12:00 PM PDT

Circle-2-inactive Step2-title-voting-inactive

Voting Began
Tuesday, April 02

Voting Ended
Wednesday, April 17
at 12:00 PM PDT

Circle-3 Step3-title
Homeboy Industries: Hope Has An Address
Homeboy Industries: Hope Has An Address

Winner Announced
Wednesday, May 08

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