Network and Nature:Identification and Implementation of Community Green Spaces within Los Angeles

submission by Viviana
Network and Nature:Identification and Implementation of Community Green Spaces within Los Angeles

Organization Name

:

From Lot to Spot

Website

:

www.fromlottospot.org

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?

:

The first Angelenos were once referred to as "the People of the Earth". Why not return to the past? Why not implement a proven way of life that reigned and prospered for centuries while inhabited by the first, original Angelenos: The Tongva?

Our goal is to create a planning and implementation tool that will assist in the realization and installation of simple landscape based interventions. When applied, will create a network of community greenspaces within Los Angeles. The manual will lay out details on how to create greenspace networks in low-income communities and how to design them with the utmost respect to the environment.

With Los Angeles County being 96% developed and built out, is it even possible? Yes it is. From Lot to Spot and SWA Group would like to create a planning and implementation tool, with specific design guidelines for specific communities to create a network of community greenspaces in Los Angeles. Given the opportunity we would provide communities, city officials, friends and neighbors a tool to create needed greenspaces throughout Los Angeles.

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

:

From Lot to Spot (FLTS) is a 501c3 non-profit founded in 2007 as a direct result of the relationship between lack of accessible greenspace and the quality of life in low-income neighborhoods. FLTS’s unique approach involves grass-root, community engagement to ensure disadvantaged communities contribute their voice in developing healthy spaces in their neighborhoods. In the last five years, FLTS has worked on healthy living community engagement projects in the cities of Inglewood, Gardena, Lawndale, Hawthorne and Lynwood. 2012 was a landmark year for From Lot to Spot. FLTS constructed and opened the first ever community garden in the community of Lennox, CA. , opened the 118th/Doty Ave Pocket Park: the first community-designed pocket park in the City of Hawthorne. In collaboration with SWA, we planned, funded and constructed a 9000 sq.ft. recreation space along the Dominguez Creek that was designed and implemented by high school students and community members.

SWA projects span over 60 countries and have garnered over 700 awards. In 2005, SWA received the Landscape Architecture Firm Award, as designated by the American Society of Landscape Architects. One of the seven SWA offices is located in Downtown LA and is continually excited about the opportunity to enhance the city we live in.

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

:

From Lot to Spot (http://fromlottospot.org/) will be partnering with SWA Group (http://www.swagroup.com/). FLTS is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving blighted, urban neighborhoods in the greater Los Angeles area one vacant lot at a time. SWA is a world leader in landscape architecture, planning and urban design with a passion to create exceptional places for people with an emphasis on natural systems and art.

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

:

In the end, the success of our efforts will be echoed as part of a larger initiative to re-green Los Angeles. The success of our efforts will be reflected by the agencies we will inspire to adopt the ideology of this level of greenspace construction. And the benefits will be seen directly by the community members we work with. If encourage one park building agency to adopt the idea that bringing nature back to Los Angeles in the form of creating access to greenpace in low income communities does not have to cost millions and take years, then we have succeeded.
This noted, we do have specific measurables that we would like to attain. The success of our efforts will be measured by the number of greenspaces created after the launch of the manual. From Lot to Spot and SWA will collect baseline information from specific communities where we will be marketing the manual to public agencies, community based organizations and any interested green space builder. From Lot to Spot has a goal to create 5, 10 and 15 interconnected greenspaces within a 2, 4, and 6 year timeframe that will create green networks in Los Angeles communities. In addition, to ensure the greenspaces are successful, we will measure the quality of the projects and their impact in the community with post-occupancy community outreach through extensive engagement.

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

Can you imagine, a Los Angeles with a large system of parks, gardens, micro-spaces, plazitas, parklets, pedestrian walkways that lead to and from work, play and living spaces? By taking simple ideologies of space, connectivity and landscape, Los Angeles can become a beacon for urban environments around the country.
We want the community to be involved in the planning and construction of greenspaces in their own neighborhoods, to make a deeper connection to their environment. The manual will provide communities with a guide for identifying greenspace opportunities and designing cost-effective solutions, and implementation which will help to see projects built in their communities much sooner than later. The purpose of the manual will be specifically designed for communities based on socio-economic conditions but can be used by any neighborhood throughout Los Angeles. As reported in the LA2050 report and several, recent scholarly studies, low-income, communities of color have the greatest need for access to greenspaces. The manual will take in mind specific land use opportunities or restrictions, culturally-sensitive relationships with space, and other unique community characteristics. With this framework, the manual will be able to be utilized and implemented in similar communities and cities throughout the country. By facilitating the process of creating the needed greenspace in multiple communities, the manual will directly benefit Los Angeles as a whole.
These are grassroots playspaces, nature spaces, and contemplative spaces. With the implementation of these greenspaces Los Angeles will reap the benefits of planting trees and vegetation that sequester carbon emissions and improve air quality; designing permeable surfaces such as low/no mow grasses and porous paving will capture and clean stormwater; creating beautiful, clean greenspaces will spur economic investment; and providing areas where adults and youth can interact with the natural environment in their neighborhoods will create ample health and wellness opportunities by combating nature deficit disorder. In addition, the manual will create greenspaces that will revitalize neighborhoods: studies prove time and time again the more greenspace a community has, the higher the property values. The aesthetic appeal of the neighborhood due to the addition of greenspace will encourage investment into the neighborhood.

These will be greenspaces that will support communities to thrive, not just survive.

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

:

Success would be walkable, community greenspaces linked through pedestrian and bicycle friendly pathways throughout ALL of Los Angeles. 2050 would be a year where the biggest greenspace issue is not how to create more access for low-income communities but how to maintain it. The manual has so inspired greenspace building that in the most disadvantaged communities, Los Angeles has a myriad of walkways, green alleys, streetscaped medians, pocket parks, roof-top gardens, river bicycle paths, green walls and countless other forms of green space that create interconnecting networks throughout the City.
Los Angeles 2050 has surpassed greenspace benchmarks and goals, creating significant environmental impacts such as increasing carbon sequestration, stormwater catchment and the supply of clean groundwater. In addition, surge in greenspace building has significantly increased economic investment in disadvantaged communities and reduced diabetes and heart disease rates. The impacts of the network of sustainable, cost-effective greenspaces are so successful that Los Angeles 2050 is looked upon as a model city for urban centers around the globe.

Discussion
75 Pink-talk-bubble-tail

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I hope that FLTS is chosen as a winner!

by environmentaljusticerocks
over 1 year ago | Reply

Maria, glad to know that former students stay involved with the non-profit long after school classes require their involvement. That shows the connection youth have with the communities they're raised in. Let's make sure we get more youth involved through FLTS, just like you!

by ellaico
over 1 year ago | Reply

I grew up in South LA in the 90's. There were no accessible parks in my neighborhood, so I had to play football in the street. The work FLTS does to ensure green spaces is very important. I want to make sure my kids live and play in a safe and thriving community.

by joseg
over 1 year ago | Reply

I have known and worked with Form Lot to Spot since I was in high school. This organization has always proved their commitment to our communities. They fight hard to provide us with much needed available green spaces. Not only do they provide them but also do the dirty work that is maintaining these spaces clean and beautiful for public access. I know From Lot to Spot will use this grant wisely!!

by maria.deleon.980
over 1 year ago | Reply

I have known and worked with Form Lot to Spot since I was in high school. This organization has always proved their commitment to our communities. They fight hard to provide us with much needed available green spaces. Not only do they provide them but also do the dirty work that is maintaining these spaces clean and beautiful for public access. I know From Lot to Spot will use this grant wisely!!

by maria.deleon.980
over 1 year ago | Reply

It's important to recognize that there are many groups out there working to beautify Los Angeles through greenspace. What I like about this project is that it is proposing to do it in poor neighborhoods, with little money and making sure community is involved in the design of these small projects. That is a refreshing appraoch.

by betty_green
over 1 year ago | Reply

Love this! My vote is in!

by michelle.wickers
over 1 year ago | Reply

Every one I tell about from lot to spot is on board with what they do. This grant would mean everything to the kids in the communities they serve. Pocket parks and plazitas, let's do it!

by elocc2
over 1 year ago | Reply

Great ideas are brewing at FLTS. I can

by cgalvan8
over 1 year ago | Reply

I just voted for FLTS! I can

by JVH
over 1 year ago | Reply

Great idea! Good luck!

by Yhung@swagroup.com
over 1 year ago | Reply

I love it! This really excites me about living in LA right now. I see this growing movement towards creating more green/community spaces in areas of the city where they are needed most. Thank you for doing the work. Looking forward to seeing this project realized!

by Guzel G.
over 1 year ago | Reply

You got my vote! Amazing project proposal:)

by michi001
over 1 year ago | Reply

MIckey! thank you! Don

by Viviana
over 1 year ago | Reply

What a wonderful project proposal! It allows communities to create their own vision of developing and fostering green spaces in their communities with the guidance and wisdom that FLTS and SWA bring to bear on this kind of work. The project's focus on the goal of creating green spaces in Los Angeles - where such spaces are desperately needed - while also building relationships and alliances between communities means a win win for all of us in LA. With Viviana's experience and focus, all communities benefit.

by 634almas
over 1 year ago | Reply

634almas, thank you! and don't forget to vote! A 1000 thank you's!

by Viviana
over 1 year ago | Reply

The manual will be a great tool to engage community members, community officials, and designers. LA is making a comeback in terms of quantity and quality of green spaces and sustainable practices. Focusing on disadvantaged communities is a key component to LA

by Shannon S
over 1 year ago | Reply

thank you Shannon!

by Viviana
over 1 year ago | Reply

Love it Viv! I think FLTS is an amazing group with a very important goal. Green space benefits EVERYONE! Kids have a better connection to the earth and more opportunities for healthy living. Adults have a place to relax and relieve stress from hectic days. Property values will increase for owners in these communities. Literally everyone wins when FLTS succeeds. Thanks to the entire FLTS team for your efforts!!!

by ScottChampagne
over 1 year ago | Reply

Scott! Your support means a lot, thank you!

by Viviana
over 1 year ago | Reply

Thank you Jana! Please make sure to vote to make this plan a reality!

by Viviana
over 1 year ago | Reply

I can't wait to vote for this project. I love the interconnectivity between the historic past of Los Angeles and the Tongva, connecting to our present and the need for environmental re-visioning, and finally connecting to our future of green spaces throughout Los Angeles. Go FLTS! THank you for the beautiful vision of a transformed Los Angeles, Viviana. We are all blessed to have another opportunity to support community environmental transformation through your work.

by corrinemgalvan
over 1 year ago | Reply

When does voting begin?! I can

by corrinemgalvan
over 1 year ago | Reply

There are plenty of underutilized spaces throughout Los Angeles, and plenty of people who want to make them better. Putting time and effort into creating a framework that provides simple, executable how-to's, which can then be distributed throughout communities, is a step in the right direction! A project such as this could significantly empower underserved neighborhoods--let's make it happen!

by JanaP
over 1 year ago | Reply

This looks amazing! I am so excited to see where this project takes Los Angeles-- to a greener, friendlier, safer, more beautiful environment for all our communities!

by mickey.donovankaloust
over 1 year ago | Reply

What a wonderful project proposal! It allows communities to create their own vision of developing and fostering green spaces in their communities with the guidance and wisdom that FLTS and SWA. So the project focuses on the goal of creating green spaces in Los Angeles where such spaces are desperately needed while also building relationships and alliances between communities. With Viviana

by 634almas
over 1 year ago | Reply

This is such a great project. I really believe in it. I live in SF, and over the past 5 years or so, I have REALLY noticed the difference and also really enjoyed the effect of the "PARKing spaces" project (maybe not its official name?) -- even just the space of one car-length; just one parking spot turned into a lush community space with plants, for chatting and hanging out, does so much to foster community.

Big thumbs up to you! Keep up the great work! Can

by tobybranz
over 1 year ago | Reply

't wait to hear about and see project updates !

by tobybranz
over 1 year ago | Reply

I strongly believe that the beauty of public open space exists not merely in creating or designing wonderful places but much more in generating social engagement and community involvement. The main item of this proposal, the manual will be a great media to realize this vision. Love the idea and I am big fan of FLTS and SWA!

by choiyjoon
over 1 year ago | Reply

I strongly believe that the beauty of public open space exists not merely in creating or designing wonderful places but much more in generating social engagement and community involvement. The main item of this proposal, the manual will be a great media to realize this vision. Love the idea and I am big fan of FLTS and SWA!

by choiyjoon
over 1 year ago | Reply

I have had the honor of volunteering with FLTS over the past couple of years. I have seen, firsthand, the difference they have made in blighted communities across Los Angeles by creating pocket parks, bicycle and pedestrian walking paths, community engagement, community gardens, parks with opportunities for exercise, waterplay, and increasing carbon and noise sequestration. This new project has the ability to connect not only blighted communities in Los Angeles, but all communities in Los Angeles by taking Angelenos back to our native vegetative roots, by connecting communities through green spaces. I am so inspired by this project and I know that FLTS will be the catalyst for the environmental change that Los Angeles needs to be the leading environmental role model for cities across the globe!

by corrinemgalvan
over 1 year ago | Reply

thank you! we think so too :)

by Viviana
over 1 year ago | Reply

As a former elementary school teacher in South Central, I can tell you that FLTS is one of the few non-profit organizations that actually follows through with their mission. I am proud to be involved with FLTS and support an organization that truly embodies Environmental Justice. FLTS and Viviana champion for change and provide a voice for the most disenfranchised communities in Los Angeles. The communities are off the traditional non-profit radar, where good people live and deserve green space and healthy living. FLTS does not turn a blind eye to the inequities access to healthy living created by subordinative structures based on race, gender, sexuality, class and immigration status. They instead work towards providing green space and healthy living for folks who do not have access to these things. I support FLTS and will vote for them because they are LA

by JVH
over 1 year ago | Reply

thank you JVH! thank you for your support and kind words. our proposal will target the most park-poor communities, but will benefit ALL Angelenos. we are excited to continue to promote our model of greenspace -building whether awarded this funding or not. we feel is is THAT important to the future of REAL CHANGE in the ways our communities look and function.

by Viviana
over 1 year ago | Reply

great idea changes the World!!!! I hope you guys have lots of community events. it is not only making the space but making good community.

by hyunsukkim77
over 1 year ago | Reply

Thank you! We will absolutely have community events and will let you know when!

by Viviana
over 1 year ago | Reply

We want to implement simple landscape changes in our own neighborhood and create community greenspaces.

by Michael.Hee
over 1 year ago | Reply

This is a wonderful proposal! I hope you can make it happen!

by jossie.ivanov
over 1 year ago | Reply

Thanks Jossie!

by Viviana
over 1 year ago | Reply

I cant wait to vote for Viviana and From Lot To Spot. I have known this lady for over 15 years and she is the real deal. Making real change and uplifting communities that need a voice, and she makes it look so easy and hipster chic!! :)

by SqueekyKnees
over 1 year ago | Reply

Thank you Squeeky! Means a lot!

by Viviana
over 1 year ago | Reply

It is crucial that we reconnect to the community by empowering the community to take personal responsibility in their development. FLTS has proven community engagement at every step of their process. It

by corrinemgalvan
over 1 year ago | Reply

cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!我支持你 真的很好哦!yeah好好看啊

by zhongwei.li
over 1 year ago | Reply

被迫回复。这个项目好棒好酷哦!!我喜欢小孩!!

by Huicheng.Zhong
over 1 year ago | Reply

We think so too! Thank you!

by Viviana
over 1 year ago | Reply

Such a great way to involve the community in an improvement project ! Fantastic that these students have planted / planned a site that will "grow" with them and hopefully foster a desire to care for their city. Great purpose for a Non-Profit - Lot to Spot - an idea which everyone can understand and should support !

by JeremyK
over 1 year ago | Reply

The input from the community is a critical factor in the long-term sustainability and use of the spaces.

by Michael.Hee
over 1 year ago | Reply

Thank you Jeremy! Youth and community engagement is key for designing successful spaces in the communities we work in.

by Viviana
over 1 year ago | Reply

In park-poor cities like LA, asphalt and concrete limit the ways that kids play. Too often they retreat inside to recreate in front of a computer, TV or other device. Time in nature - even natural settings within dense urban environments - has been proven to increase children's creativity, attention spans and confidence. Your program is so needed, I wish you the best of luck!

by waltercomms
over 1 year ago | Reply

Thanks! This project aims to introduce kids and communities to natural setting and nature play.

by Michael.Hee
over 1 year ago | Reply

Walter, I couldn't agree with you more. And to create the spaces we need for kids to play we don't have to spend millions! It's a shame how much money goes wasted in how we think of building greenspaces. We can totally get the space we need, in the neighborhoods that need them! Thank you for your support!

by Viviana
over 1 year ago | Reply

This is great! Los Angeles desperately needs more community green spaces.

by mvanveen
over 1 year ago | Reply

This IS great and WILL have a huge impact on the communities we live in!

by Michael.Hee
over 1 year ago | Reply

This IS great and WILL have a huge impact on the communities we live in!

by Michael.Hee
over 1 year ago | Reply

As a resident of Lynwood, California, I have seen FLTS in action. I appreciate the dedication, time and effort that this organization provides to low-income communities. I condone their practice of having the residents involved in all facets of planning. Our voices are heard and our desires are met. It is true, when I walk about my neighborhood, I do not just want to see concrete. I want to see green, healthy living spaces, that inspire and increase the beauty of our panorama. It is vital to have green spaces to improve the health of our community, not just in exercise opportunities, but also in healthier air quality. Once again, a great big thanks to FLTS for making Los Angeles a better place to live in.

by geothrive
over 1 year ago | Reply

Geothrive
thank you for your words - we try really hard not just to bring plans to the community, back REAL projects they can design, they can interact with, they can be proud of in their communities.

by Viviana
over 1 year ago | Reply

This sounds absolutely amazing! Green spaces are necessary and I love FLTS!!

by carla.holden.1
over 1 year ago | Reply

What FLTS and SWA Group does amazing!

by Michael.Hee
over 1 year ago | Reply

thank you carla!

by Viviana
over 1 year ago | Reply

Growing up in a area that did not have many green spaces - it is great the work FLTS is doing to make this a reality for so many communities. The area that I used to play in as a child was usually covered in trash and all sorts of debree but thanks to FLTS - they have created a green space that I would have never thought was possible. Great job on THE DEEP and Thank You for what you do!

by DVaca
over 1 year ago | Reply

THE DEEP is the best stretch bike trail along the Dominguez Creek!

by Michael.Hee
over 1 year ago | Reply

thank you so much Dvaca! I am so glad you get to enjoy the space! Feel free to contact us any time if you wish to have a tour!

by Viviana
over 1 year ago | Reply

As a former elementary school teacher in South Central, I can tell you that FLTS is one of the few non-profit organizations that actually follows through with their mission. I am proud to be involved with FLTS and support an organization that truly embodies Environmental Justice. FLTS and Viviana champion for change and provide a voice for the most disenfranchised communities in Los Angeles. The communities are off the traditional non-profit radar, where good people live and deserve green space and healthy living. FLTS does not turn a blind eye to the inequities access to healthy living created by subordinative structures based on race, gender, sexuality, class and immigration status. They instead work towards providing green space and healthy living for folks who do not have access to these things. I support FLTS and will vote for them because they are LA

by JVH
over 1 year ago | Reply

I love the work FLTS does. Bless the hearts of the founder and her hardworking staff and volunteers for spreading beauty in places that need it most. Green spaces shouldn't be an option, they should be mandatory for communities across the world. People should not have to travel far to feel nature under their toes ... Go FLTS!

by BecksVillaneda
over 1 year ago | Reply

Yes! And what FLTS is up to is just that! Creating opportunities to enjoy nature, even in one of the most dense cities in the US. Go FLTS!

by corrinemgalvan
over 1 year ago | Reply

Love this! We need more green "linkages" in Los Angeles, and this can help get us there. Way to go FLTS!!!

by rudyespi
over 1 year ago | Reply

thanks Rudy! And way to go SWA Group!!

by Viviana
over 1 year ago | Reply

In park-poor cities like LA, asphalt and concrete limit the ways that kids play. Too often they retreat inside to recreate in front of a computer, TV or other device. Time in nature - even natural settings within dense urban environments - has been proven to increase children

by waltercomms
over 1 year ago | Reply

The long-term link between the quality of air in large cities, and the availability and density of green spaces, has been well established (example: http://alpha.chem.umb.edu/chemistry/ch471/documents/mageetal.pdf ). This alone makes this project from Lot to Spot worthwhile for Los Angeles.

by alsimons1
over 1 year ago | Reply

Thank you Levi! Greenspace is such a vital, multibenefit, element in our urban environment. it impacts so many societal ills - to put it lightly :)

by Viviana
over 1 year ago | Reply

I

by waltercomms
over 1 year ago | Reply

NETWORK and NATURE: Awesome collaboration between two Los Angeles companies. Very excited to see what comes from the work and the positive impact it has on our communities.

by Michael.Hee
over 1 year ago | Reply

Urban blight is a real issue that has significant consequences on low-income areas. FLTS has made huge progress in such little time to vastly improve an otherwise eye-sore environment; the fact that close knits of communities play such a large role in FLTS

by eddie.cortes.372
over 1 year ago | Reply

thank you Eddie! This approach would DIRECTLY combat blight, we are confidant it will!

by Viviana
over 1 year ago | Reply

I

by corrinemgalvan
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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