The Olmsted Plan

Before the river was channelized, architect and urban planner Frederic Law Olmsted Jr. proposed that the city should build a network of parks and public spaces along the banks of the Los Angeles River. "Continued prosperity in Los Angeles will depend on providing needed parks," Olmsted argued in 1930, "because, with the growth of a great metropolis here, the absence of parks will make living conditions less and less attractive, less and less wholesome. . . ." Although the Olmsted plan was not adopted by city officials when channelization began in the 1930s, the current master plan to revitalize the river borrows many of its concepts.

Above, Superintendent for the Los Angeles sector of California State Parks, Sean Woods, radio host and author, Patt Morrison, and Executive Director of The City Project, Rober Garcia, discuss various aspects of the Olmsted Plan. Also included is a slideshow of various excerpts from The published Olmsted Plan, Parks, Playgrounds and Beaches (1930).

The Emerald Necklace
Patt Morrison on how the population boom and droughts of the 70's and 80's led to Los Angeles' rediscovery of the Olmsted Plan.




From the Mountains to the Sea

Sean Woods on the consequences of ignoring the Olmsted brother's plan eventually sparked an environmental and social movement in the 1980's.

The City Project Vision
The City Project calls for the greening of the L.A. river and for the initiation of community development.

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Slideshow: Channelization

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