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Placemaking Workshop in Northeast Los Angeles

The NELA Riverfront Collaborative is an interdisciplinary project that builds upon the growing momentum of efforts already underway to transform the Los Angeles River into a "riverfront district" and to create a focal point of community revitalization. KCET Departures is the media partner of the Northeast Los Angeles Riverfront Collaborative. For more information visit the website www.mylariver.org


Placemaking is a comprehensive approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. It involves looking at, listening to, and asking questions of the people who live, work and play in a particular space, to discover their needs and aspirations, define a common vision and identify projects that can implement that vision.

This past Saturday over 100 community members showed up for the NELA RC Placemaking workshop at Cypress Park Library. The workshop included a panel of river changemakers who discussed river revitalization milestones since the 1980s in the NELA area, from the creation of the River bike path and organizations such as the Friends of the Los Angeles River, to visionary ideas for the future up to the year 2050. Attendees had the opportunity to include what they considered key milestones in placemaking and visions for the future.

The workshop also explored land-use planning in the NELA river area through a planning activity called "PLANopoly" led by the Department of City Planning, and discussion of community perceptions led by the L.A. Conservation Corps and the National Park Service. 

Panelists from left to right: Melanie Winter, Aaron Thomas, Carol Armstrong, Mia Lehrer, and Pauline Louie--Photo: Daniel Hanaya

Our next summer policy engagement workshop on Saturday, July 27 will focus on Food Policy in the NELA river area and neighborhoods. We look forward to exploring the state of food access and quality in NELA -- and what food policy ideas will improve the food landscape to create healthier communities.

NELA RC Food Policy Workshop
Saturday, July 27, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Elysian Valley Community Garden
1816 Blake Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90039

Visit mylariver.org for news and updates on the NELA Riverfront Collaborative.

Photos by Erika Barbosa and Justin Cram.

About the Author

George Villanueva is currently a PhD Candidate at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, with a research focus on civic engagement, spatial justice, and sustainable urban development.
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