Public places set the stage for our public lives. They are the parks where celebrations are held, where seasons make subtle changes to the landscape, where festivals illuminate the summer sky, and where children cautiously learn the skills of sportsmanship. They are the streets and sidewalks that connect homes and businesses where friends run into each other and social and economic exchanges take place.

In Northeast Los Angeles (NELA), it's the River, which flows to the beat of the rain, swooshing past diverse neighborhoods, businesses and public spaces, where people who live, work, and play in the community experience pride of ownership and a renewed sense of civic investment.

When cities and neighborhoods have thriving public spaces, residents have a strong sense of community. This happens through the process of placemaking. Placemaking is an inclusive and creative group process of developing a neighborhood's social, economic, and cultural identity. Involving the planning, design, and management of public spaces, the placemaking process can be extraordinarily effective in making people feel attached to the places where they live. When people feel attached, they are more likely to get involved and build shared wealth within their communities.

What kind of places would make your NELA community better? Tell us in the "Responses" tab above.

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