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Northeast Los Angeles Placemaking Competition: Downey Recreation Center Bike Hub

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Project submitted by Charles Ghiotto

Project designed by Lincoln Heights

Project Summary and Scale

Miles of river trails are completed, re-purposed, and selectively extended into the surrounding neighborhoods, creating physical and conceptual linkages among public schools and artists, fabricators and suppliers, parks and residences. Workshops, gallery spaces, and other shared resources that inhabit major nodes in this dispersed cultural capitol.

Why are you committed to this project?

Growing up in Cypress Park, community was limited from street to street and neighbor to neighbor. Perspectives for unification and resources were narrowed. Experiencing the power of education, the future of this city lies in the hands of the youth and it is the youth who need Motivation and Unity.

What are the most relevant characteristics of project site and scale?

River Way LA re-envisions the Los Angeles river corridor as a vast and interconnected arts infrastructure, aimed at supplanting the failed organizational system of public arts education in the region. It is an economic and cultural incubator with the capacity to enliven and enrich the creative potentials of both students and professionals alike. Downey Recreation Center will be transformed as one of the rivers bicycle hubs, supplying transportation, leisure and a place for social interaction.

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Describe how this project will reinforce a sense of place or enhance the built environment.

Students, Residences and Businesses will be part of a vision to arise a cultural and economic capital with an approach to substitute school art programs in replacement with workshops from local fabricators and artists. The framework involves supplying bicycles for students and staff, for mobile use to and from workshops. Highlighted streets for bicycle and pedestrian use will be redesigned for travel and safety. Currently, N. Broadway/ N. Spring and N. Main, have no bicycle lanes for cyclist and can provide great opportunities to be beautified and enrich the surrounding neighborhoods.

Provide a description of the project's necessary planning activities.

Currently the site between Downey Recreation Center and the LA river has been excavated and is approximately 305,000 sq ft. Circulation from major streets, through the site and along the River, crossing railroad tracks, will need analysis for pedestrian safety. Further design approaches considering river habitat may need to be documented for an integral design. In response to the curriculum activity, a representative of the project will need to approach schools and businesses with a proposition explaining the necessity to enrich and enliven our diverse social and economic capitol through collaboration.

What is a rough estimate of your project budget?

Previously excavation has occurred, what is needed is vegetation and local material for the bicycle rental kiosk, approximately $75,000 would be the estimate cost. Costs of demolition for the rivers concrete walls will be drastically decreased because of CEMEX, a local concrete recycle facility, one block away from the site.

How does this project leverage existing resources and efforts?

The target of the project is to benefit the youth in education and transportation. Through the proposal of curricular collaborations with local establishments, students are unified and fused with the community in companionship and work force. Physical and conceptual linkages among public schools and artists, fabricators and suppliers, exposes business for an enriched economical growth in Los Angeles and its communities. Construction for innovative riverfront designs can receive their material and labor from local suppliers and fabricators uplifting the community as one body which supports one another. The unfolding of the rivers beauty and possibilities to residences in the city, will provide a great momentum of support and engagement to strengthen the vision of the Los Angeles River as being an infrastructure that unifies this disperse cultural and economic capital. Youth and adults are joined together in this movement of collective collaboration.

What community need is your project serving?

Beautification of the major streets N. Broadway/ N. Spring and N. Main St. will bound communities with admiration and provide an uplifting in social spirit. The local Downey Recreation Center adjacent and with access to the River, bestows to the community a sense of importance and responsibility towards this Junction. Albion Elementary, Ann Street Elementary, Excel Charter, Milagro Charter, Our Lady Help of Christians, Griffin Ave Elementary, Cathedral High School and Sacred Heart High School, all lie within 3/4 of a mile from the site and will be the place of amalgamation for these students.

If your project is realized, what does success look like?

Success would look like an approach to uplifting the Downey Recreation Center to unify the community. Also, success will be providing students of all ages with a curricular system with the LA River being the transportation corridor. The city will then begin to realize the river as an amenity.

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