Start watching

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
Earth Focus

Earth Focus

Start watching

Reporter Roundup

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

Placemaking Design Competition, Open Call for Public Space Projects in Northeast Los Angeles

Support Provided By

The Northeast L.A. (NELA) Placemaking Design Competition seeks to engage a diverse range of stakeholders in designing implementable projects that enhance the neighborhood identity, river revitalization, community health, and public spaces of the NELA river area and its adjacent neighborhoods.

The goal of the competition is to engage NELA stakeholders to transform an idea into a well thought out, implementable plan.



If you're ready to submit your design proposal, click here.


Or if you're looking to get help from our team, join us next Saturday, at our open house for public spaces. We will be providing workshops to help you develop your placemaking idea(s).

Or share your thoughts below on what kind of project you would like to see in Northeast Los Angeles and along the Los Angeles River.

Specifically, we are looking for a total of 6 placemaking project ideas:
One that considers the ten miles of the NEA riverfront area

?One based on each of the five river-adjacent neighborhoods of: Atwater Village, Cypress Park, Elysian Valley, Glassell Park, and Lincoln Heights.

Projects can range in scales. See examples below:

Street Level

  • A design intervention to enhance the walkability of a specific street.
  • Wayfinding and informational signage along key river access points.

Site Level

  • Public amenities such as decorative benches, bicycle racks, or drinking fountains
  • Community services, such as a neighborhood serving retail business, or community space on a vacant or public owned land.

Neighborhood or NELA-wide Level

  • An artistic interpretation such as a public kiosk, monument, or mural, that gives voice to the specific history and culture of the neighborhood(s).
  • Strategies for a bicycle friendly district in a specific neighborhood or a bicycle share program that would service all of NELA.

Expertise is not required, but a commitment to creating an idea that serves the community is. Projects must be grounded in the needs of the NELA community.
Open to all creative placemakers, designers, artists, and Northeast Los Angeles stakeholders (residents, businesses, and community organizations). Local submissions are strongly encouraged.

There is a maximum submission of one entry for each neighborhood and NELA-wide project.

Projects must be submitted by 5:00 pm PST on February 15th at www.mylariver.org. Each project will include the following:

  • Name and/or Organization
  • Project Summary and Scale - one sentence (50 words)
  • Why are you committed to this project? (50 words)
  • What are the most relevant characteristics of project site and scale? (75 words)
  • Describe how this project will reinforce a sense of place or enhance the built environment (100 words)
  • Provide a description of the project's necessary planning activities. (100 words)
  • What is a rough estimate of your project budget? (50 words)
  • How does this project leverage existing resources and efforts? (150 words)
  • What community need is your project serving? (100 words)
  • If your project is realized, what does success look like? (100 words)
  • Visual representation of project
  • Two images minimum, four images maximum; site plan recommended.
  • Presentation should be 5 pages maximum
  • All images must be in JPEG or PDF format and prepared in RGB
  • Maximum image dimension is 5100 pixels tall or wide
  • Maximum individual image size should be between 10MB-15MB
  • No Zip, Stuffit, or compressed files

There will be a total of six winners, one for each of the five neighborhoods, and one for the entire NELA study area:

  1. Placemaking Potential: How will this project reinforce a unique sense of place or enhance the built environment of the NELA neighborhoods and river area?
  2. Social Impact: How does this project serve the needs of the NELA community?
  3. Implementation Feasibility: How successfully and easily can the project be implemented?
  4. Sustainable Physical Design: How does this project incorporate environmental strategies relative to water, landscape, energy, and material selection?
  5. Design Creativity: How original and visually compelling is the project?
  6. Health Outcome: In what ways does the project enhance public health outcomes for the NELA community?

This competition is hosted by the NELA Riverfront Collaborative, a project funded by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development's Community Challenge grant project that is locally housed in the City of Los Angeles' Economic and Workforce Development Department. The jury panel is comprised of partners under the NELA Riverfront Collaborative. For a full list, visit www.mylariver.org.

Each of the 6 winners will receive a $2,000 cash prize. Winning projects will be included in the Northeast Los Angeles Riverfront Collaborative's Vision Plan and Economic Development Implementation Strategy. There is no guarantee that projects will be implemented.

Feeling overwhelmed? not sure where to start?
Not a problem, we want to help interested participants develop their idea.
During the NELA Open House on January 25th taking place from 10AM to 2PM at The River Center, there will be on-site, hands-on, 30 minute consultation workshops on the following


  • Neighborhood specific (community resources, health outcomes, built environment)
  • Budget projections


  • Architectural & landscape design
  • Graphic design
  • Three-dimensional mapping

To sign up for a workshop, please visit: http://bit.ly/1lgnbAj
Important Dates
January 15: Competition Guidelines
January 25: Open House + Workshop
February 15: Submission Deadline
February 28: Winners Announced

Date of public viewing of winning projects to be determined

All entries must be original and are the works and/or property of the entrant. The NELA Riverfront Collaborative is not liable for any copyright infringement on the part of the entry.
Winning entries will be expected to enter into a separate agreement with the NELA Riverfront Collaborative to confirm entry is free of copyright, trademark, and patent infringement, and that all appropriate permissions have been secured for publication by the NELA Riverfront Collaborative in print, online, and digital venues, and in physical exhibitions or events associated with the project.

All rights associated with the winning design will be transferred to the NELA Riverfront Collaborative.

Click here to view the submissions or share your below what sort of public spaces you would like to see in the Northeast Los Angeles study area:


Support Provided By
Read More
(LEFT) ER nurse Adwoa Blankson-Wood pictured near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, wearing scrubs and a surgical mask; By October, Blankson-Wood was required to don an N-95 mask, protective goggles, a head covering and full PPE to interact with patients.

As A Black Nurse at The Pandemic's Frontlines, I've Had A Close Look at America's Racial Divisions

Most of the time, I was able to frame conversations within the context of the virus and not race, telling patients that we were doing our best, trying to be the heroes they kept calling us. But I was dying inside .... It was easier to find solace in my job, easier to be just a nurse, than to be a Black nurse.
The City of L.A. is staging a COVID-19 mobile vaccination clinic in Chinatown for senior citizens, in an attempt to improve access to the vaccine among vulnerable populations.

Long-Awaited COVID-19 Vaccine Access Expanding in L.A. County Monday

Los Angeles County’s COVID-19 vaccination effort will expand vastly Monday, but health officials said today those workers will have to be patient as vaccine supplies remain limited and staff are trained to ensure only eligible people receive shots.
Photo from above of people waiting in line on a sidewalk.

COVID-19 Pushes Many Indian Employers to Grant Informal Employees New Work Benefits

Bank accounts, housing and fixed wages among new benefits being offered to some of India's vast army of informal workers.