About the Northeast Los Angeles Riverfront Collaborative


Program Manager: George Villanueva
EWDD Administrative Manager: Gerardo Ruvalcaba
E-mail: info at mylariver.org


In 2012, the Los Angeles Economic Workforce Development Department (EWDD) signed an agreement with the United States (US) Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to implement a $2.25 million Community Challenge planning grant from the Federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which includes HUD, US Department of Transpor- tation (DOT), and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The grant funds an innovative, interdisciplinary partnership called the Northeast Los Angeles Riverfront Collaborative (NELA RC), which will capture the energy of the Los Angeles River (River) as a catalyst for integrating planning efforts, coordinating strategic investments, and implementing a comprehensive economic revitalization strategy that reflects sustainable development and will help NELA communities to thrive.

The NELA RC has three objectives:

  • Engage the community in identifying a NELA Riverfront District.
  • Create a comprehensive implementation strategy for community revitalization and reinvestment that links land use, economic development and workforce strategies.
  • Create a model of engagement and public media to foster civic participation in the revitalization of communities.


Six decades after the River was first channelized in concrete, the L.A. City Council adopted the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan (Plan) in 2007, establishing a bold vision for transforming the River -- reversing the past and re-envisioning the future. Significant efforts are already underway in NELA to improve and expand upon the bicycle path along the River, to establish a network of parks, and to restore ecosystem values.

The benefits brought to NELA by the initial implementation of the Master Plan could be further complemented by a comprehensive land use plan around the River to enhance public access, identify and better connect community assets, and improve the area's infrastructure. The NELA RC process builds upon the growing momentum of efforts already in place, and aims to remake the River into a focal point of community revitalization, recreational activities, environmental stewardship, sustainable civic engagement, and economic growth for the entire city.

This project will create an interdisciplinary team of "place and people professionals" from the fields of planning, transportation, community engagement, environmental advocacy, academia, media, and community development. The NELA RC team is led by the EWDD, and includes the Los Angeles Planning Department, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, Workforce Investment Board, University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism's Metamorphosis Project, Occidental College's Urban Environmental Policy Institute, KCET Departures, the L.A. River Revitalization Corporation, Tierra West Advisors, and the L.A. Conservation Corps.

The NELA RC will produce their final report by Spring 2014. The NELA RC will be providing updates at the regular public meetings of the L.A. City Council committees.

NELA Riverfront Collaborative Partners
The Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) has been improving the quality of life for City residents for nearly 30 years by offering economic, social, and employment opportunities for individuals, families and neighborhoods in need. EWDD is the lead administrator for the Sustainable Communities Challenge Grant.

The City of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board (WIB) develops policy and strategy to ensure that businesses have access to a trained workforce and workers have access to quality jobs. WIB will ensure that their programs and "WorkSource Centers" are integrated with the NELA collaborative work.

The Los Angeles Department of City Planning will conduct a targeted Community Plan update that will consider zoning refinements for multiple land uses, neighborhood stabilization, urban design standards, River access points, and mobility linkages to increase access and recreational opportunities to the River in NELA.

The mission of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) is to attract, retain and grow businesses and jobs in L.A. County through business assistance programs, economic and policy analysis, and public policy leadership. The LAEDC will conduct an industry analysis/growth forecast and identify economic and workforce strategies to sustain the NELA area.

The USC Metamorphosis project researches the transformation of urban community under the forces of globalization, new communication technologies, and population diversity in order to inform practice and policy. Metamorphosis will develop and coordinate civic engagement activities that incorporate community-based research, popular education, media/technology, and evaluation.

Occidental College's Urban and Environmental Policy Institute (UEPI) functions as a social change-oriented academic center with strong community ties, and as a community-based organization with research and policy development capacity. UEPI will work to integrate a food hub and distribution network in NELA.

KCET Departures is a multimedia oral history project exploring the neighborhoods of Los Angeles through community engagement and digital literacy youth programs. KCET Departures will create an online platform to publish stories and ideas gathered through immersive activities in the NELA communities.

The L.A. Conservation Corps (LACC) provides at-risk youths with opportunities for success through job skills training, education, and work experience. As part of the collaborative, the L.A. Conservation Corps will be installing signage and other amenities along the L.A. River.

The L.A. River Revitalization Corporation (LARRC) is a non-profit organization that works to catalyze sustainable land use development along the L.A. River. The LARRC will establish an educational and community-based campaign that engages residents and business leaders in the creation of a thriving riverfront district.

Tierra West Advisors Inc. is an economic and real estate advisory firm. As part of the collaborative, Tierra West will identify economic and implementation strategies to develop sustainability in the NELA river area.

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