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Can an Empty Space Become a Public Space?

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The empty lot on the corner of Division St. and Cypress Ave.

Youth Voices is working with students from the Los Angeles River School to re-imagine the L.A. River and the surrounding communities as part of the Northeast Los Angelels Riverfront Collaborative. The students have formed teams to explore and investigate their communities, map assets, collect and share stories, data and community input for their projects. All the while they are learning and expanding their knowledge of digital media and civic engagement. Follow their work here and on Instagram and Twitter by using #kcetyv.

Team Members
Destiny Marin
Daisy Alvarez
Ahbram Burgos
Elden Alvarado
Emmanuel Moyaho
Angel Rodriguez
Vince Caldera
Melvin Guerra

What is something you want to improve in your neighborhood?
Something we would like to improve in our neighborhood are the empty lots that are located in our community. There are various lots that are vacant and untouched which could be used for several different things.

Why is it important to improve this aspect of your neighborhood?
It is important to improve this aspect in our neighborhood because these empty lots can actually be turned into something else that can benefit our neighborhood and community.

Where would you go in your neighborhood to investigate and document this issue?
We will investigate the empty lot that is located nearest to our school. The empty lot we would like to work on is located on the corner of Cypress Ave. and Division St.

How does this issue affect the people in your neighborhood (including you,) and how will things change once it's improved?
This issue affects the people in our neighborhood because this empty lot is not only an eyesore, but an area that takes away from the potential of the community. We want to not only change this area and draw community members to engage in activities, but also provide a welcoming environment for all people.

A potential re-design for the empty lot

What are two possible ways that you can take action towards solving this issue?
We can draw ideas that we would want to turn the empty lot into. Then take our ideas and introduce them to community members that can help us get this issue solved.

What is your vision for improvement in your neighborhood and why is it important to take action?
Our vision for improvement in our neighborhood is to see more locations that can help make our community a better place. For example, the empty lots can become eating areas or rest stops for the people in our community. It is important to take action because if nothing is done with these empty lots, they will continue to be nothing but unused space and not useful to the community.

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