Walk Downey Interactive Exhibition at Stay Gallery

Walk Downey is the community’s long-range vision for the future of walking in the City of Downey. This pedestrian plan will help shape citywide walkability, from safe and comfortable sidewalks and crosswalks to new education and safety programs. 

Join us for a one-of-a-kind interactive art and engagement exhibition at Stay Gallery aimed at understanding where people want to walk in the City of Downey. 

For more information, visit walkdowney.com

Stay Gallery

11140 Downey Ave

Downey, CA 90241

Exhibition Schedule

  • On View: October 2 – November 1

Opening Reception

  • Wednesday, October 2, 2019

  • 6p – 9p

  • Featuring a historical walking tour of downtown hosted by The Downey Conservancy

Reception II

  • Friday, October 11, 2019

  • 6p – 9p

Reception III

  • Saturday, October 19, 2019

  • 11a – 2pm

Closing Reception

  • Friday, November 1, 2019

  • 6p – 9p

SCAG's Climate Talks Box

Welcome to Climate Talks! The Climate Change Box is a part of Southern California Association of Governments’ Climate Adaption Planning Framework. The study will look at how the Southern California region can work together to plan and prepare for the impacts of sea level rise, extreme heat, increasingly frequent damaging wildfires, and other climate-related issues. The framework produced from the study will provide local cities with a road map to adaptation in an effort to help build a more resilient Southern California.

Expo/Crenshaw First/Last Mile is underway!

Here LA is kicking off the Expo/Crenshaw First/Last Mile Plan which will identify improvements to enhance the experience for people walking and biking to the future Expo/Crenshaw Station. The Expo/Crenshaw station will provide connections to The Crenshaw/LAX Line, Expo Line, and bus transit.

Designing better Willoughby, Vista, & Gardner Streets

Here LA is working with the City of West Hollywood to make beautiful and safe streets for people walking and biking. We’ve recently kicked off the streetscape design project and are envisioning with the community - what the streets could become through our first “treasure hunt” walk and bike audit. Great ideas are surfacing and we are excited to see where the ideas will take us. Stay tuned for more project info!

Transit-to-Parks Planning Moving Forward for the LA region

Did you know that 41% of lower-income households in Los Angeles do not have immediate access to a park? And 22% of existing high-quality parks do not have direct public transportation access.

As LA Streetsblog reports... "Last week, the Metro board unanimously adopted the agency’s proposed Transit to Parks Strategic Plan, as well as amending staff recommendations to give the plan a bit more momentum for implementation. Metro’s plan was developed in response to a 2016 motion by directors Hilda Solis, Sheila Kuehl, and John Fasana. The Transit to Parks plan details various initiatives that Metro and other agencies could implement to improve transit access to parks – from increased service, to bus service changes, to mapping, to improving first/last mile connections. "

Here LA led the effort in partnership with LA Metro, along with a stellar team of data specialists, mobility planners, and community advocates.

Want to check out the plan? Read it here

Inglewood First/Last Mile Plan Adopted by Metro Board


After a year-long planning and design effort, Here LA is excited to announce that the Inglewood First/Last Mile Plan was adopted last night at the Metro Board meeting with a special shout out for the Plan from Inglewood Mayor James Butts. The Plan is a joint effort between Metro and the City of Inglewood and lays out first/last mile streetscape design improvements around five stations in and adjacent to the City. Here LA led a team of consultants for the Plan.

The Inglewood First/Last Mile Plan is LA County’s first first/last mile project that has received committed implementation funding from a City partner (City of Inglewood).

Read more about the project here

Volunteers Needed for a Walk Audit around Future Purple Line Stations

tyler-nix-569180-unsplash (2).jpg

First / Last Mile planning for the Purple Line Extension has begun for the Wilshire/Rodeo, Century City/Constellation, Westwood/UCLA and VA Hospital rail stations. We invite you to participate in a Walk Audit, which is part of Metro’s First / Last Mile program to develop plans and implement strategies to ensure safe, accessible, and pleasant trips to and from transit for all riders. A Walk Audit is an in-the-field analysis of the streets surrounding a transit station.

Here LA will lead the walk audits on the days specified, training auditors in the field about best practices for auditors and how to use the mobile App that we helped to develop. We will take all of the information from the audits and compile results into a proposed set of streetscape projects and designs.

Hope you can join us!

Saturday, January 12th: 10:00am – 12:00pm  
Wilshire/Rodeo Station & Century City/Constellation Station                            

Saturday, January 12th: 2:00pm – 4:00pm  
Westwood/UCLA Station & VA Hospital Station

Monday, January 14th: 10:00am – 12:00pm  
Westwood/UCLA Station & VA Hospital Station

Monday, January 14th: 2:00pm – 4:00pm  
Wilshire/Rodeo Station & Century City/Constellation Station

Listening to Each Other: The Long Beach Safe Streets Story Bench

Coming Soon to your Neighborhood: the Safe Streets Long Beach Story Bench!

Do you have a story about how traffic violence or street conditions have impacted your life or the life of someone you know? Please come and share your story at the Story Bench. You will be able to record your story and make a pledge to ensure safer streets in Long Beach. Your stories will inform the City’s Safe Streets Action Plan. The Story Bench has been roaming around Long Beach and will continue to do so, through November 2018. Check out the Safe Streets website to learn more. Can't attend a Story Bench date? Go here to record your story and send it directly to the Safe Streets team.

Here LA designed the Story Bench, as part of the Safe Streets project. The goal is to gather stories to personalize traffic violence and put a human face on the problem.

Talking about Tactical Urbanism at the APA Conference


Here LA’s Amber Hawkes joined a panel of colleagues at the American Planning Association’s California Conference earlier this week to talk about making positive change in cities, in particular through temporary installations and pilot projects. The panel walked through insights relating to conceiving and carrying out urban ‘pop-ups’, getting into the nitty gritty of what it takes to pull them off and make them memorable and one-of-a-kind.

Amber’s co-panelists were from City Fabrick in Long Beach, PlaceWorks in San Francisco, and the City of Livermore Planning Department.

My Figueroa Community Celebration


On Thursday, August 30th, Downtown LA will finally see the long-awaited MyFigueroa streetscape project complete and open to the public. MyFig holds a special place in Here LA’s heart, as both Amber and Shannon worked on the project its in visioning stages. After several years of hard work and persistence from the City of LA, partners, and advocates, we are thrilled to see these visions come to fruition, providing all transportation modes with a safer, more efficient, and more enjoyable Figueroa street. 

The MyFig improvements include:

  • 3,500 square feet of landscaping
  • 189 new street trees
  • 95 bicycle signal loops to automatically call green lights for bicyclists
  • 79 street light upgrades
  • 64 ADA access ramps
  • 35 new wayfinding signs
  • 27 high visibility crosswalks
  • 13 new bus stop islands
  • 10 new bus shelters
  • 9 curb extensions
  • 6 blocks of wider sidewalks
  • 4.25 total miles of bike lanes
  • 1.75 miles of protected bike lanes

The City will hold a community celebration on Thursday, August 30th with a walking tour (9:45 am), ribbon-cutting ceremony (11:30 am), and group bike ride (12:45 pm). For more information and to RSVP, click here

Congrats to everyone involved in making MyFig a reality!

Calling All Vinyl!

Here LA is piloting a fence beautification project, using woven strips of re-purposed vinyl advertisement and construction signage to transform chain link fences.  The decorated fences will add color and 'vigor' to the street while helping to reduce waste by re-using all sorts of temporary signage from construction sites and businesses around LA.

To get started, we need your help - Let us know how we can rescue your organization’s decommissioned vinyl signage and put it to use! Send us an email at hello@here.la to donate your used vinyl today! 

Envisioning North Long Beach at the PopUpTown Social

We had a blast at the July 26th PopUPTown Social in North Long Beach! The patio of the Michelle Obama Library was filled with music, food, crafts, and community members of all ages who helped envision the future of Uptown Long Beach as part of the Uptown Planning Land Use and Neighborhood (UPLAN) strategy. Our zoning card game was a hit, with over 50 participants using a deck of cards to tells us their preferences for building types along Uptown’s commercial corridors. Through the zoning card game, we saw strong community support for open space, grocery stores, live-work spaces, community use buildings, affordable housing, and improvements to bike and pedestrian accessibility throughout Uptown. Thanks to the Uptown Business District for organizing the PopUp event!

Glendale's Pedestrian Plan Mural Has a New Home!

Last October, Here LA installed a temporary art piece that illustrated a year's worth of feedback from community workshops completed for the Glendale Pedestrian Plan. After being displayed for several months in the plaza outside of the Museum of Neon Art, the mural has found its latest home two blocks away on Maryland Ave in between Broadway and Wilson (improving the vacant storefront where Cat in the Lotus used to be). Make sure to check it out next time you’re in the neighborhood!

A Community Dialogue with Little Tokyo & the Arts District

Last weekend we installed a temporary interactive sculpture at Metro's Regional Connector 'Halfway There' Celebration in Little Tokyo.  The large-scale installation had spaces for people to add their thoughts and ideas, as we asked them what they most wanted to see at the Little Tokyo / Arts District Metro station.  We heard about local restaurants, local markets, affordable and senior housing, and lots of trees and green space!  We designed and fabricated the activity as part of Metro's Joint Development program.  A shout out to our project partner Studio One Eleven and our friends at LA Metro - thanks for the collaboration! We will be using the findings as we develop the vision for the site. 

Here LA Designated Best Emerging Firm in LA


The American Planning Association, Los Angeles (APA LA) has just announced their 2018 winners and Here LA has won the Emerging Planning and Design Firm award!

Every year, APA Los Angeles celebrates the region’s most outstanding planning work, it’s hard-won victories, best practices, and thought-leaders dedicated to the place-making profession. Award submissions are voted on by a panel of experienced judges who are dedicated to highlighting the projects, plans, or people that demonstrate the power of great planning.

Thanks to the panelists and congratulations to the winners!  We hope to see you at the Awards Gala in June:

Date: June 7, 2018
Time: 6pm-10pm
Eli and Edythe Broad Stage, Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center

We are Too Accepting of LA's Hostile Urbanism

Photo of Vernon by: Dave Bullock, June Gloom Series 

In LA and in so many cities across the country we've grown too used to hostile forms of urbanism that make it unpleasant to walk, bicycle, and generally hang out outside.  'Hostile urbanism' refers to streetscaping elements or design moves in the public realm that are generally unfriendly to the human being. As an example, think about what it's like to walk next to a freeway edge or through an underpass with chain link on all sides and no light.  Think about the noise and smells that we've gotten used to, as we walk along the edge of a 10 lane arterial street.  Good design, thoughtful urban design needs to be prioritized and needs to be funded to avoid these mistakes, these inhumane moments all around our city. It's a matter of respect - respect for the human, respect for our city, respect for ourselves. (Picture: Flickr Oatsy 40)

Read about Hostile Urbanism here, in a recent article from LAist, with insights from Here LA's Amber Hawkes.

First/Last Mile in Inglewood!


Here LA is happy to announce the kick-off of the Inglewood First/Last Mile Planning project with LA Metro and the City of Inglewood! The Inglewood First/Last Mile Planning project signals a critical point for First/Last Mile implementation in the County. This project, although not the first application of Metro’s First/Last Mile analysis, will result in the development of innovative and forward-thinking methods of capturing data during the First/Last Mile analytical process. 

This project is also a precedent-setter as Metro will be directly partnering with City staff to develop and provide critical feedback at every stage of the First/Last Mile planning process. This relationship is invaluable, and will ensure continuity and project understand as next steps are taken in future implementation phases. 

Keep an eye out for more information about the project and ways to get involved!


Hop On the Downtown Trolley!

From now until the beginning of 2018, hop on the Downtown Glendale trolley, which circulates along Brand and Central, around the Americana and up to the residential areas north of the 134 Freeway.  A great First/Last Mile solution, the trolley makes it easier to walk and take transit to your destinations.  Here LA designed the trolley stop signage and large side-panel trolley graphics, with a fun hand-drawn look, inspired by the sites around Downtown.

Getting Hands On @ One Arroyo Day

Lots of fun last weekend at One Arroyo Day in Pasadena at the Rose Bowl! Here LA made these 'rainbow stackers' to facilitate a 3 dimensional dialogue with the community about their memories, hopes, and dreams for the Arroyo Seco.  We gathered stories about the Arroyo and watched over the day as the structure took shape.