Volunteers Needed for a Walk Audit around Future Purple Line Stations

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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.  

Getting People to Parks on Transit

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This week, Here LA kicks off the Transit to Parks Strategic Plan for LA Metro.  The physical and psychological benefits of urban parks are well documented.  Benefits range from reduction in obesity, depression, and air quality-related health issues, to support for healthy brain development and overall healthy living.  But for so many people living in the LA region, accessing a park is not easy.  Most of our neighborhoods aren't built around a local park; we can't walk out of our front doors and bike or walk to meet our friends for a pick-up game at a nearby basketball court or the like.  Fewer than one-third of Los Angeles children live within walking distance of a park or playground. 

The Transit to Parks Plan investigates how we, as a region, can get better access to parkland and open space areas, including the 75 miles of LA County coastline.  Solutions will likely include a full range of access improvements, like public shuttles, bike lanes, greenways, programmatic incentives, creative partnerships, non-traditional or shared ride possibilities, and others.  The focus will be on providing solutions for car-less, transit-dependent Angelenos and on getting people to the specific types of parks that they want to explore. 

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Map from the recent LA County Park Needs Assessment. 

Here LA Helps Kick-Off the Artesia International Downtown Strategic Plan!

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Here LA is excited to announce the kick-off the Artesia International Downtown Strategic Plan with Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio. As LA Metro moves forward with plans for the West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor,  (a transit line that would connect Downtown Los Angeles to Artesia) the City of Artesia is aiming to enhance its environmental and economic sustainability through transit-oriented development.

The goal of the plan is to develop an effective Downtown Specific Plan that will help the City prepare for and leverage its assets at the terminus of the West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor. Here LA will be supporting the team by providing urban design and creative engagement services, referencing our recent work with LA Metro on the Transit Supportive Planning Toolkit, the First/Last Mile Strategic Plan, the Green Places Plan, and the Active Transportation Strategic Plan. 

Look out for more information about the project as we kick-off the engagement workshops in January! 

 

 

Come and See Here LA at the ASLA Conference

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Here LA will be at the ASLA Conference this weekend. We hope to see you there!

Co-Directors Shannon Davis and Amber Hawkes will be meeting up with an ASLA Field Session walking tour "Lessons About Safety: Urban Design for Better Security" to talk about lessons learned from the MyFigueroa streetscape project, which the two were involved with for many years from early concept phases through approval.  The Field Session includes a walking tour that takes participants through Wilshire Grand, City National Plaza, Maguire Gardens, and Downtown LA's city streets. Shannon and Amber's talk will focus on urban design best practices relating to safety and security - ways to passively and actively design for safety.

Friday, October 20, 12noon-4:45pm

Register for the session here. 

Also, be sure to come and see Here LA Urban Designer's Chad So in 2x1 Visions of Los Angeles - a program curated by LALA (Los Angeles Landscape Architecture). 30 participants will speak for one minute each on the image of the Los Angeles landscape, perceived or real.  2x1 Visions will be held in in the courtyard of the A+D Museum. 

Sunday, October 22, 6:30-10:30pm

See more information here. 

 

 

 

See you at the New Urbanism Film Festival this Weekend!

Here LA Workshop

Join Here LA's Co-Directors Shannon Davis and Amber Hawkes at the 5th Annual New Urbanism Film Festival this weekend, a four day event in Los Angeles October 19-22, 2017.

The festival screens short and feature length films about the urban environment.  Shannon and Amber are part of two panels that follow short film screenings about street art and tactical urbanism, sharing Here LA's stories and insights about bringing beauty and fun to the urban realm:

Tactical Urbanism Short Films, Thursday, October 19th, 7:30pm

Street Art Short FilmsFriday, October 20th, 9:30pm

Get tickets to the Festival and read more about it here

Glendale Speaks: Turning Community Feedback into Art

This past week, Here LA installed a temporary art piece that illustrated a year's worth of feedback from community workshops in the City of Glendale, as part of the City's Pedestrian Plan.   Since 2016, the design and planning team has been speaking with people who live, work, and play in Glendale about what it's like to walk in the City.  Each triangle in the community mural represents one person's answer to the question, "What would make you walk more in Glendale?" 

Each color is a specific response. You can see frequency and patterns of response and read the community sentiment through color.  Blue tones indicated safety-related responses - people who said they'd walk more if they felt safer walking, or if vehicles would slow down, for example.  Pink indicates an accessibility-related reason (more space on the sidewalks or more destinations within walking distance) and green/yellow tones indicate aesthetics and comfort issues (better lighting, more shade, more people out walking, or better sidewalk condition).

The temporary mural will be up for a little while in its current home in the plaza in front of the Museum of Neon Art on Brand in Glendale and then will be roving around to various sites around the City.  

Join theconversation and check out the evolving Pedestrian Plan!

One Arroyo

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Here LA is currently working on the One Arroyo project with the City of Pasadena. This effort aims to identify and prioritize projects that will enhance and preserve the Arroyo Seco for current and future generations. 

This week, Here LA is working with the Arroyo Advisory Group (AAG) to launch the One Arroyo Survey. Here LA will be supporting the AAG as they reach out to Arroyo Seco stakeholders, users, and community members.

Check out the One Arroyo Website to take the online survey and find out more about the project!