Global Street Design Guide

We have been enjoying using the Global Street Design Guide in the office! The Global Designing Cities Initiative (GDCI) and NACTO have teamed together to create a graphically rich and informative resource manual for planners and urban designers. Check out the URL below to qualify for a free digital copy!

Two Awards for Here LA and the City of Santa Monica

Here LA is proud to accept two new awards along with the City of Santa Monica for the Creative Crosswalks Pilot Project: the 2017 APA LA Award of Excellence for Urban Design and the 2017 Westside Urban Forum Award of Merit for Public Open Space.

The project is a precedent setter in the region, state, and nation.  Catch up with the story of “Embrace” here.

The success of the project is due to strong collaboration and bold ideas from the City of Santa Monica, the project team, and the engaged Santa Monica community. 

See the full list of APA LA Awards and join us at the Gala on June 22nd.

Also: Join us at the Westside Urban Forum Awards Luncheon on June 9th.

West Hollywood's Pedestrian & Bicycle Mobility Plan Approved by City Council


This week, the West Hollywood City Council approved the Pedestrian and Bicycle Mobility Plan, which Here LA has been working on for the past year.  The Plan is organized around the principle of a “Complete Network.”  Given the dense urban context of West Hollywood, not all streets can serve all modes of transit - like buses, walking, cycling.  The Plan achieves a Complete Network, prioritizing some streets for certain modes and other streets for other modes. This means that no matter what mode of travel you choose, there will be safe and comfortable options for you in West Hollywood.

Congratulations to the City of WeHo!

See you at the APA National Conference this weekend in NYC!


Here LA's Shannon Davis will be speaking at this year's American Planning Association (APA) National Conference, which will be held this weekend, May 6 - 9 in New York.

"Learning from Don Draper" - the talk will focus on lessons from the advertising world for urban planners and designers.

Don Draper was a master of the pitch - from selling Lucky cigarettes to Kodak’s carousel. In today’s fast paced, media-centric world, presentation skills are critical for success. Learn seven tips from the field of advertising to perfect your pitch. For the talk, Shannon Davis joins Georgia Sheridan, Transportation Planning Manager in Systemwide Planning & Station Design at Los Angeles Metro.

Saturday, May 6, 2017
10:45 a.m. - noon EDT

See you at the 2017 West Coast Urban District Forum

Here LA's Amber Hawkes will be speaking at the 2017 West Coast Urban District Forum about: "Using Tactical Urbanism for Testing, Engaging, and Building Community"


Tactical urbanism employs temporary interventions to the urban fabric to create an alternative environment from the one typical experienced on a daily basis. Whether for a single day or a couple years, tactical urbanism can be used to test ideas, engage stakeholders, shift narratives and build momentum for transforming communities. The session will share examples of tactical urbanism projects in various Southern California communities employed to serve a variety of these purposes


Join us!

Studio One Eleven, 245 East Third Street, Long Beach, CA

Thursday, March 16 | 2:30pm – 4:00pm

More Information, including registration

Program Details:

Moderator: Brian Ulaszewski, Principal and Executive Director, City Fabrick


  • Sean Warner, Place Making Manager, Downtown Long Beach Alliance
  • Amber Hawkes, Co-Director, Here LA
  • Christopher Koontz, AICP, Advance Planning Officer, City of Long Beach
  • Devin Strecker, Director of Communications, Hollywood Improvement District

Long Beach Bicycle Master Plan Approved!

Last night, the Long Beach City Council approved the Bicycle Master Plan.   The Long Beach Bicycle Master Plan serves as the foundation for creating a more bicycle-friendly City.  Congrats Long Beach!  Here LA ran the creative community pop-ups and performed art direction on the Plan.

Download the Plan

Come Check out the Community Workshop in Burbank this Weekend

This weekend, Here LA will join the City of Burbank and AECOM for the first community workshop for the Golden State Specific Plan, which covers the area east of the Burbank Airport.  Join us on our walking audit tour, where you'll be able to test out the interactive app we created, to provide feedback during the urban walk audit.    The District is Burbank's "front door" and its longest serving employment center.  It is also a principal gateway for Southern California and future plans for High Speed Rail will site a station within the District.

See the Project Website for more information.

Workshop Details:

Saturday, February 11, 2017, Marriott Hotel (2500 N. Hollywood Way, Burbank CA; across the street from Burbank Airport).  9:30am walking tour / 10:15 am workshop.

Here LA welcomes urban designer Chad So to the Team

Here LA is pleased to welcome Chad So to our team as Urban Designer!  Before joining Here LA, Chad worked at LA Department of Transportation (DOT) and North East Trees. Chad graduated from Cal Poly, where he studied Landscape Architecture.  We look forward to drawing, thinking, and working with Chad!

Pasadena Street Design Guide

Designed by Here LA

Designed by Here LA

Here LA will be heading to the City of Pasadena to help host a workshop on the City's Street Design Guide project. Here LA has been working on this project with Nelson\Nygaard, who has been helping the City ensure that Pasadena City streets are safe for all users and that they are designed according to their surrounding building context.

Here LA has also produced an introductory and explanatory video about the Street Design Guide. Join us Thursday, January 26th!

NACTO's City Data Sharing Principles

With the increased amount of information cities will be receiving through the new Uber Movement Data (an online database that was recently released to help cities access anonymous transit-demand and trip-related data), NACTO has issued a City Data Sharing Principles policy to help identify the type of data that will most benefit transportation planning. With so many ride-sharing companies that have access to similar information, it will be interesting to see how new releases of transportation data will be utilized by public agencies for future transportation planning.

Here LA's Shannon Davis and Amber Hawkes are teaching at UCLA

Shannon and Amber are teaching Visual Communication for urban planning Masters students this quarter at UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs along with Georgia Sheridan, AICP, Transportation Planning Manager at LA Metro. Shannon and Georgia will also be speaking at the American Planning Association National Conference in New York in the Spring. 

Read: Lessons from Don Draper for Urban Planners

Good News for LA!

Image: Ma Yansong, Lucas Museum of Narrative Art design - Exposition Park, Los Angeles

George Lucas has selected Los Angeles for his new museum (the final decision was being made between Los Angeles and San Francisco).  The project will bring tens of thousands of construction jobs to the region, according to Mayor Garcetti and the museum will have an endowment of at least $400,000 and focus on fine and popular art.

“As a museum uniquely focused on narrative art, we look forward to becoming part of a dynamic museum community, surrounded by more than 100 elementary and high schools, one of the country's leading universities as well as three other world-class museums.” - board announcement

SAMO's MANGo Project is Moving Along

Come out for the Community Forum tomorrow, Monday, January 9th, between 6:30PM – 8:00PM - to give your input about the next phase of the MANGo (neighborhood greenway) project on Michigan Avenue in Santa Monica.  The project is transforming a residential corridor into a walkable, bikeable, and beautiful green street.

Here designers Amber and Shannon oversaw the initial planning phases of the project in 2014, which included conceptual design, a pilot installation along the corridor, and a community festival that drew hundreds.  In 2015 the first phase of the project was constructed - a series of traffic circles, as envisioned and tested in the pilot.  Now regarding the eastern end of the route, the Forum will discuss the planned improvements near the Edison Language Academy.

See more information and Forum location here


Long Beach Bicycle Master Plan To be presented at Planning Commission

Here LA is happy to announce that the Long Beach Bicycle Master Plan will be presented at the City's Planning Commission on Thursday, January 4th at 5:00 pm. Our team has been working on the project with the City of Long Beach and Alta Planning and Design for the past year, crafting a comprehensive and visionary Bicycle Master Plan that is reflective of community sentiment and that catapults Long Beach forward to achieve its goal of becoming the "most bike friendly city". 

Check out the full draft plan here! The Plan will go to City Council next month for final adoption. 

Job Opportunities with Here LA

Here LA is looking for bright and motivated urban designers to join our team

Positions available include:

  • Urban Designer
  • Urban Design Intern

Here LA is a small interdisciplinary design practice that improves the public realm.  We are dedicated to solving complex urban challenges through creative processes and design-thinking that build on the stories of a place. We believe that good design creates happier people, stronger interactions and relationships, and a healthier community.  Our work ranges from the conceptual design of public spaces, parks, and streets to strategic planning relating to growth and change, mobility, and sustainability.  Many of these projects also fold in aspects of tactical urbanism and creative community engagement.  

The positions available will work on the full range of the firm’s projects, in particular, development of urban design concepts, graphic illustrations, plans, maps, infographics, and presentation and outreach materials.  The ideal candidates would have strong verbal and visual communication skills – the ability to translate dense planning topics and concepts into eye-catching and easy-to understand graphics and visual stories.  Ideal candidates would also have a deep interest and inquisitiveness in urban planning topics and urban form in Los Angeles and further afield. 

Proficiency in InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Sketchup, and CAD is required. Additional graphic software experience is a plus.

Intern: Must be enrolled part- or full-time in an Urban Design or related Master’s-level program.  

Urban Designer: Master’s Degree required, with at least one year of experience in the field.

How to Apply: Interested individuals should send their resume and portfolio (and any questions) to  Please no phone calls. The positions are available immediately and compensation will be commensurate with experience.  Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. 

Regarding the Northern Crenshaw Line Extension

Want to see the newest on the northern Crenshaw Line extension, through the City of LA and/or West Hollywood, between the Expo Line and the Red Line?  

Check out the new article from that breaks down the alternatives and discussed the options.  

Here LA is working with Metro, AECOM, and Gensler to visualize the various alignment and station opportunities for the line.

How Self-Driving Vehicles will Transform Urban Planning & Urban Places

Image from: Marc van der Chijs

Lots of dreamy articles and pieces are circulating this year about the impact of self-driving vehicles on our cities. 

Here are some of our favorite take-aways and thought points:

"Vehicle automation will require 80 percent fewer cars on any given highway"
- Carlo Ratti, Director, MIT Senseable City Lab

At the same time, the easier it becomes, the more that people might opt to take a self-driving vehicle. "Unless these vehicles are shared, we’ll probably see a dramatic increase of the number of cars on our streets."    
- From: Gizmodo

"Distances will become less of an obstacle as our autonomous vehicles promise media-saturated interiors that smoothly deliver us from walkable bubble to walkable bubble."
- From: Beyond Google’s Cute Car

"...many transportation plans which project outcomes decades into the future focus almost exclusively on the problem of automobile congestion and prescribe increased infrastructure in the form of new roads as the primary cure. Experts and trends, however, point to a future that will be increasingly multi-modal."
- City of the Future, National League of Cities

"...exactly how cities will change depends entirely on one thing: who owns all of these self-driving cars. There are three options for ownership when it comes to autonomous vehicles. We could continue with our current system, in which people own private cars. We could begin using shared fleets, owned by companies like Google, municipal cab companies, or cities themselves, that operate a bit like taxis, picking up one person at a time. Or—and this is the method preferred by many urban planners—we could turn to shared fleets that also offer shared rides, like Uber Pool, in which you take the backseat with some strangers headed in the same direction."
- From

We need to take care: "Rivers of older cars—who, in the future as today, tend to be poorer—may be excluded from certain parts of the city (as they already are in Paris) or shunted into traffic jams while AVs race by in another lane."
- From

Keep your eyes on one of the first test cases, as Uber tries out a fleet of self-driving cars in Pittsburgh
- Uber's roll out of self-driving cars in Pittsburgh.

One Big Step Forward for SoCal's First Freeway Overpass for Wildlife

Image from: National Park Service

We are happy to see this week that the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy were finally successful in their effort to buy a 70+ acre area of land between the Santa Monica Mountains and Simi valley, to facilitate the construction of SoCal's first wildlife corridor over a freeway.  We know the wildlife bridge will take a while to construct - infrastructure has never been a quick build here in CA - but it's a major positive step in a long process.  Mountain lions and other wildlife are severly constricted in the area - take a look at the National Park Service Map, above for location of mountain lions in the area.

Read more on KPCC

See the two new litters of mountain lion kittens that were born this summer

Here LA wins South Park Star Award

Last night at the South Park BID's Annual Meeting, Here LA was awarded the South Park Star Award, in recognition of our urban design and planning services in the district.  South Park BID has spearheaded or supported a huge amount of awesome urban design projects, many of which Here LA designers Amber Hawkes and Shannon Davis have been lucky to help out with, from conceptual design to planning.

Hope Street's The Spot: A temporary linear park or greening along Hope Street, one of South Park's "Main Streets."

MyFig: Just recently broke ground.  Will transform the Figueroa Corridor into a complete, multimodal street from Downtown to Expo Park, along with a separated bikeway, one of the first in LA.

South Park Green Alley: The BID, Council District 14, and City of LA will be transforming an existing alley in South Park into a green alley. The project is one of 3 alleys in Downtown LA chosen as pilot projects under the DTLA Forward initiative.  

LA Streetcar: Restoration of the Historic Streetcar Service in Downtown LA through the historic core.