Fun City

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!

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.  

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!

Testing, Testing: Temporary Urban Murals

Here LA is in the workshop this week exploring public murals as a city place making tool. Murals add character and aesthetic values to the public realm, but more importantly they tell stories set in time and space. This week we are testing materials, application methods, and installation techniques.  Stay tuned for more in the coming months.

 

 

Blue Line Summer Series Slauson and Vernon

The Blue Line Summer Series continues on August 23rd at Slauson Station and August 27th near Vernon Station. Each pop up includes interactive elements designed by Here LA, as well as fun activities organized by local community groups. For a teaser, see the DTLB Station Pop-up. We look forward to seeing you!

Having Fun In Front of the Green Screen

Here LA's Amber Hawkes and Shannon Davis visited Planetizen's LA office today in Koreatown to film a segment for Planetizen Courses about First/Last Mile and 'Storytelling'.  Amber and Shannon discussed their experience helping to craft the First/Last Mile Strategic Plan and open-source process for LA Metro, sharing lessons learned and best practices from over the years, as the process has been applied to some of the 88 cities in LA County.   Here LA's discussions about Storytelling today were about everything from visual communication to tactical and pop-up urbanism - essentially finding ways to touch the hearts of people participating in the Planning process. Getting people to see, feel, smell, and hear the possibilities of an enhanced community and encouraging Urban Planners to Think Big.

Blue Line Summer Events Are Coming...

Be sure to join us on August 6th for a pop-up event for the Metro Blue Line First/Last Mile Summer Series! The pop-up event will include a community "Bike to the Beach" coupled with an interactive area for feedback and ideas. Here LA will be there with a kit of Blue Line temporary street furniture, talking about the First/Last Mile.  Music, food, and giveaways too!

The Bike to the Beach event is part of a series of events, happening in August and September along the Blue Line, aimed at getting feedback about what sorts of walking and biking improvements would be best for the areas surrounding the Blue Line, from Downtown Los Angeles, to Downtown Long Beach.

Can't make it to the Long Beach Event? August 3rd, 6pm - 9pm, the First/Last Mile Summer Series will be at the Parks After Dark, at Roosevelt Park, right near the Florence Blue Line Station.

See you there!

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.

See you at the 2017 West Coast Urban District Forum

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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

Speakers:

  • 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

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

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 Slate.com

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 Slate.com

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.
 

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.

New Pictures of our Santa Monica Crosswalks Installation Ribbon Cutting: Santa Monica's 'Embrace'

Check out some pictures from this morning's ribbon cutting for the Here LA designed crosswalk art at 2nd and Arizona (and another HD design at Ocean and Broadway).  

The artwork at 2nd and Arizona is titled, Santa Monica's 'Embrace'.  

Thanks to the team that made it happen at the City of Santa Monica and at NowArt LA.

Read More on Curbed LA  and Santa Monica Next

Check out the NBC LA News Story

And the NY Times

Santa Monica Crosswalks Art getting Installed This Week!

This morning, two of the three Here LA designed art crosswalks in Santa Monica - at Ocean and Broadway - were unveiled after an all-night install by the awesome install team! The final full-field art crosswalk will be painted tonight 9pm - 6am, so look out for the new colors at Arizona and 2nd tomorrow morning.  The crosswalks pilot is part of the City's Pedestrian Action Plan and Vision Zero goals adopted earlier this year. The crosswalks will be in place for up to 12 months.

Join us for the ribbon cutting opening ceremony, Wednesday 9am during the Santa Monica Farmers Market, at 2nd and Arizona.

The colorful hands at 2nd and Arizona are a welcoming embrace, a message of inclusion, openness, and hope, welcoming people to the Santa Monica beach community - a hand shake, a physical touch, the barter and trade of fresh vegetables, fruit, and flowers at the Farmers Market. 

The sunsets at Ocean and Broadway are an ode to the City's orientation to the west, looking out high over the Pacific Ocean. They also nod to the Camera Obscura adjacent to the crosswalks with their simplified, almost projected horizontal landscape drawn on the street. Be sure to take a look at the crosswalk art on Ocean from the Camera Obscura itself!

All of the crosswalks celebrate the City and the Downtown, while also raising the visibility of pedestrian-ism and the walking culture in Santa Monica, encouraging people to slow down and take a look.  

Having Fun Walking in Glendale

Check out our new temporary pedestrian wayfinding signage around Glendale, which were installed this weekend.  We designed the signs as part of the City of Glendale's Citywide Pedestrian Plan. They help point people to destinations around Glendale and also provide facts and ideas about walking.  The idea is to improve the walking experience around town and to encourage people to provide input to the planning process. #GlendaleWalks and GlendaleWalks.com

LA Times Article


See Here LA's Amber Hawkes talk to My Glendale TV about the project, below:

Popping Up in Long Beach

This weekend we will be popping up in Long Beach at the Live Long Beach Festival to hear from community members about bicycle planning.  Come and make some music on our power-generating bicycle, eat some popcorn, and enter for a chance to win a membership to the Long Beach Bike Share.

pilot tactical Fun City street festival pop-up creative outreach Long Beach bicycle planning

Now That's What You Call an Active Storefront!

Greetings from First Fridays in Long Beach, where one storefront window was made alive by dancers in playful outfits.  We all know now that a great ground floor helps nurture a vibrant street life and indoor-outdoor interaction but sometimes it doesn't hurt to be reminded!

The Bohemian Mermaid: Making Long Commutes Brighter Since 2015

We love to check on this piece of street art along the walls of the 10 Freeway hoping that it stays put.  Two important ingredients for successful cities: Fun and Surprise in the urban realm.  In L.A, it's nice to see the human handprint on the City.