streetscape

Inglewood First/Last Mile Plan Adopted by Metro Board

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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

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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

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.

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 California American Planning Association (APA) Conference this weekend!

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Here LA will be at the California APA conference, September 23 - 26 in Sacramento.  Come say hi at our panel as Here LA's Amber Hawkes, AICP talks about creative open space and parks planning strategies:

"Lean, Green, Park Planning Machine: Strategies for More Equitable Parks and Open Spaces"

How can cities equitably plan for parks and park systems that serve the needs of all residents? This session will explore ways in which park planning professionals, representing a diversity of expertise, have aligned community needs and desires with innovative funding and design strategies to achieve more impactful open spaces.

Moderator: Connie Chung, Director, HR&A Advisors, Inc.

Speakers: Eduardo Santana, Executive Director, Pershing Square Renew; Pauline Louie, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; Amber Hawkes, AICP, Co-Director, Here Design Studio (Here LA); Scott Jordan, ASLA, Principal, Civitas, Inc.  CM | 1.5

 

 

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.

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

 

Drawing Designs for 20+ Acre Site

Here LA has been selected to generate conceptual urban design alternatives for a 20+ acre sites in Central CA. Today in our design workshop we are generating design concepts and loading studies for the sites, looking at creative mixtures of uses, 'flex barn' building typologies, alternative energy generation, and new street arrangements.  

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.  

Walking Tour Tonight in West Hollywood

Tonight we will be leading an architectural walking tour in West Hollywood with the Eastside Working Group, to look at what works and doesn't work in terms of urban design, building facades, and new development around the Eastside of West Hollywood.  The ideas from the walking tour will inform the Eastside Community Plan.

Choosing Final Concepts for the Santa Monica Crosswalks Pilot

Today at the final design review meeting in Santa Monica,  we asked the City team to choose their top two designs.  They unanimously selected winners! Stay tuned for more details as we develop the designs and move toward installation at two Downtown Santa Monica locations in the early Fall.

Surveying the Creative Crosswalk Pilot Intersections

We are imagining the potentials for the Santa Monica Crosswalks Pilot, which will install temporary crosswalk enhancements in Downtown Santa Monica, two at Ocean and Broadway and one full field design at 2nd and Arizona.  We are designing the art and working with a installation team and targeting early Fall for install.  What colors, motifs, and ideas mean "Santa Monica" to you?  Let us know at: SM Crosswalks Pilot Survey

Keep your eyes peeled for colorful asphalt in the Fall!  

Re-imagining 10th Street in Long Beach

This week Here Design is 're-imagining 10th Street' in Long Beach as part of the the 2nd Council District's push to improve some of the main corridors in the District.  The District has earmarked funding for a pilot project to test out some of the ideas in the Plan, which is expected to be complete in July, 2016.  So far we are looking at temporary solutions like "bus stop-lets" or temporary sidewalk extensions at bus stops, artful crosswalks, and a community-initiated utility pole painting project to beautify the north side of the street.

Ever wondered what this is on Sunset Boulevard?

Have you ever passed this little sidewalk placard with Billie Jean King's name on it on Sunset Boulevard just east of Echo Park Avenue and wondered what in the world it is?  It's a remnant of the Avenue of Athletes, a project from the 1970's - brainchild of camera shop owner, L. Andrew Castle.  An article from the LA Times in 1985 explains, "at Castle's urging, the City of Los Angeles in 1974 declared the 10 blocks of Sunset Boulevard between Elysian Park Boulevard and Alvarado Street to be the Avenue of the Athletes, allowing sidewalks to be dotted with tablets bearing the names of superstar jocks."  Apparently in 1985 there were around 32 plaques, but most of them have been removed or covered today.  It's always nice to see evidence of "city layering" from years and years of change - something that can be tough to find in LA, the city of constant-change.

Read the 1985 LA Times article here