urban design

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

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! 

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.

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.

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 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

 

 

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.

 

 

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!

https://globaldesigningcities.org/publication/global-street-design-guide/

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.

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

 

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 Urbanize.la 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.
 

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.

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.