The latest in a series of plans for the revival of the LA River waterfront, this new proposal from Perkins + Will Architects features a series of upgrades that will transform the area into a “healthy, equitable and sustainable community”.
In recent years, many ambitious proposals have been brought forward to revitalise and improve the area surrounding the Los Angeles River. The Lower Los Angeles River Revitalisation Plan (LLARP), proposed by Perkins + Will Architects in conjunction with various community groups and public institutions, aims to connect residents to the river and improve the environment surrounding it.
The proposed plan aims to transform 30km of the Lower LA River. The surrounding communities have long suffered from a lack of investment and public space, as well as a polluted environment. The plan aims to solve these issues through improving access to the river, which in turn creates public space and recreational areas for the community. The area around the river becomes an environment for exploration and play, with open spaces, streetscapes and multi-use paths woven together to create a vibrant extension of the public realm.
Perkins + Will worked with a number of partners to create the proposal: Tetra Tech; the Working Group, consisting of the LA County and community organisations; the San Gabriel and Lower LA Rivers and Mountains Conservancy; and the LA County Department of Public Works. Concept designs have been developed for three signature open spaces and three signature design templates for infrastructure improvements. These designs aim to transform the river into a healthy, equitable, and sustainable community, as well as identifying opportunities to reduce flood risk.
The design was developed alongside close collaboration with stakeholder and community groups. Throughout the design process, the project team conducted over 80 community and stakeholder meetings to focus design objectives on the needs of the community it would serve. Site-specific revitalisation projects were identified for 155 locations throughout the river corridor, focusing on public open space and community interaction.
Martin Leitner, urban design leader at Perkins + Will’s LA office, describes the importance of the project, “The signature projects are probably some of the largest open space opportunities that LA will ever see. Los Angeles is not about mega-projects, it is a city of diverse communities, cultures and moments. We worked with the Working Group, LA County and Tetra Tech to design concepts that serve the communities first."