UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation Hosts LA River Greenway Workshop with more than 150 LA River Leaders

UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation Hosts LA River Greenway Workshop with more than 150 LA River Leaders

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Thu, 05/26/2016 - 2:30pm

In recent years, momentum has grown significantly around visions for a complete, comprehensive and accessible Los Angeles River greenway. This would include a network along the entire 51 River miles of pathways and bridges for walking, biking, and equestrian use; adjacent parks and other green spaces; and neighborhood access points.

Several local grassroots and government organizations have blazed a trail, despite significant obstacles, to create accessible opportunities for healthy recreation and active mobility along the River. The UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation collaborated with these forward looking organizations to document their projects as case studies and distill practical lessons in a publically accessible how-to format. The resulting Luskin Center’s Guide features successful projects and lessons learned for applicability to future revitalization efforts.

On Friday, May 20th, the Luskin Center welcomed more than 150 LA River leaders to the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs for a conference titled Creating a Complete LA River Greenway for All. The conference explored effective, proven strategies and new, exciting opportunities to expand the Los Angeles River greenway as a community, health, environmental, transportation, and economic resource.

Patt Morrison, journalist, author, and radio-television personality, kicked off the event on Friday with a keynote overview of the history of the LA River. A plenary panel of River revitalization experts discussed the many policy, planning, and funding opportunities available now and those on the horizon that can be collectively leveraged to advance a complete River greenway. The panel, which included Omar Brownson of River LA, Benjamin Feldmann of Mia Lehrer + Associates, Irma Muñoz of Mujeres de la Tierra, and Peter Kareiva of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability,  was moderated by Beatriz Solis of the California Endowment. The panelists focused on issues of equity, highlighting the need to address displacement and gentrification and to engage directly with communities. They also discussed the role of nonprofits in River revitalization, the importance of funding for River greenway projects, and the potential of the River to foster meaningful connection between people and nature.

After the morning’s high-level perspective taking, the event featured project leads and their success stories. Event attendees learned about specific projects organized by type; community access to the LA River, parks and pathways along the LA River, and bridges across the River.  

The greenway vision can only succeed through community involvement and collaboration. This event set out to encourage new partnerships and resource sharing, as well as to provide the guidance and support necessary to inspire all River-adjacent communities, local governments, and nonprofits to take the River revitalization into their own hands.

A draft of the Luskin Center’s Guide is available here.

All the presentations can be viewed here.

In recent years, momentum has grown significantly around visions for a complete, comprehensive and accessible Los Angeles River greenway. This would include a network along the entire 51 River miles of pathways and bridges for walking, biking, and equestrian use; adjacent parks and other green spaces; and neighborhood access points.