Green space for all

Thursday 01 Aug 2013

Former car park in Los Angeles transformed into public park by Lehrer Architects

Last month, Mayor Villaraigosa and Councilmember Huizar opened Spring Street Park in Downtown Los Angeles, the 16th Park in the 50 Parks Initiative. The Mayor also announced the City of Los Angeles has purchased a lot from the State of California on the corner of 1st St and Broadway to create a new public space adjacent to Grand Park and across the street from City Hall.

Spring St. Park was designed by Lehrer Architects and is situated on 0.7 acres of land. It includes walking paths, an open lawn, seating, children’s play elements, native landscaping, and a smart irrigation system. The park’s planning, design, and implementation involved a collaboration among the Mayor’s Office, Council Districts 14 and 9, Recreation and Parks, Engineering, and local stakeholders, including ‘Friends of Spring Street Park’, a non-profit organisation established to assist the park. Funding for Spring Street Park came from Quimby fees.

“Spring Street Park is an example of how the 50 Parks Initiative is bringing green space and recreation facilities where they’re needed the most,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “I am also pleased that we have successfully purchased the lot on 1st St. and Broadway to remove blight and build more healthy public space in Downtown Los Angeles.”

Spring Street is the 16th park to be opened through the 50 Parks Initiative, which Mayor Villaraigosa launched in August of 2012. The 50 Parks Initiative takes underutilised properties, many left blighted from the housing crisis, and turns them into neighbourhood parks in areas that badly need them.

Each park includes safe and environmentally sustainable features that minimise park maintenance and maximise community impact. Over the past seven years, the Villaraigosa administration has added 670 acres of park space, more than twice the amount of the previous two administrations combined.

"By creating these 50 parks in the least-served neighborhoods of Los Angeles, we are permanently transforming our City,” said Barry A. Sanders, Commission President, Recreation and Parks.  “The Department of Recreation and Parks has been adding parks to its stewardship for over 120 years.  Since 2005, we added 53 new parks and enlarged 15. With the addition of the 50 Parks Initiative, about 20% of the parks established during this Department’s long history will be the work of the last seven years.”

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