Dan Rosenfeld of Urban Partners, Anahuak's Raul Macias, and The City Project's Robert García discuss river revitalization, justice, and displacement. Plasmatics Concepts The Los Angeles River.
Civil rights hero Chi Mui discusses the community struggle to stop warehouses and create the Los Angeles State Historic park at the Cornfield. “Nothing like this has ever happened in Chinatown before,” Chi said. “We’ve never had such a victory. And now, every time people walk with their children down to that park, they’ll see that great things can happen when folks come together and speak up. We can renew our community one dream at a time.” BBC Documentary Who Killed the Los Angeles River?
River Revitalization and Justice
The Los Angeles River stretches 52 miles through diverse communities from Canoga Park in the San Fernando Valley through downtown to the ocean in Long Beach. The City of Los Angeles has published an L.A. River Revitalization Master Plan. The L.A. River plan should promote democratic participation and equitable results in the revitalization of the Los Angeles River with healthy parks, schools, and communities. We seek economic, environmental, equitable, and healthydevelopment for all communities along the River for generations to come.
The River, one of the most environmentally degraded in the world, runs 52 miles through some of the most underserved communities in the region. Community revitalization along the River that puts children and families first can serve as a best practice example for community redevelopment throughout the country.
Children of color living in poverty without access to a car have the worst access to parks, and to schools with at least five acres of playing fields in the Los Angeles region. These children disproportionately live along the length of the River that lies within the County, but not within the City. Children of color disproportionately live in the areas along the River with the highest levels of child obesity and the worst access to parks and recreation. Click on the map for all image sizes and more maps and analyses of green access and equity.
The City of Los Angeles must work together with the County and other municipalities and agencies to ensure equal access to public resources along the full 52 miles of the Los Angeles River, not just the 32 miles within the City. Planning for the full length of the River should be included as part of Southern California’s Integrated Regional Water Management Plan, to achieve compliance with clean water and civil rights laws.
The area from El Rio de Los Angeles State Park to the Los Angeles State Historic Park and El Pueblo de Los Angeles should be connected to serve as a best practice example for community development.
Within a three mile radius of Taylor Yard, 59% of the population is Latino, 19% lives in poverty, and 14% has no access to a car. Within a three mile radius of the Cornfield, 63% of the population is Latino, 33% lives in poverty, and 36% has no access to a car.
The Los Angeles River can unite the city across racial, ethnic, and economic lines and link all of Los Angeles together as one community through space and time.
"Were it not for the Los Angeles River, the city that shares its name would not be where it is today. Were it not for the Los Angeles River, Los Angeles would not be at all. The Los Angeles River has always been at the heart of whichever human community is in the basin: Gabrielino village, Spanish outpost, Mexican pueblo, American city. The river has been asked to play many roles. It has supplied the residents of the city and basin with water to drink and spread amidst their grapes, oranges, and other crops. It has been an instrument by which people could locate themselves on the landscape. It has been a critical dividing line, not only between east and west, north and south, but between races, classes, neighborhoods. . . . [T]he river has also been a place where ideas and beliefs about the past, present, and future of Los Angeles have been raised and contested." William Deverell, Whitewashed Adobe.
Browning the Green Movement
"The Alianza de los Pueblos del Rio formed after [Robert] Garcia and others decided that development of a new L.A. River was a symbolic and literal convergence of a myriad of issues confronting L.A.’s Latino population. To be left out of the discussion, they realized, was to be left high and dry, as the river shifts directions into the future. Instead, the alliance which includes[The City Project], the Anahuak Youth Soccer Association, Re-mapping L.A., Mujeres de la Tierra, and the William C. Velasquez Institute, spearheaded river meetings and community outreach that have ballooned into a comprehensive new platform of urban Latino environmentalism. Part legal strategy, part organizing principle, this green movement en español has put people--immigrants and poor people, mostly--at the center of an issue traditionally focused on flora and fauna, and which has pitted some environmentalists against immigrants." Evan George,Los Angeles Alternative.
Watery Disputes: Controversy and Complaints Follow New L.A. River Plan
by Evan George
Last month, the City Council rolled out an ambitious plan to revitalize the Los Angeles River from Canoga Park to Downtown. The massive report capped an 18-month campaign of unprecedented community outreach.
Now, less than two weeks before the draft plan enters its final stage, the most vocal and well-organized coalition involved in that process is up in arms, claiming its input has been marginalized.
The City Project's work received the L.A. River Award from the
City of Los Angeles "for extensively publishing research and
findings on urban parks and their benefits for the River, receiving
national recognition in your efforts to revitalize the River, and for
your contribution to the greening of the River through your work on
the Cornfields and Taylor Yard State Parks." Councilman Ed Reyes presents the Award to Robert Garcia, Executive Director and Counsel, Erica Flores Baltodano, Associate Director, and Chris Hicks, Staff Attorney.
Water Quality Award
The City Project's work received the 2005 Water Quality Award
from the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board "for making
an important contribution to restoring habitat along and water
quality in the Los Angeles River" by helping to create the Los
Angeles State Historic Park at the Cornfield and El Rio de Los
Angeles State Park at Taylor Yard.