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Revitalizing the Lower L.A. River and Beyond: Voices from Maywood – A Series, by Tim Mok

The Maywood community has spoken!

Community members face barriers that prevent them from participating in planning for revitalization of the Lower L.A. River and other local opportunities. People have not been meaningfully engaged in planning efforts.

I interviewed community members and listened to their unique perspectives about the L.A. River, parks, gentrification, and participation. They suggested that gang activity and homelessness impede access to the Lower L.A. River and Maywood parks. The River is stigmatized as a dumping ground for chemicals and pollution. Residents want justice! While revitalizing the Lower L.A. River has stirred up anxiety regarding gentrification and displacement for some, others did not express concern, which is jarring considering they are vulnerable. These valuable perspectives should inform decision-making for equitable development of the Lower L.A. River and other opportunities.

Southeast L.A. communities may have similar thoughts. Have decision-makers listened to and prioritized these concerns?

I will post a series of blog posts on “Revitalizing the Lower L.A. River and Beyond: Voices from Maywood.”

This work is based on my Master’s Thesis, An Alternative Paradigm to Revitalization of the Lower Los Angeles River: A Maywood Story (Master’s Thesis, M.S. Regenerative Studies, Cal Poly Pomona, College of Environmental Design 2017).

Please feel free to email me at tmok [ @ ] cityprojectca.org if you have any comments or questions, or would like to receive a PDF copy of the thesis.

Also see Whitewashing the L.A. River? Displacement and Equitable Greening.