In October, AECOM released its LA River Gateway revitalization proposal, an integrated framework that, if fully implemented, can create benefits for communities along the river’s banks while helping generate new economic prospects, the firm said. The comprehensive proposal, which can be found at www.aecom.com/larivergateway, defines an approach that helps deliver catalytic projects that align with existing plans and goals, while focusing on responsible and practical strategies for achieving future benefits.
“The revitalization of the LA River is one of the most transformational opportunities for Los Angeles in generations and we are deeply committed to designing and building our hometown’s infrastructure to better serve our communities,” said Kelli Bernard, chief executive of AECOM’s LA Metro region. “To create the LA River Gateway framework, our team of urban designers, planners, economists, civil engineers, and water and transportation infrastructure experts collaborated over the last year, analyzing and developing an integrated approach for the revitalization of the LA River in order to enhance the quality of life for communities along its banks while increasing economic opportunities.”
AECOM’s proposal examined a specific four-mile stretch of the LA River between the Elysian Hills, just below Dodger Stadium, south to the 10 Freeway below 7th Street and the Arts District. The area presents an opportunity to create open spaces and parks. Due to a significant amount of entitled and developable parcels, the region is also capable of delivering new and affordable housing and employment opportunities without disrupting the character of surrounding neighborhoods.
“Rivers are no longer the industrial corridors of yesterday. They are being re-evaluated as the new hearts of cities, as places where neighborhoods come together across the socio-economic spectrum, where ecologies are restored, where modern and clean transportation replaces the dirty, the inefficient, and the out of date. Rivers are where businesses are re-investing in new jobs and new housing,” said Stephen Engblom, senior vice president and global director of AECOM’s Global Cities Initiative. “The LA River has the potential for visitors and residents to come together and celebrate life in new ways.”
AECOM’s framework is guided by the City of Los Angeles’ sustainability goals as its foundation. Through the company’s proprietary Sustainable Systems Integration Model software, it was able to estimate the costs and benefits of various planning strategies based on environmental, social, and economic outcomes. The potential benefits include greater public access to the LA River and open space, improved ecological sustainability, increases in mobility and neighborhood livability, new affordable housing options, and job centers. These focus areas were adopted and taken directly from the City of Los Angeles Sustainability pLAn, in conjunction with land use and community plans, keeping the LA Gateway framework aligned with existing and approved plans.
“No single entity can afford to take on a project of this scale by itself. It’s only through open collaboration with community and business stakeholders that plans can be executed to create more green space, increase housing options, and build employment around key transportation hubs in order to improve livability for Angelenos in the region,” said Bernard. “This entire approach involves listening and interacting with citizens, neighborhoods, land owners, and environmental organizations.”
Information provided by AECOM (www.aecom.com).