L.A. Opens its First Pilot Parklet

With the opening last weekend of the city's first pilot parklet in the neighborhood of Eagle Rock, Los Angeles is hoping to join the ranks of cities hopping on the low-cost trend in public space creation.
February 6, 2013, 9am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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While the Sunset Triangle Plaza may be the first co-called "parklet" to have been built in the city (though it converted more than just parking spaces), the park just opened last weekend on the site of a former illegal parking space in Eagle Rock is the first of the city's official pilot parklet program to be completed. The city has a long way to go to catch up to the likes of San Francisco, and their 40 such spaces.

Sam Lubell describes the project, which is the result of a truly collaborative effort:

"The $30,000 space is modest in scope: it features stained wood plank flooring, curving built-in wood furniture, and mosaic tile furniture and siding. But as the city's first parklet it represents a major milestone. The parklets initiative involves intensive coordination between several city departments, including the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Department of Planning, the Bureau of Engineering, the Bureau of Street Services, the mayor’s office, and various city council offices. The parklet was sponsored by LA councilman Jose Huizar, planned and coordinated by non-profit Living Streets LA, and built by the LA Conservation Corps (which gives at-risk young adults work experience through conservation and service projects)."

"This first round of [four] parklets took more than two years to realize, not because of the complexity of their designs, but because of the significant community outreach and input involved and the development of an entirely new approval process, which is now coming into shape. Future parklets should take less time to complete, said Tricia Roberts, deputy planning director for Los Angeles councilman Jose Huizar’s [sic]."

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Published on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 in The Architect's Newspaper
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