An ambitious riverfront recreation space, the Chinatown-Cornfields is just one of twenty major opportunity areas identified by the Los Angeles River Master Plan. The proposal for this particular stretch of the 32 mile LA River corridor includes a habitat island, a small pond suitable for kayaking, an amphitheater along the river, a promenade, and an extensive trail system through a 20-acre community park. The revitalization development will maximize community connectivity, allowing easy access to Downtown and Chinatown to the southwest, Boyle Heights to the east, and Elysian Park and Solano Canyon neighborhood to the north. Green river arterials with improved pedestrian and bicycle lines, shaded trees, street furniture and convenient paseos serve as primary connectors for surrounding communities. Complementing this new recreation section, the river’s flow will be diverted through a naturalized channel. A second river diversion provides an inner city dam and a large island in the center of the development.
The plan calls for light rail to run through the middle of the island which will increase access and maximize the connectivity between the heart of the city and its surrounding neighborhoods. A much needed and anticipated development is expected in the following years; current improvements are taking place by the river but none at this scale. We are hopeful that opportunities to bring these plans to life will take place in the near future and continue for many generations to come. Some day (sooner rather than later) the Los Angeles River will be the heart of the city connecting urbanites and nature once again.