Los Angeles County has unveiled a revised L.A. River masterplan, opening doors for the development of the river ecosystem. The revision is the first update made on the original plan in over 25 years. Instead of targeting specific projects on the river, the planners aim to address the current and future needs of the communities along the entire river. Among the proposed undertakings include improving water quality, housing, access to parks and flood risk management.
“We want to see a plan that really takes a holistic approach to the entire river,” Bruce Reznik, executive director of Los Angeles Waterkeeper, said. “This is the one opportunity we have to set a clear vision with clear priorities.”
Los Angeles Waterkeeper is one of the environmental groups that played a major advisory role in the development of the masterplan. The plan now looks at the entire river, which starts in Canoga Park and runs for 51 miles through the city of Los Angeles and other cities along its way to the Pacific Ocean.
The original L.A. River masterplan was drafted in 1996 with the aim of stopping flooding along the river and general beautification. The update, which has been undertaken by the L.A. County Public Works, now seeks to incorporate river access, cultural and educational support, ecosystem support and added funding for more projects along the river.
“Communities along the Los Angeles River, especially those near the lower Los Angeles River, are in desperate need of investment,” said Hilda L. Solis, chair of the county Board of Supervisors. According to Solis, the intention is to have the communities that live along the river participate in its beautification and development.
Frank Gehry, one of the landscape architects involved in the planning process, explained that the goal is to reflect the diversity of the communities living along the river.
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said of the project, “It would demonstrate our commitment to public health, open space, and sustainability for all our communities, and stand as a new example of the creative re-imagining that has been a hallmark of Los Angeles and its residents for more than 100 years.”
The L.A. River masterplan draft is currently available online and open for public comment.
Image via AKF2006