Frequently Asked Questions

What is the LA River Index?

The LA River Index is a publicly accessible online resource that studies nine evaluation criteria along all 51 miles of the Los Angeles River: Flood Risk Management; Water Recharge; Water Quality; Greenhouse Gases; Ecology and Habitat; Open Space and Parks; Public Health and Social Equity; Transportation; and Programming. It is a living, breathing document that will change over time as additional studies and data collection are conducted on the River and incorporated into the Index.

Why an online Index?

Most reports of this fashion have been traditionally submitted as a paper document which can be obsolete the moment it is printed, supplanted by subsequent versions and accessible to only those who can access the document. In order for this work to benefit the discussions happening about the LA River, the team felt it was best to find a presentation method which could evolve as information changed and engage a broader audience.

How will the Index benefit River revitalization?

This is the first time that studies, data and reports on all 51 miles of the River will be available in a centralized location for the public to access. The Index will allow the public to identify and analyze the complementary and competing interests related to water, public space and people.

Who can use the Index?

The Index is available to the public. Anyone can access the information provided.

Where is the information within the Index sourced from?

The LA River Index builds upon existing studies and master plans of the river, our own research and data collection done by Gehry Partners, Geosyntec, and OLIN, and the input of policy makers, LA River advocates, peer organizations, and the community.

What is River LA’s role with the Index?

In fall of 2014, River LA engaged world-renowned architect Frank Gehry to help think through how the enhancement of our public infrastructure can be designed to serve the greater good – for both people and nature. In thinking about the best approach to this work, it was decided that a comprehensive online River Index should be created to allow the community to identify and analyze the complementary and competing interests related to water, public space, and people along all 51 miles of the Los Angeles River.

River LA has also been tasked with raising both private and public funds to help commission this study.

What is Frank Gehry’s and the team of experts’ role in the Index?

Frank Gehry and his team, partners Tensho Takemori and Anand Devarajan, have partnered with Geosyntec and OLIN to collect new data as well as review existing master plans and research as a foundation for creating an accessible resource where the public can find any and all information on the Los Angeles River. The team organized the index as a means to educate ourselves and to help identify and illuminate the various issues impacting the river to foster a broader public conversation of how this underutilized asset can serve the public good.

How does the LA River Index coincide with other river plans and studies?

The LA River Index builds upon existing master plans and studies along all 51 miles of the river. Much of these past plans have been incorporated into the Index.

What kind of outreach has River LA done to inform the Index as part of existing and future River projects?

We had several meetings with regional policy makers, public agencies, peer organizations, and the community through three public listening sessions along the river. We look forward to continuing this collaboration as we move forward with our work.

What are the next steps for Gehry Partners and River LA now that the Index has been made public?

The LA River Index is a resource designed to engage the public in a larger conversation about the river’s current state and what’s possible in the future. Our next steps include continuing to update the Index with our ongoing research and insights, as well as continuing to enhance existing studies and plans to inform future planning efforts.

Why Gehry Partners?

Gehry Partners has pushed the use of technology over the past 25 years as a means to help facilitate and communicate their complex projects. Gehry Partners uses a highly iterative design process for every project rooted in the creation of a single, central information database, used by all parties involved in order to work with the most updated project information and to have clear lines of communication throughout the team. River LA contacted Frank Gehry and asked if he would be interested in exploring a study of the LA River and through that discussion identified that their design approach could bring some value to the conversation about the river.