Open Space and Parks
Create potential for 2300 acres of accessible and equitably distributed open space within a mile of the river.
Parks and open space are important gathering spaces for communities, but they also serve vital functions by providing places to exercise and play, connect with nature and enhance well-being. In fact, The World Health Organization recommends a minimum of about 100 square feet of green space per capita and a 15-minute walk to open space.1 Thus, 2300 acres of open space are necessary to serve the million residents living within a mile of the river. While Los Angeles County possesses significant open space, approximately 70% of this space is located in the San Gabriel Mountains, distant from the everyday needs of the county’s residents.
The LA River has the opportunity to serve as one of the County’s largest park reserves. Currently less than 10 miles of the riverfront is dedicated to public space2 and less than 10% of the river is currently connected to open space.3 Our research suggests we have a great opportunity to create the needed 2300 acres of open space through use of the river and its surrounding utility and transportation right-of-ways.
1 Los Angeles County Department of GIS Data, Open Space Data accessed from Los Angeles County Data Portal, http://egis3.lacounty.gov/dataportal/
2 Los Angeles County Department of GIS Data, Open Space Data accessed from Los Angeles County Data Portal, http://egis3.lacounty.gov/dataportal/
3 United Nations, Habitat III Issue Paper, (May 2015), http://unhabitat.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Habitat-III-Issue-Paper-11_Public-Space-2.0.compressed.pdf