As you probably already know if you have been following our work for the past few years- we have been busy planting trees in downtown Los Angeles. What you may also have noticed in our emails, blog posts and social media are references to "Green Alleys". If this sounded intriguing to you but you were not exactly sure what we were talking about- let us explain more.
"As a landscape architect, working in this profession for 20 years, I have always been interested in developing underutilized public spaces such as alleys into places that could address a layer of urban issues including: stormwater management (capturing water for re-use or infiltration), biodiversity refuges (for our urban wildlife and migratory birds) and planted open space for all to enjoy in our most park poor areas of Los Angeles.
Over the past two years, using other ‘Green Alley’s in LA as precedents, I began to assemble experts in a variety of fields that could help analyze our alley system in the Arts District and begin to develop what we’ve been calling our Arts District Green Alley Urban Trail System. Most recently, I began working on this project with Rennie Tang, a professor at Cal Poly Pomona in the Landscape Architecture Department after co-teaching a course with her this past Spring. Teaming with Rennie and Cal Poly Pomona we put together a Biennial conCURRENT: LA Water event this past summer that included: a panel discussion on local water issues and a ‘Green Alley Urban Trail’ that activated 5 local alleys for the day.
In collaboration with Rennie and Cal Poly we have submitted a LA2050 grant proposing what we are calling the ‘Green Alley PLAYlab’. This proposal brings together my work and Rennie’s work, with her team of researchers in other disciplines, to formulate a new way to engage our community on this green alley concept and develop an innovative way of designing public space.”
-Gabrielle Newmark/Landscape Architect/IDG Co-founder & Arts District resident
"As an urban designer and educator, I am interested in alternative ways of thinking about open space in a city where there is so little. We see the alleys as places where new models for public space can be tested by the community, and studied by researchers from many different fields, while PLAY becomes the glue that ties everything together. I am thrilled to be working on this project with IDG!"
-Rennie Tang/Professor at Cal Poly Pomona
Take a look at our LA2050 submission under PLAY by clicking HERE and most importantly please vote for us! Public voting starts on October 18th 2016.