Published on January 14, 2009
1. The Sustainability Committee of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council is the applicant for this proposal. As an advisory Council to Los Angeles City Hall, the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council represents all downtown stakeholders. The Sustainability Committee is working to develop a community greening “toolkit” that any stakeholder can use to contribute positively to a greener urban environment. In response to the downtown neighborhood’s steady revitalization, the Sustainability Committee wants to identify resources and programs available to the public, develop a program of outreach and community education, and encourage public participation through the development of this strategy. Tenants, residents, workers, business owners, and the homeless should be involved throughout the process. The Sustainability Committee will provide support to the Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) process while developing an outreach strategy to facilitate the implementation of the SDAT plan with public consensus. The SDAT process will help the growing community of Downtown Los Angeles develop with the benefit of sustainable practices to ensure the public health of this and future generations. The Neighborhood Council system is intended to reach the community at the grassroots level and it is supported by the City Council of Los Angeles. The Mayor, City Council, and State of California have recently launched several new sustainability programs and there is a need for public outreach and education. How does our community access these programs and implement their benefits for a cleaner, more livable city? Substantial clusters of cultural attractions, artists and galleries, and new pockets of residential development have changed the scope of the issues we face as an urban environment and creative solutions are necessary to enhance this influx of density. The SDAT process will provide us with a comprehensive understanding of how to manage the transformation of our neighborhood and maximize the potential community benefits of this growth. The SDAT process will provide guidance to the Sustainability Committee and Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council as it facilitates community collaboration and partnership to meet the needs of stakeholders in a pedestrian-oriented, sustainable urban environment. Downtown Los Angeles: Community-driven change Downtown Los AnGeles Center for Communities by Design 2009 Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) Program Proposal community-driven change
2. TABLE OF CONTENTS click section header to link to page Community Description Problem Statement & Issues Analysis Local Capacity & Resources Budget & Funding Educational Partners Community & Outreach SDAT Project Timeline Partnerships & Support Appendix A: Maps & Photos Appendix B: Planning Downtown Los AnGeles Center for Communities by Design 2009 Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) Program Proposal community-driven change Proposal Contact: Ashley Zarella, LEED AP, Assoc. AIA … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … 756 S. Broadway, #1107 Director, Area-Wide Work-Force, Private Sector Los Angeles, CA 9 0 0 1 4 Chair, Sustainability Committee Telephone: 917-974-1891 Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, 2008-2010 Email: email@example.com
3. Downtown Los Angeles is a uniquely diverse community within a 498.3 square mile city. The City of Los Angeles developed as a multi-center city with nodes of urban activity linked by suburban development and highways. The population grew around the missions and ranchos of the past, rail infrastructure, and now highways creating the second largest city in the country with over 3.8 million people. Considered the historical center of the city, the Downtown Los Angeles community includes a multitude of distinct neighborhoods including: Spring Street Financial District, Broadway Theater and Commercial District, Arts District, Civic Center, El Pueblo, Gallery Row, Fashion District, Financial District, Toy District, Jewelry District, Bunker Hill, Chinatown, South Park, Old Bank District, Historic Core, Skid Row, Central City West, and Little Tokyo. The development of downtown has shifted south and west a few blocks from the original 1781 city center, Olvera Street, which is between the Civic Center and Chinatown and maintains its pedestrian orientation. The mid-century brought a boom of lavish development to Downtown Los Angeles as a center of agriculture and industrial businesses. The 1970s would follow with high vacancy rates, vagrancy and crime. Many of the major corporations previously headquartered downtown moved to new urban nodes within Los Angeles (e.g. Century City). The physical transformation of downtown community description was on hold. The middle class residential population soon left too, looking for cheap suburban housing built throughout the sprawling metropolitan area. Several banks remained downtown, however, and concentrated in the Bunker Hill area. Other service-oriented businesses began opening downtown, bringing a new workforce to the neighborhood. In recent years the downtown Los Angeles neighborhood has seen dramatic changes as a new and growing residential population has moved in. New construction and the 1999 adaptive reuse ordinance have brought substantial improvements to existing vacant buildings while attracting additional services to the neighborhood. Several historic banking headquarters have been rehabilitated into luxury apartments and new live-work loft spaces attract young creative professionals. A large influx of artists have converted previously abandoned storefronts and buildings into gallery space and several new restaurants and small stores have opened in some districts of the neighborhood. Art Walk, a community-driven program, brings thousands of people to the streets of the Historic Core the third Thursday of the month as vacant storefronts are illuminated by art, light and a pedestrian crowd. In just two years there was a 20% increase in the population of Downtown LA to 28,878 residents (2007). With the number of units under construction, it was anticipated that the 2015 target of 40,000 residents would be met by the end of this year. However, even as people began moving downtown, the number of jobs has decreased with the outsourcing of service sector jobs and depleted consumer population. The disproportionate number of jobs to residents downtown indicates a large commuter population that vacates the city after work and most weekends. The number of jobs has decreased, with more than 187,000 less jobs than the 1995 high of 605,000 jobs. With 243,217 of 418,000 jobs downtown, the majority of employment opportunities are in the public sector (government jobs).1 Adjacent to a pocket of recent development in the Historic Core and Little Tokyo, the Skid Row SDAT Application and homeless community faces multiple sociopolitical challenges, including access to services, affordability of housing, and opportunities for nearby, sustainable, and living wage jobs. With so Los Angeles Downtown Center Business Improvement District, The Downtown Los Angeles Market Report & 2006 Demo- 1 graphic Survey of New Downtown Residents (February 2007), http://www.downtownla.com/pdfs/econ_developments/ DCBID_Report-2005.pdf click here to return to table of contents
4. many living on the streets, public health and safety are important and real local concerns. Actual numbers are difficult to predict. According to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), on September 3, 2008 there were approximately 177 women and 712 men sleeping on the few blocks of Skid Row with thousands more in area shelters. In 2006, the Washington Post reported more than 6,000 people on the streets of downtown.2 With the recent economic downturn there has been an influx of people, including families, moving into Skid Row. Here the public streets of an industrial neighborhood serve as the concrete backdrop to a transient population stuck on the streets of our nation’s second largest city. Single resident-occupied (SRO) transitional housing offers some assistance but there is a need to develop options for families and women with children for whom housing is nearly impossible to find. On April 27, 2002, the Los Angeles City Council certified the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council per the 1999 city charter revisions. The Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council has been working to represent anyone who lives, works, or owns a business in downtown. The 28-member Board of Directors is elected every two years, representing a range of stakeholders and works with a $50,000 per annum city-provided budget. Overseen by the City of Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE), the mission of the Neighborhood Council is: To unite the diverse communities of Downtown Los Angeles and to provide an innovative forum for all community stakeholders to contribute to a healthy, vibrant, and inclusive downtown. Downtown Los Angeles falls within Council District 9 (Jan Perry) and Council District 11 (Jose Huizar) with active council offices in the neighborhood. Elected in 1991 and 2005 respectively, Councilmembers Perry and Huizar have developed great opportunities for sustainability downtown. Perry has actively supported more parks and open space and has helped made community-driven initiatives a success. Huizar has championed the Bringing Back Broadway initiative which plans to restore the highest concentration of historic theaters in the country, reintroduce the streetcar downtown, and expand sidewalks for a pedestrian-friendly environment. There have been substantial revitalization efforts downtown by both the private and public sector with the launch of major civic projects, master planning and park proposals, and large entertainment and residential development projects promising to transform the 1970s-1980s era commercial office tower skyline. For their success, these projects need the support of both sectors and the existing community. However, significant outreach is necessary to build consensus and disseminate information about existing programs to all. These major projects, combined with the organic transformation of districts such as Gallery Row, have increased construction employment downtown. Workers now have the option of choosing to live within walking distance from their job. As a center of business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, technology and education, Downtown’s transformation is at a critical juncture in its history. In 2007, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the City Council championed major changes in downtown area zoning. These changes, along with improvements to building codes, allow for larger, denser developments downtown. Open space requirements are waived, however, for larger buildings with 15% low-income units which introduces additional challenges this neighborhood faces as it prepares for an influx of residents. In light of the massive transformation of our neighborhood, how do we create an environment that is amenable to the pedestrian lifestyle, with a healthy balance of green open space to urban density? The Sustainability Committee of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council represents people who live, work, and/or own a business in our neighborhood and have expressed the desire to develop a community greening strategy. Launched in October 2008, the Sustainability Committee is now working to plan and execute a “toolkit” that any stakeholder can use to 2 Pomfret, John, “Downtown Los Angeles Gets a $10 Billion Remake” (Washington Post, January 2, 2006) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/01/AR2006010101086.html click here to return to table of contents
5. contribute to a greener urban environment. In response to the neighborhood transformation, the Sustainability Committee wants to identify resources and programs available to the public, develop a program of outreach and community education, and encourage public participation throughout the development of this strategy and execution. The entire process will be designed to include tenants, workers, business owners, and the homeless throughout the process. The Sustainability Committee will work through partnership and collaboration to enhance community outreach through other organizations with common goals. Much of the recent success of Downtown Los Angeles is attributed to the organic nature of its transformation. Buildings are rehabilitated, people move to live or work here, they then decide to do everything Downtown, creating new patches of revitalized pedestrian activity. Large community events, a high concentration of cultural attractions, and the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council have contributed to our rehabilitation and growth. This grant would support work already underway while enabling us to focus on the implementation strategies and recommendations of the Sustainable Design Assessment Team for a more sustainable future downtown. Although the proposed site area is just the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council area, this proposal and outcomes will be shared with other Neighborhood Council across Los Angeles to enhance the potential impact this process can bring to our entire City. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Short List of Planning and/or Revitalization Projects (hyperlinks are embedded): Barker Block 1010 Wilshire Canvas LA Chapman Flats Exposition Boulevard light rail Judson Lofts Union Lofts Metro Gold Line Extension LAPD headquarters Metro 417 CleanTech Manufacturing Ctr. LA River Revitalization The Great Republic Lofts Pegasus Apartments Civic Center Park Rowan Lofts The Roosevelt Rainbow Apartments Bringing Back Broadway LA Live Midnight Mission MTA Regional Connector Park Fifth Grand Avenue Project Evo South Colburn School for Performing Arts SB1818/SB435 Density Bonus ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… From the February 2007 report by the Los Angeles Downtown Center Business Improvement District: The Downtown Los Angeles Market Report & 2006 Demographic Survey of New Downtown Residents. A new study is underway to track ongoing demographic changes. Age: Median age was 31 years with Household size: Slightly more than half Location of Employment: More than 25.6% of Downtown residents between of Downtown households were made half (55.1%) of respondents surveyed 23-29 years of age. up of single persons (50.2%), while said they either work in the Central Gender: There were slightly more male 42.6% of households were made of two Business District or Greater Downtown residents (53.5% vs. 46.5% female) in persons and the remaining 7.2% three Los Angeles, followed by 22.4% in or more persons. Average: 1.6 people Westside Los Angeles (e.g. Hollywood, Downtown. per household. Wilshire, Santa Monica) compared to Ethnicity: Caucasian/whites accounted 24% in 2004. for 53.2% of the residents. Asian/Pacific Household Income: Median household islanders were the second largest income for households with at least Employment Sectors: The largest group at 24.9%, followed by Hispanics/ one income earner was $99,600 in the private-sector employment category in Latinos at 10.1% and African-American 2006 survey, compared with $96,300 Downtown was professional, scientific in 2004. and technical services, with a 2005 at 5.3%. average of 27,242 workers. This sector Marital Status: More than 60% of Rent vs. Own: The survey revealed that also had one of the highest average Downtown households were made up 62.6% of the units were rented, while annual wage levels, $94,236, among 30.2% are owned by the residents. of single persons. Downtown residents. Some residents (e.g., consultants on Origins: In 2006, 24.3% moved from temporary assignment) do not pay for Job Function: From the survey, 22.7% the Greater Westside of the County. their housing. of the residents were in professional, SDAT Application The next largest demographic group scientific and technical services. 20.7% (16.9%) moved from outside California Primary Residence: An overwhelming were in arts and entertainment and compared to 19.3% in 2004. About majority (89.1%) of respondents 10.6% were employed in educational 13.0% moved from elsewhere to considered Downtown to be their and health services. primary residence. Downtown. click here to return to table of contents
6. 00.1999 Staples Center opens and hosts four professional sports teams 00.2002 $190M Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels opens, designed by Rafael Moneo 00.2003 Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed 00.2003 Los Angeles Grand Avenue Authority by Frank Gehry established to manage $3 billion development 11.2004 Los Angeles approves $500M for waterway compliance with Federal Clean Water Act 09.2005 Construction starts on 5.6 million sq.ft. L.A. LIVE mixed-use development 09.2005 Historic Downtown LA Retail Project helps 20 businesses open, 139 find funding 03.2008 Bringing Back Broadway initiative is launched 06.2008 State of California Assembly authorizes 06.2007 Two tower Park Fifth condo project with $26.4M in funds for Downtown Civic Park $10M commitment for Pershing Square improvements 09.2008 CRA/LA releases RFP for 10.2007 Nokia Theater, with 7,100-seat theater, Cleantech Redevelopment Strategy opens at L.A. Live 10.2008 Dept. of Parks & Recreation approves 10.2007 Arts District building, the Barker Block funds to renovate Gladys Park in Skid Row 10.2008 CRA/LA approves $5M for 05.2008 Chapman Flats opens as 168 rental units, Broadway street car revival adaptive re-use of 1925 bank condo project 11.2008 Staples Center installs photovoltaics on 11.2008 Mayor’s Green Building Program: LEED nearly 24,000 sq.ft. of roof compliance for developments over 50,000 sq.ft. 00.2009 Angels Flight, world’s shortest railway, scheduled to reopen after 2001 closure 10.2009 New 500,000 sq.ft. LEED-compliant LAPD Headquarters to open, by AECOM Design click here to return to table of contents
7. The Sustainability Committee seeks to develop a community greening strategy for downtown and early discussions have identified the need to develop a livable city that offers accessibility to a clean pedestrian environment and diverse housing for a neighborhood disproportionately supporting a large, non-residential working population and homeless population. By working with the community, we want to offer all stakeholders, whether they live, work or own a business, more sustainable choices for a healthier urban environment. Through education and empowerment, the Sustainability Committee envisions a future downtown with green open space, fewer homeless on the streets, and a diversity that allows people to live a pedestrian lifestyle, within walking distance of their homes, jobs, cultural attractions, schools, and amenities. Downtown Los Angeles has evolved steadily in recent years with emergent pockets of vibrant pedestrian activity. Developers of various sizes opt to restore existing and often historical buildings or build new towers. Each project spurs another nearby development and a plethora of businesses and restaurants continue to open to service the new residential population. Downtown has become a cultural destination with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Disney Concert Hall, Mark Taper Auditorium, and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) within a ten block radius (See Appendix A). As more projects are introduced, develop, and then open, problem statement & issues analysis the influx of a residential population presents us with new challenges we must address as a community. There have been several major initiatives on the behalf of the City of Los Angeles and the State of California in recent years, introducing new programs, services, and development opportunities to encourage sustainability in our urban centers. The issues are complex, however, and there is a great need for public outreach and education to help our neighborhood understand what is available for all stakeholders. As a community, we should find a comprehensive approach to sustainability planning, enhance the resources we have with greater efficiency, and establish a plan for more open space in our neighborhood as it rapidly transforms. Environmental C O M M U N I T Y - D R I V E N I N I T I A T I V E S F O R E N E R G Y E F F I C I E N C Y : Downtown’s revitalization has included the rehabilitation of existing buildings, new construction and street improvement projects. With revitalization comes the opportunity to commit to a greener environment in Downtown Los Angeles as a community. Our community should be empowered to make choices regarding the source of our energy and how efficiently it is used. It will take the commitment of communities across the region to make city and state regulations effective but changes must occur at the local level for any regional impact to be made. The Sustainability Committee of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council is submitting this application because we hope to identify and develop tools for a public outreach with the professional, objective guidance of the SDAT team as we plan for a greener community. Currently there are efforts on the behalf of the private sector to improve energy efficiency. For instance, The Nokia Theater, Staples Center and LA Live are installing photovoltaics to SDAT Application offset energy consumption with solar power. Located in South Park, this downtown arts and entertainment destination could potentially educate thousands of visitors a year about on- site power generation and clean energy. This project will provide valuable learnings for other downtown developments and the market for green power. The Sustainability Committee would click here to return to table of contents
8. like to engage the community and inform them of existing services and programs that help reduce operating costs (less waste), improve community welfare, or enhance existing qualities of downtown. The SDAT process will help us identify how we might advance our commitment as a committee to sustainability to our neighborhood at large. We represent a broad range of stakeholders and hope to increase the number of people involved in the future of our community as a sustainable urban environment. Bringing Back Broadway is a plan to preserve historic theaters and buildings along a major downtown corridor. However, for this proposal to be most successful, the support of Councilmember Huizar and the Historic Downtown Business Improvement District (HDBID) must be complimented by local business investment and community engagement. Therefore, the community need to understand what resources are available to them and how to economically and practically address sustainability. The community needs tools we can all use to improve energy efficiency so we can encourage our city leaders to maintain and advance these goals on a more regional level. By developing a comprehensive community greening strategy, the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council can foster participation through partnership and outreach to downtown stakeholders while improving our energy efficiency. We would like to ask SDAT: How can we design our neighborhood as empty blocks are steadily filling up to improve our energy demand and avoid potential brownouts? The SDAT process could help the Sustainability Committee define best practices and community goals while addressing some of the contributing factors to the urban heat island effect in Downtown Los Angeles. A I R Q U A L I T Y - A R E G I O N A L / L O C A L P R O B L E M : One approach to reducing cooling loads is to design buildings suited for natural ventilation. As a community, we need to develop a strategy for improving air quality downtown. We should address how to reduce massive cooling loads, minimize the urban heat island effect, and establish an environment where natural ventilation is a clean option when ventilating a residential or commercial building. Most of pockets of vitality and growth downtown are surrounded by blocks of dirty, unfriendly concrete sidewalks, wide streets to accommodate 4+ lanes of traffic, and nearly vacant storefronts and buildings. Few trees line the streets of downtown and the lack of shade exacerbates the urban heat island effect. Downtown temperatures are often 12-15°F warmer than outlying suburbs, making it uncomfortable to walk around on warmer days. Because of its location in the Los Angeles Basin, emissions from regional automobile use and smog from the Los Angeles/Long Beach port creates a major public health problem. Atmospheric inversion occurs when exhaust is caught in the air. Los Angeles only has 15 inches of rainfall per year so there is no purge of the pollution and the roads and sidewalks downtown are slick with soot after even the lightest rain. The State of California has tried to mitigate air quality concerns through the early passage of legislation such as the Clean Air Act. In 2006, Assembly Bill 32 (AB32) was passed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 (a 30% reduction). AB32 supports green- tech business development and promotes public health. AB32 also links emissions to land use planning and transportation. As the center of public transit in the region, downtown Los Angeles has a significant opportunity to reduce sprawl by increasing residential development in its core to offset development on the urban fringe, changing travel patterns for thousands of people from a single occupancy vehicle to alternative modes (including by foot). In January 2009, the Air Resources Board will adopt a plan “indicating how emission reductions will be achieved from significant sources of GHGs via regulations, market mechanisms and other actions.” A series of public workshops will follow to share the strategy and explain each proposed measure. Legislation such as AB32 will provide our community with a larger framework for improving air quality but many steps still need to happen at the local level to ensure the community participates. click here to return to table of contents
9. The success of these state-mandated initiatives is contingent on a locally-grown cultural shift towards conservation and efficiency at the neighborhood level. AB32 assumes that, on a per- capita basis, every man, woman and child in California will have to reduce annual emissions by 4 tons per person by 2020. Until we can shift our behavior on the local level, we will continue to face the same regional problems as other urban nodes across Los Angeles. The Sustainability Committee of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council will be assessing the existing and under-utilized programs available to stakeholders downtown to take action towards a more sustainable neighborhood and improving air quality. The SDAT report will help us establish priorities and opportunities to enhance these programs while creating a framework for new programs to fill the gaps for a comprehensive approach on the community level. Social P U B L I C S P A C E : The potential for density downtown with its existing building stock and open lots supports the vision for a pedestrian-oriented community and neighborhood. To offset the density of the neighborhood, cool open space is necessary and the community wants dog parks, green space, and shade. To promote community health and interaction, shared open space can create connection and social networking for the neighborhood. However, our primary open space, our streets, are not built or maintained to capture this potential. One of the challenges of open space in the past has been the very large homeless population of Downtown Los Angeles. Benches and shade is rare downtown and homeless people congregate in the few parks of the community or wherever shade can be found during the hottest days of the year. For security reasons, people are discouraged from loitering in public spaces and there are few places for community congregation. We need a plan to create shared space that we can all use and enjoy. Pershing Square has a history of poor planning and bad design decisions. Years of reworking and redesign have failed to remedy the park’s poor visibility and connection with the community. “These days,” reports the LA Times, “the park again seems one step behind the changing downtown.”3 This park is managed by an organization, however, which is currently working to develop and host both day and evening programming in support of the growing residential population. Unfortunately, this park has become the example of poor planning and management of open space downtown and few alternatives are available. Quimby fees are collected from developers and are designated for new parks and open space or existing park maintenance and improvements. Of the millions of dollars collected from downtown development, there is no new open space to offset the density introduced downtown by these projects. The City of Los Angeles Parks & Recreation Department, in response to a public outcry, is currently reviewing its ordinances and internal policies to enhance how Quimby fees are allocated and used as intended. Mandated by the State, there is nearly $12.6 million in unused Quimby Fees available for parks and open space development downtown. The increase in density is attributed mainly to the influx of young professionals and the conversion of industrial and commercial space into creative environments. While some areas of downtown continue to offer affordable leasing opportunities, the cost of housing is increasing with the introduction of more luxury condominiums. Some buildings planning to sell units have recently shifted to rentals to accommodate the changing marketplace and the economy continues to present better deals for residents with a good income. The Downtown Central Business Improvement District is currently running a demographic survey to better understand the changing residential population and identify community interest in bringing services and stores to the neighborhood. Public consensus continues to appreciate the need SDAT Application for parks and opens space and the SDAT team can help us identify how to design a more sustainable neighborhood as downtown transforms block by block. There is an additional opportunity for public education about the City of Los Angeles green DiMassa, Cara Mia, “Another go-around for L.A.’s Pershing Square” (Los Angeles Times, October 31, 2008) 3 http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-pershing31-2008oct31,0,2100603.story?page=1 click here to return to table of contents
10. building program (effective 11/01/08) requiring all developments greater than 50,000 square feet to be LEED-compliant. The public will benefit most from this program if they understand how it impacts the future of the neighborhood and if it is a practical solution to an environmental problem. The Green Building Program presents new opportunities for innovation in sustainable design and how it evolves will have a significant impact on the future of the City of Los Angeles. Coupled with state regulations, Los Angeles is an incubator developing new techniques and materials for more energy-efficient buildings and improved air quality. With its rapid development and physical transformation, Downtown Los Angeles is an incubator for sustainability with an unique opportunity for the community to adopt sustainable practices and foster a pedestrian- oriented urban environment. The concentration of attractions and cultural heritage also makes Downtown Los Angeles a tourist attraction where visitors can stay in a hotel and walk around the neighborhood. Local public transit is affordable at 25¢/ride. The DASH connects several of these pedestrian pockets to centers of government and banking. There are plans to introduce downtown DASH service in the evening to serve the new residential population. Union Station is a regional transit hub with easy access to airports, other cities, and inter-urban connections such as bus and light rail to other nodes and neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles. It is time to focus on means of enhancing the pedestrian experience downtown as it remains accessible to places further away by a number of transit options. Downtown Los Angeles needs to transform some of its hardscapes into clean, shady public spaces. As with any urban center, garbage accumulates and must be managed for good public health. Around downtown, litter is troublesome and the Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and homeless brigades can be seen cleaning some of the streets in the neighborhood. Non-profit organizations such as Chrysalis have created employment opportunities for the homeless with their waste management and recycling programs for area buildings. Litter on the sidewalks make trash receptacles of the storm drains, collecting garbage and flooding during heavy rainfall (it has only rained 16.4 inches in the past two years). The Bureau of Sanitation for the City of Los Angeles is developing a multi-year plan for a citywide zero-waste plan to eliminate 90% of solid waste. The planning process is inclusive with public workshops hosted around Los Angeles each month. Not only is it important to be involved in the planning process, our community must learn about the outcomes and what steps should be taken to improve our urban environment for a more sustainable future. In order for this plan to work, there must a significant public commitment to changing how we live and work. How do we reach out to a diverse group of businesses, tenants, property owners, social service providers, and homeless to encourage compliance with a zero-waste strategy and accessibility to services? For parks to offset density and enhance public health, we must maintain our public spaces as clean, shady places throughout our neighborhood. We need the help of the SDAT process to develop a plan to create accessible open space for all members of our community. We need a sustainable housing plan to give more people the opportunity to have regular access to a toilet, bed, and nearby services. A C C E S S I B I L I T Y T O D I V E R S E , A F F O R D A B L E H O U S I N G : Downtown Los Angeles has a large homeless population and needs more affordable housing as the cost of rentals in the area increase. The influx of young, educated professionals presents an opportunity to harness creative, community-building energy to enhance the neighborhood through social networking while maintaining affordability. Inevitably, rents will increase in these new pockets of pedestrian activity. This needs to be balanced with the availability of affordable housing, services, and sustainable employment opportunities in the neighborhood. Skid Row is still somewhat removed from the revitalization of downtown although it is adjacent to the successful Historic Core district. Project 50, for instance, is a County of Los Angeles program to identify the 50 most at-risk people on the streets of Los Angeles and bring them into an intensive program to address the plethora of their physical and emotional challenges. 10 click here to return to table of contents
11. The main facilities of Project 50 are located caddy-corner to Pharmaka and other local galleries which have seeded the transformation of this area into Gallery Row. At this intersection, the homeless, residents and businesses interact daily as the nature of these streets change with the arrival of the new residential population. Local business improvement district security keep the homeless off the sidewalks of some streets downtown as they are displaced to the blocks of Skid Row in Central City East. Several hospitals have faced prosecution for illegally dumping homeless patients on these streets of the neighborhood. Skid Row is surrounded by facilities providing various social services and temporary housing options. These facilities offer a variety of options for the homeless and transitional populations. A recent program by the County Sheriff’s office allows for earlier intervention as convicts are released to help move those in need into the appropriate programs and services. Community activists have also succeeded in bringing improvements to the population of Skid Row such as garbage pick-ups and clean-up crews. Community-based activism recently motivated new improvements to the only park in Skid Row, Gladys Park, including a new water line for a clean water fountain and new basketball court which will help the community-organized Skid Row 3-on-3 Basketball League. Additionally, the focus of many of the service providers downtown has shifted form temporary housing to the creation of permanent housing solutions with in- house treatments and services. City Council and the Mayor are working on the city-wide level to address the challenges of such demographic and income shifts. The Mayor recently announced a five-year, $5 billion commitment to build 20,000 affordable housing units in the city to help the struggling middle class. With beautiful existing and even historic buildings, Downtown Los Angeles could potentially convert dozens of vacant building shells into affordable housing with integrated social services to help the homeless population address its many challenges including addiction, mental illness, criminal history, as well as the need for education and job training. It is important that this and all affordable housing schemes provide for a range of mixed income developments that include a range of housing affordability, from market rate to workforce housing and very low income units. The top-down nature of these programs, however, are less sustainable for the community which must live with the outcome. Work must be done at the most local level to ensure the success of these programs. By facilitating a community-driven solution, the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council can help foster the necessary public and private partnerships necessary for success. The neighborhood council can support the SDAT process through community outreach, feedback, and consensus-building. The most successful public policy for sustainability will be the result of a didactic process where the community is involved in the outcome. The SDAT will provide our neighborhood with a report informing us of ways and means to meet these objectives. Remediating and reusing existing structures, for instance, provides opportunity for the neighborhood to address the challenges of changing demographics and respective income levels. By facilitating the provision of more affordable housing to the most at-risk members of the community and as a whole, a better-informed Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council will work with community leaders as they develop their strategies and tactics at their respective level of authority. By introducing more open space, Downtown Los Angeles will be able to support increased density by offsetting the physical challenges of high-rise living and work environments with public space that meets the diverse needs of this community. Economic SDAT Application P U B L I C S E R V I C E S : Economic turmoil has made households and businesses concerned about finances while social service providers on Skid Row prepare for an influx of unemployed and displaced persons on the streets. How does our mixed-use neighborhood adopt more energy efficient and sustainable practices in a time when people are concerned about their financial security? As the City of Los Angeles looks to cut more than $300M-$400M from our 11 click here to return to table of contents
12. budget this coming year, we must identify key services and programs available through city departments that our community does not want to lose. At the first Sustainability Committee meeting this fall, the Bureau of Sanitation presented its growing list of recycling programs. Many community members expressed concern about the lack of residential recycling downtown. Some buildings have organized collections to help residents recycle. However, there is a multi-family recycling program available to everyone in Los Angeles and anyone, including a tenant, can call to request service. The Bureau of Sanitation offers garbage assessment services to help businesses cut waste and trash fees and consultation services for building management to help set-up residential recycling collection centers. These programs offer substantial opportunity as new buildings open and residents move in. How we use public services will determine their priority as hard budget decisions must be made. The SDAT process can help the Sustainability Committee identify the most effective public services and programs as we address a more pedestrian-friendly, livable downtown. R E V I T A L I Z A T I O N & A C C E S S I B I L I T Y : Downtown’s revitalization has included the rehabilitation of existing buildings, new construction, and ancillary development. Local community activist and member of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Brady Westwater described the situation: “We have to expand the connective tissue of the community, the green space, to make it truly walkable.” How do we identify opportunities for greater public participation in greening our neighborhood? Do we start a green power initiative, for instance, to inform tenants and building owners of their energy source options? Would a more successful program provide energy efficiency tools for tenants in a space they do not own? What are the potential costs and how do we evaluate the benefits on the community level? The Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council has been certified by the City of Los Angeles and City Hall is located in our district affording us valuable opportunities to interact with our City Council and city departments as they develop programming and plans for the future of our metropolitan area. Downtown Los Angeles includes all levels of government with the large numbers of public sector employees. The County of Los Angeles is also currently vetting its update to its General Plan (last updated in 1986) at community outreach meetings throughout the county. This plan and many others reflect the state, county and city-level commitments to sustainability. The Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council will work with the SDAT to establish a mechanism for generating a community-level commitment to sustainable development and practices. This neighborhood has demonstrated capacity for diversity in growth and opportunity through the combination of rehabilitating historical buildings, converting building use, and new sustainable construction. In a neighborhood able to organically support a vibrant pedestrian economy, surface parking lots are concrete gaps in the urban fabric. The sidewalks are black with residue even with the help of successful private programs to clean and enhance the streetscapes. Downtown stakeholders need affordable housing, open space and a comprehensive sustainable strategy for future neighborhood transformation and enhancement. 1 click here to return to table of contents
13. The Sustainability Committee of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council will serve as the primary contact for the Sustainable Design Assessment Team. Our committee is new and the list below includes all of the current committee members and their affiliations but new members and associations are getting involved as we continue to develop a community greening strategy. The SDAT Steering Committee will combine members of the Sustainability Committee with other downtown organizations for the broadest possible community representation. local capacity & resources Ashley Zarella, LEED AP, Assoc. AIA Gunnar Hand, AICP Chair, Sustainability Committee Sustainability Committee Member Affordable Housing Committee Member Planning & Land Use Committee Member Director, Areawide Workforce, Private Sector Director, Areawide Workforce, Public Sector Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council AECOM Design (formerly DMJM Design) Los Angeles County Dept. of Regional Planning Designer & LEED AP Senior Regional Planner Architect’s Newspaper Architect’s Newspaper Contributor Contributor 756 S. Broadway, #1107 756 S. Broadway, #1107 Los Angeles, CA 90014 Los Angeles, CA 90014 917-974-1891 816-916-6304 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Jennifer Regan Winston Hoy Sustainability Committee Member Sustainability Committee Member Downtown Resident AEG Administration Manager, Sustainability Programs BraveNewBus www.bravenewbus.org 714 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 301 Founder Los Angeles, CA 90015 213-763-5451 Los Angeles, CA 90014 firstname.lastname@example.org 727-543-5633 email@example.com Heidi Johnson Michael Hoy Sustainability Committee Member Sustainability Committee Member Downtown Resident Green Age Marketing www.greenagemarketing.com BraveNewBus Marketing Director www.bravenewbus.org Founder Los Angeles, CA SDAT Application 323-204-7246 Los Angeles, CA 90014 firstname.lastname@example.org 818-395-4779 email@example.com 1 click here to return to table of contents
14. Joe Lucas Suzanne Robinson Sustainability Committee Member Sustainability Committee Member BuildLACCD United States Green Building Council www.laccdbuildsgreen.org www.usgbc.org LA Chapter intern 915 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 810 Los Angeles, CA 90017 Los Angeles, CA 213-996-2234 213-689-9707 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Jill N. Willis General Jeff Sustainability Committee Member Sustainability Committee Member Best Best & Krieger, Attorneys at Law Director, Central City East & Skid Row Residents Partner Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council 300 South Grand Ave., 25th Floor Issues & Solutions Los Angeles, CA 90071 Community Organzier 213-787-2558 Los Angeles, CA firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Tanner Blackman Henry Proctor Sustainability Committee Member Sustainability Committee Member Planning & Land Use Committee Member Director, Homeless City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Planner Assistant The Art of Cleaning APA LA (American Planning Association) Company owner University Liaison Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles, CA 90014 213-392-2286 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Ron Crockett Adam Tischer Sustainability Committee Member Sustainability Committee Member Fun Zone Reading Club CB Richard Ellis Huntington Hotel Associate, Brokerage Services & Downtown Urban Redevelopment Team 512 S.Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90013 626-676-6919 Los Angeles, CA firstname.lastname@example.org 213-613-3020 email@example.com Alex Brideau III Alexander Sexsmith Sustainability Committee Member Sustainability Committee Member Los Angeles Housing Department Perkins+Will City of Los Angeles Designer Management Analyst 617 W. 7th Street, Suite 1200 Rotary International, Member Los Angeles, CA 90017 213-270-8400 Los Angeles, CA firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Andre Krause, LEED AP Ariadne Shaffer Sustainability Committee Member Sustainability Committee Member Alternate, Areawide Workforce, Private Sector The Library Inc. Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Bookkeeper Los Angeles, CA 453 S. Spring Street, Suite 601 310-594-2125 Los Angeles, CA 90013 firstname.lastname@example.org 213-985-4225 email@example.com Athenel Ocampo Dorian Dudley Sustainability Committee Member Sustainability Committee Member Quatro Design Group Greenscape global (green roofs) Designer Founder 923 E 3rd Street, Suite 112 Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles, CA 90013 firstname.lastname@example.org 213-625-1995 email@example.com 1 click here to return to table of contents
15. Stanley Michaels James Rojas Sustainability Committee Member Sustainability Committee Member Director, Resident Civic Center Los Angeles County Metro Transit Authority Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Transportation Planner Angelus Plaza Latino Urban Forum 255 S. Hill Street Founder Los Angeles, CA 90012 Gallery 727 213-623-4352 727 S. Spring Street firstname.lastname@example.org Los Angeles, CA 90014 email@example.com Jon Toktas Katie Ricketts Sustainability Committee Member Sustainability Committee Member Business Director, Downtown Center Heath and Lejeune Inc. Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Sustainability Management Ardas Cafe P.O. Box 21387 Business Owner Los Angeles, CA 90021 213-614-1909 418 W. 6th Street firstname.lastname@example.org Los Angeles, CA 90014 email@example.com Leah Ross Megs Hey Sustainability Committee Member Sustainability Committee Member Lawyer Ciudad Public Relations & Marketing Manager Los Angeles, CA firstname.lastname@example.org 445 Figueroa Street Los Angeles, CA 90071 email@example.com Natalia Aguilar Sonia Prasad Sustainability Committee Member Sustainability Committee Member Los Angeles, CA Artist & Downtown Resident firstname.lastname@example.org Los Angeles, CA email@example.com Veronica Siranosian Ginny-Marie Case Sustainability Committee Member Sustainability Committee Member Los Angeles County Dept. of Regional Planning The Robert Group (TRG) Regional Planner Project Manager, Public Relations Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles, CA firstname.lastname@example.org 323-699-9100 email@example.com SDAT Application 1 click here to return to ta
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