In 2016, third-year MLA students, Adam Kehoss and Winnie Xie (and now Lifescapes’ team members!), from Cal Poly Pomona began a two-year project that addressed various environmental, social and cultural needs and deficiencies for under-served and disadvantaged communities along the lower Los Angeles River. The process demonstrated that simple short-term, low-budget projects were effective at engaging communities, empowering residents, and improving neighborhood quality of life.
These projects aimed to expose at-risk community members to urban planning and landscape architecture, thereby stimulating them to be stewards for local improvement efforts. Over two years, five built projects were completed in several communities demonstrating that small-scale, low budget projects can be effective, and can serve to engage the community in the design process, improve quality of life, and provide places of beauty.
The resulting projects are a direct representation of the cultures and people to whom they serve. The colors, textures, and flora of each space were decided upon by the community through several design workshops, led by each citizens of each of the communities.
Last week, the ASLA Conference in San Diego awarded the 2019 Student Community Service Category Award of Excellence to the two-year project “Constructed Efforts: Building resilient communities in the Los Angeles Gateway cities.”
Congrats to Adam, Winnie and their entire team!