Yesterday, Mayor Villaraigosa officially laid out plans for his 50 Parks Initiative, that plan to give LA dozens of new, small neighborhood parks. As of now, the public-private program actually includes 53 sites totaling 170 acres, and many of the new parks will be little guys--a quarter are under an acre. In a press release, Villaraigosa says "We have scouted the City, looked in the hidden corners, and found the small parcels, the vacant lots, and the weedy patches that would be perfect for neighborhood parks." (See the map above.) More specifically, locations "were determined by analyzing key demographic statistics including population density, median household income, number and percentage of residents in poverty, and the number of existing parks in a half-mile radius." Many of the parks will be built on property left vacant by foreclosure, which means the city can get funding from the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Other funding comes from an assortment of local, state, federal, private, nonprofit, and corporate sources.
The Department of Rec and Parks has been working with community members on what their parks will look like, but all will include "automatic safety features, efficient waste disposal, and environmentally sustainable design." The safety features include time-lock gates and solar motion-activated cameras; for waste disposal they'll have those solar powered Big Belly trash compactors; for sustainability, there'll be "no mow" turf, drought tolerant plantings, and smart irrigation.
The parks will take between four and six months to build. Three parks have already been completed and Rec and Parks hopes to have 16 open before next July.
· City Turning 10 Foreclosed Properties into Pocket Parks [Curbed LA]