In the past couple years, the push to transform the concrete siphon known as the Los Angeles River into a usable and pleasant public space has gathered the momentum of a mighty rapid. The US Army Corps of Engineers has promised a $1-billion revitalization for roughly 11 miles running between Downtown and Griffith Park and most of the efforts have focused on the same stretch, but now the Los Angeles City Council is working on a plan to clean up, restore, and improve all 31 miles of the LA River that run through the city of Los Angeles. A new state law will let the city create California's first Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District to "direct a greater share of future property taxes to revitalization efforts, public works projects and environmental cleanup," reports the LA Times.
The EIFDs are intended to replace the local redevelopment agencies that Governor Jerry Brown dissolved at the height of the recession; those agencies helped cities to funnel property tax money toward improvements for blighted areas. The new districts don't have the blight requirement, but they also don't take in as much money (60 percent or less of what the redevelopment agencies captured).
The City Council's Arts, Parks, Health, Aging, and River Committee asked for a report on a river EIFD earlier this month—Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell, who introduced the idea, says his office isn't sure yet what LA River projects would be included, but there are a huge number of plans already in the works or named in the city's master revitalization plan, "including widening bridges, restoring wetlands, cleaning up industrial waste and acquiring privately held parcels."
· City looks at new 'infrastructure district' to fund L.A. River plans [LAT]
· Army Corps Now Reevaluating Billion-Dollar LA River Rehab [Curbed LA]
· A Map Guide to the Glorious Future of the Los Angeles River [Curbed LA]