We're down to the Final Four in the 2015 Curbed Cup race for the Los Angeles Neighborhood of the Year. We'll have one matchup today and one tomorrow; voting will begin Wednesday to pick the winner of the prestigious golden jpeg. Voting for each poll ends 24 hours after opening (and will be watched closely for any shenanigans). Let the eliminations continue!
Pacoima? Pacoima! The Valley enclave just defeated first-seed Watts to prove itself as the tournament's unlikely powerhouse, and it's been working hard all year to subvert the stereotypes, with lots of plans for greenery and walkability. The Pacoima Wash is already looking much nicer these days; this year, the community opened a public plaza under the city's People St. program, and it was announced that a CicLAvia will run through in 2016. There are also plans for a walkable strip of retail to serve as a Main Street. And don't forget the neighborhood's ever-evolving Mural Mile.
In a few years, Crenshaw—which took out underdog favorite Skid Row in the last round—will be one of the most train-accessible neighborhoods in town. It already has the Expo Line running along its northern border (which will get residents to Santa Monica starting next year) and the Crenshaw Line is now under construction on its eastern border (which will eventually get residents to LAX!). Meanwhile, the Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw Plaza mall is being transformed from an old-school, car-centric maze into a pedestrian-friendly mixed-use community with housing, shopping, and offices. Just up MLK, the long-blighted Santa Barbara Plaza is finally being redeveloped, with a Kaiser medical building/community center. That edge of the neighborhood is also set to get new medians, bus shelters, crosswalks, and lighting. The only problem is that all the improvements are drawing in gentrifiers, and the community (much of which dates back quite a ways) is getting nervous about being pushed out.
· Curbed Cup 2015 [Curbed LA]