In order to make the most out of the city’s idle space and to enhance the quality of life, the Department of Transportation of Los Angeles has launched the concept ‘People St‘. Communities can apply for approval to create projects that turn more than 12,000 kilometers of unused streets into active, vibrant and accessible public space into plazas, parklets and bicycle corrals.
The City of Los Angeles hopes that more active and inviting streets will lead to calmer traffic flows, increased safety, and boosted levels of walking and cycling. They predict that increased levels of walkability help support local businesses and as a result, generate a greater sense of community.
The project’s homepage provides an online application portal and the materials required for the application process. The community partners cooperating with People St are active players in the process: they have to identify appropriate sites, conduct outreach, raise funds that’s required for materials and furnishings, and more to make the project last.
One Plaza has already been established in the Sunset Triangle Plaza in Silver Lake. For the installation of such a pedestrian plaza, a part of the street is closed to vehicular traffic, the street surface is painted or emphasized in another way, and large flower pots mark the perimeter of the plaza. All plazas should be stocked with tables, chairs and umbrellas to enable community interaction. The Community Partner can additionally organize movie nights and other events on their new neighbourhood venue.