While pathways and parks are springing up near the Los Angeles River, plans to redevelop and green the concrete stretch still need the support of the Army Corps of Engineers and the federal government. In the meantime, students from landscape architecture firm SWA’s Summer Student Program have developed these mind bending proposals for the concrete expanse. Most not only remove the concrete, which was put in place in the 1930s, but provide walkable spaces, take down walls and other barriers, and add housing and additional program.
The number-one goal seems to be to create valuable public space in a city where it is sorely lacking. Their plans received feedback from judges from the University of Southern California, the City of LA, and Friends of the LA River (FOLAR).
Just a few examples: BinBin Ma’s fashion park would remove water altogether, replaced by people, shops, studios, and vegetation. Marta Gual-Ricart’s dense ecological habitat would also provide natural flood prevention and water filtration; and Rachel Vassar’s Performative Punk Playground would create new outdoor spaces for art, recreation, and even a “sculptural stormwater garden.”