connect / 2015

LA Mobilized

LA Mobilized

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Urban & Environmental Institute, Occidental College and East Yards Communities for Environmental Justice

LA Mobilized is an initiative to showcase how LA can change how we move, and how the city can change around us. With new transportation priorities, Los Angeles has the opportunity to evolve into a more sustainable and equitable city. To tap into this potential, LA needs to democratize planning so residents can co-create the future.


In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • San Gabriel Valley
  • City of Los Angeles

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

  • Conduct research
  • Engage residents and stakeholders
  • Mobilize for systems change
  • inspire through workshops, website, exhibition

How will your proposal improve the following “Connect” metrics?

  • Median travel time to work
  • Number of public transit riders
  • Government responsiveness to residents’ needs (Dream Metric)
  • Transit-accessible housing and employment (the share of housing units and percentage of jobs that are located near transit)
  • Attendance at public/open streets gatherings (Dream Metric)
  • Residential segregation (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to connect.

Los Angeles faces major challenges as well as opportunities to evolve into a more equitable and sustainable city. In particular, with a new mobility plan in the City of Los Angeles and transit expansion underway countywide, there is an opportunity to create more equitable places through democratic and community-based planning for active transportation, transit, and more sustainable living patterns. Like many advocates, we see the need for changes in policy, plans and the built environment. But at this point in time, the change that it perhaps most needed is increased openness to change itself-tied to more democratic and creative ways to engage residents in planning, particularly low-income, communities of color that have traditionally been locked out of decision making processes.

The project will build on the Community Alternative 7 (CA7) as a case study of how residents are democratizing planning. A coalition of environmental justice organizations based in communities impacted by pollution from goods movement in that corridor organized to create their own serious alternative to this huge infrastructure plan. Our project will support advocacy for CA7 and we will host a training by CA7 advocates for residents interested in helping shape the future of transportation in their own areas. The project will identify and engage residents impacted by existing or proposed freeways and transit projects, using training workshops such as the Place It! workshops that facilitate residents expressing their experience how planning and design shape how we live, and to translate their dreams and ideas into physical forms. By conducting workshops, particularly small scale workshops focused on involving youth, women, and low income residents, the project will inspire more residents to support changes to their neighborhoods and to Los Angeles. The project will simultaneously identify case studies of transformative city change linked to mobility to recommend policy and planning reforms that can make it easier for the City of Los Angeles to evolve. We will identify examples of activism on mobility from the Los Angeles region as well as how other cities have changed through shifts in mobility. We will showcase these on a website and in an exhibition. We will examine key procedures in the City Charter, general plan etc. that could be modified to open up more space for creative, democratic planning and the evolution of LA into a more sustainable, equitable city.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

  • number of participants in workshops
  • number of views of project website
  • attendance at training and at exhibition -engagement with advocates, residents and policy makers on urban change opportunities and structural reforms

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support