play / 2015

LA Pop Up Parks

LA Pop Up Parks

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by The Venice Place Project, TEDxVeniceBeach, 72andSunny

We built the first park in 30 days with less than $20K and a lot of volunteer help. We propose to re-create this project in 5-7 unused or open city owned spaces all over LA. We have lessons learned in place from the first successful pop up park and partners ready to support the creation of several more right away. We can take dead space in LA and bring it back to life to help people create stronger communities.


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

  • County of Los Angeles
  • City of Los Angeles
  • We can build these parks anywhere there is unused or open lots in the city or county

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

  • Engage residents and stakeholders
  • Expand a pilot or a program
  • Mobilize for systems change
  • Advocate with policymakers and leaders
  • We plan to make structural and tabngible change to several neighborhoods with new pop up parks to work and play

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

  • Access to open space and park facilities
  • Percentage of residents that feel safe in their neighborhoods
  • Residents within 1⁄4 mile of a park (Dream Metric)
  • Number of residents with easy access to a “vibrant” park (Dream Metric)
  • Number of parks with intergenerational play opportunities (Dream Metric)
  • Number (and quality) of informal spaces for play (Dream Metric)

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

Our parks are free to use by anyone. Paid for by grants, sponsors and partners and built in 30-45 days on a lot that is totally unused or unwanted. In our park in Venice, there are places to work on your own or in teams. Many young parents come by with small children so they can be engaged in their community without sacrificing parental quality time. Events can book out the space for non-commercial purposes and local organizations use the space for community meetings and gatherings (both civil and religious). We are unbranded, totally inclusive and literally a gift to the local community. We also build a robust website, provide free wifi, set up a staffing and oversight plan and even bring in local food and drink vendors so that park guests have a chance to get something light to eat or drink.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

We evaluate our work based on three things. 1) can we get people to use the park once it’s built 2) can we attract the right kinds of events that will be productive and respectful of neighbors 3) Can we gain overwhelming acceptance and support from the immediately surrounding community prior to construction so we can build a park that fits what the surrounding community needs. In Venice it was quite place to work, create, sit down (there are no places to sit on AK Blvd) and bring family and friends without a more raucous element in proximity. In other communities the requests may differ.

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

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support