connect Winner / 2016
LA Plaza Historic Paseo Walkway: Downtown’s first historic pedestrian pathway!
Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?
Los Angeles Conservancy, Our Lady Queen of Angels Church, El Pueblo Historic Monument, County of Los Angeles, Los Pobladores, City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Art Commission
Please describe your project proposal.
The Historic Paseo Walkway is the City’s first pedestrian pathway exploring and celebrating the rich, multicultural history of L.A. The pathway will include a mural, historical markers and monuments, street pavings, and other artistic interpretive elements leading visitors on a historic journey through Union Station, El Pueblo, LA Plaza and Fort Moore. The Walkway will serve as a new gathering place for Angelenos and visitors to explore, experience and appreciate the city’s historical roots.
Which of the connect metrics will your proposal impact?
- Cultural events
- Public/open streets gatherings
- Public transit riders
- Transit-accessible housing and employment (the share of housing units and percentage of jobs that are located within a half-mile of transit)
In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- Central LA
- County of Los Angeles
- City of Los Angeles
Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to connect?
Cultural events: The Walkway will help direct visitors into the LA Plaza museum and six other museums in Olvera Street that tell the story of Los Angeles. It will also expand the capacity of LA Plaza’s existing performance area, where a year-round schedule of concerts, family festivals, culinary events, film screenings are conducted. One of the primary elements is a mural depicting the city’s founding, which will be erected on the wall of La Placita Church. The Walkway will become an important public gathering space for public events produced by LA Plaza and other organizations.
Public/open streets gatherings: According to the Countywide Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment, La Plaza’s region contains a miniscule 0.2 – 0.5 park acres per 1K residents. (Countywide average: 2.2 park acres/1K.) Open space will relieve park pressure. It will benefit those communities underserved by park and open space amenities. It will increase park and open space for those ranked lowest in the county. Through artistic innovation, the content development will showcase art and artists, while LA Plaza’s programming will expand cultural options for the neighborhood and region.
Public transit riders: The Paseo will be an important central gathering place for all, including children and families, youth and school groups, downtown dwellers, daily commuters and tourists. Union Station, part of the El Pueblo historic core, is a regional transportation hub for numerous rail, bus and shuttle services. The Union Station “Connect US Action Plan,” was developed to improve historical and cultural connections in downtown Los Angeles by enhancing pedestrian and bicycle travel options through and between communities. The Historic Paseo Walkway is fundamentally aligned with the Connect US Plan to create connections between Union Station and the cultural/historic sites in the surrounding neighborhoods by means of a clear primary route; promote improvements that convey the unique identity of each neighborhood and street; improve pedestrian and bicycle linkages to/from Union Station to the destinations within each neighborhood and between neighborhoods.
Transit-accessible housing and employment: LA Plaza is coordinating with proposed projects and previous studies within the area including Plaza Paseo, LA Plaza Cultural Village and Metro Linkage Study to ensure a well-integrated, historically rich public realm. Downtown’s historic core will soon experience a new resurgence of economic and residential activity with the development of the LA Plaza Cultural Village, a 425,000 square foot mixed used complex opening in 2018. The complex will include 355 apartments, including 20% priced at affordable rates, and 47,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space. More than 500 people will be part of this dynamic new residential community in the northern section of downtown and will have direct access to our museum, Olvera Street and Union Station.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
Visitor statistics from LA Plaza Paseo will provide a generalized measurement of its penetration. A more targeted measurement will be the number of adults and children participating in LA Plaza’s ongoing community engagement programming. The Walkway will also serve to draw more visitors into the adjoining museum, and is expected to spike visitor attendance as well as participation in LA Plaza’s educational and public programming offerings.
LA Plaza will also conduct user-experience surveys examining the programming during the installation and engagement phases. The surveys will focus on several themes:
- Users’ accessibility to park/recreation without LA Plaza Paseo.
- Extent to which LA Plaza Paseo increases their park/recreation opportunities.
- Feedback on experience of interacting with each element in LA Plaza’s social media.
How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?
- Community outreach
- Network/relationship support