October 2016

Councilmember Bob Blumenfield joins Reseda residents to plant over 30 trees on Sherman Way.
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Welcome to the October 2016 edition of Street Talk, the Great Streets Initiative's monthly newsletter! Here, we'll update you on the work happening in our studio and out on the streets. If you're reading this and need more great news in your life, check out our new website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or double-tap us on Instagram.

  • September Recap
  • Reminders: Upcoming Events and Workshops
  • Councilmember Corner: Marqueece Harris - Dawson
See you on the street!

-The Great Streets team

September Recap

Top Row: Last year's Connect the Dots Event, which was put together by a recipient that won the first round of the Grant Challenge. Bottom Row: Body painting at Mar Vista Art Walk for their Arts as Activation Event (left), The NoHo Plaza before the Arts as Activation Event took place (right)

2016 Great Streets Challenge Is Live

On September 20, Mayor Eric Garcetti launched the 2016 Great Streets Challenge, inviting Angelenos to turn their visions for Los Angeles streets into reality. Administered by Great Streets and the Department of City Planning, the Great Streets Challenge aims to create strong community partnerships and make positive change on our streets in our neighborhoods. This year, you can apply for the Great Streets Challenge for any street in Los Angeles. Selected applicants will receive outreach grants of up to $13,000, technical assistance, and dedicated City construction resources totaling $2 million for both temporary “Pop-up Projects” and permanent “Build Projects.” Apply now at!

Arts as Activation 

Over at our Tumblr, Great Streets Director Naomi Iwasaki recaps our experiences working with communities to activate streets with art and culture. Naomi highlights how projects in Mar Vista, Historic South Central, North Hollywood, and Boyle Heights shifted people's perspectives to think of our streets as public spaces and encouraged cultural programming to activate this space with people. Thanks to the Department of Cultural Affairs for being our agency leader of the Arts Activation Fund. Click here to apply for an Arts Activation Fund grant for your neighborhood Great Street!

Tree Planting on Sherman Way

Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and Reseda residents came together on October 1 to plant over 30 trees on Sherman Way. The new trees will enhance the comfort, sustainability, and beauty of the corridor. Residents learned how to properly plant and care for their newly planted trees thanks to CityPlants and the Los Angeles Conservation Corps.

Great Streets Wins at New Urbanism Film Festival

At last week's New Urbanism Film Festival, Great Streets took home some hardware for our short film capturing the 2015 Great Streets Challenge projects. Thanks to the festival organizers, our amazing eight Challenge teams from last year, and our film's producer, Erin Heidenreich! Click above to watch our now-award-winning short.

Upcoming Events

2016 Great Streets Challenge Workshop

This Saturday October 15, Great Streets will host an in-person workshop at City Hall to give an overview of the 2016 Challenge and assist prospective applicants. Bring your ideas and questions and we'll work with you to strengthen your application.

Can't make our in-person workshop? Check out our webinar October 26. Check out our website to RSVP and get all the details and, don't forget, the deadline for applications is November 18!

Big City Forum: Talleres Publicos

October 15, 22
Talleres Publicos is coming to Pacoima City Hall on Van Nuys Boulevard this October. The program features workshops in a variety of fields like art, poetry, design, photography, and social and community activism. Come out to Talleres Publicos on Saturday October 15 and 22 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Click here for more information.

LA2050 Challenge Public Voting

Applications are in for the My LA 2050 Grants Challenge. Now it's time to vote and help decide which creative ideas for a better LA will get up to $100,000 in funding! Polls are open from Oct 18 to 25, so head over to the My LA 2050 website.

Councilmember Corner: 
Marqueece Harris - Dawson

Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson took office in July 2015. As a proud South Los Angeles resident, Councilmember Harris-Dawson is a champion for safe and vibrant streets and public spaces in Council District 8. His priorities include helping Angelenos experiencing homelessness and improving economic opportunities for all Angelenos. 

Q. What are three things that make a street great to you?
A. Lighting, walkability, and greenery/art are the building blocks to a great street that can support a great community. A truly great street must be a place where residents can meet, exchange ideas, be inspired, and engage with small businesses. Lighting, safety, walkability, green space, and art are the infrastructure that you may not even notice, but together, they create an atmosphere that makes you want to stay and enjoy the streets.

Q. What would your ideal improvements be for your Great Street, Crenshaw Blvd?
A. The focus for my Great Street on Crenshaw Boulevard is safety, greening, and art. The corner of Crenshaw and Florence is currently full of concrete, car-centric, and is on the High Injury Network, meaning it is one of the most dangerous intersections in Los Angeles. In order to make this intersection safe for the hundreds of pedestrians that visit and live in this area, we need to change how people and cars interact and bring green space and art to that community.

Q. As Vice-Chair of the Planning and Land Use Management Committee, what important connections do you see between land use and a vibrant street?
A. Planning and land use are critical to transforming streets across the city. By planning streetscapes to include walkable elements and excellent traffic management, corridors become a place where people want to visit. By ensuring compatible development throughout a corridor, small businesses can thrive.

Q. What is your favorite place to visit on the Crenshaw Great Street corridor?
A. I am a big fan of 7-Eleven's coffee in the morning and a brand new 7- Eleven just opened on the corner of Crenshaw and Florence.

Q. As Chair of the Homelessness Committee, what plans and initiatives to advocate for people experiencing homelessness in South LA are you most proud of?
A. Every time I speak with residents across the City of Los Angeles, they tell me that they are concerned about homelessness and really want to do something to help people. I am very excited by Proposition HHH which will be on the ballot in November and will generate $1.2 Billion over the next 10 years to build permanent supportive housing. I believe this is the beginning of the end of homelessness as we know it.
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Los Angeles Great Streets Initiative, Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti · 200 N Spring St. · Los Angeles, CA 90012 · USA

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