Tomorrow is a big day for downtown Los Angeles. For the first time in decades a new public open space…no, scratch that…a new PARK will open in the Civic Core. The difference between open space and park is significant in this case. The Grand Park is not associated with a building project. There is no architectural program, no parking structure, no entertainment venue, government agency or earthquake rehab from which it has grown. This is a good, old fashioned park smack dab in the middle of downtown! Midwestern colloquialisms seem appropriate for this post, don’t they? After all, we’re measuring a public green space in acres and not square feet for once.
The new mayor of Los Angeles, city leaders and Rec & Parks should look to Mayor Bloomberg and the City That Never Sleeps for open space planning inspiration. But an initiative such as this is not only about developing green open space and job opportunities for landscape architects, planners, contractors, and maintenance divisions but about building community – specifically healthy communities.