View from roof garden of arrival courtyard, stormwater pond, and solar panels.As part of National Landscape Architecture Month, the SoCal ASLA Chapter hosted a lecture and tour at the new Los Angeles Council District Nine Neighborhood City Hall. The lecture included a talk by Simon Pastucha from the City of Los Angeles Urban Design Department, and an introduction of the project by the designers and project sponsor, District 9 Councilmember Jan Perry. Paul Murdoch Architects, Rana Creek, and Pamela Burton and Company designed the project, which offers an interesting approach to green urban infrastructure in the park poor, highly urban area of South Central Los Angeles. The 37,000 acre site was envisioned as two things: first, a demonstration site for sustainable technologies for the surrounding community, and, second, as a new, safe open space for the community. The resulting design incorporates a 7,000gallon underground cistern, a stormwater collection pond, green walls, parking lot bioswales, drought-tolerant plantings, solar panels, and a huge, accessible roof garden designed as a new community open space. Open since January, the project has already been a huge success, and hosted a number of community events. As Councilmember Perry noted, the site has provided a space for people of all ages to gather at night safely, and has also reintroduced a bit of nature into the highly urban environment. Both squirrels and butterflies have been seen on the site, which most of us might consider seemingly common elements, but rare are features in District 9. Great project, and great model for ways to retrofit our built environment.
Stormwater management pond with rain chainView of the accessible roof garden. A mix of succulents, grasses, and wildflowers fill the planters. A strong scent of sage permeated the space when we visited.
View of the parking lot and bioswales used to manage runoff.