This story originally appeared in UCLA Today, a discontinued publication.

Urban planning experts help 'green' downtown L.A. with parklets

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In a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, Los Angeles city officials officially opened two "parklets," or micro urban parks, on Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles, the result, in part, of an initiative led by an urban design team at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.
 
The Complete Streets Initiative, led by Associate Dean Anastasia Loukatou-Sideris and program manager Madeline Brozen, led a three-part project to bring more parklets into the L.A. urbanscape.
 
parkletAfter releasing a "toolkit" in September designed to guide best practices in creating a parklet, the team worked with community partners, including Councilmember Jose Huizar, the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, the L.A. Department of Transportation and the Historic Downtown Business Improvement District, to put its plan into action.
 
Thursday’s event celebrated the unveiling of two demonstration parklets with "active recreation" components, aimed at encouraging people in the neighborhood and passersby to take a fitness break. The final component of the project is an evaluation of the parklets' use and pedestrian and business volumes in the area, to quantify the impact of the micro parks. The three-part project was made possible by a grant from the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation.
 
The parklet on Spring Street between 6th and 7th streets features a foosball table and exercise bikes. See the video above for more.
 
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