Revitalizing a vacant lot in Los Angeles to cultivate a sense of community
Los Angeles is home to approximately 2,000 vacant lots. These parcels of land are often forgotten, taking up space in an already space-challenged city. One prominent example is the former Montgomery Ward department store in Panorama City, in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. The 9 acre lot has been untouched since the retailer closed in 2001. The site’s centralized location has potential to help increase connectivity between residential areas and its commercial core and bring a sense of place to the underutilized area, so using the site as a community space would greatly benefit the residents of Panorama City.
The project has three main goals: integrate more nature and green space in the heart of Panorama City and the Northeast San Fernando Valley, an area that has historically been underserved and susceptible to environmental justice issues; bring the diverse population of Panorama City residents together by providing a variety of community-oriented programming; and revitalize Panorama City’s commercial core with the addition of a flexible event space used for markets, festivals, and parades. Ultimately, this project explores the possibiity of transforming a vacant lot in Panorama City into public green space for the local community, with hopes to inspire future green space development using other parcels of land in Los Angeles.