People St would like to highlight the recent study, Highland Park Next Generation: Reviving Street Culture in Northeast Los Angeles. The study was undertaken as a Master’s thesis project in Cal Poly’s Urban and Regional Planning department by Elizabeth Gallardo, now an Assistant Bicycle Coordinator in the LADOT Bicycle Planning and Outreach Program.
Elizabeth studied York Boulevard for over a year, closely observing the physical life of the street including cultural happenings, sentiments of residents and business owners, and traffic patterns. The research explored the relationship between street revitalization and the cultural and environmental dynamics that motivate and encourage community-driven placemaking. Interviews, reviews of historical documents, and policy analysis helped to identify those factors affected the street’s development, particularly looking at the local arts community, small business development, transportation policy, and the human scale of the built environment. The study found that a general neighborhood zeitgeist, street configuration, affordability, local anchor businesses, Council Office supported improvement, and the physical character of the corridor were some of the most significant factors leading to placemaking and corridor revitalization in Northeast LA.
Elizabeth’s research into the social, economic, and physical life of York Boulevard has provided her a unique perspective for her current work at LADOT, establishing a Bicycle Friendly Business District program in the City of Los Angeles. Understanding how culture, economics, and physical design is key to invigorating our streets, making them a safe, desirable, and engaging place for people. Besides working at LADOT, Elizabeth enjoys promoting LA’s urban wilderness, engaging in community planning, teaching, and writing about the nexus where streets and people meet.
For more information on LADOT’s Bike Friendly Business District program, contact Elizabeth at: Elizabeth.Gallardo@lacity.org