Open Space as an Asset

Periodically, the City Impact Lab delves deep into an issue important to Los Angeles and convenes an Issue Roundtable with an invited group on that topic. The latest such issue tackled was the Open Space as an Asset.

Public or private? Parks or alleys? Temporary or permanent? For us or for everyone? The dichotomy of public space -- and the choice to make what we all own useful -- is complex and multi-layered. Each of us has a role in shaping public space, but it’s not always as simple as some might hope.

On March 8, 2016, the City Impact Lab gathered two dozen Angelenos at Gensler's 37th floor offices overlooking the city with one thing in mind: how does the private sector activate underutilized public space to make it an asset for the community?

This Roundtable was inspired by a breakfast conversation at Gensler earlier in the year as the company works to support the reenvisioning of public space with the support of the private sector. With a mix of businesses, designers, non-profits, and city officials, this Roundtable dug deep to understand how more space can be activated by the private sector.

Check out the full write-up and suggested actions here.

This Issues Roundtable continues on a topic we begin in 2015 as we started the conversation about interstitial, or under-used, space in Los Angeles.


If you'd like to get involved with any of the solutions suggested, please contact the City Impact Lab by emailing us.

About Issue Roundtables

In Los Angeles, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of issues that are being examined, researched, and trying to be solved every day by leaders across the region and around the globe. Some are quite complex, and others just need slight refinement to be fully effective. Some of the best solutions come from focused people working collaboratively to identify and address the issue. City Impact Lab's "Issue Roundtables" strive to do just that: convene a group of engaged individuals to identify and develop solutions to transform Los Angeles. Roundtable discussions start with experts identifying issues and potential solutions; and then, the assembled group discussing, debating, and creating an action plan with specific outcomes. Sitting face-to-face, solutions can be discussed by those with the power and interest to try something innovative. These sessions last approximately 90 minutes, and sometimes, the outcome is to have another roundtable in order to delve deeper or have attendees share the information to their networks. Attendees should be prepared to listen, contribute, and take on an action item to work towards a solution. Roundtables typically have about two dozen targeted attendees.