Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Doing the Right Thing

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Doing the Right Thing

Article excerpt

No sooner did we finish the September 2015 issue than a story broke in the Los Angeles Times, announcing the involvement of renowned architect, Frank Gehry, as designer of a new linear park embracing a long stretch of the Los Angeles River. My first reaction, as an expat Angeleno, was--WOW! This is going to be one of the largest and most beautiful parks in the country. The change was needed and a long time coming, but as an advocate for park equity, I was also concerned.

The Liver travels 51 miles through the Los Angeles Basin touching numerous inland towns and communities of the San Fernando Valley all the way to the City of Long Beach on the Southern California Coast. Much of the river skirts the backyards of Latino communities woven into the shadows of dense warehouse districts. The L.A. River revitalization project promises "good" for everyone, but with newly built condos touting river views and live/work lofts popping up, gentrification begs at the heels of this Tomorrowland.

Los Angeles city officials speak regularly on the topic, citing plans that are sure to benefit those currently residing along the river. Gehry also has an optimistic view. He cares for the well-being of society and believes his skills are best used when making the world a better place--for everyone.

This month's cover story, "Welcome to Chicagoland," by Jessica Maxey-Faulkner and Michele Lemons, starting on page 40, shows first-hand how Chicago Park District Superintendent Michael P. Kelly worked with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to confront and solve similar issues of concern as those in Los Angeles, in their successful efforts to brand Chicago as a city with a world-class park system. …

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