Reclaiming the Right-of-Way, a comprehensive toolkit on planning methods to encourage walkability and complete streets design in neighborhoods, has been named a recipient of a National Planning Achievement Award for Best Practice, presented by the American Planning Association.
The award is the latest in a string of honors for the toolkit, which is led by program manager Madeline Brozen and UCLA Luskin Urban Planning professor Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris through UCLA Luskin’s Complete Streets Initiative. Local and regional APA chapters had previously recognized the project’s contributions to planning theory and practice.
In a letter supporting the project’s nomination, Los Angeles City Councilmember José Huizar called the toolkit “invaluable,” saying the toolkit encouraged the city to try new ideas and “helped the shift toward a healthier, more walkable and enriching public realm gain a stronger foothold in Los Angeles.” Similar letters of support came from the L.A. Department of Transportation and the City of Cincinnati.
Though focused specifically on parklet development in Los Angeles, the toolkit provides methodologies and guidelines that can be applied to other communities and cities. The city of Pasadena, for example, just announced the possibility of parklets being installed alongside their Colorado Boulevard; additionally, LADOT launched a website titled www.PeopleSt.org that offers resources for community members to create and apply for their own public parklet spaces.
Reclaiming the Right-of-Way is the first part of a three-phase effort, made possible by a $75,000 grant from The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, that included the publication of the toolkit, installation of two demonstration parklets in Los Angeles, and evaluation of the parklets’ role in their neighborhoods.
A brief description of the toolkit and award is available on the American Planning Association’s website.