Green Piece

Though Los Angeles has an abundance of large, mountainous areas, our neighborhood park spaces are scarce. The city council recently approved a pilot program to convert underutilized concrete.

Here’s El Sereno Street Plaza, the first of four spots.

Graphic by Bryan Christie

The Planning
With input from community members, a design focusing on sustainability was conceived for this stretch of Huntington Drive. The target budget for the project, expected to open early this year, is $32,000.

1. The Furniture
The 24-hour parklet features built-in metal tables, contoured aluminum-vane umbrellas, and solar garden lights to create a sense of permanent public space. Custom-designed redwood benches and marine plywood tables are also in the works.

2. The Design
A three-foot-six-inch wall with decorative planters provides a barrier between the space and the street. A one-eighth-inch-thick stainless steel screen will be added to recall El Sereno’s scenic landmark of Ele-phant Hill.

3. The Flora
Ornamental plants, such as English lavender, and kumquat, mandarin orange, and Meyer lemon trees capture the neighborhood’s character, while Chinese flame trees offer shade.

4. The Flooring
Part of the parklet remains at street level. The rest is raised on a wood platform at sidewalk level. The deck is made of redwood approved by the Forest Stewardship Council, a nonprofit that promotes eco-responsibility in the world’s forests.

5. The Site
Centrally located in El Sereno’s downtown business district, the red-curb area measures about 14 by 54 feet. The extrawide parking buffer ensures that no valuable parking places have been lost.