project leader
Max P
13520 Van Nuys Boulevard
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the project

Street Values is prefaced on the assumption that the residents of Los Angeles are the ones leading the charge toward a less car dependent future and more vibrant public realm. Van Nuys Boulevard is emblematic of this; the streets are filled with pedestrians and cyclists and intersections are packed with people waiting for the bus and running errands on foot. Entrepreneurs have responded to this pedestrian culture. Vendors push carts along the street selling elote, fruit, chips, and paletas. Barbershops have set up benches in front of their shops where people sit and catch up with their neighbors. Merchants have expanded into the public realm, selling merchandise and displaying elaborately dressed mannequins, often with music playing in the background. Restaurants have removed portions of the wall separating the seating area from the street, allowing for al fresco dining. While these features are usually haphazardly placed on the street, and even considered blight by some, they are also signs of a local economic vibrancy that greatly enhances the pedestrian’s experience and give the street a sense of place.

These are all signs that the fundamental ingredients of great streets are already being produced by the residents of our diverse neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the design of Van Nuys street is not compatible with the way the community is using it. There is a lack of basic pedestrian infrastructure; only 50% of intersections along Van Nuys in Pacoima have crosswalks, traffic along the streets moves at high speeds, and sidewalks are narrow with very few street amenities.

Our proposal is to streamline the ways residents are enhancing the public realm along Van Nuys and integrate it into a larger restructuring of the street. Through a broad outreach campaign with local business owners and residents, we will develop a menu of readymade street furniture and public space elements. This will enhance local businesses ability to visually and physically have a presence adjacent to the public right of way. The ultimate goal of the project is build resilience amongst local merchants so that Van Nuys can maintain its deep sense of place for future generations.

the steps

This project is not a top down process but a ground up collaboration inspired and led by the community and merchants. The process will involve a robust, multi part outreach effort. We will first visit each business along the corridor and have informal conversations with local business and identify those who are willing to collaborate with us on this project. Then, focusing on those whom are currently activating space adjacent to the public realm, we will ask each to participate in an in-depth survey regarding the needs of their business, their customers, and ultimately if they would be interested in participating and maintaining new street elements in front of their business. We will then select those ‘anchor tenants’ to be one of the select businesses with which we pilot various aspects of the kit of parts.

To reach the community at large, we will hold five small focus groups with various organizations along the corridor including but not limited to: the neighborhood council, parent centers at local elementary schools, and neighborhood watch programs. At these focus groups, participants will engage in community mapping where they will write, draw, or place icons to show what they value along the corridor, what the issues along the corridor are, and how they feel the street could be enhanced. They will then be invited to a larger community workshop where the community will be presented with various design schemes forming the basis for the kit of parts. They will also be asked to provide feedback on what design iterations they would most like to see along Van Nuys.

Also present at these community meetings will be locally identified ‘anchor tenants’ or long-term business owners who are willing to support future pilots of the developed kit of parts. Each will be present and available at the meetings to have informal discussions with community members, sharing their dreams for their business’ and their visions for the future of Van Nuys Boulevard.

To celebrate the unveiling of the pilot of the kit of parts, we will hold a community block party that will coincide with the currently scheduled Spring 2016 CicLAvia, whose route will go through the corridor. This CicLAvia will take on a more pedestrian character for this stretch through a mandatory dismount zone. Residents will be invited to walk along the street and frequent the businesses that will be offering various promotions, Great Streets themed goods and CicLAvia focused activities. The CicLAvia event also offers the opportunity to test various ways of reconfiguring the street to enhance pedestrian activity and promote economic development. Stations will be set up at each pilot to engage event participants for feedback on the kit of parts to inform the final kit of parts document.

why we're doing it

In the coming decade Van Nuys Boulevard, as well as much of Los Angeles will undergone a massive transformation. A new transit line will run down the street and government agencies are planning to introduce green and complete streets infrastructure. Our proposal seeks to ensure that these projects do not eradicate the character and vitality along the corridor that give it a sense of place. Our project is designed to integrate the informal placemaking already occurring along the street into these larger infrastructure investments. This will ensure that current residents and business are able to partake and enjoy the investments coming to the street. 




TOTAL RAISED ON ioby = $1,264.00
ioby Platform Fee (Paid for by LA Great Streets) $35.00
 Payment Processing Fee of 3% (Paid for by LA Great Streets) $35.80



Budget Breakdown -

$1,200 Website Domain Procurement, Development and Launch

-   Creation of a website to announce events, record community meetings, present findings, as well as produced materials and the monthly development of pilot elements

-   Donation and mailing list interface development

-   Periodic emails and outreach via Monkey Chimp to give updates to mailing list and donors.


$3,000 Community Workshops, CicLAvia Block Party, Analysis

-   Printed Materials

o   Posters, leaflets, other materials

-   Workshop Tools

o   Multimedia interactive feedback stations and materials

-   General Support

o   Food, refreshments, possible daycare if feasible

-   Post-Workshop feedback documentation, analysis and representation


$3,500 Business Outreach, Recording

-   Survey design

-   Canvasing

-   Recording findings

o   Production of a synthesized GIS file

-   Identifying and representing ‘trends’ in need and community ‘anchor tenants’


$7,500 Kit of Parts Design

-   The development of viable street activation elements including but not limited to: sidewalk patterning and demarcations, small kiosks and displays, freestanding shade configurations, café seating, benches adjacent to transit locations and plazas, lighting and mobile signage.

-   Engaging local business owners on the design, intent and program relative to each pilot element. Modifying, and in some cases adding, features and functions to the various elements.


$3,500 Kit of Parts Prototyping

-   Testing and prototyping each kit of parts element relative to: 1. Feedback relative to functional constraints, received from local business owners and 2. General durability and maintenance needs outlined by local agencies and city officials.


$800 Production of Kit of Parts Document

-   Printing and formatting costs associated with the production of the finalized Kit of Parts

-   Alternative formatting production for web and downloadable PDF


$7,500 Pilot Fabrication and Installation

-   Mold development for specialized parts

-   Fabrication and material purchasing costs

-   Paint, coatings and resilient material applications

-   Hardware, bolting and security features

-   Miscellaneous installation and site preparation costs


$3,000 Pilot Iteration and Reconfiguration

-   Second pass modifications for initial elements as needed

-   Additional program design, fabrication and installation for unidentified street elements

-   Maintenance costs relative to cleaning and touch-ups of existing pilots


less LA Great Streets Grant: $10,000

less LA Great Streets Match: $10,000

ioby Platform Fee (Paid for by LA Great Streets) $35
3rd Party Payment Processing Fee of 3% (Paid for by LA Great Streets) $300
TOTAL TO RAISE ON ioby = $10,000



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