Art installation at an activation

Free Lots Angeles

Workshop to plan a lot activation

Quality family time at a lot activation

Live music at an activation

Art installation at an activation

Free Lots Angeles

Free Lots Angeles

KDI is design lead of Free Lots Angeles (FLA), a collaborative working to help residents access vacant lots for social, economic and environmental benefit. After a pilot phase that successfully engaged 1,500 residents, FLA is now developing an “Adopt-A-Lot” program that will enable Angelenos to transform vacant lots into active community hubs.

Context

Original conditions on a vacant lot

The City of LA has around 2,000 vacant lots in its inventory, often bringing blight and degradation to low-income, park-poor communities that already suffer disproportionate rates of chronic disease and crime.

Accessing these vacant lots to improve neighborhood conditions and enable outdoor recreation, exercise and gathering is a complex process.

Process

Workshop at a farmer's market

KDI and FLA worked with communities and councils across LA to design six vacant lot activations.

This demonstrated community desire to more easily access and transform vacant lots, enabling us to push for policy changes to create an Adopt-A-Lot program, which will be tested at 6-10 sites before rolling out citywide.

Solution

Zumba lesson at a vacant lot activation

The Adopt-A-Lot pilot will give resident groups access to City-owned lots via an agreement with KDI.

We will help them design, program and maintain the lots in whatever ways they prefer, and develop giant, interlocking play-pieces that enable residents to physically transform their lots for intergenerational active and passive recreation.

Impact

Children enjoying outdoor play

Once rolled out across the City, Adopt-A-Lot will enable park-poor residents to easily access the physical, emotional, and mental benefits of open space.

By making community members stewards of vacant lots, it will also change the way public assets are managed, opening the door for a more civically engaged city.