Carren's Pitch

Life by Design

Professor Nicholas de Monchaux has an interesting proposition: what if you could optimize each piece of fallow land in a city to make the area greener and more livable? It's a well-thought out program and process and one that I hope every city will take advantage of.


Text by: Carren Jao
Edited by: Yosuke Kitazawa
Published: 30 July 2012, KCET

While 30 percent of Los Angeles County land is officially designated green space, 80 percent of that comprises the Angeles National Forest, Santa Monica Mountains, Griffith Park, Elysian Park and Baldwin Hills parklands, according to the policy report released by City Project Los Angeles in 2011. In reality, many neighborhoods in Los Angeles are still looking for that slice of nature within walking distance and, in the meantime, are suffering because of lack of it. But what if we could find more green areas by taking a second look at some of the county's most neglected spaces?

Amigos de los Rios, a non-profit that works to bring more green infrastructure in some of the county's most disadvantaged communities, Professor Nicholas de Monchaux and his team from UC Berkeley's Architecture and Urban Design are working together on a long-term project that aims to re-purpose an initial 150 billboard lots into mini-Garden of Edens. Think beautiful bird areas, constructed wetlands, butterfly habitats and the like, says Claire Robinson, president of Amigos de los Rios. [read more]


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