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Call for Research Fellowship Applications

The LASC in partnership with the South Park Business Improvement District seeks fellows to advance sustainability in southern California.

Currently, we are seeking students for an applied summer research project focused on implementing green alleyways in South Park.

Applications are due by May 30, 2014. 

Project Overview

The Los Angeles Sustainability Collaborative (LASC) and the South Park Business Improvement District (SP BID) have teamed up to green the South Park neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles, specifically through the network of existing alleyways.  LASC will support a graduate student or recent graduate to research and write a report on the implementation of a green alleyways project for South Park.  This report will build off of the lessons learned from the East Cahuenga Alleyway Revitalization Project and the related report completed in 2013.  This report will focus on assessing feasibility of green alleys in South Park, and outline specific implementations steps necessary for this district in particular, and be action oriented.  A successful report will lead to implementation of the suggested practices within 1-2 years.

Project Background

South Park is a neighborhood in the southwest corner of Downtown Los Angeles, bordered by the 10 fwy, 110 fwy, 9th/Olympic St., and Margo, an alley between Grand and Olive St.  It is managed and maintained by the South Park BID, which was established in 2005 in order to continually improve the neighborhood condition.  In the fall of 2013, the South Park BID commissioned a study by the Urban Land Institute (ULI), in the form of a Technical Assistance Panel (TAP).  Among the many recommendations from the TAP was the utilization of the myriad of alleys in the district as a transformative tool for creating a more sustainable and green neighborhood.  Keen to “put the park back in South Park”, the BID is now eager to move the process forward by obtaining research on the next steps to take this plan from theoretical to physical.  The BID has also recently formed an Urban Design Taskforce, which includes local developers, architects, and others involved in the built environment.  Involvement and information from this new entity will be crucial.

Report Outline

  1. Identify existing green/open space, and outline the necessity for more.
  2. Pinpoint and map all alleyways, including their size, ownership, and estimated traffic.
  3. Considering the best practices from other green alley projects, recommend a base for 2-5 typologies and/or uses that could work in the area’s alleys.
  4. Outline the major necessary steps required for transforming an alley, including all permits, entities, and estimated timeline involved.
  5. Estimate a budget based on all previous steps and other similar projects.
  6. Devise a plan for evaluating before and after impacts.
  7. Identify potential partners and funding sources.

Fellowship Benefits

  1. Direct interaction with esteemed leaders in the Downtown LA renaissance, including SP BID, local developers, property owners, City of LA departments, AEG and other corporate and think tank entities.
  2. Ability to work on and receive resume-building credit for a professional-quality report that will lead directly to implementation on the ground, and will garner attention from many parties.
  3. Networking opportunities associated with the promotion and presentation of the report.
  4. $1000 Fellowship (additional fellowship awards may be made available for team applications).

Selection Criteria

The Fellowship will be awarded based on but not limited to the following criteria:

  1. Urban planning, landscape architecture, design, and/or real estate experience.
  2. Experience with this or a similar research topic.
  3. Communication skills, both written and oral. Demonstrated ability to write powerfully and succinctly.
  4. Ability to meet the milestones.
  5. Completion of the application process.

Application Process:
Each applicant is asked to submit the following:

  1. Completed Application Form by clicking here or downloading Appendix A (Click to Download) and submitting your application to nora@lasustainability.org.
  2. Resume, including GPA.

Interview: Finalists will be interviewed by members of the South Park BID and the LASC Executive Committee.