Los Angeles can transform communities by giving new life to distressed properties and creating a vast network of green space. The City is defined by its unique neighborhoods. All are culturally vibrant, but some lack economic opportunities and adequate infrastructure. While tourist destinations such as Venice, Hollywood, and LA Live benefit from outside visitors and development, neighborhoods such as South Los Angeles, Lincoln Heights and Westlake have uneven amenities and have received little private investment. Disadvantaged communities also lack access to healthy food and adequate park space. These communities suffer disproportionally, especially during periods of economic hardship.
In his 2010 State of the City address, Mayor Villaraigosa described a new economic reality for Los Angeles. Over the past three years, 65,000 jobs disappeared, construction slowed by 25 percent, and 23,000 Angelenos lost their homes. Foreclosed and distressed properties have flooded the real estate market. The City faces a $485 million deficit resulting in significant reductions in service delivery. This new economic reality is devastating for Angelenos living in neighborhoods already lacking in community resources.
A new vision for Los Angeles starts with reimagining our most neglected spaces. Converting Red Fields into Green Fields redeploys capital out of underperforming real estate into green space that will generate new jobs, increase property values and foster community driven development. A “Red Field’ property can be physically or financially distressed, or both, and has negative value — civically, environmentally and economically. Red Fields can be sites impacted by environmental concerns, such as asbestos-containing materials, underground storage tanks, or contaminated soil or water. Disadvantaged communities will begin to attract visitors, draw new investments and create vibrant public spaces.