Roving Río Vista: A Park on the Move

submission by LA River Corp

Organization Name


L.A. River Revitalization Corporation




Please select the one indicator that is most relevant to your project or organization: Social Connectedness

What is your idea and how will it impact your indicator?


The Los Angeles River is one of the last great untapped public spaces in the region. What if we could make it easy to explore the L.A. River as an outdoor destination and greenway that inspires Angelenos to discover, connect, and create? With a Roving Rio Vista, we can!

What is a Roving Rio Vista?

Imagine a mobile 21st century park that can help to reclaim the edge and public easements of the L.A. River. We want to build an experiential and moveable space for people to discover, connect, and create. With our Roving Rio Vista we will test what people want in their public spaces along the LA River. Could it be something as simple as a seesaw, or shade, or homemade lemonade? We do know that we want to encourage social interaction and fun on the L.A. River.

Where will it go?

If you’ve ever been to the L.A. River you know that there are bicyclists, families walking their dogs, equestrians riding to Griffith Park and soon many more kayakers. But there is also so much idle public space (the river is 51 miles long) that is underused and waiting to be transformed. Often these spaces are right next to a key street used by 1000 of Angelenos—like where Glendale, Los Feliz or Fletcher cross the river. A pop-up park on these properties allows people to imagine what could be, while bringing it to life. Whether it is through a game of tetherball or a ride on a seesaw, a Roving Rio Vista allows us to experience the exciting possibilities of the river as a new outdoor destination in Los Angeles.

Why Roving?

While we build more greenways and transform the river, we want to experiment and test what works in defining a civic space for all Angelenos to enjoy. What do people want in this unique outdoor place? How do we design space that is versatile, affordable, durable, and demonstrates the innovation we seek in transforming the river? This pop-up solution will bring people to the river and allow us to test how active civic space can transform communities. . It will engage a dozen different neighborhoods in building common ground—physically and socially. The park will travel until it can be installed permanently on a site.

What are some of your organization’s most important achievements to date?


The L.A. River is at the heart of our vision is to make Los Angeles a cleaner, greener, and more connected community. We transform the LA River in order to improve people’s lives by carrying out sustainable land use projects, advocating for river-friendly public policy, and programs for community benefit.

We work to improve the quality of life for Angelenos in four key areas:

• Create social and economic value along the LA River

• Connect neighborhoods to the LA River and accelerate the corridor’s role as an alternative transport route

• Bring people to the LA River for recreation, community space, and public gatherings

• Enhance the river channel and advance habitat restoration by incorporating green infrastructure improvements.

Some recent achievements include:

• Led the development of the first major philanthropic investment on the LA River with an iconic cable-stay pedestrian-equestrian-bicycle bridge in North Atwater, creating a new destination on the LA River (to break ground this summer)

• Secured a $13.3 million commitment to the community from NBC Universal to create LA River bike path connecting a key stretch from Griffith Park to Studio City by spearheading a coalition of environmental and cycling non-profits

• Championed a broad-based coalition of public, philanthropic, private and non-profit partners to promote LA River Greenway 2020 campaign – a continuous recreational greenway for public benefit along all 51 miles of the LA River

• Facilitated the funding to open the Elysian Valley Community Garden

• Raised $10,000 on Kickstarter to host the first-ever L.A. River Bike-in Movie Theater in April

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.


We will partner with Green LA’s Living Streets Initiative and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) to make the Roving Río Vistas a reality.

The Living Streets Initiative designs and builds demonstration projects to make LA a more livable, sustainable city. Living Streets projects are affordable, immediate improvements designed and built by the communities they serve. Examples include sidewalk living rooms and street porches in Highland Park, El Sereno & Boyle Heights.

MRCA is one of California’s leading public agencies dedicated to the preservation and management of local open space and parkland, watershed lands, trails, and wildlife habitat.

Please explain how you will evaluate your project. How will you measure success?


Success will be a well-designed park that captures public imagination and engages a wider community in revitalizing the LA River. The Roving Río Vista will kickstart a wider campaign using Twitter, Facebook and to promote its travelling location, update followers and build ongoing interest in its progress. We will keep track of the number of visitors, social media following, demonstration events, games and special events organized around the roving Río Vistas Park.

While we put the project under Social Connectedness, it is a multi- beneficial endeavor. We will evaluate the project using the LA2050 criteria areas:

Social Connectedness

• Increase social interaction

• Increase volunteerism

• Promote neighborhood integration

• Encourage civic engagement in LA River revitalization
Promote greater levels of trust & diversity of friendships

Environmental Quality

• Increase access to green open space

• Feature water quality improvements

• Promote habitat restoration along the LA River greenway


• Promote outdoor recreation

• Improve wellbeing & positive mental attitudes

How will your project benefit Los Angeles? Please be specific.

A Roving Rio Vista is just one component of a larger effort to make the L.A. River into a great Los Angeles civic space and outdoor destination. Our emerging Greenway 2020 campaign aims to make the entire L.A. River bike-able & walk-able by the year 2020. President Obama recognized the L.A. River as one of only two public spaces in California for his America's Great Outdoors initiative to champion conservation and recreation in the 21st century. A Roving Río Vista is just one of the many public amenities that could be along the L.A. River, encouraging civic engagement and connectivity.

Specifically, the proposed Roving Río Vista will:
• Expand social connectedness and civic engagement by bringing people together in a common space
• Increase community input on revitalizing the LA River – building healthy urban communities
• Create active public space along the LA River
• Promote the LA River Greenway 2020 campaign to create a continuous greenway for public benefit

What would success look like in the year 2050 regarding your indicator?


Transforming the LA River into a great outdoor destination and civic experience is a game-changing opportunity to redefine the face and future of Los Angeles. Initiatives like these can immediately activate the space and begin connecting our vibrant and diverse communities.

The LA River can be a major resource to change the course of LA. It can enhance sustainable transport, water conservation, and expand green space – while creating new opportunities for education, civic engagement, culture, recreation and public art.

Imagine an exciting new outdoor destination at the heart of Los Angeles, connecting the mountains to the beaches. Every project we complete brings us one step closer to realizing this vision.

13 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

The River is Life: Reach for It!

by RiverlyOne
about 3 years ago

Love this idea! Let's make it happen!

by daniel.stoilov
about 3 years ago

I hope so too @zebra15!!

by jasonwilliamfoster
about 3 years ago

Let's spread the love for the LA River!

by miranda.rodriguez.568
about 3 years ago

Such a creative idea, this makes my week! I hope it WINS!

by zebra15
about 3 years ago

Yes it will! We can even have a dance party aspect to the Roving Rio Vista.

by jsamson
about 3 years ago

Going to bring everyone in the community together!

by jasonwilliamfoster
about 3 years ago

This is going to be really cool when it's built!

by jsamson
about 3 years ago

Rather, make that a "DIY" fun on the LA River

by kpattillo
about 3 years ago

I love a DYI LA River

by kpattillo
about 3 years ago

so cool to see this coming to life!

by omar.brownson
about 3 years ago

so cool to see this coming to life!

by omar.brownson
about 3 years ago


about 3 years ago

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Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
$1,000,000 in total grants
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Submission Began
Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Submission Ended
Thursday, March 28, 2013
at 07:00 PM UTC

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Voting Began
Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Voting Ended
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
at 07:00 PM UTC

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Homeboy Industries: Hope Has An Address
Homeboy Industries: Hope Has An Address

Winner Announced
Wednesday, May 08, 2013